DH has shocked me as he wants to get a bell tent as a weekend tent as they are so easy to pitch and strike ( we have a outwell wolf lake 7 which is great for the longer breaks but too much faff to use for short breaks) . He wants a ZIG so we can roll the sides up but I am at a loss which company has the best quality tents and customer services. I like the look if soul pads but unsure if there are better quality ones out there? Any advice would be great
Yep, 5m ZIG Soulpad, no complaints and very sturdy, it has never leaked even in the heaviest downpours. I store it in two bags - canvas in one and groundsheet & poles in another as altogether it weighs 32 kg so is easier to carry around when I pitch solo.
We got our bell tent from BCT Outdoors here and they have the most amazing customer service. They are easily the best company I have bought anything from in years.
The tent itself is made of heavy duty canvas and all parts are about twice as tough as the soulpad / belltent uk / karma canvas ones (have camped near said makes so could compare!)
All BCT tents also come properly fireproofed, mildew proofed, etc as standard which you appear to have to pay extra for with the other firms. Once I factored that in, the price was basically the same as soul pad etc but for a better quality product.
BCT make all the tents for the scouts and guides, their tents are made in the UK , and they're a real tent-making tent- designing company, not just buyers / importers of stuff from China., which is what really convinced me to buy from them. I'm so glad I did, we love our tent!
We have a 4m ZIG and it's a doddle to put up - I usually do it unaided in about 10- 15 mins, and I am 5'2. We mainly go weekend camping and its perfect for us.
I recently bought one from Karma Canvas - a 5 meter ZIG. Chose them as it has a mesh door and they were very helpful with my abundant questions. I didn't want the extra weight of the heavier canvas and also couldn't justify the extra £200, though it would have been great to buy something made in the UK. Still, I've pitched the Karma Canvas tent and inspected the seams and zips and it looks like a very high quality tent, so I'm very pleased with it.
Interesting point about fireproofing and mildew protection. I think most companies have sprayed the canvas for mildew protection (you still need to make sure it isn't wet when packing away obv) but not fire proofing. There was an interesting thread on this a long while back which I felt put this in perspective.