Tent Showcase: Lichfield Findhorn 3
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3 (more 3 berth tents)
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8/10 from 2 reviews
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2 Reviews of the Findhorn 3
By: Urbster Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2011 Rating: Date: 05/06/2012
Well I gave my Lichfield Findhorn 3 a real run for its money during a week long camping trip on my motorcycle in France recently.
Camping for one week soon lets you see the pluses and the minuses of a tent and sure to form the Findhorn has a mixture of both.
Firstly the tent is a dream in the height department for me.
I was looking for something spacious ( something I could stand up in instead of doing roly polys to get dressed), whilst relatively light, small pack up size and erected and downed very easily and quickly.
The Findhorn 3 ticks all boxes on all these counts.
Firstly weighing just 10kg and packing up into a bag not much bigger than those you find double sleeping bags coming in, the tent is a dream for motorcycle touring.
The tent with two people helping really does pitch in five minutes and I would say ten minutes to have it all pegged out.
Lichfield have used the tried and trusted tied arch system to obtain this rapid pitch, and the tent pitches as one with the inner permanently attached, this means it also comes down and packs away very quickly too.
Solo pitching can be accomplished by laying the tent out on the floor, threading all the poles and engaging them into place with their appropriate pin.
Then peg out the rear two guys, grab the front two like a pair of horse reins and pull the tent up into position, and peg these out.
Once the tent is up and pegged out, it takes on a vestibule of Tardis proportions, it really is a lot bigger inside than it looks from outside.
A great bonus is the fact that you can stand up easily throughout the tent, unlike the 2012 Vango Icarus 300 or Kyham Highlander where bedroom height is reduced.
However I would have liked the porch to be a little more spacious and was probably just comfortable enough with one sat around a table, two and it would have been a tad tight, especially when sealed in during a spell of heavy rain.
The bathtub fully sewn in ground sheet is 10000HH rated, meaning that where it counts it is not going to leak, and you are not going to be disturbed by unwelcome draughts.
The outer fabric of this tent is 5000 HH rated, a rating you find on much more expensive models and I can testify that it really does not leak, unlike my companion and his Kyham Freelander who had a constant drip in the porch area during the heavy rain, I had no such problem from the downpours although I did have another problem which I will go into a bit further on.
So this tent does have some minus points.
We encountered a weekend of very heavy rain, due to the nature of the design of the porch area (the base being longer than the roof) I had to make sure the front panel was zipped up fully; otherwise the floor of the porch area would have been flooded out. There is an additional canopy available, which would have probably stopped this, but it is cranking up the weight and cost and besides additional weight is a big no no for any motorcycle tourer.
However this created another big problem, a huge amount of condensation especially when boiling up for a brew (I use a Trangia) was collecting on the ceiling and walls of the tent, especially in the porch area, so the 5000HH rated outer might as well have been leaking, there was a constant drip and a ongoing battle to keep the floor from accumulating puddles! A sewn in label reminds you that there is actually no designated cooking area in this tent? So really this was a no no, but one is not going to sit hermetically sealed for hours on end without food or drink and certainly not without a good old mug of tea.
An easy solution for this would be for Lichfield to incorporate a side door with screen and more substantial vents.
Opening the door first thing in the mornings also gave you a cold-water shower from the amount of condensation and dew that had collected on the slanted door over night.
Also if you unzipped it all the way around, the water would again fall into the porch area, I just unzipped it enough to sneak through, although I always got wet!
I noticed no real difference from the supposed darker inner tent, rather it giving anything black an eerie dark plum colour.
The fibreglass poles are also very tight to begin with, almost inflexible, and must take some considerable force to be able to bend them around and engage the pins, you really think they are going to snap and much to my dismay, one of the poles actually splintered but luckily for me gaffer tape saved the day.
However I was further dismayed that despite this being used for the first time, poles are not covered by Lichfield’s 12-month guarantee? So I have to fork out £15 to get a replacement sent to me.
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By: Janetlb Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2011 Rating: Date: 29/08/2011
We've just had 2 lovely long weekends in our new Findhorn 3, one at a festival and one on a small campsite, and it was great for both. It really does only take 5 minutes to pitch, allowing us to enjoy a few beers while watching our friends laboriously pitch their tents. There was plenty of space for the 2 of us and all our stuff despite it's fairly small footprint and it was reasonably light to carry at the festival. It's also quick to pack down, though on a windy day tricky to get all of the air out of due to it being so waterproof. We encountered a fair bit of rain and wind, it being August, and we remained warm and dry. We only have one gripe, it would be better with the door/s on the side of the porch as the sloping front door lets the water drip off it onto the groundsheet when you open the door. It does however make a nice sunshade when held up with a couple of poles and guy ropes from our old tent. I guess this design is to encourage you to buy the add on canopy but £76 seems a bit steep, maybe we'll try cutting up more of our old tent and make one ourselves. All in all though I would definitely recommend it for ease of use, waterproofness and comfort.
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The Findhorn uses an ingenious pole configuration to give the maximum possible headroom in relation to comfort.
The Findhorn is designed for weekend campers looking for regular breaks away from the 9 to 5.
Flysheet: Protex® 5000 polyester
Inner: Breathable polyester
Groundsheet: Polyethylene 10,000
Poles: TAS – Steel x 1 & fibreglass x 2
Pitching: As one
> Zippered front access with full mesh door
> Side and rear mesh vents with covers
> 2 front windows with internal covers
> ‘Full-floor’, sewn-in groundsheet
> Zippered inner door with upper mesh panel
> ‘Sleep-Easy’ darker inner tent for improved sleep
> Pelmet concealing inner attachment points
> Sewn-in inner groundsheet
> Inner storage pockets and hanging loop
> Supplied in handled carry bag
... there may be more info on their website
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