Tent Showcase: Outwell Niagara Falls
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8.67/10 from 3 reviews
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3 Reviews of the Niagara Falls
By: Babywhale Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 05/08/2012
Bought this last week after upgrading from a hi-gear gobi 4. Benefits sought included some more indoor space but with the option to open up a front porch when cooking, and also to use the sheltered porch for drying out wet gear, as a dog's room etc. After reading the reviews above decided to buy only the lounge carpet and footprint. Didn't buy the porch carpet.
Very waterproof and breathable cotton. Has a quality, classy feel. Tent warmed up modestly in the sun but kept heat in the evening. Also very stable and quiet inside the tent. NO CONDENSATION at all despite camping in damp and humid conditions with two dogs. Very ambient as the name suggests.
Zips really good quality along with the poles and various hooks. All of the materials feel as though they will last.
Once standing the tent looks sleek and its environmental earthy colours make it stand out yet also blend in. Easy to coordinate your furniture and equipment if you stick to black or white items (OH finds this important).
Drying rails in porch are very handy and sturdy. The windows and ventilation panels behind the drying rails means that towels etc dry quickly.
Pegs are basic ones. For a pricey tent Outwell could have supplied better
Carrying bags are not the best they could be. Handles aren't padded and there's no wheels. They are heavy as well. The two bags weigh more than 50kg combined the poles and groundsheet bag is the heaviest.
Front door has a window and curtain but no insect mesh so at dusk you need to close it to keep bugs out but then lose ventilation
The zip in groundsheet in the porch only zips in on three sides. The door section relies on three small Velcro tabs to keep it in position. The weight of the groundsheet might not hold after many uses on three small pieces of polyester
Due to the sloping front and doorway you have to accept that unless you're really quick to close it you will get rain into the porch. The carpet for the porch would be pretty much soaked regularly. Perhaps better to get an Outwell picnic Blanket instead as this matches the lounge carpet
We had difficulty feeding one of the poles through when pitching. This was the section between the porch and lounge. We followed the YouTube video but think it maybe better to start feeding the tricky pole first and then the rear pole
Footprint only extends over the lounge and the bedrooms. Porch therefore sits directly on the grass and gets wet and muddy as it is the main entrance area
A great quality tent that will last if looked after properly. The materials are durable and the cotton really does give a superior experience when camping. We left a day early to ensure we could pack up dry. The weaker points are minor irritations more than major flaws. Having camped in polyester tents and gone through two tents in three years it is definitely worth paying more if camping is your long term plan. We have two young dogs and will use this tent 5-10 times a year over the coming 10-15 years and hope therefore to get a good camping experience every time for £100 per year.
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By: Nb1977 Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 15/06/2012
***UPDATE ON ORIGINAL REVIEW***
Thought I'd share my thoughts and revise my original review after using the tent on a 5 day holiday.
Been camping in the Yorkshire Dales during the recent Bank Holiday week. It rained heavily every day.
* The bedroom and living area remained absolutely bone-dry despite continuous rain. They were also notably warm and well ventilated.
* The tent looks great.
* It was easy to put up and we were moving our 'furniture' in within 30 minutes of unpacking.
* It was also very easy to take down and pack - despite being soaking wet.
* The tent is very stable and although our site was admittedly quite sheltered, I'm confident it will stand up to anything the weather can through at it.
* The hanging rails were a god-send.
Only one, and you could argue that this is down to the way in which we used the tent.
* The front room / porch area.
If we'd been camping in glorious sunshine, I probably wouldn't have been able to find fault with the tent. However, it p*****d it down continuously and we had a few problems.
Because the front room comes with a zip-in groundsheet and carpet, we were naive enough to think that we could keep the room clean, tidy and dry. We were wrong.
The sloping front means that when the door is open, rain falls directly into the tent. This means that if, like us, you use this room for cooking in, your carpet and everything in here is going to get wet to some degree.
The doorway zips around three sides. The bottom edge is secured to the ground sheet with three small velcro pads. Ideally, I would have preferred to see a full length zip here. The ground sheet sags and if you don't adjust & fasten everything up precisely, you can leave weak-spots which will be exploited by the rain. We found puddles on our carpet on more than one occasion. I'll probably put a much larger strip of velcro on the tent for future trips. This should reduce this problem.
To summarise, I'm going to have to accept that in bad weather, the carpet is going to get wet. Without the carpet, the groundsheet will simply collect all the rain and I'd spend a lot of time soaking up puddles.
I could just not use the zip-in groundsheet and peg down a flat sheet, (as I did with my old Vango + canopy extension), but then what was the point in buying such an expensive tent if I'm only going to use half of it???
As soon as you realise that this front room is not going to stay clean, is not going to stay dry and is basically a porch with a carpet, you'll be fine. My mistake was to treat it as a 'clean' room.
If you want a tent with a living room and then a large porch which can take your kitchen stuff yet remains useable when the heavens open up, I'd suggest you get a Bear/Wolf Lake and a front-porch extension. Our neighbours had this set up and we spent the majority of the week sitting in their tent.
I'll just have to start camping in warmer climates :-)
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By: Nb1977 Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 15/05/2012
I should begin this review by stating that I have not yet took the tent on holiday. I have simply pitched it in my back garden and this is merely my initial impressions (see photo above!)
The bags that tent come were surprisingly heavy. At least when compared with my previous tent - a Vango Icarus 500. Whilst I was quite capable of hoisting one of them onto my shoulder and walking the short distance into my garden, I wouldn't fancy walking a couple of hundred yards from a car-park to a pitch for example.
The pitching instructions that come with the tent are very brief and not very descriptive. Fortunately, I've done nothing but watch youtube videos for the past few weeks, so I had a good idea of what to do without them.
Once I'd managed to unfold the flysheet and work out which orientation I wanted it, I put the poles together and slid them into their respective sleeves.
I needed a hand from the missus to get the thing stood up, but within just a couple of minutes I'd got a guy-line pegged in at either end and she was able to leave me to it.
The rest was dead easy. The groundsheets are the PVC coated tarpaulin ones you may have seen in the 'Lake' tents and simply zip onto the flysheet.
There are quite a few pegs to put in, but once complete, the tent was rock solid and looks great.
I took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, so I reckon I'll get this down to 30 min after a bit of practice.
The tent looks fantastic, oozes quality and is just the right size for me and the wife(plus the labrador).
The cotton flysheet is very dense and creates a fantastic atmosphere inside. I'm confident that the claims Outwell make about a cool climate in hot weather - and vice-versa - have some merit to them. The vents above the tinted windows are very effective and let a nice amount of air into the tent - directing it up into the space above your head so that you don't have a constant wind blowing into your face.
The tent is a similar size to the Wolf Lake 5 - but split into two equally sized 'rooms', rather than a large room and a porch. There are positives and negatives for either layout, so you'd have to decide which suits you best.
All in all, I'm very impressed. It's a massive improvement upon my last tent and I'm hopeful that I'll get a good ten years out of it.
I would gladly have given it 10/10 if it weren't for the carpets and footprint.
The carpets are approx £75 each. The total area these carpets cover is a mere 1.5m2 more than the Bear-Lake 6 carpet, yet is double the price.
The footprint only covers the area beneath the bedrooms and the 'living-room'. It doesn't extend to cover the 'front-room', so the groundsheet here will be laid directly onto the grass. When I took the tent down the following day, this groundsheet was wet-through. Not a problem when you're in your garden, but would be a pain in the backside if you had to pack it wet & dirty in the middle of nowhere. I don't understand why it doesn't cover the full length of the tent. It costs approximately £50 - the same price, yet smaller than the Bear Lake 6 one.
I wouldn't say it's left a sour taste in my mouth - because the tent is marvellous in its own right. However, it does seem a pity that after spending £1300 on a tent, Outwell short-change you with a plastic sheet - and milk £50 too much out of you for a couple of small carpets.
Can't wait for June - and to try it out in earnest!
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The Niagara Falls may be the smallest tent in the Ambiente Collection but it packs in all the superb features that make these tents simply the very best. It still sleeps up to five in two bedrooms and there is both a generous living area with a single external side door, and front room with zip-out door. Tinted windows and our unique lightweight Outtex® 100% Ripstop Cotton maintain the luxury atmosphere inside and the tent’s stunning good looks that are further lifted by the internal pole sleeves housing the quality alloy poles. The light Mocca colour of the zip-out durable Tarpaulin groundsheet perfectly complements the tent and emphasises the importance that we place on detail. This is further highlighted by features such as the Outwell Floating Guyline System, zip-up curtains, drying rails and much, much more…
Recommendation: A luxurious tent for the smaller family or more discerning couples who demand the very best in quality and performance.
Type of tent: Four room tunnel tent
Sleeps: 5 people
Rooms: 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 front room
Pitching way: Flysheet first or as one
Flysheet: Outtex® 100% Ripstop Cotton
Floor: Tarpaulin PVC coated 100% polyester,
10,000 mm hydrostatic head
Inner tent: Breathable 100% pongee polyester
Pack size: Tent: 35 x 108 cm / Poles: 32 x 106 cm
Weight: Tent: 24.3 kg / Poles: 27.2 kg
Poles: Alloy poles #6063, 25 mm, 2 upright steel poles
Large front room with zip-out door and zip-out groundsheet
Floating guyline system
Walk-in wardrobe with clothes rail and mesh shelf
Large tinted windows in living area and front room
Additional side doors
Mesh pockets in the inner tents
Lamp holder and light cable tidies
Reinforcement patch on
all stress points
Adjustable pegging points
Heavy duty Outwell zips
Outwell doormat included
Optional extras: Carpets and footprint
... there may be more info on their website
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