James at Outdoor Gear TV takes a look at the REI Base Camp 6 tent, which should look familiar to CB readers – as it’s an updated version of the Eureka! Grand Manan Tour introduced last year.
Our Eureka! version of this tent has been pretty awesome for family camping. The only casualties from 1 1/2 years of use has been a few bent tent stakes, which says a lot about the construction of this tent since ours is usually full of rowdy kids! In fact, on our last outing we had a queen and two twin-size air mattresses inside and there was still room down one side for getting in and out – it’s a big tent!
This is a great tent! I had bought the Grand Manan, put it up in my living room, but it just wasn’t the tent for me. I watched this video a couple of times and finally had points and a discount from REI and bought this tent. I used it this week for the first time during a week that was excessively hot and windy here in Illinois. I only staked the four corners and it rattled a bit but was a very solid tent in the 40+mph winds we were having. If I had guyed out the guy (is that spelled right?) points it would not have moved. We also had a Coleman external-clip screen tent up and that tent eventually blew down.
I wish this video had show how the tent went up with the poles. That would have been very helpful to me before purchasing the tent. The poles provide a crisscross structure that kept the tent very stable in the wind we were having.
The vestibules were perfect for my needs. There are windows in the fly that allow you to see out but don’t provide privacy if someone is peeking in from the outside. My solution to that will be some Gorilla tape and bandanas if I feel I need the privacy. As he shows here in this video, we had two twin size air-mattresses set up like he has them and it pretty much took up the whole tent. We had out gear bags at the foot of each bed with about 12″ between them to walk through the tent. My guess is that you have more room in the Grand Manan. For me, for my single person space needs, and sometimes a camping buddy, this will be a great tent, and is easy for me to put up and take down. I also think that if I want to peel back the fly from the “backdoor” side for more ventilation, and leave the “frontdoor” hooked up, that would work well.
When you are laying down looking up, the tent feels very spacious and looks circular because of the poles and fabric design. There are several orange triangles at the top and bottom. I wasn’t sure about those, but discovered that they gave a happy glow to the ceiling.
I think I will add some paracord to the fly zippers to make it easier to find the zippers. When the fly is zipped closed and you have to reach down to the ground and find that little zipper in that tight space its a little difficult if you want to get out fast or its dark and your looking for the zipper.
I also bought the under-tent ground cloth made for this tent. Ive never had one of those before, always used the blue tarps, and loved this option. If you buy the tent, get the ground cloth. It has grommets at the 4 corners that the tent poles can fit into to keep it in place as well as its a heavy fabric that will give your tent good protection from what ever is under it.
For two adults the space is wonderful. For two adults and two children it would work. I would not want to be in this tent with more people than 4.
As an REI tent the quality is top notch. Its a good looking tent, easy to set up and take down, with great room. If it feels too pricey wait for a sale. You get value for your $$ with this tent.