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Hands-on Gear Review

Kelty Parthenon 8 Review

Camping Tent

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Price:   $500 List
Pros:  Biggest tent, huge ceiling, cubic shape, vestibule, bright color, lots of attachment points.
Cons:  Small stakes, bad in wind, only one side has doors, ventilation, condensation.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Kelty


The Kelty Parthenon 8 is extremely comfortable and because of its outward slanting walls it feel like the biggest tent ever. It also has two doors in the front that basically act as one huge door. If you are looking for a tent that is fairly well rounded we suggest this one. It excels in all categories except for storm resistance due to its cubic shape. It is obviously meant more for comfort than wind resistance and that's why we gave it a lower score in that category. Other than that, this is a great, well made tent for a pretty good price.

Update - May 2015
The Kelty Parthenon 8 is no longer being manufactured, though you may be able to find it at select retailers. After contacting Kelty, they have suggested that the Trail Ridge 8 is your best option if you're looking for something similar and in the same price range (the list price is $480).

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Devin Chance

Last Updated:
September 10, 2012


This tent almost won the award for the most comfortable tent, but we took a point off because it lacked a couple of features that the award winning tent had. It does have two doors but they basically act as one big door. We prefer tents that have doors on either side because that gives us more options. The Editors' Choice award winning REI Kingdom 8 allows you too roll up the vestibule on the sides during a hot day. This tent doesn't give you that option. This tent is the biggest tent we tested with a floor space of 143 square feet. It is basically a camping mansion for you and your family.

Storm Resistance

Due to the shape and structure of the Parthenon, it doesn't perform well in high winds. It also isn't that great in heavy rain because the rain fly doesn't come all the way down to the ground, leaving parts of the tent body exposed. If you are just going to be camping in the spring, summer, and fall, then this tent will be fine. Just don't plan on camping when a big storm is supposed to hit.


This is a very well made tent with what you might call an interesting pole structure. It uses DAC featherlite poles and has a 1800mm PU coating on the rain fly.

Ease of sSetup

At first glance we were pretty confused by how this tent goes up. There are two poles with hubs on the end that you end up having to bend and twist to stick another pole into. Once it was up it obviously made a lot more sense, and that made it easier to set up the following times. It took us about 10 minutes to set this tent up and 10 minutes to take it down.

If you are looking for a hassle free, super easy tent to set up for a great price and value, then check out our Best Buy award winning Coleman Instant Tent 6.

Packing Size

This Tent packs down pretty well into its little carrying bag. We had to roll this tent up to get it inside but that's not a big deal. The only tent we tested where we could really just stuff it into its own bag was the Top Pick award winning Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8.

Other Versions

Kelty Salida 4
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  • Cost - $250
  • Weight - 6 lbs. 10 oz
  • Floor area - 55 square feet
  • Three season backpacking tent

Como 6
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  • Cost - $350
  • Weight - 17 lbs 6 oz
  • Designed for a family and sleeps six people
Devin Chance

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: September 10, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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