Is it just me who doesn't 'get' bell tents?

(128 Posts)
millimat Mon 24-Jun-13 21:53:10

I just can't see the appeal? Why go for just one open room?

hazeyjane Tue 25-Jun-13 13:29:26

Ooh, I am excited now - birthday at the weekend, and my list now contains

1 x chandelier
1 x table with storage
2 x pop up garden tidies

I can't wait to go camping!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 14:30:54

Shiraz - good tip about tea lights, thanks - I would definitely have gone for the cheapest. I am liking the ones you linked to, and also the ones on the same page which change colour - nice.

pictish - that is a great price for that Regatta storage table. We have an almost identical one and I am pretty sure it set us back a fair bit more. They are great for bell tents.

TheABC Tue 25-Jun-13 15:13:45

Just to jump in - I am another hard-core camper with a bell tent. After several years of nylon tents, we finally bought our five metre bell because;

- they are easy to put up. Ours has a stitched ground sheet attached to the canvas, so you just peg out and put up the pole.
- they are indestructible. We go camping in all weather and on rough sites. There have been times when every modern tent has been flattened after a rough storm, but the bell tent is still standing. In addition, you can patch tears in the canvas; much easier than the nylon equivalent. One of our friends has inherited a 20 year bell tent that is still going strong...
- they allow you to sleep in. The thick canvas keeps the early morning sun out, stopping you from sweating under the blankets. Conversely, they are brilliant for keeping heat in when out in the cold and we have yet to spring a leak, even in torrential rain.
- they appear to work well for families. We know of families that use inners and others that use pop-up tents (inside the bell) to give their toddlers a space of their own (and a place for the toys). When we asked about privacy, the parents simply said the kids end up in bed with them by morning, anyway! We are due to have our first baby shortly, so I will have to report back on the "mess" situation. :-D
- they are pretty. Especially with comfy camp chairs and a chandelier!

There are disadvantages, such as the weight and the drying time, but the benefits outlined above more than make up for it. I don't see it as any more pretentious than towing a caravan around the country - and its a lot more fun. Hey ho, each to their own. At least we all agree on alcoholic drinks around the campfire. :-)

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 15:21:51

Absolutely right - TheABC. We do the thing with the pop up for DD too, but she also ends up in with us regardless. It's a nice space to play in during the day at least.

Interesting what you say about the bell tents still standing after storms. We were in Devon a couple of years ago and the winds were so bad I was convinced the tent would just blow away from above us (ours is a separate groundsheet version). But no, everything was just as secure and safe the next morning - not much sleep for us though and I spent the night holding onto DD's travel cot - just in case.

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 09:38:13

Couldn't agree more TheABC the only way I would ever get a nylon tent now is if it was a tiny back packing tent for taking for flying abroad. There is no way I would camp in a nylon tent in the UK or abroad. They get so hot in warm weather!

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 09:38:59

Or car camping in France I meant!

hazeyjane Wed 26-Jun-13 09:41:45

Ok have ordered chandelier and table as birthday presents for myself - yay!

Now which are the nicest battery tealights these or these ??????

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 09:45:20

Agree mini once you've gone over to canvas that's it - no more dark sweaty nylon.

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 09:48:55

I think the second set hazey because you have a recommendation for them on here, and you know The White Company add a few £s onto everything because they are a known pretentious name.

I think their chandelier is beautiful btw - what a bargain! I like clear glass, but dh and the kids want multi coloured so I went with the majority.

I can tell you that christmas in as annual battle with dh and kids wanting tinsel and multicoloured everything, and me wanting white and tasteful.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 09:59:42

I agree with pictish, hazeyjane. if you have ordered the White Company chandelier, you will need 12 tea lights, which is what the Amazon ones include for £12.99. Nearly half the price of the WC ones, and they come recommended.

I must admit, much as I would like to be white and tasteful, I have a tendency to the gaudy myself and may end up going for these: www.amazon.co.uk/PK-Green-Changing-Candles-Festivals/dp/B003K07MPI/ref=pd_bxgy_kh_img_z <coughs apologetically>.

They are the same brand as the ones Shiraz recommended so hopefully will still give out a decent light and we can use them at Christmas (to go with all the tinsel and multi-coloured baubles, (ahem)). That should stop one or other of the Grandads knocking over the real ones and burning the Christmas table cloth for the nth year running!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:06:41

Those are rather nice! My dh would love them! He has a big 'thing' about multicoloured lights. We have fairy lights all over the house as well, and if I let him have his way it would look like Santa's grotto 365 days a year!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:08:33

Oh and I just wanted to grin at this thread initially being about how bell tents are a bit rubbish, and had ended up being an enthusiasts thread!

hz Wed 26-Jun-13 10:20:57

Ha, ha. Think it's hilarious this thread ended up being a bell tent admiration blow out! Each to their own I guess but I must admit I love being in a bell tent. Have not yet managed to persuade the husband that it is reasonable to have a bell tent AND a campervan though!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:23:53

Now that would be our ultimate! Bell tent and campervan - heavenly!!
Can't afford one. Booooooo!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 10:28:58

We used to have a bell tent and a VW camper. The camper just became too expensive and unreliable, particualrly since DD came along, so had to go sad. To be honest, by that point, we were mainly sleeping in the bell tent, and the camper was just a glorified transporter for our gear. So beware the camper/bell tent combo - it can lead you astray.

SalomeD Wed 26-Jun-13 10:32:38

The White Company ones are twice the price but I did notice that they are good for 200hrs compared with 24//48hrs on the cheaper ones

hazeyjane Wed 26-Jun-13 11:01:29

ooh, I was sorely tempted by the multicoloured ones, but called dh at work and he said he thought maybe plain ones to start and then treat ourselves to multi coloured ones at christmas (he too is a big fan of the fairy light, and is far more of a 'glamper' than me, ogling rugs and throws).

Thankyou for all the hints and tips, can't wait to go camping with new bits.

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 11:04:43

We got our rugs from bell tent uk, and I have to say that although I find them a bunch of exploitative rip off cunt buckets in general, adding ££s to everything just because they can, the rugs were actually very good value for money.

shuts eyes and repeats to self that crappy two man nylon tent is fine for me and two dc

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:15:01

I want to go camping! We're meant to be going to France but I've done little research...I just sort of what to pack up and go but at this point I don't even know which ferry port to go from.....

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:15:37

scone, no, no it's not! Save your pennies and get a bell! grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:16:06

Oh, and we have passports so I guess that's something hmm

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:18:13

That is a very good description pictish. I refuse to buy anything from them because of their rip off deal with Obelink over bell tents and now other canvas tents too (for some reason I blame Bell Tent more than Obelink and remain happy to buy from Obelink, as if they were inncoent parties forced to agree to this outrageous breach of EU law).

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:19:47

I suppose I should add that I THINK it is an outrageous breach of EU law and if it isn't it should be IMO - I haven't actually gone so far as to actually research this properly, or at all.

I really worry that I wouldn't be able to put one up by myself. I already own bunting, rugs and chandelier

Do people camp with their dogs in a bell? That might persuade me if they do...

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