One of the more popular tents on Amazon lately has been the Wenzel Alpine 8.5 X 8-Feet Dome Tent (Light Grey/Blue/Gold) (ad) and so we’re going to give it a review. This review is based on reading all the info about the tent, comparing other reviews and user comments, and in person inspection of the tent. We didn’t actually test the tent (at least not yet, we might in the summer).
The Wenzel Alpine 8.5 X 8-Feet Dome Tent (Light Grey/Blue/Gold) (ad) is a three person dome tent. It uses a three pole setup. The frame is fiberglass. The tent weighs in at eight pounds. It has a built in mud flap with a drainage strip to help with cleaning. Uses “Weather Armor” polyester fabric and has a “sonic-sealed polyethylene tub-style floor” that should hold up to a beating and is completely water resistant. I still would recommend putting a tarp or something under the tent (rocks and sticks can do a lot of damage to the tent floor).
- Base: 8.5 ft. x 8 ft.
- Center Height: 48 in.
- Area: 49 sq. ft. (vestibule 7 sq. ft.)
- Door: Dutch “D” style
- Floor: welded polyethylene
- Frame: fiberglass
- Stakes: steel
- Carry Weight: 8 lbs
- Sleeps: 3
- Storage Bag Included: Yes
Extremely affordable (the price is typically just under $50). As most tents seem to be $150-350, you really can’t go wrong with such an affordable tent. It seems to be decent construction and I would think it would last for at least a season. If you’re careful with it, it could last a long time. I would recommend putting something under the tent so it doesn’t get torn on the ground.
A bit snug for three people, this tent is better for two people. Three people will be jammed in and can’t use air mattresses. For two people, you’ll have a lot of room.
At 8 pounds, you won’t want to be carrying this for a long amount of time. However, I guess it is a three person tent so if you are with three people and you take turns carrying it, that might not be so bad. However, there are a lot of much more lightweight options available and some of them are reasonably priced. I really like the Kelty Salida 2, which is just 4 lbs. 8 oz. The Big Agnes Blacktail is 4 lbs 9 oz. The Big Agnes Angle UL2 is just 3 lbs! Those three tents are all two person, not three person. 8 pounds also isn’t super bad for such a cheap tent. There are a lot of tents in the 20+ pounds range. You also could replace the stakes with lightweight ones to make this a pound or two lighter.
The tent isn’t particularly breathable. It has two windows and the D door, which if opened let in air but then you’ll also let in the elements (wind, rain, snow, pollen). When closed, a lot of people complain that the tent gets stuffy and moist inside. That really can be an issue with any tent and depends on the environment, but it is something to consider.
Also, the rainfly on this tent shouldn’t even count. It is tiny and only serves to protect the top part of the tent, which does need protecting as it has an open, mesh area on the very top. I would think you would always want to use the rainfly as you don’t want to wake up soaked from a surprise rain shower.
I would recommend the Wenzel Alpine 8.5 X 8-Feet Dome Tent (Light Grey/Blue/Gold) (ad) to anyone just getting into camping that needs a two person (not three person) tent for car camping, summer camp, or camping in the backyard. At 8 pounds, I guess you could carry it, but there are lightweight options out there that I would recommend instead. The price is so good on this tent that anyone looking for a cheap tent (and not concerned about weight) should consider it.