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I think I'd like a bell tent...

(33 Posts)
mogs0 Sun 03-Jul-11 22:01:29

I've been flirting with the idea of buying a bell tent for a while now but ended up getting a completely different tent at the end of last year. I've used the new tent twice now and have decided I'd really like a bell tent!

There is a 3m one on ebay at the moment but I'm not sure what sort of price I can expect to pay.

For most camping trips, it's just ds and I but sometimes my sister comes and sometimes ds might like to bring a friend - would 3m be suitable?

Also, if there were 3 of us sleeping inside, would there still be room for our stuff?

I feel an impulse purchase coming on!!

brambleschooks Sun 03-Jul-11 22:13:11

The people next to us on the campsite this weekend had a soul pad. Nom nom it was gorgeous! I neeeeeeeed one too!

SalomeD Sun 03-Jul-11 22:30:12

We've got a 5m soulpad for 4 of us plus dog.

First time we camped my. DH remarked "i bet you're glad you didnt buy the 4m" and he was right, its great having that extra bit of space plus the pole height is taller therefore more room to walk around in

MisSalLaneous Sun 03-Jul-11 22:32:44

Well, definitely get a bell, it is the most wonderful tent.

However, I really don't really think a 3m would be big enough for your requirements. We have a 4m (dh, myself and a 3-yo), and when we don't have a kitchen / utility tent with us, I wish we had bought the 5m one because I love the feeling of openness, so not so keen on everything being too cramped. I know it would be more expensive and less likely to go on Ebay right now, but I would recommend going for the 4m instead.

There is someone on here with a 3m one, so hopefully she'll see this thread to comment.

mogs0 Sun 03-Jul-11 22:40:01

One of the photos I've seen of a 3m has a double SIM on one side of the pole or a single SIM either side of the pole with space around so I thought if only ds and I going then should be ok.

I started off with a 6 man cheap tent for festivals and a few times we've been away and had friends sleep in with ds and I but it always seems to be me that has to pitch it, pack it away and store it so I've decided no more squatters.

The tent I have at the moment is a 3 man but has a massive living area which I realised this weekend isn't all that necessary - especially if I keep all our stuff tidy and well organised!!

Storing the tent is a factor aswell as I live in a little house with no loft or garage so it has to live under the stairs when not in use. Also, I have a Clio and my current tent takes up nearly half the boot before I've even thought about putting anything else in!!

Lovecat Mon 04-Jul-11 07:39:37

Hmm... we have a 5m soulpad for 3 of us (2 adults and a 6yo) and I do love the space. DH is not a fan of being cramped, so we went for the biggest we could afford, and I'm really glad we did.

Having seen a 3m bell tent at the site we were at in May, I would say that it would be fine for you and your DS and great for weekend camping, but if he wanted to bring a friend it would get a bit cramped and if it rains you would find yourselves getting on top of each other. The downside to bell tents is there's absolutely no storage and no corners to stash things in, so you have to be a bit anal mega organised or minimalist if it's not going to get v. messy v. quickly.

Re. storage of the tent itself - this is a problem for us too, currently the tent lives in our dining room, it is quite hefty so even between us it is all but impossible (according to DH, and he's the one lifting it - I think he could if he put his mind to it, but that's another thread all together!) to lift it up a ladder to put it in the loft (I envy you your understair cupboard!). And it does take up a lot of space in the car boot - I would say our 5m version is at largest some 1.2m long by 50cm wide by 30cm deep when folded up (about the size of DD but fatter, tbh!) so if you have a small car boot it is something to consider. Obv. the 3m one would pack down smaller, so if the lady on here who has one sees this she can offer better info.

Normally I would say "yes! yes! buy a bell tent they are wonderful!!!" but with my practical head on, I'm not sure it's right for your storage/occupancy needs. But I hope I'm wrong smile

Lovecat Mon 04-Jul-11 07:42:08

Just read your last post properly...blush

On the 'it's always me who has to pitch it' front, the bell tent is soooo easy to pitch it's untrue - I can put mine up alone in 20 mins, it goes up in 10-15 with DH assisting.

And the glorious thing I've found about bell tents is that people (your squatters/my DH) are so fascinated with them, they want to help with pitching/striking!

So don't let that be an issue.

mogs0 Mon 04-Jul-11 11:20:14

Lovecat - when I say it lives under the stairs, it is just that - there is no cupboard, it just has a blanket tastefully draped over it blush!!

Oh, I'm not sure what to do now.

Part of me is thinking that I should get what suits ds and I best (ie if friends want to come then they can bring their own tent!!).

Also, the one I've seen on ebay is £200 which is approx what I'd get for my current tent if I sold it.

Keeping it tidy could be a problem for us. What sort of things do people use to keep their stuff organised?

winefairy Mon 04-Jul-11 11:46:38

mogs0 I'm buying these to go with my bell tent which should help some of the storage issues and won't look too out of place. And the ones with our clothes in will double as a seat!

MisSalLaneous Mon 04-Jul-11 12:03:30

winefairy, those are lovely.

lifeistooshort Mon 04-Jul-11 12:22:07

Re storage I have bought two foldable storage box from Ikea. Can also recommend their solar powered lantern, it was very good and powerful I will go and buy some more

lifeistooshort Mon 04-Jul-11 12:22:40

Brambleschooks...It might have been me, where did you camp?

SalomeD Mon 04-Jul-11 12:34:54

Lovecat, i bought a second bag for our 5m Soulpad and put the poles and pegs in that one (as they make up a fair proportion of the overall weight). It means i can manage the tent by myself as i have to admit lifting 34kg when its all in one bag is pretty hard going.

brambleschooks Mon 04-Jul-11 13:16:52

We were in abersoch, life. The bell tent people had a lovely little toddler girl who was up with the dawn.
Mind you, I hippied out and was doing yoga salute to the sun when i got up, to stretch out my joints. V nice it was too (thank heavens for the privacy of vango windbreaks!).

winefairy Mon 04-Jul-11 13:29:10

Thanks MisSal. Searched for ages to find something that would work. There's 15% off and free p&p at the moment with the code HOLIDAY if you're tempted!

<Must stop leading people astray>

MisSalLaneous Mon 04-Jul-11 13:31:29

Thanks! Will have a look now, just in case...

lifeistooshort Mon 04-Jul-11 13:42:08

Brambles nope wasn't me...we have a lovely toddler...and a baby and a little girl who thankfully didn't wake up at the crack of dawn (except for the baby).

Love you style though, salutation to the sun sounds very zen like

brambleschooks Mon 04-Jul-11 16:34:43

Aw it would have been great to meet a mn er camper! It was a zen state, yoga overlooking the bay smile.
Awaits slubber's stare and considering running an outwell stylee yoga session suitable for efficient campers ;)

Slubberdegullion Mon 04-Jul-11 19:21:16

hey! I like bell tents. Just can't stand all the silly stuff people adorn them with.

brambleschooks Mon 04-Jul-11 20:12:23

I know slubs, I was talking about my dawn yoga activity in a field overlooking cardigan bay possibly bordering on the side of poncey glamping activity ;)

Adorns slubber with prayer bunting and retreats to stand in the pose of wine o clock

mogs0 Mon 04-Jul-11 20:36:31

bramble - which field were you in? I grew up in a village in Cardigan Bay!!

brambleschooks Mon 04-Jul-11 21:52:10

Bryn Bach campsite at Sarn Bach - bliss!

Slubberdegullion Mon 04-Jul-11 21:56:34

Oh dur, yes, double dur.

Soz hun

<calf stretch>

mogs0 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:19:54

bramble - that site looks fab! It's going on my list of sites to visit this summer grin.

brambleschooks Tue 05-Jul-11 18:35:01

awaits slubber's addition of a ticker tape giving countdown to camping extravaganza of a lifetime.

mmmm, lovely calves.

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