When you are car camping or picnicking, it’s sure nice to have a shady place to enjoy lunch, or to get out of those “20% chance of scattered thundershowers.” Preferably, you want a shelter tent that’s heavy duty enough to last years and years, yet not too big when folded up in the back of your SUV.  Such a shelter is the Cottonwood XLT by PahaQue.


PahaQue has been making products for the wilderness since 1997 and their products come with an impressive Lifetime Warranty.

Cottonwood XLT

So what makes the Cottonwood XLT so great? For starters, it’s versatile. In addition to having overhead sun protection and an eight-foot interior height, this shelter comes standard with two drop down or roll up flaps. And here’s where the magic begins.


One flap has bungees at the corners that will stretch to comform to the sides of your SUV.  It also as three Velcro straps that fasten the flap to your SUV’s luggage rack. Now the interior of your SUV can also be the interior of your shelter. Ideal for picnics, fishing, hunting, etc.

The other side has a hemmed bottom seam that will go into a trailer’s awning track, or it can be propped up awning style on two additional, supplied aluminum poles.


In the setup seen here, I added one of the accessory sidewalls (CW10S) which simply attaches to either of the open sides of the Cottonwood. With three sides closeable, you can get a lot of protection from nature’s elements. Buy two sidewalls and you are completely enclosed.


Dimensions:     10’W x 10’D x 8’H

Floor area:       100 square feet

Weight:                        24 pounds

Poles:              Heavy duty ½” aluminum

Overall impression

For the time I’ve used the Cottonwood, I can say that water beads up nicely outside and everything inside the shelter stays dry. It’s versatility is terrific in that you can set it up to serve so many different functions.

To date, it’s been a two man operation to put up the tent.  I tried once as a solo act, with disappointing results. If you follow the PahaQue’s video,  and loosen the straps to start with, two people can set it up with little hassle.  Even the first time, we had it up in less than 5 minutes.




I really love the heavy duty fabrics and the multiple options you get when using the Cottonwood. Check out the entire PahaQue line of tents, hammocks, shelters, at http://www.pahaque.com.  While you are there, check out their newest introduction – the Tent Rug – a great idea.