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Never ending tale of the Karsten 260 (5 minute read)
Hi bought the 260 in 2017, a 2015 model originally from CTS. It was like new and came with comfort and rain awnings and sloping front wall (which gives extra space and the arms of which can be pegged out wider to give side protection under the rain awning, or pinned back when sunny).
As far as vents it came with one each side (I think they said one was an optional extra) and a window in the back. The vents at each side are great because they are like a little window under the guy flaps to peer out of from bed in the morning. Normally keep the side vents closed at night and with just the top vent open is fine.
Chose it because it is so cute! and manageable and loved the cheery brick colour. All that fantastic quality in a mini scale that would still take camp beds and allow you to stand up inside. We love it and use it all the time now. My husband is over 6’ and can stand up fine in the middle to dress (I am 5’6” and it is fine for me).
Looking at the spec sheet it is the biggest pod before a very significant jump in weight / pack size at 280/300cm (from 23kg to 29/31kg - I find the 260 JUST about manageable to get to the car and move about the house on my own - I normally stack it on its end behind the front seat when going camping, easier to load and unload). It loses little in height, has the same door width and almost identical side wall height as the bigger pods. It does however lose 15cm in door height (145 v 160cm) yet is still fairly easy to step in and out of. It can be inflated in a few minutes with a foot pump and is easier to dry. It also has a single wing flap on each of the 3 outer walls, saves time pegging out and looks really neat, and just 2 guy points on each tube corner, yet is still massively strong even if thrown up quickly late at night, mostly unpegged.
The pod is mostly a bedroom, dressing room, storage facility for us. It is so cosy and the diffused morning sunlight through the brick red canvas shadowed with a mosaic of leaves gives a beautiful cheering glow. We prefer to eat and sit out in the awning (a pocket rocket provides all our cooking needs) it is certainly great for us as a couple and cosy if the weather not good, obviously prefer to be outside when sunny, but makes a great base. We normally sit round a campfire in the evening.
We usually have camp beds, which are cosier, much easier to get into / sit on / put bags on whilst looking for stuff. They also have the great advantage of massively increasing storage space, all our camping stuff bags, pegs, bags of clothes neatly and easily slip under. (I had 2 hip resurfacings 15+ years ago at age 51 - they were great and I am pretty agile, but getting up and down on the floor no longer that easy comfortable fluid motion it once was).
Not practical to put camp beds together in the middle because the space round the edges would be cramped and low, however 2 single mats on the floor are fine and have the advantage of being easy to move aside / around or stack sideways to give full daytime space if you want it.
For 2 camp beds they can go one each side of the door along the side walls, this is very neat and gives a good 1m corridor in between from the front door, with also 60cm space behind each (fit a small table or possibly a small chair). Also room at the bottom of the corridor for a table between the beds.
Alternatively can put one of the camp beds on the back wall so they are at 90 degrees (as per attached photo). Ours overlap very slightly at the corner but mostly to do with larger top mat. This does give a more spacious feeling inside and probably room for chairs alongside the table. (For sizing reference in photo: Kampa dream beds 190x65cm, - 60x200cm mat to fill that annoying slight sag in between the side poles, keep meaning to rig up slats instead - topped with a 198x77cm mat)
Of course a lot easier and more flexible to throw a couple of mats on the floor.
I mostly use a single Outwell Calgary table as a kitchen 55x75cm which I prefer to keep in the awning, Ikea bag of kitchen stuff underneath (in Outwell Charlotte Town), storage pockets hung down one side of the table and kitchen roll and bin bag hung off the other plus cool bag for food and water carrier on mini stool Still gives room in the awning for 2 comfy chairs and stool tables with room to squeeze in and out of the pod. Also use a similar sized Zempire kit pack folding table to eat off / or as a great coffee table that also fits in awning. Titchy metal table for cooking, few mini trugs for washing up (as instructed by Jim) and of course mini bucket for keeping the champers ;) chilled. All keeps dry under the awnings.
Can only say it works well for us but keep in mind we just use the pod as a cosy bedroom. A child may not want to be constrained in a small pod/awning in bad weather. Although easy enough to slot an event shelter over the front loop to give a large covered area at the front (but another item to transport and put up)
During COVID we bought an additional small canvas utility tent which we thought would be useful to avoid showers/ toilets. But to be honest the facilities where we went were so clean and well ventilated that we never really used it, but it created a great sheltered area at the side of the tent, so more of a wind break.
Didn’t really mean to bore you with our detailed set up (although self inflicted if you are still reading) but thought if you saw the way we use it and the measurement of things it may help you visualise space wise if it was suitable for how you might want to use it. Best to take a good look at one yourself if you have not already done so.
Note the 260 is the largest size that does not support certain add ons like the Combi awning (although surely it could be rigged?) and the veranda awning, or a zip in awning groundsheet (straps in instead for 260cm pod or smaller). See CTS karsten price list for details.