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Tent Showcase: Cabanon Biscaya 440

Tent and Awning Showcase Index  >  Cabanon  >  Biscaya 440 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
6  (more 6 berth tents)
55.00 KG
Fly first
Average User Rating:
9/10 from 14 reviews

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14 Reviews of the Biscaya 440        Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  
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By: Skiiddy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 10/10/2015

We purchased ours in August this year, second hand but hardly used and in as new condition. We were a little sceptical about having such a large tent but planning to tour Europe next year and wanted something that would be substantial enough to deal with the heat and heavy, short showers that can occur in certain countries.

Firstly, it is a lump and requires either a very large boot or, as we have, a good size trailer. The bags supplied for such a premier tent are disappointing; one each for the poles, flysheet and another for the ground sheet and inner tent but one is sack cloth one flimsy canvas a silly canvas bag for all the pegs! We opted to buy new, heavy-duty bags from Isabella. One large awning bag, one medium awning bag and one pole bag which takes all the polls including the additional one for the sun canopy if you opt for this. The bags are much, much stronger and offer heavy-duty 600-denier material and proper zips. Transparent windows at the end of the bags (not necessary for the pole bag!) to pop in the name of the part of the tent you have in it. Sounds silly but the bags are only a little different in size and you want to be sure to get it in and take the bags out in the right order too! We put the inner tent inside the flysheet in the large and the ground sheet in to the medium bag. Finally, there are loads of pegs and we purchased the Isabella peg bag, which is not only strong with plenty of space for the pegs and extra hard standing ones but holds two rubber mallets as well! Tip- fold the flysheet and ground sheet to the length of the bag you are using and ensure a width of 50cm. Rolling can take up more space and may damage the hooks and eyelets so fold instead to the 50cm width.

One annoyance is that Cabanon do not seem to offer a footprint so we took the advice of another reviewer, bought a pond liner from Amazon for about £33.00, and cut it to size. In addition, we bought some Tarp Clips and made our own footprint that works perfectly so many thanks for the tip! Another great tip was to purchase an Outwell Montana 6P carpet (the 3 layer insulated version) which is probably the closest fit. It is a little short width ways and we have to fold it under itself to shorten the length; we are considering giving it to a friend who is a dab hand with a sewing machine to cut the length to size and have the edge tapped and finished.

Our first outing was to Dartmouth Regatta for 4 nights and having done a couple of practice runs, we soon had the beast up in about 45 minutes. There is a reasonably good video on YouTube, which we found useful, but we would suggest (like other reviewers) that you do the following; lay your footprint. Now the groundsheet but peg loosely as the inner tent will be difficult to connect. Construct three of the large hooped poles and smaller kitchen end pole and lay them out facing the back and the kitchen one to the side. Lay the flysheet over the top and starting form the back, zip the flysheet on to the ground sheet – there are two zips that run clockwise and counter clockwise. Construct the fourth large pole and thread it through the outer entrance end. Connect the guy strap to the centre of the outer edge and hoist up and secure with a peg giving you access to the tent. Unzip the door about half way and go inside. Insert the middle pole first and zip in to position, then the rear then the front and finally, the kitchen pole. Insert the inner tent, close up the door and now finish off the pegging of the outside and complete the six guy straps – simples!

Ours did not have the additional sun canopy, which we decided after our first trip was necessary and ordered one from James and Camping and Travel Store – great guy who explained that the factory in France was shut for August with just one or two staff and it would not be delivered until early September. It arrived within the time specified so a big thank you to Cabanon and James! We really believe this makes such a huge difference to the tent and allows for a much larger sheltered area allowing you to sit out in any weather.

Our final trip of the season was to Padstow Touring Park in mid-September; great site that we highly recommend, as it is well deserving of every one of its five stars. Our first two nights were spent under very threatening skies that suddenly let loose and we were hit by 40 mile an hour gusts and heavy rain! The Biscaya was very impressive, hardly flinched and not a droplet of rain got in! Two tents opposite us, a Highgear and an Outwell Montana, were bucking in the wind to the extent that the occupants of the Highgear had to buy a tarp to keep dry! Sadly, as soon as there was a lull in the weather, the Outwell occupants packed up earlier than planned commenting that they had noticed ours had not budged. We had planned to stay for eight nights but cut short by one night (the last one) due to impending overnight rain. We hate packing up in the wet and you will appreciate that the last trip always requires a more detailed packing regime to store for the winter. Even though the 440 is the all season polyurethane heavy material, like all tents, it still requires drying out before packing.

A couple of small niggles; there is only one EHU zip and no central lamp hook in the living area but we are just being fussy.

Suffice to say we are very, very pleased with the Biscaya and are looking forward to our first trip to France (Dordogne) next May for two weeks but plan to get a couple of long weekends in before our European vacation!
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By: The worthingtons  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 06/03/2014

We love this tent and have had it from new . It's very robust . We love being able to cook indoors or out , weather depending . There's plenty of room in the bedrooms to get dressed . We are a family of four and use the bedroom as one very large space rather than splitting into three . We take lots of gear with us and have plenty of space . We have bought the sun canopy this year but have never really needed it ,just thought we'd buy it before it was discontinued . Best feature of this tent is the zip in groundsheet . It's very thick and comes up bath tub style . It only has one guy rope at the side to the kitchen side so it leaves you loads of room at the side of your tent to park car and set up table and chairs etc . The canvas is much thicker than on other canvas tents I've seen . The other great thing about cabanon is they hold their value . Not many dealers around now though .
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By: Canvascrazy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 04/07/2012

We've just been to the lakes for a week in the Biscaya 440, it was windy with wall to wall rain, but the tent was solid and dry. The tent has a zipped on ground sheet which is pegged out first, the poles are assembled and positioned on the groundsheet, then the canvas is zipped on. A for-runner of the Awaya had a sewn in ground sheet. Sorry for any confusion.
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By: Canvascrazy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 22/06/2012

We purchased the Biscaya 440 Cuisine and were very glad to have bought the additional sun/rain canopy - it's brilliant to be able to cook and eat outside. We love the light tan/navy colour way which is quite natural and shouldn't date. The Cuisine is easy to put up and the sewn in ground sheet has withstood a stream flowing underneath it. The shell material is acrylic coated (all weather)polyester, as used on pre erected holiday tents.The fabric does not breath (confirmed by a Cabanon email), so be aware of carbon monoxide, but there are many vents to compensate and increase airflow. We did own an Awaya 500, which was just too big and needed a stool to zip the poles in. We decided on the Biscaya to replace it, as although the cotton was comfortable, it did start to fade after eight or ten weeks.

Points to consider.

Velcro/ties could help keep poles in place while zipping, to allow one person to erect. The rain does react differently on the polyester, when compared to cotton - which doesn't lul us to sleep in quite the same way (It tends to sit and then gush, rather than slide gracefully down). We are not too keen on the mosquito vent in the inner, too light in the mornings. Keep vents and windows open if cooking inside.

Overall a wonderful tent, superb quality, rock solid and torrent proof, a sound purchase and it should last a lifetime. We think it better to buy a Cabanon, (start second hand, then fall in love with the brand) than a tent that uses lower quality materials, looks more flashy and only lasts 3 years.
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By: Duffs54  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating:   Date: 06/08/2011

Can't add much more than what has been said, it was our dream tent and we managed to get one. Loads of room with lovely big windows and very bright bedroom pods which make you think it is sunny everytime you wake up!

Have now used it 3 times and getting quicker to erect each time, also folding away after use is also quite easy now.

The only criticism is the zips on the bedroom pods should be at both ends not just the bottom, would make life a bit easier for just popping things back into the bedroom.

We love it and are so pleased with it it still makes me smile when I think that we actually have one!
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By: Slater/sargison  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 12/07/2011

After visiting loads of camping shops around England, and believe me we did, looking at all the Outwell tents. We saw the Cabanon Biscaya 440 and instantly I was hooked. Just 5 poles to assemble and in reality only 3 guide ropes. We bought it and the rest is history. We've camped in strong winds, heavy rain and sleet, well you know the English weather, the tent never moved in the wind and never leaked once when it rained ( and it did rain!). Easy to assemble and spacious without taking much room up outside because of the lack of clumsy guide ropes. In our opinion save a little extra and buy the best which is what we certainly did. We have put photos on just to show how easy it is to put up(20mins) does take a little longer to set beds ect. Up but there is 6/7 of us go on holiday. Photos do show how good this tent looks.
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By: Marsupilami  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 30/03/2011

We are an owner of a tent Biscaya 440 for 3 years and it is only of the happiness. The tent knew the Breton storms, the tropical showers of Haute-Savoie and the heat wave of Ardèche without showing the slightest failure. Tent which is very well conceived to ventilate under the heights of summer, painting of an excellent quality to support 3 days and 3 nights of a steady rain. Solid conception to resist has 100 kph winds without moving.
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By: Dales-Heather  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 14/07/2010

We bought this tent recently brand new but at a greatly reduced price. We believe that it may be a 2007 model however it is absolutely superb. We have only had it up in our garden so far and left it there for three days to check it's performance before we went on holiday. It remained bone dry through heavy rain and did not move in the wind. It felt noticeably warmer than other tents when it was chilly and is very spacious.

We are looking forward to going to Scotland on holiday with our new tent. It has to be said that it is bulky, however to make packing up easier we bought an Isabella awning bag for the canvas which saves having to try and put it back in the sack provided by Cabanon. It took a while to pitch as it was our first time but I am sure that it will get easier with practice. We are extremely pleased with the product.
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By: Awedlock  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 12/09/2009

My overall summary is superb build quality and design but some areas are a bit basic.

We recently purchased a second hand Biscaya of Ebay, and as we also own an Outwell Bear Lake 6 (which will be sold after the purchase of the biscaya!) there are some areas where the Outwell is noticeably better equipped than the Biscaya. On the interior of the Biscaya I was surprised to find sleeping compartments with single-way zips, single skin doors and partitions as opposed to separate sleeping compartments and very little storage solutions such as pockets.

The only other negative point I have is the front door. There are four zips that meet at this point so it is hard to completely close off without leaving some sort of hole.Which were it not for the built in sun canopy would be an issue.

Having said all this the positive FAR outweigh the negatives. The build is superb, the stitching is accurate, zips work, windows fit and the design makes the tent ultra stable. The lack of exterior guy ropes helps make pitching the tent easier and also it physically requires a smaller pitch than some smaller guyed tents. It also look good! We had many admirers in our first weeks camping, even those with caravans were impressed.

The canvas feels like a quality canvas that will last many years. It did not feel as cool as polycotton, but felt like it would withstand the best/worst the British weather could throw at it. However the ability to open out the whole of the front of the tent allows the inside to be cooled a lot quicker than opening the odd vent or door.

We currently don't have the extra sun canopy but I think this is a must if like us you intend eating outside and we will certainly be buying one for next season.

Pitching the tent is relatively quick and straight forward but is a two person job. This is the only tent I have never been able to pitch on my own. Once the poles are in their sleeves though it is easy just to peg out all of the straps and groundsheet. A few bits of cord tied to each of the sleeve zips makes the job a whole lot easier!

If the inner were not so basic would definitely give it a ten, as it is it gets a nine, but as far as compromises go, I would rather forego a few pockets than a decent canopy above my head!
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By: DrDaveAdams  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 29/07/2009

Purchasing this tent was possibly the biggest mistake of my life.

It is described as a quality 'all season' tent. Only true if it doesn't rain! If it does, then it is possible that yours will leak on every, and I do mean every, seam just like ours. There is also a tendency for water to pool and leak through on the kitchen side of the living area, but the level of water ingress although considerable by normal standards, is insignificant compared with the amount coming through the seams and zips, so perhaps it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

We bought the tent in 2008 and used it for 8 days in nice hot, dry weather. It was absolutely superb, fairly easy to put up, spacious. Our son and his family thoroughly enjoyed it. This year it started leaking on the first day of rain and after 4 days the leaks on the seams became so bad that we had to abandon the holiday. Not bad for something well over £1000.

Careful inspection of the roof seams has indicated that some of them appear to have been unpicked and re-sewn, but of course this doesn't account for the leaks on all the rest.

Currently we're awaiting a response from Camping International/Cabanon on this problem

Would I ever buy another Cabanon product? I'll leave you to work that one out.

Overall impression. Appears to be high quality product from a respected company, but clearly any pretence of quality control is at best superficial.
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14 User Reviews of the Biscaya 440 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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Manufacturer's Description

# Durable and breathable all season polyester outdoor canvas
# Identical pole sections for easy erection
# Generous bedroom inner tents
# Large, full enclosed, living space
# Roll-away front panel
# Fixed front sun canopy
# Hard-wearing groundsheet securaly zipped to outer canvas
# Packed in three bags for easy transportation

... there may be more info on their website

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