Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review - Ozark Trail Scout Junior Dome Tent

I'm actually a little embarrassed to be reviewing a tent from Walmart, but the price and size was right for $19.99.  The size of the tent in the package is one dollar bill high and 2.5 dollar bills long. It also weighs around three pounds, which is quite good for a small tent. For comparison, the Gore-tex bivy that I usually use on backpacking trips weighs 1.2 pounds.  The main reason for this purchase was size, price, and weight.


 

An excellent tub design for the bottom of the tent - one piece.
 The tent is very easy to pitch, with two flexible poles forming an X at the apex of the tent. Total time to pitch took less than 8 minutes.

Room for two Thermarest and a little bit of gear.

I also purchased an 8' X 6' tarp, since rain was in the forecast. The extra tarp area provided an area to stow my gear outside and protected from the rain. This is where my outdoor experience came into play. Has anyone noticed the pictures of any FEMA or refugee camps? Blue tarps are on top of nearly all of the tents. Take a look...

Haiti refugee camp

I would suggest getting green or camouflage to help blend into the environment, if they are available. I highly recommend a tarp with every tent regardless of price. This Scout Junior Dome Tent also had the correct tub shaped bottom, this prevents water from entering from the bottom of the tent. It did rain from 10:00pm until 5:00am, and we stayed dry the entire time.

The tent has an interior height of 3 feet, which was plenty of room to sit or change clothes. The only down side was the lack of leg room once I was stretched out. I could have possibly laid from corner to corner, but Row was already asleep before I realized the problem.  I do not advise anyone over 6 feet to purchase this tent.

Final Thoughts:

The price makes it a good tent to put into a cache. Cheap enough to not worry about it getting stolen or destroyed. The compact size and weight would also make it a good candidate for a short term shelter solution. I still wouldn't take this tent on the Appalachian Trail or far from the trail head , as I'm not confident of any outdoor gear available at China-mart.  Pack a tarp or thin visqueen to throw over the top of the tent, and use the tent stakes to secure the added rain protection.


 

As a bonus, this portable fan powered by 2 D size batteries was a major score. I highly recommend one for these to stir the air in the tent.

4 comments:

  1. I have had one of those portable fans for years. Used every hot day during lunch break at work in my car. Has never needed new batteries and still goes.

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    1. I'm happy to hear about the battery life, it would get costly to keep changing them out.

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  2. We had a group summer trip on one of our local rivers a couple years ago, Fan's are a very nice commodity to have on those hot trips.

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    1. It will be headed on many more trips. Now, if I could figure out a way to pack the A/C unit....

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