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Subject Topic: tent advice for 3 growing children Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by topcatgym on 07/12/2013 at 1:47pm
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topcatgym
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Hi, I really need some help with buying a tent for three small children ages 6,4,1 plus mum and dad.

First choice was the outwell montana 6, but while it might accommodate us now I don't think it will in the future.

Second choice is the vango marista 600 or 700. I like having 3 bedrooms and the built in porch. I worry it might be to big!

Third choice is the Kampa Croyde 6 or filey 6. Again I like three bedrooms because it gives me extra storage space.

Dream tent is the outwell wolf 7.

My budget is 500 - 600. Can you suggest other tents I've not heard about


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Message posted by don-maureen on 09/12/2013 at 8:00pm
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Outfit: Kampa Frinton 5. Litchfield Montana 6.

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Hi the biggest you can afford.... never too big with a young family and british summers.
look at 'at least 8 birth' or the living area will be very cramped, a 'porch' is idea for the kitchen,wet gear, boots etc.

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I sure do like the UK summers :) :)

Message posted by loobywoof on 23/12/2013 at 11:25pm
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loobywoof
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Outfit: Vango Maritsa 700 Icarus 600

Location: North Lincolnshire
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I have a Maritsa 700 and it's a fab tent - however I've now also purchased an Icarus 600 as a weekend tent. The Maritsa is a bit too big to put up late on a Friday night and take down again by Sunday lunch.

While I will still use both tents for different trip lengths I do wonder whether I would have been better off getting something like the Icarus in the first place and supplementing it with a porch for longer trips.

I do adore my Maritsa but it also takes up a heck of a lot of space in the car and those steel poles are very very heavy.

We ruled out the Montana 6 as we have a girl and a boy so we wanted them to be able to have separate bedrooms when older.

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Pigeon Cottage April 2011
Woodhouse Farm May 2013
Beech Croft July 2013
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Message posted by Mucker1884 on 24/12/2013 at 8:50am
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Welcome Topcat!

With respect, one thing I would be wary of, is the phrase "better off getting something like the Icarus in the first place and supplementing it with a porch for longer trips".
At first glance, it makes perfect sense, but, if the kids are still coming along for the shorter, two nighters, and you are still going to use your "full kit" (camp beds? Cooker(s)? Larders? Family-sized dining tables? Comfy chairs apiece?) then the chances are, your set up will be the same for two nights as for 14! In which case, why faff about adding a separate porch/extension each time, when you could put up a large "all-in-one"?

We have a weekend tent, but we are only two. And in winter, we don't set a kitchen up. If we felt the need to add a canopy (which we deliberately didn't purchase) we'd simply take the larger 6 berth. It suits us to have two tent options.

As your kids are a fair way off their teens, and if you are likely to be taking them with you each trip, I'd be tempted to be looking at large family tents, with a built in/integrated canopy for cooking/wet gear etc. Once they are ready to be wanting to stay home alone, you'll be ready for a new tent(s) then, anyway.


Of course, if there is the slightest chance you are going to get the chance to go away as a twosome, and leave the kids with grandparents/aunties/kennels, then a mid-sized tent with a separate add-on sounds the way forward.

It's always a tough call, and we all have different needs. Couple that with the fact that there is not one single tent out there that can be described as perfect!
Whatever you decide, the best bit of advice is to go see the tent set up somewhere, be aware of what kit you will be using, and where you'd like to put it.... and take a tape measure!

Good luck... and enjoy the search.

Oh... and come back and let us know the outcome.



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2014 = 8 x trips so far = 30 nights... and counting.
2013 = 36 nights
2012 = 21 nights

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Message posted by hankakampa on 24/12/2013 at 5:56pm
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hankakampa
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have you had a look at the HiGear Kalahari 10? - its an enromous tent and its on offer at the mo from Go Outdoors. might suit your needs for space?

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Message posted by CatAndNett on 27/12/2013 at 12:35am
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Outfit: Vermont XL Cleveland 5P

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Outwell Vermont XL (or XLP as it is now). 7 berth over 3 bedrooms, lovely spacious living area with built in wardrobe, and a fab porch. Its steel poled, so quite heavy, but easy once youve pitched it once, and solid once its up. We bought ours last spring as a 'used once' bargain, and unless we could afford a polycotton upgrade, we wouldnt swap it for anything :)

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Message posted by shelleybobs on 27/12/2013 at 8:44pm
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We had a tent very similar set up to the kalahari 8 plus the porch. Mum, dad plus kids 10, 9 and 6 months. We had it for 2 years and loved it. There was lots of room for older children to have their own rooms whilst little one slept in the other end ( took divider out to make one big room at one end) middle area had table and chairs in and the porch erred well as the kitchen area. I would definitely look at the kalahari, you could get the whole set up for your budget and still have some to buy extras good luck, let us know how you get on!

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Message posted by jom1904 on 03/1/2014 at 6:49pm
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jom1904
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Outfit: Kampa Croyde 6

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We have had a Kampa Croyde 6 for several years and it has been a fantastic tent; we are a family of 4 - planning to change it this year because very well used! and we fancy a bell tent for a complete change.
The Croyde has a massive bedroom space, much wider than most 6-man, which can be separated or as one huge room, which is how we have always had it - our boys are now 7 & 5. We had 2 double air beds in it (end to end or side by side) leaving loads of bag space. Must be able to get 3 doubles in with no bags. Or easily 2 doubles and a single. Bedroom clips in quickly.
Plenty of lounge space....inflatable sofa, chairs, tables, bags, toys. Very handy storage pockets.
Porch - brilliant for cooking in, storing shoes, food, etc - in ours we had 2 kitchen stands, table with water carrier & gas fridge on, shoe crate, food crate and space to fit 2 moon chairs undercover. No mesh door on the porch but even in heavy rain, the rain didn't come completely into the porch because it is a straight tunnel design not a slanted porch.
Pitching - fine once you get used to it. Needs 2 people ideally to pull each pole set into place. Great that the porch is built-in and pitches in one.
Stability - very stable due to the front-to-back horizontal poles inside (which are v handy for hanging towels & coats on). We camped in Suffolk in very high winds for a weekend and we wondered if our tent would still be standing each time we returned to it, but no movement at all.
Negatives - only that the porch could have been slightly deeper but that really is being picky.
A fantastic tent, well worth the money. It has done us proud!

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May - Kelling Heath
June - Cliff House
July - hopefully School camping weekend - 'Fosstival'
August - Southwold Campsite
August - Deers Glade or Orchard Campsite
September - Waveney River Centre

Message posted by Katieep on 03/1/2014 at 7:23pm
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Outfit: Outwell Kauai Reef

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Do you want a tent for weekends only, or week long trips?
Do you want to be able to go on the spur of the moment or plan your trips weeks in advance?
Do you always want to use a roofbox/ trailer or want to be able to pack your car up without the extra hassle?
Do you camp just for camping or so you can spend the weekend walking/ sailing or something else that means you wont need to be hanging around the tent?
Will you be taking your tent to festivals?

There are 4 of us, me, hubby and 2 eleven y olds. If we are wanting to go for longer trips, and/ or the weather is bad and we want to spend time in the tent then a big tent with integrated porch is what we need and we love our Kauai Reef - the polycotton is lush and the integrated porch means it doesnt take too long to put up and it gives us space to hang out in our inflatable chairs if weather is bad.

However, if the weather is good, we want to go somewhere to use our canoes or walk up a mountain or just hang out outside then we have a large pop-up, and minimal set-up that we can throw in the back of the car and just take off on a Friday afternoon. The weather was so good last year you had a few on the spur of the moment trips that were amazing and we wouldnt have done with the big tent and all our kit!

So sit down and decide what sort of campers you are and what you want out of camping.

Don't be surprised if you want more than 1 tent !
We used to have a tent and a porch, but found that it took longer to put the porch on the tent than to put the tent up ! Integrated porches are fab.
Sorry to suggest extra expense

Katie

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