Having failed to convince DH to try camping I'd kind of given up. However, it's DS1's 6th birthday next week and at a loss as to what to buy him I saw some really cheap little tents in Millets today and thought about buying him one, pretty much as a play tent. However, the thought is dawning on me that I could actually use this as an excuse to take him and DS2 away for the odd night by myself.
So my questions are:
1) would I need a 3 man or could I get away with a 2 man tent (boys are 6 and 2 and I'm quite small too!)
2) can I buy a really cheap tent for single night camping?
3) will I manage to put up a conventional tent by myself? Bearing in mind I can't even get the pop up beach shelter in its bag I'm a bit scared of pop up tents..)
I was looking at: this Millets one and this Vango but if you think I can get away with a 2 man this one gets good user reviews and if you look at the dimensions, it actually looks quite big compared to other 2 man tents and is more in my budget.
I can't stand bendy pole sleeve tents as I'm rubbish at putting them up, which is why I have a bell tent.
However, I have just bought this (it also comes in blue and a green/orange combo) to use as a utility tent. It goes up the same way as a bell tent (ie incredibly easily) and it looks plenty big enough for 3 of you, is in your budget and could 'pass' as a play tent...
The one big negative on reviews of it I read was that the bottom bit of the flap doesn't zip shut but someone also said that they got around that by putting velcro dots along it. Can recommend the company on that link, I had it by next day delivery.
Hi, I once took the dcs away for a night with friends and couldn't face putting up the bigger tent so bought a little two-man from Tesco (the night before we went, on a whim, when I was meant to be stocking up on camping supplies). It was very similar to the one in your last link. The dcs must have been about 10 and 6 and we were quite comfy all in there together (in a double ready-bed) as they were both small for their ages and I was much slimmer then. We even somehow managed to all get dressed before we ventured out in the morning as it was raining hard, lots of wriggling about! I was a bit dubious about whether the cheapo tent was going to be up to the job but considering it rained solidly all night it did pretty well, only a couple of drips in the early hours and my friends' more expensive tents were actually worse. I managed to put it up myself in about 10 mins while keeping an eye on ds (autistic and likely to disappear) so that was ok.
Of course, if you think you are going to get keen you would be better off getting the 3 man now. As I say, we were comfortable in the 2-man but I wouldn't really have liked to do more than one night like that. I suppose I might think differently if we'd had nice weather though.
I would go for the one with the bigger porch. then you have somewhere for the shoes and wet football and any cooking stuff and maybe a chair that you don't want to leave in the rain. Your first Millets one is the size of my festival tent and that fits me and 2 DSs with room to move and sit up, and room in the porch for all the junk.