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Tent choice Opinions Please - Clueless Camper

(21 Posts)
sweetboysmum Sun 26-Apr-15 14:17:36

Hi, We haven't been camping for years and when we did it was in a tiny two man tent with roll mat and thin sleeping bags - just me and my dh. We loved a lot about camping, but I admit I hated the cold was very uncomfortable sleeping.

We've now got a 6yr old ds who would love to camp. I'm looking for a bigger tent this time and I'll be purchasing items to make it more comfy and warm. My dh doesn't want us to spend much (in case we don't stick at it) and refuses a second hand tent, so I'm looking for the best we can get for our budget.

I've seen this and the reviews seem good. It's under £250 which is as high as dh will go. I like the divided sleeping compartments, dark bedrooms and space for a sitting room set-up. Can any of you see any glaringly obvious downsides to this tent? Does it look like a good deal? I've been spending a bit of time looking tents up on UKcampsite web page, but any comments from people here would be appreciated.

Also any tips on keeping warm and comfortable also much appreciated. SIMs look like a must, but I wonder if those should be ON campbeds/blow up beds? Thanks.

sweetboysmum Sun 26-Apr-15 14:29:24

Aha - here is the tent! I'm not very alert today.

Kampa Frinton 5

Blu Sun 26-Apr-15 16:01:35

I don't know anything about Kampa tents, but it has a good HH (waterproofness) and lots of space.

Some people prefer not to have a blue tent, but that's up to you.

SIMS are warmer than air beds, and many people find them more comfortable - again personal choice.

You can keep your tent warmer by laying down a tent carpet or simply take some old throws / cotton rugs to put down.

If you prefer air mattresses to sleep on, I wouldn't then go to the expense of a SIM to use for insulation, I would use a roll out foam camping mat available cheaply from Decathlon - and their ones have a foil coating which further reflects heat back. These mats are quite thick, much thicker than yoga mats, for example, and if you are saving ££ a 6 year old would be comfy on one of these. especially as they also have the bottom of their sleeping bag as padding.

But decent sleeping bags, not cheapy nylon ones from Halfords etc, take a fleece blanket each and you should be fine. The trick is to not get cold before you go to bed - keep well warmed up in the evening, wear a fleece, hat, sit by the campfire if it's that sort of site.

sweetboysmum Sun 26-Apr-15 18:44:58

Thanks Blu - I'm watching the tent on Ebay and if nothing else takes my fancy in the next few days I'm going to buy it.

We've got fleece blankets and throws so we can take some with us. That's good to know about the foil coated Decathlon foam also.

I'm really looking forward to camping now, have been looking at campsites and already planning weekends away smile

averythinline Mon 27-Apr-15 22:10:07

Kampa tents are good but it's heavy pos too much for you to put up on your own...if that's not an issue then looks good..
Re keeping warm esp kids as above also thermals are your friends ds gets changed in to night stuff early eve thermals then pjs then other trousers/waterproof trouser as protect from fleeces/hoodies

Then he can run around etc and then we just peel last layer off when goes to bed...he is skin and bone though so gets cold fast

Waterproof trousers are useful in morning as well as dew about....

Hats are essential most of the year in the uk! Have been known to put on ds whilst he's asleep...nothing worse than cold child...

sweetboysmum Wed 29-Apr-15 14:18:11

Great tips on keeping warm averythinline. Weight isn't an issue because we'll be camping with the car. If my son loves it then I might start looking for a light weight easy up tent for summer hol's when it's the two of us.

I have to admit I've been obsessed with tent hunting these past few days. I realised there's a chance I might camp with my 2 friends and their ds's, so would need tent with 3 sleeping compartments for the 6 of us. I don't really need a 6 man tent... but I got carried away!

I've now bought this Vango one and I'm so excited for it coming. Got it for £300 as well. Over budget but hey ho! Now to shop for ground sheet/carpet and all the other necessary bit's n bobs [happy]

sweetboysmum Wed 29-Apr-15 14:19:06


youngestisapyscho Wed 29-Apr-15 14:21:38

Go Outdoors have good prices tents...

youngestisapyscho Wed 29-Apr-15 14:23:08

Ah you've bought one... we have a Vango. Very easy to put up!

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 29-Apr-15 14:27:48

We have a vango.
Good choice,op,we are well impressed with ours.
We camped in the winds at the tail of the hurricane last year,and it stood up very well with no damage.
Pretty easy to put up with 2 people (ours is a 6 person).
So,whens the first excursion....?

sweetboysmum Wed 29-Apr-15 16:33:02

Sorry I had to pop out and just back on.

Apparently this one is good in all weather, but need to roll up the front porch bit (still not up on camping lingo) if it's windy or it might take off - so I'll look out for that!

The reason I bought the tent is because my MIL recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and we won't be going on any distant holidays for a while. She lives a few hours from us, so most weekends will be taken up with visiting her. She also lives alone (FIL died 2 yrs ago) so my plan is for us to camp quite regularly around her area in the summer (pretty countryside), thus visiting her and holidaying at the same time.

On a brighter note, I have a BIG birthday coming up in early June and might try out our new home then. We're in Scotland, so I'll soon be searching out nice Scottish campsites.

starryc Sun 12-Jul-15 23:41:07

After several camping trips sleeping on air beds and getting rather cold, I changed to lying on a self inflating mat (such as ) covered with a sheepskin and then using either a sleeping bag or preferably a duvet, if there was room to pack one. I would also ALWAYS have a hot water bottle !
Cosy camping !

Callmecordelia Tue 14-Jul-15 07:19:24

I have a similar tent design, and the canopy does get flappy in the wind. When the wind got a bit strong, I gave up trying to roll it up to fix on the tent on my own, and instead pegged it down near the ground iyswim. The front of the tent was covered with canopy, but we could use the side door, and I wasn't worried about the pole snapping.

MissWimpyDimple Tue 14-Jul-15 22:29:50

There are some amazing deals on Gelert SIMs on field and trek at the moment. I got a 2.5cm one for the kids for £7.50 and a 5cm one for us for £10.99. I've had them out and seem as good as my expensive dreamcatcher outwell one.

MissWimpyDimple Tue 14-Jul-15 22:36:15

Looks like the 5cm is out of stock now. But the 2.5 is still there which would be fine for a child...

winewolfhowls Sun 19-Jul-15 13:58:25

Preloved has some great camping stuff on when I was looking

poocatcherchampion Sun 19-Jul-15 17:02:06

Why not a blue tent? Sorry to hijack!

Callmecordelia Sun 19-Jul-15 18:28:02

I don't like being inside a blue tent. There's something about the quality of the light. I'm quite fussy about that. I wouldn't buy a black tent either.

Otoh, apparently green attracts insects, so there are downsides.

winewolfhowls Sun 19-Jul-15 19:28:45

I think blue looks smarter

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 19-Jul-15 19:36:30

I used my new grey Outwell Montana for the first time this weekend, the light quality was much better than our old green tent. Don't know if we were just lucky, but very few insects compared to when we had the green!

gingeroots Mon 20-Jul-15 13:55:16

Callmecordelia that's v interesting about a blue tent .

Sadly I bought one not long ago and slept in it alone .Bit nervous as on my own plus new tent and winds. So put my lack of enthusiasm down to that , you mention it ,the blue light is a bit unnerving/unfriendly .

And I'm a very unaesthetic person .

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