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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : VauDe Badawi Long, 6 berth tent - by Vealmike

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VauDe Badawi Long, 6 berth tent

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 Long TC.

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 mudflap material.












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 efficiency

Overall

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 rack!

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 including Gear-Zone.


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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : VauDe Badawi Long, 6 berth tent - by Vealmike



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