I have camped for over half my life. From solo excursions to camp counselor-style outings with a dozen 8-10 year olds kids in-tow. I’ve slept in hammocks, on blankets under open skies, under hardware store tarps and in the grandest and most basic of tents. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of nights sleeping outside and enjoyed nearly every one of those nights – and appreciated every temporary home used for each outing.
Now that I am a mom, I want my kids to camp as much as possible, too. And I’m happy to say, our family still spends a lot of nights sleeping under the stars in all types of tents. We have endured epic winds and torrential downpours, indulged in star-flooded night skies and made our way through the grittiest of sand, hardest if rocks and softest of grass under our backs (and sleeping pads, thankfully!). As a lover of all things camping, when a new tent comes across my radar, I am always excited to check it out, including the MSR Zoic 4.
Pros: The MSR Zoic 4 is a great family backpacking, car camping, or cross-country campground camping tent. It’s incredibly roomy, fitting two adults, two children and two cattle dogs – with room to spare! I also appreciate how fast and easy it is to set up. It features “hubbed poles”, essentially creating one pole (with two pivoting pieces) to manage and each pole end fits easily (and stays) into end rivets on each corner of the tent.
We camped under Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania skies with extensive rain and dew and the Zoic kept us dry and dried fast for the next day’s use. It also has two big vestibules at either door for great gear storage that fit our diaper bag, packs, camera gear and more. Speaking of doors, the two door option allows for easy late night bathroom break escapes without waking the kids.
Cons: If you are an ultralight, ounce counter, the weight might deter you. Coming in at just over 7lbs (packed), it’s slightly heavier than other tents in its category. However, it is also a bit more spacious than those same tents.