Emperor Bell tent or 6m bell?(8 Posts)
Anyone got either of these?
We are a family of 5 & will be camping in Europe + in the uk.
Which is best to go for? If you have either I would really appreciate some feedback on how you find pitching them, how robust they are in bad weather & all the nitty gritty stuff.
I can't quite imagine how vast a 6m bell tent would be!
Personally I would look at a Hypercamp Palamos from the Obelink website for a large canvas tent. For windows, shaded porch, and not stooping to go in and out.
I have seen the emperor bell used as a group tent for 25 people (admittedly not sleeping) and it's bloody massive! It's never fallen down in high winds, but it's also a bugger to heat when you only have a handful of bodies inside. We have a 5m bell with inners for a family of four - allows for privacy and warmth, together with a clear living room space. A tarp sail outside fixes the kitchen area.
Ultimately, it comes down to boot space and camp space - our 5m eats up almost all the pitch room, so anything larger will probably require two pitches. This could be a headache for more formal campsites.
Pyramid tents, like the Palamos, are known as 'storm tents' because of their performance in high winds and bad weather.
But bell tents are good too.
We had an Emperor bell for a couple of years. It's an amazing tent when it's up (like something out of Harry Potter, but totally impractical. Takes up huge amount of space in the car, weighs a TON, so you can't move it too far from a vehicle. If it's wet and windy the sides blew up and rain ran straight through, plus once wet, it is hard to dry and if you pack it up damp, it's a nightmare getting it all out and dry once home (which you have to do or it goes mouldy). We started to avoid camping trips as it was such an effort and ended trading it for a Vango Airbeam. Not nearly as magical looking, but so so much more practical and comfortable...and so easy we even have gone camping for one night a few times since getting it! Hope that helps.
Thanks for replies everyone. I'm afraid the deed has already been done. I bought one before anyone had responded :-)
It is currently pitched in our garden & we slept in it last night. We are loving the space & generally only like to camp in sites with large pitches so hopefully we will mostly be ok on that front :-/
Pippah74, where did the water come in? Was it though the zip?
We didn't have a ground sheet attached with ours... so if you have one that can be zipped on, then I'm sure it'll work much better. We got a couple of years out of ours and then sold it on eBay (for £75 less than we'd bought it), and got the Vango... so if it doesn't work for you, then it's not the end of the world, but hopefully it'll be great. Happy camping!!
Thanks PippaH74. I can see that perhaps water could come in through the little half moon windows. Could perhaps do with canvas flaps externally to cover them when not in use.
Yes that's what we thought, we could flog it on if it doesn't work for us.
Thanks for you input though, it is appreciated. Now I'm thinking about SIMs & storage inside. What did you use storagewise? When I look online all the bell tents seem to have full on furniture which obviously is only an option if it's pitched semi permanently.
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