Kelty Dirt Motel 3 Person Dome Tent Review

While preparing this review for the Dirt Motel 3, we looked at data from one hundred and sixty-eight other 3 person dome tents, examining more than sixty different facts. We also looked at prices including shipping & discounts from thirteen different suppliers online stores, to find the best price for you.

The Dirt Motel Fly Open
Kelty's Dirt Motel 3 With the Fly Open
In the review, we will show you:
  • A look at the reviews we found.
  • A thorough overview of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons about the shelter.
  • How you can save an extra $29.99

Here at all our reports are created with the aid of our unique dataset of more than 1,000 shelters, that are for sale in the United States. Our aim is to provide you an impartial review and our own unique rating based on the data, along with the lowest price and best value we could find.

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  • Kelty Logo
  • Manufacturer: Kelty
  • Model: Dirt Motel
  • MPN: 40815519
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3 Persons
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $299.95
  • Other Stores and Suppliers

  • Kelty Logo Check MSRP   
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Dirt Motel 3 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The Dirt Motel With the Fly Off

Kelty Dirt Motel 3 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the Dirt Motel 3

Fly Closed Dirt Motel 3

A video about the Dirt Motel 3 tent.

Another video about Kelty's tents.


Logo Representing the Features Section


  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Color: Gray, Blue
  • Number of Rooms: 1
  • Number of Windows: None
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Zippers: Noiseless pulls
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: No, No
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Yes, Yes
  • Footprint: Not Included, Available Separately
  • Dirt Motel 3 floor saver
Logo Representing the Materials Section

Materials and Extras

  • Inner Walls: No-See-Um Mesh
  • Full Fly: 40D Siliconized Nylon Ripstop
    Fly Waterproof Ratings: 1500 mm
  • Floor Materials: 70D Nylon / PU Coating
    Floor Waterproof Ratings: 3000 mm
  • Pole Material: Aluminum DAC Pressfit
  • Number Of Poles: 3
  • Pole Dimensions: N/A
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminium
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 40 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 3 foot. 7 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 5 Lbs 6 Oz
    Trail Weight: 4 Lbs. 13 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 15 x 7 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 2
    Total Vestibule Area: 9.00 sq. ft.
    (2 x 4.5 sq. ft.)
  • Screened Areas: None
  • Awnings: None

Tent Set Up

Hubbed aluminum pole set for easy packing and lightning-fast setup.

Green Thumbs Up Logo

Summary: Favorable Reviews

Campers who bought the tent said: Light, super easy and quick to set up two huge entrances, stargazing option, I can sit (I am 5.5), and not feeling claustrophobic. The poles are super easy to assemble and DURABLE. The tent stayed dry on dewy summer days. It poured rain every day, and the only solace we had was that inside the tent stayed dry the whole time. Great tent! Safe from the bugs, but still able to enjoy the stars and clouds! Stayed bug-free, warm, and dry in the rain! Having a door on each side with dual vestibules is incredibly convenient. Considering how small it packs down, to how much usable floor space there is once it is set up, the overall quality and well thought out features excel.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

People who purchased the tent noted: The tent pegs are a bit flimsy and bend easily if you need to hammer them into dense soil. The only hiccup was unzipping the rain cover layer from the inside as it caught on the fabric a few times.


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The Dirt Motel 3 has two doors and a peak center height of 3' 7, which is 11 inches less than the average height of the 139 different 3 person tents we have examined With 40 square feet of room inside, it is considerably smaller than some other 3-person tents, and it would be quite cramped for you and, up to two other campers during the whole of the 3-seasons, this tent is recommended for use in, smaller tents similar to this one can make a really good choice for people that welcome spending lots of hours outside exploring the great outdoors.

Many of the fantastic things about dome tents are, that they are for, the most part not too heavy, making them simple to carry. In near all cases, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are usually, freestanding and very straightforward to set up. In calm weather, you can do without securing the tent with stakes and ropes, not that this is recommended.

Dome tents are the most common of all the other types of tents you will find when camping. They tend to do better in storms than other types, allowing water to roll off the slanted walls, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, allowing the rain to pool on the top of the tent. The most basic dome tent should have a square floor, sloped sides a couple of poles which converge in the center of the roof. Because of their construction, it is generally considered that they are ideal for up to a maximum of 6 campers.

Underneath you can check out an account of the tent's pros and cons.

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  1. Freestanding. The Dirt Motel can support its own weight on any terrain. It does not need to be staked down in most cases. But in case of strong winds, it is always best to secure it to the floor with the included steel stakes and guylines.
  2. Vestibules. Having two vestibules. Offers you a place to store shoes and other items that can get dirty, muddy, this is a huge plus.
  3. Internal storage. It is good to see Kelty has added a gear loft and pockets in the interior to store some of your things.
  4. More than one door. With 2 doors, it is easier to get in and out of the tent, in the middle of the night if needed.
  5. Durable, water-resistant floor. The floor material is 70D Nylon / PU coating , which is a substantially thick and high-strength fabric. Meaning the base is not prone to tears and punctures. Also, the material has a 3000 mm waterproofing rating, which is pretty good for most circumstances.
  6. Breathable. The Dirt Motel's interior uses a mesh fabric on the inside of the tent, and this helps maximize the flow of air. With the extra ventilation, and this tent is great for use in the summer.
  7. The rainfly completely covers the tent body. The rainfly covers the whole body of the tent from the top to the bottom and has a waterproof rating of 1500mm. Meaning it will easily protect you against heavy downpours.
  8. Available in other sizes. Kelty has also made this model available in Other Sizes.
  9. Low price. It is a great buy for a 3 person dome tent providing this much space. Not many tents available on the market provide this level of quality for only $299.95


  1. Not spacious. With a floor area of 40 square feet, the Dirt Motel 3 is smaller than quite a lot of the 139 other 3 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 11% less headroom than similar sized tents, one can see how this could be a negative thing for some people.
  3. Footprint not Included. There is no included footprint, there is one available separately designed for the Dirt Motel 3 footprint Even though the floor may be made of 70D Nylon / PU coating , it is still better to protect it further with a footprint, especially on rough terrain.
  4. Sloping walls. Even though Dome tents have heaps of things to be positive about. The sloping walls do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.3 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.3 STARS

Kelty's Dirt Motel 3 tent is good for backpacking. There are a couple of other points not already mentioned above which, were found and liked, while researching the model: Lightweight yet durable Sil-Nylon fabric construction, Open-feeling 2-door, 2-vestibule design with tons of storage and Updated replacement for the older Kelty TN Tent.

With good ratings, a couple of reviews and a minimum headroom of 3' and 40 square feet of space for sleeping, this tent is like your own miniature apartment. It allows you to enjoy some really enjoyable time exploring the great outdoors. We found a decent amount of pros about the tent that you can study above.

If you came to this website looking for recommendations about this actual tent, we think, it would make for a great purchase. If you simply happened to land on this page while browsing for a brand new tent having never heard of this brand or this model previously, it is probably a good idea to check out some more comparable tents.

Value for money: As far as value for your money, this tent is a more competitive than the normal cost of all the one hundred and ninety-three, three-person tents we have looked at, this alone does not make it awesome value for money. We also need to take a look at other things in-depth, as we do for each tent.

When we tally up the overall score of an individual tent, we look at plenty of data points, searching for areas where the tent could outperform other very similar tents and where it is not quite as good. In this case, with a total score of 4.3 and the price data above, It is simple to notice that with a cost of $299.95 Kelty's Dirt Motel 3 is a great purchase and fabulously competitively priced when compared with comparable tents.

Its overall score shows that the quality and size the tent provides were not compromised to finish up with a price tag unquestionably below the usual price for comparable tents. It could make a very good choice for nearly all people looking for a comfy three-season backpacking tent to camp in, that will serve you well for years to come.

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Other Sizes and Variations of the Kelty Dirt Motel Model

Model Headroom Sleeping Area

Kelty Dirt Motel 2
Dirt Motel 2

3' 7"28 sq ft

Kelty Dirt Motel 3
Dirt Motel 3

3' 7"40 sq ft

Kelty Dirt Motel 4
Dirt Motel 4

3' 10"56 sq ft
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