Cabela's Alaskan Guide® Model Tent Review at Cabela's

Cabela's Alaskan Guide® Model Tent Review

Author: Mark Mazour

Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model® Tents — From Mount McKinley to Kenya, these tents are designed for hard use!

Cabela's designed their Guide tents with the Alaskan Wilderness in mind, and they are ready to handle any of your camping excursions. Six poles support the modified dome equally in all directions, and when you combine them with the sturdy guy lines, you have a tent that is ready for the worst of storms. I have camped in different models of the Alaskan Guide tents for the last two years, and they have stood up to gale force winds, driving rain, and even a snow and ice storm. (It seems I always pick the really NICE weekends to go out.) In all these conditions, the tent has performed well, and the 2000mm coated nylon rip-stop rain fly and 3000mm coated nylon oxford floor have kept the inside dry.
When you fill a tent full of campers and gear, sometimes finding the exit can be a problem, especially when nature calls in the middle of the night. Two D-shaped doors give you a convenient point of exit in your time of need. An area where cheaper tents fail is the zipper - not the Alaskan Guide. Big Number 8 and Number 10 YKK zippers ensure the doors and window stay closed and won't fail even after extended use.

When testing a new model of the Alaskan Guide tent this spring, I actually camped during decent weather and really enjoyed the mesh roof vents and additional U-shaped window. In combination, these provide plenty of ventilation.

Most tents are just walls and a roof. If you want to organize your camping gear, it is up to you to find a way. Not any more. The designers of the Alaskan Guide realized that on a weeklong hunting trip, a tent can get pretty messy and after a few days, you'll be lucky if you can find your wallet or keys. So, they included a mesh gear loft that acts as a shelf to store some of your gear and if the water in that stream was just a little deeper than you thought, the loft is a great place to dry wet socks. Two triangular organizer panels, located on the tent walls, are perfect for storing maps, keys, wallets, or even sorting your underwear for the week.
Nothing is worse than spilling a pop in your tent. The sticky residue gets on everything and is a chore to clean up. Yet, it has happened in my tents plenty of times. You find a spot on the floor you think is level and set your soda there. Then, someone moves and before you grab it, the can dumps over. These days, you can't find a truck without about 4 cup holders, and the Cabela's designers decided you shouldn't be able to buy an Alaskan Guide tent without 4 of them either. These handy cup holders are located low on the wall and store flat with a Velcro tab when not in use.

To help keep your tent clean, Cabela's also offers an optional floor liner. This nylon oxford sheet is cut to fit the exact dimensions of your tent and toggles in with clips to prevent it from sliding around. Then, when your campmates track in mud and debris, you can still protect your tent floor. Just take the liner out and shake it off or wipe it down. The floor liner also provides extra protection against wear and tear from heavy objects like your cot.

I was never a fan of fiberglass poles. I just thought they weren't strong enough for tough use and was a little skeptical when I saw a tent touted to be as tough as the Alaskan Guide was offered with glass poles. When I unpacked the tent, I saw that these poles were different than most I had seen. The poles were a heavy, reinforced tubular fiberglass. Thick aluminum ferrules added extra protection at the joints. I have camped in about every condition with these fiberglass poles, and they have held up well. If you attach all the guy lines and stake them out, this tent is about as sturdy as they come. However, if very high wind conditions are possible, Cabela's recommends the optional aluminum poles.
The Alaskan Guide is not a lightweight backpacking tent; if that is what you want, a better choice would be the Cabela's XPG. All of the features, heavy-duty fabric, zippers, poles and doors do add up to a bit of a hefty weight. However, if you are trying to save a few pounds on remote fly-in trips in the Super Cub, where every ounce counts, or for a long haul up the mountain to your camp, the Alaskan Guide is also offered in an aluminum pole model. This saves as much as 15% in weight over the fiberglass model, and also gives you increased strength for extreme conditions and high winds.
Not Just for Alaska
Field testers and hunters have taken these tents around the world, and all agree that it is hard to find a better tent. I even received some photos from renowned hunting and shooting writer Craig Boddington. He had two of the Alaskan Guide tents about as far away from Alaska as you can get, hunting in the North African country of Chad, in February 2001. These tents were field tested in Alaska, and are ready for wherever you want to take them.

Click here to view the Alaskan Guide model Tent.