UKCampsite.co.uk member Vealmike offers his thoughts on the VauDe Badawi Long, a 6 berth tent:
Well, the Badawi is back in it's bag after it's first outing. Time to share
some first impressions.
I bought the Badawi based on my previous experience with a VauDe Space II.
I've had the Space for ten years now this fantastic little tent has never
let me down. Vehemently waterproof, brilliantly stable in all conditions
this little tent can be pitched in around three minutes. The Badawi has a
lot to live up to.
After a little hunting on the Internet, I found that there are four versions
of the Badawi; the Badawi, the Badawi TC, the Badawi Long and the Badawi
The Badawi is a pod tent. It has two bedroom compartments. In the Badawi,
the bedroom pods are short, sleeping campers lie with the door to the main
living area to their side. In the Badawi long, these bedroom pods have been
elongated allowing sleepers to lie with the zipped door at their heads.
The TC suffix given to the more expensive members of the Badawi family
stands for 'Technical Cotton'. These tents have a more durable flysheet,
constructed from a nylon cotton mix. However, this durability comes at a
price - and not just one that you'll feel in your wallet. The Technical
Cotton variants are less waterproof, heavier and therefore take up more
space when packed.
As you've probably gathered from the title of this review, I opted for the
Badawi long, forsaking the TC option and saving some cash.
What was the tent like?
We arrived at Rowlands Wait campsite at Bere Regis at around 10.30pm. It
was dark, and after a long walk around the site with a torch, we reluctantly
selected a sloping pitch under a very large fir tree. After clearing the ground of fir cones, the tent was emptied from it's bag
and the head scratching began.
It took about an hour to erect this tent. In fairness, I'd expect to halve
this given daylight and a little practice.
The Badawi has five main poles, all of which are manufactured from high
quality aluminum. The three long poles erect the central geodesic dome,
their lower ends held in place by a ubiquitous tent band. The two shorter
poles hold up the far ends of the two bedroom pods. A nice touch was the
anodised ends that these shorter poles have, the gold finish on the pole
making it impossible to confuse short and long poles.
Two further poles keep the domes apse aloft and give the Badawi it's
distinctive ventilation hat. Worringly the poles holding the top vent in
place locate only in small pockets in the flysheet, although the flysheet is
reinforced at this point, I'm surprised that VauDe couldn't find a better
solution than this. Given enough use, physics dictates that the hard pole
ends will eventually wear through the soft fabric.
Once the poles are up, things got a little confusing. The Badawi has a
bewildering number of adjustable straps. There are straps to pull the
bottoms of the poles together (tightening them decreases the bend radius).
There are straps to pull the inner tent groundsheets towards the poles (
beware: overtightening these will result in the aforementioned straps going
slack and probably in holes in the sewn in groundsheet!). Finally there are
straps to pull the flysheet down towards the base of the pole. The first two
sets of straps, I could, if plied with enough real ale, concede are needed,
they reduce need for muscle power as you engage pole with strap. But the
purpose of last set, tightening the flysheet is beyond me. Why can't this
distance just be fixed?
Finally it's time to peg out. The pegs look like they are stamped from a
shiny aluminum right angle extrusion. The peg's are tough, but have sharp
edges, I'm currently sporting a bandaged finger to prove this point. There's
no guidance in the single page instruction leaflet as to how VauDe intended
you to peg the Badawi. Neither does the tent lend itself to intuitive
pegging. I wound up pegging both the obvious elasticated flysheet loops and
the metal rings at the bases of the poles.
Moving inside the Badawi
It was nice to see that the inner tents were already hung. This seems to
be a trademark feature of VauDe's tents and its a good one. This is the only
guaranteed way to keep your inner tent dry when erecting a tent in Britains
predictably inclement weather. It was a little disappointing to have to
unclip the inner so that I could crawl round and attach the inner tents sewn
in groundsheets to the base of the poles and to the pegged out flysheet, but
this is a very minor complaint.
The Badawi comes with a free groundsheet that covers the living area
directly under the geodesic dome. As you'd expect of VauDe, it looked like
it was built to last. It too had a fair smattering of adjustable straps.
Our first night in the Badawi was draughtier than I'd expect from a base
tent. The Badawi has no mudflaps, so expect any breeze to find it's way
under the flysheet. VauDe will, for another £50 or so sell a tent protector
groundsheet, a footprint that covers the entire area of the Badawi. This
seems the right place to mention this extra, as dotted around the inner
walls of the flysheet about six inches from the ground, are some unexplained
hooks. I've not yet checked, but I would not be surprised to find that the
footprint has a lip, and will act as both a groundsheet and a draught
excluder. Personally I will not be purchasing one of these footprints. There
is plenty of room in the Badawi's capacious tent bag to store this extra,
but I was attracted to the Badawi's 16Kg weight and small packed size,
something an extra groundsheet would soon vanquish. My Badawi will be paying
a visit to a sewing machine just as soon as I've located some suitable
Living space in the Badawi is good. There's plenty of room for four adults
and a table. The central dome is tapered so that little space is wasted when
backing a chair up to the flysheet. We didn't get a chance to try out the
Badawi's unique ventilation system, the tent's top vent remained tightly shut
throughout this weekend, so it would be wrong for me to comment on it's
My overall impression of this tent is good. Very good, but not quite
perfect. Build quality is excellent, the tent reeks of attention to
detail, the taping of the flysheets seams is unbelievably neat and tidy.
The inner tents hung neatly with no nasty sags or wrinkled groundsheets.
I certainly could not fault the workmanship was constructed (note
'constructed' not 'erected'!). The size of this tent when packed is
impressive. OK it's a bit smaller than a Vango Diablo 600 / 900, but it
will take up less than half the space in your boot. Importantly, the
tent appears to be very stable. Grab a pole on a VauDe and shake the
tent, then walk up to a cheaper fibreglass poled rival and repeat the
exercise and you will see an order of magnitudes difference. But
please, ask the owners before you do this!
However there are a few things that let this tent down. The lack of
mudflaps on a tent of this type and cost is inexcusable. The number of
adjustable straps is confusing, you have no idea just how far they
should be tensioned - perhaps if VauDe were to sew a white line on their
black straps to indicate a default tension life would be easier, it's a
modification I'll probably undertake myself before long. And finally I
was confused by the guy lines, no I'm not simple, but the guy's were not
placed symmetrically on each of the bedroom pods.
On the plus side, the free tent tidy makes an excellent in tent wine
For the money, I'd expect the Badawi to be a Rolls Royce amongst pod
tents. In my opinion it misses this mark, perhaps living up to the
expectations of a Bentley, very good, but not quite perfect.
Where can I get one from!
The VauDe Badawi Long, 6 berth tent is available from many suppliers
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