By Theresa “Resa” Leppert
The Gazelle T3 Hub Tent is a game changer. I have been camping for almost 50 years, much of that in a tent. I personally have many camping setups since Hubby and I are builders – we have built several campers in the last 10 years. That’s another story. My dog, Shiloh, LOVES tent camping. Not sure why she loves the tent so much over the camper – probably because there is a lot more room in my tent, believe it or not!
SOMETIMES, YA JUST WANT TO TENT IT
There are times when I just want to tent it. Two years ago, I was pulling my little Squaredrop camper, The Ginger Gypsy, and my hitch pin failed and my draw bar came out of hitch. Thankfully, I was on a back road only going 35 MPH and my crossed chains saved my camper. (Always cross the chains!) Again, another story for another time. It all worked out, but I got scared. As a result of that anxiety, I didn’t get right back on the horse, so to speak – I just wasn’t comfortable pulling a trailer.
So, I guess I had to think about tenting it. I had an old Coleman Instant tent. Loved the easy-up and easy-down design, but I had loaned mine out to a friend who wasn’t really camping savvy. When she returned it he had packed it up wet, and returned it without telling me right away. She just didn’t know any better. Once she told me, I set it up right away and treated the mold. I was able to save the tent, but the mold stained it – so it’s not too pretty, and my mold treatment compromised the waterproofing of the tent. It’s still okay to use, but not in any kind of bad weather.
A BONUS I DIDN’T EXPECT
That first stimulus check of 2020 was a bonus I didn’t expect, and I decided to spend a bit of it on a good tent. A couple years before, I had been at a ladies’ camping event, and someone had a Gazelle T4 Plus. Seriously cool tent, but HUGE…. And pricey. Folded up in the bag, it was as tall as me, and while I loved the ease of setting up a hub tent, there was no way I could fit that tent in my Jeep easily, nor could I justify spending $400-500 on a tent. Still, it was really cool….. So I was researching it, figured I could dream about having one some day….. and guess what? The prices had come way down and they had released a smaller model – the Gazelle T3!
It was PERFECT. It is supposedly designed for 3 people (hence the name T3) – but they’d have to be really small people, LOL. My model is 76 inches x 76 inches, and at 5 feet 8 inches, I can stand up straight inside it. If I’m having a big hair day, my hair touches, but I can live with that. (Having naturally curly hair – my hair often has its own zip code, so big hair days are a way of life for me, I think.)
MOST USEFUL FEATURES
Here are the features of the tent that I find most useful:
- Fits 3 people comfortably.
- At 57 inches in the bag, it will fit on the back seat or in the trunk of most vehicles.
- The hub design makes set up and take down a breeze – literally 90 seconds! I timed it.
- There are 6 tight-weave windows and two doors – with screens!
- This is my personal preference – the D-shaped doors are a Godsend to anyone with a dog. I zip the doors to the top of the door and my dog can’t nose her way out while I’m sleeping. In the old tent, I had a zipper across the bottom and then one going from that upper corner up of the D-shaped door down around to the bottom of the door. She could push her nose into the small void where the two zippers met in the lower corner and push the zippers open, the little brat. She can’t do that in this tent – though she’s tried to figure it out a couple of times!
IT GOES UP IN 90 SECONDS!!!!!
Last year, anytime I went solo camping with my dog, we used the Gazelle T3. I can fit my low profile cot, a chair, a bin for a side table, my Luggable Loo, and my duffel bag and still have a 2×2 ft square area in the middle for dressing. Even better – this tent GOES UP IN 90 SECONDS. Yeah! You read that right! 90 SECONDS. I timed the first time I set it up and it took me 120 seconds because I was a noob. The second time, 90 seconds on the nose, even stopping to pet the dog as I passed by her walking around to put the stakes in. Isn’t it just the cutest tent? It looks like a little green mushroom.
Gazelle has redesigned and released a new T3 model (T3X) that is not square – it is a rectangle, and it accommodates a bigger cot and taller (longer) people. It is 57 inches long folded up in the bag. You can check out that tent here: https://www.gazelletents.com/Product/gt301gr-3-person-gazelle-t3x-hub-tent-alpine-green-copy-2-13359
Every once in a while, I wish I had bought the T4, but the extra room inside it really isn’t a payoff (IMHO) for the extra space needed in the vehicle to haul it. It would be different if I was camping in a truck – but I’m in a Jeep Wrangler, and space is a premium, especially when I’m hauling my dog too! There are some really good prices on Gazelle tents on Amazon right now. Many of their models are out of stock on their website, but don’t let that stop you – there are a lot available through sellers on Amazon. If you’re a tenter, get this tent – you won’t regret it. It’s worth every penny.
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Theresa “Resa” Leppert
Guide, Iowa & Wisconsin
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What a wonderful review. Makes me want to give it a try. Thank you!!!