This is our review of the Ozark Trail Dark Rest 6-Person Instant Tent.
The Ozark Trail Dark Rest 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent is a solid tent.
It’s not the biggest or best in its category, but the combination of its price, the ability to set it up rather quickly (within 5-10 minutes), and the fact that it also has Ozark Trail’s Dark Rest blackout fabric, makes it a winner in my book.
What more do you want for a tent that is under $125 bucks?! Not much!
Read on for the full review!
Ozark Trail Dark Rest 6-Person Instant Tent Review: Key Features
Type: Instant, Cabin, Blackout | Seasons: 3-season | Weight: 16.8 lbs | Inside Height: 68 in | Floor: 10 x 9 ft (90 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins
7.4 7 7 8 6 8 7 8.6
Overall, we give the Ozark Trail Dark Rest 6-Person Instant Tent a rating of 7.4 out of 10.
Thanks to its blackout fabric and its ease of use, it’s landed on many of our “best of” rankings:
I’m going to review this tent on a variety of metrics and I know that by the end you’ll understand if this tent is worth it for you to buy!
Space & Comfort
The key selling point of the Ozark Trail 6-Person Dark Room Instant Cabin Tent is that it utilizes Ozark Trail’s darkroom technology, called “Dark Rest” which blocks sunlight from entering the tent and will also somewhat reduce the interior temperature.
So not only will it allow you to sleep comfortably, but you’ll also be able to stay cooler during the early morning hours, even when the sun is up.
Now, after testing this bad boy, I can say that it’s not going to completely black out the sun, but it certainly provides a much darker sleeping environment if you like to sleep in.
Space-wise, this tent is a bit smaller than some of its competitors at only 90 sq ft but still has enough room to accommodate four people, with ample room for sleeping and storing camping gear.
Probably my biggest complaint with this tent though is that I can’t stand up straight throughout the tent.
At only 5 feet, 8 inches it is not great for taller people.
Compared to the CORE 6-person tent which stands at 6 feet tall and with less angled ceiling, this Ozark Trail tent is simply much smaller in square footage and peak height.
Quality & Durability
Like the other budget tent brands, Ozark Trail does a good job of balancing quality while also figuring out where to cut corners to bring down costs.
While it’s constructed with durable materials, including water-resistant fabric and sturdy zippers, none of it is top-of-the-line.
However, the materials used are either comparable or the same as Coleman and CORE.
The Dark Rest technology isn’t quite as good as Coleman’s, but I still think the tent does a solid job of blocking out a majority of sunlight.
Now, let’s talk about the cost-cutting measures. The rainfly attaches with a hook and loop system, which in my opinion is not nearly as good as its competitors.
The loops are susceptible to ripping, especially in high winds, and the hooks might not hold up to the test of time either.
While the pre-built instant tent poles seem slightly less sturdy than the competition, they are essentially very similar in quality.
And lastly, it’s never a good sign when the company gives you an entire square of extra flooring patch material. I guess it is a bonus, but the flooring is more susceptible to tearing in the first place.
Factor in the 6-month warranty versus the standard year for Coleman and CORE, and you are simply taking a bit more risk when purchasing an Ozark Trail tent.
Will the tent withstand heavy rainy conditions for a long period? No.
But the tent provides reliable protection against the elements, keeping you dry and comfortable in most other weather conditions.
Because this tent has more of an angled slant to the walls, it’s going to do a better job of repelling water down and away from the tent.
It also performs OK in the wind, though heavy winds can topple it as some owners have reported.
But the tent features well-placed ventilation points, including three windows and a ground vent, ensuring adequate airflow to minimize condensation.
When testing this tent, I didn’t see any tearing of the seams and for the most part, you should stay dry in this tent, so long as you aren’t facing really bad conditions.
But if you plan on camping in heavy wind and rain, you’ll want to look at a more sturdy weatherproofed dome tent.
Ease of Use
The pre-attached poles allow for an instant setup, saving you time and effort, and the straightforward assembly process means you’ll have your shelter ready in no time.
The poles easily extend out and click into place, which is why instant tents are my go-to tent when expecting good weather.
All-in-all this tent took me 10 minutes to put up myself and 5 minutes to take down. Not too shabby.
This is right in line with other instant tents, and while I did have some trouble getting the tent back into the bag, that is par for the course within this budget range.
Speaking of budget, the big reason to buy this tent is its value.
At $125 at Walmart, it is one of the best Ozark Trail tents and blackout tents that you can buy.
I don’t think you can get many 6-person tents out there that check all the boxes at this price point.
Sure it is a tad smaller than other models, but there is still plenty of room to fit four people.
Plus you get the added benefit of Ozark Trail’s Dark Rest technology allowing you to sleep in a bit longer.
On top of the darkroom tech, the tent includes a large gear storage pocket to keep your belongings organized and off the floor, maximizing usable space within the tent.
It also comes with a gear loft, though it was missing the classic hook for hanging a lantern.
Finally, there is an electrical port on the left-hand side of the tent and an adjustable ventilation tab behind the tent.
It’s not loaded with features, but it’s gone some solid ones.
Ozark Trail has a 6-month limited warranty.
Pros, Cons, & Best Uses
- Dark Rest technology blocks a majority of sunlight
- Instant hub system makes this tent quick and easy to set up
- Interior ceiling skylight allows you to customize the light inside the tent
- Hanging gear loft and large gear organizer help store your essentials
- The center height of 68in and almost-vertical walls allow maximum use of interior space
- Not very sturdy in windy weather
- Couples Camping
- Small Family Camping
Are Ozark Trail Instant Pop Up Tents Worth It?
Given its low price point and solid quality, Ozark Trail’s Instant Tents are a good buy if you are camping on a budget.
But if you’re looking for a bit more square footage and taller peak heights, we’d recommend the CORE Instant Cabin Tents instead.
However, from a value perspective, you really can’t beat Ozark Trail tents.
Does the Ozark Trail Instant Cabin Tent fit 6 people?
No, it does not. We found that this tent perfectly accommodates 4 people or less.
I would not recommend squeezing 6 people into this tent. But tent sizes are confusing to begin with!
It’s much too small at 90 square feet, especially compared to other 6-person tents.
Are Ozark tents waterproof?
Ozark Trail tents use similar waterproofing materials to their competitors, but Ozark Trail tents fail more often when it comes to leaking.
Inadequate seam seals and poor engineering design can contribute, but so can the type of tent.
If you are bringing a cabin tent into bad weather, you’re not going to have good results no matter what tent you buy.
However, Ozark Trail tents will stand up well enough to moderate and light rain without any issues.
What are some comparable tents to the Ozark Trail Dark Rest 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent?
However, between the three tents, we much prefer the CORE version the best. It’s got the best overall quality of the bunch, plus it is the biggest.
Both the Coleman and the Ozark Trail tents are 10 feet by 9 feet or 90 square feet.
While the Coleman and CORE Instant Tents hve 6 ft center heights, Ozark Trail’s is much shorter at only 5 feet, 8 inches.
In fact, I had to hunch through the entirety of this tent, which doesn’t happen much with 6 person tents!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Ozark Trail tents manufactured?
Ozark Trail tents are manufactured in Bangladesh.
Is Ozark Trail owned by Walmart?
How long will Ozark Trail tents last?
This will of course depend on the frequency of use and the conditions you put your tent through, but most Ozark Trail tents should last at least a few years.
How do you set up an Ozark Trail instant tent?
Setting up an Ozark Trail Instant tent is very easy. Simply unfold the legs and get the tent into position.
Next, lift up on the tent until it begins to stand up. Then Extend the legs out fully until they click into place.
Lastly, attach the rainfly and stake it down thoroughly.
Overall, the Ozark Trail 6-Person Dark Rest Instant Cabin Tent is a practical and comfortable option for budget campers.
Given its low price point, hassle-free setup, and Dark Rest technology, it’s a good buy if you are camping on a budget.
But if you’re looking for a bit more square footage and a taller peak height, we’d recommend the CORE 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent instead.