Guide to Tents

Family making smores during a campout

The Bass Shops’ selection of tents is divided into three categories: family camping, hunt camp and adventure camp. The attributes, features, and pricing of the tents in each category largely reflect their function.

Pairing the right tent with your needs can greatly enhance your camping experience. What follows is our recommendations on choosing the right tent for you.

Tents for Family Camping

Family camp tents are designed to make camping accessible. They are made to be functional, affordable and to combine quality and value to make it easy for families from all walks of life to spend time together outdoors.

The primary point of comparison for family tents is size. To pick the right tent for your family, just match the number of potential campers to the tent’s listed capacity. If your campers are big or like to bring lots of accessories, you might opt for a tent with a larger capacity than you think you might need.

Dome Tents

Kid camped out at creek

The Bass Pro 4-Person Dome tent is our most popular family camp model. It is a good, functional tent that assembles quickly, accommodates a queen-sized inflatable mattress, and features a rain cover and waterproof tarp floor.

This tent provides a great value and is a great choice for the family who is venturing into camping for the first time. Its economical price point is intentional.

Pairing the Bass Pro Shops 4-person dome tent with Bass Pro Shops sleeping bags, Cabela’s Polar Cap hard coolers and our line-up of camping chairs, backpacks, and other necessary accessories allows Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s customers to compile what is perhaps the best combination of value and function in camping.

The Bass Pro Shops Dome tent is designed for family camping applications. It’s point of difference lies in its combination of value and function, rather than technical innovation. It ably performs the basic functions of a tent but does not include some of the technical and performance materials of more specialized models.

Family cooking dinner during campout

The Cabela’s West Wind 4-Person Dome tent is a great step up in the family tent category. Designed with a number of performance features— upgraded waterproofing in the rainfly shield and tent walls, a hanging gear loft, and improved nylon mesh screening in the tent’s doors and windows, the West Wind introduces family camping to some of the attributes normally associated with technical tents in the adventure and hunt camp space. The West Wind’s calling card lies in keeping your family dry and comfortable in windy or wet conditions.

Cabin Tents

Cabin tents provide a different take on tent configuration. Designed with high ceilings, more headroom and a footprint that tends to be more rectangular, many cabin tents recall to mind the canvas walled models used by hunting outfitters in the West.

The Bass Pro Shops 10-Person Cabin Tent creates a great space for a weekend getaway. With a 10’x14’ footprint and a ceiling height of 84”, this option provides plenty of space for people and gear. It even includes an internal room divider, hanging gear loft and multiple zippered pockets—creating lots of storage for keeping organized. The tent is sold in its reusable heavy duty, zippered carry bag.

This model features polyester walls and rainfly, waterproof, welded-seamed floor, and mesh panels on the door, windows and ceiling. The Cabin Tent’s combination of size and attributes makes it a great choice that is prepared for family camping in good weather or otherwise.

Couple camping out with Ascend tent in Utah
The Ascend 9 Mile is made to make you feel at home on the trail.

Adventure Camp Tents

Adventure tents are designed for use off of the beaten path. Compactible, lightweight and high performance, adventure tents are made to be taken with you—in your backpack. Many adventure tents are made to accommodate one to two people, though there are models that accommodate three and in a few cases four.

Used for more demanding camping applications, adventure tents are designed to be:

  • Compactible - compactibility measures the dimensions of a tent’s packaging when not deployed. Because they are meant to be carried in backpacks, the smaller a packed tent’s profile, the better it is.
  • Light weight - while family tents are often carried to the campsite in a car or truck, an adventure tent will likely be ported to its destination on your back. When you are packing on long trails, in the mountains or hunting in the back country, weight savings are a big deal. An adventure tent’s weight savings will come in the form of design features (everything you need, not much that you don’t) and in technical fabrics and materials.
  • High Performance - these tents are made for adventure. Adventure often takes place in the middle of wilderness. When you are traversing remote and rugged country, you need a tent that can keep you dry and protected from the elements.
  • Special Features - because adventure tents are designed for use by demanding hikers, backpackers and hunters, they will include a number of special features and attributes. These often include vestibules (covered areas on the outside of the tent’s interior where you can lay gear, boots, water bottles or excess clothing), reflective guy lines, adjustable ventilation and rain coverage, and tensioners.

The Ascend Nine Mile 1-Person Backpacking Tent (it’s also available in a 2-person tent) is the headliner of our adventure tent offerings. The 9 Mile is made with high performance materials—aluminum poles, polyester rain cover, and compression stuff sack—and designed to provide as much space as possible while keeping it light and compact.

Woman packing Ascend backpacking tent
Space and weight become an important consideration when you’re packing your tent on your back.

The 1 person Nine Mile weighs only three pounds and 14 ounces. It is packed with features suited for the demanding backpackers—adjustable air vents, fully seamed rainfly and floor, full-coverage rainfly. The 2-person Nine Mile features two doors (so that each camper can enter or exit without disturbing their tentmate) and two zippered side vestibules.

Vestibules are very useful. Not only do they help keep gear organized, but they function as mudroom for the tent. You can leave wet boots to dry, while not tracking mud into your tent. When it comes to the smaller confines of adventure camp tents, the ability to store gear outside of the tent’s interior also improves comfort.

Two hunter sitting at a fire during an elk hunt in Utah

The Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak, doing what it does best… elk hunting.

Hunt Camp Tents

Hunt camp tents are largely defined by two styles—put up and leave for a period of time or backpackable tents that combine portability and protection from the elements. Whereas most family camp and adventure camp models are three season tents (spring, summer, and fall), a number of hunt camp options are rated for four season camping—including winter.

The Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak is a modern take on the classic outfitter style tent. Available in three configurations (12’x12’, 12’x20’ and 13’x27’), the Alaknak delivers a spacious, durable basecamp experience. The Alaknak’s cabin tent design means more headroom and the ability to comfortably spend time in the tent, with room for cots, the wood stove and whatever chairs, tables and accessories you choose to bring into the backcountry.

Composed of high performance materials and packed with such features as condensation vents, adjustable ventilation, a stove jack, and fold down shelves on the side walls, the Alaknak can also be equipped with a vestibule, additional roof protector, and reinforced floor liner.

Everything about the Ultimate Alaknak is conceived to make extended stays in the backcountry as comfortable, dry and warm as possible. The Alaknak’s unique offering lies in not only its ability to comfortably house people and gear, but to do so for extended periods.

Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model Geodesic Tent

The Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model Geodesic tent uniquely combines the ruggedness and durability you’d need while hunting in the backcountry with the portability you’d need to bring the tent with you. Available in 4, 6, and 8-person configurations, this is another ultra-rugged 4-season tent.

The Alaskan Guide Model is composed of reinforced, heavy-duty materials. Its extra thick waterproof floor is made of 210-denier polyester oxford with a rating of 3,000mm. Its full coverage rainfly is made with 75-denier rip-stop fabric that retains a 2,000mm polyurethane waterproof coating.

Designed to hold up against rain, snow and wind, the Alaskan Guide Model’s design is informed by more than 25 years of field testing in Alaska. All of these features are compactible and relatively lightweight. The 4-person model fits into a pack that is 30”x10”x8” and weighs in at less than 25 pounds.