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Thread: Family tent info please

  1. #1
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    Default Family tent info please

    Ok so the season is nearly here and I am looking to replace our old Millets family tent with something a little more, well, water proof, lighter, stronger, etc. It should have 3 'bed rooms' plus a communal area and a porch, it should be quick and easy to erect.
    Actually it just has to be a great tent that me and the family will enjoy using in Britian (rain) from Easter to October.
    Tell me you thoughts and experiences

    Ta Andy
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  2. #2
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    How many are you and how old are the kids? Any pets? Camp sites/base camping or canoe camping?

    We have an Outwell Nevada 2 and Outwell porch like this:


    Its got room to sleep 5 comfortably but has only 2 compartments for sleeping and a reasonable sized 'living' area..
    We last used it with a power hook up and electric heater last November for the first time in ages. It feels cavernous and weighs a lot (about 25kg for the tent IIRC) and is pretty large packed. It stands up well to nasty weather though and is showing few signs of wear and tear after 5 odd years of intermittent use, its well thought out and solidly made so I'd recommend Outwell as a brand for typical English camping, but it does have a gazillion guy ropes so takes ages to pitch fully..

    We now tend to use this set up as we wanted something for canoe camping and we found that we no longer sit inside the tent since discovering fire and camping and down jackets


    but our kids are 5 and 2.5 so don't need a lot of space, which is good for cold camping. We plan to augment the above set up with our old 2 man tent as the kids get bigger..

    For heated camping I can see the attraction of Bell tents but the cost, packed size and weight makes them a bit too specialised for me.

  3. #3
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    Davy 90,

    What is the 'other setup' ?

    Regards

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by bin_man View Post
    Davy 90,

    What is the 'other setup' ?

    Regards

    Paul
    DD 3x3m tarp, 1.8m tarp poles from Amazon, and a Vango Halo 300 (cheapish 3 man semi geodesic) tent.
    The other bits of seating/tables/camp kitchen/cooler box tat don't come with us when canoe camping.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, useful info as I have been contemplating a Vaude Dome tent / tarp.

    Paul

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    If you weren't so far away, I would suggest something a lot like this http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...-Homestead-7-3
    Damien

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bin_man View Post
    Thanks, useful info as I have been contemplating a Vaude Dome tent / tarp.

    Paul

    Its a great combination, other configurations work well:



    The quality of the stitching on the inner tent leaves a bit to be desired as its split in places by the zip but for what I paid for it I'm ok with it. I think Sunbury Andy has a similar Vaude tent.

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    We've got the Wild Country Citadel 6, it ticks the boxes you have mentioned and is bomb proof (used it last August in Pembroke!) took me and the wife about 30 mins to erect with our 11 month old daughter "helping" (crawling over it, licking it and crawling off with pegs). But definitely a car camping tent and the poles weigh a ton but won't flex in the wind. Bought mine in last years colours on eBay and was about 4/500 brand new! Only draw back is trying to dry the bloody thing!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davy 90 View Post
    Its a great combination, other configurations work well:



    The quality of the stitching on the inner tent leaves a bit to be desired as its split in places by the zip but for what I paid for it I'm ok with it. I think Sunbury Andy has a similar Vaude tent.

    Thanks, campsite looks nice... on the banks of the R Wye by any chance ?

    Paul

  10. #10
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    We've had a Sprayway Valley 6 now for about 4 years. It has heavy steel poles and is a pain to set up in the wind, but with two big bedrooms a large living area/bedroom and a small kitchen area it has been great for family holidays. Also, with the extension we can stay dry in the Welsh summer. It even has a garage for the Ford Galaxy!

    Graham


  11. #11
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    Wow a garge I didn't even think of that. Looks a touch big though.
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

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    Maybe I should change my original question a bit.
    Whats the best family tent, for 2 adults and two kids, that is reasonably spaceous and fits in a 16 ft canoe?
    Ta Andy
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  13. #13
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    This thread turned up a few suggestions for compact arrangements last year..

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    Quote Originally Posted by flat cap Andy View Post
    Maybe I should change my original question a bit.
    Whats the best family tent, for 2 adults and two kids, that is reasonably spaceous and fits in a 16 ft canoe?
    Ta Andy

    Your last question rather throws the cat amongst the pigeons !
    I can't imagine you would want to carry a modern frame tent, that fits all of your original requirements, in a 16' canoe together with people and all the other paraphernalia that you will require.
    A good quality tent of similar size to your current one will be heavy and take up a lot of space.
    There may well have to be a compromise here. I could well be wrong but I haven't seen a tent such as you require that is lightweight.

    Based on most of your requirements, if I was in your position, I think I'd be looking at Tentipi type tents and use a tarp as a porch.
    These tents are expensive and you don't give a budget, but generally they are much lighter than normal tents and are easy to erect.
    Tents with a central pole are much quicker and easier to erect/dismantle than frame tents.

    For easy pitching, this might be of interest http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coleman-14X8...3164100&sr=8-5, and it's not too heavy, but one of the reviews about it is somewhat scathing.

    I would think it's likely that if you want to fulfill all of your original criteria, you may have to stick to base camp canoeing.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Indeed, if it needs to come canoe camping with you, you'll probably have to consider a set up more like the Davy90 one, rather than a large 3 bedroom family tent. A 4 person dome with a small porch should fit OK, and combined with a tarp gives you a lot of flexibility. In nice weather some of you could choose to sleep under the tarp too.

    How old are the kids? Big 'uns or little 'uns?
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    I found this whilst looking through Vango's range: http://www.vango.co.uk/family/hampton-600.html The packed size is not too bad but its still pretty heavy!
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  17. #17
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    Slightly OT but relevant - these guys packed a lot between them

    to movie

    Check out his other movies for inspiration! Two smallish tents and tarps seem to cover all options for 4.

    Thanks, campsite looks nice... on the banks of the R Wye by any chance ?
    Indeed it is, photo courtesy of Mr Grey

  18. #18
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    Have a trip down to Frensham garden center and visit the Camping world tent display. They have loads on show. We have a couple of Kyhams, 1 8 berth and a 3 berth which have been used for years in all weathers without any problems whilst others have leaked and collapsed around us. We also have a Outwell Montana which is luxury, used it once and the teenage daughter has decided no more camping for her so will probably just sit in the garage for ever now!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Your last question rather throws the cat amongst the pigeons !
    I can't imagine you would want to carry a modern frame tent, that fits all of your original requirements, in a 16' canoe together with people and all the other paraphernalia that you will require.
    A good quality tent of similar size to your current one will be heavy and take up a lot of space.
    There may well have to be a compromise here. I could well be wrong but I haven't seen a tent such as you require that is lightweight.

    Based on most of your requirements, if I was in your position, I think I'd be looking at Tentipi type tents and use a tarp as a porch.
    These tents are expensive and you don't give a budget, but generally they are much lighter than normal tents and are easy to erect.
    Tents with a central pole are much quicker and easier to erect/dismantle than frame tents.

    For easy pitching, this might be of interest http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coleman-14X8...3164100&sr=8-5, and it's not too heavy, but one of the reviews about it is somewhat scathing.

    I would think it's likely that if you want to fulfill all of your original criteria, you may have to stick to base camp canoeing.
    Yes you're are right, I guess I am not really sure what I am looking for.....but the suggestions are great so keep'em coming and by the end of this thread I should know what will suit....it may be two small tents when canoeing and a large one when not.
    Is this the wrong forum to start a thread reviewing tents?
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Indeed, if it needs to come canoe camping with you, you'll probably have to consider a set up more like the Davy90 one, rather than a large 3 bedroom family tent. A 4 person dome with a small porch should fit OK, and combined with a tarp gives you a lot of flexibility. In nice weather some of you could choose to sleep under the tarp too.

    How old are the kids? Big 'uns or little 'uns?
    The Kids are 12 and 8 so getting big and on the cusp of teenageness! I like the look of the Vango...
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  21. #21
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    Is this the wrong forum to start a thread reviewing tents ?


    No, tent questions often crop up here.
    I asked loads of questions when thinking about buying a bell tent and the replies were most helpful.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  22. #22
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    I had one of the very first Vango tunnels, it was a lot lower than the latest family versions (sitting up room only) but it was a pretty good bit of kit. Life extended with a bit of seam seal.

    I quite like the look of some of the Wynnster tents, same make as the Khyams I think.
    Reasonable hydrostatic head for the fly (3000HH) but sewn in ground sheet for the communal area is not as functional as a clip in one and they don't say what the HH is for the ground sheet.
    Doesn't mean you can't cut the vestibule ground sheet out or carry separate reinforcing ground sheets for the rooms....
    The Khyam quick erect system seems like a good idea, as long as you don't bust the joints.
    The same applies to any poles really, except they normally supply a spare section of pole or you can carry a fix kit of sorts...

    The Marseille looks like a very nice living area (similar to my Coleman quad space) but mega weight/size and a bit complicated/time consuming for pitching, although not ridiculous unless it's blowing a gale.
    Great value but apparently out of stock.(last years range I think).

    The Bordeaux's look like a nice and simple design with a wind deflecting shape, a door in either side and plenty of guy line points.
    Fantastic prices considering the competition and without going into the other very low quality offerings available.
    Might even fit in the canoe but don't seem to be in stock atm


    Probably the docking together of smaller tents is the best bet for "ferrying in a canoe, on the go" functionality. Sorting out the kids pitch hopefully before anythen improvising around that be safe.

    If you want to be serious then there are offerings like the Alpkit Heksa at 650+-. Which is a good balance between price, performance, space and weight. Maybe a bit technical for erecting and limited vestibule space but from the reviews is reasonably bomb proof.

    If your carting kids about(particularly in Scotland)then I would strongly recommend something with a good cooking space, a bit of head room, good exit/entry points and plenty of guy lines for remedial security adjustment against the wind(always nice to be able to change the exit/entry point depending on the direction of the wind and driving rain, sure beats moving the tent or getting soaked!).

    Not trying to be condescending just helpful OK. Thanks
    Last edited by POTS; 19th-March-2013 at 02:51 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Best car-camping tent I've ever used. Canvas, which we really enjoy. Goes up in five minutes with one person (seriously!), and can survive high winds still standing - but you pay for it. The model shown is 12 feet by 16 feet. Ours is about 10 feet by 10 feet - and more than large enough:

    High Winds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-0bZoGm9Is



    http://www.kirkhams.com/
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre girard View Post
    Best car-camping tent I've ever used. Canvas, which we really enjoy. Goes up in five minutes with one person (seriously!), and can survive high winds still standing - but you pay for it. The model shown is 12 feet by 16 feet. Ours is about 10 feet by 10 feet - and more than large enough:

    High Winds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-0bZoGm9Is



    http://www.kirkhams.com/
    Great video and, with the weather we are having in the UK at the moment, the most suitable!
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

  25. #25
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    Just got one of these from Cotswold Outdoors
    Jack Wolfskin Pyramid tent. HH outer of 4000mm groundsheet 10000mm. It might be a good compact option. 156 with BCU Discount

    If you're not a BCU member its available at leisure quest for 169
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    Just got one of these from Cotswold Outdoors
    Jack Wolfskin Pyramid tent. HH outer of 4000mm groundsheet 10000mm. It might be a good compact option. 156 with BCU Discount

    If you're not a BCU member its available at leisure quest for 169
    Very nice.....when you selling that to me??
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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    Bger off ............and I need my stove back!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    Bger off ............and I need my stove back!
    Wouldn't mind if I had it........think Terry's running it in for me!!
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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