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Tent advice for a family of 4 new to camping please?

(55 Posts)
hippipotami Sun 29-Jul-07 15:44:33

Hope you can help. We are a family of 4 (dc are 4 and nearly 8) and we want to start camping. Nothing long, more like the odd weekend / long weekend type of break.

What tent do we need?

It has to be:
1. large enough to accomodate the 4 of us (obviously)
2. easy to put up and take down (that is a must as dh is refusing to spend ages getting tangled in wires etc)
3. pretty much waterproof - given recent weather
4. not too expensive - but I have no idea what a reasonable budget would be?

Thanks for all the advice. We need the tent by the middle of Sept as we are going on a Scouts Family Camp weekend. But would like to go away for a weekend with our tent first so we don't show ourselves up to be complete novices

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 29-Jul-07 15:59:52

Pretty much a novice myself, but would just point out that although we bought a 4 man tent, there is really very little room. Once we're all in and lying down we're all squeezed up against each other!

Would definitely buy a bigger one next time. (If there is a next time!)

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:10:22

6 man would be what you need. We have a Gelert Cuclone once used for sale (or rather Mum does, decided it was too big LOL)

OK how often do you think you'll use it? Taht's a key factor. Dh is buying a Coleman Weathermaster which is a wonderful tent but expensive (£400 thereabourts) but as we use it 8 - 10 times a year its worth it.

Good models I would suggest include the Khyam Ontario 6 (we have the 8 man model currently), Gelert Quebec or Utah (Utah is a fabulous tent).

I shall go have a look at a few models now for you

iheartdusty Sun 29-Jul-07 16:10:24

some suggestions for things to consider (rather than actual tents);
fibreglass poles weigh much less than steel and make the tent easier and quicker to put up, but stand up to strong winds less well.

do you want a sewn-in ground sheet (so the whole tent has its own 'floor') or are you happy with a separate groundsheet or even none at all for the living part (all bedrooms have groundsheets). SIGs keep more insects and rain out but can feel claustrophobic and airless. they make the tent heavier as well.

do you all want to be able to stand up easily in all parts, or would you be Ok with stooping/ kneeling in the bedrooms? How tall are you?

get a tent that sleeps 6. A 4-person tent will not be big enough.

look for a 'tunnel' tent or a 'dome' tent or a 'vis-a-vis'. They are the easy-up types of which there are loads around.

Budget - you can get something for £120 ish or you can spend best part of £500.

Good website for tent bargains:

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:12:20

[[ utah]

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:12:46

LOL Dusty, linked to the same site!

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:13:31

or tried to- can you tell we've been away

hippipotami Sun 29-Jul-07 16:14:35

We will probably use it twice a year (dh is very reluctant about the whole camping idea so am still twisting his arm)

not to worried about being able to stand up in the bedroom bits, would like to stand up in the main bit if possible but not essential.

undecided about the groundsheet question....

Thanks for all the advice so far, am going to love presenting all the options /ideas / tips to dh

twinsetandpearls Sun 29-Jul-07 16:14:54

I echo the advice of get a six person tent, there are three of us and we have an outwell 5 which is a 5 birth tent obviuosly and is just the right size for us. Last time we went camping we took one extra person and the tent was too small.

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:15:08

Oh and would agree with what Dusty says, we're SIG people here (much prefer the weather- proof feel they give) although they can indeed be heavier- and struggled with our fibreglass poles in high winds last week, the Outwell next door was wrecked completely.

Do have a look at Ebay once you know what you are after, as lots of people are selling due to the weather putting them off

hippipotami Sun 29-Jul-07 16:17:17

Thanks for the links dusty and peachy. Wow peachy - that is a serious tent! Am worried we will get laughed out of Scouts Family Camp - look at the novices with all the gear and no idea

Price not bad though, will show it to dh.

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:18:18

The only brand ime you don't need to add 2 to the number of berthds is Khyam, ours is way big enough for the 8 recommended.

Another useful feature is a detachable porch- we've had both attached and detachable in the past, and detachable means if you have a biggish tent you can use smaller pitches, or take it off if the weather is bad.

HH is also important- wouldn't youch anything below 2000HH (waterproff rating), ime anything above that is perfectly fine but the higher the better really

What we did,was buy a really cheapo Argos tent and then upgrade when we were sure we liked it, I think that's a good way of doing it.

And Dusty- £500? Use yer imagination girl! Tentipi's near us at around £1800!

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:19:43

What I like about the Utah is that it can be opened right up on hotter days, that's a big bonus in my eyes (and can recommend Gelert from experience)

A Tahoma might also suit you, made by the same epople, they can be quite reasonably priced as well.

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 16:21:00 QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem there youa re- we ahd one as our last tent (needed another bedroom), was amazing and geodesic shapes such as this are the most stable in windy situations too.

hippipotami Sun 29-Jul-07 17:21:08

Peachy I love you!! Have put that one from Ebay on watch, and will have a search for some similar.

I am confident I can turn dh in to a camper yet!

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 17:32:11

If you e-mail me (peaches and cream 04 @ btinternet dot com) I can send you a few pics of our Tahoma in action if that will be useful?

FillydoraTonks Sun 29-Jul-07 17:36:17

<considers pushing the fabulous , much underrated vango venture 500

<gives up because no one ever listens >

Kbear Sun 29-Jul-07 17:53:27

We bought a half price Pro-Action Nevada 5 from Argos for £70. We've used it 5 times, realise we do like camping so we're going to upgrade to something bigger. Start cheap I think rather than waste hundreds on a fancy tent then decide you hate it.

hippipotami Sun 29-Jul-07 17:55:29

Filly, am listening, am listening
That looks like a fab tent - I am over 6ft so tall tents do appeal!

Peachy, will email you later, got to sort dinner first!

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 17:59:21

Filly LOL that is a good tent for its type, thinking of getting one for Mum after seeing your pic (has decided her Cyclone too big- well it is really).

FillydoraTonks Sun 29-Jul-07 18:32:23

at recognition

it is marvellous peachy. woudl utterly recommend. Was thinking of getting a bell tent, as you all well you i suspect, but having spent a few weekends in vango am thinking I don't need one for camping gratification.

Still want one though

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 18:35:09

Used to camp in a bell trent, not as good as it looks really imo, cold drafty heavy things ime!

Hoping to get a Vango for the aprents, have to flog their cycolne first- £65 is what they're after which covers around half. Goodness knows why they had the Cyclone, they can't drive so can't exactly lug it on a train, need soemthing far smaller (and there's only 2 of them after all).

FillydoraTonks Sun 29-Jul-07 18:36:42

oh fgs peachy its not about comfort its about appearance

and they do look bloody nice, until the mildew sets in

my Dream is to own a large dilapedated house in abergavenny with chickens and a bell tent at the end of the garden where i will spend my nights in the summer

madmumof5 Sun 29-Jul-07 18:39:26

i have a 2 bedroom tent that sleeps upto 8 it has a livin area too we have had to buy a bigger one open to offers only used for 2 weekend trips

Peachy Sun 29-Jul-07 18:39:32

And you laugh at me for having a carpet pmsl- and you're going on aboput bloody appearance!!!!!!!!

Someone on the site ahd a very weird ytent, looked like a UFO, kinda pyramid but flung wide at the sides- that was amde of proper old style tent canvas too. fab for a minute, auntil I considered care / weight etc.

But my BIl has just popped over to taunton leisure in order to obtain something to beat our new Coleman (nto that we have it yet- he's V V competitive- must be the private education ) and no doubt will return with either a Tentipi (yuck) or one of thsoe fancy Eureka hybrid things.

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