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Member Reviews for MEC Tarn 3 Tent

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MEC Tarn 3 Tent

Spacious for two people and cozy for three, our most popular three-season tent has a light, compact design, with three poles providing stability and headroom. The pole clips allow greater air circulation for reduced condensation, and are colour-coded for rapid set-up. The inner tent can be set up without the fly as a bug tent on fine nights. If you would like a bit more stability in wind, consider our less spacious but lower-profile Tarn 2.
Average Member Rating:
4.598 out of 5
4.6
 out of 
5
(132 Reviews) 132
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (132 reviews)
5 stars
85
4 stars
41
3 stars
6
2 stars
0
1 star
0
68 out of 71(96%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Member Reviews for Tarn 3 Tent
Review 21 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Vancouver, BC
Age: 18-24
Gender: female
Gear Style: Minimalist
MEC MEMBER

Super Tent Purchase

Date:June 20, 2011
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
I bought this tent for my boyfriend, after he had scoped out all of MEC's other tents, and our needs. We first used it over the May long weekend this spring, and it was great. Slept 3 people (we were cosy, but comfy) and even though my boyfriend is tall (6'6), he had no probably sleeping. Even through out rainstorms, we had no issues with getting wet, or thinking we were going to fly away.
It packs a little bit larger than what I would prefer for hike-in camping, but we do a lot of four wheeling, so the it works out fine. I would still hike with it when the time came though!
Personally, I love this tent. For the two of us, plus our dog and some gear, it works great. The fly fits nice and tightly over the top, so there's no excess wind and flapping to be annoying. The footprint is also a great purchase, anything I can use to extend the life of this tent is well worth it!!
Tarn 3 tent + good friends = GREAT CAMPING
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value
Cons: Heavy
Review 22 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Great Tent

Date:June 12, 2011
Great tent. The size is roomy with 2 people little tight with 3 people. Never had water get in, been in really bad weather with this tent. I have had my tent for 6 years no issues with it. Only thing I don't like about this tent is the lack of windows. The new tent has a front Window. But still no way to open back, unless you take off fly.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Cons: lack of windows
Review 23 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Good value but poorly designed

Date:May 22, 2011
Get right to the main problems I have with this tent. The zipper for the door is ridiculous - you HAVE to finish it in that little flap in the bottom left hand corner. A real PITA to open when you have to reach across the face of the person beside you in the middle of the night. Should be able to position the zipper anywhere along the door. The ties for rolling up the inner door get caught in the zipper all the time. Once so bad had to pry it out with a knife in the middle of the night. Just terrible. Fly very difficult to position correctly so seams line up with poles. Fit of fly can be sloppy with good tension in some places and too loose in others. Fly should never touch the tent wall but on this it can in high winds. HATE having to hook fly under pole ends a clip would be a lot easier and faster. 3 grown men in this tent? They will fit but very tight. You better know those guys well. Vestibule hard to open from the inside. Not enough ventilation ESP on the sides where your head is. And only ONE DOOR. I work as a guide and have used probably 20 different tents made by MEC, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Kelty, MSR, Asolo, Sierra Designs, etc, etc. The flaws in this tent are not quality of build, it's pretty light, specious enough for 2 people, fairly durable. But the problems Ive had with it were just too much and make me wonder if it was actually designed and field tested by trippers. There are much better tents out there for the same money and don't have all the silly problems I encountered using this tent on MANY nights in the field. My old Asolo Hawk was a cheaper and a better tent.
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value
Cons: Flimsy, door zipper terrible, only one door, fly fit is poor
2 of 3 found this review helpful.
Review 24 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
By:
Location: Kanata, ON
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

Good summer tent, not for tall people

Date:May 11, 2011
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
I bought this for an early May Algonquin park trip to Opeongo lake.
It fits nicely in my front hatch (kayak) and after a long 12 km paddle against the wind I wanted a roomy tent that was easy to setup.
Works great! But the straps which allows you to hold the front door flap got stuck in the bottom zipper when I went for a late night relief session. It took quite some effort to get it unstuck but only after I had to cut the plastic adjustment thingy with my knife.
I’m 5,11’, 183 lbs and I found it just long enough for me to lay down.
I sleep with my feet to the door (old habit) and my head was almost touching the back end of this tent.
I can’t see a 6,1’ person being comfortable in this thing, plus this is not 3 seasons ( unless you live in a climate where spring and fall is warm enough ) because it will not hold any heat, even with the fly.
Good 2 man tent at best but that’s the norm with these things, always take 1 person out of the manufacturers claims. Like the design and the fly has adjustments to allow moisture to escape avoiding build up. Otherwise this is a great 1 season tent
Pros: Lightweight, Simple
Cons: tie down for door flap gets stuck in the zipper
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 25 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

Great Tent

Date:April 14, 2011
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
I replaced my 30 year old tent and bought the Tarn 3 for two motorcycle trips in the summer of 2010.
Benifits
- Easy and quick set up.
- Good sized vestibule to store boots, packs, etc.
- Large inside. I was able to place a double sized air mattress inside with room along the side to spare.
I appreciated the quick set up after a long day and the fact that you stay bone dry inside.
I did not find the vestibule zipper combination problematic once I figured out the easiest way to open the zipper from inside.
Highly recommended.
I can tell I'm going to get another 30 years out of this tent.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 26 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Prince George BC
Age: 18-24
Gender: female
Gear Style: Minimalist
MEC MEMBER

Good Summer Tent

Date:December 9, 2010
This is a great summer tent. my boyfriend and I have used it a few times but if there is any snow on the ground or is windy/wet it gets really, really cold inside. great for the summer, not so good for the fall.
Pros: Lightweight, Good Value, Reliable
Cons: Cold
0 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 27 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: New Brunswick
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Great Investment

Date:December 6, 2010
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
Awesome tent, doesn't even compare to a department store tent. I strongly suggest getting the footprint. Easy one person set-up (with a little practice). A couple of my friends gave up on department store tents and bought tarn 2/3 tents for themselves after seeing mine in action. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a 2 person tent (or two person with a small child/dog). Fits a queen sized air-mattress (which packs smaller and sleeps better than self-inflating mats).
BUY THIS TENT!!
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 28 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: gatineau qc
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

best deal ever

Date:November 6, 2010
i am from quebec i went on a three month trip out west with very litle money to spear this purchase was a good price and extremly efeciant it held in the plains it was great in the montains for a week end swing in jasper no wind wil take this tent down the onely flaw is the low side of the tarn 3 not great for days you get raind or snow out. i stil recomend this tent to any week end camper and any adventurer year round
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable, easy asembly
Review 29 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Vaughan, ON
Age: under 18
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

10 stars.

Date:October 18, 2010
Wow, this tent is unbelievable. I started using this tent in a really chilly early spring weekend as a test run. it was so toasty i ended ditching my already light sleeping bag. in the field the tent is a tank. Without the guylines up this tent stood up against winds no problems. I know this is a three season tent, but with a decent sleeping bag i would feel cozy in a blizzard. This tent is well worth its weight in gold.(not to say that it isn't light)
Pros: Rugged, Good Value, Reliable
Review 30 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto
Age: 18-24
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

Best Darn(tarn) tent ever.

Date:October 16, 2010
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
Where do I begin with this product.
Another fantastic item purchased from MEC. I have had the tarn 3 for less than 3 months and have used it for a total of three weeks. It has seen bright hot sunny days to drab, windy cold wet nights. I am extremely happy with this purchase and based it upon most of the reviews on this site.
This tent delivers in every way imaginable. Easy to set up and take down, large enough for two people and a 50lbs dog with our gear at the vestibule.
I did find closing the vestibule a little tricky initially but since then I have tied a string to the zipper so I can close it while still inside the tent, nothing to warrant a return or a negative review.
If you are looking for a three season, 2 person (I know it says 3 but I usually subtract one person for maximum comfort) look no further. This tent is for you.
Video Review:
(click on the play button to start movie)
One of my trips to Algonquin. There are a couple shots of inside and out of the tent.
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 31 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
By:
Location: Vancouver
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Fatal Flaw

Date:October 4, 2010
I bought this tent based on substantial research, but ended up returning it after only three nights of camping.
The good news: low cost, stable in wind/rain, useful interior space.
The fatal flaw: the door vestibule area.
1) When inside the tent, if you want to open the vestibule up for a breeze, or close it down for rain, you pretty much have to get out of the tent. There is no convenient way to roll and tuck away the vestibule flaps.
2) Worse, when you unzip the actual door, it doesn't fall to the side -- it falls to the floor of the tent. This means you are likely to rip the door by walking on it as you enter and exit the tent, and you're trying to keep the door clean. A properly designed D-shaped door should fall to the side, not to the floor.
3) The door has a zip-away feature that allows you to have fabric covering the door, or, when zipped away, just mesh. But the zipped-away fabric is then sitting mostly loose and sloppy at the bottom of the door with only a couple of nylon ties to keep it in place.
The end result? An otherwise excellent tent was too irritating to bother with.
Pros: Rugged, Reliable, Spacious, stable in extended 3 season weather.
Cons: door and vestibule badly designed.
1 of 2 found this review helpful.
Review 32 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Kelowna BC
Age: 18-24
Gender: male
Gear Style: Minimalist
MEC MEMBER

Not a 3-man Tent

Date:October 3, 2010
I had camped with a friend for a long time using the Tarn 3. Usually it was only me and him so there were no space issues. The first time I used the tent was with 3 people and it was a very tight fit. I was 6' 3" and the other two were 5' 10" and there was no space left. I ended up sleeping in the middle with my body in the vestibule as it narrowed at the bottom. Even with 3 smaller people I would say it would be a little bit too small.
The tent its self was about average in weight. It set up easily but the fly was a little flimsy and hard to get aligned with the poles properly. The vestibule part of the fly was very flimsy and channeled water to a point.
A good tent at a good value. Great for someone looking for a cheap option. Would not recommend it was 3. A great pick-up to add to the locker. The tent itself was a little bit thin and flimsy.
Pros: Simple, Good Value
Cons: Flimsy
Review 33 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: vancouver, bc
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Great for Dog Owners

Date:October 2, 2010
I will not bother repeating the 100 positive great reviews on this site, but in short, great tent with no major concerns.
But I will say this tent is great if you are looking for something that will fit 2 people under 6 feet, 2 bags of gear and enough room to place a doggy bed and an 80lb dog to sleep on it.
We were very impressed with the roominess of this tent as the major deciding factor was "will it fit my dog".
We originally had her sleep in the vestibule which again was more than roomy enough to stick a dog bed and dog, but because it rained so much we brought her inside with us.
I think with the extra breath, the tent condensated quite a bit, but never let water in.
Highly recommended, great for dog lovers.
Happy tent searching,
Pros: Simple, Good Value, ideal for dogs
Review 34 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto, ON
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Awesome tent

Date:September 24, 2010
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
I purchased the Tarn 3 in September for a camping trip in Algonquin Park and I am extremely happy with it. It withstood the rain, their was zero condensation build up inside the tent, ventilation was great (didn't get stuffy), and it's light. However, it can be a bit tight for two people. My girlfriend and I kept our bags (two bags) inside the car, as their was not enough room in the tent. Other than that it's a great tent. I'm very happy! Can't wait to use it on a solo trip.
 
My Product Recommendations
Ignition Steel Fire Starter
4.1 out of 516 Reviews
 
 
 
 
Tikka XP 2 Headlamp
4.9 out of 538 Reviews
 
 
 
 
 
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 35 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Waterloo, ON
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven

An awesome tent

Date:September 12, 2010
I am a Scout leader and purchased this tent for that purpose. It sets up very quickly and it very easy for one person to do.
My first weekend out with it was in very bad weather. Extreme heavy downpours lasting several hours with winds in excess of 80 km/h. It was a field camp so there was not a lot of protection except from other tents. I was dry and warm, absolutley no condesation issues. Excellent stability and I did not even have the extra lines out for increased stability.
It held up very well and just as good, and in some cases better then, the other "Big Guy names" such as Eureka, Sierra Designs, etc.
It was just me, my back pack and the extra Scout leader items and I had lots of room.
Dollar for dollar this tent gives excellent value. I would highly recommend it.
The only thing that I somewhat dislike is that the fly zipper runs down the front center of the vestible so opening it requires stretching out of the tent door where as a side zipper running up next to the door zipper would be a much easier reach. This is minor though as the rest of the tent is excellent.
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Rugged, Simple
Review 36 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Calgary
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Great Tent

Date:September 10, 2010
Have taken this tent both backpacking and on a bicycle trip.
It is fast to set up, roomy and it kept us dry in some very wet weather,
All in all a great tent
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 37 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Corner Brook, NL
MEC MEMBER

Pretty Darn Good Tent

Date:September 3, 2010
I can't complain at all about this tent. We camped a lot in Newfoundland weather, (mostly summertime) and it kept the two of us campers dry during wet conditions and protected us from overnight dampness. When the temperature dropped, this tent held up and kept the heat in. At the same time, however, it was a bit warm - for the summer, especially in the morning. It was necessary to get outside the tent ASAP b/c it was stuffy and it wasn't that breathable.
All around, I am happy with this tent and would suggest it for a serious camper.
Pros: Good Value, Reliable
Cons: Heavy
Review 38 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Bracebridge, ON
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven

Nice but for one thing, ...well maybe two.

Date:August 31, 2010
I have used the Tarn 3 for two nights so far and am planning four more on the Noire River in Quebec soon.
I was impressed with the quality and value of this tent. I have been looking for a new one for the last two years.
My canoeing buddy and I are getting up in years (I'm 52) which means that there are nocturnal outings to relieve onesself. There is only one zipper tab for the door/screen. When closed one of us is going to have to reach over the others face in the dark to fumble around for the tab to open the door. This could lead to some fouls comments. With double tabs the door could be opened from either side of the tent which leads me to #2. In the past I have always slept in the tent with my feet at the door. In the Tarn 3 the widest part is at the door. I'm figuring that that is where my pillow is going to be. Just a bit more awkward to get into after taking of ones muddy boots.
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 39 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: London, Ontario
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

10 Years, and still going strong

Date:August 26, 2010
My wife and I purchased this tent over 10 years ago when we first started dating. We've used it at least 20 nights a year since, and it's still going strong. We purchased the footprint the next year, as it was out of stock when we bought the tent. I definitely recommend purchasing a footprint for any tent - its a great way to virtually guarantee long life and a dry night.
We've back-packed, canoed, car camped, and bike toured with this tent - most recently on a loaded cycling trip around Lake Ontario, and it keeps performing like a champ.
At one point, we had problems with the fly sagging enough to touch the tent mesh about 3 or 4 years ago, but washing and gently drying the tent and fly resolved the issue.
The bag is oversized, which is very helpful when packing up - there's no wrong way to do it, and it always fits. Ours came with separate bags for the poles footprint and pegs, along with a tube to fix the aluminum poles should they ever bend. (They haven't).
I'd like to buy another tent, but I can't justify it - there's nothing wrong with this one!
Pros: Rugged, Good Value, Reliable
Review 40 for Tarn 3 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Charlottetown, PE
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Minimalist

Reliable tent

Date:August 13, 2010
I Purchased the Tarn3 over a month ago and have used it many times since. One of those times was on the wilderness Kenomee Canyon trail in Economy, NS for a 3 night hike. Other camps so far: PEI beaches, Cape Breton Highlands and Fundy, NB. The tent was recommended to me by a friend and my roommate owns the Tarn2. It is very rugged, and quite light for what it has to offer. I had no problems in heavy rain or high humidity. It is also quite spacious for two people, which is why I purchased it over the Tarn2. The price point was also very important to me as I am a new graduate. Over all, and as expected from all MEC gear, the price to quality ratio is unbelievable and in my opinion unbeatable by any other brand on the market.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Good Value, Reliable
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