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I want to buy a large group tent. I want it to be our communal cooking/dining tent. I'm look at things like the Mountain Hardware Yurtini or Space Station but it won't be used at altitude (so the latter is a bit overkill!).

Any ideas for other tents will be greatly appreciated.

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What are the temperatures ranges you expect to use it in? Also you say communal "cooking" tent. Does that indicate you plan to cook in the tent? –  Russell Steen Jul 2 '12 at 16:58
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2 Answers

I have a 24' diameter Tipi that I use for this type of thing and it works great. I have a small coal fire going the entire time and with 6 people it is plenty warm and spacious. I have had as many as 10 people staying it and it fit gear and cots no problem but it started to get crowded. I have gone with just a blanket down to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit comfortably. I made mine for about $400, and it takes about 20-30 minutes for me to setup by myself.

For tents, a buddy of mine has a 14' x 17' x 5' Outfitter tent and it is amazing. Those of us over 6ft can stand up no problem in it and the stove is much more intensive than what I can do in my Tipi. This last summer he picked up the Cook Shack extension which should give it a separate room for cooking and dining, but I have not been out with him with the extension yet. Just setting up the main tent though is difficult. It takes 4+ people more than an hour. But it is very sturdy. He does not have the one with the floor sewn in, he has some kind a soft tarp and recently strips of carpet form another friend that recently renovated his house.

With the Tipi or the Outfitter tent, they are pretty comfortable in the desert in the summer as well, as long as the coal fire and stove are not going.

Both of the tents you listed look to make great group tents. Both are more than large enough to accommodate a table as well as sleeping space. Neither tent, however, is designed to be cooked in and I would NOT recommend cooking in either.

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Go for a tent without a floor. High traffic causes wear and tear and you're likely not going to expect people to take off their shoes as they come and go, spillage becomes less of a problem, and putting down chairs and tables doesn't risk tearing the floor either.

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