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Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 Review

For those more interested in a stylish vestibule with great storage and weather options, this tent has some worthy features
Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6
Photo: Big Agnes
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Price:  $500 List | $424.96 at Amazon
Pros:  Option rich vestibule, great weather resistance, excellent storage
Cons:  Odd main tent shape, poorly designed bag
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Rob Gaedtke ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Space and Comfort - 35% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Family Friendliness - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 ranked well in nearly all our testing categories and boasts a bigger than average vestibule with a wide variety of configuration options. The tent is both tall and spacious. Overall, it is well-built and feature-rich, just barely missing the podium in some key areas. The tent's odd shape, poorly designed bag, and high price tag were just too hard to look past. However, if you are looking for a comfortable bad weather tent with a really cool look, give the Tensleep Station a look.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $424.96 at Amazon$643 List$449.95 at Backcountry
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$499.95 at REI
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$270 List
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Pros Option rich vestibule, great weather resistance, excellent storageMassive interior, great construction, easy to pitchSpacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high valueQuality materials, great height, perfectly sized vestibuleSpacious, easy to pitch, great views, inexpensive
Cons Odd main tent shape, poorly designed bagExpensive, odd ceiling pocketsNot the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bagHubebd poles, single door, awkward bagFiberglass poles, small pockets, lack of ventilation with the rainfly on
Bottom Line For those more interested in a stylish vestibule with great storage and weather options, this tent has some worthy featuresThe best balance of size, quality, style, and ease of use we've foundThis tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gearAn ultra high-quality 4-person tent that makes great use of spaceWherever this tent falls short in quality, it makes up for it in size, features, and overall value
Rating Categories Big Agnes Tensleep... Marmot Halo 6 The North Face Wawo... MSR Habitude 4 Kelty Wireless 6
Space And Comfort (35%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Family Friendliness (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Big Agnes Tensleep... Marmot Halo 6 The North Face Wawo... MSR Habitude 4 Kelty Wireless 6
Weight 18.0 lbs 21.0 lbs 21.9 lbs 12 lbs 17.2 lbs
Max Inside Height 6' 3" 6' 4" 6' 6" 6' 1" 6' 4"
Floor Dimensions 10' x 8' 9'10" x 9'10" 10' x 8'6" 7'11" x 7'11" 9'10" x 8'10"
Floor Area 80 sq ft 96.7 sq ft 85 sq ft 62.4 sq ft 86.9 sq ft
Seasons 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season 3-season
Windows 2 Mesh top 2 2 Mesh top
Pockets 4 8 6 7 6
Number of Doors 2 2 3 1 2
Room Divider Yes No Yes No No
Vestibules 2 2 2 1 2
Vestibule Area 38.5 sq ft; 10 sq ft 32 sq ft 44.7 sq ft; 21 sq ft 23.5sq ft 28 sq ft
Packed Size 5" x 15" x 27" 25" x 14" 9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5" 23" x 9" x 9" 27" x 8" x 8"
Floor Materials 1500mm PU-coated polyester 70D nylon 75D polyester DWR 68D polyester taffeta 68D poly 1800mm
Main Tent Materials Polyester and polyester mesh 40D polyester No-See-Um mesh, 68D polyester ripstop 150D polyester taffeta 68D polyester ripstop, DWR, PU 68D poly 1200mm, 40D No-see-um mesh
Rainfly Materials Polyester with a 1500mm waterproof polyurethane coating 68D polyester ripstop 68D polyester 68D polyester ripstop, DWR, PU 68D poly 1200mm
Number of Poles 4 4 4 3 hubbed 3
Pole Material Aluminum Aluminum 14 mm aluminum 7000-series aluminum Fiberglass
Extras Highly configurable vestibule Vented fly and color-coded poles Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop Porch Light Pole pockets for easy setup

Our Analysis and Test Results

Coming in with a footprint of 80 sq ft, a max height of 6' 3", and a vestibule that adds another 38.5 sq ft of space, this tent is ready for lots of people or lots of gear. The tent also has a small rear door with an additional 10 sq ft vestibule making it ideal for sneaking past sleeping dogs or children in the middle of the night.

Performance Comparison


Fully staked and ready for testing.
Fully staked and ready for testing.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Space and Comfort


The main tent structure of the Tensleep comes in as the smallest of our 6-person tents with only 80 sq feet of space. The three-pole structure pulls out two sides giving an octagon-style vibe to the interior. Though it looks cool, because of the size, it isn't as usable, and fitting more than a full and twin air mattress isn't going to happen.

The view without the super-cool rainfly reveals the odd shape of the...
The view without the super-cool rainfly reveals the odd shape of the Tensleep Station.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

However, the Tensleep Station did nail the vestibule category. This thing can be configured in some pretty cool ways and is the most versatile vestibule in our lineup. Our favorite configuration was turning the enclosure into a proper awning (which does require some sticks/poles which are not included and guylines). When the vestibule is totally enclosed, you can open the two side windows to let in a breeze and some additional light. The vestibule does have a fairly sharp angle profile, though, requiring you to sit a bit closer to the tent than ideal.

A few other comfort options include two gigantic pockets on each side of the tent, a rear escape door, and a rollable fly making temperature adjustments much faster.

Two mega-sized pockets on each side of the tent allow for almost...
Two mega-sized pockets on each side of the tent allow for almost unlimited storage possibilities.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Weather Resistance


Well equipped to tackle both good and bad weather, the Tensleep Station scored among the top in this category. A solid dome shape with a rigged, 3-pole structure gives it both stability and aerodynamic characteristics. The additional pole for the rainfly helps keep the vestibule sturdy, as does its long-slanted shape. But the rainfly/vestibule adds much more than strength — it adds versatility too. Windows allow for great airflow, and the option to roll the fly halfway up and attach it with the included straps is a great hot day feature. The vestibule also has floor flaps to enclose it completely, a feature not found on any of the other tents in our review. Though the shape and features fair well in bad weather, the stakes are a little small for the overall size of this structure. And as cool as the fly is, ditching it all together adds a great option for warm nights.

Vestibule seating and great storage options make the Tensleep a...
Vestibule seating and great storage options make the Tensleep a solid family friendly tent.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Ease of Use


Color-coded poles, clips, and grommets allowed this tent to be pitched in 7 minutes 14 seconds and with zero frustration in the process. Where things fell on their face is in regards to the bag. The Tensleep Station bag is designed for you to fold the tent and then slide it into each side. Rolling a tent to the right width is hard enough to do, but expecting users to fold a tent and rainfly to the right length and width is a bit absurd. Let's just say that once you open this tent, the bag will never look as good.

The odd and not super friendly bag that comes with the Tensleep.
The odd and not super friendly bag that comes with the Tensleep.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

The weight of the Tensleep is right smack in the middle of the pack at 18 lbs. A totally acceptable weight for a car camping tent.

Durability


The Tensleep seems built to last. Both the fly and the main tent walls are polyester rip-stop, and the floor is thick, 1500mm PU-coated polyester. Every seam is taped with waterproof polyurethane tape, and the poles are thick and strong. All of the clips, zippers, and hangers feel well made and functioned flawlessly across our tests. The bag, though not our favorite, isn't going to rip or break easily on you either.

The side profile shows the unique pole structure and mesh openings...
The side profile shows the unique pole structure and mesh openings, two cool features.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Family Friendliness


When it comes to square footage, a family of four can easily enjoy a weekend of fun in the Tensleep. There are ample storage options for everyone and then some. The vestibule makes for a great sitting area both when open and when closed. And should you get stuck in a storm, you can easily cook three square meals. The included and pre-attached guylines have a reflective thread that helps keep rambunctious kids or sleepy parents from tripping over them at night.

The main area could benefit from a little extra room to fit one more air mattress, and the vestibule, when totally closed, would be nice with a little extra headroom away from the tent body. That said, these are minor nitpicks to what is ultimately a great choice performance-wise.

The family enjoying an evening inside, yet outside thanks to this...
The family enjoying an evening inside, yet outside thanks to this great vestibule.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Value


Scoring in the middle of our pack but the higher end of the price range, value isn't what you are buying with the Tensleep Station. If you are looking for a fancy vestibule with some neat perks, you might be able to justify the price point, but for those looking for overall value, consider looking at some of the other options in our lineup.

Conclusion


The Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 is a stylish tent with some cool features we would love to see other tent manufactures explore. The extreme versatility of the vestibule, solid weather resistance, and build quality make this tent a contender in the 6-person market. However, it is rather pricey, and the poor bag design, smaller interior footprint, and weak stakes make it hard to justify the price. That said, if you find this tent on sale, you should have no reservations about snagging it up — there's a lot to love.

Nighty night, Tensleep Station, you faired quite well today.
Nighty night, Tensleep Station, you faired quite well today.
Photo: Rob Gaedtke

Rob Gaedtke