My kids love the outdoors and they are growing up, as kids have a habit of doing. They want to bring the family dog along on our trips so she can enjoy the fun also. Realizing that families need bigger tents, I requested a test sample from Kelty. They sent over their new Trail Ridge 6 tent, so the whole family did testing for this review.
The Kelty Trail Ridge 6 is a free standing, 3 season tent that uses 3 poles for setup. Two burly main poles in sleeves crisscross to the corners and give the tent plenty of structure. Plastic clips near the ends of the main poles hold out the tent body a bit more. A brow pole across the top increases the roominess quite a bit by holding the side walls nearly vertical. The included footprint gives extra protection for the floor. Color coding on the attachment points shows which way everything goes together. This is a big tent and setup is easiest with 2 people helping each other, although one person can do the job.
Just like the name suggests, the Trail Ridge 6 sleeps a maximum of six campers. My family of 4 with the dog has plenty of room in the tent, and five people will have a little room to spare. Six people will fit using regular sized sleeping pads. The tent has six mesh pockets spread around so everyone has a little spot to stash a wallet, phone, glasses or flashlight. An included triangular gear loft gives a bit more storage space at the top of the tent. The two vestibules are big enough to store everyoneâ€™s shoes, an ice chest or other gear. Kelty built in a couple pockets that use sort of a translucent material. This material diffuses the light from a headlamp or flashlight to nicely light up the tent and not blind anyone if they look at the light.
The Trail Ridge 6 has two very large D-shaped doors that make entry and exit easy. Kelty says the tent uses noiseless zipper pulls. For me, the zippers seemed quieter but I wouldnâ€™t say they donâ€™t make a sound. You should be able to get out at night for a bathroom visit without waking everyone. A large vent is at the top of each vestibule, and webbing loops are on the bottom of the fly so you can let air in from below.
In my opinion, the Stargazing fly is the standout feature of this tent. Kelty designed the fly so you install it onto the tent and roll up one side to let everyone look out at the stars. Straps with buckles at the top of the tent hold the rolled up portion of the rain fly. Just un-clip these straps, roll down the fly and secure it at the corners to fully cover the tent. At night, the No-See-Um mesh seems to disappear, giving you a perfect view of the night sky. Of course, kids and grown-ups both stare out at the stars. It’sÂ almost like looking at a big screen TV because this tent is so big. You can just sit there and soak it all in knowing that the bugs are held outside and rain protection is there if it is needed.
Note that the Trail Ridge 6 weighs in at 16 pounds and that includes the stakes, guy lines and everything. The tent comes in a duffel bag type storage sack with webbing handles so you can carry it around. Since this isnâ€™t a backpacking tent, Kelty used sturdy materials and all of the seams in the rain fly and floor are taped at the factory. The tent packs down to 29 by 10 by 9 inches.
For a larger group car camping, or canoeing, the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 a great tent.. The stargazing fly is really a standout, construction is solid, and the tent has plenty of storage space. The Trail Ridge 6 is priced reasonably at an MSRP of $399.95. Head over to kelty.com and check it out.
Thanks to Kelty for sending the Trail Ridge 6 out for testing and review. Hopefully, our readers with larger families will find this information helpful.
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