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Tent Reviews: Outwell Norfolk Lake

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Norfolk Lake Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
8  (more 8 berth tents)
67.10 KG

Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.39/10 from 36 reviews

Viewed: 71675 times

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36 Reviews of the Norfolk Lake        Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  
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By: Spideygirl  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 10/05/2008

We bought this tent originally in 2006, but due to a couple of little problems had it replaced in 2007. So we have used it for 6 trips in all kinds of weather.

We have the found this tent to be excellent quality, the fabric is a breathable polycotton and the poles are made of a light weight alloy. After a couple of practice pitches we can now pitch this tent with in the hour. It goes up really easily and we manage it between the two of us. We do use a footprint ground sheet to protect the inside of the tent as it has a ZIG, The ZIG has very chunky zips and is made of a heavy weight material. So no real need for a footprint other than to keep it dry on the inside while pitching.

The layout is perfect for us, but we do not use the third bedroom. We found when that is fitted it turns into a corridor more than a living space. So when my in-laws join us they are more than happy to sleep in the main living area and store the bedding in the one of the pods during the day. It is great having the separate porch for all the messy stuff and it iholds a lot. The main living area is very cosy on rainy days. The only problem we found with this tent is the sloping front door in bad weather. This tends to flap in when opened bringing lots of wet with you. We got around that by using an Outwell side canopy (the old style) as a front porch. This works really well and allows us to open the door on rainy days.

We have been through all weathers with this tent and it did not budge. We had strong winds, rain and even hale stones!

So to conclude I would not change anything about this tent, we love the style, quality and layout.
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By: Tigang  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 12/06/2008

Having suffered the May bank holiday wind and rain in a Coleman Darwin we decided to invest in something a little more substantial as a family tent.

Although the Darwin stayed up while other tents around us crumpled, the sheer noise from the polyester flapping around did not make for restful sleep, so we started to look at polycotton. We saw the Outwell Bear Lake up at a camping shop and were immediately impressed by the spacious living area, quality polycotton flysheet and (importantly for a tunnel design) the full-length side-bracing poles that keep the tent from 'concertinaring' in heavy wind.

Deciding that the Bear Lake was a little too small we opted for the Norfolk Lake and for £50 more (based on the deals we could strike) we got a lot more tent! We erected it at home and found it surprisingly easy for two. The only bit that took the time was zipping in the ZIG (like the other reviewer we also opted for a footprint groundsheet in addition) and handing up the sleeping pods. That said, we managed to strike the tent with everything attached; you end up with a very large, heavy roll that needs two to lift, but Outwell's flysheet bag is purposely made oversize to easily accomodate it.

I agree that the additional sleeping pod does detract from the spaciousness of the living area, but it is so easy to take down during the day and store in one of the other sleeping areas.

For those buying the additional footprint groundsheet, it is worth noting that the footprint only covers the ZIG and not the front porch, so when pitching start with the back of the tent flush with the footprint so that the pegs holding the front of the ZIG just miss the other end of the footprint rather than going through it. The porch of the tent has an additional custom-shaped 'hook-on' groundsheet, perfect for storing the meddy wellies etc. The latter had a sewn-on hook missing and Outwell are on the case.

Overall, very impressed so far with the superb design and build quality. We'll post a review update once we've really put it through its paces.
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By: Veronisyellow  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 24/06/2008

We bought this tent after a truly awful camping holiday May 2007 when our old tent was totally trashed in the bad weather. We had to return home early and spent the rest of our holiday researching and looking for a new tent. We saw the Norfolk Lake erected at an outdoor display and were completely bowled over by the size and quality of the tent. We have been away in the tent twice so far and have experienced high winds and heavy rain. The tent has been as solid as a rock. We've experienced a little damp around a couple of the windows during wet weather and I think that this has been caused by the external plastic zip covers not covering the zips properly because we have not ensured that they are smoothed out. The space inside the tent is awesome and the size of the tent needs to be borne in mind when booking pitches. The fabric is great quality and the zips are heavy duty. The ZIG is excellent quality and keeps out unwelcome bugs. We use a footprint to keep the ZIG clean and we also use the tent carpet which ensures that the living area is snug - it's great to be able to walk around in bare feet and have warm feet. The front of the tent is great for storage etc. - loads of room. Outwell now do a side canopy but I think it would be much better if they manufactured a canopy for the front to keep out wind and rain when the front is open. The tent stays cool in warm weather and is cosy in cold weather. When it is windy the tent is not noisy. There are lots of storage pockets in the bedroom pods and for the untility area. The devider between the living and utility area has a number of combinations through creative use of the zips available. Each windown has no see um mesh and curtains and again, these can be used in combinations that suit your taste. Ventilation is great and adjustable. We would not sleep more than two adults in each sleeping pod and have not used the sleeping pod in the living area but can see that it would be preferable to leave it out and sleep people in the living area without it. It takes two of us about an hour to get the tent completely erected with pods and zig in. We have received shed loads of positive comments about the tent. All Outwell tents come with doormat and external thermometer - doormat is actually quite useful but thermometer? Not so sure. All in all a fantastic tent which I love.
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By: Tigang  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 30/06/2008

We have just returned from a five day break in Dorset at Rowlands Wait, so thought it worthwhile to do an update to our first review of this fantastic tent.

Outwell customer service quickly addressed the missing hook problem on the front groundsheet by sending us a complete new groundsheet and telling us to keep the old one as a spare for our trouble. Outstanding! The only other slight fault we have noticed is a 'slit' of fly about three inches long where a couple of threads appear to have broken during the manufacturing process; I suppose I'm nit-picking here because it didn't leak when it rained and there are a number of other parts of the fly that appear to have an overlap of extra thread here and there, so I guess it's just part and parcel of the weaving process. But we'll keep an eye on it just in case it becomes and issue and this post is timestampted to prove we noticed the fault early in the warranty period.

We didn't experience really bad weather on this trip, but when the wind did gust all you could hear was rustling leaves from the trees and not a whisper from the tent itself; solid as a rock.

The ground was slightly sloping where we pitched and we found as a result that the large internal zip-up door that separates the living area from the front of the tent was under a lot of stress to one side. This meant that the zip could not be closed properly, but no amount of adjustment outside could correct it. The stress was highest at the point where one of the large plastic flysheet hooks latches to the pole outside, so removing that could have allowed the zip to close but would have slightly compromised the structural integrity of the 'tunnel'. It was only a minor annoyance and I'm sure we could have compensated for it if we'd spent the time trying more adjustments around other parts of the fly.

We only use the front of the tent for entry/exit because the side options open right outside the main sleeping pod, which we wanted to remain free of mud, grass and creepy-crawlies. For that reason, we concur with Veronisyellow's comment that a front canopy would be more useful to us than a side one.

In our first review we stated that pitching/striking is totally workable with pods and zig attached. The only thing I would add is that the way you take the tent down has a significant bearing on how easy it is to put up again: As per the video (available on a number of web sites) once the poles are threaded through you erect the tent one pole at a time starting at the back, guying the back before continuing. The alloy poles are so thick that they are pre-curved, so before raising them they lay on the ground (looking from back towards front) as lower case 'n's. When we took the tent down for the first time, starting at the front we let the 'arches' fall backwards as we took them down. Mistake! Because the flysheet is large and heavy (particularly with the sleeping pods and ZIG in place) it is difficult to manouvre once down, so it is easier just to square it up slightly then 'fold and roll'. Thing is, when you come to put it up again, the pole sleeves retain the curve and because we put it down with (again, looking back towards front) as lower case 'u's instead of 'n's we had a bit of a job! The moral of this story then (finally you say) is take it down front to back allowing each pole 'arch' to fall forward. Hope that made sense :-)

When you see one of these tents up it stands out a mile from those around it both in terms of quality and sheer size. It reminds me of a small aircraft hanger and the four of us were 'lost' in it at the weekend. I would say that six people (certainly two adults and four children) would find this a very comfortable 'home from home' for two weeks even if the weather was inclement, so 10 out of 10 Outwell!
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By: Mumshadenough  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 28/09/2008

We have just used our Norfolk Lake for the first time, and found it incredibly easy to put up.

We are used to erecting Tunnel tents so this was not a challenge. We were aware that there may have been an issue with the side poles fitting in the mesh sleeves, so we just made sure that the butons that clip the poles together were facing the tent as we slid it through. Worked a treat!

The space in the tent is fantastic, and even though we used the 3rd bedroom, we still had plenty of living space.

I love the fact that the front porch can be used for cooking, having had a tent with only a small canopy to cook under, this was luxury!

With the front door on poles as a porch canopy, with the sun shining, we had a lovely weekend lazing around in the sun.

And inside the tent you really feel like you are under canvas. The tent was cool, and darker than in the polyester tents, which definitely helped when the kids had to go to bed!

The night time was rather chilly outside, so we spent the night with a fan heater on, and we were toasty all night. It was lovely to wake up to a warm tent, with no condensation, and be able to get a cuppa without going outside.

Taking down the tent was incredibly easy, and we kept the ZIG attached to make things easier next time we set up. The bag is great, because it expands if you want to fit more in.And even though it takes 2 of us to put it in the trailer, its still no heaver than an old canvas frame tent!

This is the perfect tent for my family with the versatility to use it for a long weekend or a couple of weeks! I can see a long happy relationship with this one!
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By: Wissymo  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 31/08/2008

We have just returned from Longnor woods and it is the 3rd time we have camped in our norfolk lake.

For us this tent is perfect! With 2 adults,2 children and 1 dog we fit just fine.

We also never use the side doors as we have a carpet,and never use the 3rd bedroom as it isnt needed for the 4 of us.

The living area is lovely on an evening if it is chilly and we really do set it up to be quite homely.

Through the day we use the porch mainly as its big enough to lounge in and you get the nice outdoors feeling without wet grass on your feet or bugs running up your legs!

I don't mind the way the porch opens as we put the front up on poles instead of rolling it up and a little wipe with kitchen roll sorts out any drips.

The only thing I would change is the bag.It would be easier if it had a zip along the top rather than a opening at one end with the tent being so heavy.
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By: JJRufus  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 10/07/2009

Having a drink with 5 friends sitting, chatting and laughing inside the main living area of the Norfolk Lake Tent while an Atlantic Force 7 storm and torrential rain raged outside demonstrated the worth of our tent.

Large, strong and comfortable (with carpet). It takes 45 minutes to set up.

We have done 43 days camping in our Norfolk Lake so far. It has taken camping to a whole new comfort and fun level. If we had bought an inferior tent we just simply would have camped less.
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By: Issym  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 20/10/2009

Having used the tent three times this year I felt I needed to update my initial reaction. Every time we use the tent I am more pleased with it. We have just returned from a week in Padstow. While other hardy folk were exiting there tents in the morning with woolie hats and quilted jackets we lazed indoors in the pleasant heat in jim jams. We had a fan heater but once the air was warmed up, about 15 minutes we switched it off, and it stayed extremely pleasant.
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By: Tigang  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 01/08/2009

An update from us on this impressive tent.

Apart from the colour beginning to fade slightly and the 'new smell' almost gone, nothing to fault on the performance so far. If anything, we have learnt to use this tent better, so if we had not already given it a 10/10 score it would have gone up in rating! These have been no leakages or weakening of the seams, the fabric is still in very good (as new) condition and the poles have not suffered one iota in all of the conditions subjected to them so far.

With such a big polycotton tent, it is particularly important to leave the under-straps loose on pitching, only tightening once the pegs have gone in and the guys adjusted. The latter means that we no longer have a problem closing the zip separating the inner living space (sanctum sanctorum) from the enclosed front.

The flexibility of the inner living area and pods is impressive. This is truly a tent for all-weather living and judging by last summer and this August's predictions we have spend (and are going to be spending) a lot of leisure time within the confines of the tent itself.

I cannot begin to tell you how quiet this tent is in even the most challenging weather. How could one ever go back to polyester fabric again. Unless active sound cancellation is installed as standard. As for the horizontal side struts, I have only seen these deployed once on another make of tent but they were too flimsy. Outwell have really scored with these side reinforcements as they allow for a tunnel design with NONE of the concertina problems of lessor designs.

We will probably post another update at the end of the season, but as of this report (1st August 2009) my advice is go for a Norfolk Lake in the sure knowledge that your £money is well invested.
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By: Jörgen  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 10/08/2009

These reviews were very helpful in our decision making so wish to offer the same courtesy to future owners of the Norfolk Lake. Because when you’re in doubt which tent to buy and looking for a three cabin 5+ persons tent, you won’t be disappointed when choosing the Norfolk Lake.

OK it’s personal but we think it’s the most “cosiest” large (5+) tent available, not as wide as the Wolf Lake or Ohio XL (which also were on our wish list) or the Bardani Villanova 450 (also in the same range).

Bought it last week and tried it out last weekend. Although our experience up to this point only is based on pitching, taking down and packing we’re pleased we bought the Norfolk Lake.

Pitching was done by the two of us. Tent was standing in about 30 minutes (two people required), after this zipping in the ground sheet, inner cabins and pegging down (which can be done alone) will take about 50 minutes. OK, it takes some time but it is worth the reward!

One of the things which persuaded us was the lay out of the sleeping cabins. Placing one sleeping inner tent crosswise results in two larges cabins (both 1.80m). We couldn’t find this in the other tents on our wish list. It’s nice to have some room because both our daughters (now 4 yrs. And 7 months) are going to sleep in the same inner tent (one in the baby bed and one on an air bed).

Taking down didn’t give any hick-ups. The same for the packing although we think that experience will lead to a smaller packed tent which would give us a bit more car boot space. We managed taking down and packing within the hour but mind you this only is the tent.

Also bought the kids tent which was an immediate success, our daughter (4) loves it. Although it was a pleasant 25C outside she kept playing in the tent, seems the print of flowers and grass is more interesting then the real thing :-). The inner carpet and ground sheet are in back order :-( but we believe it will only make camping more comfortable.

Hope that this review is worth the while for English readers. My sincere apologies for any grammatical errors but hope it contributes to the positive reviews on the Norfolk Lake. We couldn’t find any negative things. OK it takes a lot of space and it is heavy but you’re aware of this when you by the tent. Hope all things positive will stay this way when camping for a longer period, we can’t wait to really use it.

Van Amen family (Gouda, the Netherlands)

Note: our tip for baby beds is the Deryan travel cod, we also bought it because it saves a lot of space compared to the conventional baby beds. Don’t know if these are available in the UK but we thought it was worth the mentioning (photograph is also posted). We don’t have any shares in Deryan :-) but were very enthusiast and recommended it to our friends.
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36 User Reviews of the Norfolk Lake - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  

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Manufacturer's Description

The manufacturer has advised that this model has been discontinued.

With sleeping accommodation for up to 8 persons in its 3 + 3 inner tents across one end, plus a
removable 2-berth inner, the amazing Norfolk Lake makes a truly spacious holiday home. The full
zip-out groundsheet provides maximum protection from the elements, insects and floor draughts in
the enclosed bedroom and living area, and helps make housekeeping a cinch. The Norfolk is easy to
pitch, uses aluminium poles throughout, and remains stable in adverse conditions. Other strong selling points include the detachable groundsheet in the front living area, the large front door that doubles as a canopy, the additional half-opening entrance, and a wide range of sophisticated and carefully crafted Outwell details. Norfolk Lake is a wise choice for a large family that wants reliable quality and comfort.

Flysheet: Outtex® Airtech
Inner tent: Polycotton
Floor: PVC Tarpaulin
Pack size: Tent: 35 x 103 cm / Poles: 35 x 102 cm
Weight: Tent: 34.8 kg / Poles: 32.3 kg
Poles: Alloy poles #6063, 22 mm, 2 upright steel poles

• Detachable bathtub groundsheet for porch area
• Organiser pockets
• Full length mesh pockets in the inner tents
• Lamp holder and light cable tidies
• Reinforcement patch on all stress points
• Adjustable pegging points
• Luminous guy ropes
• Heavy duty Outwell zips
• Outwell doormat included

Optional Extras:
• Kids Room
• Carpet
• Footprint

... there may be more info on their website

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