Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent Review

Updated Jul 9, 2023
kelty discovery basecamp tent review

Quick Verdict

We highly recommend the Kelty Discovery Basecamp 4 for those seeking a remarkably affordable, lightweight, and easy-to-setup camping tent. With its innovative design features and durable materials, this tent offers excellent value for the price. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly tent that’s ready for fun weekends away, the Kelty Discovery Basecamp should definitely be on your radar. This tent is also available in a 6-person capacity, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty.

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent, specifically the 4-person version in Laurel Green / Stormy Blue. As an avid camper, I am always on the lookout for affordable and reliable camping gear, so we were excited to try out this tent. In this review, we will share our personal experience with the Kelty Discovery, highlighting our favorite features, as well as it’s tech specs and our chief complaints. Read on to find out why the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent is the right choice for you.

Our Favorite Features

  1. Good Value for Money: This tent is one of the most affordable camping tents, making it a great value for the budget-conscious camper.
  2. Lightweight: The Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry and setup without breaking your back.
  3. Quick Assembly: The tent can be set up by one person in just a few minutes, making it ideal for solo campers or those who prefer a hassle-free experience. It uses Kelty’s Quick Corners and a 3 pole design that’s simple and easy to use.
  4. Spacious and Well-Designed: This tent offers ample space with a floor area of 53 square feet for the 4-person version. It has a peak height of 56 inches, allowing most campers to move comfortably inside. The tent features internal storage pockets, providing convenient storage for small items like cards and gadgets.
  5. Durable and Environmentally Conscious: Kelty is committed to protecting natural spaces and uses DWR/PFC Free fabrics and coatings in their tents. This not only reduces waste but also minimizes negative environmental impacts.
  6. Lifetime warranty: Even though this tent is extremely affordable, it still comes with a lifetime warranty that covers defects for the lifetime of the tent.


The Kelty Quick Corners make setup a breeze.

Here are the specifications of the Kelty Discovery Basecamp 4-Person Tent:

  • Dimensions: 97“L x 79”W (8ft.1in. x 6ft.7in.)
  • Packed Size: 23 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz.
  • Seasons: 3 Season
  • Occupant Capacity: 4
  • Warranty: Kelty Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Floor Area: 53 Square Feet
  • Maximum Height: 58 Inches
  • Fabric Type: 68D Polyester
  • Waterhead Rating: 1200 mm
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Pole Diameter: 8-9mm
  • Pole Material Type: Fiberglass
  • Installation Type: Free Standing
  • Shape: Dome

Unboxing – What’s Inside?

I recently purchased the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent, 4 Person model from Amazon. I was excited to receive my new camping tent and see what was inside the box. The delivery was surprisingly fast, and I received the package within a few days.

When I opened the box, I found the following items:

  • Kelty Discovery Basecamp 4P Tent
  • Rain Fly
  • Tent Poles
  • Tent Stakes
  • Stuff Sack
  • Instructions


The instructions that came with the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Backpacking Tent were extremely helpful. It provided clear instructions on how to set up and take down the tent, which made the process quick and easy. The user guide also included tips on proper care and maintenance of the tent, ensuring its longevity.

Features – What We Loved

1. The Price Tag

The best feature on this tent is the extremely affordable price tag, which is way less than $150. With all the great features and easy setup time, this tent is easily one of the best values you could find.

2. High Capacity Shelter for the Backcountry

The Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent can be used as a high-capacity backpacking tent since it weighs only eight pounds. It offers a spacious interior that can accommodate 4 or 6 people, depending on the version you choose. This means you don’t need multiple smaller tents for your group, which reduces the weight you have to carry.

3. Car Camping with Comfort

Not only can the Kelty Discovery Basecamp be used for backpacking, but we enjoyed using it as a car camping tent. It ensures a comfortable camping experience with its thoughtful features, like a quick setup and simple design that’s great for all campers.

The tent features a single large D-door for easy entry and exit, as well as a double stake entry for added convenience. It also comes with pre-attached guylines and internal storage pockets for keeping your belongings organized. Leave your phones at home and enjoy the outdoor experience with space for tunes, cards, and treats.

The Kelty Discovery Basecamp 4 without the rainfly on.

4. No Frills, Many Favorites

Kelty has incorporated several innovative features into the Discovery Basecamp Tent to enhance the backpacking experience. The tent is equipped with Quick Corners, which enable a speedy setup, saving you time and effort. The shark mouth duffel design makes it easy to tear down and pack the tent when you’re ready to move on.

The X pole frame layout provides stability and proper weight distribution, ensuring the tent withstands windy conditions and remains sturdy. These design features make the Discovery Basecamp Tent user-friendly and efficient for both setup and teardown.

5. Protecting Natural Spaces

Kelty is highly committed to preserving the environment and protecting natural spaces. As one of the four founding members of The Conservation Alliance, Kelty actively works towards conserving wild spaces. The Discovery Basecamp Tent is made with DWR/PFC Free fabrics and coatings, which minimize waste and negative environmental impacts.

By choosing Kelty’s Discovery Basecamp Tent, you not only enjoy your outdoor adventures but also contribute to the conservation of the wilderness.

Pro Tip: While enjoying your camping experience, be sure to follow Leave-No-Trace principles and do your part in preserving the environment.

6. Nitty Gritty Details

The 4-person version of the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Backpacking Tent weighs in at 8 pounds and 8 ounces. It offers a floor space of 53 square feet and a peak height of 56 inches. When packed, its dimensions measure 23x6x6 inches.

On the other hand, the 6-person version weighs a minimum of 13 pounds and 14 ounces. It provides an impressive floor space of 88 square feet and a peak height of 68 inches. Its packed dimensions are 23x7x7 inches.

These specifications give you a clear idea of the weight, size, and space available in each version of the tent, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs.

The Downsides

Here’s a quick summary of our chief complaints about this tent.

  1. Zipper Quality: Some users have reported issues with the zipper getting stuck, which can be a minor inconvenience. We experienced this ourselves and had trouble getting the zipper to glide smoothly. It would be great if the zipper was sturdier and more reliable.
  2. Height Limitation: While the tent is spacious in terms of floor area, most campers will find it challenging to move around inside. You cannot stand upright, which means you have to stoop in order to move about the tent. If anything, this encourages you go spend more time outside, so you don’t necessarily need standing height in this dome-shaped tent.
  3. Ventilation: With the rainfly on, there’s no ventilation options, meaning it can get stuffy on those warmer days. If you need the rainfly on for rain protection, you will be extremely limited when it comes to airflow. You can combat this by bringing along a camping fan or other ways to keep your tent cool.
  4. Fiberglass poles: Part of having a more budget tent is that it has to cut the costs somewhere, and the poles are an easy starting point. Fiberglass poles are prone to splintering and won’t last as long as aluminum. That being said, they can still provide adequate stability for years to come, so it’s not a deal breaker for us.

Even with these downsides, the Kelty Discovery Basecamp 4-person or 6-person can be a great option for you if you’re looking for a budget-friendly tent that’s ready for your next camping adventure.

Our Score: 87.0

As an avid camper, I recently purchased the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Backpacking Tent, specifically the 4-person version, and I must say, it has exceeded my expectations. The lightweight design and easy setup make it a breeze to take camping. Plus, the spacious interior and ample storage pockets provide enough room for me and my gear. I especially appreciate the single large D-door and double stake entry, which make entering and exiting the tent hassle-free.

One of the standout features of this tent is the innovative design that Kelty has incorporated. The Quickcorners ensure a speedy setup, while the shark mouth duffel makes teardown a breeze. The X pole frame layout adds stability to the tent, even in windy conditions. I also appreciate the attention to environmental conservation, as Kelty uses DWR/PFC free fabrics and coatings in their tents.

Overall, I highly recommend the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Tent. It is a reliable and convenient shelter for outdoor adventures. If you’re in the market for an extremely, this is definitely worth considering. Check it out here!

Best Combination

When it comes to camping, having the right gear can make all the difference. That’s why I highly suggest considering adding on the matching footprint to any tent purchase. You can get the 4-person footprint and 6-person footprint for the Kelty Discovery Basecamp.

A footprint is designed to protect the tent floor from wear and tear. It acts as a barrier between the ground and the tent, preventing rocks, sticks, and other sharp objects from puncturing the floor. With its durable construction, this footprint ensures that your tent will last longer and remain in great condition even after multiple camping trips.

By investing in the Kelty Discovery Basecamp Footprint, you are extending the lifespan of your tent, saving you money in the long run. This addition will provide an extra layer of protection, giving you peace of mind during your camping adventures.

Photos from the manufacturer.

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

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