Ozark Trail Tents are made under the adventure and outdoors oriented product brand “Ozark Trail”. This was of course named after the famous Ozark Trail in Missouri.
They sell a wide range of products under the brand including but not limited to, flashlights, utensils, portable kitchens, tents, sleeping bags and canopies. They also have portable furniture lines including cots, chairs, stools, drinks coolers, backpacks, inflatables and more besides. In this guide we take a look specifically at Ozark Trail Tents.
Something to look out for
The first thing to note when it comes to Ozark Trail is that it is a brand name and not a company. What does that mean I hear you ask? It means that any tent manufacturer can sell their products under the Ozark Trail branded label. Of course they need approval but it’s not a signal manufacturer.
While this is not necessarily bad, it also means that there is no guarantee of the quality remaining constant across different product offerings. This also helps to explain why you will see so many different types of Ozark Trail tents available for sale. It’s best to keep this in mind when choosing a tent.
Ozark Trail tents are cheaper?
Ozark Trail tents are in most cases, considerably cheaper than products from other manufacturers like Coleman or MSR. There is a reason for that. They are generally intended for different types of camping.
It is to be expected that some other brands will have higher quality or more robust tents since they are charging more money. However its important not to confuse this with value for money and your specific camping needs.
Ozark Trail tents offer a great solution for those who consider themselves to be “casual campers” only taking the occasional camping trip, most likely during the summer. If this is you then it’s hard to find better value for money with such a broad range if tents.
Experienced campers and outdoor enthusiasts ought to steer clear though; something higher spec is the way to go for you.
Ozark Trail tents construction
Ozark Trail tents are typically made from nylon or polyester. Nylon is definitely the cheaper material being used in tent walls as it is less durable and more prone to leaking under heavy rainfall. However, the floor is of the bathtub type, which prevents moisture from seeping in through the seams. The poles are made up of fiberglass and not metal. Metal poles provide durability and greater wind resistance. Fiberglass poles are light weight but are not as strong; it is not uncommon for fiberglass tents to get bent out of shape in heavy winds.
The lack of a rainfly is probably the most bothersome aspect of Ozark Trail tents, next to the lack of a ground sheet. Both of these issues result in Ozark Trail tents allowing water to leak inside in case of a very heavy rainfall. While no tent is completely waterproof, a rainfly and a waterproof footprint go a long way in ensuring that the inside remains dry.
So far we have discussed the potential concerns you should keep in mind when looking at Ozarks Trail tents. However, if you have read this far, it means that you are aware of the caveats and are still interested in purchasing one. If that is the case, then let’s get into some of the more general guidelines you should be aware of when looking for a tent.
Sizing & Features
To get started, consider the tent’s size. A 4-person tent should do nicely for four people, right? Not always so. What the manufacturer means by an X person tent is that the floor is large enough for X number of sleeping bags lying side by side. Any reasonable person would agree then if space is a concern, you should buy a tent that is rated for at least one person more than necessary.
Also keep an eye out for the “height” of the tent; ideally, you would want a tent that can accommodate an average adult standing up comfortably without having their head brush the tent ceiling. This not only provides you with greater mobility inside the tent but also goes a long way in preventing you from feeling claustrophobic on long camping trips.
Mesh provides ventilation and transparency while keeping insects and mosquitoes out. A mesh roof is a godsend if there are any stargazing enthusiasts inside. However, they also need waterproofing, so check that any mesh areas on your tent also come with zippers and covers that can seal the ports when needed.
Options & Personal Preference
Beyond this, we move into the area of personal preferences. Some people really like a porch, which is a space immediately outside the main entrance of the tent. A porch works really well as additional storage and also for keeping things like umbrellas and shoes (things that you do not want to bring inside) safe. This, however is an optional extra. One additional thing that we like is pouches on the inner wall; they really make a difference.
So now that we have covered most of the possible options, let’s look at some trail tent models.
We are going to look at three tents in this review:
- The Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL family tent
- The Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin tent, and just for some context and comparison
- The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike tent
Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL Family Tent
A caveat up front: The Amazon page for this product explicitly states that this product cannot be purchased by residents in the state of California due to state laws.
The tent measures 11.6 in. x 12 in. x 27.5 in. and is dome shaped. The dome shape is important because this design does not let water stagnate on the roof surface and build up leakage pressure. The tent is spacious enough to fit 3 queen sized air mats. Great for comfort on your camping trip.
There are two removable dividers that can be put in place to create 3 separate rooms, each with its own entrance for added privacy. Six windows ensure adequate ventilation and outdoor visibility from inside.
The fly seams are completely taped to prevent outer rainfall or dew entering the tent. The inner walls even have built-in pouches to store toiletries or phones. The center hook is a great place to attach a lamp for indoor illumination.
Currently priced at around the USD 170 mark on Amazon, the Ozark Trail 10 Person 3 Room XL family tent has a 4.5 / 5 rating from 184 reviews. People are quite satisfied with this product, and odds are any casual camper will be as well. Unless you are a true enthusiast, this tent will do perfectly.
Separate doors for each room
Rain fly included in price
Seams leak in anything above light rainfall
Setting up the tent requires at least two people
Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent
The Instant Cabin line of tents from Ozark Trail is so named because setting up this tent takes all of 2 minutes. Since all required poles and support are already connected to the tent fabric, there is no assembly needed. You just need to unfold the tent and extend the poles.
The Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Room Instant Cabin Tent is no exception. Measuring a massive 16 ft. by 16 ft., this tent is certainly one of the more spacious tents you can buy while still calling it a “tent”. Using the removable dividers, you get three rooms each measuring 8 ft. x 8 ft. However, the lamp attachment is present only in the center room. The ceiling is quite high and can comfortably accommodate people above 6 ft. tall. The tent can house 3 queen size beds.
A power outlet is also present that allows you to electrify the exterior of the tent and keep predators like bears away in the wilderness. A front awning allows for easy relaxation under the shade.
The tent is currently priced at around USD 340 on Amazon, and is rated 3.8 / 5 based on 67 reviews. For this price, you cannot complain, especially considering the value you are getting.
3 room design with separate doors for privacy
Rain fly included
Large size makes it more vulnerable to wind blast
Venting with the rain fly is problematic
Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent
Wenzel, unlike Ozark Trail, is a company that specializes in outdoor camping gear and accessories. Therefore, you can reasonably expect that Wenzel products will deliver an overall better quality than Ozark Trail, price differences notwithstanding.
The tent houses 8 people and the dome shape helps to keep rain out. The outside is constructed with strong polyester fabric coated with water repellent polyurethane. There is a full mesh roof option available, which is great for warm weather and stargazing. The double staked power corners ensure stability in wind.
Measuring 16 ft. x 6.5 ft. x 11 ft., the tent is quite spacious. The screen room and the main interior are protected from ground moisture by the bathtub style tent floor which keeps the seams raised off the ground.
A weatherproof top is included with the tent, but it does not hold up well in heavy or torrential rain. A coating of waterproof sealer on the rain fly is definitely recommended.
The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent costs USD 230.08 on Amazon, and has a rating of 4.2 / 5 from 922 reviews, implying almost universal satisfaction. People really like the spacious design and stability in moderate winds.
Great value for money
Stable in moderate winds
Good water resistance
Rain fly is not very functional
Large design reduces wind stability at higher speeds
Hopefully this review sets you on your way to an awesome campaign experience. Remember that it is not always necessary to buy the best one; sometimes, you need only buy enough to get yourself out the door.