In business since 1952 and based out of Colorado, Kelty is one of the top tent and outdoor goods brands. The company is about building products that last, being playful and spontaneous and inspiring people to be adventurous.
With a wide range of products, Kelty can provide individual campers, couples and families a tent or shelter to suit their camping needs. Additionally, Kelty conforms to a code of conduct that includes a pledge to maintain ethical standards and employ no child, prison, or forced labor.
What Are Kelty Tents and How Do They Work?
As the creator of the first aluminum backpacking frame, Kelty is one of the leaders in the camping and outdoor goods space. The company offers several types of tents, from simple, light sun shelters to rugged backpacking tents and spacious family-sized accommodations. Kelty’s focus is creating durable equipment that lets people have refuge during camping or open-air events.
Many Kelty products are rated for three seasons of use. The tents are designed to set up quickly and easily. Several have an easy entry door, and many feature polyester or nylon as the main fabric for floors.
Kelty tents usually feature generous mesh vents. Many models have rain fly attachments and taped floor seams. Most Kelty tents are freestanding, have quick stash storage pockets, and come with tent poles that use extreme weather shock cord. Capacity depends upon the model, but Kelty offers a variety of tents that comfortably fit one, two, four, six, and eight people. Many of the product names indicate the number of people who can comfortably sleep inside the tent.
What Makes Kelty Tents Unique?
One unique aspect of Kelty tents is the generous amount of mesh in its shelters, which helps prevent condensation and moisture buildup within the interior walls. Many of its tents are designed to be packed up. Most models have tent poles that collapse for easy storage. The tent poles are designed to work, even if the shock cords inside snaps during a trip. If this inner cord happens to break, Kelty offers reasonable repair rates for equipment damaged by normal wear and tear.
In fact, the warranty and repair service makes buying a Kelty tent a good investment. As long as the tent is clean when sent in for repair, Kelty provides a full repair facility for a nominal charge. There also is a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects. Kelty staffs a Warranty and Repair Department during regular business hours to field inquiries about warranty and repair work.
Furthermore, Kelty designs its gear to last. Many users comment on the reliability and durability of their Kelty gear. Even during significant weather events, users lauded many models of Kelty tents as staying dry during downpours and withstanding the elements.
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How It Compares
Kelty often compares to brands such as Marmot, Coleman, and Tarptent.
Both Coleman and Kelty tents have some models where buyers complain about cheap tent stakes and that users chose to upgrade them. Without a tarp or footprint underneath, all the tents tended to get scratches and begin to wear out.
Tarptent’s products are often much lighter than Kelty, as Tarptent specifically designs and creates ultra light tents for backpacking.
Compared to Marmot and Coleman tents, Kelty’s tent design can feel a bit snug. However, this compactness is because the tents are designed for being stored and taken into campgrounds via backpack. With Kelty, gear often needs to be stored in the vestibule rather than inside the tent with the sleepers.
However, when set up properly, Kelty tents can often withstand the elements better than other brands. In particular, Kelty tents with rain flys and fully taped seams offer greater protection against possible leaks.
What We Think
The final vote is that Kelty tents are a great option. When taking into account Kelty’s warranty coverage against defects and reasonable repair rates for minor wear and tear, selecting a Kelty tent should provide several seasons of average use for individuals, couples or families.
Some of the two-person tents like the Outback 2 can feel a bit snug, especially with taller users. However, there are many larger models to accommodate a couple who may want more than 30 square feet (2.8 square meters) of floor area.
Campers who plan on heavy use or those who anticipate particularly challenging outdoor conditions should look for Kelty models with fully taped seams.