Big Agnes Mad House Mountaineering Tent 6 Person is a very versatile extended dome type structure with 2 rooms, suitable for all seasons and climates, with quality materials and craftsmanship.
Key features & benefits
- 2 Rooms, 2 doors, 2 vestibules.
- 6 Vents.
- Full-coverage fly.
- Extended dome construction.
- 16 Storage pouches.
- 4-Season double-wall tent.
- All mesh sections closable.
- Aluminum poles.
What type of tent is this Mad House 6
Here you have an extended-dome type tent of a particular type, and the picture below shows this partly. So you have the inner tent that includes a dome-section plus an extension supported by an extra pole. This is a smaller of the two tents in the series that also includes an 8-person tent.
But there is more to that. You have a full-coverage fly and the fly itself is supported with one extra pole so you have an extended vestibule on the opposite side. The picture below shows the tent with the fly on and in its awning configuration created with the help of a pair of trekking poles:
Note that the vestibule pole is added externally. Because of these extensions, the tent is not freestanding. It may look like a tunnel tent, but I have added it to my list of best dome tents and also to the list of tents with a full-coverage fly. It is quite tall with its 68 inches (173 cm) peak height.
This is a true double-wall tent with the inner tent that is built from a breathable taffeta, plus the mentioned fly. It looks very similar to the tents from their Flying Diamond series, but there are some important differences. You will see a detailed comparison below.
The rooms, doors, and vestibules
The tent is formally a 2-room construction with a removable divider inside. There are two D-shaped doors on its narrow sides, and there are two closure options, they are partly taffeta and partly double-layer with mesh and taffeta. So you can regulate ventilation and protection from cold.
You have two asymmetric vestibules (see the floor plan below), one is very small and perhaps should not be called a vestibule at all, but the other is deep and it provides lots of storage space. They have built flaps with dual zippers and this is why you can have such a great awning configuration.
There is a divider inside so you can create two rooms if you wish, and each of them will have its own door. See below how the inner area looks when the divider is open, this is almost 4 meters long inner space.
This tent is built with rather small mesh sections on the canopy, and all of them are closable, you have zippered panels as the second layer on them. They match 6 vents on the sides of the fly.
There are also double layer sections on the doors, and those go low and close to the floor so they can serve as floor vents to generate enough airflow when you need it. So there is nothing one could seriously object here.
Who is it for
Capacity-wise, this is a 6-person tent and for this you have 94 ft² (8.7 m²) of the inner floor area. This means 15.6 ft² (1.45 m²) per person and this is not much. But when you add the vestibules area, you have the total protected area of 125 ft² (11.5 m²), and this means 20.8 ft² (1.9 m²) per person.
So all in all this is enough space for the declared capacity. You have plenty of storage pouches on the walls to store your gear, and this saves the floor space inside.
You have seen the floor area above, the organization of the space is good, but if this is about family camping I would use it for 4 people maximum.
Seasons-wise & climate-wise, this tent is described by the manufacturer as a 4-season tent. I already mentioned the mesh sections that can be closed if you feel cold. But you have plenty of ventilation options and this makes it suitable for other seasons as well.
No doubt this is a versatile tent, it can be used as a mountaineering tent and as a tent for family camping, and this holds for any weather conditions. I have added it to our list of cold-weather tents.
Weight-wise, with 21 lb 8 oz (9.75 kg) of weight, this is a heavy item and this is not to be carried anywhere. The packed size 26 x 15 x 10 inches (66 x 38 x x 25 cm) is not bad so you can transport it even on a bicycle.
The poles & stakes
The tent is supported by 6 top-quality aluminum poles, 5 are used for the inner tent and one for a vestibule. All is color-coded for easy setup. You also have a set of 20 DAC aluminum J stakes that come in a separate compartment in the carry bag.
For the fly they use Dominico undyed polyester rip-stop with high tenacity yarns, and according to their statement, this increases its tear strength by 20-25% as compared to standard rip-stop fabrics. The fly is with a 1200 mm waterproof rating.
The inner tent’s body is a breathable polyester rip-stop and a polyester mesh. The floor is a bathtub style and this is a polyester Oxford with a 5000 mm polyurethane coating. All seams are taped with a waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (No PVC or VOC’s).
They write that for the color they used a unique pigmentation process in the polyurethane, and this resists fading and increases UV resistance.
- Color-coded webbing and buckles.
- You have 2 oversized 3-D bin pockets that provide ample storage.
- There are also 14 interior mesh pockets to keep things off the floor.
- Pre-cut guy lines and tensioners, heavy-duty and reflective.
- Dual, equalized guylines for added stability and strength in high winds.
- Briefcase-style carry bag with shoulder straps and organizational pockets.
- They give fast-fly weight in specifications, but this is of importance only if you order the footprint separately.
- Multiple interior loops are for attaching accessories that can be ordered separately.
- Easy-grip zipper pulls.
Please see more in this video:
- Declared capacity: 6 people.
- Trail weight: 19 lb 5 oz (8.76 kg).
- Packed weight: 21 lb 8 oz (9.75 kg).
- Fast fly weight: 12 lb 6 oz (5.61 kg).
- Dimensions: 214 x 100 in (543 x 254 cm).
- Floor area: 94 ft² (8.7 m²).
- Floor area per person: 15.6 ft² (1.45 m²).
- Vestibule area: 25 + 6 ft² (2.3 + 0.5 m²).
- Total protected area: 125 ft² (11.5 m²).
- Total protected area per person: 20.8 ft² (1.9 m²).
- Packed size: 26 x 15 x 10 in (66 x 38 x x 25 cm).
- Peak height: 68 in (173 cm).
- Footprint weight: 1 lb 8 oz (680 g), to be ordered separately.
Big Agnes Mad House 6 Tent vs Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6
If you see these two tents side by side, you will realize that they look very similar. But there are substantial differences. The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 tent is presented in our separate text, so here I am showing only some essential details important for the comparison.
The main difference is that the Big Agnes Mad House 6 Tent is a 4-season tent and the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 is a 3-season-plus tent. This implies a different canopy and this results in the difference in their weight and packed size. See how they look side by side (in numbers):
choose your plan
Packed size, cm
Floor area, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Mad House 6
66 x 38 x 25
Flying Diamond 6
58 x 33 x 24
Final thoughts, rating, pros & cons
To summarize this Big Agnes Mad House 6 Tent review by stressing again that what you have here is a top-quality tent for all seasons and all climates. You could describe it as an upgraded version of their Flying Diamond 6 tent. There is not much one could object to this tent, it is really well-built, versatile and reliable. If you can afford it, I can fully recommend it.
Please see how I rate this tent against my standard set of criteria:
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