Review: Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 4

"Shhh stay where you're at, there is a bear behind the tent."
My wife's eyes grew large as she realized the bear was closer to where she lay in bed than from where I stood watching the bear. Our daughter in the Wyoming Trail tent just to my left. Okay he is close enough, time to scare a bear. "Hey bear, I see you!", and like a shot the bear disappeared into the woods, a short but incredible experience of seeing a Black Bear in the wild doing his thing.

June in Florida is the time when the heat here in Florida is just starting to get to everyone. The threat of hurricanes is fresh in every one's minds and thunderstorms are starting to be a big part of the day to day vocabulary. It is also the time when many outdoor families start to look for places to cool off and for us, that means one of the more than 900 natural cold water springs. Summer in Florida is one of the most extreme conditions in the United States. Not only is the an abundance of heat and humidity, there is also a lot of bugs looking to bite you and near daily thunder storms with torrential downpours. This also makes it one of the best places to test outdoor equipment, especially Tents.

  • Materials: 
    • Silicon and Polyurethane fly and floor
    • Nylon and Mesh Tent Bodies
  • DAC Press Fit Poles
  • Floor Space: 15x7.5 ft
  • Max Height: 72in.
  • Weight: 16lb. 10oz.
  • Price: $384.97 @

Big Agnes is a U.S. company based in Steamboat Springs Colorado that caters to outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike. They hold several awards from organizations such as National Geographic, Backpacker Magazine, and Men's Journal for their various above par outdoor products. Tents, sleeping bags and pads, and even chairs for the hiker, family car camping, and those who make a living in the outdoors, Big Agnes has us covered. The good folks at Big Agnes are not just manufacturers peddling a product, they are actually outdoors men and women themselves, using innovative ideas and technology to encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoors themselves.

What We Like:
After such an incredible experience that we have had with the Flying Diamond 6, we talked to the guys at Big Agnes about testing one of their other tents and the one tent that stood out was their Wyoming Trail 4. With two separated sleeping quarters that I will refer to as pods and a big open vestibule it looked like we could leave the twin doors to the vestibule open for air and have the vestibule for storage and a place to hide during inclement weather. Win Win! The vestibule is a whopping 7.5 x 6.5ft so there is more than enough room to sit and relax for you and 4-5 people and the twin garage doors can be put up for even more shade with a view as long as you have some spare tent or hiking poles. A couple of great things about this tent are the footprint that helps keep dirt out of the pods and the options you have for setting up the tent to match your needs. For instance, the ability to leave one pods out if it is just you or add the second or for ultra minimal you could leave both pods out and just have the vestibule connected to the footprint. The materials used are solid, although I believe my clips used in the Flying Diamond are a bit more stout. Everything is color coded and super simple to put up.

What we didn't like:              
Unfortunately there are some issues with the tent. First, and this is not solely a Big Agnes thing, when we talk about sizes in tents most manufactures really over state the size of their tents. For example, this tent is supposed to hold 2 people per pod. When people go car camping they want comfort, which means an air mattress. A queen size air mattress to fit 2 people is 78in x 58in, which means it would not fit in the Wyoming Trail 4. To me this is a major thing and one I would like to see corrected in future products meant for family car/base camping. My only other complaint about the tent is with the air ventilation when the vestibule doors are down, the only avenue for air to travel is through two vents at around 3ft high. That means that as condensation builds up in the upper 3 ft of the tent the drops run down the slope of the tent and drip into the pods. Unfortunately I experienced this first hand on an average humid summer day here in Florida. I ended up putting a sleeping bag between the pod roof and the vestibule ceiling to keep from getting soaked. Some added breath-ability near the peak would greatly reduce this I believe.

The Wyoming Trail 4 tent has a lot of potential, the idea is spot on in my opinion but could use a few tweaks to make it the perfect go to tent for car and base campers alike. Honestly if I did not live in one of the most humid states in the country there would probably never have been an issue with the condensation for the majority of people. If Big Agnes included some collapsible poles to hold the vestibule doors open it would be even better as not all car campers carry hiking poles. I did get a nice nights sleep once I dealt with the condensation issue. Size wise, it would make a great base camp for a couple of guys hunting or fishing, or the perfect space for the kids wanting their own space on an outing. All in all I think Big Agnes is on the right track with the Wyoming Trail 4 but it just misses the mark for any place with the type of summer humidity that we see here in the south. By all means this is a great tent for spring and even winter here in the south and my daughter is sad to see it go back.

-------Update 11/19/2014-------
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to use the Wyoming Trail 4 tent substantially. The humidity that plaques Florida has not been any where near as bad as in the summer months so I wanted to be able to tell you all that with the lack of humidity the Wyoming Trail performed extraordinary in the woods and even kept us dry during some fairly heavy rains.