The Tagalong is a perfect canopy tent for most outdoor adventures, but it does have a few snags that affect its overall performance. It tends to bend and sway during stout breezes and is not as large as a standard 10×10 shelter. Additionally, the point-to-point reinforcement webbing occasionally tangles during setup. However, overall, we think the Tagalong is still suitable for the adventurous type who likes to be on the go and doesn’t want to lug a heavy canopy. The included stakes are very short, thin, and somewhat ineffective; we recommend purchasing larger, thicker stakes for your Caravan V-Series. The canopy material is adequate but less rugged, and rainwater tends to drip through during a substantial downpour.
After first removing the models that failed the structural tests, we slept, watched the stars, and ate our meals in all of the tents, as well as planned hikes from them. To compare tent fabrics, you also need to know their overall rip strength. For most fabrics, rip strength is expressed as a measurement of the diameter of the fibers in their thread, or a denier—the higher the denier, the stronger the fabric. We found 40 denier up to 150 denier to be typical for car-camping tents; you can read more about these measurements in gear manufacturer MSR’s blog post and in this Outside article. A senior staff writer at Wirecutter, Kit Dillon has written about everything from backpacks and cooking gear to luggage and road-tripping. If you’d rather have your shelter geared more toward camping, we’ve also reviewed the best camping tents and top backpacking tents on the market.
This dome-style tent has nearly vertical walls, high ceilings, and a single vestibule the size of an actual mudroom. It’s also straightforward to set up, and it is made with sturdy, light materials. The Tagalong and Caravan V-Series scored slightly lower than our top scorers, but they still have straightforward setup processes. Setup for both is simple; however, they scored lower because of additional variants that affect the overall ease of the process.
The fly is equally simple to attach and orient with color-coded clips. This type of pole tends to be less flexible and bulkier than pricier aluminum, and it can be a pain to handle. A full rain cover, two vestibules, and an extra-sturdy pole structure make this the best choice for couples who want to get outside in any weather. It’s pricey, though, and unless the other couples’ tents we recommend, it doesn’t include a footprint.
We even gave extra points to canopies that also protected against bugs. The Eureka Tagalong is lightweight with stellar components, so if you want to be a bit more mobile with your canopy, this is one of our favorites. And if you can step into the next price bracket, the Eurmax Standard 10×10 is hands-down our top choice. The added cost will buy you stronger materials and a structure that you won’t have to worry about falling apart for many years to come — if at all. Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times.
In the event you wish to send a product back to us, you may return most unused items for a
refund or exchange, minus shipping, within 90 days from the date of purchase unless noted below under
exceptions and exclusions. In the event you wish to send a product back to us, you may
return most unused items for a refund or exchange, minus shipping, within 90 days
from the date of purchase unless noted below under
exceptions and exclusions. If you will experience severe weather, we strongly suggest that you remove the canopy from the frame and store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to enjoy it again. This will help avoid rips and tears, as well as sagging of the canopy due to rain and snow.
The separate fly, which covers the upper half of the tent, uses a third, shorter “brow” pole to form protective peaks over the door and the back window. In our tests, an experienced camper took only about six minutes on the first try to set up the tent coleman air mattress body alone and stake it out. Getting the fly placed and staked properly took about five more minutes. But it’s one of the least expensive tents we found that had no significant drawbacks and will truly cover your bases for three-season camping.