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Tent Reviews: Outwell Hawaii Reef

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Hawaii Reef Reviews

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

Viewed: 29596 times

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10 Reviews of the Hawaii Reef

By: Old Smokey  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 31/05/2015

The build quality on this tent is second to none. The additional strips, layers, stitching, clips etc do make a difference and give a robust feel to the unit. It is as solid a tent as I have ever been in and has stood up to whatever the British weather has thrown at it with ease. Poly cotton really does keep heat in, it is noticeably warmer when you unzip and walk in from outside, and has ventilation options you would expect from an Outwell tent. The size of the windows ensure it is bright inside and the topaz colouring is cheery even in wet weather.

It IS heavy to put up and although can be done single handedly, this is a feat! Two working together is a lot easier, as the material is heavy and can stress the poles. Be warned, the bag is huge when folded down. I had to buy a trailer ;)

All in this is a great tent. It takes 5 of us & dog comfortably, though doesn't fit 5 camp beds in the bedrooms, we opt for just SIMs - or muggins here sleeps in the middle section with the dog! He keeps me warm.
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By: Steve bradley  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 25/08/2014

We purchased our hawai tent back in 2012 and have camped in it in every type of weather including gale force winds and heavey rain and the tent has kept the rain out and still been standing after a night of gale force winds when other tents around us have been damaged if you are looking for a well made tent with plently of space that is warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather then this is the tent for you it has a great layout with plently of room there is plently of head room and the front porch makes an ideal space for your kitchen and some where to store your wet boots and coats we have recently purchased a front extention to add to the tent which gives you an extra space to sit outside under cover we love this tent and hope to get many more years use out of it
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By: Hughjazz  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 22/03/2014

We actually bought our Hawaii reef off preloved.Com (sorry for any advertising, other websites are available!) unseen but the couple selling it were very helpful and descriptive and explained that the tent had a broken pole and a few marks. We set off on a bit of a mission to collect but as soon as we got it up and fixed a few bits and bobs we have really loved this tent.

Although there is just me and the Mrs we can still put the tent up together reasonably quickly despite the size. All the poles are of course colour coded and instructions are simple to follow as with all Outwell tents.

We really love and appreciate the room and space you get with the Hawaii reef. The front porch area has been so useful when the bad weather sets in as it allows you to cook something for tea so long as your careful!
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By: Murt  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 16/07/2012

Brilliant tent.Makes you smile when inside due to the colour whatever the weather. Very solid tent. Warm in cooler climates and cooler in hot weather due to the poly cotton. Really rigid construction, the build quality is exceptional. Groundsheet completely zips out for cleaning. Lot of window with curtains. Pop up air vent and high vis guy lines

I am selling mine in the classifieds section at the moment
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By: Linzbob  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 08/10/2011

Well have been on a 2 week holiday with this tent now (Ok it was July and I forgot to review after I came back) and I LOVE it. It takes approx 1hr to pitch (thats tent, awning, windscreen, make beds etc) and thats with me and hubby both knowing what we are doing. It is a very heavy tent being poly cotton but once its in/out the car its easy to manhandle on the ground. As the other reviewers have said we watched the pitching video on youtube before purchase and it really helped.

We spent 6 nights at both campsites and erected tent and awning. WOW!

Although the tent is big in the first place the awning just makes it! Its another room (we used it for the cooker and table, and as we were in france left it all out all night. It also was a great sunshade for the 30oc plus weather. One niggle with this is a lack of curtain. When you are sat in the awning the huge windows make it a little like being in a magnifying glass and gets VERY hot. I am making a curtain to velcro on for the next outing.

The tent . The curtains at the windows 'bag' no matter how tight you pull them another velcro strap would be handy at the bottom.

If like me you are vertically challenged (5ft1) and your hubby isn't (6ft4) when the front inner porch door is fastened up at the top I cant reach the zip to open it. A longer toggle on the zip would have been an advantage (its a standard length of about 2 inches?) but we made one from an old guy rope.

The carpet is just a throw it in. Its doesn't clip in like I would have thought and so does creep (especially when you have a 3 yr old dancing on it!)

I really like the light holder in the middle of the living section. We have an 4foot under bonnet light (hubbys a mechanic) and this could fit on the holder and onto the cable tidy and made a proper light so all of us could do our own thing easily enough. And because of the polycotton no light shines out of the tent - unlike normal tents - so you can get dressed etc without everyone knowing what you are doing by your shadow!

The last campsite we were at we only stayed 2 night and its not too big just for a weekend way. We managed to pitch the tent in the same time it took another couple to pitch an igloo tent.And we had a hell of a lot more pegs!

All in all VERY VERY pleased we purchased this tent and can't wait for next year now to take it out again.
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By: Mrscmb  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 27/09/2011

Having decided we wanted to return to camping after 37 years it was a major decision on what tent to buy. In the 60’s our igloo tent was cotton, but these days if you want 100% cotton you are faced with a very bulky and heavy tent. We had seen the Bear Lake 6 at a well known camping outlet and fell in love with the feel of it compared to all the polyester tents. After weeks of research on the internet, we decided that the Montana Lake was too big and we didn’t want the open porch on the Bear & Wolf Lakes. As we are hoping to camp in France a lot next year we felt a 4-berth a little on the small side. The new Hawaii Reef ticked all the boxes that we wanted – especially as previous reviewer NTHurzzz has stated – the porch is the star!

We watched the Outwell pitching video and worried whether we could pitch the tent, as we are both in our sixties and I am not overly strong – although my husband is reasonably fit. However, after watching the Yeomans Bear Lake pitching video on youtube – we decided that it looked a much less strenuous way of pitching. Tried it in the garden first and had no problems. The only thing with a poly/cotton tent is that it IS heavy in the bag and you need a strong person to carry it and lift it into the car.

We went for our first trip recently and were very lucky with the weather – it only rained whilst the tent was up and we were able to pitch & take down in dry weather. We read Clbjcbjcbnjb’s comments about the rain collecting between the footprint and the groundsheet, and consequently we were very careful to ensure that the footprint did not project beyond the skirt of the tent. We were on a slight slope and experienced quite a bit of rain; but although a small amount of water had collected on the footprint, this had not permeated through the groundsheet and was only noticed when we took the tent down.

We absolutely LOVE this tent. The orange colour makes you feel warm when the weather is dull or in the evening. For two people the space is luxurious, we had a spare “bedroom” to keep all our clothes in, plus any bags. All the cooking equipment and larder etc was kept in the porch, leaving a very spacious living area in front of the bedrooms. If you want (or need) to eat inside, sitting by a panoramic window gives a very spacious feel and you can still admire the view. When the evening turns a bit colder, shut the curtains and you feel instantly warmer and cosy. We also treated ourselves to a carpet which adds to the cosiness and warmth in cooler weather. It rained on and off for over 24 hours at one point and we were able to cook in the porch without getting wet.

When you camp at a warmer time of year, the porch can be unzipped to make the whole living area much larger and cooler and there is also a side door to facilitate air flow.

We are really looking forward to living in this tent again.
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By: NTHurzzz  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 01/09/2011

First outing August Bank Holiday Weekend 2011. Fabulous tent - good quality, has that special feeling you get with Polycotton. Simple to put up - concertina the poles and step them out - sort of puts itself up without all that tense bending of poles you get with plastic tents.

Wondered how tricky zipping the groundsheet in might be - but needn't have worried it took minutes. The ground sheet isn't the big rubber ones of the bear/wolf lake but seems much stronger than the ones you normally get in most tents. Meant it packed down a lot smaller.

Wonderful inside space - the height and shape of the poles meant every part was very usable. Big windows meant you felt out in the open - but the 'curtains' made it cosy at night. Side door an nice extra for keeping the place cool in the sun. Incidentally cosy in the cold evenings, cool in the sunny day compared to friends plastic tents and the ventilation was great and never felt stuffy. The porch is the real star here - plenty big enough for a kitchen and stuff and to sit in in the rain, but can be zipped right open in good weather so you get the best of both worlds - open porch or zipped up extra room. We loved the fact you could zip the whole inside door/wall right back opening the whole tent up.

The tent is plenty big enough for a family, but not too big that you need to book half a campsite like the increasing trend of tents. It feels like a real tent. When packed its pretty big - but what you expect from polycotton rather than plastic. Poles have their own separate bag. As a guide, its like having to fit two plastic tents in your car.

If you haven't guessed, we absolutely love this tent and can't wait for our next outing.
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By: Clbjcbjcbnjb  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 20/08/2011

This is a brilliant tent. We were caught in the heaviest rain of the summer so far and kept warm and dry. We also use the footprint, and this is the downfall. During and after the heavy rain, the water collects between the footprint and the groundsheet. Causing almost a water bed effect and due to the sheer amount of rain that fell, the water soaked through the ground sheet, rather than being allowed to soak into the ground. So, toptip. Don't use the footprint if you think it is going to rain. Bit pointless.
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By: Charlie53  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 04/07/2011

Recently bought the Hawaii reef, we use it for just the two of us but it could easily fit a family. We've just used it for a 2 week holiday in Devon and Cornwall, fully tested in all weather conditions it came through with flying colours.

After a lot of shopping around we chose this tent because we liked the size and layout, the quality and style and lastly but probably the biggest factor was that we liked the retro colour .

We broke down and re-pitched this tent 3 times while on holiday, its worth mentioning that a certain amount of physicality is required to pitch this tent, its big and being polycotton its a bit heavier than other tents we've had. I`m not suggesting you need to super fit or strong, we are both in our 50`s and managed it ok but it could be a consideration for some.Prior to going away we watched the pitching video on youtube which was a great help and as said we repitched it 3 times and got a little better each time, the only thing we changed was that we left the zip in ground sheet and the inner tent fixed in and pitched it all in one, the extra weight was hardly noticeable.

Another consideration with this tent is the price,we shopped around extensively looking at all different makes and styles of tent but kept coming back to this one and I have to say that after our first holiday in it we are more than pleased with our decision and look forward to using it again ,its spacious ,light and sturdy with very little wind noise, yes its expensive and I agree with Linzbob in that the ground sheet could have been a better quality, I also feel the front porch bathtub groundsheet could have been zip in.But that said if we squeeze another couple of trips in this year it will have paid for itself.

We`ve given the tent 8 out of ten due to the groundsheet niggles but overall we love it.
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By: Linzbob  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 21/05/2011

Have recently purchased this Hawaii reef with everything that matches (sad I know but why the hell not!) Have only put it up in the back garden so far, and boy do you need a BIG back garden!

Slightly disappointed that it has the normal groundsheet and not the rubberised one the 2011 Montana etc has (as this was the problem with our last tent-it disintegrated). Will update review when return from hols in June.
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Manufacturer's Description

In Topaz, the colour of 2011, the Hawaii Reef is a three-room tunnel tent capable of sleeping up to five people in its 2+3 Universal Inner in polycotton. With easy pitching, either flysheet first or as one, the Hawaii Reef also benefits from a Front Porch with Detachable Bathtub Groundsheet as well as an additional side door. There is the usual excellent Outwell ventilation and the front wall of the living area can be opened completely, if required. The floor to the main living area is durable double-coated polyethylene with Zip-out facility, while headroom throughout is maintained thanks to the OEF System (Outwell Extended Frame System). There is plenty of attention to detail too, of course, with items like Organiser Pockets and Lamp Holder and Light Cable Tidies.


For larger families (up to five) who want two
bedrooms and the bonus of a Porch in addition
to the living room, plus the very latest look!
Type of tent:

Three room tunnel tent.

Sleeps: 5 people
Rooms: 2 bedrooms, 1 living room
Pitching way: Flysheet first or as one
Flysheet: Outtex® Airtech (65% cotton / 35% polyester)
Floor: Double-coated 100% polyethylene
Inner tent: Polycotton (35% cotton / 65% polyester)
Pack size: Tent: 110 x 38 cm / Poles: 103 x 22 cm
Weight: Tent: 32.5 kg / Poles: 20.2 kg
Poles: Steel poles 22 mm, Duratec fibreglass 11.0/13.5 mm, 2 upright steel poles.


Large windows in living area
Front wall of living area can be opened completely
Additional side door
Organiser pockets
Mesh pockets in the inner tents
Lamp holder and light cable tidies
Reinforcement patch on all stress points
Adjustable pegging points
Luminous guylines
Heavy duty Outwell zips
Outwell doormat included

... there may be more info on their website

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