As I slept Friday night in the woods, underneath the stars, I began to think about how bad my inflatable sleeping pad was and how I wasn’t going to get any sleep. My tent is nice, but it was raining so I had to put on my rain cover so I could at least stay dry. The problem with placing a rain cover on your tent is when it’s already humid as hell outside, the tent traps that humidity inside the tent, and the cool breeze of the night can’t be felt. Many avid hunters have heard of BlackOvis, but the majority of people I speak with have never heard their name. I will do a buyer’s guide for BlackOvis soon, but today I want to help people have more enjoyable camping experiences if you have the funds to splurge on high-end camping gear for your next hunt.
1. Nemo Aurora Backpacking Tent
The reason I chose the Nemo Aurora Backpacking tent is due to the versatility and comfort inside the tent. If you’re unable to pack your tent into a backpack, you’ll have to carry it separately, and that just adds to the many things you have to carry up a mountain or into the woods. There are many impressive features in this tent, such as the multiple gear pockets inside the tent or the strutted vents for incredible air circulation. However, my favorite feature of this tent is the ability to fit inside a 23"x 7" water-resistant pack for easy storage inside your backpack. The full weight for the Nemo Aurora tent is only 5.44 lbs and easily fits 2 people with full-size sleeping pads and sleeping bags.
The Aurora is fitted with Built-in snaps for Pawprint™ to accommodate the biggest and roughest of dogs (except wolves, don’t let those in). The footprint below the tent provides excellent durability and ensures that your tent doesn’t wear and tear from laying on rocks, gravel, and woodland debris. There are a lot of simple touches to this tent that really make it a perfect tent for almost every situation.
For example, the Aurora includes an overhead pocket in the tent that allows you to place your headlamp. This headlamp pocket is designed to cast an even glow inside the tent without shining a light in your eyes or any other campers around you. The only season you shouldn’t use this tent in is in the heart of winter with temps below freezing. Finally, Nemo provides a lifetime warranty for their tents that includes any rips or tears that happen with most subpar tents with lower quality tents.
2. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 1-Person Tent
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 1-person tent is perfect for the lone-wolf hunter that prefers to be as light as possible while traveling in rough terrain. The pack weight is only 2 lbs and provides 38" in height inside the tent. This allows you to sit up in any position you want and the DAC Angle SF Hub allows for high volume pole architecture resulting in steeper walls. This provides more room inside the tent without making the tent too big to carry in a backpack. With 20 square feet of floor space, you’ll be able to move around enough to change clothes, socks, or even set up an outdoor stove to be ready in the morning.
The dry-entry vestibule that keeps the interior of your tent dry as you enter or exit is an awesome feature that is often overlooked. When it’s raining or you’ve been playing in the river or lake, this feature is a game-changer to have in a tent. Another great feature is how easy and quick this tent is to set up, even in the dark. The steep walls of the tent provide more room in the tent than you’d think by looking at it from the outside.
3. Slumberjack Roughhouse Tent
The Slumberjack Roughhouse tent is designed to be able to handle the elements better than any other tent on the market. It’s built with a low-profile design to be able to withstand heavy rain and high winds. I don’t think you’ll find a 4-person tent that has a lower profile with such a high capacity for under $200. The newer style of tents is built with better engineering to provide more interior space to optimize the room you have. With larger tents, I often find the ventilation to be poor and causes condensation inside the tent, especially at night and early morning. The Slumberjack RoughHouse tent has a Full no-see-um mesh tent body to provide great ventilation. If you’ve ever had issues with your tent smelling like an old boy’s football locker room, this tent will help avoid those issues.
The Slumberjack Roughhouse tent is 15.75 lbs when packed for transport and provides 61.8 feet² of floor area for up to 4 people. This tent is probably not going to be the best idea when you’re considering a mountain hike but is a great option for camping with family at an established campsite. It sounds odd, but you’ll notice the super-duty steel stakes & reflective guylines w/ tension adjuster. The stakes are very high quality and it feels good to know that once you put those stakes in, they’re staying in and won’t budge. The reflective guylines allow you to make adjustments very quickly and even in the dark to the tension on the tent’s anchors. Overall this is an incredible tent that will last years if taken care of and provide great memories for your family.