Bear Lake 6 - is it ok to put up for just a weekend?

(9 Posts)
Icandoitbymyself Thu 04-Jun-15 16:19:32

I have another thread running where I am asking about bell tents. I do love the look and specs of the BL6 but am concerned that it is too heavy and too much hassle to put up for just a weekend. Can anyone share their camping experience with a BL6?

Ragusa Fri 05-Jun-15 19:49:40

Dunno about that particular tent but we have a 6 man 3.7m by 6.7 m polycotton monster that weighs around 30 kg (Eureka! N ergy grand) and I'd rather spend the additional 10 mins putting it up and taking it down, than squash into a tinier tent for the sake of convenience.

Plus we couldn't affotd two tents so I went bigger in view of fact it might well be used for longer stays as well.

I suppose it depends also on where you gocamping at weekends .... if you're a fan of sites that don't allow cars right by pitches you probably don't want a beast that will be difficult to carry.

CarlaSun Fri 05-Jun-15 21:43:49

Go for the bell tent. I sold my beloved Bear Lake 6 & bought a 5m bell tent, for this reason. Best decision ever! The BL6 was a beautiful tent & perfect for a reasonably long camp 1-2 weeks. However, it was such a pain to pitch & pack away, that at times I couldn't face it. Plus you definitely need two people for the job & even then it took around 45 mins on a good day. Also it was huge! Two big 27kg bags. (One for poles & one for groundsheet & canvas). Lots of heavy (but reassuringly sturdy) steel poles to piece together.

The 5m bell tent is still big but around half the size & weight as only one 32kg bag (I have the Soulpad ease / SIG). If you go for a ZIG - (zip in groundsheet) you can carry the groundsheet & canvas separately, halving this weight. The big difference is that there are only two poles. One centre pole & the A-frame pole for the doorway. It is so liberating to be able to completely pitch the bell tent by myself in 15 minutes. It is so easy to pitch that for weekend camps I can travel ahead & set up camp with the children, until DH joins us after work. Plus I am happy to put it up in the garden for overnight camp outs, & have used it for one day as a gazebo for birthday parties etc. I would never have considered this with the Bear Lake.

Icandoitbymyself Sat 06-Jun-15 07:23:48

Thank you both, that's all useful information. I will how and look at a belltent at the Maidstone camping show this weekend to get a better feel for them. I live the idea of the BL6 and maybe, if I bought it second hand, it would be great for a longer camping trip.

DreadfulSpiller Sat 06-Jun-15 10:35:23

We've got a BL6 on order, and will be using it for a weekend at the end of June, I'll let you know how it goes! I'm hoping it will be ok for weekends, I feel the same that we want comfort
, space for a weekend as well as for longer trips, got a very active 7 yr old and a tricky 2 yr old, so with bad weather for a weekend in a smaller
Tent we'd be doomed!

Icandoitbymyself Mon 08-Jun-15 18:41:37

i'd love to hear about it spiller.

DreadfulSpiller Mon 08-Jun-15 20:39:45

I'll let you know ...

justicewomen Mon 08-Jun-15 20:48:50

We got a Bear Lake 6 because, with a teenage son we wanted greater privacy (plus good indoor light for playing cards in bad weather) than offered by a bell tent. However be realistic about the work going into putting up and taking down. Three of us can do it in a hour but we have got used to it. We have used it on a weekend but on a site only 30 minutes from home; so still fresh.

I do love it; and are going to the middle of France for a fortnight in 4 week time!

RaisingSteam Mon 08-Jun-15 23:11:47

I think it depends on how many helpers you have. A long weekend or bank holiday might be OK.

We have the old Wolf Lake 5 which is very similar. We got it because we go to midge rainy Scotland and wanted a tent that can have midgenets or windows closed, but still have light and a view out. I really wanted a bell tent but DH vetoed.

right now I'm angling for a light 3 pole Vango for weekends.

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