Big Agnes Bunk House 6 Review
Cons: Awkward doors, boxy shape, strange corner pockets/shelves, expensive
Manufacturer: Big Agnes
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Big Agnes Bunk House 6
$449.96 at Backcountry
|$449.95 at Backcountry|
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|$699 List||$549 List|
$549.00 at REI
|$202.46 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Tall, extra large vestibule, shelter only capability, attached welcome mat||Spacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high value||Massive floorspace, 22 pockets, tall ceiling, room divider, awning capable||Huge doors and large vestibule, lots of pockets, highly weather resistant||Spacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensive|
|Cons||Awkward doors, boxy shape, strange corner pockets/shelves, expensive||Not the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bag||Small vestibule, longer pitch time, awning poles not included||Runs warm, views are a bit more restricted||Fiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly on|
|Bottom Line||A family friendly tent with a large vestibule and a sweet shelter only option||This tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gear||If you are looking for a high-quality, family friendly 8-person tent, look no further||An excellent mountaineering-inspired tent that is ready for both inclement weather and summer fun||Wherever this tent falls short in quality, it makes up for it in size, features, and overall value|
|Rating Categories||Big Agnes Bunk House 6||The North Face Wawo...||Marmot Limestone 8||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||Kelty Wireless 6|
|Space and Comfort (35%)|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Family Friendliness (15%)|
|Specs||Big Agnes Bunk House 6||The North Face Wawo...||Marmot Limestone 8||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||Kelty Wireless 6|
|Weight||19.75 lbs||21.9 lbs||21.2 lbs||20.6 lbs||17.2 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||6' 9"||6' 6"||6' 5"||6' 2"||6' 4"|
|Floor Dimensions||8' 4" x 9' 10"||10' x 8' 6"||8' 4" x 15' 7"||9' 2" x 9' 2"||9' 10" x 8' 10"|
|Floor Area||83 sq ft||85 sq ft||130.2 sq ft||84 sq ft||86.9 sq ft|
|Windows||Mesh top||2||Mesh top||Mesh top||Mesh top|
|Number of Doors||2||3||2||2||2|
|Vestibule Area (total)||56 sq ft||44.7 sq ft||32 sq ft||40 sq ft||28 sq ft|
|Packed Size||27.5" x 17" x 10"||9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5"||28.3" x 16.6" x 11.7"||11" x 24"||27" x 8" x 8"|
|Floor Materials||1500mm polyester||150D polyester||150D PU coated nylon||Polyester||68D poly 1800mm|
|Main Tent Materials||Coated polyester and nylon mesh||150D polyester||40D polyester no-see-um mesh||Polyester||68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh|
|Rainfly Materials||1500mm polyester||75D polyester||68D PU coated polyester||Polyester||68D poly 1200mm|
|Number of Poles||4||4||5||5||3|
|Pole Material||DAC DA17 aluminum||14 mm aluminum||DAC DA17 aluminum 14.5mm||Aluminum||Fiberglass|
|Extras||Fast-fly capability for covered shelter without the tent body||Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop||Room separator||4-Season||Pole pockets for easy setup|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bunk House 6 is a large, well-built tent that scores high against some solid competition. The centerpiece of the Bunk House is the massive, pole-supported vestibule that creates a built-in awning. A close second is the fast-fly option. This lets you pitch the fly in "shelter mode" without the tent at all, giving you the option for covered shade at the beach or open camping in the woods. A nice option, but quite awkward to set up with only two people. While these features are pretty great, they are tainted by doors and windows that only open halfway, old-school tiebacks, and a clunky bag.
Space and Comfort
At 83 square feet of main tent space, 56 square feet of vestibule space, and a max height of 6' 9", the Bunk House is one of the larger tents we tested. It sports a huge, pole supported front vestibule that makes for a great covered porch. The attached "welcome" mat is a nice extra and helps keep the tent clean and free from dirty and wet shoes.
Storage in the Bunk House is a little limited, with only eight total pockets found throughout. Two of which are called "removable corner bin pockets" — a bizarre and fairly useless addition. Not to mention they are secured with more old-school tiebacks.
On the flip side, the optional fast-fly feature is a real bonus. This allows the fly to be erected without the tent, giving you a very nice covered dining or hang-out area. While it may cause some serious frustration getting set up, trust us, it is well worth it.
The Bunk House lands in the upper middle of the pack regarding weather resistance. Due to the dark color, the tent got fairly warm in the mornings, and while the rainfly is a lighter, less light-absorbing color, it lacks any real ventilation and gets extra stuffy when fully closed. Finally, the tall, straight sides of the tent catch the wind; luckily, though, the included sliding guylines are super bomber and held the tent firmly to the ground.
Ease of Use
The tent pitched in just over 11 minutes. The biggest frustration was clipping the extra top pole into the plastic holders, as it requires some real effort. Not to mention that because it sticks out so sharply, the rain fly snags on it when pulling it over. Another annoyance is the tiebacks used to hold the doors and windows open; hopefully, Big Agnes will upgrade these to something easier to use in the future.
This tent is super family-friendly, fitting a twin and two singles with more than two feet of extra space on both sides. The large vestibule and welcome mat are great for messy kids and pets. We only wish there were a few more pockets for storage, and we could do without the gimmicky corner shelves.
The poles of the Bunk House are all high-end DAC DA17 aluminum, and the main tent is made from smooth-coated polyester and nylon mesh. The stakes and guylines are also very well made and hold up well to rock pounding and kid pulling. The only area of concern is with the plastic pole clip at the top of the tent — time will tell if that holds up to consistent use.
Should You Buy the Big Agnes Bunk House 6?
There is something uniquely cool about this tent. If you are looking for something with a shelter mode option and dig a big covered vestibule, you might give this one a chance. We definitley enjoyed the added versatility.
What Other Camping Tents Should You Consider?
The Big Agnes Bunk House 6 is a good choice if the features are what you need. But if you are looking for a large tent with a great vestibule, you should consider the higher-rated and lower cost North Face Wawona 6. Or you could go all in and get the highest-scoring tent in the lineup, the Marmot Torreya 6.
— Rob Gaedtke
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