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Tent Reviews: Outwell Norfolk Lake

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Norfolk Lake Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
8  (more 8 berth tents)
67.10 KG

Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.39/10 from 36 reviews

Viewed: 79627 times

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36 Reviews of the Norfolk Lake         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  

By: MrCallaghan  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

After much research I decided to get an Outwell. I was going to get a new poly tent but luckily found this second hand Norfolk Lake. I am very impressed with the space inside and how easy it is to pitch. Carpets make a lot of difference to feeling warm inside and having the windows removable so you can have just mesh or nothing is a bonus, and stops those steaming cooking evenings filling up your tent with condensation. Choice of doors is very good as you can separate the cooking area so the kids don't get under your feet. I agree with the last review that a side extension is a must as I didn't put ours up one weekend and it rained, not a massive problem but better than diving into a half opened zip and rubbing your back on a wet canvas
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By: Achy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Having had the Norfolk Lake for a few seasons now I thought I'd leave a review. The only reason I have not given it 10 out of 10 is that I feel if camping in the UK with it, you do need the side extension as all doors slope and let in rain if it's really heavy rain.

Having said that the Norfolk Lake really is the most amazing tent. Loads of room for a family of 4, warm and robust-it has taken every bit of weather it has had thrown at it! Great quality and certainly worth every penny we spent (new to us and having only been used for a weekend). Our carpet is not for the Norfolk Lake but is a good enough fit and we have a Bear Lake side extension which fits just fine.

All in all this tent is excellent for a stay over a week or more-the only way I can get my hubby to go camping! And I need him when we take this out, no way I could pitch it on my own!
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By: Cobo127  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

This tent is brilliant. We have just had our first holiday in it, having bought it second hand. It is huge but not crazy huge. Lovely and sturdy, warm, no condensation etc. Loads of pockets and just really well thought out and made to a very high standard. Our youngest thought it looked like a giant caterpillar! Love it and we will not need to get another tent again until we are too old and grumpy to go camping. Never
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By: Lmcelwee  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

We were looking for a poly cotton tent with an enclosed front porch area. We didn't want to go down the route of buying extra extensions or porches. The only tent that ticked all the boxes except the budget box was Yellowstone falls. So we bought a 2nd hand Norfolk Lake.

This weekend was our first outing in our 'new to us' tent and we are very pleased with it. Much faster and easier to pitch than our Vango Diablo 600 despite the extra weight. Weather wise our new purchase was well tested with pouring rain, gusty winds and sunshine all in the space of three days. The tent, I'm pleased to say, stood up well to the conditions and I was impressed how quiet it was in the winds. Huge bonus when I have a 2 year old fast asleep at night.

The tent was the perfect size for relaxing inside in the evening and all the cooking could take place in the porch area if it was raining (with doors open). We like to extend the camp season a little at both ends so being able to relax inside was a must for us. I did find it a little chilly at night but no more so than I have felt in the Diablo. We don't like using heaters so it was a case for more layers.

The 3 man bedroom pod was plenty big enough for me, hubby and two year old. I was initially disappointed that the bedrooms were not universal (I guess we have one of the earlier models) but as the pod was large enough I wasn't worried about making one large bedroom pod. Might consider buying the children's pod for our son.

In summary I bought this tent based on the reviews on this site. I was not disappointed at all. Yes the pack size is large and large but we use a trailer so not an issue. Great tent and impressed with the quality.
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By: Ejjerome  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

We have been looking for a polycotton tent for some time and done masses of research. After months of trawling the internet and a few weeks looking at pre season displays we finally decided that the only new tent which ticked all of our requirement boxes was the Yellowstone Falls, but at £1,600.00 we couldn't justify the expense. The only other tent which came anywhere near in our opinion was a second hand Norfolk lake. The separate enclosed front area was a must for us, as was the large living area and the 3rd bedroom option. So our search began and we were overjoyed to get a Norfolk Lake, side extension, footprint, windscreen and carpet for a great price. We collected the tent this week and have put it up in the garden, which we found really easy (with the help of tips from this forum and pitching guides) and managed to have the tent standing in around 15 mins, but it took us over and hour in total to put in the groundsheets, peg out and add the extension. Over the last 2 days we've had rain, hale and quite strong winds and I am amazed at the quality of this tent. It doesn't budge in wind and there is hardly 'tent rain noise' that we've had in previous tents. Absolutely no leaks or damage anywhere and compared to the extension which is new, not a great deal of fading so I think we've been really lucky. I really like that we can open up all the rear bedrooms to make one large one, although we have brought a kids room for the little one too and he loves it. The footprint and carpet are actually for the bear lake but fit quite well.

On the whole this tent has more than lived up to our expectations and we can't wait for our first trip away for a week in June, however we'll probably have a weekend away before then as we can't wait to go.

Will update after our first proper road-test!
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By: Martinjp65  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Well, we have owned our NORFY for 3 years now and I thought it may be worth chipping in with a long term catch-up review for any one considering tracking down a second-hand example.

Although it sometimes doesn't feel like it we must have had some sun because the original green colour has faded, this is common to all tents in this range however. We have had no issues with quality, everything is still working fine I use zip maintenance spray on all the zips which does a wonderful job and once a year I wipe over all the poles with a cloth which I have sprayed with 3-in-1 oil with a little more applied to the joints of all the poles, in particular, the spring catch ones on the horizontal bracing poles this stops them binding up. I long ago replaced the original clamp on the bracing poles with a Dorema awning pole clamp which is superb.

This 'summer' we used the auxiliary bedroom pod as we had a family trip to Newquay this proved too small for a double airbed the bedpod touched the outer wall which resulted in water seeping through (this has been the ONLY issue with leakage however and we have been out in a LOT of VERY heavy rain!) so in my opinion the maximum PRACTICAL capacity for this tent would be 5 people (stated berth: MAX 8 'sleep comfort' 6) We always use the additional footprint which is now showing its age a carpet which I found on EBAY which is labelled for a sun valley 8 but fits well APART from the provision for the AUX bedpod corner loop this carpet has a large ugly hole in the wrong place when all that is required is a tiny slit which I made with my leatherman. We have the kids room which the grandkids like a lot when they come with us.

Normally there is just the 2 of us when we go away and this means we have loads of space which is how we like it! one unique (I think) feature of this tent is the partition which separates the ZIG part of the tent from the front this give the best of all worlds you can fully close it in cold weather or have it half or fully open, it also has 2 vent panels which can be closed.The front (bathtub) groundsheet can be left out if you have nice grass on your pitch with sunny weather.

Another feature of this tent now being omitted on some newer models are the windows which you can zip open fully or with mesh and blinds each one having its own toggles/loops! this must be a pain to manufacture and I can see why Outwell are finding excuses not to incorporate them! We use the side doors as normal means of entry and only use the big front sloping door in sunny weather as a canopy or rolled up.

We use an Outwell merope EHU light with a halogen 42 watt lamp which is 60 watt EQUIV' this gives a realistic amount of light for the size of the tent and an Outwell fan heater keeps it warm in colder weather. All in all a great tent with loads more years in it and if you can find a good un I can thoroughly recommend it!
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By: KevanMo  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

After many a night trawling the net and mainly this site, we needed a polycotton tent with 6-8 berth capability. The final decision was the Outwell Norfolk Lake so one was sniped after a few weeks searching a well known auction site.

Compared to our previous Cabanon Espace (which is slightly larger) the Norfolk Lake is a breeze to erect, has a sealed ZIG and three door options.

We put the tent up in an hour and had a great ten days holiday at Wood End Farm in Austwick. During that time we had hot sun, pouring rain and high winds - the Norfolk Lake laughed it all off, it is very good in high winds and we were very impressed with the polycotton being so waterproof and not a drop of condensation unlike other material.

There's no such thing as a perfect tent so here are the things we think could be improved:

1. The doors are really awkward to open with one hand from the inside

2. The front door had a slight leak during the downpour which was only in one place and less than an eggcup full

3. The front groundsheet would be better as a ZIG to seal out the draughts

Now the good points:

1. Very stable in high winds

2. More fixing down points than any other tent we've ever owned

3. ZIG keeps out the draughts and wet

4. Lots of windows!

5. No condensation problems whatsoever

6. Cool enough to be inside the tent even under a hot sun

7. Strong framework

8. Polycotton is very waterproof

Final conclusion - the best tent we've owned and would recommend it to anybody in an instant, but try to get the carpet. We would like to get a porch for general access to the tent as we prefer not to use the front door as it's our kitchen.
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By: Issym  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Having had the tent a few seasons now I thought I'd update and let you know how it has survived. Well the answer is very well. Apart from fading we have had no problems with the tent. We have survived gale force winds and torrential rain with no problems whatsoever.

It is heavy and we struggled for a long time working how to erect the tent. We now have a system that works for us very well; we thread all the pole and concertina the tent, front on top. My husband pulls on the front guy while I stop the front pole from sliding with my foot. The tent rises effortlessly and then we walk it forward in to place. This works best when the poles are fixed into the straps that go across the base before we pull. We have the side extension which we use as the main door due to the sloping front and the rain issue. I wouldn't want a front extension as this would make the tent very long, we already struggle to keep our guys off the road and more often than not pitch across ways.
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By: Gabriels gran  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

We bought our Norfolk lake at the beginning of 2009, in a sale at Go Outdoors, couldn't believe the bargain we had bagged as the zipped in ground sheet had been manufactured incorrectly so there is a part which gapes in the main tent, doesn't detract from the stability of the tent though. We have had some great camping trips in it and have just booked two hols for 2011, May, we're going to Mersea Island, and in July going to Brixham in Devon. Our Norfolk lake always attracts the interest of other campers, yes it does look like a submarine, yes it is massive for two of us plus our dog Emma, but we like to camp in comfort and boy is it comfortable. I love it when the weather is wet and windy, you feel so snug and cosy in the Norfolk it's brilliant. Only downside is I hope someone can recommend a front extension for the tent, the sloping front is a problem occasionally when it's wet. Been told that the Bear Lake Front canopy will probably work, but any advice from the rest of you seasoned campers would be more than welcome. Can't deduct points from the scoring for the front door, it doesn't deserve it!
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By: 3narf  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

I have been holding back with this review, as, although this tent seemed perfect for us initially, I wanted to experience all aspect of ownership before putting fingers to keyboard.

The tent has been up five times this season; initially at our local village site where it took us about two hours to put up, followed by our first proper camping trip where I proved it can be erected single-handedly with a bit of thought; then came our first putting-up in the rain, followed by two further trips when we refined our technique. The last trip took us less than 1/2 an hour before my wife could start putting stuff inside, while I carried on with pegs, ropes etc.

There's so little wrong with this tent that I really wonder why it was discontinued. The only thing that can be called anything like a design fault, is the sloping front that makes entry/egress a damp affair if it's raining, but as that feature has been repeated with tents like the Montana and Vermont, and by many other manufacturers, it can hardly be slated for that. Also, it could do with some internal coathanger poles, but as the external longitudinal poles contribute significantly to its impressive rigidity, we won't get too hung up on that, either.

We never had any extreme weather apart from some fairly heavy rain in Norfolk, but this tent is unnervingly quiet. Not a flap can be heard. It doesn't move around, squeak or creak. The carpet and kids room, obviously additional items, are superb; even the baby has his own room.

The canopy poles are flimsy; the plating is a different colour to the main poles and they feel like a lighter guage of tubing. They have bent slightly but still do the job. I might replace them next year. The porch bathtub groundsheet could do with being a bit thicker, but to quote Chef from South Park- that don't confront me none.

To summarise- I did quite a bit of research before buying this tent. I think it was an absolute bargain; I paid £500 for tent, footprint, carpet and kid's room. I think the Norfolk Lake is superior to anything Outwell make at the moment. It's definitely heavy, and not a five minute job to put up, but it's rock solid, quiet, roomy and extremely well made.

If you get the chance to buy one, you probably won't regret it. Now, I'm off to regale Outwell for their decision to stop making this great tent.
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36 User Reviews of the Norfolk Lake - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4  

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Manufacturer's Description

The manufacturer has advised that this model has been discontinued.

With sleeping accommodation for up to 8 persons in its 3 + 3 inner tents across one end, plus a
removable 2-berth inner, the amazing Norfolk Lake makes a truly spacious holiday home. The full
zip-out groundsheet provides maximum protection from the elements, insects and floor draughts in
the enclosed bedroom and living area, and helps make housekeeping a cinch. The Norfolk is easy to
pitch, uses aluminium poles throughout, and remains stable in adverse conditions. Other strong selling points include the detachable groundsheet in the front living area, the large front door that doubles as a canopy, the additional half-opening entrance, and a wide range of sophisticated and carefully crafted Outwell details. Norfolk Lake is a wise choice for a large family that wants reliable quality and comfort.

Flysheet: Outtex® Airtech
Inner tent: Polycotton
Floor: PVC Tarpaulin
Pack size: Tent: 35 x 103 cm / Poles: 35 x 102 cm
Weight: Tent: 34.8 kg / Poles: 32.3 kg
Poles: Alloy poles #6063, 22 mm, 2 upright steel poles

• Detachable bathtub groundsheet for porch area
• Organiser pockets
• Full length mesh pockets in the inner tents
• Lamp holder and light cable tidies
• Reinforcement patch on all stress points
• Adjustable pegging points
• Luminous guy ropes
• Heavy duty Outwell zips
• Outwell doormat included

Optional Extras:
• Kids Room
• Carpet
• Footprint

... there may be more info on their website

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