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Subject Topic: *Family Tent Recommendation Please* Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by CantonasCollar25/4/2018 at 9:35am
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  None Entered
Joined: 25/4/2018
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Hello all,

Long time lurker, I wondered if someone might be able to assist me in helping to make my mind up on which tent to buy? I appreciate there are many othere questions like this but I guess they are relative to that particular person.
Anyway, we went away last year on a whim with a tent that myself and my wife have had for a number of years, with my three daughters aged 7, 5 and 3 (yes I'm very outnumbered!). It was a last minute, spontaneous decision and it had me rushing around trying to find equipment to take, tables, chairs etc. with a day or so to lift off. Anyway to cut a long story short we had the best holiday ever, the girls fully embraced camping and we had a great time eating beans and bread and had a thoroughly good quality time family experience.

Sooooooooo, the tent that we have isn't fit for purpose but served us well for the long weekend that we had. We have decided that holidays going forward for the next 10+ years will be camping so we would like to invest in a tent that will hopefully see us through this period, or at least the majority of it.
The specs are for it to be big enough for 5 people, 2 adults, and three young girls. Budget-wise we would be looking at 1000 but can go a bit more if needs be. I have to be aware that I need to buy sleeping bags etc. as our kit last time was very minimal.
I'm going around in circles a bit hence why I have come here to try and glean some much needed insight from you experienced fellows.
I started off looking at Bell tents but then become unsure if the open space would suit, having three young ones and may not suit as they get older. I then looked at air tents as the speed at which you can put them up really appeals to me, plus the living space suited as it meant that you had a wet area (porch), a living space and then the separate/ability to open up room areas. My concern with these are the durability and it being polyester. I then moved onto Poly cotton tents, the appeal here is the durability and the fact that they could see us through the 10 years if we look after it. I like the fact that it isolates ours and other peoples noise to a degree. I also like the fact that it keeps you warm in colder climes and cooler in warmer. Plus it helping with condensation issues. BUT, and its a big but, the cost of these tents appear to be way out of out budget. I've looked at quite a few, Karstens (which really appeal, customising and the flexibility, and the quality of the air beams etc.) But as I say they are very expensive.
So, I was just wondering, taking into account my ramblings above with your superior knowledge which tents do you believe I should be looking at? Time is ticking and it is on me to make the ultimate decision on what we buy *Gulp*

Many thanks in advance!

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Message posted by duffs5425/4/2018 at 11:20am
Outfit:  Ford Duetto Autosleeper     Location:  Cambs
Joined: 25/6/2009
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Hello and welcome

Always go for a bigger tent than the amount of people so 6 to 8 berth, you need room for clothes etc.

Bedwise, you can get bunk beds that might help with room.

We have the Kampa Croyde Classic Air polycotton, sleeps 6, but to be fair the bedroom area wouldn't leave much room if they are all on the floor, 3 seperate bedroom areas. there's two of us and a dog, so we use the whole of the sleeping pod.

But you get a huge lounge area and the enclosed porch, we cook in ours and all the food cupboards etc and shoes are in there too.

Kampa do an 8 person version too and with poles so not as bulky as the air tents, also in Polyester and polycotton and which might suite you better, but look at good quality second hand tents too, they do come up, especially now, when people are changing or maybe giving up.

These are quite big tents, so make sure your car will be ok especially with all the gear you need for kiddies.

Kids also can use pup tents, which means they aren't using the sleeping facilities of the tent, that might be an option as they get a bit older.

There's a lovely Biscaya on the adverts section, we had the 440 6 berth one and these are fabulous tents.
tents for sale

Good luck lots more advice will be along too I would imagine.

7 berth tent

Post last edited on 25/04/2018 11:52:10

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Duffs54      


Message posted by Tricky Tree25/4/2018 at 11:24am
Outfit:  De Waard Lepelaar & Outwell Alamosa     Location:  Berkshire
Joined: 17/7/2009
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Welcome to the forum.

As you can see - the answer to what tent should I buy isnt as simple as you first thought

Two choices i think.

First, get a Karsten or look at De Waard (dewaardtenten.nl) if you want to look at something different but equal quality.

You will never sit in those tents and think i wish i didnt buy this. They will last. Forever. You can add to them to suit your needs. Use it twice a year for 10 years and then sell it for around 1000- excellent value when considered this way.

Or you buy a mainstream pollycoton airbeam tent. Buy last years model and aim for a substantial discount (Ie 2018 tent 2000 2017 tent around 1300) Over the course of 10 years you could probably do this twice (or more) for the price of the Karsten.

Given that you plan to camp a lot i would discount polyester. Aim for polycotton or 100% canvas.

The modular set up that Karsten (and to a lesser extent De Waard) employ can also benefit you for weekend breaks - sometimes the thought of setting up a massive tent for a short break can put you off. If you can discard bits for a quicker weekend set up then that may mean you get more use from it.

Good luck with your search.

Look forward to seeing what you choose



Message posted by JustinParker25/4/2018 at 1:34pm
Outfit:  Outwell Wolf Lake 7 and Greycliff 7ATC     Location:  Beds
Joined: 04/5/2007
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My response that follows is making the assumption that you are not looking for a weekender tent and want something you can use for week or more holidays going forward.

Look for a well cared for polycotton tunnel tent (with steel poles) such as an Outwell Wolf Lake 7 or (Cabanon Biscaya also a good recommendation by previous poster) as owners of these like me are now upgrading to Air versions. When new these tents were nearly 2000 but should be no more than 500 second hand. They are large Tunnel style tents and have seperate living and bedroom spaces which I think is vital for family of 5. we are family of 5, kids are 13,11,9 and we have used wolf lake 7 for many years and didnt think we would find anything better to replace it with until the Greycliff was released this year.

I've had 5m bell tents and looked at Karsten tents as a replacement for our tunnel tent but you will be sleeping and eating in the same area in most of these unless you foudn a Karsten with the bedroom extension.   Whilst the bell tents are excellent for weekend tents they certainly wouldnt be top of my list for 1-2 week summer family camps when you may end up unlucky and be stuck with wet weather for a few days.

the benefit of going for a quality used tent is that it gives you more time to understand what you like and dont like about camping. Also they will usually come with tent carpets in the sale and still leave you a big chunk of money from your budget to spend on quality beds and other accessories that can then move to a newer tent. Finally if cared for then you should then be able to sell on in a few years time and get a good chunk of your money back to spend on a Karsten outfit or whatever your heart and bank budget then can afford.

I personally would not recommend any tent that isnt polycotton.

Post last edited on 25/04/2018 13:39:14

Post last edited on 25/04/2018 13:42:29

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Outwell Wolf Lake 7
Outwell Greycliff 7ATC

upcoming camping trips:
Henlow Lakes May 18
Somewhere over the rainbow June 18
Henlow Lakes July 18
Hele Valley Devon Aug 18
Ross on Wye Aug 18


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Message posted by richardh190525/4/2018 at 3:03pm
Outfit:  Assorted tents     Location:  Orkney
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Regarding bell tents - inner bedrooms are available for these. Here's some examples:

https://belltentboutique.co.uk/collections/inner-tents

I'm guessing that you would want 2 bedrooms though, but a divider shouldn't be difficult to arrange. Some inner tents have them:

https://www.boutiquecamping.com/tents-c1/6m-inner-tent-for-a-bell-tent-double-comp........

As for size - I'm guessing 6m diameter. You should be able to get a new one with inner that will last decades if well looked after and have plenty of change out of 1000 for extras like mats - or even a wood burning stove!

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Message posted by Caligula25/4/2018 at 9:24pm
Outfit:  Very variable     Location:  Suffolk
Joined: 11/6/2016
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As per Richardh post, most if not all bell tent "makers" have inner tents/bedrooms available, also various "tuareg" style "bell" tents?

A 6m bell tent such as the Sibleys would offer loads of space for 5, I would have thought?

Message posted by TheDunfords26/4/2018 at 1:12pm
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  None Entered
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Hello!

We are not experts at camping but we have recently bought a new tent which we think is perfect for us (2 adults, 4 children 6,5,3+1yrs)

The tent is:
Hi Gear Kalahari Eclipse 8
Hi Gear Kalahari Porch
Hi Gear Kalahari 8 Footprint
Hi Gear Kalahari 8 Carpet

All for 499.00!
Which we thought was a brilliant price.
The tent itself is called 'eclipse' because it is just an updated version of the Kalahari 8 Elite which is basically the same but they have new darkened bedrooms in the Eclipse.

Hope this helps!

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