NTK Colorado GT – The Best Waterproof Family Camping Tent

You may not know the NTK brand because it’s rather unknown compared to Coleman or Ozark. But that doesn’t mean that their high-class tents don’t deserve some fame. The Colorado does have some flaws, but the waterproofing is excellent and the quality is something to write home about. I’m sure there are way better tents, but they are much more expensive. I believe the Colorado is the best waterproof family camping tent for its price and I will show you why I think that is in this review.

Key features

To start off, let me show you an overview of the pros and cons of this tent.

Pros

  • Completely waterproof
  • Great value for money
  • Durable fabric
  • Lifetime warranty on tent poles
  • Can be used on warm summer days as well as in cold conditions
  • 2 doors that can function like windows
  • Rainfly has a UV-protected coating
  • Large storage bag
  • Room separator to increase privacy
  • E-port for easier charging of electronics
  • Hook on the ceiling to hang a lamp or lantern
  • 2 large side pockets to store items

Cons

  • Only 4 guy-lines
  • Only space for a family of 5 at most
  • Weak stakes
  • Not enough stakes included to stake down the guy-lines
  • Doesn’t perform well in windy conditions
  • Decrease in ventilation when using the rainfly
  • Clumsy zippers
  • Can be hard to set up by yourself

Now that that’s done, I’ll explain each of them in more detail.

Rain resistance

Rainfly & inner tent

Its rainfly is made of 68-denier and 190 threads per inch polyester. It also has a thermoplastic polyurethane coating of 2500mm for increased UV and water protection.

If you’re new to camping, then you probably don’t know what this means, so I’ll explain it to you.

Denier – This stands for the thickness of the individual threads that make up the fabric. The higher the denier-rating, the thicker, stronger and more durable the fabric is. 68-denier is on the low side, but the number of threads makes up for that.

Threads per inch (TPI) – This represents the number of threads used horizontally and vertically per square inch of fabric. So a TPI of 190 means that for each square inch, 95 threads are woven both vertically and horizontally. A TPI of 190 is quite good and provides a dense and tightly woven fabric.

Thermoplastic polyurethane coating (TPU) – This tent is made of polyester, which is not waterproof. It has a water regain of 0.4 – 1% so it absorbs some water over time. That’s why manufacturers apply a polyurethane coating. It creates a waterproof barrier so that water doesn’t find its way in.

However, polyurethane (PU) is extremely sensitive to UV light and degrades over time. And as soon as the PU coating starts to wear off, your tent starts to let water through. This is something NTK absolutely wants to avoid, and that’s why they use a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating for their rainflies. TPU doesn’t care about UV light and is even more durable than PU.

Then there’s also the waterproof rating of 2500mm. This means that the tent can resist a 1-inch diameter, 2500mm high column of water for more than one minute. After that one minute, the tent could leak water.

2500mm is a very good rating, especially for the price of this tent. The rainfly also covers the entire tent so you really don’t have to worry about getting your feet wet.

The rainfly has its own doors that create vestibules on both sides of the tent. If you don’t want to use them, you can just roll them to the sides and tie them up. This is a very handy feature for storing your muddy shoes or other gear that isn’t welcome inside your tent.

 

Floor

The Colorado has a 1000-denier polyethylene tub floor. Polyethylene is the same material that is used to make a groundsheet. Manufacturers often use this fabric for their tent floors because it’s completely watertight, durable and cheap. So for this tent, you don’t have to use a groundsheet, however, it’s still useful to protect your tent from sharp objects and dirt.

A tub floor means that it’s welded, meaning that the sides come up a few inches before they are sewn to the sides. The reason they do this is so that water doesn’t come through the sides.

 

Seams

The Colorado has thermo-sealed seams. This means that 2 seams are sealed together by using heat and pressure. They are far more durable and waterproof than stitched seams. But to make sure, NTK also tapes the seams. It’s basically another protective coating that makes the seams even more waterproof. So you don’t have to worry about them leaking and having to seal them yourself.

 

Wind resistance

Design of the tent

The walls of the Colorado are angled and are therefore sturdier than, for example, cabin tents who have straight walls. This tent should be able to handle winds for up to 30 mph (48 kph). However, the Colorado is not very sturdy due to its long and few poles and is not made to survive very windy conditions.

The poles are made of fiberglass, which is a light and flexible material. Fiberglass poles do not stand strong against high winds, but rather bend along with the wind. However, if you have very strong winds, they might break. If that happens, you should contact the sellers of your tent or contact NTK through this page https://ntkglobal.com/spare-parts/ if you bought it at their site. When you purchase an NTK tent you receive a lifetime warranty on their tent poles.

 

Guy-lines

These are the ropes that are attached to your rainfly. By using them properly, you increase the stability and ventilation of your tent. They also tighten the rainfly so that it doesn’t touch the inner tent and can shed the rain more easily.

Unfortunately, the Colorado only has 1 at each corner, which is not enough for such a big tent. If you wish to make this tent sturdier, you can buy 4 extra guy-lines and then use 2 at each guy-line-tie-point. The guy-lines of this tent are orange but not reflective.

 

Stakes

The metal stakes of the Colorado are also not something to write home about. They are rather basic and weak. If you plan on camping in windy conditions, I suggest you take a look at this guide concerning tent stakes.

Another downside is that NTK doesn’t give you enough stakes to stake down the guy-lines. There are only enough for just the tent.

 

Temperature resistance

A good amount of airflow in your tent is important, especially if you plan on summer camping. The Colorado has 2 doors, one at the front and one at the back. They can be zipped open so that they function like mesh windows. However, they are much needed because there are no windows in this tent. On the other hand, the walls are made of mesh from about halfway up to the very tip, so there’s a great airflow as long as the rainfly is not attached. When you do use the fly, the ventilation is not that good as you block the mesh walls and the only airflow is then provided by the doors.

The Colorado is a 3-season tent and can be used in cold weather since the rainfly protects you from the wind and cold. I wouldn’t use it in freezing temperatures because the inner tent is mostly made of mesh, but you could go as low as 40 °F (4 °C). However, keep in mind that a tent is not your only protection from the cold. Your sleeping pad and sleeping bag are more important factors.

If you plan on camping in freezing temperatures, then you may want to take a look at my complete winter camping guide.

 

Tent poles and ease of setup

The Colorado is a simplistic dome tent that only requires 3 fiberglass poles. They are made of 100% virgin materials, in other words, materials sourced directly from nature in their raw form and thus not recycled. Virgin materials provide more strength, flexibility and durability.

The 2 longest ones have a diameter of 11mm and are 256 inches long (650cm). They run from corner to corner and cross each other at the top. The shorter one helps to create the vestibule above the 2 doors. They’re also color-coded, which seems like an unnecessary feature since it’s obvious which poles go where. This simplistic yet effective tent is set up with a pin and ring system on the four corners.

Setting up this tent isn’t that hard if you have a helping hand. If you’re alone, it can be a little tricky since the 2 main poles are so long and getting them standing up without help isn’t easy.

You should also know that the Colorado is semi-freestanding because the rainfly needs to be staked down but the inner tent doesn’t. So you have to use stakes to make full use of this tent.

This video may help you with setting up the Colorado:

 

Space

The dimensions of this tent are 12 ft (3.6m) X 10 ft (3m). This gives you 120 ft² of usable space. You could fit 2 queen sized air mattresses in and still have place left for your gear. The Colorado is advertised as an 8/9-person tent but doesn’t really provide that much space. It could fit 8 people but only if you all sleep next to each other without any privacy. If you still want to have some place left for your gear, I would say that there is enough room for a family of up to 5.

Its center height is 6.1 ft (185cm) so you can probably stand straight, which makes it easier to swap clothes. However, it’s a dome tent so the sides are negatively angled, which sacrifices a lot of space.

 

Storage bag

What’s nice about the Colorado is that it has a big storage bag. Its dimensions are 26’ X 10’ X 10’ (66cm X 25cm X 25cm). You can fold the tent any way you like and still get it in the bag. It’s nice to see a brand for once that doesn’t make their bags super small in order to lower their expenses.

The bag is easy to carry and can be tightened compression buckle straps. The waterproof user guide is stitched on the inside so you don’t have to worry about losing it. The bag also has a long zipper which makes it easier to get the tent in.

 

Bonus features

Room separator

There’s a room divider that you can use to split the tent in two rooms. It’s removable and is mostly used to have some more privacy when swapping clothes, for example.

 

Side pockets

The Colorado has 1 big pocket on each side of the tent. You can use it to store stuff like your keys, wallet, phone and other small items.

 

Lantern hanger

There is one hook attached to the ceiling in the center of the tent. They are meant to hang your lantern or lamp so that you don’t have to mess around with flashlights.

 

2 doors

This is also a great feature, 2 doors are way better than 1. It increases ventilation and mobility. It makes it much easier to go for a night pee without having to step over your sleeping family members.

One downside about the doors are the zippers. Although they are of great quality and are protected by zipper flaps, they function in a clumsy way. You have to unzip both layers (mesh and polyester*) every time you enter or exit the tent.

*Every door has actually 2 layers: the mesh one that you can see through but keeps bugs out and a ‘real’ door made of polyester.

 

E-port

The Colorado also comes with a slit where you can pull a power cable through to charge your electronics.

 

Specifications

  • Packed weight: 20.7 lbs (7.4kg)
  • Height: 72.8’ (185cm)
  • Dimensions: 12 X 10 ft (366cm X 3.05cm)
  • Packed dimensions: 26’ X 10’ X 10’ (66cm X 25cm X 25cm)
  • Inner tent area: 120 ft² (11.16m²)
  • Total vestibules area: ± 40 ft² (3.7m²)
  • Total area: 160 ft²
  • Shape: dome
  • Seasons: 3 season
  • Number of doors: 2
  • Room divider: yes
  • Side pockets: 2
  • Lantern hanger: yes
  • Frame: fiberglass rods connected with internal elastic and chrome plated ferrules
  • Inner material: 190T breathable Polyester Mosquito NO-SEE-UM micro net fabric
  • Floor material: Seamless heavy-duty anti-fungal polyethylene to keep you dry and protected
  • Security: Meets CPAI-84 flammability requirements

 

NTK Colorado GT vs NTK Cherokee GT vs NTK Oregon GT

You may have stumbled upon these tents and wondered ‘what’s the difference between them’. Well, the inner tents are all the same, the only thing that’s different are the rainflies. While the Colorado is great for all weather and has its strength in water resistance, the Cherokee and Oregon are more focused on full-time ventilation. The Colorado has rainfly vestibules that you can fully close with a zipper. If you want some extra ventilation, you can easily transform your vestibules into awnings by rolling the sides up. The Oregon and Cherokee don’t have vestibules but only feature awnings.

So to me it seems like the Colorado is the most favorable choice since it has both the option to fully close the vestibule if it’s raining or roll them up to let some air in.

 

Alternatives

If you for some reason don’t like this tent, then you may want to check out these 2 other NTK tents. They are the same in waterproof rating and consist of the same fabrics but may vary in price, space, features and design.

NTK Lardedo GT 8/9-person

Here’s a ‘better and worse’ list that compares this tent to the Colorado.

Better

  • More floorspace (150 ft²) and also more ‘airspace’ due to extended dome design
  • Sturdier construction

Worse

  • Small awnings instead of vestibules
  • Only 1 door instead of 2
  • Only upper half of the door can be used as a window
  • No room divider
  • Much pricier (around 50% more expensive)
  • Heavier (10.7kg)

 

NTK Super Arizona GT 11/12-person

This is probably the best tent that NTK offers, but also the most expensive one.

Here’s a ‘better and worse’ list that compares this tent to the Colorado.

Better

  • Center height: 6.9 ft (2.1m)
  • Has a waterproof porch
  • 3 windows
  • Much larger (210 ft²) and more ‘airspace’ due to the almost straight walls.
  • Sturdier

Worse

  • Takes more time to set up
  • Heavier
  • Twice the price of the Colorado

 

Final thoughts

NTK doesn’t really have a bad tent, the right one for you just depends on what you need. And what you need is determined by the weather conditions, your standards and your budget.

When you’re ready to stop messing around with waterproof sprays and seam sealers, I think you’re going to like the Colorado. The vestibules are great and handy in many situations. The rainfly surrounds the entire tent and protects you from the rain and cold. It’s also that what makes this tent not the best for camping in warm weather with the rainfly on.

In case of hot weather camping, I suggest you go for the NTK Arizona GT or Arizona Super GT. They have windows, which provide better ventilation. They also have a firmer construction and can be a better choice for camping in windy conditions. Please note that these tents are much more expensive than the Colorado.

If you would like some more space and are willing to sacrifice a door, I recommend the NTK Laredo GT.

This one is also sturdier and the extended dome design provides more space for your head.

That was the review, I hope you understand everything and that I was able to help. If you’re new to camping and don’t know where to start, then you may want to take a look at my complete guide to camping. If you have any questions, please, contact me on this page.

Looking forward to seeing you more often on this website!

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