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Yes, you read that right. It’s Camping Season! That time of the year when the air dials down and you feel yourself bereft of the wild. So you take it upon yourself to slip out of your cozy Blackstock & Weber mules for something a bit more rugged. You trade optimal phone signals for crackling fire-side conversations and starry night shows. Instead of spreadsheets, data charts and incoming reports, your biggest concern is “how many times can I use a Wag-Bag?” Well second biggest concern. The first being “where and how do I set up this tent before it gets dark.”
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Nowadays, there are so many ways to camp outside. Even just saying “outside” can mean a plethora of different things. But there is beauty in that variety. So whether you prefer RV-ing, sprinter van, cabin or car camping, the most important element remains. Nature. You’re still seeking to be in close to the natural world and that’s what it’s all about. For me, and my remaining post-modern dirtbags that find indulgence in tent-camping and being comfortable in the uncomfortable, tents are the precipice of camping. There’s few better moments than looking at the shelter you’ve put up under the moon’s theatrics. Perhaps the morning uproar after Cowboy Camping and having one too many mugs of bourbon and realizing you pitched your tent just to admire it, comes close.
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So after the past few months of trying out a bounty of different tents and cross referencing that with a decade of experience camping in lively canyonlands, near forested waterways, nestled foothills, in backyards and recently on my apartment rooftop, I’ve found the two most ideal tents to have for different luxuries. Though I still swear that the Mineral King 2 tent is the best overall tent to have for optimal camping tutelage. I found that for a cohesive and settled base camping experience, Snow Peak’s Amenity Dome Small is the sublime move. For an on-the-move, multi-location, minimal packing excursion, Front Runner Outfitters’ Flip-Pop Tent is the way to go.
Snow Peak Vs. Front Runner: Which Is the Best Tent for Camping?
What We Tested For
The Front Runner Flip-Pop tent takes less than 15 seconds to have up. It literally pops out of its canvas, hence the name. Placing the tent stakes into the ground is pretty much all the work you have to do. This level of convenience is key when camping. Now you can give more attention to your interior design preferences, making sure you have the best spot (views, views, views) in your camp, or getting started on some over-the-fire dinner.
The Amenity Dome takes 12-15 minutes to fully pitch. Yet the color coordination, the design layout and multilayered component presents a therapeutic experience in setting up. It’s as if you’re folding your laundry on a self-care Sunday. You find yourself focused on your breathing as you assemble the poles. There’s a meditative exhale as you place the final pieces on the ground.
There’s ample space in the Amenity Dome. With 7.2 feet in width, 4.9 feet length, and 3.9 feet height at full stance, the dome offers immense space for relaxation and comfort in your camping immersion. There’s practically a back room component in which you can have a sort of hybrid-studio degree of separation within one living space. So in a sense, you could have a guest room (for two more) in this tent if you wanted to. The vestibule, which adds another 4.9 feet with the fly, allows a welcoming rush of cool air for those early morning rises. The outer fly over delivers in total protection against rain and any crawlers, slugs, or critters that might want in on this level of immaculate composition. Take this from someone who woke up to a cornucopia of slugs outside his inner tent.
The Front Runner Flip-Pop comes packing some space even with its lighter build. Despite the Flip-Pop’s height capping at 3.2 feet, the 7.7 feet length by 4.69 feet width dimension can fit an inflated, full sleeping pad, ultra-puffed synthetic sleeping bag, multiple pillows, backpacking pack, with some space left for added storage. The wide and large screened entry might just be my favorite feature. The in-tent views! It was also such a relief to be able to pick up the tent in full bust and set it in a better zone for catching the sunset or sunrise. The shell design allows for breathability and low movement for those who scour for the perfect position before falling asleep.
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If you can make a figure-8 knot then you can fold the Flip-Pop ground tent back into its casing. Maybe not on the first, or even third try.. but by the end of a weekend trip you’ll have it down to an O (just know I regret typing that out as well). It’s half as swift as popping it up but c’mon the half the fun is in the bit of work we do while camping. The Amenity Dome, on the other hand, comes down like you’re unwrapping a present. A suave, polyester coated, teflon secured package. Go at the speed of your enthusiasm. I don’t know about y’all but I get a rush when it comes down to the breakdown. From taking the pole out of the pin, to disbanding hooks from the poles, unclipping the buckles, to even realizing that I left my headlamp in a side pocket, it’s all a part of the relief in a time well spent. The carry bag, the detailed manual, illustrated casings and there being a repair pipe included are all assured comforts in Snow Peaks community care implemented design.
Performance, At a Glance
Front Runner Flip-Pop Tent
- Swift pitching
- Wide and open entrance
- Trying to fold it back as a pancake (can be a bit of a hassle the first 3-5 tries)
- Low heading
Snow Peak Amenity Dome Small
- Sleek design and color-coordination
- Expansive ventilation system
- Inner tent space
- Cohesive add-on capability
TLDR: Which Is the Best Tent for Camping?
Whether you grab Front Runner’s Flip-Pop or Snow Peak’s Amenity Dome you’re winning regardless. Both of these tents hold up in questionable weather such as through heavy wind, rain, and especially on days there’s heavy wind and rain. The engineering on these two are some of the best in the world and will hold up on many many trips. If you’re wanting to be on the move, changing locations each day, exploring new sites, then I highly recommend Front Runner’s Flip-Pop. If you’re wanting a full setup that can be a part of a wider, aesthetically aligned campsite, go with Snow Peak’s Amenity Dome. You can build a village block with their outdoor living products. Regardless, keep the tents a safe distance from the fire and make sure to look up while you’re under the stars.
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