This Kelty Trail Ridge 8 Tent review is about a very reliable and simple camping tent which comes with a bonus footprint included, a stargazing design, and a gear loft.
Key features & benefits
- Bonus footprint.
- Gear loft included.
- Very simple & easy setup.
- Full coverage fly.
- Full weather protection.
- 2 doors.
- 2 vestibules.
- Stargazing fly design.
- Very tall tent.
What type tent is this Kelty Trail Ridge 8
This is the second tent from the Trail Ridge series by Kelty here in the site; there is also its smaller 6-person cousin. It is always a pleasure to write about their tents simply because those are very reliable tools, and this is what you need when you are at the mercy of the Mother Nature.
So what you have here is a dome style tent in its very basic and best shape. You have only two poles that make the dome plus a short brow pole that lifts the walls and make them vertical, see the picture below. As you probably know there are many dome tents on the market but not in this size range. Usually, the 8-person tents are extended domes. So this is a monster, a huge structure with the 77 inches (196 cm) peak height.
This is a freestanding tent but it has vestibules so to have them fully functional you have to stake them to the ground. The tent is also a full coverage type for a full protection.
Who is it for
Capacity-wise, they declared it as a tent for 8 people. So the inner area is determined by the backpacking principle although this is not a backpacking tent. But you can indeed put 8 sleeping pads on the floor. The inner area is 120 ft² (11.2 m²) which means 15 ft² (1.4 m²) per person, so this would be fine for backpacking (if you could carry such a tent).
But there are 2 vestibules that add 23 + 23 ft² (2.1 + 2.1 m²). With this, the total protected area is 166 ft² (15.4 m²), and you have 20.7 ft² (1.9 m²) per person. This is quite enough for sleeping and storage of the gear, great if you use it with friends on a summer festival. But if you use it for a real camping, this is maximum for 4 people, say parents and two kids. For a couple, this is a castle. See below the main dimensions. Note that the number 12 ft is added by me because the picture on Amazon shows a wrong number 10.
Seasons-wise, the tent is surely for all weather conditions in a 3-season use with such a design and the decent waterproof rating, more below.
Climate-wise, this is a tent with lots of mesh, so do not plan to use it in a cold climate. For low temperatures you should plan to use a more enclosed structure, so check the Crua Core 6, Eurohike Buckingham 8 Classic, and also Vango Stanford 800XL tents.
Weight-wise, the tent is reasonably lightweight for its size, you have 19 lb 8 oz (8.85 kg). Though they give the minimum weight as well, 16 lb 15 oz (7.68 kg), which applies if you carry it and you can leave some pieces at home. But realistically, this is a camping tool for places with a car access. The packed size is reasonable, 29 x 10 x 9 inches (73.7 x 25.4 x 22.9 cm).
Please see more in this video by Kelty, they present the whole Trail Ridge series:
Materials & construction
There are only three poles, all aluminum. Two create the usual X-shaped structure and the third is a brow pole. On the pictures above you see that the tent is with sleeves and clips. So as soon as you pass the poles through the sleeves and attach to the grommets, the structure is self-supporting and freestanding.
The walls are 68D polyester and 40D No-See-Um mesh. The fly is also 68D polyester and with 1800 mm waterproof rating. The same denier and rating is on the floor. For most situations, you will not need a higher rating. So these are good materials, but the floor is not particularly durable, this is why you have the footprint included in the package. This is the same material as the floor, so with such two layers on the ground you will be safe.
Note that all seams are taped and the floor is a bathtub style design. The fly is with what they call the Stargazing design; so you can roll it up and fix with toggles, this configuration is shown on the top picture above. In the case of rain, it will easily go down.
There are vents on the vestibules but they are rather small, I am not so impressed with this design. You can compare this with the Exio 8 tent in the comparison table below, its venting system is far better. Though you have two doors and vestibules on the opposite sides and you can regulate the cross flow as you wish.
The doors and vestibules
You have 2 D-shaped inner doors and they match the vestibules which offer 23 + 23 ft² (2.1 + 2.1 m²) of the useful space for gear. See how the tent looks when it is fully closed:
- You have a gear loft included as a useful bonus.
- Internal storage pockets are available.
- Nightlight pocket is there as well.
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Easy setup.
- Very reliable.
- Useful vestibules.
- Very tall tent.
- Small inner area for the declared capacity.
The price & rating
At the moment of writing this text, the price for this tent on Amazon is at $440 and higher. So it is expensive, and this is a bit unusual for Kelty. Though the included footprint is huge and it adds the value.
Note that they sell it at the same place with their 6-person tent, so as it appears you cannot distinguish the ratings for the two tents. In any case, it is quite high, the average value is 4.3/5. See how I rate it:
- Type: 3-season freestanding dome tent.
- Capacity: 8 people.
- Packed weight: 19 lb 8 oz (8.85 kg).
- Minimum weight: 16 lb 15 oz (7.68 kg).
- Dimensions: 150 x 115 in (381 x 292 cm).
- Inner area: 120 ft² (11.2 m²).
- Inner area per person: 15 ft² (1.4 m²).
- Vestibules area: 23 + 23 ft² (2.1 + 2.1 m²).
- Total protected area: 166 ft² (15.4 m²).
- Total protected area per person: 20.7 ft² (1.9 m²).
- Packed size: 29 x 10 x 9 in (73.7 x 25.4 x 22.9 cm).
- Peak height: 77 in (196 cm).
- Doors: 2.
- Vestibules: 2
- Poles: 3.
Kelty Trail Ridge 8 tent with footprint vs Competitors
See how the Trail Ridge 8 compares with some other dome style tents from the same size range, I give two of them. Note that there are important differences in the design, but the biggest are in the prices. Please follow the links for the updates.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Payable Every Month
Payable Every Year
Payable Every Year
In the summary of this Kelty Trail Ridge 8 Tent review, I would stress again that this is a very reliable tent from a reliable brand. They have a series of this tents that have been on the market for a number of years already, and they all are appreciated by users. This is a typical dome tent and as such it offers less comfort than cabin type tents or many of the tunnel tents that you can find here in the site. But this is a tent with a full-coverage fly that offers a complete protection from elements and it performs well even in very windy conditions.
Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below if you have any comment or question. Have a nice day.