Took the boy camping here in central Texas. Intended for it to be a two nighter, but it hit 107 the first day and was going on more of the same when we called it quits after lunch. Replacement number two for my ten year old cheap tent is going back to the store after one trip. Two of the straps that clip onto the bendy poles pulled out of the seams. The prior contestant came with a pre-broke zipper. I borrowed a canvas wall tent for one trip when my old ten first failed, and it was a great trip, but probably more hassle than it is worth for an over night or two. A quality light tent seems to be almost as much as a good canvas wall tent these days. My cheap-o tent did 4 months outdoors over ten years, and before the fabric started tearing, I only had to periodically re-elastic the poles. Seems that you are hard pressed to get a cheap tent through one trip now.
I am getting to the point that if I had the room for it, I would buy a small camper. When I lived in AZ, I used to use my buddy's more than he did. I was nice to come back to A/C comfort and a shower after a day's playing out in the heat. The wife even went camping occasionally.
The good news was that the aluminium folding table worked great. The 30+ year old nesting family sized cooking kit that my dad gave me when we visited in July worked out. Still need to fiddle with the coffee pot he gave me. I have removed more things from my list of stuff to take camping so if I can get a tent that works, it will go easier. I have the totes labeled "camping", "hot camping", "cold camping" so it is getting closer to my goal of just adding food, water, and clothes to the pre-packaged stuff.
NICE! My family in Austin has been complaining about the heat for better than a month now. I don't blame you for packing it in early....107 is hurtful, and potentially dangerous.
As far as tents go, more is not always better. My wife specializes in "Period" costuming for movie studios. If you ever watched Titanic, or some Civil War movies of recent release, you will have seen her work on both male and female actors....Was that vague enough? You should read those contracts....OUCH!
Anyway, Civil War reenactors have been having my wife make them replica tents because there are not any quality alternatives available. She ends up making something like $6.50 an hour for the work....Sad...
Depending on the size tent you are looking for, I would say that these are probably the best quality I have seen. DO NOT BUY THESE WITHOUT TOUCHING THEM FIRST!~
A buddy of mine bought this last year....6 trips, 4 kids, wife, two dogs.....
REI Hobitat 4 Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com
He is pretty happy with it, had some small issues that were easily fixed with a needle and thread.
Pricey, but I saw one of these last month....Pretty cool..
MSR Backcountry Barn Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com
Also pricey, but a buddy of mine has this one...He lives in Bosman, MT. and uses this one for Pronghorn hunting trips among others. He like it because it is four season, and he swears that even Katrina could not knock it down.....He drinks....
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com