If you’ve been under a rock for the last 10 years and are just finding out about Ozark Trail Tents in the camping industry, then you’re in the right place.
Or you might be a seasoned camper and you’re just curious to the question, are Ozark Trail Tents actually any good?
We will get to the bottom of this question in today’s article, also sharing our best Ozark Trail tents on the market today that are performing well, despite the hearsay.
Who are Ozark Trail?
They are a private label brand that is currently owned by Walmart, this might click for you now and explain why you see so many of them when you’re shopping there.
Founded in 2002, they have grown exponentially over the years, mainly due to their focus on providing affordable family tents for those camping on a budget.
Currently, they have a vast range of tents ranging from sizes from 2 person all the way up to 20. They have also branched out in design, covering backpacking, hiking and family tents.
Adapting their designs into multiple roomed tents, instant pitch models with pre-attached frames and also attempt some lightweight hiking models.
Let’s look over their top performing models over various sizes and review them.
10 Best Ozark Tents of all Sizes Reviewed
1. Ozark Trail 11 Person Instant Tent
Probably one of their most popular models out there right now. This instant pitch tent in a vibrant orange color theme has notched up some really positive reviews and held up a 4.3 rating out of 5 across multiple platforms. The majority of the votes were cast in 4 or 5 stars, 81% of them to be precise. Let’s look at some of the details of the tent.
With 14×14 dimensions it’s pretty spacious and offers some unique features mot regularly soon in other similar models. The awning that extends out over the front entrance is perfect for some extra shade and covering a camping table or 2.
As it’s an instant tent, it comes with a pre-attached frame with minimal assembly required. Everything is already fitted and fixed, you simply need to extend out the framework and it will automatically fix into position. Secure with stakes and straps and voila, the dreaded pitch is already done.
The material is polyester, so it’s as waterproof as you can expect from other tents, however they have not disclosed a waterproof rating so we aren’t sure how much rainfall it can withstand. However, we would suggest to all users of Ozark tents not to push it to the max and consider waterproofing the tent yourself with a spray coating.
- Can Fit 2 Queen Beds
- Instant Set Up Under 2 Minutes
- Extendable Awning
2. Ozark Trail 6 Person Dark Rest
A smaller model for 2-3 people I would say. You can cram 6 people into this tent if you absolutely must, but I would really not suggest doing that. Always buy above the size of your group. If you have a group of 6, then opt for a 10 person.
Anyway, our favorite feature of this model that separates it from other generic 6-man tents is the Dark Rest feature. This has an excellent synergy when you consider that their tents may not be the best at holding up in the rain.
Because when is Dark Rest most important? Summer!
So, you wouldn’t need to worry about rain as much anyway, plus you have the benefit of a cooled interior during the afternoons and an equally soothing atmosphere during the nighttime.
A great summer tent for a reasonably small group of campers. Not only this but it’s packed full of cool little features, there is a gear loft integrated internally which can be used to store your little bits and bobs.
Also, a hanging organizer acts as a second storage, additionally, there is port access for an electrical cord, so you can keep your phone and devices juiced up.
A ground vent has been installed at the base of the tent to provide some additional air circulation, cooling the dark rest rooms even further.
- Dark Rest Technology
- Ground Vent
- Multiple Storage Options
3. Ozark Trail 12 Person 3 Rooms
For an affordable family option, this 3-room tent is pretty well put together. Performing reasonably well on the market with 66% of the votes cast in the 4 and 5 rating (out of 5).
Alas, the multiple rooms are really convenient for dividing the space up in the tent. Useful for camping with kids etc., one section can be kids sleeping area, us adults and then a gear storage area or perhaps a table.
Amazingly this huge tent is a fast pitch, which is the reason the price is ever so slightly high for an Ozark. Creating tents with pre-attached frames as opposed to throwing tent poles in a bag is costly for manufacturers, so the price must be raised.
A welded tub floor sits below a 7-foot center height, allowing you ample space to attach fans, lights or storage hooks.
- 3 Rooms with Dividers
- Pre-Attached Frame
- Tall Center Height
4. Ozark Trail 10 Person Family Cabin
This model is pretty standard but with a really cool layout, with the space clearly separated into 2 sides that sit opposite each other.
A legit 3 room tent in a cabin design, meaning the walls are straighter, with no curving or dome shaping. This results in a taller head height and more spacious feeling rooms, due to the tall walls like a house.
Various entrances and exits are positioned around the tent with the main entrance in the center, and 2 side doors are private exits for each side room. It’s pretty well ventilated with 6 windows surrounding and the fore-mentioned doors, you can air it out pretty fast in the mornings.
The seams have been taped to add some extra protection, but the overall waterproofing and rainfly is pretty standard as far as Ozark Tents go.
The 3 rooms are large, big enough to fit a queen air mattress in each, however we suggest utilizing 2 rooms for sleeping and the 3rd for storage. It will make a much more convenient arrangement in this way.
- Main Center Door and 2 Privacy Doors
- 6 Windows for Ventilation
- Taped Seams Prevent Leaks in Vulnerable Areas
5. Ozark Trail Base Camp 14 Person Tent
An awesome concept that has been carried out pretty well, it is not without perfections, but for the price it makes a great budget family tent.
As it’s meant for large groups of campers, this is just as well, because the setup is not pop-up nor pre-attached, it’s back to basics here, so your fellow campers will need to lend a hand for the pitch.
It took us around 14 minutes from start to finish, we could probably get the time down after a few more tries. Designed in a unique cross shape, the 4 ends are large separate rooms that are all separated by sewn n dividers.
This means you can have up to 4 different sleeping areas at max, or 3 plus storage and so on.
A huge footprint of 20×20 and a center height of 78 inches are the most important dimensions to take note of here. The customization is there as the dividers are removable and can be tied back, creating a huge open plan if need be.
Please note that this is a 2-3 season tent and we do not suggest using this in the cold winter months.
- 4 Separate Large Rooms
- Extension Cord Access Ports
- 12 Windows for Air Circulation
6. Ozark Trail 20 Person Cabin Tent
A huge tent that is perfect for large family camping groups, perhaps around the school holidays you’re taking the whole gang out for a trip. Something like this can cater for multiple sleeping areas, gear and allows space for things like bikes, camping tables, a kitchen set up and cooking.
Ideal for those longer stays where more home-like comforts are needed.
At full capacity, it can be equipped with 6 air beds and enough space for 20 sleepers. However, this is out of the realms of possibility in our opinion, I’ve rarely seen a group as big of 20, and if I have, they certainly weren’t all kipping in together.
If any of you out there are seriously looking out for this model as you have a 20+ size group, I strongly recommend you divide the group into 2 or even 3 tents.
This is best utilized with a reasonably large group, using the space to improve your stay. Features that do this are the e-port access hole, allowing you to supply power internally.
Storage pockets are included in the form of a media pocket and equipment hammocks, so you can store your small expensive gadgets in the media pocket, and bigger stuff in the hammocks. To be honest there are small pockets dotted all around the interior, at least 2 or 3 for each section.
Well vented with the inclusion of a mesh roof and the 8 windows that surround the tent. The massive 283 square feet can be divided up into 4 sections with the 3 removable dividers that come free upon purchase.
- 86” Center Height, 50lb Weight
- Demanding Set Up Initially
- Meshed Roof for Ventilation
7. Ozark Trail 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Screen Room
Ozark’s take on an instant tent that has a screen room attachment. If you’re well versed in the tent models and brands out there, then you will know that this is pretty similar to CORE’s 9-person instant tent. Well, almost identical. However, this is purely an aesthetic similarity, I do not believe they are of the same standard.
We are not ruling this out whatsoever, but I wouldn’t choose this over the CORE’s model if I am specifically looking for an instant cabin with screen.
For the vastly different price tag it does hold its own and is well suited for those on a budget who don’t want to fork out hundreds on a CORE or Weathermaster for example.
For those who are unsure, an instant tent is simply a tent with a pre-attached frame. This is done in the manufacturing, so when you take it out the carry bag, it will be all fixed up already, all you will need to do is extend it outwards.
This saves a lot of time during the pitch and can be done in minutes. There is a room divider included for those who want to separate out the space and the interior is well ventilated with large meshed windows.
Numerous storage is available with the gear organizer which is essentially a large elongated, zippered pocket that is sewn into the tent walls. A carry bag, rainfly, tent stakes and electrical cord access are all included within a reasonable price.
Note: The Screen Room does not have a floor. A tarp layout is advisable if you need a floored model.
- Instant Set Up
- Removable Room Divider
- Large Meshed Windows
8. Ozark Trail 1 Person Backpacking Tent
One of the newer tents released recently, there attempt at a smaller backpacking tent is respectable. Usually, they have designed larger, family tents for bigger groups.
This 1-person model is pretty good for a starter tent for those wanting to get into some solo camping and hiking. At 4.4lbs. in weight total, it can be carried along the trail pretty easily by most. Not really hitting ultralight territory but a worthy pack-weight nonetheless for first-timers.
We all know how expensive a 1-2lbs featherweight tent can get, so try your hand with something like this first and see how it goes.
A few nice features are the simplistic 2 pole design, that lets you pack it down and fit in your pack easily. They also have e-port access for an extension cord, if you’re one of those gadget backpackers then this is ideal.
- 4.4 Lbs. Weight
- E-Port Access
- Simple 2 Pole Set Up
9. Ozark Trail Connectent
A unique tent for sure, it attaches onto the side of a 10 x 10 canopy, which is generally the most common size sold and used globally.
Now there are a few things to consider before you dive in thinking this is actually awesome, indeed it is, but it has some requirements.
It is not compatible with a slanted or angled leg canopy; it is only used with a straight-legged canopy.
There are 2 perspectives in using this, firstly you can think of it as a 4-person tent with a huge awning or dining area to eat and chill at. Or, from the perspective of the canopy, a side room to chill in or use as sheltered storage when at your event.
You should also note that it is not a standalone tent, so it won’t hold up on its own and no a canopy doesn’t come free with it, although that would be a steal indeed!
It’s pretty well ventilated with double windows and a meshed center hub, additionally, you can detach the rainfly on warm days to create more circulation through the room.
A 3-season tent at best we wouldn’t suggest using this in winter, even with a strong enough canopy, the tent is somewhat vulnerable on the side in the same conditions. If you can find a way to cover the side tent you could probably get away with it in all 4 seasons.
A really cool idea a friend had was if you had 3 or 4 of these all surrounding a 10×10 canopy, it would be like social pod camping within your own space in the center, perhaps a table in the middle for cards and beers!
- Fully Ventilated
- Not Standalone
- 3 Season Tent
10. Ozark Trail 10 Person Dark Rest Tent
One of our favorite models from Ozark, the 10-person version of their Dark Rest line is pretty good.
Utilizing instant pitch technology with a pre-attached framework, it comes ready to go and minimal set up is needed with zero guidance. This can be pitched alone without any hassle from your other half or bestie.
A much larger footprint in comparison to their smaller 6-person model, this one has a 14 x 10 footprint and can sleep up to 10 people. Although ideally, we would use this for 4-5 people and utilize the extra space for our camping gear and other comforts.
Due to the large footprint a room divider is provided, however, it’s removable so it’s up to you whether you want to customize the layout or not.
Now to the main feature, the Dark Rest, if this is new to you it basically keeps the internal temperatures much lower than a regular tent. The ceiling panels work to absorb heat during sunny spells, they utilize the heat to illuminate the tent as a soft light, or they can be rolled back and you can enjoy some stargazing when the skies are cleared.
Some functional versatility here and this also provides a cooler evening, usually resulting in a better sleep.
Numerous storage pockets are also integrated inside, along with an extension cord access port hole.
- Large 10 x 14 Footprint
- Instant Set Up Framework
- Dark Rest Technology
The Trend in Ozark Trail Tents
This is snippet of their product line up; however, we feel these are probably 10 of the best performing models out there currently. Every brand has some version or model line that doesn’t do well, as Ozark focus on budget tents, some are often hit and miss.
However, the 10 above are pretty solid and have built up a good reputation within the camping community.
We have picked up that pretty much all of their tents are just 3 season models and are not recommended to be used during winter periods with heavy snowfall.
We’ve also noted their prioritization of larger tents, 6 person and upwards. Usually having some kind of awning or screen room attachment and nearly all of the tents larger than 8 people have room dividers attached.
They do venture into other areas, with the release of their backpacking tents, canopy attachment tents and even a yurt, however they feel to be more of a one-off to test the market.
They are much more at home with their traditional cabin and family-style tents, performing better here.
We have under good authority that this is the case, however, if you do have an Ozark and have braved the winter and won, please let us know in the comments below with the Model and method to your victory!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Ozark Trail Tents Waterproof?
For the most part yes, although we would strongly recommend using a waterproof spray. Coating the tent material once or twice to boost the protection. The majority of Ozark Tent owners are reporting vast improvements when using additional protection. Aside from this, they are mostly 3 season tents, not to be used in strong winter conditions.
How Do you Set Up an Ozark Trail Tent?
Most of their models are instant pitch, which means the framework of the tent is pre-attached and comes all set up already. It will be folded down into its carry bag, so you simply take it out and extend it, until it clicks, then the poles are fixed into place. You can then attach the rainfly, awnings and stake it down.
For the more traditional models they will utilize a tent pole system which will undoubtedly come with an instruction manual upon purchase. Slightly more demanding but more robust and stable than any fast pitch model.
Are Ozark Trail Tents Worth It?
I don’t want to give a generic answer here of ‘well it depends on what you’re using it for’ as you’ve heard this a million times. I’ll come out and say something most campers are aware of and would attest to, they are not the highest quality tents on the market.
When your target customers are large families and affordable gear, materials and manufacturing methods may take a hit. Remember when we say this, we are comparing to the top brands that release $400+ dollar tents.
However, let’s change the perspective, you have a couple hundred dollars to spend and want something that at least attempts the top features of a tent 2 or 3 times its price, then you can’t beat an Ozark Tent.
Many people swear by their Ozark Tent and have nothing but good things to say about it, performing well in bad weather and over long periods of time.
It’s no secret that Ozark does even offer a warning with many of their tents, stating that they are not ideal for strong weather conditions and that you should probably avoid this scenario. An honest and respectable comment from the horse’s mouth. However, in recent years they have definitely stepped up in terms of quality for some of their product lines, including their larger family line and some of the instant tent models.
Who Makes Ozark Trail Tents?
As fore-mentioned Ozark Trail is a private label brand that are owned by Walmart, so we would say that Walmart oversee the manufacture and production of anything that comes out of their own brands.
What Do Ozark Trail Tents Come With?
At an absolute minimum, they seem to always come with a rainfly, carry bag, tent stakes and some form of warranty, usually covering defective products. Some of the more feature-full models have additional freebies like awning attachments, screen rooms and sidewalls. Also a few ‘bundle’ buys which are like a full camping set, come with multiple products like chairs, tables, carry cases and a load more.
To conclude Ozark Trail are a family orientated camping company that really do provide a valuable service within the camping community, and their products definitely have a home with us.
I can’t speak for every single product they have produced; however, I would definitely use them for first time camping or testing out some other camping gear before diving into the really expensive stuff.
If you’re a large family looking for a budget shelter for a getaway, I would also consider them before others.
I recently purchased the Ozark Trail 12 person instant tent that you reviewed in this article. I like it but there is one thing I cannot figure out. The awning has a triangle shaped hole with webbing. What is its purpose?!?!?? The problem I foresee is that it channels all the rain water running down your tent and pours it into the area in front of the entrances creating a muddy mess right where you will entering/exiting. Hopefully, I am missing something. I have not been able to find a phone number or office that represents Ozark trail to get any information.
This is a really fair comment, and one we have noticed among some other owners of this model. You’re not wrong, definitely a design flaw in the shape of this extension piece, that does, unfortunately, funnel the water in the wrong direction. In terms of contact, I would try via Walmart, as the Ozark Trail brand is under Walmart, perhaps you can find some job there. But a word of caution, generally Ozark tents do not hold up well in strong rain, regardless of design, generally speaking of course. Some of the newer models do shape up much better.