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Please recommend me a family tent that I can pitch by myself

(52 Posts)
LondonSuperTrooper Mon 12-Aug-13 16:02:21


Please help! I am looking for a family tent for 5-6 people that I can pitch by myself (on the odd occasions that my DH doesn't want to come camping with us).

I'm not keen on pop up tents as I do not think that I will be able to pack it up by myself! I absolutely love the Outwell Montana 6P but not sure about pitching it alone. I've been told to avoid fibreglass poles as they tend to snap.... I've looked at Vango airbeam but can't find any for under £550 (i like the enternity 600). I'm not keen on the bell tent as I like the separate rooms and think that bell tents can get messy very quickly.

Is it possible to find a decent sized tent that I pitch by myself? Any recommendations please?

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 12-Aug-13 16:22:37

Was about to suggest a pop up or a bell tent until I read your post.

If you like inflatables, have you looked at Decathlon's MSH range? Although they may be pricey too.

LondonSuperTrooper Mon 12-Aug-13 18:38:50

Ahh thank you for your reply. I love the look and feel of bell tents but I think it'll be very difficult to keep tidy!

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 12-Aug-13 20:44:25

They are difficult to keep tidy but possibly not so much if you are naturally tidy, which I am not. Some pople bring pop up storage bins or one of those camping cupboards you can get. They do help. Or even a quarter inner tent maybe to chuck everything during the day.

I do totally get why not everyone likes them though grin

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 13-Aug-13 09:28:46

Well, DH looked at the bell tents online and he told me that he wants one! confused

Where is the best place to buy one online?

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 13-Aug-13 09:29:32

I'm not looking forward to the mess..... will have to save up for the inner room thingys for next summer!

kelda Tue 13-Aug-13 09:31:52

We have a tent like this from Gelert. It's 7 person, comfortalbe for 5/6. Dh can put it up on his own, so can I if I could be bothered.

What's also good is that the outer part goes up first, convenient if it is raining.

kelda Tue 13-Aug-13 09:34:49

It's called the Gelert Cadiz 7. Main problem is that rain can come in the door are, between the bedrooms, but this wasn't really a problem for us, even in heavy rain. We used mopped it up with a towel.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 13-Aug-13 09:35:10

I have a hi gear caplan 5 which I bought because I can easily put it up by myself. There are ony 3 of us though, but something tunnel tent style rather than cross-over poles is much easier on ones own I found smile

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 09:44:29

A lot of people buy from Soulpad and I gather they have very good customer service.

I don't know, because we got ours from Obelink due to some sort of computer glitch which meant they shipped it to us even though they have an agreement with not to ship bells (and other canvas tents) to the UK or Ireland. The glitch was a couple of years ago but if you have time to spare you could try putting an order through on their Dutch site and see if it arrives - you will probably get a message to say they won't ship but if it does go through for any reason you can save a fair bit of cash.

Because of that restrictive agreement, I won't buy from Belltent on principle but I gather their customer service can be a bit shaky anyway and they are (or were) more expensive than Souplad.

There are other suppliers, like Boutique Camping (who sell all sorts of coloured bells as well as plain ones) and Karma Canvas, but I am afraid I know nothing about them. Hopefully someone who does will be along soon.

Don't worry too much about the mess. If you are a tidy sort of person, you will find ways of keeping it looking good. I am not which is why ours sometimes looks as if someone picked up the tent and shook it violently for a while before re-pitching it. But I still love it grin

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 09:45:09 by the way

WeAreSeven Tue 13-Aug-13 09:49:50

Oh, are tents supposed to be tidy?shock

RegainingUnconsciousness Tue 13-Aug-13 09:52:26

My mum has a Montana 4 that she can pitch herself.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 09:52:32

Although I just looked on belltent's website out of curiosity and they are throwing in a free tea light chandelier with 5m tents at the moment so if this appeals you might want to look at them.

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 13-Aug-13 10:41:57

Thanks for the replies. I'll check out the links and suggestions at lunchtime.

I'm slowly getting excited - we are supposed to go on holiday next weekend and we still haven't booked or bought anything!!!!

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 13-Aug-13 12:21:23

I really like the soulpad ease 4000.... but its above my budget sad

Iamnormalish Tue 13-Aug-13 12:27:35

Cabanon Pyramide or Guadaloupe.

Really good quality tents that will last a lifetime. Easy to erect with just one person.

Highly recommended.

£££££££ new but because they last 20 plus years and are so solid they can be picked up in pristine condition alot cheaper secondhand.

Google the tents and read up the threads about them on UKCS.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 12:28:10

For 5-6 people I really think you need a 5 metre if you can, especially if you would like to keep it at all tidy.

Cost-wise and practicality-wise, you might be better off going for a pegged in 5m rather than a zipped in 4m. We don't even have the pegged in version (ours is just a rubber flap on the tent you tuck under the groundsheet) and honestly, it is fine. We really don't get that many bugs and I reckon they find their way in anyway even with a SIG.

Iamnormalish Tue 13-Aug-13 12:32:10

Here is a snippet from a review about how easy the Cabanon pyramid tents are so easy to erect:

"So what is so good about the Guadeloupe? Well for starters it couldn’t be quicker or simpler to pitch. No threading poles, no fighting the wind, just peg out the sewn in groundsheet, insert the central pole, add the door and porch poles and peg out. With practice this can be done in 10 minutes, but even a novice could manage it in 20!"

Iamnormalish Tue 13-Aug-13 12:35:41

Also forgot the Cabanon Barbados

LondonSuperTrooper Tue 13-Aug-13 15:18:11

Iamnormalish thanks for the recommendations but these tents are way out of my price budget sad

DH has JUST slashed our tent budget to £250!!!! What the heck can I buy with that?!!! angry

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 15:25:41

A Vango Icarus I think (on sale in Millets and maybe elsewhere) and even a Quechua family pop up from Decathlon. Otherwise I am not sure unless you go second hand from Ebay.

WeAreSeven Tue 13-Aug-13 15:26:51

Look on the ads on
Lots of people sell really good tents very reasonably.

CoolStoryBro Tue 13-Aug-13 15:41:56

I have this

Easy peasy to put up. Except for the awning over the top, my 10yo DD can put it up by herself!

Iamnormalish Tue 13-Aug-13 16:05:01

Buy secondhand - seriously. Canvas/cotton tents are usually better with age as they have been weathered. You need to see them pitched though to know the canvas has not shrunk.

I am lover of cotton/canvas tents and have several. My DH is not a camper and does not get it soi I am always on a tight budget because he does not share my enthusiasm.

Checkout preloved, ebay and UKCS ads. You generally get more buying second hand too. Usually bits of camping kit chucked in for free.

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