Kelty Late Start 4 Person Dome Tent Review

When we created this review of the Late Start 4, we examined the data from one hundred and sixty other 4 person dome tents, checking more than sixty different details. We also checked the cost including shipping & discounts at thirteen various suppliers online shops, to source the best deal for you.

The Late Start Fly Open
Kelty's Late Start 4 With the Fly Open
In the report, we will present to you:
  • A look at the reviews we read.
  • A detailed examination of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons about the tent.
  • The Best Value that we Found!

Here at all our reviews are produced with the aid of our unique dataset of more than one thousand tents, that are for sale in the United States. Our goal is to give you an objective review and our own individual rating based on the statistics, along with the lowest price and best value we found.

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  • Kelty Logo
  • Manufacturer: Kelty
  • Model: Late Start
  • MPN: 40820819
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 Persons
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $239.95

Late Start 4 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The Late Start With the Fly Off

Kelty Late Start 4 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the Late Start 4

Fly Closed Late Start 4

A video about the Late Start 4 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: 1
  • Zippers: Noiseless pulls
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: No, No
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Yes, Yes
  • Footprint: Not Included, Available Separately
  • Late Start 4 floor saver
Logo Representing the Materials Section

Materials and Extras

  • Inner Walls: No-See-Um Mesh
  • Full Fly: 68D Polyester
    Fly Waterproof Ratings: 1800 mm
  • Floor Materials: 68D Polyester
    Floor Waterproof Ratings: 1800 mm
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Number Of Poles: 2
  • Pole Dimensions: N/A
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminium
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 56 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 4 foot. 8 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 6 Lbs 14 Oz
    Trail Weight: 6 Lbs. 4 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 18 x 8 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 1
    Total Vestibule Area: 9.14 sq. ft.
  • Screened Areas: None
  • Awnings: None

Tent Set Up

Lightning fast/easy set up with Kelty Quick-Corner Technology

Green Thumbs Up Logo

Summary: Favorable Reviews

Campers who bought the tent mentioned: It was light and easily packed out how I wanted it. When the rain finally ended later that day, my tent was still dry on the inside. Great for summer/warm weather camping when you need to get out of the mosquitos, and you still want to see the night sky! Kept my kids dry in camp on a wetter than expected week-long canoe trip.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

People who purchased the tent said: This tent is not the lightest option on the market. The design of the fly made it quite loud in strong winds. The lack of a vent in the rain fly made it quite hot inside. The vestibule created by the rain cover is a little too small.


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The Late Start 4 has one door and a maximum center height of 4' 8, which is a tiny bit smaller than the average height of the 134 various 4 person tents we have examined With 56 square feet of space inside, it is significantly smaller than some other 4-person tents, and it would be quite tight for you and, up to three other campers all through the 3-seasons, this tent is recommended for use in, smaller tents similar to this one are a fantastic choice for people who like spending loads of hours outside of their tent exploring.

Many of the great points about dome tents are, that they are under normal circumstances light, making them simple to carry around. In most all instances, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are generally speaking, freestanding and very easy to set up. In good weather, you could do without securing the tent with stakes and ropes, not that this is suggested.

Dome tents are easily the most commonly seen of all the different types of tents you will see when camping. They tend to fair better in the rain than other types, allowing water to roll off the slanted sides, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, allowing the water to pool on the top of the tent. The simplest dome tent will have a square floor, slanted sides a couple of poles which converge in the middle of the roof. Because of the way they are made, it is usually thought of that they are best suited for up to a maximum of 6 campers.

Down below, you can see a list of the tent's pros and cons.

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  1. Freestanding. The Late Start can support its own weight on any terrain. It does not even have 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. Vestibule. Having one vestibule. Offers you a place to store shoes and other items that can get dirty, muddy, this is a big plus.
  3. Internal storage. It is nice to see Kelty has added a gear loft and pockets in the interior to store some of your things.
  4. Breathable. The Late Start'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.
  5. 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 1800mm. Meaning it will easily protect you against heavy rain.
  6. Plenty of Positive Reviews The Late Start 4 has Lots of awesome Reviews
  7. Other sizes are available. Kelty has also made this model available in Other Sizes.
  8. Low price. It is a great buy for a 4 person dome tent that provides this much space. Not a lot of tents available on the market give this level of quality for only $239.95


  1. Not roomy. With a floor area of 56 square feet, the Late Start 4 is smaller than quite a few of the 134 other 4 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 7% less headroom than similar sized tents, one can see how this could be a negative factor for some people.
  3. No windows. With no windows it is not simple to keep the tent cool on a hot summers night.
  4. Footprint not Included. There is no included footprint, there is one available separately designed for the Late Start 4 footprint Even though the floor may be made of 68D Polyester, it is still better to protect it further with a footprint, especially on rough terrain.
  5. A tad heavy for backpacking. Even though the Late Start 4, looks like a small tent, it is not probably the best choice for backpacking as it weighs 6 pounds. This is quite a lot more than many other backpacking tents
  6. Sloping walls. Even though Dome tents have many attributes to rave about. The sloping sides do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.6 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.6 STARS

Kelty's Late Start 4 tent is good for backpacking. There are a few other points not already mentioned above which, we found and liked, while reviewing the model: The Late Start does not care if you worked late or got stuck in traffic it knows your goal is aFAST setup, Big-time interior living space created with pre-bent poles and Full coverage waterproof rain fly.

With excellent ratings, quite a few reviews and a peak height of 4' and 56 square feet of space for sleeping, this tent is like your very own miniature home away from home. This will enable you and up to 2 other people to spend some real quality moments in the outdoors together. We found a decent amount of pros about the tent that you can read through above.

If you came to this website looking for recommendations about this specific tent, we consider, it should make for a very good buy. If you simply happened to land on this page while looking for a new tent having not heard of this brand or this tent before, it is probably a good idea to check out a few other similar tents.

Value for money: As far as value for money, this tent is a cheaper than the normal cost of all the one hundred and fifty-four, four-person tents we have studied, this alone by itself does not make it good value for money. We also need to take into account other areas in-depth, as we do with every tent.

When we calculate the valuation of a tent, we study a good deal of data points, looking for areas where the tent could exceed other similar tents and where it is coming up short. In this case, with an overall rating of 4.6 and the price statistics above, It is simple to see that with a price of $239.95 The Late Start 4 is an excellent bargain and fabulously priced when compared with comparable tents.

Its ratings show that the build and capacity the tent gives you were not in any way skimped on to obtain a price undoubtedly below the standard price for similar tents. It should make a fantastic choice for most campers searching for a comfy three-season dome tent to camp with, that will serve you well for years to come.

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Other Sizes and Variations of the Kelty Late Start Model

Model Headroom Sleeping Area

Kelty Late Start 1
Late Start 1

3' 1"21 sq ft

Kelty Late Start 2
Late Start 2

3' 4"30 sq ft

Kelty Late Start 4
Late Start 4

4' 8"56 sq ft
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