We went to Go Outdoors yesterday for a few bits and nearly came out with a new tent! We are still mulling over the idea...(19 Posts)
We are not regular campers, but after a trip back in May which the kids loved and we enjoyed despite the wind, rain and lack of sleep we have sort of been bitten by the bug. We have new camping buddies who we are going away with next weekend. They are actually my dad's friends, but they have kids the same age as ours. We've been camping with them twice along with my dad, but they were keen to go camping with us again, even without my dad, as he lives about 250 miles away so more of a faff.
Anyway, until now we've been camping in a cheap 4 man tent with no sewn in ground sheet. It's been ok, but was tough getting the kids to sleep and we were all in one big compartment together. Kids are 11mo and 4 btw.
So we happened to look at the tents in Go Outdoors while shopping for some accessories. They have really good offers on and we are quite tempted by a Hi Gear Kalahari 8, it has two sleeping pods at each end. Actually initially we were tempted by the Saharah 6 which is one of those 3 pronged tents, but the assistant talked us out of it, calling it the Divorce Tent as it is such a nightmare to put up (and believe me with 2 young kids and little sleep it wouldn't take much to push us over the edge!).
Here are the reasons for buying the tent:
Sewn in groundsheet - far more cosy
Sewn in groundsheet
Opposite sleep pods either one end for the kids or dh and I could take one each
A nicer tent means we are much more likely to go more often and with dd1 starting school it's going to be all we can afford (we haven't been on holiday apart from camping or visiting relies since the kids)
At £250 for a £600 tent its a bargain plus the accessories are all half price
We can't really afford it, it would go on a credit card (but in out defence we haven't been on holiday in years)
We have the Kalahari 10 for our family of 5. It's the slightly bigger version of the 8. We've had many happy nights in it. DP put it up by himself last time we camped so it's easy to put up - no divorces required. We tend to sleep in with the kids as they're 6,4 and 1 so we split them between us.
We tend to sleep all in one big room, DH feels easier if DC is in with us.
If you have enjoyed camping so far, wouldn't you enjoy it more with a better tent?
Ok you have an initial outlay but the tent will last for years, many happy family breaks! We are embarking on our 6th (this season) this weekend.
Go Outdoors is my favourite store! It's a bit like Ikea - you go in for tea-lights and come out with a new bedroom! I went in on Thursday for a new woggle thingy (less than £1) and came out with a sun hat and fishing jacket for dp (£45)! Plus they had some lovely Regatta jackets that nearly drew me in.... Dd1 steered me away from the camping section thankfully.
Do you know ANYONE who pays the non-membership prices? I think they make them up to make you think you have a terrific bargain. I fall for it every time.
Lol hocus, that is so true about ikea! We are sorely tempted. I think in our heads we are already buying it.
Wrt to sleeping we might split them and take one each, then hopefully it will be easier to get them down in the evening separately but then we can be safely with them at night.
So the next question is porch/footprint/carpet? Good buys? The porch seems like a great idea in terms of adding space. The alternative was to get a cheap gazebo.
Go to Millets, they are having a massive sale on.
Personally I'd be tempted by the Corado 6 - £50 more but you get a built-in porch on it. But then I'm irrationally prejudiced against vis-a-vis style tents. And against blue tents.
We have a new tent, and have been thinking about extras. I'd like a porch eventually, but probably won't get one this year. The jury is out on the footprint. We have nowhere near enough room to clean and dry the tent at home (we'll be screwed if we ever have to take it down wet) so it would be nice to be able to pack it up with a clean groundsheet and forget about it till next time. Plus last weekend we ended up pitching on top of a peg someone else had left in the ground and I worried all weekend about it damaging our groundsheet. Definitely NOT getting a carpet though. Mostly because of the size - footprints fold up quite small, but carpets are really bulky. We were packed to the gunwhales last weekend, and that's with only one child and having forgotten to pack the field kitchen! Plus I figure groundsheets are wipeable, and picnic rugs/quilts/whatever are washable, whereas carpets look like a bugger to clean.
We were in GO this weekend looking at the Sahara6 too! Probly a different branch though...
We said no to the sahara (despite wails and gnashing of teeth from children) because although we liked the 3 bedroom set-up (basically we want to separate the children so they will actually go to sleep...grrr) it was roasting in there- the ventilation set-up is actually rubbish, and we didn't think there'd be enough breeze getting through. Also the hi-gear tents seem v flimsy to us (we are backpacker campers really, so used to mountain tents and bombproof vangos etc).
They had a vango (maybe icarus 500????) which had a large living area, 2 sleep pods (sleeps 5) and a porch extension which was quite good... but I think we're being tempted by the quechua base seconds 4.2. It's a vis-a-vis style, with decent sized living space in teh middle, and is supposedly v quick to pitch (something we're keen on as we usually only do 2 nights).
We have a Wynnster Raven 8 which sounds very similar to what you're describing. The DC (12 and 9) sleep in separate pods at one end and we sleep in the other end, with plenty of living space inbetween. We were completely novice campers when we bought it and absolutely love it! I'd definitely go for the porch. It makes a huge difference to be able to keep the door open even when it's pouring with rain and to sit out in all weathers. We bought a cheap picnic rug to use as a small carpet at the entrance to keep dirt out of the main tent. Go for it!!
See we are such novices I had to google vis a vis tent! DCMB why are you against them? I guess if you only have one child it's easier, but it is a bugger to get ours to sleep at the best of times so it'll be good to keep them separate. I do wish it wasnt blue though.
We'll have another more serious look on Weds. The pop up tent looks fab. But I think we'll value space over time to put up for now.
Thanks for the replies.
I think rug instead of a carpet is a good idea. It does make it seem much cosier but we can chuck a rug in the wash.
I prefer the style of the Corado cos you get a big open living area with lots of windows - Corado is pretty much a Montana 6 clone, which is what we have. Vis-a-vis style looks a bit enclosed and claustrophobic. But yeah, probably easier with only one child - in fact two bedrooms next to each other is ideal for us as DD would probably claim to be lonely at one end of the tent by herself. As it is she sleeps like the proverbial log when camping.
<<cough>> the quechua is an attractive leaf green and earth brown...
I'm with you on the separate to sleep thing though...
We bought the Kalahari 10 last year - the two Kalaharis go up and down in price over the course of the season and eventually we got it for £199, with the accessories being super discounted too, so we bought the foot print, porch and carpet. Have used it all except the porch and love it, going away for the bank holiday tomorrow and wil be trying the porch too.
I love sleeping 'away' from the kids, and having such big sleeping areas, and a 'useable' living space. Very easy to pitch, as long as you don't follow the instructions on the bag lol.
Pros - big sleeping areas - my friend has an outwell domey thing (hartford) and even having a ginormous one (excuse the word lol) her sleeping areas are teeny.
Cons - the blue is darker than green tents. Her hartford seems so light and bright.
I might add we got the 10 despite there only being four of us. I like my room!
Thanks all for your input. We've had a mission of a day. Didn't go tent shopping till mid afternoon. It was pouring with rain which is actually good because if you like a tent in the rain you'll love it in the sun!
We checked out the Kalahari 8 and the Zenobia 6 and actually we decided we liked the feel of the Zenobia. It's almost identical to the
Kalahari, just a little smaller. It was also £150 instead of £250, so I don't feel so bad that we bought the porch, footprint and carpet which were all half price! V excited.
Oh and the mission is they didn't have the Zenobia at our local store so we had to haul ass to Swindon and while we were there we had to go and see the inlaws so didn't get back till 8.30!
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