Product Review: Kendrick Observing Tent

Dirk Leahy

I bought a Kendrick Observing Tent a week before participating in my first major star party down in Springfield. After reading all the positive reviews about it, it was an easy purchasing decision. Many people even use the tent as a portable observatory in their backyards.

When I got to the Illinois Dark Sky Star Party a major storm was just hitting so I had to wait until the storm was over to set up the tent. It was nice having club members Mike and Travis helping to set it up, however you can easily set it up by yourself in about 10 minutes. I had set the tent up once before to practice before I went out. The original stakes are not very good. They bent from just putting them in the ground. I went out and bought three packs of metal stakes from Walmart for 2$ for a 4 pack.

After we got the tent set up I found there was a lot more room than I expected. I had plenty of room for my 11" Celestron GPS and wedge. I set up my long worktable in the sleeping quarters with still plenty of room for a twin or queen size mattress. While I didn't get to observe with my scope (it had broken again), I did enjoy the night sky. I was very tired from a long week and went to bed at 10:00 p.m. with the bug screen on and the rest of the top of the tent open. The sleeping quarters has two skylights. It was awesome just to look up at the sky while lying in the tent.

Another great thing about the tent is the rain fly. I put it on before I went to bed that Friday night (there was still rain forecasted). The rain fly covered the whole tent not just a portion like smaller tents do.

There are a couple of downsides to the tent. The sleeping quarter's ceiling is higher than the observing room. You have to pick which part of sky you don't care to see much. When you are aligning with your scope you will need objects higher in the sky to align with. The walls are just too tall to align straight out with my telescope.

Overall I was really pleased with the purchase and recommend it for anyone going camping. I intend to go out more now since I have this tent. The cost is anywhere from $370-$500. I paid $370 and got it from -

Published in the November 2006 issue of the NightTimes