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Tent Reviews: Outwell Norfolk Lake

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Norfolk Lake Reviews

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

3
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.39/10 from 36 reviews

Viewed: 72802 times

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36 Reviews of the Norfolk Lake        Showing 11 to 20          Page:   1   2   3   4  
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By: U400jb9  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 06/06/2010

We bought our Norfolk Lake second and from UKCS as we needed a tent with three separate bedroom pods, wanted poly cotton or canvas and needed a ZIG/SIG. The Norfolk Lake ticked all the boxes.

The two bags it arrived in are a bit overwhelming, but it wasn`t to difficult to pitch between two of us and fitted easily into the smaller pitch sizes we are likely to come across.

The bedroom pods suit us perfectly as my children are not happy sharing so can have their own space on longer trips. The ZIG was a bonus as we have a puppy and didn`t want her to have to be tied up in the tent as well as outside.

The ZIG, although massive, is actually simple to attach once the tent is pitched. The massive porch is great too.

It oozes quality and I cannot find a fault with it.

We have bought the side extension because, although we have`nt used it in the rain I can see the sloping front being a problem when it does.

All in all it is a fantastic tent and I`m delighted with it
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By: Martinjp65  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating:   Date: 07/04/2010

O.K. Final update,The only aspect we couldn't previously comment on, was, weatherproofing, that has changed following our Easter break on the Cornish coast! Our pitch was on a cliff overlooking Looe bay, picturesque, but, about as exposed as they come! On the Friday night it hammered down all night and was blowing a hooly to boot and we had no leaks at all (I did find what I first thought was water as the result of a leak on the groundsheet in the front area, on closer investigation this had trickled in at the corner of the black groundsheet due to a very sloping pitch- a little adjustment stopped this) so we are very happy with this.

The only minor niggle we have found is that the top 2 velcro blind tabs on the front sloping window have been stitched on too high and the blind wont stay velcroed on when it is windy, everything else is A1 and the previous points we thought might be a problem have proved not to be so.

After our Easter experience I dont think we will subject our NORFY' to quite such an exposed location again,it has to last us a good few years and, whilst nothing broke,it has a big surface area and how much punishment can you expect ANY fabric to take? 'DELTA' pegs work brilliantly and I am convinced that conventional pegs especially with soft ground would have given up (this happened when we were setting up, to the pegs holding down the back corners when we pulled the flysheet upright)and it must be said it was a stuggle to erect in that particular location in the conditions we encountered.

Our Minnesota 6 carpet we purchased as previously described is an acceptable fit so worth considering if you are searching for one.All in all then very happy, managed to break a screw clamp on the horizontal bracing poles due to over tightening it (blame a stressful set-up due to windy weather!) and I did notice that a couple of the pole sections were a bit hard to separate on this occasion aluminium, due to it being relatively soft, is prone to 'ragging' but a polish and a smear of oil should cure this.

A final word then is it worth buying a polycotton tent? in our experience yes it is, the much written about benefits are great HOWEVER you need to be realistic in your expectations it is warmer in cold weather but we still deployed a Coleman blackcat and northstar and hotties to stay comfy, it is quieter but in extreme winds silent it aint, although it is a deeper 'booming' rather than a nylon 'rustle' cooler in hot weather? hope to find out this summer!
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By: Martinjp65  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating:   Date: 12/03/2010

Further to my earlier review, I exhausted every avenue to try to find a carpet for my NORFY, eventually I settled for a 2007 vintage meant for a Minnesota 6 that outdoor action still have in stock at time of writing (march 2010) It is in the much nicer green check that matches the blinds and can be had for £39.95 compare the measurements, it is not an exact match size wise (4.15x2.40 VS the NORFY'S ACTUAL 4.00x2.60) but I do prefer the colour and its better than nowt especially at the price.
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By: Martinjp65  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating:   Date: 25/10/2009

Well, after a horrible cut-short week in North Devon in July(!) when our high street tent was blown flat in a horrendous storm we decided that if we wanted to 'carry on camping' we would have to invest in something a bit more substantial. Following much research, quite a bit of saving and visits to tent shows we had narrowed our choice down to, either an Arrow or Bear lake 6, when, the Norfolk cropped up as an end of season deal just within our budget so we grabbed it sharpish. On collection or delivery of an Outwell 'lake' I dont think anything quite prepares you for the size and weight of the boxes, however as has been quite correctly said this is a consequence of the huge size and material. It comes in two bags one in polycotton containing flysheet and bedpods and a nylon one containing poles/groundsheets, as a practical size guide I have an avensis hatchback and with just the two of us and the back seats folded down we can just fit in the tent with one bag on top of the other behind the front seat widthways and have enough boot space left for rest of gear/luggage BUT it is tight!

Knowing from previous reviews that Outwell are not immune from the odd quality control howler we borrowed a relatives field for a trial run (far too big for the garden!)we found it easy and pleasant enough to pitch as despite its bulk it is not a challenging shape and it can only get easier with practice (two person essential though in my opinion), on carefully checking over the tent all fasteners were present and correct all zips worked very well and we were delighted with our purchase (small snag list at end of review)

In the Norfolk the living space where the bedpods are has a very thick grey zip-in groundsheet we didnt need the additional x2 man bedpod so left it out but its nice to know its there if needed the main bedroom in our model year is the universal with a zipped divider we used one half for a double air bed with room to spare and the other as a wardrobe. The front area beyond the internal partition has a black 'bathtub' clip in groundsheet which is a different material to the grey one but still very substantial and there is a good amount of overlap between the two to keep things clean (if you obtain a 'footprint' which, I would recommend, it only covers the ZIG area)

The windows have enough options to keep you playing for hours and are a great feature. Because of previous experience we invested in a set of Delta ground anchors for the guys and the same companies stainless steel pegs and they are superb and well worth the money we also use caravan awning pegs for the canopy(s) and the guyed vents which are very convenient as you can unhook it without partially removing the peg.

Following our successful trial run we booked a week in Dorset and again everything was very sound our pitch was slightly sloping but again experienced no problem with zips ETC. About the only thing I cannot comment on at this stage is the waterproofing as (minor miracle this!) we have experienced no inclement weather in this tent so far which is great as I really dont fancy trying to air the flysheet off at home if packed damp!

Why only 9/10? well, there are a couple of minor imperfections in the flysheet, on the front sloping door the top seam you can see daylight through and there is a stitching 'overrun' about half way down of about a dozen needle holes there is a tiny snag in the roof polycotton and one small area of uneven dying the size of a two pence piece if any of these do cause a problem I will deal with it with some seam sealer as the word on the forums is that Outwell are discontinuing the beast for next season and compared to all the good points these small gripes do not warrant a return.

Overall very pleased so far but bitterly regret not grabbing the last carpet in stock at the retailer as know unobtainable ANYWHERE will update on waterproofing when it rains on subsequent trips (as no doubt it will!) compared to our previous this tent is the Messiah and I should know I've followed a few!
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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: PembPitcher  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating:   Date: 03/10/2009

Having bought a Maryland XL earlier in the year and not being happy with it , we decided to buy after getting a refund for the Maryland a polycotton tent from Outwells classic range.

Well I got to say what a difference the Norfolk Lake is just so much better quality , the large tent and pole bag were of no surprise to us after the Maryland and I even think the Norfolk lake is lighter.

I managed first time to almost put the tent up by myself only getting some help off my wife who has MS to hold the aluminium poles up while I placed them on the pins which is fantastic for such a large tent and something I couldn't have done with a lot of other tents

The inside of the tent with its heavy duty zip in groundsheet , polycotton bedrooms and cotton curtains just shouts luxury at you , the windows also have mosquito nets built into them and all the plastic windows, mosquito nets and curtains can all be opened separate which is a real nice touch for the summer months.

The living area I would regard as adequate(cosy) but not over size for a family, as long as you are prepared to remove the third bedroom pod everyday(which is easy) otherwise it is a little more than a hallway really ,the good point of this of course is its easier to keep warm on those chiller nights camping.It also has doors either side of the living room which is great if you don't want to use the front entrance the only problem with the doorways(all of them) is that they tend to let water in when entering and leaving the tent when its raining , which is something we get a lot of in this country unless of course you buy the side extensions.

The front porch in comparison to the living room is massive and could easly be used in warm weather as your living area , although the clip in bathtub groundsheet is not as good quality as the zip in one in the lounge it is better quality than the one we had in the Maryland.

Even though this tent does have some little niggles about it they are few and they can easily be overcome , the quality on the other hand is top notch and if looked after this tent will certainly give you many happy years camping.

We are a family of four and this tent is more than big enough for us including taking our eldest childs friend with us , I would highly recommend this tent to anyone.
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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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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: Meddy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating:   Date: 22/07/2009

Be warned that this is my first tent, so I don't have a decent frame of reference. My only other camping experience (infrequent) comes from holidays as a child in static and touring caravans and a trailer tent - oh, and the Girl Guides!

I've pitched it twice now and it's definitely a two man job due to the weight of the tent, but in terms of complexity it's no trouble at all, beautifully straightforward. I don't think it takes us too long - downwards of an hour - and we'll get faster with experience. The bags are intimidatingly big and heavy and I don't know about all you other NL owners, but I think a trailer is almost a pre-requisite with this tent - it took up pretty much all our boot space!

Pitched, it's beautiful and solid as a rock. I was concerned before I bought it that it would be too big but it's just the right size for our family - we had three adults and three children and to be honest, I wouldn't have wanted a smaller tent particularly as with the third bedroom in situ and the porch full of gear, the amount of living space was a bit compromised. Three children's mats fit in one of the main rooms, and two adult mats in the other (with room to spare). However, a single airbed was a good fit in the third bedroom and I don't think it would comfortably fit a double.

We sat through some harsh rainy weather with no leaks and you'd almost think there was no wind (although there was!) due to lack of noise and movement! The only drawback we found was the sloping uncanopied front door which other reviewers have already mentioned - it really CAN be an issue when the rain is lashing down and people are going in and out of the tent - the porch groundsheet got very wet indeed.

It's hard to judge how the tent handles extremes of temperature as we haven't taken it out much yet, but so far it was exceptionally comfortable inside.

We're lucky enough not to have any quality glitches in ours - everything seems well crafted and well assembled so we're more than happy from that point of view. The zip on the side door has started to come away a little but we bought this tent second-hand so I'm not going to put it down to a manufacturing fault. In any case, it'll be easily fixed.

I really love this tent and am glad we bought it. It loses one point for the rainy front door, otherwise it's great. I'm not going to penalise it for using up all my boot space as I think that's the price I have to pay for such a nice big tent!
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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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36 User Reviews of the Norfolk Lake - Showing 11 to 20          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.

Specifications:
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

Features:
• 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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