Today we are putting the Ozark Trail 8 Person Instant Cabin Tent (whoa that was a mouthful) under our microscope.
A brand that focuses primarily on creating budget, family-sized tents for the American populace, this particular model has piqued interest among campers due to its convenience, size and affordable price.
With its most notable features being a large square footage and quick pitch capability, it’s a popular model that can accommodate multiple campers in various configurations.
But what else can it do?
Apart from being a top selling instant tent, let’s take a closer look.
The Ozark Trail 8 Person Instant Cabin Tent Full Review
What We Think
The pre-assembled nature of this 8-person tent makes it an easy setup for all levels of camper, and can be done by a single person in about a minute. Conversely, it breaks down just as quickly and can be re-packed easily.
The shelter has 117 square feet of interior space (enough for 2 queen mattresses), which can be divided into two using an included curtain for privacy.
With a full mesh ceiling, a low backside vent, and windows on every wall, it has excellent cross-ventilation. A rainfly covers the canopy, attaching to the steel legs and providing protection against the elements.
Although it is advised to do additional waterproofing yourself to ensure you stay bone dry. Interior features like storage pockets, gear lofts, and an electrical port provide a few enhanced levels of comfort.
What You Think
With over 500 ratings online and well over 60% of those landing above 4 stars, it has been received well among the camping community, let’s get the consensus.
It’s REALLY quick to set up, can’t believe it has taken manufacturers this long to make these instant tents.
- “I set it up alone, I love the interior the most and the simple set up is a bonus.”
- “Enough room for 2 queen size air mattresses with 3-4 feet between them.”
- “I’m 6 foot 3 and it was nice to be able to stand up without crouching over for a change.”
A brief, general idea of the hundreds of comments, we have taken these real comments as snippets that represent the general opinion.
Instant Cabin Tent
10 x 13 ft (117 square feet)
$149 on average
Instant with Pre-Attached Poles
3 Season Tent
7-inch Steel Stakes & Poles
49“L x 16“W x 11.5“H
72″ (six foot)
6 Months Limited Warranty
- 8 Person Instant Tent
- Setup Takes Less Than 1 Minute
- Large Double D Doors
- Electrical Port
- Weathertec Waterproofing
- Rain Fly with Awning Support
- Low to High Ventilation
- Removable Room Divider
- 6 Month Limited Warranty
- 4 Windows
- Carry Bag and Stakes Included
Our Personal Favorite Features
On par with most Ozark tents, it uses a mixture of good quality materials with a functional build to provide a mid-level tent at an entry-level price. The pre-assembled frame uses 10 steel poles for sturdy and durable support. While steel can be a bit heavier than other frame materials, you will be thankful for it when the weather gets dicey.
The tent itself is constructed out of polyester fabric, which is a go-to for most tent manufacturers today. Polyester retains its shape well, can be packed down easily, provides you decent UV protection, can be easily waterproofed, and is more durable than nylon. It is always recommended to invest in a footprint that sits under your tent floor to prolong the life of your shelter.
One Room, or Two?
With the large square footage, this tent affords you, you can use it in various ways. Ozark includes a room divider, which is essentially a curtain that can be rolled up, or fully removed. This curtain splits the tent into two, 58.5 square foot areas. If you are camping with only one or two people, you can sleep in one room and lounge in the other.
If you have a small family, you can have the parents in one room, and the kids in the other. Solo campers can sleep without the divider installed so they can feel like they are having a luxurious outdoor experience. Eating room, storage room, or game room are also common uses for tents with a secondary space – the only limit is your imagination.
Included in this tent is a rain fly that works to keep the inside of the tent dry. It is essential that the rain fly is attached during wet weather, as the tent’s ceiling panels are comprised of mesh, which offers zero protection against moisture. The easiest way to attach the fly is before you extend out the legs, so you won’t have to struggle maneuvering around the large structure.
The rain fly also has taped seams which help ensure that water won’t seep through small cracks in the stitching. Additionally, it hangs over the windows and doors slightly, which provides a small awning to help to deflect rain away from open areas of the tent. For increased protection against wet weather, you can pick up a can of waterproofing spray at your local home store and apply a layer of coating to the tent yourself.
Fast Pitch Means Less Work
The setup times of instant tents are one of the most attractive features about them. Gone are the days of assembling a tent that has more pieces than an IKEA bookshelf. The instant setup Ozark uses for this tent means that the poles are pre-assembled to the canopy right out of its carrying case.
This makes extending the telescoping steel legs simple, and can usually take only a minute or so. While some seasoned campers feel this isn’t providing a true outdoor experience of “roughing it”, instant tents come in handy when you get to your campsite after dark, if it’s raining on arrival, or if you just plain hate setting up tents.
Keeping your tent well-ventilated is a must. Good airflow not only allows you to keep breathing, but it will also reduce condensation from building up inside the tent. The tricky part is providing adequate venting while still protecting it from allowing wet weather to penetrate the venting points. Ozark has a low to high vent system going on with this model.
A guyed out, low vent on the backside of the tent brings in air, while the 4 windows and tent ceiling work to expel it. This cycle works beautifully, as the windows and ceiling are outfitted in mesh paneling. While the windows can be closed up during rainy days, the mesh ceiling cannot, so make sure you always have your rain fly ready to go.
Little Things Throughout
Good tents will find a way to throw in little bells and whistles that enhance your camping adventure in big ways. This tent includes an electrical port that allows you to run power into the tent. With our dependence on technology, having power in your tent can keep your phones and tablets charged.
It can also allow you and your fellow campers to stay busy gaming, or watching movies and TV shows if you get rained out. For cold nights you can plug in a small electrical heater to keep you warm. Ozark also includes a small entry mat outside the tent that can be used to wipe and/or store your footwear on.
This helps to eliminate dragging mud and other outdoor debris into the tent. Furthermore, inside the tent are two gear pockets, as well as oversized gear organizers, making it easy to keep all your essentials nearby.
Ozark’s attention to detail is what makes this tent one to consider. Although there is nothing that screams “extremely high-quality”, they don’t skimp on the build either.
The materials that are used are good quality, while the multi-room configuration feature allows for flexibility, and a bit of privacy. Throw in a rain fly, excellent ventilation, and a power port, you’ve got yourself a decent multi-season tent for the asking price.