> EDIT: OWNER REVIEW - Sierra Designs Bedouin 4 Tent
Hello Mitch, and welcome to BackpackGearTest.org!
We're happy to have you here. You've obviously read a bunch of the
stuff that's available online, so I'll jump right into the Edits.
They take the following format (as per the Survival Guide): "EDIT"
signifies something which requires changing due to BGT.org policy or
a typo, "Edit" is something which I think might benefit from
changing, but am leaving to you, while finally a "Comment" is just
something I felt like saying.
I assume you're aware that we require two of these Owner Reviews
before you can apply testing for gear, simply because your Owner
Review follows so many of your requirements that I'm sure you've read
this. But if you have any questions, feel free to email me direct or
to request a mentor (by sending a request to
Without further ado:
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
, "Mitch Moss"
EDIT: Yup, we get started right away. :-) As the final review needs
to be uploaded as an HTML document, we require the HTML version to be
uploaded as well, though we edit the text of it here. But we like to
have the HTML version available so we can check it for a broken
manufacturer link etc.
Should you have any HTML issues, relax - many of us did (I was one of
them). It's not that hard, and we've got a good crew of people
standing by to help you over at
Anyway, when you repost this, it would be good if you could post an
HTML version into our "Test" folder, "Owner Reviews" subfolder over
at the bgt.org website (this will require logging in first, which
requires signing up first). And then include a shortlink (snipurl or
tinyurl) with your posted text here.
This may look like a lot - but it's not hard. You'll figure it out.
And if not, write me an email. I'm here to help. Really.
## Comment: Nice intro and bio, btw
> The Bedouin 4 arrives packed very much the same way that you would
> carry it in the field.
### EDIT: Hi again. Time to introduce you to one of the few definite
no-nos here at backpackgeartest: we call it Projecting. Projecting
has a few guises, but it's the most obvious when you use the
word "you" to describe something. Like you do here. It's quite
possible that *you* would carry it in the field like that, but
there's no way *I* would. A tent that heavy is something I'd nudge
out of the trunk with my foot, but that's where I'd start unpacking.
Which is neither here nor there - the point being is that *your*
experience is unique to *you* - others (our readers) may have a
totally different take on what you describe. So it's important to
describe it in terms of your own experience - in this case, that
*you* have always carried it like that (though, as you later point
out, that was by itself because you - like probably most everybody
else (projecting!) - consider it base camp gear.
It is in its two handled,
### EDIT: two-handled,
> nylon carry bag. The tent body and rain fly come rolled up inside.
> The four tent poles are rubber banded together in plastic bags and
> inside their own stuffsack which fits in the main carry bag. There
> are nine round aluminum, six inch,
### EDIT: metric conversion, please
tent stakes and four black cords
> with plastic adjusters in their own small stuff sack which also fit
> in the main carry bag. The tent does not come with a matching
> footprint, but one can be purchased separately that is made
> specifically for this tent.
### Comment: I've noticed that using the word "one" is often a hidden
way of using "you", much like it is here. Not a problem here, you can
get away with a bit of projecting here (though you don't know that
*I* can actually purchase that, given that I'M situated in Germany).
Still, I personally prefer to write my reports without using either.
It's usually not a problem and when I find that it *is* problematic
to say what I want to say without using those terms, then I'm usually
> Tent Features
> * Bathtub floor design with factory taped seams.
> * Two dual drink holders with storage pocket.
> * Mesh storage area along rear wall.
> * Two large mesh storage areas near front and rear ceiling with
> in pockets.
> * Two three pocket mesh storage areas on either side of entry door.
> * Two clotheslines across the ceiling, also suitable for hanging a
> * Full mesh ceiling.
> * Mesh ventilation band running around perimeter of tent just above
> bathtub floor.
> * Factory taped rain fly.
> * Plastic window in rain fly vestibule.
### Edit: The above list sounds like a quote. If it is, please
properly attribute it.
> Field Information
> I have used this tent about ten times while car camping, primarily
> my son's scouting campouts, always in central Alabama. I have not
> used it while backpacking. The tent was mostly used in what you
### Edit: Not having seen it, I don't know what *I* would call it.
But I guess that's what *you* would call it... ;-)
> probably call a primitive campground, that being an area that is
> mostly flat and has seen tents in the past or in my backyard. Also,
> was always able to park close by, so carrying the tent was not a
> issue. I have used this tent in the Fall and Winter with nighttime
> temperatures from 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) down to 29 degrees F
> 1.6 degrees C). I have not yet used it in any adverse weather. As
> such, I cannot comment on how well the Bedouin 4 handles the wind,
> though with the rain fly tensioned it is a very taunt
### EDIT: taut
> feeling tent, though it is also rather tall and so able to catch
### EDIT: projecting, again. Yes, this is a very reasonable
assumption. One might even argue that tall things (or at least things
with a lot of broadside) catching more wind than small things is a
law of nature. But the unstated assumption that it may have a problem
there is projection, and projection of the sort we try to do away
with. Just your own experience. What you *can* do is state your
assumption openly - as in "though given its size, I'm led to assume
that it would catch quite a bit of wind".
I also have not used the tent in a downpour, though I have used
> it in a light drizzle and detected no leaks.
> Basic Assembly:
> The tent has an almost square footprint and is erected with two
> aluminum poles which cross each other from opposing corners.
## Edit: I assume these poles are assembled and then bent? It's a bit
difficult to envision without a picture. Hint, hint. ;-)
> there are two shorter poles on the front and rear of the tent which
> expand the headroom in the tent. After laying out the tent squarely
> on the ground you
## EDIT: guess what. Yup, just tell us how *you* set it up. *I* would
probably do it all wrong (seriously).
insert the two long poles through sleeves
> diagonally across the tent. Then insert the tent pole ends into the
> grommets in each corner. To accomplish this you must push the tent
> into its full and upright position by forcing the poles into the
> sleeves. The poles are pretty stiff so this takes a bit of effort.
> Once the tent is standing on its own you then need to clip two
> plastic clips from the tent body onto the poles in each corner. You
> then insert the two short poles into their grommets on the front
> rear of the tent and attach two more clips to each. At this point
> tent is entirely set up and freestanding. Now you should make sure
> stake out the corners of the tent so it doesn't become airborne in
> gust of wind.
## Comment: taking out the "you" applies to the entire paragraph.
Have you had any experience with wind during the time it was
freestanding and not yet staked down?
> Rain Fly Assembly:
> To add the rainfly you
## EDIT: same thing, right?
drape the rainfly over the standing tent.
> Lining the fly up correctly with the tent body is made easier
> the strap color on the front right corner of each are colored blue.
> On the inside of the fly are Velcro attachments on each corner plus
> three more on each of the short poles. Then there is a quick
> buckle with tensioner on each corner to attach the fly to the tent
> body. The vestibule then needs to be staked out on its two corners
> and tensioned appropriately. Also the two sides and rear need to be
> staked out and tensioned to provide ventilation.
> Optional Assembly Choices:
### EDIT: Do you have this groundsheet? If not, all of this is
projection (but it sounds like you have experience with it). So, if
you do, it would be nice of you to state so, and maybe let us know
why you decided to buy it and whether you'd do so again.
> Footprint: Sierra Designs makes a footprint (groundsheet) which
> perfectly matches this tent. If you purchase one you simply lay it
> under the tent shiny side up before laying the tent on top. It also
> has a blue strap which aligns with the one on the tent body to help
> you align it correctly. The corner straps on the footprint have
> grommets which match the one on the tent body so that the tent
> can go through both and help hold the footprint in place. It also
> stakeout loops witch match the ones on the tent body. This allows
> corner stakes to hold down the tent body and footprint at the same
> Ventilation: In warmer weather when rain threatens you can attach
## Comment: I ASSume you can spot the Projection youself by now,
> rainfly as normal, then unbuckle the corners, roll the rainfly up
> halfway and secure it with clips built in for this purpose. This
> a little more air through the bottom vents on the tent body. Then
> the event of rain the fly can be placed into it full operational
> position more quickly.
> Heavy Wind: There are also four large reflective guyout loops on
> corners of the rain fly, and two more on the vestibule. These allow
> you to guy out the tent into a sturdy structure in the event of
> wind loading. The package does not come with stakes or cords for
> My Assembly Experience:
> Setting up the tent takes some effort. I get a little bit quicker
> each time, but I have not experienced "quick" yet. Because the tent
> is fairly large, all the pieces are larger too.
## Edit: "larger" than what? Now, we don't do shootouts here, so
don't go and give me a specific name. But if you could try and give a
short, abstract description of the type of tent you're comparing this
to, that would be very helpful, I think.
The poles are longer
> and take longer to piece together and feed through the sleeves. The
> floor plan is larger and takes longer to walk around every time you
> have to go to walk around it to do something. Everything just takes
> little longer than it has on any of the smaller tents I have owned.
> The Bedouin 4 does have color coded straps in the corner which
> orienting the tent a little easier. It also has locking pole tips
> which are designed to keep the poles from coming out of the
> while you are setting up the tent. In practice though they seem do
> little to keep the poles from popping out of the grommets during
> setup. This means an extra trip around the tent to put them back
> They do seem for some reason to keep the poles from coming out of
> grommets when disassembling the tent. This also means an extra trip
> around the tent to remove them. Adding the fly is another lesson in
> frustration. As indicated above, there are 10 Velcro attachments
> between the fly and tent poles.
### Comment: You mentioned that they're Velcro, not that there's ten
of them. By the way, are you sure they're "Velcro" (brand name)? If
not, we've decided to call 'em "hook-and-loop type fasteners" if
we're not sure if it's a knock-off. Honest.
To get to these one must scoot up
> underneath the rain fly on each end and attach the Velcro. It is
> difficult and frustrating to get in position to do this. There are
> also four quick release buckles and a minimum of five stakeouts for
> the fly attachment. All said it takes longer for me to get the fly
> than to do the rest of the tent setup. Though I must say that once
> the rain fly is on correctly it is very secure and creates what
> to be a very stable structure.
> Taking the tent down goes much faster than putting it up. It is
> simply a reverse of the assembly steps. One nice thing is that the
> carry bag is sized large enough that you seldom have a problem
> to get the tent and all of its poles, stakes, etc. back into the
##### EDIT: Yes, I'm sure I don't have to point out the "you" again.
I just wanted to point out this an are where projection might be bad -
in my experience, whether bags are of an appropriate size is an
opinion which varies at least as much by tester as by manufacturer.
> The one potential problem is that the rain fly is normally covered
> condensation and needs to be dried before packing the tent away for
> Ventilation is this tent's strong point and its weakness. With the
> rain fly removed, this is a very well ventilated tent. The entire
> ceiling is made of mesh and there is a mesh band which runs around
> the perimeter of the tent just above the bathtub floor on three
> sides. The sides of the tent are fabric and as such block most of
> actual breeze except what comes through the mesh band. It is nice
> a crowded campground though as the walls give you some privacy
> still allowing you to view the stars through the mesh ceiling. Once
> you install the rainfly however, the ventilation is practically
> The fly goes almost to the ground which is nice, for both rain
> protection and extra privacy, however there are no vents on the
> The result is that if you camp on a cool night with any moisture in
> the air, then condensation completely covers the inside of the fly.
> Because of the shape, the moisture mostly runs down the inside of
> fly to the ground. However, if you don't have the fly extremely
### EDIT: taut
the moisture can drop off of
### Comment: English is not my first language, so I apologize if I'm
needlessly bugging you. If I recall correctly, the "of" after
the "off" is strictly speaking superfluous, though these days an
accepted colloquialism. I just wanted to make sure that that's how
you wanted to phrase it (the rest of your report read less colloquial
wrinkles in the fly. At this
> point they then run down the outside of the tent and enter to the
> inside of the tent when they reach the mesh band, thus pooling on
> floor. Also, when you exit the tent through the vestibule door, it
> very easy to brush up against the fly and get pretty damp. I have
> found that leaving the vestibule door partially unzipped at the top
> seems to help the condensation problem, possibly by allowing some
> the water vapor to escape.
> The main body of the Bedouin 4 is white fabric. This creates a very
> nice livable area inside. If the rain fly, which is pale blue, is
> installed, then it is much less bright inside, but not unpleasant.
> actually kind of like the cool sense of solitude that it creates.
> The Bedouin 4 is listed as a four person tent. Like most tent
> this really refers to how many corpses you could lay out flat on
#### Comment: nicely put. Though I recall one report which described
a manufacturer-rated "2-3" person tent as "sure you could put three
persons in it, if the two on the bottom didn't mind the third lying
on top". Just felt like sharing.
While you could fit four adults, it would be rather cramped. I
> feel that a more realistic rating would be two adults and all your
> gear, or three adults and a good bit of your gear.
#### Comment: Two adults and *kids* come to (my) mind...
> I feel that given the size and weight of the Bedouin 4 that is is
> best suited to car camping or use as a three season basecamp tent.
> a car camping tent, this tent is very nice. It takes a little bit
> set up, but once it is, it feels like a permanent structure. There
> also a good chance that it will be the nicest tent in the
> I have not used this tent in a backpacking situation yet, but I do
> think that it would be very good for two or three people as a
> basecamp structure. What would make it desirable is to have several
> people share the load of carrying it and then having several days
> one location, so that you didn't have to assemble and disassemble
> thing too frequently.
> Things I like:
> 1. Living space.
> 2. Abundant storage pockets.
> 3. An open an airy feel yet with the ability to button it down in
> bad weather.
> Things I don't like:
> 1. Weight.
> 2. Pain to attach the rain fly.
> 3. Condensation.
Allright! That wasn't too much. Two typos (and the same one,
incidentally) and a bunch of Projection Edits, that's really just two
Edits for a first OR. That's pretty darn good - congratulations!
When you've taken care of the above, please repost this repost to
this list, substituting "Repost" in the subject line for my "EDIT"
above. It would be great if you'd had figured out how to post an HTML
version by then, and an added bonus would be if you could include a
picture. We'll accept your first Owner Review without a picture, but
as pictures are now required for test series, we *strongly* recommend
figuring out how to do that in the beginning.
Oh, and again - if any of that seems like a little much (or even
overwhelming, as it certainly did to me), don't hesitate to email me
direct or send a note to mentor@...
- we're happy
you're here, and like to help.
A personal note - a lot of this stuff may seem like a lot of work. I
seem to recall that it even *was* a lot of work, in the beginning.
But you do get used to it and becomes second nature after a while.
The work I put in at the beginning (nearly five years ago now) sure
And again, welcome to BackpackGearTest.org!