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Tent Reviews: Blacks Good Companion Standard

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Other  >  Blacks Good Companion Standard Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
3  (more 3 berth tents)
10.00 KG
Fully Sewn-in
Inner first
Average User Rating:
9.59/10 from 17 reviews

Viewed: 57665 times

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17 Reviews of the Blacks Good Companion Standard         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

By: Andonic  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I bought my Good Companion Standard almost new in 1973, and used it for many years on my travels, and at scout camps. My mum sewed in a groundsheet, and it has had a few repairs but is showing its age now. I recently bought a good companion major on a whim - for quite a lot of money too - but haven't put it up yet. I'm at a scout camp next weekend so I may take it along to try.
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By: David Read  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

We've got one but never slept in it. From Freecycle when it was still a thing. We've pitched it once. It's a style which we're not familiar with. It's less an 'A' frame, more an inverted 'V' frame. Once we'd figured out how to pitch it, we were impressed by the simplicity and ingenuity of the design. In this year of involuntary staycations we might try it in the garden when the weather's a bit warmer.
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By: Coolant  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

Used from early 70's. Absolutely brilliant stood up to any weather while all around collapsed [literally]

I had a lot of fun in my std. Still have it though its not been used for several decades.

It appears to be in sound condition still but the A poles have been lost at some stage

I'd like it to go to an appreciative home, someone whose tent has died but still has poles perhaps. I don't need money for it just the good home. Collect from E sussex
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By: Vicaby  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I love this tent.

Purchased as an ex-demo A-frame model in the mid 1970's. Still going strong, though has had a new front door (tore when the old metal zip jammed).

The fabric is still good & being cotton there isn't a problem with condensation.

It is sturdy and has survived some dreadful weather and has never let us down. They don't make them like this any more.

Sadly we have to replace it as our advancing ages mean its not so easy to get in & out of these days, and we need more headroom.
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By: Caligula  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

As an addendum to my earlier review:

I have now also acquired a GC Standard with no groundsheet (again with standard and extended flysheets) as 1960 model.

-the walls feature extensions to go under loose groundsheet, very thoughtful, and also ties to roll up the walls on hot days for added ventilation. Brilliant.

Totally waterproof, without the flysheet, after 50 years.
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By: Caligula  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

Fans of canvas, not backpackers though, will love this.

I have just obtained a Standard with extended fly, and that is the bit that makes it something really special.

The workmanship quality has been often commented on, so suffice it to say that originally these were tough well put together tents, and very well thought out design. Most will now be 40 year old or thereabouts

So we have a 7x5 foot thick waterproof quality groundsheet, and a semi bell tent style tent supported via an A frame (some have single pole in the tent). The door design is very clever allowing it to be pegged out as a wind break and also extending the internal footprint a little. My late 60s tent (green groundsheet) has a sown in groundsheet with a zipped door. There is about 5 foot headroom.

The fly has a massive skirted end and extends about 4 feet forward giving a social/cooking/storage/additional sleeping area that is quite vast as it is much wider than the tent. Pitches in about 10 mins even on first attempt. The tent can be pitched on it own, without the flysheet.

Yes of course it quite weighty, but just perfect for the canoe/motorbike.

Of course the flysheet can be used independently and would make a fabulous tarp ? Huge.

If you find a GC, find or get made an extended flysheet for it. I might get a sailmaker, using mine as a pattern, make me one from 'Weathermax' sometime???
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By: Kariless  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

As a scouts we used the ITISA tent which was based on an early Camping Club design, the Good Companion was Blacks version. I purchased my Good Companion directly from Blacks at their Sidcup factory sale, I think late seventies. It has been used as a pup tent for my children while on many caravanning holidays, at Scout camps and my tent of choice on many backpacking trips. I had a Robert Saunders Hobo tent or a Karrimor marathon to reduced weight but so preferred the room & comfort of the cotton GC that I modified it to bring the weight down from 10lbs(4.5Kg) to under 4lbs (1.8kg). I replaced the ground sheet with a lighter nylon, used a single pole and lighter pegs. It is still my preferred tent, a quick check of the site for sharp objects, a peg at each corner, in with the pole and I can now stow my pack in the dry while I quickly finish pegging out. While others are fiddling, trying to thread poles into sleeves with a gale blowing, I am in the dry with a brew on the go. Ok the GC is not self supporting, as a dome tent is, but it has kept me dry in some fairly extreme weather. Once when camped in LLanberis pass a prolonged storm drove all the other campers of the mountain, but I was quite dry holed up in my GC. On day two of the storm I ventured to the pub down in Nat Peris, were I heard the Park Warden remark that the guy in the orange tent was sticking it out, braving the weather. I owned up, impressed & grateful that he was keeping a watch on things, but having to admit that my coach ticket back to London was not vaild until the end of the week. ( I was more stupidly spartan in those days or more likely my finances wouldn't stretch to a hotel.) But the tent took what Snowdonia threw at it. A change I would make for any single skin tent is to have a tray groundsheet, but rather than sewn in, suspended by elastic tapes from the tent walls, so that any moisture, leaks or condensation can be directed outside.

I also have the extended fly sheet in ripstop nylon which has had a lot of use family camping or at static camps. Unfortunately the mice liked it also and have created extra ventilation.

Is there a modern equivalent with rigid poles?
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By: Kwacker  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I slept in one at Easter in 1963. It was a comfortable tent but it had a metal toothed zip which allowed a cold draight through. I think towards the end of the 70s they started fitting plastic zips which were a lot more draught proof. There were rumours that condensation formed on the metal teeth and froze n sub zero temperatures although I have never met anyone who experienced this

I have a collection of Good Companions tents and fly sheets

There is an oddity in the name. It sometimes appears as Good Companion and sometimes as Good Companions on the tents. I am not certain which is correct. Blacks catalogues were known as the Good Companions catalogue which suggests Good Companion is correct as there is only one tent

The design shown was introduced at some time in the 1950s. Prior to that there were 4 preceding designs. There were a choice of three prior to the Second World War. The GC Solo, the GC Duo and the GC Trio. I think in the very early 50s they produced a GC with a roof a bit like the Itisa. After that they settled on the design that carried on until about 1980. All of the designs used a single pole

In the 50s and at least some of the 60s tents were available with loose or fitted groundsheet and upright or angle poles. The angle poles greatly improved room in the tent and the tent stability.

During their production they were available in Egyptian cotton which is the more usual material. However in the 60s they were also made in Terylene which was the ICI brand name for polyester. In the 70s they were also made in nylon

The fly sheets were generally bought separately and came in 2 forms. Standard which covered the tent and extended which was supported on a ridge from the top of the tent poles to a vertical tent pole at th front. This resulted in a large porch

In 1967 Blacks bought Benjamin Egingtons and transferred the making of their small tents to their Sidcup factory. The poles radically increased in weight and bulk which was a pity as those supplied with the Scottish tents were quite adequate. The larger diameter and heavier poles increased bulk and weight so made them less practical for backpacking
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By: Hamandanne  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

My parents bought our Standard as an ex display tent in 1967 for the 3 of us to go to Austria.

I have had it since 1970's and have used it fairly regularly the last time being the Great Dorset Steam fair this year - 2014.

It is getting a little fragile and I have repaired a couple of tears (which don't leak!)and as a precaution use a 1970's small nylon flysheet under the extended one.

Having the extended flysheet is a great boon as it means you have a kitchen/washroom in the dry and not in the inner tent.

Hope it lasts another few decades!
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By: Brazil  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have a two man Good Companions tent which I purchased in 1962. It has a loose groundsheet a flysheet and A poles. Also a hanging arrangement which enables the guy ropes to be adjusted from inside the tent. In the past I have camped all over the UK including the outer Hebrides in sun gales and temps. Of minus 12 degrees. Sadly my camping days are now over and my tent now only gets a blow in the garden once a year. The memories however will last forever. Happy camping to all of you.
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17 User Reviews of the Blacks Good Companion Standard - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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Manufacturer's Description

Blacks of Greenock http://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk

Blacks of Greenock produced The Good Companions back in the 1960s and 1970s. They were made from orange Egyptian cotton and consist of an inner and a flysheet. Early models had a single pole in the middle of the tent, later models had an A frame

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