Is AmazonBasics The Best Cheap Backpacking Tent? – Review

AmazonBasics 4-Person Tent

AmazonBasics 4-Person Tent
6.6

Size and Comfort

6.5/10

Weather Proof

6.0/10

Weight

7.0/10

Ease of Set Up

7.0/10

Dismantling

7.0/10

Accessories

7.0/10

Durability & Quality

6.0/10

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Lot of room if kept to one or two people
  • Easy to repack and store again
  • Can come with added accessories

Cons

  • Materials are of slightly inferior quality
  • Won’t last long in torrential rainstorms or extreme environments
  • Poor ventilation

AmazonBasics have designed a range of good quality products at affordable prices. Now they’ve begun to move into the camping niche and while their products might be, well, basic, they still provide good value for money. The AmazonBasics camping tent is just as the name suggests, basic but if all your looking for is an inexpensive tent for an upcoming music festival, a short backpacking trip or something for an overnight stay in the backyard then this tent is perfect for just that.

To see what it was like I tested it out over the weekend. Here’s what I found out.

Size and comfort

Floor Size: 6.8Ft x 6.8Ft 
Center Height: 59 inches
Weight: 8.38 Pounds

This tent is marketed as a 4-person tent, there is also an 8-person tent made from the same materials but built to a bigger scale. It’s made of 100% polyester and although it claims to be a 3-season tent, my own test of it over the weekend found it a bit lacking in cold protection. Although it was reasonably comfortable you certainly wouldn’t want to go without a tarp for protection and an air pad for a better night’s sleep.

However, considering its low-price range and weight it’s hard to argue for anything better. It certainly would be fine for limited use like on a 2-3 day music festival or a weekend trip but don’t expect it to hold up for long.

Ease of Set-up

For set-up, this is a pretty standard for a tent design of this style. Fiberglass poles need to be fed through supporting loops until they crisscross in an X-shape. They are then raised at the same time giving you your dome tent all set for use, once of course, you’ve got it staked down. It took me about 15 minutes the first time I tried it on my own and since then I’ve been able to get my time down to no more than 8 minutes. No doubt, it’s a lot easier if you have a second person to assist by from my own experience I can say it’s not difficult to do it on your own.

It weighs about 8.5 pounds which isn’t too bad for solo trekkers but you will start to feel it after a few miles. It’s definitely better if you can split the bag up between two or more people so it’s a little bit lighter. Although marketed as a 4-person tent you really wouldn’t want to try that out, especially with most of your gear inside. I’d recommend it as a good tent for no more than two people on a short trip.

Dismantling

Closing it up again takes about the same amount of time as set-up and I found no real issues with it. The carry bag has separate storage areas for the poles, tent and stakes so there’s no fear of damage while traveling. This also keeps everything nicely organized so there’s no difficulty finding what you need. I didn’t have enough time to properly test out the quality of the bag material but it seemed reasonably sturdy.

Durability and Quality

When some rainfall came down on me during my first night in the AmazonBasics tent, it held up fine with no leakage or excessive shaking. The rain fly awning created some extra rain protection while the bathtub-style floor kept any water seepage out. With that said though, an examination of the material quality on first setting it up made me doubt its overall quality. As I experienced, it will hold up fine under a regular downpour but I can’t see it lasting long under more extreme weather. Some reviewers have complained about water seepage during torrential rainstorms so for quality you’re getting a mid range product.

Overall you’re getting a product which will hold up fine against infrequent usage but it won’t be long-lasting if you put it through heavy conditions or usage. I can see this as being a good throw-away tent for festivals which is a pro or a con depending on how you look at it.

AmazonBasics camping tent front      AmazonBasics camping tent back

Best Applications

For shot 2-3 day hikes in moderate weather, the AmazonBasics tent does a fine job. For solo hikers, it provides plenty of space and doesn’t weigh much or take you long to set it up alone. Couples or friends can also get some good usage out of it but the poor ventilation means that things can get a bit stuffy with two or more people, especially if you live in the lower latitudes.

I would recommend this tent for infrequent campers or those who just need a tent for a few days (like at a festival) and don’t care about long-term quality. For the price you’re paying it’s a steal but don’t out expecting it to last against heavy condition or extreme environments.

Customer Experiences

Reviews for the AmazonBasics tent have been a little mixed, from what I can tell it’s largely a difference in expectations but then again some have complained over flimsy poles or stakes that broke or bent on the first try. If you’re looking for a cheap backpacking tent that can be set up quickly and provide a minimum of protection then it accomplishes that. Taken to extremes though and you may find it severally lacking. Summed up, you get what you pay for. As a two-person tent, it’s very roomy and kids will love it for backyard camping but more experienced campers in need of something better may want to look elsewhere.

The Manufacturer

Amazons investments in its own private label topics have begun to bear fruit and they now compete with vendors in their own products in over a dozen categories. This includes computer accessories, home goods, pet supplies, grocery items and now outdoor equipment. These products range from basic quality like batteries to high-quality speakers which are now beginning to seriously compete with major brands. Their foray into outdoor equipment is only just beginning and can be expected to expand over time.  

Extra Accessories

Amazon allows you the chance to throw in some extra goodies for close to double the standard price. If you’re looking for all the necessary gear it makes sense to buy it all at once together. These extra products include:

AmazonBasics Self-Inflating Air Pad

This is a handy little air-pad that can be self-inflated to provide an extra cushion of support. It definitely makes a difference on a cold night to have one of these and this one is easy to carry and the self-inflating perk will make it a deal breaker for many people.

AmazonBasics Self-Inflating Air Pad

AmazonBasics Inflating Compressible Air Pillow

This can be useful not just when camping but also when on an extended bus, train or plane journey. It makes a great addition when combined with the AmazonBasics Air-Pad for that extra bit of comfort. The polyester fabric is soft and the cushy urethane filling foam makes for a solid headrest that most will find neither too hard or too soft.

AmazonBasics Inflating Compressible Air Pillow 

Features

  • Dome style 4-person tent
  • 3-session design
  • 100% polyester fabric with welded 1000D polyethylene floor with inverted seams
  • Removable rain fly
  • Interior mesh storage pockets

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Lot of room if kept to one or two people
  • Easy to repack and store again
  • Can come with added accessories

Cons

  • Materials are of slightly inferior quality
  • Won’t last long in torrential rainstorms or extreme environments
  • Poor ventilation

amazonbasics tent power          amazonbasics tent stake

Conclusion

For those looking for a cheap but good backpacking tent for temporary or one-time use, the AmazonBasics tent is a great choice. It makes a great choice for the infrequent camper, festival goer or mum who needs a way to get the kids out of the house. The very low price tag can make it a largely inconsequential buy that won’t break the bank and allows you a chance to move onto other tent brands.

 

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