Tent Showcase: Zempire Mothership
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Living area groundsheet:
6 (more 6 berth tents)
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9.8/10 from 5 reviews
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5 Reviews of the Mothership
By: CoinMan Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2015 Rating: Date: 01/03/2016
I have used this web site as one of my favorite resources. With that said, I figured my review might help out a little. At least for anyone from the US that might find it helpful. Everyone else seems to already know how awesome the manufacturers like Zempire and Outwell are. I learned only after countless hours of reading reviews and comparing specifications. Thank you all for your advice and reviews of this tent.
I have looked at tents for around 3 months! The United states offers loads of tents that are mediocre at best, in terms of size and quality. My major issue is having a very particular taste and wanting to make sure the tent I chose lived up to my standards.
My old tent was a Sir Edmund Hillary 4 room dome tent. As far as appearance goes, it could very well be the Mother ships baby brother. This tent was OK in terms of quality and size. The biggest issue I had with the Hillary tent was needing to duck down more than I cared to. The one quality that was different than the Mothership was each pod had a door (4 doors in total). I loved the fact that three pods were surrounding a central living area (not common in the US). With that in mind, I started my search for new tent with a similar layout.
Trying to come up with a short list from the US was easy (I found 0). Then I found the Mothership! Even the freaking name was cool. My friends called my old tent 'The Coin Castle' because of it's size and now they won't even need to think of a new name.
There are variety of options when it comes to a tent that would fit 6 people comfortably and still have the floor plan I desired. The Mothership was able to fill all my requirements!
1.) Shape: It would need to have at least three pods around a living area. I didn't end up setting these up that night. (In the US tents do not have separate attachable 'privacy pods''. This was an added bonus.)
2.) Floor: A sewn in tub style floor was a must. (You want to fish in a river, not wake up with one under your feet.)
3.) Size: The tent needed to have at least a 6' height (1.82 M) in the majority of the tent (My old tent was about 5.9', only in the middle area.) Each pod would need to fit a queen size air mattress. The central living area would need to be large enough to fit a table for 6 (This is mostly for hanging out with the family and room for the dog during rain.)
4.) Roof: The majority of tents in the US share the design with the Mothership in this regard. The removable roof with mosquito netting was a must for nice warm nights with a star light view.
5.) Weather Proofing: In the US hydro-static ratings are not typically a specification that is clearly stated on any tents I looked at. After researching like a mad man, I found that a tent with at least 3,000 MM would work fine for me. I even contacted a Mothership owner on YouTube that showed his tent in an intense storm set to rock music! He has owned the tent for a while and advised me it was still worth it.
6.) Cost: This was a subject for debate in my house. As I am the paterfamilias and being the single provider for a family of five, I didn't particularly care what the cost was if the tent met my listed requirements. My wife and I agreed that $500.00 (Or 359.12 British Pounds) would be in our budget. Camping world listed this tent for the lowest price I could find anywhere, $1,079.00 for the package deal plus $135.00 for shipping to the US (883 British Pounds total with shipping) Believe me, I looked for a cheaper cost longer than searching for the right tent it seemed. After a couple of foot rubs and some clean dishes my wife agreed this was the best tent for our family. (I'm kinda bad with spending so it's for the best my wife is tough on me.)
After finding the Mothership for the lowest cost at Camping World, I was skeptical about ordering from a web site I was not familiar with, much less over seas! It made me feel comfortable after researching Camping World and reading other reviews from customers in the US. Still I was worried about hidden fee's (Duty Taxes), missing parts, or the tent taking 6 months to show up at my door. Absolutely NONE of these things happened when ordering with Camping World. I ordered this tent in the evening on Wednesday, February 10th 2016. The order was in processing on Thursday and shipped on that Friday. I received an email stating the tent would arrive at my home the next Friday. The following Tuesday, to my surprise, it showed up at my house! (My mail man was pissed, the package deal weighs about 100 lbs. Or 45 kilograms! I told him to suck it up.) The box did show up looking like it lost a 'Title Fight'. The original tape from the Camping World packaging was cut open. I suspect the US customs raped the box and then did a horrible job on resealing the packages. Luckily nothing was damaged or missing. I am very happy with the speed of the transaction and delivery provided by Camping World with out a doubt!
Excited to set up the new tent, my friend and I quickly decided to take our sons back yard camping that Friday, just to see the thing!
When it comes to setting up the tent, it was a breeze! (Very similar to my old tent) The ground sheet that is made for this tent is PERFECT! The sheet is cut to match the floor plan, including pods. It's slightly tricky matching up the holes in the tent floor to the holes in the ground sheet though. The tent it's self is absolutely amazing! My friend and I were able to set the tent up with ease. The color coding on the tent poles made it easy to match up. The instructions really aren't needed. They do say that you should stake out the tent before raising the poles. I completely disagree if you own the manufacturers ground sheet. If you own the ground sheet, lining up the interior stake holes to the ground sheet holes is easier while the tent is mobile. We also found it put additional stress on the poles. Several stakes needed to removed while pitching, just to get the poles in properly. One of my favorite features on this tent is the 360 degree door. It is able to go 100% screen and creates a perfect breezeway with out the bugs! I also have the carpet for the tent but haven't used it yet. I hear there are issues with the carpet holes matching up to the interior stake holes, but haven't tested to see if Zempire has corrected this issue. The lantern hooks are sturdy and well placed. One of my favorite things, believe it or not, is the bag the tent comes in. This bag is over sized and putting the tent away was SUPER easy. This is normally the most challenging part of tearing down a camp site. In whole this is a quality tent that meets and (in most cases) exceeds all of my expectations.
One minor issue. Really, I wouldn't even call it an issue, it's a perk to even have a front awning on a tent (not many do, in the US) but I wish it were just a little taller. It will work great if your relaxing in a chair or you're vertically challenged.
All said, this tent is well worth the cost and the quality is top notch!
P.S. The tent is said to have a rear power port access. I think I'm blind because I can't find the thing.
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By: Davidhs Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2015 Rating: Date: 07/10/2015
We are a family of 6 total and after much deliberation bought a Mothership for this summer's 2 week camping holiday in Wales.
We had been living with a 5 man tent bought when we only had 2 kids. It was high time to replace it, but we wanted something which would give separate sleeping pods for us, and for the kids ideally in separate pairs. We also wanted something well made and able to stand up to British weather. And we liked the idea of a dome tent, with pods, rather than the standard tunnels which seem to dominate at the moment. So we purchased the Mothership, including the footprint and carpet.
Overall, really pleased with the purchase, and would recommend it.
Here are some key points:
- Straightforward to put up - poles all colour coded. Big plus to be able to peg down the tent before putting the poles up. Getting the two big poles up is best done with someone lifting inside - so 2-3 people ideal at that point although not essential. After that one person could do it.
- poles are substantial and feel up to the job.
- space inside is excellent - each pod could at a squeeze sleep 4 adults- so you have lots of space with 2 in each. Good sized living area in the middle.
- Before we purchased the apparent lack of windows was a factor. However, there are plenty of smaller mesh windows - when these are all open and pod doors are open a good amount of light comes in - although if it was raining you might get a little water through the mesh.
- if it is fine, and you take off the top cap, it is amazingly light and airy - although if using in Britain would probably rarely take it off.
- porch area was good for storage of food and boots etc. We did not get an additional porch - happy to cook outside
- front door lifts up onto supplied poles to create canopy. Generally had this up during the day - still have inner door to close if required.
- was definitely worth having the footprint - as this meant the muck from rotting grass was not on the base of the main tent and could be packed away dry.
- first few nights and days were very windy (up to at least force 6 on Pembs clifftop). It stood up well - with some adjustment of guys as required. Did double peg the orange strap guy ropes as one of these pulled out in the wind. Other tents were flattened during the night at its worst. Tiny pool of rain did find its way into the tent near one of the mesh windows (never quite worked out how or where - but nothing to write home about).
- generally it is a well made quality tent. Lots of clues to it being a well thought through tent.
- the carpet (which was the proper Zempire Mothership carpet) did not properly fit. There are cutouts in it which do not align with the pegging points for the inner. Zempire have come back to me (via Campingworld where we purchased) to say, basically, just live with it - but there is clearly a mistake in the position of the cutouts (about 6 inches out). Yes, you can live with it, but I am still arguing the case with Zempire, as I think it should be correct.
- the tent is unusual in that it has a mesh section in the top of the main outer which is then covered with a second outer cap. This is for airflow. I get the idea, and think it probably works (we certainly never felt as hot in the tent as in other tents, although the weather was not ever top summer temps). The slight downside is that it makes for a noisier tent in the wind. There are flaps on the main outer under the cap to prevent the blow back of rain. In certain wind strengths these flaps, well, they flap! Which made for a noisier tent at night when trying to sleep. Not major, but did drift off to sleep at least one night dreaming of ways to stop it!
But all in all, a great tent, and really pleased we paid out for it. I am sure we will get a lot of use and enjoyment out of it, and will confidently use it in all sorts of weathers. Hoping to go to France next summer when the airflow system should come into its own.
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By: Hels189 Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2015 Rating: Date: 27/05/2015
Well what can we say - fabulous!
We had previously only seen this tent on the web and no where near us had one on display and we wasn't happy purchasing a tent we hadn't actually seen and that there wasn't too many reviews of. In February we attended the camping show at the NEC and Zempire had a stand there and we were extremely lucky to meet the owner of the company too. Originally I went to purchase a air tent but after much discussion we decided on the Mothership and boy am I glad we did.
Having a 14 yr old Son and a 9yr old Daughter separate sleeping pods for them was a must and the mothership delivers fantastic sleeping spaces for us all. Only disappointment for me was that I couldn't fit my wardrobe in the pod due to the height issue at the sides but I can solve that by buying new storage! Great storage pockets inside and out the pods and the kids have space to store all their belonging and tat in their own bedrooms without encroaching on the living area!
We also bought the airflow canopy which we feel is a must and that was our kitchen area etc.
Love the fact that the door has a full mesh screen so you get the air in but no buggy friends. The door on the canopy is the same too. Also like that the main door just stuffs in a pocket at the side rather than trying to roll or fold it back.
All the bedrooms have windows you can zip open to reveal a mesh panel to help the air flow - used these this weekend and it helps air a teenage boys pod nicely!
Now to the pitching - how easy literally my hubby and 14 yr old did it on their own! Once your two main cross poles are in and someone inside to help pop it up the majority of the hard work is done. Did take us a while to sort out the tension on the inside and out and we've put it away with the pods still up inside and I imagine they'll need readjusting on pitching the next time.
Not much more to say really, great space, great quality and easy pitching sums it up really!
In August we're off to the South of France so hopefully the airflow system will live up to its name.
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By: Byrnefoord family Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2013 Rating: Date: 14/04/2014
I bought one of these tents late last year after a lot of research into types of tent, size, layout etc. We have four daughters aged between 9 - 12 and on holiday, if using campsites in France, we have always rented a static home (3 bedroom's). Vital to keep the peace. So three bedrooms in a tent was on the required list. The Mothership, from the description on the website sounded as if it fitted all our needs.
We bought it from Yeoman's Outdoor Leisure. It arrived in good time and we put it up. So easy to do for such a large tent. It was up in 40 minutes (not bad for the first time) and with the three 'privacy pods', bedrooms to us, put in, the tent lived up to all expectations.
The bedrooms are a really good size, easily fitting two girls in each with a lot of room left over. The Main living area is big and gives plenty of room for eating, games, enjoying each other company. The 'Airflow' system keeps the tent nice a cool and allows a nice flow of air through it.
We have only spent one night in it, in the back garden, but have booked a holiday in the south of France for May half term. I will let you know how the tent lives up to the 'airflow' system and how we got on with it.
So far, great looking tent, great name, lots of room, good quality, great service from Yeoman's.
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By: The Berwick Family Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 19/08/2012
Totally awesome tent. Lots to say about this and I will submit an in depth review but thought I would post a quick one to let any would-be purchaser that this tent is great and represents a real long term investment. The campsite we just stayed on was battered with wind and rain in Cornwall last week and whilst many tents were either torn apart or bent out of shape we got through it totally unscathed! We were more concerned for the health of our Vango Icarus 500 porch (that fits the mothership nicely) and that came out of the storms well too but the poles look a little 'shaped' as they went back into the bag! As I said many things to say about the Zempire mother ship but am still unpacking from the trip! Back soon !
5 from 5 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
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Sold as Zempire Mothership in UK, Freedom Camping Mothership in New Zealand.
The Zempire Mothership is our largest dome tent. The three rooms located around a central living area make it also one of our most stable tents. It offers many layout options making it a great tent for a couple wanting a lot of extra room for all the gear or a large family.
The Motherships large central living area is great for storing all your camping gear and cooking for the family.
At Zempire we like to think of better ways to do things. The Privacy Pod system is one of those ideas. Instead of having a fixed layout to your tent we have designed our airflow tents with an open plan shell. Inside this shell you can connect privacy pods which you can take in or out as you please, this maximizes your sleeping area at night and your living area during the day. We also make sure that every room has a private entry/exit so no one is disturbed during the night.
... there may be more info on their website
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