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Tent Extension Reviews: Outwell Bear Lake 4 Front Extension

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Bear Lake 4 Front Extension Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
9.30 KG
Average User Rating:
7.75/10 from 4 reviews

Viewed: 12494 times

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4 Reviews of the Bear Lake 4 Front Extension

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

A brilliant addition to an outstanding tent but boy does it make it long! We now state the length at booking time to ensure that we have a long enough pitch. A bright French child this summer called it the giant English caterpillar!

We have used it for thee long stays in France each with some terrible weather and it has changed our experience. Whatever the weather we can sit out in the open air of the extension and be dry and warm. We cook and eat in this area every day unless the weather is roasting.

It is easy to set up once you get your head around the change in the guy rope position for the front of the tent. It has no groundsheet so we bought a Kampa Easy Tread 250 x 300 cm carpet which fits a treat.

Why have we not given it 10 out of 10? Basically for two reasons. One is the large tinted windows which can make the extension very hot. This isn't a problem during the day when we just keep out of it. However on two of our three trips the early evening sunshine seems to be magnified by the windows making it very hot to cook in. Twice we have had to move the cooking unit in the middle of a stay to the other side of the extension. For next year I am thinking in terms of using velcro to fasten a shade of some kind over the window behind where we place our cooker unit.

The other issue is a practical one related to using the extension in very strong winds and depends on the wind direction (which sometimes changes!) We pitched on an elevated site in Brittany and a strong window blew right into the extension. This was easily solved by using our Outwell windbreak. This summer we were on a flat site in Brittany when a wind with very strong gusts blew from behind the tent. The extension fits over the top of the final tent pole with an elasticated band. This has never been a problem before but the elasticated piece blew off the frame meaning water would blow into the back of the extension. It was really frustrating seeing the original zip that Outwell use to attach the awning being there (you have to unzip the original awning to remove it before you add the extension)why oh why did they not make a better job of the extension by utilising the zip and giving a more solid connection. I did a Heath Robinson solution by using duck tape to fasten some luggage elastics together and run these across the top of the extension, to hold the cloth down. Thankfully it worked a treat and after the high winds dropped I simply took them off again. It has made me think about how I can modify this, again perhaps using Velcro in some way.

However our overall experience of the extension is so overwhelmingly positive that I consider these to be minor irritations. If you are thinking about getting the extension and are hesitating , my message would be loud and clear - go for it and buy one (despite the high price)and you will not regret it.
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By: Thegibbo4  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Bought one of these less than half price in the winter sales - worth every penny! We tend to use it for camps of a week or more.

Straightforward to pitch and attach to tent, shame Outwell couldn't have made it with a zip to attach to the main part of the tent like the canopy does. Stood up well to 30+mph gusts in Dorset - we do use Delta pegs just in case though!

Provides so much space - we use it for cooking, eating and sitting in. The living area of the tent itself only gets used if it's too cold!

A great addition to a great tent.
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By: Foxystoat  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Agree with all the points made in the previous review.

Really does turn what is already quite a large tent into a really, really big tent. May have to pay extra at some campsites. And you really need to think about where your putting it if you don't want to annoy people by forcing them to walk around your rather large protrusion (er hm).

We camped in storms and gales this spring and the extension didn't go anywhere, was really impressed as I thought we might have to give up and go home at one point.

Excellent for cooking and eating under and the open front keeps it relatively cool.

If you want smaller you can always try attaching it to the poles a little further back along the main part of the tent.

Goes up easily enough but you do need someone to reach over the top of the tent if you want it to stay water tight.
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By: Lizzie  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Used this much-awaited extension this week in Cornwall. It gives a large area to cook/sit under which attaches to the tent instead of the porch area which needs to be zipped off in order to attach the new extension.

Plus points - large sitting/cooking area where you are sheltered, was fairly easy to attach with 2 people, looked neat.

Negative points - 4 very large windows with no way of opening them and no curtains (worried this would make it very hot and could even overheat tent in summer), No hook or anywhere to hang central light, would probably be unstable in very windy weather and then you would have nowhere to cook just when you need it most, it makes the footprint of tent very large (the campsite we were on were not at all keen on it and they thought we may have difficulty on some sites finding a large enough pitch), expensive, you need to change the guying points on the tent to accommodate guying points on extension so needs a little forethought.

Overall, would much prefer if they had made it half the size with opening/curtained windows.
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Manufacturer's Description

The Bear Lake Front Extension represents the perfect way for campers to add extra, occasional shelter to the front of the Bear Lake. It exactly matches the tent’s lines, mud valance and colourways, using the same Outtex® Airtech fabric and steel pole construction. It also incorporates large tinted panorama windows. The extension quickly zips to the tent and is kept upright by our trademark Outwell Floating Guyline System.

Recommendation: Campers widely recognise the value of an extension, considering it a ‘must-have’ accessory.

Type of tent: Extension
Flysheet: Outtex® Airtech (65% cotton / 35% polyester)
Pack size: 20 x 102 cm
Weight: 9.3 kg
Poles: Alloy poles #6063, 22 mm

Zip-on extension for security
Large tinted panorama windows
Mud valance
Reinforcement patch on all stress points
Adjustable pegging points
Easy to pitch

... there may be more info on their website

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