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Bell tents advice please

(5 Posts)
nobugsinmyrug Sun 24-May-15 17:38:18

We are looking at getting a tent as we cannot afford holidays otherwise. Dh is a pretty seasoned camper whereas i'm not although i used to camping as a kid with my family in France a few times, which i loved.

Anyways, I have read up some old mn camping threads and bell tents appeal to me, because they seem so spacious rather than some of the more standard shaped tents which can feel a bit claustrophobic . My questions are these:

- which bell tent / what colour and where to buy it from?
- 4 or 5 m diameter? (we are a family of four with two under fives.)
- are they practical? we'd like to do some wild camping in Scotland later on or go to France but mainly stay in the SE of England for weekend or half term trips.
- will everyone else on the camp site just laugh at us will we come across as pretentious?

thanks a million thanks

namelessposter Sun 24-May-15 17:41:17

I bought one this week. 4m, for our family (also 4, similar ages) Can't advise much as we've only used it in the garden. With 4 of you, I'd prob go for the 5m if you can afford it. That way, when you have 4 beds down, there's still room for a couple of chairs and a card/ wine table etc, if heaven forbid you're trapped inside for a rainy evening.

nobugsinmyrug Sun 24-May-15 18:42:50

thanks nameless, where did you buy yours from?

Spadequeen Mon 25-May-15 19:49:47

I would go for 5m as aswell as the extra 1m diameter, you've got extra head height.

Personally I prefer the look of the natural ones rather than the coloured or patterned ones but that's personal preference.

They're very practical, not at all pretentious, in fact they're all over ht e place these days!

We've used ours in high temperatures (you can still breathe!), in high winds (was not at all concerned that it would break or collapse)

Where to buy from depends on your budget, the usual places are should pad or belltent.co.uk, however there are many places now for a similar price and they seem to pretty much be the same tent. You can get a heavier canvas that will withstand harsher weather but you will pay more for this, for what you seem to be needing it for you should be fine for the usual ones.

GlomOfNit Tue 26-May-15 18:43:46

Soulpad is great and they have fab customer service. Have heard not-great things about Belltent.co but that was years ago. You used to be able to buy them (the exact same tent) from Obelink (Netherlands camping co) but they won't sell to UK now - however, if you happen to know someone driving through who would have room for one in their boot, you could save ££s.

I would definitely get the 5m. 4m is fine when they're tiny but they won't be for long! If getting a tent is your gateway to going on holiday, think of it as an investment. 4m will quickly seem too small. 5m is fab with two children - you have a lot extra room in the bedroom half (if you get the inner tent) for clothes etc. I would definitely recommend the inner tent too but probably best to camp without it first and see how you get on. Our first few camps were without it and though fine, the one large room of the tent does get very messy and confused quite fast! Having the separate 'bedroom' means more warmth, somewhere to put the bed stuff and clothes during the day and stop the bed mats from being bounced on, and makes the other half feel more ordered.

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