Wednesday, July 16, 2014
In order to truly dedicate myself to more mini vacations (aka, weekend camping), I had to invest in a comfortable car camping tent. We've got a trusty lightweight backpacking tent, but this LL Bean King Pine 4-person dome tent is big enough that us giant people can even stand up in it! Also, it weighs fourteen million pounds.
We chose the LL Bean King Pine 4 over REI's Kingdom 4 tent, because (1) it can fit our queen-sized air mattress (a total necessity for glamping) and (2) the screened-in area is floor-less, so it can serve as an extended vestibule. You can stick your chairs under the tent when it rains, and not worry about tearing the floor!
As with all LL Bean / REI products, it's best to wait for a sale. Just before Memorial Day there's always a nice 20% tents sale, which went a long way toward making this high quality beast somewhat affordable. With those standard 100% satisfaction policies that you get from such over-priced establishments, it's a decently safe investment. Seams leak? Zippers are defective? You can just return it. However, nothing has gone awry yet in our trips since. Even in pouring rain, we've stayed nice and dry, watching the fire from the screened-in area.
Set-up is fairly intuitive, although I imagine if it was only one person setting up, it might be challenging. Possible, but a struggle. It's large enough to stand in, but not so large as to get comments from the peanut gallery. Without an air mattress, you could certainly fit four people side-by-side in the sleeping area and maybe some more if you put a tarp down in the screened room, but why would you want to?!
So far, we're really pleased with this tent!