The Gear Guys recently tested an Alaskan Guide series tent from Cabela’s and were very happy with the performance of the product. We tested the tent after receiving three days of rain, followed by a quick freeze, that lead to two inches of snow, with a temperature during testing of 18 degrees.
Here is a quick run down of the advertised specs:
- Four-season use
- D frame design for strength
- Integrated vestibule that protects entrance and provides gear storage
- Shock-corded fiberglass poles
- Abrasion-resistant polyester floor with clips at corners for optional clip-in place floor liner
- Polyester-rip-stop fly (2000 mm thick waterproof rating)
- Floor with a 3000 mm thick waterproof rating
- YKK zippers
- 10’8” X 11’9” floor size
- Center height 6’3”
- Weight 32 pounds
After purchasing and testing the Kelty Discovery 4 Tent and finding the tent had a large moisture problem below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, we went shopping for a dedicated tent to handle winter expeditions. At Cabela’s, we found the Alaskan Guide 6-person tent set-up for display and were quickly impressed with the center height and integrated vestibule for storing gear outside of the tent while also keeping it clean and dry. With a detailed inspection of the tent in the store and an informative discussion with Cabela’s staff, we were quickly sold on the sturdy build of this product.
One of the major negative points found when reading reviews on this tent was the time and difficulty in setting it up alone. From our set-ups with the tent, we can see that it would be very difficult to perform alone and the possibility of damaging one or more of the fiberglass poles would be real. If you are purchasing this tent though, odds are you are going to have at least one other person with you when setting it up, and set-up is very efficient but still involved with two people. The Gear Guys were able to complete the set-up in about 12 minutes when working together. Care must be taken not to over-stress the fiberglass poles when bending and raising them to reach the mounting pins. The trick to prevent this is to slide the poles through the sleeves at the peak and then have one person lift the tent by the poles at the tent top which will cause the poles to naturally bend down towards their mounting pins. This then allows the other person to quickly go around the tent and secure the pole ends into the mounting pins.
Other reviews online spoke of the strength of this tent and it’s ability to hold up under heavy winds and snow load. We found this to be very accurate as the structure created by the pole system and guy-lines make this tent very strong while also allowing air flow for venting moisture. The Gear Guys do a lot of cold weather camping and wet gear in the morning from a poorly vented tent is very frustrating. With this tent’s venting system, we were very impressed when waking up in the morning to find all surfaces dry. We have not had a chance to use the tent in heavy rain but many of the reviews from those who have used it in rain, stated the tent holds the water out very well even in the most extreme storms.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with the quality construction of the tent and impressed with the ability to vent moisture in low temperatures with multiple campers sleeping in the tent. The downside to this tent is the set-up is rather involved but if your adventure is going to last several days, it would be worth the effort. This tent has definitely earned a spot in the Gear Guys gear room and will see plenty of extreme use in the future.
We give this tent 4 Stars (out of 5).