Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent Review
Four Person, Easy Up Dome Tents

The Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent is a multi-use shelter best used for lightweight backpacking and family camping.

Learn why parents trust Kelty Trail Dome Tents with consumer reviews and ratings.

It's rare to find as versatile a shelter as Kelty Trail Dome Tents. Typically, a tent is designed for backpacking and makes a poor car camping shelter (or vice-versa). However, the lightweight Trail Dome is an exception.

That's not to say drawbacks don't exist--Kelty strives to design tents that are inexpensive, useful, and innovative. They usually succeed, but with a catch: the tent often has one or two significant downfalls, making it unusable for certain consumers.

Dome camping tents for your family are serious investments. All of a shelter's negative aspects must be known through honest reviews before purchasing, so you know if it's best for you--thankfully, that's what Camping Tent is here for.

Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent Review

The Trail Dome succeeds as a multi-purpose tent due to its many thoughtful features, including:

  • Aluminum tent poles ensure a stable, secure shelter no matter how inclement the weather is

  • Easy to pitch thanks to color-coded clip construction (no more shoving a tent pole through a sleeve)

  • Excellent ventillation will keep your family comfortable and cool while camping.
  • Lightweight makes this shelter possible to bring into the backcountry

All four of these features are essential when considering a backpacking tent. While not necessary for all car camping shelters, they ensure a more pleasant experience.

Still, the Kelty Trail Dome Tent has drawbacks, some of which may be dealbreakers for consumers.

The Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent Specs

Kelty Trail Dome 4
  • Area: 55 square feet
  • Sleeps: 4 people
  • Max Height: 57 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds, 10 oz. (Minimum); 8 pounds 7 oz. (Packaged)
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Packaged Size: 8" by 28"
  • Vestibule Area: No vestibule
  • Tent Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Seasons: 3

Kelty Trail Dome Tent Footprint

A footprint will help maximize your tent's lifespan. Even though they are unneccessary weight for the backcountry, if you primarily car camp it is wise to purchase a footprint.

Since the Trail Dome 4 is a versatile tent, it is recommended to purchase the Trail Dome 4 tent footprint (weighs 12 ounces).

Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tents: Advantages

Kelty Trail Dome 4

One of the most appealing aspects of the Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent is its price. Few tent companies make reliable backcountry and car camping shelters that cost less than $200--Kelty does.

Pitching your family tent within minutes is a priceless luxury. After hours in a car or climbing a mountain, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour pitchcing your tent.

Thanks to color-coded clip construction, this dome family tent pitches in under ten minutes.

At approximately 8 pounds, it's not the lightest backpacking tent, but it's definitely one of the lightest, most reliable backpacking tents for the price.

Finally, Trail Dome Tents are reliable. Nothing ruins a family camping trip like a rainstorm destroying your tent. With aluminum tent poles and excellent water proofing, this is a shelter you can count on during inclement weather.

Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent: Disadvantages

With all the advantages the Trail Dome offers, consumers might think this tent is the best out there and immediately buy it--but hold on just one second.

The Kelty Trail Dome has significant drawbacks that might make it a dealbreaker for some families.

First, there is no gear vestibule. Yes, that's right, no gear vestibule. For car camping, no gear storage isn't a huge deal. For backpackers however, a gear vestibule will keep your camping equipment dry and safe.

Making matters worse, since the tent is only 55 square feet, there's not much room inside for gear and four people. Three people and gear can squeeze in though.

Next, the peak height is less than 5 feet. For backpackers, this isn't a big deal--but being able to stand in your tent while car camping is a pleasant luxury.

Outside of these two significant drawbacks, the Kelty Trail Dome is a fantastic shelter.

The Kelty Trail Dome 4 Tent: Consumer Reviews

Consumers like:
  • Comfortable
  • Economical
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
Consumers don't like:
  • Poor fly design
  • Cramped


Kelty Trail Dome Tents are not perfect. However, if you primarily car camp and wish to begin backpacking with your family, Trail Dome tents are a wise investment.

If you try backpacking and don't like it, at least you have a fantastic front country tent and didn't spend an exorbitant amount of money on an ultralight tent.

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