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Subject Topic: Which bell tent ?
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Message posted by Neilstait on 26/8/2018 at 7:54am
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As a single camper which traditional bell tent should I choose ? It needs to be light enough for me to carry fit in a vw golf boot and easy to pitch for one . I am in Gloucester which is nowhere near any bell tent suppliers . I have noticed some have a single pole and some newer ones have a triangular frame , could I pitch the triangular one on my own? Which are the best suppliers? Your opinions would be great as I will not be able to view them , thank you

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Message posted by Caligula on 27/8/2018 at 10:12am
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I just wrote a whole load here which disappeared which may please some

Try again..
Do you know what size tent you want
Do you know what material tent you want
Envisage future use?

Bells are the easiest tent to pitch, and one can pitch any size bell solo, pretty much.

3 metre bells: more than enough space solo, available as traditional bells with single pole or triangular frame, ostensibly for more space. I'm not sure about this development as the triangular frame is on the inside and would that not encourage wicking in bad weather, never mind any extra bulk. The single pole is not as intrusive as some may think...and yes you can pitch any of these on your own unless there are other matters to deal with?

Less traditionally are the bells, sometimes referred as tipi style tents, of this size such as the Fairbanks and Gelert Navajo 4, these have been mentioned before, and are very good tents of the type, but at list RRP are horrendously expensive. I have been fortunate to have one of each I found at hugely discounted prices. I shall rehome the Gelert as I don't need two........
Also, as you know there are plastic variants of various bell tents, such as Skandika.

A point on the more traditional bells that I don't think people consider enough, is the wall and doorway height as this makes a HUGE difference to useable indoor space.
A camper in a well known 6 metre tent commented that she thought my 4 metre (Blacks Solace) bell tent with much higher walls gave almost as much space? A comment on this, with respect to tipi tents has been made before (lidds0).

Any of these type of tents will fit in a car and be carried by an adult at around 10-30kg. I even put my big bell tent in the canoe?

Material: I have an aversion to plastic/ polyester, but that's my choice. They are cheaper and lighter. They are prone to being colder, less durable/repairable, and sweat/condensation.
All my tents from the little lavvu to the Solace are cotton/polycotton.

Polycottons, more durable, more expensive, heavier. breath better Used a lot on smaller bells (as above), but some Dutch companies use this material extensively. Compositions and weave density can vary and some manufacturers are not very forthcoming on this . Most common is 65% cotton, 35%polyester. Can use stoves.

Cotton canvas: heavier, available in a variety of weave weights, commonly assumed to affect durability, but not necessarily. Warm/cool. Breathe well, very durable, MUST be stored dry. Easy to repair, can use stoves.

A lot of the main suppliers of bell tents use a weave weight of 285 g per metre but I prefer something around the 300 plus mark if the weave density is good (Blacks of Greenock, Pukka, Dusky Deer are three....there will be others.

Ensure that you have mosquito mesh inner windows/doors

Various makes are more inclusive with extras, such as tarps, inner tents, groundsheets etc...it always pays to talk to them rather than rely on whats on site. Blacks of Greenock is an excellent example.

Have a detachable groundsheet, for keeping the tent clean on packing and the ability to roll walls up on hot days. ZIG is arguably the best and most popular, but Blacks of Greenock (again) has a unique clip in system which has one or two advantages over zips..

Everyone will have their favourite suppliers because that's where they bought their tent, unless it went wrong.
Needless to say, I love my Blacks Solace (overall package/price deal I got, immensely strong, all inclusive, higher doorway, walls than most (I've written a review on site).
Also Pukka and Dusky Deer at two others on my radar with Camping under the stars, Bell tent Uk...Most are now made in China, the Solace from Blacks being made from imported material,over here. Or was?
Lighter weight, lower walls, Bell tent Boutique and Boutique camping are well thought of, as is SoulPad by some, although I found them diffident and not very enthusiastic/welcoming when I was researching tents.

Half an hour searching through the reviews on this site could be time well spent although some aren't quite reviews...but you'll glean a lot?
If you haven't already, read through the many threads on site pertaining to bell tents as well. Hope no one finds the suggestion rude.........[:ouc

Post last edited on 27/08/2018 10:18:22

Post last edited on 27/08/2018 10:22:44

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Message posted by geoffprinter on 27/8/2018 at 6:02pm
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Pretty much covered above, but we went for Karma Canvas. ZIG groundsheet, so easy to remove if need be, 285gsm canvas, so not too heavy to lug about. Mesh front door, an absolute must IMO. Front door height about 5' 6", some were a lot lower. Not a white canvas, its more of a cream colour,which we wanted. We were happy with their service albeit about 4yrs ago.



The shadows from outside on the tent just add to its inside glow.



The one thing we felt it lacked was windows in the doors. So my wife got out her trusty sewing machine, bought all the right gear and added a couple.




And at night, with your own lighting, you can create some great reflections.





And to add that extra space, a tarp becomes a great addition.





As I say we are more than happy with ours, but there are so many out there and peoples own views vary. I wish you luck with whichever you chose. I dont think you will be disappointed with a Bell.

Message posted by Caligula on 27/8/2018 at 6:23pm
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That looks so cool

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Message posted by john,mel,3kids! on 27/8/2018 at 8:48pm
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Looks great, very similar to my set up, packed up wet today.
The zip in groundsheet has just proved itself invaluable.
The tent has been out drying, now I can put the groundsheet out, and not worry about getting my lovely new tent mucky.

Message posted by john,mel,3kids! on 27/8/2018 at 8:49pm
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Loving the wooden dolly's too, I'm going to have to get some

Message posted by geoffprinter on 27/8/2018 at 9:19pm
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John, make yourself a footprint, and save your groundsheet getting muddy too.


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Message posted by john,mel,3kids! on 27/8/2018 at 9:54pm
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I got one thrown in when I bought mine, great idea though

Message posted by geoffprinter on 28/8/2018 at 7:20am
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Quote: Originally posted by john,mel,3kids! on 27/8/2018
I got one thrown in when I bought mine, great idea though








Message posted by lidds0 on 28/8/2018 at 12:02pm
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Quote: Originally posted by geoffprinter on 27/8/2018
Pretty much covered above, but we went for Karma Canvas. ZIG groundsheet, so easy to remove if need be, 285gsm canvas, so not too heavy to lug about. Mesh front door, an absolute must IMO. Front door height about 5' 6", some were a lot lower. Not a white canvas, its more of a cream colour,which we wanted. We were happy with their service albeit about 4yrs ago.



The shadows from outside on the tent just add to its inside glow.



The one thing we felt it lacked was windows in the doors. So my wife got out her trusty sewing machine, bought all the right gear and added a couple.




And at night, with your own lighting, you can create some great reflections.





And to add that extra space, a tarp becomes a great addition.





As I say we are more than happy with ours, but there are so many out there and peoples own views vary. I wish you luck with whichever you chose. I dont think you will be disappointed with a Bell.



Really lovely pics !

Message posted by foggers on 31/8/2018 at 11:50pm
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I have 3m Soulpad ultra lite polycotton bell. It's a perfect space for 1 but the front door is only about 4ft high so some stooping is inevitable. I am 5'6" and the amount of headroom is fine, but for a taller person it would be more restricted. For me the main pluses of it are a weight of only 10kg, and very fast drying time compared with cotton canvas.

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Message posted by Neilstait on 02/9/2018 at 3:04pm
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Do you know of any website that has a video of a review of the black solace

Message posted by john,mel,3kids! on 02/9/2018 at 7:31pm
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I don't, but if you are buying from blacks of greenock, chances are that it will be of a good quality.

Message posted by john,mel,3kids! on 02/9/2018 at 7:33pm
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One for sale on eBay 280 or best offers

Message posted by lidds0 on 02/9/2018 at 8:42pm
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Nice tent, just be aware it has a loose groundsheet (no SIG or ZIG).

Message posted by geoffprinter on 02/9/2018 at 9:09pm
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Quote: Originally posted by lidds0 on 02/9/2018
Nice tent, just be aware it has a loose groundsheet (no SIG or ZIG).






Good if you like sharing with creepy crawlies.


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