If you’ve ever been out camping, looked at camping gear at a retail store or even just read a good camping blog (well, you ARE here!), you’ve probably heard of Kelty.
Started in 1952, Dick Kelty made his first backpacks using aluminum frames and strips of carpet for shoulder straps. Thankfully with over 60 years of experience and innovation, Kelty’s products are no longer made with carpet scraps and are now some of the best gear around.
Our Wild Camping Adventure
I got the chance to use the Trail Ridge 6 while out doing some camping with my youngest children a few weeks ago (ages 8, 5 and 3). Since it was just going to be me and the three little kids without my wife or older kids (I also have a 15 yo and 13 yo), we decided to head to my folks farm and test out the tent in a nice easy setting.
The kids were super pumped about “camping” at the farm and getting to see their grandparents.
Setting Up The Tent
The Trail Ridge 6 tent ended up being the perfect tent for the type of camping we had planned. The tent was easily set up by me without any help (well, at least not useful help!), in about 10 minutes. My daughter was the photographer during this process.
The Trail Ridge is a basic dome tent with a very quick and basic set up. I started by staking in the four corners of the tent, pretty standard stuff. The aluminum lightweight tent poles were standard shock poles and there were only two main poles. Each pole easily slips through a sleeve on the top of the tent, which guides the pole and holds the tent to the pole and finally connects to the opposite corner of the tent.
Once the two poles were in, the tent was standing up in its dome shape. Two more small aluminum shock cord poles are then added to the top of the tent to create a small vestibule on either side of the tent after the tent fly is placed on.
The tent fly was easy to slip on over the tent by one person and attached to the four corners of the tent. I was debating not using the tent fly so we could look up at the stars during the night, but for some reason I decided to go ahead and throw it on.
Best. Decision. Ever.
It definitely rained from about 1 am to 7 am. Thankfully the only water found in the tent in the morning was from my three year old sons sippy cup, which did not have the lid on tight and was tipped on its side on top of my clothes bag…
What I Like About The Trail Ridge 6
There are a few things that really make the Trail Ridge a perfect family camping tent. First, having two doors is a wonderful feature. This allows for campers on either side of the tent to slip out for a potty break during the night without having to climb over other sleepers.
Second, the silent zippers are something you don’t think about at all until it’s the middle of the night, you’ve got all your kids sleeping (after a couple hours of begging them to go to sleep), and you have to get up to use the bathroom. Normally you’d be slowly unzipping the door to a loud ZIIIIIIIP and praying not to wake anyone. The silent zippers on the Trial Ridge really are quiet to the point of being a non concern.
The two vestibules are also quite convenient. Personally, with a family tent, I like a bit larger vestibule to keep shoes and gear, but the vestibules on the Trail Ridge were more than adequate and having two of them made up for the fact that they were a bit smaller.
Last, the ease of set up is a major plus. This tent can easily be set up by one person in roughly ten minutes. Everything about the set up makes sense and is easy to figure out. Even if this is your first time ever setting up a tent, you will most likely have it up in 10 – 15 minutes without a problem.
Trail Ridge 6 Specs
- Capacity: 6 Campers
- Tent Weight: 13 lb. 13 oz.
- Floor Space: 80 Square Feet
- Height: 6 Feet
- Vestibule Area: 22 Square Feet + 22 Square Feet
- Doors: 2
Trail Ridge 6 Features
- 2 Doors on opposite sides of the tent.
- Aluminum light weight shock-corded poles.
- Taped seams for a water tight floor.
- Freestanding design.
- Clip and sleeve construction.
- Noiseless zippers.
- Factory taped seams with 1800mm coating.
Overall, the Trail Ridge 6 is a perfect family camping tent. This tent would be great to take out on any car camping trip, any state or county parks and even a hike in camp site.
I wouldn’t recommend sleeping more than 5 people in the tent if you want some space for any pack, clothes or gear. but 6 is doable if you have another area to store you gear.
For it’s ease of use, decent weight, great design and durability, I highly recommend the Trail Ridge 6 for $399.99 at Kelty, to any family campers.