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Tent Reviews: Bell Tent 4m Ultimate

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Bell Tent  >  4m Ultimate Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
6  (more 6 berth tents)
25.00 KG
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.2/10 from 5 reviews

Viewed: 49244 times

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5 Reviews of the 4m Ultimate

By: Sun Kissed Stu  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

The 4 metre Ultimate Bell Tent is our first family tent and has been great for 6 seasons. I love this tent and my Wife and 6 year old does too.

Our previous tent had been a much loved Vaude Hogan - tiny two man tent with a groovy frame on the outside of the fly.

When we knew our boy was on the way, I spent the summer of 2009 checking out family tents to see how easy they were to erect and take down. We go to festivals a lot so I managed to see all manner of tents.

It was obvious to me that the bell tent was the easiest, large tent for one person to erect and take down. Its classic design is so simple, with only the centre pole and guy ropes to keep it up. Yes there are a lot of guy ropes, but they are logically placed and in my experience very quick to deal with. The modern additions of the V shape pole for the doorway is a fantastic design feature and being able to unzip the fly from the ground sheet is definitely worth the extra weight. Being able to raise the walls on hot days and allow the cool breeze into the tent is amazing. Also at festivals it allows you to nose about at the goings on in the fields!

We opted for the inner tent, which takes up half the tent. It may not be so 'cool' looking as having the whole space open, but it does keep your bedroom clutter in one place, and the toddler, when he wakes up early. The inner tent also retains a surprising amount of heat during the night, so much so we are reluctant to unzip in the morning.

The groundsheet is made of good solid waterproof material/rubber? it's bucketed too so can withstand sitting in a puddle or a torrent of rain. Again the zip is great as you can be sealed in from the elements. It is actually a pleasure to be in the tent when it rains.

We began by cooking inside the tent, near the door but have since opted to set up a field kitchen under a tarp canopy. The best move we could have made.

I was initially concerned about the weight of a canvas tent, but the benefits really do out weigh the cons. It is warm at night, cool in the day. No condensation. For a family tent it's not really that heavy or bulky. When you buy a family tent, bulk is just something you have to live with, no matter what you choose.

In fact, I have come to love canvas so much I bought a massive 5m square canvas canopy from Belltent.Co.Uk for our field kitchen.

The 4 meter is great for a family of 3. But if you have 2 or 3 kids, don't mess about go for the 5 metre. My sister made that mistake and upgraded the next season.

I have had to take the tent down in the rain a quite a few times. It has aways fitted into the bag and if folded right with the canvas folded in so the ground sheet is on the outside when you role it up, it has never leaked in the car and the canvas has never gotten mucky. Just make sure you get it out straight away when you get home, to prevent mould. I am lucky enough to have a garden just big enough for me to put the tent up in. So when I get home, first thing I do is put it up and leave it till there is a dry day before putting it away.
2 from 2 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Joxy0406  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

I'm a 30something single mum with an energetic 6yr old lad - a quick pitching, roomy, able to stand up in, tent is a must. I need my sleep and after many a sleepless night in my polyester bell tent (flapping etc in high winds), I decide to bite the bullet and fork out for a canvas bell tent from The Bell Tent Company. And yay, good night sleep even in windy conditions. I also have the single tier tea light chandelier and gosh it looks pretty - and the tent felt lovely and warm when I went to bed. And yes it's fanciful, but sleeping under the canvas really was magical. I also liked how there was no condensation build up - so no little drips to wipe up in corners or getting sprayed in windy conditions- which does happen in the polyester bell tent. Also there was none of that slight damp feeling one can experience in a single skin polyester tent. Sure, the tent is mammoth for just the two of us - does mean when the weather is typically British there's a good amount of floor space for my son to play with his Lego, cars etc. (naturally this means risking Lego related injuries), and I have plenty of room near the door to cook (on a low table).

The downsides - there's a fair bit of pegging out, the first time all the guy ropes need attaching - yeah I know, nearly all tents are like this when first purchased - Still bugs me.

The tent is heavy, very heavy and the shoulder straps on the carry bag are narrow and very uncomfortable. I carried the tent only a mere minute or two to where we were camping, and it felt like my shoulder was being sliced in half! Definitely benefit from wider shoulder straps. A trolley is adviseable.

The bag could do with been just a touch roomier, I got the tent back in but it did take a while - mind I've only used this tent once, so probably just me needing to work out the folding kinks.

I imagine the tent will be prohibitively heavy if it gets wet and doesn't dry out before packing up. It also occurs to me the bag will probably leak, so waterproof covering for the boot is probably a good idea. On the upside with the ultimate the ground sheet can be detached so drying out the tent at home will be a little easier - but that is a big consideration with one of these tents - needing the room at home to dry it!

Folded its still bulky - it fits in a small car fine - with the seats down. And at home you need somewhere indoors to store it.

Despite those niggles, I do like this tent and recommend it, and while the ultimate is the heaviest of the 4m bell tent series, I think it's worth being able to detach the groundsheet and roll up the sides, while also having the extra water proofness of an attached groundsheet. Last year I only had my polyester bell tent and during one camping trip we had a week of hot weather - the polyester tent was like an oven during the day. It is also worth noting the ultimate ground sheet is very thick and does provide some extra insulation from the cold ground at night.
2 from 2 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Bengunkel  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Never reviewed a tent before - however, I am so impressed that I feel I need to share.

Bought this direct from belltent.Co.Uk over the phone and opted for a 4m Ultimate (the one with the ZIG), the Full Moon Carpet and the 4m Malu Awning as well as the 'Truly Portable Stove' - cost was Approximately 950 ish all in and what a bargain.

Previously I owned an Outwell Arkansas 5 and also an Outwell Wolf Lake 5 and what a difference this Bell Tent makes! took me 20 minutes to set up the WHOLE TENT on my own while the missus set up the peripherals - I hate wasting time with fiddly poles so this was a pleasure only having 1 pole and an A-frame!. The tent is huge inside and plenty of room to stand up. Surprisingly cool in the heat and warmer than a polyester tent at night! The doors tie back nicely and the windows are good to let air in. Malu Awning stood up along side the tent for a cooking/BBQ area and shielded out stuff from direct sunlight. The Full Moon Matting in the tent is a nice touch however unless you're ok with being tickled I recommend shoes ON in the tent!

During set up several others from the campsite came over to look inside and were very impressed - we were the only bell tent on site so it stood out! It was also rock sturdy during the windy weather and very quiet and secure inside!

The stove is a must buy if you expect cold weather - it is great to heat water on and a brilliant alternative if you cannot have open fires - helps keep you toasty at night. It is designed for use in the tent but I don't have the balls to cut my belltent just yet!

9 stars due to the Full Moon mattings not having a long canvas bag to store and transport them in - they do shed the materials and they are huge only just fitting in my Range Rover Sport with all the seats folded down. I recommend wrapping them in sheets or something to protect your car.

Otherwise - don't bother messing around with Polyester tents - get a canvas Bell Tent and it will reward you 100 fold.
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Armchaircamper  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

I really love this beautiful tent. One person can put it up easily. It can be put up and taken down with the groundsheet attached for convenience or in two parts to keep a muddy groundsheet separate from the canvas. It is also easier to clean the groundsheet if it's separate, and the tent seems easy to hang up to dry because of the simplicity of its shape.

The zipped groundsheet keeps the inside of the tent warm and dry in bad weather, but can also be unzipped to allow the walls to be rolled up in the heat, making the Ultimate version suitable for all conditions.

We used it in very wet and windy weather but no rain came through and it stood up to winds which ripped a large branch off a nearby tree. The A-frame porch allowed us to open the doors and watch the rain outside without getting wet.

The height and colour of the tent make it feel very light and spacious inside, although obviously there isn't standing room around the edges of the tent.

The central pole has a ring towards the top which is really the only place it's possible to hang things from.

The tent was spacious for two people. For a family I would recommend the larger 5m tent and possibly a separate kitchen tent for all the cooking stuff. Unless you use the bedroom inner the tent is not compartmentalised at all (the circular shape is part of its beauty) so it could easily get cluttered up with a family's belongings. However, for one or two people, it's perfect.
10 from 10 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Calcitestar  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

I love this tent. We bought it to use when we go to festivals and for short trips and when I camp on my own. It is SO easy to put up. You unfold it, peg out the bottom, walk in with the main pole and raise the roof. Then walk in with the A frame for the front door folded, unfold it inside place in position and peg the guy ropes Done!

The fabric is a beautifully soft but very strong canvas - nothing like a deckchair canvas! The bottom unzips so you can roll up the sides on a warm day but being canvas it keeps a more steady temperature inside than plastic tents. This was one reason we bought this tent , we have a canvas Outwell tent and love the steady temperature of canvas. The poles are made of metal and are joined by springs making them easy to put up. The pegs come in two types, normal to peg the base and the right angled sort to hold the guy ropes. They work well. The zip connecting the base is a really heavyweight plastic zip and there are ties and loops inside to hold the sides up or tie on other things like solar lights. There are 4 semicircular netted 'windows' around the base to allow light and a breeze and a view of outside. The only downside of this tent is its weight but I am able to lug it around on my own - just when hubby's not around and they also sell a wonderful trolley if you have to take it far. Also separating the poles from the canvas splits the weight and you could also separate the base from the top so 3 people could carry it onto a festival site with no problems at all and it easily sleeps 6 - you can fit 3 double beds in though having it for just 2 gives much more living space.
9 from 9 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

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Manufacturer's Description

We've taken our Deluxe Bell Tent and added a Zip that goes all the way around the top of the groundsheet.

Now you get the best of both worlds.
A Heavy Duty Groundsheet that comes up 3 inches all the way round to stop all but the worst floods but still the option of rolling up the walls on a sunny afternoon, and it also takes our inner tent.
All the quailties of a Deluxe but with a Zip. If you want the best of everything and don't mind the extra weight (& investment ) go for the Ultimate but do consider the other versions as this may be overkill for most people.

The difference between the 4 metre Standard and the 4 metre Ultimate is that you get the added waterproof resistance of the ground sheet being permanently connected. With the Ultimate Bell Tent you can still roll the sides up on hot days (unlike the Deluxe tent). The Ultimate ground sheet is also a lot thicker (PVC 540 g/m) and heavier (hence the Ultimate weighing 8.5 kg more!).

The Ultimate is the best of both worlds - combining the best features of the Standard and the Deluxe.

... there may be more info on their website

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