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Tell me about bell tents

(67 Posts)
flamingobingo Thu 02-Jul-09 15:25:58

I have read the threads on here about bell tents and we are desperate for one.

But would love to hear more from bell tent owners/users what the advantages and disadvantages are?

We would be getting a 5m one, btw, as we have 4 children, and probably no inner tent as I find tent bedrooms very annoying!

trilobite Thu 02-Jul-09 16:57:58

We've just bought one from Obelink. Mainly because reviews suggested it would be quick and easy to put up/take down and we're only likely to use it for two or three nights at a time. Haven't slept in it yet but did put it up at the weekend and it was quick and easy!

We bought the 4m one (2 children) and it will easily fit us all with some space left over. Nice and tall and airy. My only reservation is that people will laugh at us for having a hippy tent! But I like it, the children love it and I think it will get lots of use as a play tent/camping in the garden tent even if we end up having to buy a more regular one for 'proper' camping.

oliverboliverbutt Thu 02-Jul-09 17:10:54

bell tents are proper camping!
Canvas is great because it keeps you cool in the day and warm at night. You don't wake up under that intense humidity that you get with nylon.

You can stand up in them, they are easy to put up and take down, they look and smell amazing inside, they are far cooler than any other tent out there, so being teased for being in a hippy tent must be coming from a complete and utter knob with no taste.

trilobite Thu 02-Jul-09 17:21:35

As we haven't actually camped in it yet i couldn't be certain about how proper it would be! will it really be waterproof (i'm hoping it will be)? but even in our limited experience so far i agree that it smells great, looks good and has an amazing sense of space inside.

oliverboliverbutt Thu 02-Jul-09 17:25:03

I camped in our bell for a week in pouring rain and unbelievable winds. Was the best place I could be. The womans tent next to me blew over! Heard her screaming at 10pm help me help me. It took a lot to get out of my cozy warm tent and help her.
The canvas actually works better when it gets wet - it swells up, so it doesn't leak.

Devendra Thu 02-Jul-09 21:07:37

We bought one last year. 5m 2 kids.. We LOVE it.. so spacious and cool.. If you get the one without fixed grounsheet you can roll the sides up when its hot during the day.
Completely waterproof after first time it gets wet.. canvas swells up after that. Its a bit of a mission to roll it up and pack away as its really heavy but we are getting used to how it needs to be done and are quite efficient at it now.
One of the best things for us is having all the lovely floor space to chill on.. rugs..lamps..lovely... enjoy!!

flamingobingo Fri 03-Jul-09 11:00:57

Ooh I am getting excited now! Just got to look at our finances to see if we can afford one this year or need to wait until next year.

My mission for this evening I think!

usernametaken Fri 03-Jul-09 12:15:57

We are looking at getting a 4m one for next year. we keep scanning the campsites to see one in the flesh (or should that be canvas). DH is wondering about the size it folds down to, is the centre pole in sections? We'd want the SIG to stop various children escaping and the bedroom section...to stop the same kids escaping in the middle of the night! lol

Nappyzoneisabeetrootrunner Fri 03-Jul-09 12:44:14

ok this is something i never considered - cani have some links please ....

trilobite Fri 03-Jul-09 15:17:11

Cheap ones here www.obelink.nl/ws/assortiment_overzichtpagina2.asp?id=18&cat=1&pagina=1 and not too tricky even if you can't speak Dutch. Our central pole is in sections (though i think you can buy ones with wooden poles). Size the tent is in a canvas bag about 1m long and 40cm in diameter, the poles are in another bag about the same length but about 10cm in diameter. smaller than i was expecting anyway.

Nappyzoneisabeetrootrunner Fri 03-Jul-09 19:08:22

i like the look of the teepee one - couldnt find it on the english version of site though .......

trilobite Fri 03-Jul-09 19:30:05

I think the English version of the site is more expensive because I think they supply belltent.co.uk or some company like that. But you can definitely buy it through the Dutch site and we paid using paypal and there were no problems. It's fairly obvious if you just go through the steps you would expect to have to take when buying something from a UK website. One of the bell tent threads on this site discusses the Dutch vs. English version of the site at some length but basically it's cheaper to buy it in Euros.

sarah293 Fri 03-Jul-09 19:38:42

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sarah293 Fri 03-Jul-09 19:41:34

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flamingobingo Fri 03-Jul-09 19:42:12

Any chance you can find a link to the thread comparing the UK vs. Dutch websites, Trilobite?

Are they the same ones that belltent.co.uk sell then?

flamingobingo Fri 03-Jul-09 19:45:15

Wowee! That's like £100 cheaper! What about shipping? I can't work out how to find out the shipping anywhere (probably just me being dense!).

We'll definitely buy from there if it's the very same tents.

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 03-Jul-09 19:48:14

Is it the same tent as a bell? Was difficult to tell with the photos.

flamingobingo Fri 03-Jul-09 19:51:31

Riven - I just put the spec of the Sahara 500 into an online translator, and it said

"Observations: With free ground sail."

which I reckon means 'free ground sheet'.

<<hoping someone can confirm as price is so good I need to buy now, now, now!>>

trilobite Fri 03-Jul-09 20:12:04

sorry... www.thehappycampers.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=1 i think it's the thread about bell tents near the bottom of the page with about 6 pages worth of discussion. but basically i think it's the same. the instructions came in English too. it cost just over 200 euros with shipping and arrived within the week. when we put it up in the garden it looks the same too. the online translator provides amusing translations but meant i could check it seemed right. and once i had ordered it i emailed them in English just to check and they replied in English too.

flamingobingo Sat 04-Jul-09 16:39:17

I've ordered one and a tarp thingy grin

Very, very excited. Hoping it comes by next weekend so we can go to my parents and put it up and spray it with the hose next weekend grin

Now for something to sleep on!

<<gets ready to search the archives!>>

sarah293 Sat 04-Jul-09 16:48:09

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flamingobingo Sat 04-Jul-09 17:17:16

Why can't you have it for an early birthday present? grin

sarah293 Sat 04-Jul-09 17:21:18

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flamingobingo Sat 04-Jul-09 17:25:45

well they say 3-5 days...I think! It's in Dutch so difficult to be certain grin

ps. we never did get that thunder you got!

sarah293 Sat 04-Jul-09 17:35:11

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