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Rating and Summary
The NTK Cherokee has all the standard features that you’d expect to see in a budget-friendly tent. For example, the set-up was relatively user-friendly, and the peak height was tall enough for me to stand up.
But of course, it also has all the cons of a budget-friendly tent, and maybe a little bit more too (at least, in my opinion). Read on to find out more about this, and whether I’d recommend any other budget tent over this NTK Cherokee.
RELATED: The 7 Best 6-Person Tents
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Check out the NTK Cherokee Tent:
- Rating and Summary
- Product Details
- Testing and Performance
- Set Up
- Take Down
- Base Area
- Rain Test
- Hot Day Ventilation
- Rainy Day Ventilation
- Pros and Cons
- Bonus: Must Read!
Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought this NTK Cherokee GT Tent from Amazon, and here’s what the packaging looks like. (It looks a little banged up, sorry about that!)
Note: I’ve linked to the Cherokee 8 on Amazon, as the Cherokee 6 has been out of stock for some time. 🙁
And also, here’s what it looks like to unbox it!
In the Box
Inside the package, I got, first and foremost, this turquoise-colored carry bag:
Inside the turquoise carry bag, I got the tent body, the rainfly, poles in a carry case, as well as stakes and guylines in another smaller carry case.
And here’s what the stakes and guylines look like when I took them out of their carry case:
Here’s all the data that you might need on the NTK Cherokee:
- Peak height: 70 inches
- Length: 9 feet 7 inches
- Width: 9 feet 7 inches
- Base Area: 91.8 square feet
- Floor material: Polyethylene
- Bathtub flooring: Yes, ~10 inches
- Tent body material: 68D polyester taffeta
- Rainfly material: 68D polyester taffeta (2,500 millimeters)
- Poles material: Fiberglass
- Number of poles: 3
- Mesh: Regular
- Zippers: Regular (No-brand)
- Packed size: 26 x 12 x 8.5 inches
- Weight: 15.2 lbs
- Number of guylines: 4
- Number of stakes: 10
- Number of doors: 1
- Number of windows: 1
- Number of vents: 4 (But only 2 are usable)
- Number of pockets: 2 (Each split into 4 separate smaller pockets)
- Number of lantern loops: 1
- Room divider: No
- E-port: Yes, 1
- Black-out: No
I also did some testing on my own, and came up with this data:
- Set up timing (1 person): 13 minutes
- Take down timing (1 person): 10 minutes
- Number of single sleeping pads: 6
- Number of queen-sized mattresses: 2
Note: All of this data are my personal measurements, not the brand’s. They may differ slightly.
Testing and Performance
I put my NTK Cherokee Tent through these 12 different tests:
- Set up
- Take down
- Base area
- Rain test
- Hot day ventilation
- Rainy day ventilation
How to Set Up the NTK Cherokee Tent
To set up this NTK Cherokee 6, first lay the tent body on the ground. Also, lay your poles out so you can see what you’ve got. Here’s what you’ll find:
Next, grab the 2 white fiberglass poles, and insert them into the 2 blue pole sleeves at the center of the tent.
When you’re done with both poles, this will form an X shape across the tent, which looks like this.
The pole sleeves aren’t continuous; there’s a small break in between each pole sleeve, like this.
Then, stake the tent down lightly at the 4 corners, and I highly recommend this for an easier set up.
After that, prop one of the poles up first, by securing both ends of the pole into these pins, 1 at each corner of the tent.
Do the same with the other pole, like so:
Then, adjust the pole sleeves, and attach all the 8 pole clips around the tent body.
Now, unfold the rainfly, spread it out, and place it on the ground upside down.
The seam tape on the rainfly should be facing you, and that should give you access to this red pocket here.
Then, grab the last red fiberglass pole, and this is to be inserted down the center of the rainfly, to be secured with the small red pockets at each end (pictured above), as well as 2 regular straps in between the pockets.
Then, grab the rainfly by the rainfly pole, and drape it over the tent. Position the rainfly pole with one end over the door at the front of the tent, like so (where the red arrow is pointing to in the picture below):
To secure the rainfly, there are 4 of these S-hooks on the rainfly, to be secured to the 4 rings at the 4 corners of the tent.
There’s also one of these straps along each pole, which you can tie up to better align the rainfly.
After that, look for these orange loops on the outside of the rainfly, and these are for attaching the guylines provided to you.
I usually use just a simple hitch to secure the guylines to the rainfly.
Now, guy out the entire tent with the 4 guylines that we just attached, and also, stake down the 2 vents, 1 at each width of the tent.
Set Up Timing
Altogether, it took me about 13 minutes to set up the entire NTK Cherokee 6-Person Tent on my own. I usually leave the guylines attached, so that saves me some time.
Taking down the NTK Cherokee 6 is just the opposite of the set-up, and it took me about 10 minutes for the entire take down and pack away.
You can check out this video embedded here for the entire set up process, as well as the entire pack away process:
The peak height in this NTK Cherokee 6 is about 70 inches, and I can stand upright under this peak height no problem, with a few inches of headroom left above me. (I’m 5’3”, by the way.)
I’m also able to stand upright on fairly thick air mattresses, and even bounce around on them.
But the peak height is only at the center. So, when I take 2 small steps back, my head would touch the top of the tent, right here (where the red arrow is pointing to).
The length inside this Cherokee 6-Person Tent is about 9 feet and 7 inches, and the width is also 9 feet and 7 inches.
Single Pad Sizing
I could fit 6 regular sleeping pads inside the tent, and here’s what having 6 pads looks like. You do have to sleep shoulder to shoulder, but there’s still a little leftover space to fit a little bit of camping gear, even with 6 pads in the tent.
It can be quite a tight fit though, especially if you have to sleep at the sides of the tent. When I raise my arm up, it touches the wall of the tent, and so does my head when I sit up on the pad.
Queen Bed Sizing
Instead of 6 pads, you can fit 2 almost queen-sized camping mattresses instead, which fits 4 people, and I think it’s a much more comfortable fit. There’s also quite a bit of leftover room for storing gear, which is always very nice to have.
But just take note that both my mattresses are actually slightly smaller than a true Queen (which is usually 80 by 60 inches), and even so, the fit was already very, very snug, with hardly any wiggle room at all.
Basically, the length of the tent is too short to fit 2 actual Queen beds. If it were a few inches wider, it could fit 2 queens.
Number of Doors
This Cherokee 6-Person Tent has a single door on the front length of the tent.
The door measures about 51 inches in length, and 43 inches in width, so it’s actually pretty big in size. Not too shabby, at least.
It also measures about 55 inches from the ground to the top of the door. Since I’m about 5’3 (which is about 160 centimeters tall), I had to duck when getting in and out of the tent through this door.
This door comes with 2 latches by the side to tie the door fabric up to keep it open, and it also comes with 2 orange zippers.
Number of Windows & Dimensions
For more ventilation, you can unzip the door and use the window mesh panel instead, which is super huge and is basically the same size as the door (50 x 43 inches).
There’s only 1 window in this Cherokee Tent, and the other 3 walls are made of mesh.
This is what the bug net looks like up close, and the window also comes with 2 other orange zippers for zipping open and shut (pictured previously in the ‘Door’ segment).
The only problem here is that if you want to shut the window for more privacy, you first have to unzip the entire window, then zip the door shut, and then zip the window shut. A tad annoying, honestly.
On the other hand, if you want to unzip the window completely, for even more ventilation, you can tie the window fabric up by the side as well (the exact same thing as what I showed you previously in the ‘Door’ segment).
Both the door and window share the same latches, but luckily, I found that I could tie up both the door and window fabric at the same time. I wish they had provided separate latches for both the window and door though, which would make it a little more user-friendly.
For storage, this NTK Cherokee 6-Person Tent has 2 pockets inside the tent, each measuring about 16 by 8 inches. Each pocket is actually split into 4 separate pockets, 1 at the back, and another 3 at the front.
There’s also 1 lantern loop at the very top of the tent for some lighting at night.
This NTK Cherokee 6 also has 1 e-port, at the bottom of the tent, with a zippered closure.
It’s fully covered by the rainfly, but you can access it from the front of the tent, at the right side.
To test for heavy rain, I had to use this water hose on the Cherokee tent, and I concentrated the rainfall on these 2 walls of the tent (the left and back walls).
Left & Right Wall
On this left wall of the tent (the right wall is the exact same as the left wall), the rainfly is super long and provides practically full coverage protection from the rain.
All the water just dripped off the rainfly and onto the ground, without touching the inner tent body at all.
So, after 45 minutes of this heavy rain, I found that the entire wall was still dry from the inside, and not even the un-taped inverted seam of the bathtub flooring was leaking.
Front & Back Wall
However, for this other wall (the back wall) (the front wall is very similar to this back wall), notice that the rainfly is a lot shorter.
It still does provide some protection, and most of the water didn’t touch the tent body.
But even so, I still noticed that quite a few smaller droplets of water were running over the inner gray tent body, right here.
After 30 minutes of this heavy rain, I noticed from the outside that the seam between the tent body and the bathtub flooring seemed to trap quite a bit of water, and this was when I first noticed leaking inside the tent.
After 45 minutes of this heavy rain, this was the damage inside the tent. The un-taped seam of the bathtub flooring was pretty much soaked, and almost the entire seam was leaking water into the tent.
If you’d like to watch a video specifically on this rain test, here’s what I posted on my channel. There’s more details, of course!
Hot Day Ventilation
On a hot day, you can take the rainfly off from the outside, and get quite a bit of ventilation from not just the door, but also from the 4 mesh panels of the tent.
There are 2 larger mesh walls at the sides of the tent, and 2 smaller mesh walls at the back and front of the tent.
But just take note that there won’t be as much privacy when the rainfly is off though.
Rainy Day Ventilation
For rainy day ventilation, with the rainfly in place over the tent, the 4 mesh walls become 4 vents for some ventilation.
Small Mesh Wall Vents
The small mesh wall over the door gave me quite a bit of ventilation from the outside, and so did the small mesh wall at the back of the tent.
Large Mesh Wall Vents
However, the 2 larger mesh wall vents surprisingly didn’t give me quite as much ventilation and exposure to the outside.
Because the rainfly is really long, I couldn’t really stake it out much. The most that I could get it away from the tent body was only about 9 inches from the outside.
Also, on the inside of the tent, I found that the rainfly was almost flushed with the mesh wall, which limits ventilation. Look at the picture below. The rainfly is barely 1 inch away from the mesh wall, which is so not good.
The flooring of this NTK Cherokee 6 is made of polyethylene.
The Cherokee has a bathtub feature, which extends up to about 10 inches.
Tent Body & Rainfly Quality
The rest of the tent is made of 68D polyester taffeta, and the rainfly has a waterproof rating of 2,500 millimeters. So, even after 45 minutes of heavy pouring rain, the tent body and rainfly were still dry.
Except for the rainfly, the rest of the seams inside the tent have not been factory taped. But, those with less rainfly protection have been inverted, like the tent body to bathtub flooring seam, which is this seam right here:
The seams themselves are pretty good quality, and double-stitched, with no loose threads, but I noticed some holes in the seams are a little larger than others.
The mesh is just regular mesh; it definitely does not look or feel anything like no-see-um or micro mesh. I found it very strange that NTK marketed their mesh to be micro-mesh, but I don’t think it is. (Pictured above in the ‘Window’ segment.)
The zippers are also decent quality. I didn’t have snagging issues on the window at all.
But for the door, just bear in mind that the design of this rain cover will sometimes get in the way of the zippers.
So, from the outside, I hold the rain cover away when zipping it up, and from the inside, I push the door out of the way when zipping.
I do wish the zippers had different colors for the door and window though, right now they’re both orange and can be a little confusing as to which are for the windows, and which are for the doors.
All the poles are made of fiberglass, but they’re nicely color coded. (Red for the rainfly pole, and white for the tent body poles.)
The carry bag is made of polyester as well, I think, and decent quality too.
This NTK Cherokee 6 has a packed size of 26 by 12 by 8.5 inches.
Here’s what it looks like beside a Coleman 2-Person Sundome Tent and a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.
The NTK Cherokee 6 weighs just 15.2 lbs. for everything, including all the provided, stakes, guylines, etc.
Pros and Cons
For pros, I found the set up decently easy, and I was able to put up the entire tent on my own, no problem at all, even though I’m not very tall (I’m just 5’3 or 160cm tall).
The take down and pack up was easy as well. Even though the carry bag can’t be expanded, everything fit back in pretty easily.
I also liked that I was able to stand up at the peak height of the tent, and even walk around and jump around a little bit. But then again, I’m not very tall.
Rain protection in this Cherokee Tent is also pretty decent. Not the best, obviously, but decent (for a budget-friendly tent, that is).
I wish that NTK had taped their seams instead of making them just inverted, so they’ll last longer under heavy rain. If you don’t have this Cherokee tent yet, I recommend upgrading to an NTK tent with more rainfly protection, like the NTK Colorado or something.
One con I found was that the window wasn’t as user-friendly as I would have liked, because I had to unzip the window before I could get to the door.
Another con is that rainy day ventilation could be better with bigger vents or more vents, and they could have used this space at the back to add another window for more ventilation as well.
Honestly, this Cherokee 6-Person Tent reminds me a lot of my Coleman Sundome 6-Person Tent. The Sundome has about the same level of rain protection, but better ventilation, plus it has a window at the back too. And it was a little bit cheaper too.
So, before making any decision, I recommend checking out both these tents and their prices.
Bonus: Must Read!
And what better way to compare these 2 tents, amongst other tents as well, than to have another ‘Best Of’ blog post on this topic?
I highly recommend checking out this post where I spent over $2,000 buying and 6 months testing the best 6-person tents on the market.
Or, check out the NTK Cherokee Tent: