In this Kelty Outback 4 Tent Review you can read about a very reliable tent with an optimum comfort at an affordable price, suitable for camping at places with a car or motorbike access.
Key features & benefits
- Very good price.
- Reliable Kelty product.
- Easy setup.
- Very tall tent.
What type is it
The Kelty Outback 4 person tent is a part of the series which includes tents for 2, 4, and 6 people. This is a typical freestanding 3-season camping tent. To say a few words about each of these terms.
Freestanding implies that you can pitch it on any surface, like concrete, grass, rock, frozen ground. It is self-supporting, so it is not compulsory to stake it to the ground. This is a good feature of any freestanding design. But of course, it is advisable to secure the tent and anchor it to avoid problems in the case of a sudden wind. The guylines and stakes are included in the package.
The term 3-season tent means that it is not designed for harshest conditions with a lot of snow and wind; for such a use you will need a proper winter tent.
The term camping tent here means that the tent is really heavy, 10 lb 13 oz (4.9 kg). So clearly you would not want to carry it in the backpack. It is best if used at places with a car or motorbike access, or for kayak tours.
Who is it for
The terminology explained above define also the potential users of this tent. So, I see it as a nice tool for occasional use at regular camping places, by families with one or two small kids, or by groups of friends. Observe that it has one door only (although huge indeed), and one vestibule.
Observe that it has one door only (although huge indeed), and one vestibule. So the space for equipment is limited if indeed four people would use it. Although it has enough space for such a use, you would be cramped there. Make it a tent for three grown-up people, and you will have plenty of space.
Overview and setup
You start by spreading the tent and the two fiberglass shock-corded poles. It doesn’t matter which pole goes where, so this is an easy job even for one person. Then attach the inner tent to the pole structure by using the clips on the inner tent. This all is shown in the video below.
The fly is color-coded (this is to put it properly so that the vestibule matches the tent door), so this should not be a problem either. There are Velcro tabs which you will use to fix the fly to the poles.
The official rating for this tent’s fly and the floor is 1800 mm. So this is more than enough even for hurricane-type rains. All seams are taped, so you can be sure you will be fully protected here; I would not expect anything less from Kelty.
The fabric of the floor and the fly is quite durable, 68D polyester, so in view of the size of this tent, this implies a lot of weight, no less than 10 lb 13 oz (4.9 kg). I am not impressed by the fact that there are no vents on the fly.
They have added small pockets outside for the guylines, see the picture above, this is something quite unique; as always, Kelty is good in adding unique details in their equipment.
The inner tent is all mesh for a better ventilation, and there are pockets on the sides for each user.
The poles are fiberglass, and this requires a bit of care when you use them; I would prefer aluminum.
Here is a short video by Kelty, about the whole Outback series, so please have a look:
Pros & Cons
My summary looks as follows:
The footprint is not included; it is not essential, but if you need it you can order it here for some $34. The total price of the tent and the footprint is still great.
One door regardless how big, in a tent for 4 people looks like a minimalist design, this is good enough for occasional use but it may be annoying for frequent use.
This is a really affordable tent, with the price $149 at the moment of writing the text; please check the links for updates. For a Kelty’s tent, this is a real bargain. See how I rate it:
My rating breakdown of the Kelty Outback 4 Tent
- Type: freestanding, 3-season tent.
- Capacity: 4 people.
- Minimum weight: 9 lb 6 oz (4.25 kg).
- Packaged weight: 10 lb 13 oz (4.9 kg).
– Length: 96 in (244 cm).
– Width: 85 in (216 cm).
– Height: 59 in (150 cm).
- Floor area: 57 ft² (5.3 m²).
- Vestibule area: 15 ft² (1.4 m²).
- Packed size (L x D): 27 x 8 in (67 x 20 cm).
- Doors: 1.
- Vestibules: 1.
- Poles: 2.
– Poles: fiberglass.
– Walls: No-See-Um mesh.
– Floor: 68D polyester, 1800 mm.
– Fly: 68D polyester, 1800 mm.
- Color-coded for easy setup.
- Guyline storage pockets.
- Internal storage pockets.
- Taped seams.
- Clip construction.
- Vestibule with two stake points.
- Full coverage fly.
Kelty Outback 4 Person Tent vs competitors
It is always good to see how a tent compares with similar tents from other brands, so see how Outback 4 stands in comparison with some:
*This is with footprint.
Many parameters of the Outback 4 Tent are below the parameters of the other two tents. Just see the weight, the total surface (the floor + vestibules), the surface/weight ratio. It is also with only one door, and without the footprint. But it is higher than the other two tents.
See the prices; at the moment of writing this text they are, respectively, $149, 331, 145.
In the conclusion of this Kelty Outback 4 Tent Review, to stress that this is a reliable tent, with simple features, and with a great price tag. Typically, this is all that really matters and in this sense, I can fully recommend this tent.
Though the fiberglass poles need some care and they are not as durable as aluminum. For occasional use this is good enough, just like the single door; but if you need a heavy duty tool for very frequent use and for four people, perhaps it is best to try something else.
If you feel that you need something different, please visit my page with tents and shelters, there are many great tools of various sizes described there. I would, in particular, pointed out this Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 tent.
In the case of questions and comments, please use the comment box below. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.