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Tent Reviews: Outwell Bear Lake 4

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

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
4  (more 4 berth tents)
45.60 KG
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.26/10 from 31 reviews

Viewed: 92631 times

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31 Reviews of the Bear Lake 4         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  

By: Scrambling Goth  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Acquired this tent second hand (but barely used) last year to replace a much loved Apache Pyramide Legere. This tent is emphatically not Legere, and unlike its predecessor it will not fit on the rear parcel shelf of a car, but we're delighted with it.

Putting it up is straightforward, though we've not yet developed great speed - we had it weather proof in 25 minutes once, but the weather made it necessary! Once up and pegged down it feels bomb-proof, and it was instructive comparing its performance with other tents of a similar design during high winds - ours barely rippled.

Plenty of room inside for 3 adults with dining table & chairs, sofa, armchair and wardrobe - we have the side extension which, once we'd got the hang of tensioning it correctly didn't 'pond' even in torrential rain and makes a good kitchen annexe. The window/ventilation arrangements are good and versatile (especially when I realised that the draught down my neck was entirely optional.)

The front porch is really only a sunshade/umbrella, though with a windshield it'd provide a reasonable shelter in moderate weather.

Looks like the latest model might have reverted to steel poles - even so, although the price is a little 'ouch' (unless you strike it lucky like we did), You Get What You Pay For. Brilliant tent, comfortable, solid and (fortunately) idiot proof.
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By: Gallabers Traveller  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating: 

Now in its 9th year, I can confirm that you get what you pay for! Cool inside when the sun is unbearably hot, stays warm when it is chilly outside. Only breakage is the internal bedroom suspension webbing torn from the fabric. (replaced with elasticated straps)

Don't bother trying to align longitudinal pole elements with their matching pips, these just catch on the black mesh. We spray fabsil on the outer tent every couple of years, so no leaks yet. If I can find any criticism, it is the lack of suspension points inside. (But that is because we previously owned a frame tent, from which you could hang a wardrobe.) I agree with other reviewers that the side extension is essential for cooking; pitch with this feature downwind and you also have an entry point which stays dry in the worst weather. We love our BL4!
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By: Nedra1  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2015   Rating: 

We have just acquired the Bear Lake because this model has a detachable ground sheet and the latest models are all fixed. In fact there are only two Lake tents remaining which I find disappointing. We have a 2012 Trout Lake which is excellent. The Bear Lake is considerably larger than the Trout Lake and taller. I had to use the steps to fix the bedrooms. On this model there is no mosquito net on the front door and I can see that being a potential problem in the summer. There isn't a canopy on the side door either and some people seem to get hold of a side extension which seems like a good idea. In February the tent was very cosy because all the windows are fixed and tinted and there are no drafts. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the height of summer. We have a large family so I can see this being a useful addition. I fail to see the attraction of Airbeam tents and this is another reason why we bought the Bear Lake.
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By: Tidburyboy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

We have the 2013 BL4, the one with the Panoramic Front. I was going to knock a mark off because I think the older version looks sturdier, but this version does give more internal space, and those tinted windows really do work. Like many others, there are only two of us, so the BL4 provides ample space. It's good that the bedroom divider (unlike the older Lake Tents) allows a king size bed to be placed centrally without snagging everything. As for pitching, we also use the 'Cross' method (Thanks Gary!) and have had a few comments about how easily the fly is pitched, just need to remember the rearmost pole is colour coded, as I have slotted it into the wrong sleeve a few times. Doh! We don't tend bother with the front canopy, but we do have the Side Extension (from the older BL, but it fits quite well) This is a super addition, and well worth the extra money and effort in putting it up. It provides a great cooking space and means the side door can be left open in the rain. This is better (we think) than leaving the front door open with the canopy up, as the side door is meshed. This is our second Lake tent (we have a 2009 Trout Lake 4 too) and both have performed brilliantly, attracted positive comments and really are worth the extra over the Polyester options. NB: I had a Polyester tent, used it once and sold it!
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By: Realbluesman  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 


We have had the Extension to our brilliant Bear Lake for two summers, and have used it in |France four times. The Extension solves all the problems with the small awning (that I talked about in my previous review) but so much more!

We have bought a breathable groundsheet for the Extension and now do all our cooking and eating init. It has the great advantage of you being almost in fresh air all the time - which is what we camp for. It is great for retreating into if there is a bit of drizzle, which sends many others indoors. The front yard can get a bit wet if the wind is in the wrong direction but we simply move everything back.

On the downside, like the tent, it isn't light but it is straightforward to erect. Also in a perfect world, I would have liked windows with some ventilation and cover, rather than the tinted plastic windows with no opening. It can get a little hot when using the cooker in the evening.

Whilst the extension isn't cheap I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who would like a little more space and flexibility for their Bear Lake. It makes a fabulous tent even better.
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By: Catnip  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Our Outwell Minnesota 4 finally gave up after a good seven years of use so we took the plunge and splurged on the bear lake 4. We have not regretted the spend, it is a fantastic tent and has kept us dry in near torrential rain and stood firm in high winds. Yes it's heavy and yes it's a pain if you can't pitch down in dry weather but the pros far outweigh the cons. We can get it pitched in less than 30 minutes now, practice makes perfect! It's a substantial tent, there's only two of us but we like the spaciousness and height that it gives us. We have a lot of camping kit and there is no problem fitting it all in. We also got the front extension which gives you a load more space, we set up our cooker and table in it and it's still big enough to seat 6 people in when raining. The carpet makes it very cosy and we have not had any condensation issues like you get with polyester tents. We were told that if we look after it and always dry it out properly then we should get ten years plus out of it so all in all a good investment for us as we do camp a lot. I would highly recommend this tent, my sister has one and now my friends are looking at upgrading their polyester Outwell too.
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By: Thegibbo4  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

After going through a succession of polyester tents we finally took the plunge and bought one of these. 28 nights camping later and we still don't regret the decision.

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children and have ample room for our gear in the living area. The inner doesn't feel cramped with 4 as it is full height throughout.

We leave our cooker and plastic box with plates, etc under a cheap barbecue cover under the canopy overnight for shorter stays. We picked up a front extension in the winter sales and find it invaluable for longer camps.

One person can pitch the bear on their own using the (should be patented) Gary Cross method! It's a very straightforward tent to pitch and the side bars just give it that extra rock solid feel.

The tent has stood up well to all that the British weather has thrown at it. It coped admirably in 24 hours of constant rain, and stayed cooler than our polyester tents ever did in the sun. We love the fact you can open the side windows when it's warm but still have the insect net zipped down. Polycotton flysheet and ample vents all around the tent have kept condensation to a minimum during the early season when normally we would have been mopping out our old tent!

Roll on camping season 2014!
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By: Mikenlynne  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

It took a while to decide on this tent but has been a good decision. Very spacious .Just 2 of us .But we had a background of an offroad trailer tent in Australia.

Set it up for the first time in a force 6 on Orkney. It took 30 minutes but we can halve that now. The fabric is canvas, so weighty but warm .And cooler I hope if we go to hotter climes.

Few drawbacks but one is the service from Outwell who showed lack of interest in two minor problems and would only suggest returning it to the vendor.All 50kg.So I solved the problems myself.
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By: Franbarry  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

This is a great tent. When we brought it (for a good price), the assistant said to do a trial run and get it wet so to make it waterproof. As we have a small garden we put it up on the green in front of our house, and found it quite easy once we had worked out where the zips went on the ground sheet.We did not have to wait long for rain and we were very impressed how waterproof the tent was. Drying it was a bit of a problem with the groundsheet in as it is too heavy to lift, so take out the groundsheet and dry the fly and groundsheet separately.We also got the footprint, which is a good as it gives you an idea of how big the tent is.

So when we put it up for real at a festival, we managed to get it up in 2hours with all our stuff in.

We also got a lot of comments on how good the tent looked.

There are only two of us but we do have a lot of stuff so this is ideal for us.

To take it down is quick but to get it back in the bag can be a bit of a struggle, but we had left the groundsheet in. This also took about 2hours with packing the car with all our other stuff.

We hope to use it again soon and cannot wait.
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By: Lynkev748  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Just used our BL4 for the first time as we purchased very late 2011 for a good deal that included the front extension.

Very pleased with our choice far better quality than our previous tents Kyham Winnipeg (zip pulled away from material by a hungry pony in the New forest)and Outwell Monterey.

Jubilee week was not the best choice for our 1st outing but we managed to pitch in the pouring rain no problem did get a bit of water on the footprint but brushed most of it away before zipping in the groundsheet, as the site specified 6m max limit we didn't take the front extension so cooking was done under the porch with the windbreak around and this worked fine, impressed by the stability as we did experience some high winds, no leaks at all even during the heavy thunderstorm.

Plenty of room for a 4 seat table and 2 chairs, small tv table and electric cool box and cupboard, we also purchased the carpet which made it cosy, only 2 of us so use the 2nd bedroom for clothes and shoes etc. Plenty of headroom throughout.

Looking forward to our next outing and will most definitely use the front extension.

Happy Campers
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31 User Reviews of the Bear Lake 4 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  

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Manufacturer's Description

Smart and stylish, the Bear Lake 4 sleeps four in two bedroms with an airy feel to the panorama front from its large tinted windows. The zip-off front canopy offers flexible family tent living, especially handy for cooking. The Low-light window allows weather checking whilst still tucked up in bed.

Type of tent: Three room tunnel tent
Sleeps people: 4
Flysheet: Outtex® Airtech (65% cotton / 35% polyester)
Inner tent: Breathable 100% pongee polyester
Rooms: 2 bedrooms, 1 living room
Poles: Alloy poles #6063, 22 mm, 2 upright steel poles
Floor: Tarpaulin PVC coated 100% polyester, 10,000 mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet: Sealed Ground System, Zip-out
Pitching way: Flysheet first or as one
Pack size flysheet: 31 x 105 cm
Pack size poles: 26 x 102 cm
Weight flysheet: 22.6 kg
Weight poles: 23.0 kg

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