Saturday, July 30, 2016

Review Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person 3 Season Tent Lotus Blue

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$53.96 (27%)

Genesee is a 3 Season, 4 Person Tent.

Weight 6 lbs, 5 oz. 

Product Description

FEATURES of the Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person Tent Two door / Two vestibule layout Four person layout Three season, free standing tent Bathtub floor construction Taped floor seams No-See-Um Mesh wall panels Detachable ceiling loft pocket Interior mesh storage pockets Clip-pole attachment for lighter weight and better breath ability Reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment  More Information Please Visit Here »

  • Three Season flexibility 
  • Two Door / Two Vestibule layout 
  • Free-standing four corner tent and Bathtub floor construction 
  • Clip-pole attachment for lighter weight and better breathability 
  • Tent fly ventilation windows

5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent 3-Season Tent At A Great Price!
By CC Rider on December 26, 2013
Size: OneColor: Lotus Blue
I own several tents and motorcycle camp about once a month. My beloved JanSport Isodome is now too old & worn to be effective anymore and I needed a good, solid, 3-season tent that wasn't too big when packed. Note that the Equinox and Genesee are virtually the same except for the color. The Genesee is blue/white and the Equinox is lime/white. You can find these on sale at REI, Amazon and other outlets for as little as $144, so shop around... Check here

There's really very little to criticize about this tent. Its extremely simple and quick to set up, with a basic color coded 2-pole design. It is truly freestanding, so it can be moved around once set up and doesn't require staking, except to guy it out or extend the vestibule. Although I normally prefer orange or yellow for my tents, the color is pleasant and easy to spot at night or in an emergency. It's well ventilated, with sizable screen panels on opposite walls, but with a full fly, also retains heat when it gets cold. Unlike a lot of other 3-season tents in this class, this one has zip-up panels to completely cover the door screens for better insulation in cold weather and for some privacy with the fly off or vestibules open.

Despite the fact that this tent is only a 2-pole design and uses clips instead of pole loops, it is still very strong and resistant to wind & damage. Although it's not an expedition tent, if properly guyed out, it will stand up to 50 MPH winds without issue. The tent is also waterproof and appears to be well sealed from the factory, however as with any new tent, I would recommend sealing the fly and floor seams. It does have a single taped and sealed floor seam running down the middle.

The weight is slightly on the high side, however if it's split between two or more hikers, it's perfectly acceptable. I use it for motorcycle camping, so for me, the weight is fine. The packed size is pretty remarkable for a 4-person tent with decent interior volume. At only 16" long in the stuff sack, it will easily fit completely inside a Harley Tour-Pak, other motorcycle trunk or even in some larger saddlebags. I really like the shorter pole lengths which help keep the pack length short. Although it's rated as a 4-person tent, as with all tents I would realistically subtract one person. For two people, this tent is very roomy, especially orienting lengthwise, with space for a twin air mattress, gear and a dog. It does come with two doors, so entry/exit for two or more is easy and the walls are vertical enough to add some movement room.

The vestibules are on the small side, however as many experienced campers will tell you, an excessively large vestibule is not always a great asset. These not only add weight and size to the packed tent, but most campers/hikers I know of prefer to keep their gear and boots inside the tent, where they're more likely to stay dry and free from insects/spiders. Large vestibules also allow a greater air space around doors, which can make any vapor barrier provided by the fly less effective, and they increase loft area, which isn't a good thing in high winds. Mountainsmith got this right, especially for campers using the tent in colder weather. The pop-up velcro vents on the fly are very effective, especially when the tent is oriented correctly into the wind, and the fly features adjustable straps to tighten the fabric. Very helpful. Also the guy lines, while sparse do have one-pull tabs which make tensioning a snap. The stakes included with this tent are the better angled aluminum type and not the cheaper steel wire ones found with cheaper tents.

Inside the tent, there is a very handy gear loft overhead with a central gear loop for lanterns as well as 3 pockets inside in the corners for smaller belongings. Although I can't imagine anyone needing printed instructions for this very simple tent, Mountainsmith provided them anyway, permanently printed on the stuff sack. The only thing missing from this tent is a footprint, which I highly recommend. If you cannot find one specific to this model, the REI Camp Dome 4 footprint is a perfect match and it will even fit in the tent stuff sack.

As far as durability goes, only time will tell, but it appears to be just as well made as my 1980 JanSport, sans the snow tunnel, chimney and snow flaps. I'm hoping to use this for at least 10 years. The zippers, guy lines, stitching and materials all appear to be of very high quality. I could find no flaws in the tent whatsoever. After striking the tent, the poles retained their straightness and did not remain bowed, as some other tent poles tend to do.

One tip... If you're using this on colder nights below 50 degrees, it helps to close the top fly vents and let the fly drop to the ground rather than staking it tight and off the ground. This will prevent heat loss from under the fly.

Update - September 2015
After using this tent almost every month for two years in conditions from 100+ temperatures to under 30 degrees, and high winds, the tent is still a star. It consistently performs extremely well time after time without any problems. No leaks, no broken or bent poles, no bad zippers, no failed stitches. I'm really impressed by this, especially for the excellent price. I can add a couple little comments for the long haul. On some extremely windy days, I noticed that the corners weren't as solid as I would like. This is due to the lack of good multiple-point guy lines. The solution was incredibly simple. I just bought some paracord, tied them onto the door retaining loops on the fly and purchased four more tent stakes. Now instead of the tent only being guyed at two points, it's guyed at 6 points, and even the strongest 50+ MPH winds are no problem. Just make sure you secure the Velcro inside the fly to the poles at those guy points.

Second thing I did was to upgrade all of the tent stakes to heavier 3-sided aluminum stakes. The originals worked fine, but after a couple years of use, they were obviously not going to last much longer. It's a cheap upgrade.

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