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Gear Review

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A Big House Among Big Houses

I've now owned the Big Agnes Big House 6 for two years, and have used it for four, extended (week+) outings during that time. The tent has seen all kinds of conditions, including torrential southwest monsoon rains, extreme winds (40+ mph), elevation (11k feet), heat (114F), you name it. The tent was purchased originally for car camping on a roadtrip from the California wine country (home) to the desert southwest. Given that the trip was scheduled for early September, the tail end of the monsoon season, I was a little concerned with the tent's specsifications with respect to water proofing. The 1500mm PU coated floor borders on the "minimum" rating necessary for true water-proofness. Competitive tents in this class typically use beefier coatings (2000mm to 3000mm).

It turns out that my concerns weren't well-founded. Other than tracked-in water from the puddle that forms on the (rather silly) attached welcome mat, this tent is extremely weather tight. I now tuck the welcome mat under, between the floor and footprint.

As for wind resistance, for such a tall, large profile tent, this one is excellent. Mine has seen days of 40+ mph sustained gusts without collapse, failure, or pole bending. Key is staking it out taughtly, and properly tightening and guying the fly. In big puffs you will get some vibration and fluttering, and the side will flatten a bit, but the structure will flex back into place when the puff dissipates.

Set-up is pretty easy, though the eyebrow poles over the doors are a bit "fussy," and it is important to install them correctly for maximum weatherproofness. By the second set-up I could pitch, fly and guy the tent in approximately 10 minutes. The colors are cheery, which is a plus, particularly under gray skies.

For the price, quality and capability, the Big House 6 is a very nice option. Highly recommended.

A Big House Among Big Houses