Rated 4 out of 5 by RichardW High marks for Vector XL6
Now that we've had the Vector XL6 for a couple of seasons and have used it in a wide variety of conditions I thought I'd submit a quick review and tell you about it.
The Vector XL6 has a number of selling points:
* Simple, sturdy design
* High quality materials and workmanship
* Aluminum poles
* Easily pitched
* Vestibules can sleep a big dog
* Perfect size--big enough for our family but never too big for a state park campsite.
* Priced below similar tents from other high-end manufacturers
All of these things have made the tent a joy to use. When it rains, getting wet is the last thing I worry about. I know the full coverage rain fly will keep us dry, and if we need to take shelter in the tent during waking hours, it is a large and comfortable space. Also the three panel design of the front vestibule is highly flexible and allows us to shelter our gear and maintain some ventilation in bad weather.
Any tent that's as tall as this will be susceptible to wind, and for that reason, I'm careful to fully stake the tent and use the guyouts no matter how calm the weather.
There was one instance when I found myself cursing the tent though, (as I mentioned in a review I submitted to Epinions a while back). The Vector has the front vestibule sewn to the main tent body, not the fly. They say this is to make handling the fly easier, but it also gives the tent better ventilation and better cosmetics. One rainy morning when we were forced to strike camp quickly between rain squalls, we realized the vestibule was soaked and filthy. We needed to keep the tent clean and dry for the next night's use, but the wet, filthy vestibule stood in our way. After a few minutes of scrambling, we finally stuffed the vestibule in a tall kitchen bag and got the rest of the tent in the back of the van without messing it up. I didn't appreciate having to deal with that, but next time it will probably not take me off my game to the same extent.
There are lots of good tents on the market, this one works for us, and maybe you too.
October 16, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by familycamping Center Pole Design
We purchased the 6 person Vector tank in 2010. We don't camp that often, and we've used the tank 3 week-ends. Our only concern with the Vector design is the center poles for the tent (not rain fly). They are long, made out of an aluminum alloy metal, and the tent design puts a lot of stress/ pressure on them. During the 5th tent set-up the tent center pole snapped on us. LL Bean was quick to replace it and they were willing to replace other tent parts if we thought they were damaged due to product integrity issues. We still continue to recommend this tent particularly to families who are seeking tent space. We do though make them aware of this product design concern.
June 17, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Xfactr Great tent!
Bought this tent for family camping. However only used for Cub Scout trips.
I love this tent. Easy to handle a short one person. Roomy to handle 5. Make sure you get the foot print as well. The Vector XL the envy of Cub Scout parents!
June 3, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by BGFestivalGuy Great tent but has some issues
Once again, it LLBean has proven to be the best place to buy camping gear. I replaced a fiberglass-poled LLBean 6 man dome with this newer model. It is a great tent and I recommend it for 1 to 3 people with gear.
I can set up this new tent by myself in about 15 minutes in normal weather. Extend 2 poles and slip them smoothly into the almost full-length sleeves and attach at the bottom. The tent will stand and you add the third pole, a blue anodized aluminum pole with a unique angled center section and redesigned clips that attach the tent to the poles. The aluminum poles are a vast improvement over fiberglass. The footprint is larger than the previous model. The front entrance in the vestibule is awkward for ingress and egress (I?m 6?-02?), but handy for storing things you don?t want inside. The tent uses 9 stakes. The front vestibule is part of the tent, the rear vestibule is part of the fly.
I?m usually the only person using the tent, and it gives me plenty of room. I can stand up to get dressed and move about, though I use a large air mattress that covers a good deal of the floor space. I like the center clip for hanging a light. There are only two pockets on each of two sides and they aren?t large. The previous model had pockets the entire length of the tent. Getting in and out of this tent is harder if it is raining and closed tightly, but the design aids in helping keep the inside dry. There is a privacy issue between the window in the vestibule area and the view through the door inside, so stand to the side when you?re getting dressed.
I?ve used the tent for two 4-day, 3 night festivals. Most recently, the tent was dry after 12 hours of heavy rain and there were puddles of water around the tent. I recommend buying the fitted groundcloth or use a tarpaulin as additional protection from moisture and punctures. I purchased one for the older model.
A weakness is the velcro straps used to attach the fly to the poles. They are not affixed to the fly well enough. I lost one during the first time set-up, and in the previous model I lost 3 or 4 of them over the first few years. I recommend tying the tent down well for high winds, and regardless of wind, use stakes.
August 8, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5 by sadevito Vector Dome Tent
Good: Easy to put up, all metal poles (Only 3)
Not so good: Getting in and out through the vestibule - When the Vestibule is shut, you have to bend way over and reach way out to get to the bottom of the zipper. This is a bit of a pain in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning if you are a little stiff in the joints! It will probably be a real pain in the rain too!. And you really can't leave that part of the vestibule open because the tent entrance is only screen there, so the dew/rain would be coming in on you.
July 20, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by FingerLakesNYcamper FingerLakesNYcamper
The materials and workmanship in my Vector 6 XL dome tent are first rate. It was quite easy for me to put up by myself the first time I tried. First time took abut 15 minutes, subsequent times about 10 minutes including time to clear rocks and twigs from the ground where I'm setting up. There is tons of room in this tent for two people. More can sleep in it, but I'd guess that more than three would make for tight quarters. I use two accessories with this tent to prolong its life: 1) the matching footprint that LL Bean sells and 2) a furniture moving pad that I put down like a wall-to-wall carpet on the floor of the tent in order to provide a little padding and to minimize the chances that I'll put enough pressure to damage the floor by standing or kneeling on a small stone or root underneath the tent.
I used the Vector 6 XL and footprint twice during the 2010 camping season. Though there are no signs of wear after 1 year, to prolong its life I just (July 2011) cleaned the dome tent and sprayed it with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. Water now runs off of the dome even more readily than it did the first year.
This is by far the best tent I've owned; it's the fourth I've purchased in the last twenty years and I fully expect this one should easily last me 10 years with moderate care. I feel this tent was a great investment.
July 2, 2011
Rated 4 out of 5 by VermontFamily01 good tent - no complaints, yet
After reading alot of the reviews, i feel compelled to write a review. We haven't used our tent in wild weather as of yet (which is why I can't give it 5 stars), but the complaints about it being difficult to put up simply show lack of experience. If you are someone who has put up dome tents before, you can put this up with ease. Single handedly, I erected he tent in about 10 minutes. There's plenty of space for a family of 5, but not if you're bringing your house with you. Go minimal people. Leave the excess at home.
May 27, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 by Canoeper Car Camping Only!
This is a quality made product from L.L. Bean. It is simple and quick to put up and has a good amount of room for 4 adults + gear. On a recent 5 day canoe trip, we really liked the room and height, but the tent lost most of its ability to shed rain after taking it down and setting it up in windy, wet conditions. We ended up having to stake the tent out heavily to withstand 40 knot winds. We guyed the vestibule "roofs" UP to nearby trees to keep the tent from collapsing in the gusts.
Bottom line, good tent for the campground, but get something more substantial for the backcountry.
April 11, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by LoverofQuality Vector XL 6 Dome Tent
The best tent we ever bought, very roomy and comfortable, we could easily stand up inside. And it performs outstanding during rain storms.
January 16, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 by zuneorama97 Unexpected "Feature"
I purchased this tent for an upcoming family camping trip, and was very pleased with many of the features - including the size of the tent, and how easy it was to set up. However, when I finished staking down the vestibule, we realized that there is no way to cover the outside window to add a bit more privacy, nor do the tent doors have any type of privacy covering like other LL Bean tents that I have owned (where the first zipper closes the mosquito mesh, and the second closes the door. In the case of this tent, the rain fly covers the rear door adequately in this regard, but the combination of the window on the vestibule and mosquito covering on the front door makes it possible to look straight into the tent. For this reason, I decided to go with another model in the 'Family Tent' category.
September 8, 2010