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Tent Reviews: Outwell Wolf Lake 5

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Outwell  >  Wolf Lake 5 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
5  (more 5 berth tents)
48.90 KG
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.35/10 from 23 reviews

Viewed: 81821 times

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23 Reviews of the Wolf Lake 5         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3  

By: Blake5  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

The following is a review of the 2012 model. This version has now been discontinued, but I’ve noticed a few still remain in stock on some websites, and if anyone is thinking to purchase one second-hand then this review may still be of use.

If you’re looking for a quality tent, that’s easy to live with and to be used for extended holidays of a week or more, then a Wolf Lake could be the perfect choice. The wife and myself find the size of the tent ideal for the two of us, plus the usual paraphernalia(!). From a personal perspective, for a typical family of 4 I’d probably look at the Wolf Lake 7 for adequate space.

The Wolfie is surprisingly easy to erect, so don’t let the sheer size of it put you off. My OH and I use the ‘Gary Cross’ method of putting it up, that is, we lay down the foot print, peg out all four corners of the tent, and then start by inserting the centre pole first and working outwards. What most impresses me, and this would apply to all similar polycotton tents, is that once the centre pole is inserted, the tent can sit there and stays extremely stable while you move on to add the remaining poles. This makes life far easier rather than having to haul up all five poles and flysheet at once. On the first try my OH actually commented how simple it was to put up, especially using the above method. The added weight can work to your advantage too – on windy days the tent flysheet hardly budges. We also have an Outwell Sliding Canopy; this blows around like the proverbial kite in a storm in comparison!

I didn’t follow conventional wisdom, and due to struggling to get the opportunity to do so, I neglected to ‘weather’ the Wolfie before its first use. I was pretty nervous about this at the time, but I shouldn’t have worried. During the second night we had a pretty strong storm that continued into the next day, but after thorough checks, there was not a single bead of water inside.

There are various aspects of the Wolfie that particularly impress me. There are plenty of features I love, many mentioned already by others, but these are the highlights for me. Firstly, the ZIG. Ok, it takes an extra 5 minutes to unfold and zip it in etc., but the thickness and quality of the groundsheet is perfect. This is very reassuring when conditions are less than ideal. The flexibility of a ZIG means that you have the benefits of a sewn in groundsheet, no creepy-crawlies or draughts, but you can also remove it to clean/dry out or let the ground air without moving the tent. Great idea.

I also love the windows on this version of the Wolf Lake. Like the other older generation ‘Lakes’ this tent has the ‘Vent View’ system that allows the windows to be opened completely, or closed with only a mesh to prevent a mozzie attack. In warmer climes this is ideal to keep things cool, in addition to the breathable polycotton. This is a feature that has disappeared from the newer generation Outwells. Something that I’d sorely miss.

The polycotton fabric makes living conditions so much more pleasant. It’s not thick or luxurious as 100% cotton, but it really does make life far more bearable than polyester. No rustling in the wind, cosier on a cool evening and not as stifling on a hot day. I’m afraid to say (much to my bank accounts distress!) I’ve been converted and will never buy polyester again.

The only niggles I can see are:

The pack size. As reviews have previously mentioned, the two bags can be a bind to deal with. BUT – this is a familiar theme with any tent of similar size and material. I’ve tried packing the groundsheet in with the flysheet - it’s possible, but the bulk of the bag makes it difficult to handle. Keep the flysheet and bedpods together, and then the poles with the groundsheet. It would also have been a nice addition to have wheels on the bags, similar to other tents in the price range, to help shift them!

No front extension. The removable front canopy is great, but it would have been even better to have the option to purchase a front extension like the Bear Lake 4 & 6. Thankfully Outwell have remedied this somewhat with the 2013 model, the front canopy is far larger, has hanging poles (to dry off towels etc.) and the option to close off the canopy with the awning conversion kit. But the 2013 model is over 8m long, so this may pose a problem with pitches on some sites. Plus, the conversion kit is not exactly cheap, on a tent that is already double the price I paid for mine!

Purchase rock pegs (at least for the guys and four corners). The pegs supplied by Outwell bend like cheese!

Apart from these niggles (and I’m being picky), quite simply, the Wolfie is a fantastic tent. It’s roomy, well made, comfortable and rock solid in windy conditions. If you can handle the pack size, you won’t regret buying one!
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By: BillynPatsy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Back in 2010 we ummed and ahhed about which tent to get and ended choosing between an Outwell Oakland XL or an Outwell Wolf lake 5. I even asked on here for advice. We ended up getting the Oakland XL and used it for 4 main trips. We were really happy with it but still had a hankering for the benefits of the polycotton Wolf lake. So we bit the bullet last year and sold the Oakland and traded up. We certainly haven’t looked back.

This is a great tent! It is so much better than the Oakland and we have now used it for 2 fortnight trips: one in Devon and the other in France.

During the first trip it rained for about ¾ of the fortnight and there was not even a drip inside to show for it. Also the pitch we were on was on a slope and ended up with a puddle forming underneath the tent. Since the Wolf lake has such a heavy-duty ground sheet, it felt like a water bed! We also were able to unzip the ground sheet to mop out the water without having to disturb most of the tent.

For the second trip it was lovely and hot for most of the time and the polycotton coolness and the really good ventilation made a massive difference.

When pitching it don’t follow the official Outwell guidance, as so many others have also advised. Go for the method where you peg out the four corners then insert a middle pole etc. Far far more simple.

Improvement I’ve made:

The main structure of the tent has poles running along the length which provide the main additional structure. However, these stop before the front canopy which then relies on the front guy lines. This means that you’re left with a number of trip wires in front that could have been avoided. We’ve bought some extra adjustable length poles which we now use to extend the longitudinal structure into the canopy – seems to work a treat and means that we don’t need the front guys except for when the wind is up – see the pic.

Key benefits:

- Polycotton – really is warmer in cold, cooler in warm and has zero condensation

- Structure – really stable and taut – barely needs 4 pegs to stay up

- Flat front – makes best use of space but, since it’s so stable, isn’t a problem in the wind

- Front extension really useful and more so that Bear lake, as the sides go to the floor so driving rain doesn’t get in

- Mesh windows on all side windows mean that you can leave the whole place open for a through draught when in hot places


- Polycotton – putting it away wet is a bit of a pain and needs proper sorting out when you get home (ie. Proper repitching and drying)

- Front extension is a little short – so when it’s serious rain it still comes in and makes everything wet that’s kept there. (However, we now have the polycotton tarp that we use with it which works a treat – see the pics)

- It’s pretty heavy and bulky

There have been a couple of downsides:

The quality of the finish is not what we expected for the price. Having put it up in the garden when we first bought it, we needed to go around all of the stitching with scissors to cut off the loose threads – and there were loads of them. There was also a couple of seams that needed firming up with seam sealer, as the thread looked like it would run. Some of the velcro patches on the curtains don’t quite line up with the windows underneath. These things are minor but were surprising for a tent of this price and quality. Additionally Outwell themselves took ages to get back to me and then simply referred me to the shop we’d been to.

Since we bought this tent, Outwell have brought out the fully cotton range. However, I still don’t thing we’d have gone for these since:

- They’re really expensive

- The front is sloping and so will let in rain when going in and out (as our Oakland XL did)

- They don’t have the same ventilation mesh windows
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By: Monty50  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

The best tent one can buy and the envy of everyone on the Campsite. The build quality is fantastic. The Canopy is useful for cooking and for sitting in it adds the protection you need in this country if the weather turns. The built in ground sheet which can be zipped in and out is a great idea as you can clean it after your trip. There is only my wife and I who camp and we find the space really useful for all of our furniture. Outwell rule and polycotton is the best for coolness in the sun and warmth during colder times.
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By: Topbrink  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

We have owned this tent for three years. It has been to France and Spain as well as various sites in the UK. We have always been immensely pleased with the comfort and quality but it is after this latest holiday over Jubilee Bank Holiday week that I really want to issue it with a Gold Star. While the 'Wolfie' has experienced a couple of meaty thunderstorms in the past, they have been as nothing to the weather conditions we have just experienced. All I can say is What a Performer! With gusts of up to 50mph over a 36-hour period, the tent barely wobbled. Everything stood firm and at no time did we feel in danger of collapse, ripping or any discomfort from things being disturbed by billowing tent sides. In addition to the winds, we had rain - full blown torrential downpours every day or night of our holiday and again not a dribble to be spotted inside the tent. We knew the 'Wolfie' was a quality tent when we bought it but it has repaid our faith in spades!
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By: Chris+Pete  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

Owned! No, OWN one and proud of it.

Once you have seen and owned a Wolf Lake 5, nothing else will do.

Been from Scotland to Cornwall, and the weather has thrown its worst at us and we have stayed dry, in torrential rain, with flood, cool, in the height of summer and warm when the dogs water bowl has frozen over. The zip in bath tup (groundsheet) as we call it means even a small flood stays outside.

Yes each bag weighs in at 25Kg but it all fits in our Ford Focus estate, inc the dog.

We can be set up and drinking tea in 1 hr and that is the wife & I (no kids). It's all down to how you pack it away after use. The WL5 video is very poor and uninformative as to what we reckon is the quickest way to put up the tent.

IF and it is a big IF, if we are forced to use a breatheable ground sheet, then we would realy struggle to transport it as they are not light nor compact, as the WL5 has a large footprint.

Sell it, never, that's why they (WL5) are like the preverbial Rocking Horse Droppings to get a hold of, once you have one you are Happy.

The sheltered porch is FAB and its biggest selling point, for the cooking area or siting out on an evening to watch the sun set.

You may consider them expensive but it's the same cost as ONE foreign holiday but the tent is yours forever and believe me it pays for itself over and over again.

Go to any camp site and people watch, WL5 is the 5 star tent as is the Cadac Carri Chef De lux to BBQ's, if they own both, they know quality and camping luxury.

That's not snobbery, just value for money, enjoy.

IF I was a WL5 salesman I would have sold dozens, as fellow campers, and you can see them hesitating to ask for an invite to peek inside, just admire them.

Hope you found this useful, in all honesty they are faultless.
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By: VictoriaS  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

We've had a WL5 for 2 years now, and as with other reviewers, we agree that it's a fabulously comfortable tent. More like a temporary construction really - it's pretty solid.

We camp from May - November in the UK, and the polycotton keeps you warm in the cold (very windproof) and cool in the summer. The entrance 'verandah' is also great for the UK - big enough to cook under if it's wet (we also cook inside in autumn), and you are sheltered from wind and rain. We'd never buy another tent that doesn't have this 'porch' facility now we've tried it.

The only real downside is the weight and size when packed (as others have noted). The tent packs down into two duffel bags, each weighing 40 kilos - so the whole tent weighs 80 kilos, and it can be a tussle getting it upright. We have a Ford Focus and the packs don't fit in our boot, so we have to put them both across the back seat.

We basically only use this tent if we are going away for 5 nights or more, as it takes us (2 adults) almost 2 hours to pitch the tent. Although once it's up, it's going absolutely nowhere! If you peg everything, there are 87 pegs to put in including the footprint!

We have recently seen that Gelert are doing polycotton tents in smaller sizes and using aluminium poles instead of Outwell's steel ones, so we are planning on buying one of those (a Lakesbury 4) to use for weekends, or when we go away individually, as we really love the canvas of the WL5 but sometimes wish it was a bit more portable!
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By: Tentaholic  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

We've just upgraded to a Wolf Lake 5 and absolutely love it. We're a family of 3, so the 5 birth tent gives us plenty of space for our gear without it feeling crowded or messy. We've only taken it for a long weekend trip so far but it will definitely suit all our needs for a longer trip too.

The first pitch in the garden was fairly easy for 2 adults but on site it was very windy and we did need an extra pair of hands to hold onto a couple of poles while we got the key pegs in (luckily my mother in law was on hand!). Perhaps we need a bit more practice! Having said that, once it was up, the wind didn't trouble it at all - it didn't move an inch. We also had some heavy rain (no leaks) and bright sunshine (stayed nice and cool) so I think we can say we well and truly tested it in all weathers.

This is our first experience of a polycotton tent and we think the extra breathability/ coolness in hot weather is definitely worth the additional pack size and weight (luckily we've got a large car boot as it does take up a lot of space). It just felt really comfortable and cosy all weekend. We also love the large windows and the fact that there are 3 doors (front and one at each side). The side windows and doors all have mesh panels which will be great in hot weather!

One of the key features for us is the front canopy. We used this without its groundsheet and had our cooker stand and a fold-out picnic table in there. The table did get wet when it rained as the canopy only just covers it but it's still a very useful space.

Inside, there are pockets under both front windows and between the bedroom pods. There is also a series of velcro loops up one side and at the top. We hung our lantern from the top one and it was perfectly strong enough to hold it. The windows all have curtains that can be put half way or fully up with velcro - good for getting a balance between light and privacy.

Altogether, a fantastic tent. Well worth the big price tag if your budget can stretch to it!
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By: Racey1979  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

The Wolf Lake 5 is a premium quality tent from Outwell providing great comfort. Those who are used to normal polyester tents will see a huge difference when moving to polycotton. They are much quieter in the wind and cooler on those hot days. They are also extremely sturdy standing up to the worst British weather with ease.

Good points: Very spacious, sturdy, comfortable and looks great. It has a good layout with a full canopy, though this is not very deep. The zip in groundsheet material is very thick and durable. They are also widely available from most major outlets.

Bad points: This tent is very heavy and only recommended if being erected by two reasonably strong adults. It takes up a lot of room in the car and at £799 it is expensive. We have now moved on to a trailer tent as we had so much stuff we needed a trailer anyway, but we really enjoyed the time we spent in the Wolf Lake.
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By: Helenterrapin  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

Fantastic tent. We chose this having camped previously in a frame tent, which needed replacing. It's worth every penny. We love the canopy for cooking under and also sitting in watching the world go by. We don't use the sleeping pods, preferring to have one large space, as we have a king size airbed. With the ZIG it's not a problem to do this.

We haven't found it too hard to pitch. Once we got use to it after a frame tent. The only real difficulty is lifting the fabric and 5 poles together because of the weight, but once it's upright its sorted. We have even managed to fold it to fit into our old (much smaller) frame tent bag. We don't bother pegging the groundsheet down (once it's zipped in it doesn't move) and that saves a lot of time when pitching. I would recommend the footprint, as it will keep the ZIG cleaner.

We had some very heavy rain last week and were completely dry. Wolfie performed brilliantly.
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By: Lallyb  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

We have a Wolf Lake 5 for 2 of us to camp in, as we like a bit of space and luxury! We find pitching easy if a bit time consuming - but there were a couple of beers consumed during this so we weren't rushing! Agree with all the other positive comments about the wolf lake 5, we bought ours a few weeks ago and have used it twice so far.

The only negative we've found is that the front door doesn't have a mozzie mesh cover option like all the windows do, and it does get to be a bit of a pain constantly zipping and unzipping to keep the bugs out. Other than this we love it. We did find the pack very heavy, but bought a foldable sack truck for £20 and it was great! Stood the pack on its end, bungie'd it on with the bungy that came with it, and away you go! Was brilliant, especially as the last site we were on (Great Langdale) you couldnt take your car to the pitch. Wheeled our way over the bumpy field with only one spill!

We also find that the footprint is really useful for finding the right aspect to pitch as well as keeping the groundsheet nice and clean. We used the carpet as well, and I admit to being a bit sceptical, but now I'm hooked on it! Nice and comfy underfoot and kept it a bit warmer on chilly nights. Would highly recommend the wolf lake.
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23 User Reviews of the Wolf Lake 5 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3  

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Manufacturer's Description

Wolf Lake 5 is the comparative test winner in the top Dutch camping title KCK Magazine and it’s no surprise that this fully featured three room tunnel tent design, sleeping up to five people, came out on top. The open front of the front porch can be turned into a full awning with the conversion kit.

Type of tent: Three room tunnel tent
Sleeps people: 5
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 106 cm
Pack size poles: 28 x 102 cm
Weight flysheet: 26.8 kg
Weight poles: 22.1 kg

... there may be more info on their website

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