Cabela’s Outback Lodge Tent Review
Summary: The Cabela’s outback tent in my opinion is an excellent all purpose adventure tent for the lower 48. I have not tested it personally in snowy conditions but I’ve slept in the it in cool temperatures below freezing. I used a Buddy Heater which has an auto low oxygen shut off and I bungeed a carbon monoxide detector to the center pole as an extra safety. With the heater going it stays pretty comfortable inside the tent and the tall shape ensures proper airflow.
Quality: Outstanding, sturdy tent, heavy duty stakes, strong zippers, and a heavy duty floor. I anticipated the floor being kinda flimsy just because of how thin nylon typically is and the large size of the tent. But once I received it I was immediately impressed with the heavy and durable feel of the floor. The stakes are nice and have a wide ‘V’ shape that holds the tent well even on a sandy beach. The zippers are heavy duty, I have not had nor to I expect to have any issues. The door has two heavy duty buckles to hold the door tight for windy conditions. And the poles are high quality heavy duty aluminum with rubber boots.
Durability: Outstanding. All tents will eventually wear out but I’m confident this tent will provide many years of reliable service before that happens. Despite how much I’ve used the tent very little wear is present. I do use a tarp underneath the floor to add an extra level of protection and a clean spot in front of the tent door.
Capability: Outstanding. This is a great general purpose tent, it is not the “best” at anything but it works well in most situations which makes it ideal for striking out on new adventures where ever you might find them. I’ve had the tent in a variety of conditions from a breezy beach with steady 10-15kt winds to moderate thunderstorms and temperatures ranging from the 20’s to 90’s. In cold weather a Buddy Heater works great to keep warm, and in hot weather I hang a portable Ryobi fan from the top of the tent to keep cool. There aren’t many places wouldn’t take this tent camping.
Value: Outstanding, I think for the capability and quality you get it can’t be beat. I bought mine on sale for $404.98 and I would consider it worth every penny at full price too.
Usability: Outstanding. I can easily setup and tear down the tent by myself, it’s very capable and well thought out, and it required no major modifications or additional gear to get out and start using it. I recommend using a tarp as a ground sheet for any tent, this one included.
Company: Outstanding. Cabela’s is one of my go to places to get high quality gear at reasonable prices. They offer some of the best customer service out there.
Pros and Cons:
-Easy to setup
-Good resistance to the elements
-Nice neutral color
-Lots of space
-Can get a little stuffy in hot humid weather
-I wish it had two identical doors on each side for maximum airflow on hot days.
-The single wall design does not hold heat as well as a double wall and is slightly more prone to condensation.
I would not hesitate to use this tent for winter camping I just have not had the opportunity to use it in snowy conditions. I have been using my Outback Lodge tent since late winter of this year (2016) and have camped in several different locations across three states and experienced windy, rainy, cold, hot, humid, and buggy conditions. It has handled everything well and lived up to or surpassed my expectations. I love the neutral color and simple setup, the stakes are heavy duty and do an excellent job even in sand keeping the tent solid in windy conditions. I chose to go with the largest model offered at 12’x12′ because I wanted space to hang out, maybe to play a board game with my kids, or clean hunting gear out of the weather. Plus with the larger model there is plenty of pace to stand up and stretch out in.
I have used several different tents of various types over the years but most were smaller and designed for 2-4 people. I wanted a capable large, high quality, versatile tent. I wanted it to be easy to setup alone since I often camp with just my kids. The tent also needed to have good resistance to high winds and bad weather. The tent didn’t need to be light since I would be transporting it via 4×4 or boat. I planned to use the tent for general purpose camping, and use it for camping road trips in a sorta nomadic fashion. Originally I considered a canvas Tipi or Sibley tent like the ones from Canvas Camp or Stout Tent, but ultimately decided against a canvas tent because the cost, and it’s bad to pack a canvas tent wet. Since I wanted the flexibility of road-tripping/overlanding I need to be able to pack my tent when it’s wet. I know it’s bad for all tents to be packed wet but I just can’t justify potentially ruining a tent that costs over $1000 when I can buy a nice nylon tent for half the cost that’s much less susceptible to mildew/mold damage. Initially I considered going with a nylon tipi like Kifaru, Tipitents, or Seekoutside, but it just wasn’t practical. The more I thought about it I’ll admit I’m a sucker for the marketing of all those tipi tents pitched on the side of a mountain somewhere, but I need protection from humming bird like mosquitoes way more than from blizzards. So back to reality where the mission drives the gear, and I can across the Outback Lodge by Cabela’s and decided it met my needs and it’s been an excellent choice.