NOTE: We did not receive any compensation for writing this review. The product was purchased out of pocket.
This year we decided to upgrade our family-size tent. We had been using a basic Colman 4-person when we did “luxury” canoe camping (it’s big enough for our air mattress), and the REI half dome when weight mattered. But, with the new addition to our family we were looking to get something in between with more space but not too much extra weight.
We decided on the Kelty Gunnison 4.3. The amount of space is great both inside and in each vestibule, and the weight, split between the two of us is managable. Bonus: the larger vestibule is able to be guyed out using trekking poles, creating an awning over one door.
This was a huge selling point on this tent, and in practice, we found it to work very well. On our second camping trip with the tent, we had some light rain and the awning gave us a dry spot for our Roamer to sit and play while we cooked and cleaned up around camp. He was out of the rain, but not cooped up in a closed tent. It’s also big enough to fit the pack n play under if you use it.
Another bonus: footprint is included.
The space inside was plenty for the two of us, Little Roamer, our dog, Ajay, and lots of baby gear. And we could have put more gear in the vestibules to make more space inside. There are small mesh pockets in each corner, but it doesn’t come with the gear loft. It does have lashing points if you want to add one.
And now to the big letdown. After only two trips we had the rain fly rip at one guy line point. There is no reinforcement at the loops for the guy lines. Our REI tent, that has been across the country and back and withstood awful wind and sandstorms on Assateague and is still holding up great, has triangles of extra fabric sewn in where the guy lines attach, and I think that has helped a lot. The Kelty just has loops sewn to the hem.
Needless to say, we expect our gear to withstand whatever we get ourselves into, and the Gunnison 4.3 doesn’t seem up to it.