ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 ZF Tent is the new version of the popular freestanding tent with upgraded durable 210D nylon floor and #10 zippers. The tent comes with a bonus gear loft.
Key features & benefits
- Very durable floor.
- 2 doors.
- 2 windows.
- Gear loft included.
What is in the name
The ALPS Mountaineering Meramac series has been around for a number of years already, with the tents of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 people capacity. But they have recently modified these tents and this is behind the letters ZF in the name. They have upgraded zippers (Z) from a #8 to a #10, and also added a much more durable floor (F) in the modified tents. All other features remain the same. Note that both versions are on the market, so see the previous 4-person tent; you will notice it is far more affordable than the new version.
You will find this tent also under the name ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 ZF FG, where these extra letters just denote that this is a tent with fiberglass poles. Now, this might indicate that they have some other option as well; so indeed there is the Outfitter version as well with aluminum poles. At the moment of writing this text, there is only the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 3 Outfitter available on Amazon, but check when you read, I know that the 4-person Outfitter version exists so it may appear on Amazon as well.
Back to the Meramac 4 ZF tent, this is a dome style and also fully freestanding tent. This is because of the partial coverage fly, so you have no vestibules. You can look at it from both positive and negative side. The good thing is that the setup is easy and you can pitch this tent anywhere. Normally with vestibules the story is different, even if the tent is freestanding, the vestibules must be staked to be functional. The negative side of this design is that you have no storage space for boots or any camping stuff, so all must stay inside.
Who is it for
Weight-wise, with the packed weight of 12 lb 10 oz (5.73 kg) this tent is backpack portable if its elements are shared among the users, but it is not lightweight. If you need something for such a purpose better check my list of 4-person backpacking tents. The packed size is reasonable, 25 x 7 inches (64 x 18 cm), so you can transport it even on a motorbike.
Space-wise, the declared capacity is 4 people. But see the dimensions and the floor area; you have only 64 ft² (5.9 m²) and this means 16 ft² (1.5 m²) per person. So if you are with friends at a summer festival or concert, or on a motorbike tour, this can work. But if this is about camping, this tent is for two people maximum. See what they suggest for using the floor area:
Seasons-wise, the tent is suitable for most conditions in a 3-season use. The waterproof rating is decent, the floor is very durable, though the fly is not a full coverage. It is more suitable for warmer conditions, there is mesh on the inner tent and this does not keep the warmth.
Climate-wise, the same as above, the tent is for a warmer climate. For a cooler climate better consider the tents with PVC windows and without mesh like the Vango Beta 450XL and Coleman Oak Canyon 4, but also the Snugpak The Cave 4.
Materials & construction
There are 3 poles in total; the two main poles create the X-shaped structure and the third short pole you add into two tiny pockets under the fly and fix with a Velcro tab in the middle and add together with the fly. It creates two small awnings above the doors, so you can use the mesh on the doors as windows. The poles are fiberglass, 11 mm in diameter, shock-corded and heavy. This material is not particularly durable.
The inner tent’s body is polyester and mesh. The fly is 75D 185T polyester with 1500 mm waterproof rating. All seams are factory sealed.
The floor is particularly durable, 210D 110T Nylon Oxford with 1500 mm urethane coating. So this is the main improvement in this new tent’s version. It is 75D in the previous.
The doors & windows
There are two doors on the opposite sides and they are double-layer in the upper sections. So you can use them with mesh and have two windows, the brim above protects them in practically every weather conditions. The lower part is waterproof and the zippers are protected with a storm flap. As mentioned above, those are extra large #10 durable zippers as a new feature on this tent.
With such a fly and the windows on the doors, you will always have a good air flow, so condensation should not be a problem. The inner tent is with large mesh sections on the narrow sides, covered by the fly, and there are small mesh areas on the top as well, see the picture below.
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Easy setup.
- Windows add to livability.
- Bonus gear loft.
- Very durable floor.
- Fiberglass poles.
- Small area.
The price & rating
As of the moment of writing this text, the Amazon price for this tent is $218. In view of the floor which is like a tarp, this is an almost reasonable price. But note that the previous version costs almost three times less. I must say also that there are tents that offer more storage area, you will see some options in the comparison table below. See how I rate this tent.
- Type: freestanding dome style tent.
- Capacity: 4 people.
- Weight: 12 lb 10 oz (5.73 kg).
- Minimum weight: 11 lb 14 oz (5.39 kg).
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.5 ft (259 x 229 cm).
- Area: 64 ft² (5.9 m²).
- Area per person: 16 ft² (1.5 m²).
- Peak height: 60 in (152 cm).
- Packed size (L x D): 25 x 7 in (64 x 18 cm).
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 ZF Tent vs Competitors
In the table below I give this Meramac ZF 4 tent side by side with two other tents which have vestibules, it might help in making a better decision. If this is for camping, the vestibules may be very important. Please follow the links to read more, you will see that the other two tents are far more expensive.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
Meramac ZF 4
Payable Every Month
25 x 7 ( 64 x 18)
Payable Every Year
23 x 7 (58 x 18)
Payable Every Year
25 x 11 (64 x 28)
In the summary of this ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 ZF Tent review, I must say that I like the design of this tent, the new fly color looks better to me than the previous one, and the floor is incredibly durable. Both versions are on the market, and the difference in the price is huge. These are reliable tents but see my objections above.
The tent is a bit heavy to be carried on the trail, so it is more for camping at places with a motorized access. If you need a larger option with the same features, check the 5-person version from the same series. If you still want more options, check this list with 4-person tents for car camping and also these cabin style 4-person tents for camping. See also this The North Face Wawona 4 with its two vestibules and plenty of great features. Note that they also have the Meramac Outfitter series with aluminum poles, see the 3-person version here.
Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below in the case of questions or comments. Have a nice day.