Tent Reviews: Robens Fairbanks
Tent and Awning Reviews Index > Robens > Fairbanks Reviews|
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Living area groundsheet:
4 (more 4 berth tents)
Average User Rating:
8.86/10 from 7 reviews
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7 Reviews of the Fairbanks
By: JohnTerry Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2017 Rating: Date: 09/01/2021
I've used this tent for up to 3 weeks at a time and found it both spacious and weatherproof. There are many good observations in the other reviews and I recommend you read them all to get a full picture. The advice to watch a pitching video is sound. As mentioned elsewhere, I can recommend the use of an additional groundsheet folded and tucked in so that it does not protrude and collect rain. I also use a small (cheap) one in the porch area, again folded to fit, and pegged through the fabric to stop it from blowing away. I use a large waterproof and zipped duffle bag to transport the tent - stops the car boot from getting wet if the tent has to be taken down in rain.
If you have the version with the black ventilation cowl on top, keep in mind that the guy lines attached to it are primarily for adjusting the direction of the opening for ventilation and are not for helping keep the tent up. Some people don't bother to use them. Others over-tighten the guys and tat can cause the stitching to rip.
It is possible to use the Robens Shade Grabber with the Fairbanks - please see photos. I maxxed out on the guying to ensure it was secure.
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By: Caligula Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2018 Rating: Date: 29/08/2018
It's all in TUPIKS review so I won't duplicate it all again: a superb tent of it's type, and a comprehensive review.
It bears comparison with the Gelert Navajo 4 reviewed also on this site: how do they differ?
Both are said to be polycotton, 65% cotton and 35% polyester, however, I feel the Robens is better quality, I'm not sure why, perhaps a higher thread count? The Gelert also has a waterproof coating very evident on the inside. Why?
Their comparative specs. On paper are all but identical, but the shape (see Navajo 4 review) are slightly different with the apex further to the front on the Robens Fairbanks.
The front vestibule door is a little wider on the Fairbanks with various pegging options built in that the Gelert doesn't have.
The Fairbanks doesn't have a ZIG which the Nav 4 does to it's credit.
The centre pole on the Robens Fairbanks is a substantial telescopic affair that remains outside the main tent.Nice
Guy lines and retaining clip nice on the Fairbanks, with adjustable peg out straps. Also very good on the Navajo 4, but marginally better on Fairbanks?
Is either tent worth nigh on £500 list? I don't think so, no matter how good, but irrespective of price, I'll give the Robens 9/10 and the Gelert 8/10?
Both excellent tents at the right price, check out what TUPIK says below and read Gelert Nav 4 reviews before making up your mind, as both can, if you are patient be found discounted. I paid £265 for a new Robens Fairbanks in Aug 2018, and £179 for the Gelert Navajo 4.(which I will now have to sell. :-( )
2 from 2 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
By: Tupik Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2017 Rating: Date: 25/08/2018
I added a Robens Fairbanks to our growing tent collection because it was small enough to put on the back of the motorbike for weekends away and easy enough to put up single handed in 15 minutes, plus I knew it would stand up to harsh weather from the spec.
Well, I wasn't disappointed when I first erected the Fairbanks. It went up easily enough although I did have to play with guy position and tension to get a good shape. What impressed me was the quality of everything down to the superb guy rope alloy adjusters. Top drawer stuff. The wide slanted pole sitting outside of the living/sleeping area makes for a surprisingly tardis-like space inside. Most tents that claim to be 4-man you can say are more like a comfy 2-man tent. Not so the Fairbanks. It can easily sleep 4 in comfort and for one or two people is luxurious enough even for extended trips although during wet spells its always nicer to have more room (enough for a table and chairs for example).
The Fairbanks is extremely sturdy and rated up to average wind speeds of around 100mph! The bags supplied are all high quality but I would have much preferred to see a waterproof carry bag to save me having to buy an extra one for the bike.
Inside there's plenty of space as mentioned, and ventilation was surprisingly effective. It has a useful double screen door with fly and polycotton zipped door. The storage space between outer door and living space is spacious enough to cook in if the weather turns bad and also for storing kit. Easily plenty enough for two large rucksacks plus cooking stuff.
I bought a groundsheet tarp to place under it as a footprint, simply folded to shape as this allows packing up without the base being wet. I much prefer the non-zipped bathtub groundsheet as experience this year in a klondyke with a zipped groundsheet, well after one rainy night, water had entered the tend via the bottom of the zip closure. No such issues with the Fairbanks.
My one quality gripe is the insubstantial pocket for the tent pole on the groundsheet. First time the tent was erected, the stitching tore away when the pole was moved to the correct position under a bit of tension. I may have been a little heavy handed but the stitching here ought to have been reinforced and it wasn't. It now needs a repair which I will do before next outing. It would have received a 10/10 rating had it not been for this. Best part is I got it in a sale for just £260, not far off half price which made it a stellar bargain.
The other thing to make note of if you are at all concerned with cooking areas for extended trips is that the Fairbanks lends itself to having a separate tarp and poles immediately outside, with the tarp stretched over the entrance and affixed to a pole or two at the other end. Once guyed out, this creates a very spacious rainproof cooking area and somewhere to shelter from the sun. You can guy any tarp out to withstand moderate to fresh winds as long as you invest in solid enough poles. I bought some Outwell extendable poles and a cheap 4m tarp from Amazon for £30 which works very well. There's the extended camp sorted out. The only other thing you could add if you wanted to is a windbreak (again, I use sturdy Outwell wind-breaks).
This, to my mind, is one of the finest 4 man tents of its type currently available anywhere, at any price. Buy one when you can if you want a great weekender tent that can comfortably double for extended trips for a few people. You won't be disappointed. It's superb.
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
By: Jamanda Reason: I've used one Made in: 2018 Rating: Date: 18/08/2018
Reasonably easy to put up - far less swearing than some other tents I could mention. The one pole thing seems to work. And quick - 15 mins max.
Inside is roomy. I can stand up in the middle (I am short) Room to roll snoring husband over if needed.
Good with bad weather - we had proper mountain horizontal rain and gales and the tent didn't even wobble. (The shelter pole broke, and other tents on the site were also damaged)
Porch is small, and you can't stand up in it. We put a woven mat in as it doesn't have a ground sheet.
Getting out in the night in the rain is a pain as the door flops down and you get wet.
1 from 2 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
By: Seanfdh Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2018 Rating: Date: 12/08/2018
Chuffed to bits with this tent. Everything about it oozes quality, even the bag is made from decent material with double-stitching at stress points. They've done away with the weird ventilation cowl thing on this year's model. Comes with decent quality pegs though you'll need some tougher ones for stoney ground.
It's very quick and simple to erect. Watch the Robens video first if you're not familiar with bell/tipi type tents (We weren't and it only took just over ten minutes the first time.).
There's no groundsheet for the porch area. We bought a small woven plastic rug from Amazon which did the job and was easier to deal with anyway.
Offers masses of space for two. If you want to use full height beds they have to lay across the tent as the back slopes quite steeply. We tried this and it worked OK but SIMs on the floor worked better for us. My only niggle is that there's no interior storage (I like a pocket or two for phones, specs etc.) but we reckon a DIY fix will be accomplished.
Foul weather performance is excellent. We were camped in the Comeragh Mountains in conditions which put a 60 degree bend in a steel king pole and had other people's tents all over the place. The little Fairbanks shrugged it all off and stayed bone dry inside to boot. Dried out quickly when the rain went away too.
I'd recommend making yourself a footprint for it as Robens don't offer one.
2 from 2 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
By: Fishstirburn Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2016 Rating: Date: 31/05/2016
I've used the tent on two separate occasions since purchasing it a few weeks ago.
We are a family of four, one adult male, a girl of 12, a girl of 8 and a boy of 6. We fit in the tent with a double and two single sleep mats. There is just enough room for two weekend bags inside the tent. We do lie closely side by side but this isn't an issue for us for a few nights. This is our weekend tent but I'd be happy to use for up to a week. I can almost stand at the tallest point, I'm just short of six foot. Plenty of height to get dressed in. We spent some time in the tent reading and playing cards, you can't get chairs and tables in but again not a problem for weekend or short stay camping.
The build quality is very good, stitching good and strong. Nothing loose. Guys ropes well placed. Pole is extremely sturdy thick aluminium, no possibility of broken poles with this tent. I can put the tent up in 10 minutes on my own no problem. Easy to dry at home, fits in my living room spread out. This was one of the main reasons for buying. Our 5 meter canvass bell tent takes a lot of drying, this solves that problem. Being canvass you do need to treat it well, it does need to go back bone dry but is also much nicer to camp in than modern plastic tent material. Breathes better, looks better, feels better.
I have used it in both stormy and wet conditions and also hot sunny conditions, it worked flawlessly in both. You may need to be more organised with packing as there is no groundsheet in the forward storage area. Not a problem for me, most of my stuff packed in plastic storage containers.
I'm looking forward to using this tent on more occasions and I'm very happy with my purchase for its intended use.
6 from 6 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
By: Fiona karen Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2015 Rating: Date: 25/03/2016
The Fairbanks is a cracking tent, I use it on my own and have a low camp bed in there and there is plenty of room for all my stuff, it will be fine for 2 people on mats but would be cramped with more unless your really good friends.
I can stand up next to the pole and I'm 5ft 7in, and there is enough room in the porch area to sit on a stool and cook with the door closed, as the door slopes down I attached my walking pole to make it easier to close the door while stood in the tent.
It's very easy to put up and dries quickly, I'm really pleased with the tent.
6 from 7 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
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The Fairbanks is a single wall bell tent with protective eaves that extend out at the front to create a porch accessed by a single door with an arch-shaped two-way zip. The single sturdy alloy pole used has a high strength to weight ratio and is perfect for fast, easy pitching. It is slightly tilted to aid access and maximise the useable inner space that sleeps up to four people. The cowl protected top mesh vent design, ground vent and separate mesh door provide airflow.
Type of tent: Bell
Sleeps people: 4
Flysheet: HydroTex Polycotton, 65% cotton / 35% polyester
Pitching way: As one
Rooms: 1 bedroom
Poles: Sewn-in groundsheet, 210T Oxford polyester, 10,000 mm, 100% polyester
Pack size: 77 x 20 cm
Weight: 9.6 kg
Item number: 130143
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