Tent and Awning Reviews Index > Other > Camtors Itisa Reviews
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Living area groundsheet:
2 (more 2 berth tents)
Average User Rating:
9/10 from 2 reviews
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2 Reviews of the Camtors Itisa
By: Wilfotrev Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2001 Rating:
I have my late father's Itisa tent, with bamboo poles and polished brass ferrules.He bought it in the late 1920's We used to pitch it on the lawn of the house where I grew up ( I'm 70 now )when I was about 10. Cats raked their claws down the flysheet, so father bought a new one . And that was the end of back-garden camping!
Dad was a Scout leader ( he was awarded the MBE in 1975 for 50 years' service to Scouting ). When I became a Senior Scout in 1960, I saved up and bought a Blacks Good Companions tent, which I felt was an improved design over the Itisa.
If anyone is interested in buying the original Itisa from me, contact me. (The G C tent went to a Scout group years ago).
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By: Kwacker Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2001 Rating:
This was the original UK single pole tent.
It was designed by a member of the predecessor of the current Camping and Caravan Club around 1910
It spawned all of the “traditional” single pole tents made in the 20th century.
It got its strange name because the designer was constantly asked what it was when he first used it. He replied “It is a tent” and the name stuck. I always called it an Itsa because it fell naturally to my tongue.
The supplies dept. Of the then club adopted the design and made and sold it to its members. The supplies dept was the grand name for the female club members who made the equipment in their spare time. Around about 1930 the club decided that there could be a conflict of interest between the club and the supplies dept which was a commercial venture so cast the supplies dept adrift to become Camtors who were taken over by Blacks near the middle of the 1960s. Blacks continued to make the Itisa Mk 2 and the Itisa Senior I think until 1968. By 1969 both had been dropped and they introduced a NEW Itisa Senior 69 which was not as good as the Camtors Senior
Rating it is difficult. For innovative design I would give it 10, for lightness at the time 10, for compactness 10 but for practicality 7.
The problem is there were weaknesses in the design. To be erected properly it needed an even surface so the single pole could properly tension the tent. If the ground was uneven at the pole you had to dig a hole for the pole bottom if there was a bump and put something under the pole if there was a dint in the ground.
I used an Itisa Mk 2 for about 12 years. It is the same width as the original Itisa. I used to sleep on an air bed and I could not sleep across the tent width in case my feet or head touched the roof if it was rained when I was asleep. That was because pressing against the natural fabrics drew wetness through when they were wet. I always slept diagonally. I slept across the width when I used a flysheet.
The upright pole prevents you sleeping diagonally.
The makers literature does not mention an oddity of the design. It has a doorway but no door! Instead of a door it has a gate which only closes the bottom half of the door. It attaches by hooks and eyes at both sides. There was the option of buying the tent with a larger groundsheet and gate to allow the tent to be used in the open position which gave a much more practical tent.
However you still had the problem of the open part above the gate. This eroded privacy when dressing and undressing. However if the wind swung round to hit the gate the tent would inflate and try to pull the ground pegs out.
At that time you did not get attached groundsheets. Decent tents had a draught cloth at the bottom of the walls or in this case the roof. The groundsheets were shaped to fit the tent and had taped D or O rings on the corners. To erect the tent you first put the groundsheet down If it was windy you had to weight it or peg it down. The tent was then laid over the groundsheet and the ground pegs put through the tent rings AND the groundsheet rings so the fitted groundsheet gave you the correct shaped tent. You then added the pole and any guy pegs. The problem was that if it was raining your groundsheet got wet and had to be dried. This problem was not specific to this design but to all shaped designs until sewn in ground sheets became standard.
Having erected the tent you went inside and tucked the draught cloth under the ground sheet. Any wind blew under the groundsheet rather than into the tent.
The photos show a tent made in the middle of the 1930s. The model was dropped by the 1950s
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100% Canvas tent with single pole. Rare old tent dating back to early 1900s!
Groundsheet 210(l) x 180(w) cms
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