Family camping

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philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
As a gentle introduction to outdoor living I am looking for a tent for me and my young son to go camping in. this will be car camping on so I can afford a bit more comfort. so I am looking for a tent that can sleep 2 comfortably. I need to be able to set it up single handed and preferably it will be one I can stand up in.

Any recommendations please
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
good suggestions thanks. the vango look a great design my only worry with it is the material of 70D. I have been told this wont last is that correct?
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
budget? well that depends. if I found something really ideal then I would be prepared to pay for it. I did find a tent from oztent called an rv3. good size and options available to make an enclosed living area to the front by adding walls and a door to the front porch area. this set up would cost £1500 but there is a problem. when packed the tent bag is 2 meters long. for that kind of money I would want it to do it all. realistically my budget would be £500 maybe pushing up to £700 for something really good.

I currently have a 4 man dome tent but is only chest high. It does the job so I guess I can afford to be fussy an wait until I find something really nice
 

Allans865

Full Member
Nov 17, 2016
257
36
East Kilbride
Have a look in places like go outdoors and decathlon, they have tents set up so that you can see the dimensions before you buy.
Reasonable prices too 🖒
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,618
1,714
S. Lanarkshire
Over the years we've bought and used everything from really, really, expensive tents to supermarket bargain ones.
Tbh, even the expensive ones weather done, just that their waterproofing and pegging out points are better made.

I think it depends on where you are likely to use the tent. With a youngster along you might well end up on sites that are hard on your groundsheet and you need decent porch space for wet/muddy boots and jackets, as well as somewhere sheltered to cook if necessary…even just boiling up a kettle. That quick warmth is a very good thing when you have little ones along.

Anyway, the last one I bought was from Argos. It has taken everything we've thrown at it, from sandy beaches to howling winds on Skye; from a week's non stop rain (and it didn't let in once :) ) to used as the store tent for kit for a week's work away from home. It was bought knowing that I was going to be on a site with loads of open fires and horrible stoney/gritty soil underneath and I didn't want to chance ruining a tent that cost several hundred pounds for a week's Summer jaunt. It's sheer practicality and comfort (even HWMBLT likes this one, he can sit in peace and comfort of an evening inside and no midgies bothering him :) ) mean that it's had a tremendous amount of use.
Bog standard design, seperate inner dome with front groundsheet attached, the outer shell goes up first and keeps everything else dry :D

Cheap enough too that when I finally saw the porch groundsheet was letting in (camping on sandy soil knackers these woven groundsheets) I just bought another one :D and we still use the original when on crap soil, I just bought a spare over groundsheet for a pound in the poundstore.
It's a three man tent with a seperate inner, and the porch groundsheet isn't sewn in. That means it can be chilly in the porch, but, and it's a big but, you can wipe rain, mud and grit and grass and leaves out of it very easily, and you can roll it back to have a safe space for a wee stove too.

I bought a couple of those little folding stools and one of the flat suitcase stoves (the kind that lorry drivers use in their cabs; rock solid stable, easy to use and easy to acquire fuel bottles (4 for under a fiver) and it works really well.

The inner tent has both tubbed groundsheet and a zipped door to stop draughts and a mesh netting that stops midgies :D….and spiders, slugs and jennylonglegs too.

I think Allan has it right, away and have a looksee in Decathelon or Gooutdoors, and try them out. If the tent is big enough for you to stand up in, then it's pretty huge, and generally not a one man putter-up type job.

Brush on or spray on fabril can make a huge difference to even a cheap tent, but poorly sewn on tabs for the guys are a very bad thing.

Personally I wouldn't spend hundreds on a tent for car camping with a youngster, not for the first season out anyway. Maybe if it becomes something that is well used, and a firm favourite pastime, but not just to kick off and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure the tents I bought cost me under fifty quid each. A total bargain for the sheer amount of use we've had of them. They pack up tidily into one neat zipped bag too, and are easily draped over the whirlie when we get home to dry off thoroughly.

atb,
M
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
I think it depends on where you are likely to use the tent. With a youngster along you might well end up on sites that are hard on your groundsheet and you need decent porch space for wet/muddy boots and jackets, as well as somewhere sheltered to cook if necessary…even just boiling up a kettle. That quick warmth is a very good thing when you have little ones along.
yes that sound like what I am looking for



Personally I wouldn't spend hundreds on a tent for car camping with a youngster, not for the first season out anyway. Maybe if it becomes something that is well used, and a firm favourite pastime, but not just to kick off and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure the tents I bought cost me under fifty quid each. A total bargain for the sheer amount of use we've had of them. They pack up tidily into one neat zipped bag too, and are easily draped over the whirlie when we get home to dry off thoroughly.
It is not our first trip we have had one trip out in each of the last to years not including my solo trips. we have made to with a simple chest height dome tent but I looking to make thing more comfortable. We will use the same tent this year if I cant find something good. I may be able to make a front kit/sitting area in front of the tent using some tarps and a beach wind break if I cant find anything better
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,577
1,254
55
W.Sussex
budget? well that depends. if I found something really ideal then I would be prepared to pay for it. I did find a tent from oztent called an rv3. good size and options available to make an enclosed living area to the front by adding walls and a door to the front porch area. this set up would cost £1500 but there is a problem. when packed the tent bag is 2 meters long. for that kind of money I would want it to do it all. realistically my budget would be £500 maybe pushing up to £700 for something really good.

I currently have a 4 man dome tent but is only chest high. It does the job so I guess I can afford to be fussy an wait until I find something really nice
I had an RV3. I bought it for its quick setup time. Then I got the sides and front and it took ages getting it all zipped together. The living area is limited if you're using a camping cot as the tent isn't long enough front to back so they have to go horizontally. This means the person at the back has to climb over to get out for a pee or whatever. They're also a bit dark inside, and if it rains, water pools on the porch flap. Definitely designed for use in Australia I reckon.

I sold it it and bought a 4m bell tent. Brilliant thing, easy to put up, lovely airy living space. Room for a camping table and couple of chairs if it's raining out. Only thing is it's a bugger to dry if it gets wet, well unless the sun comes out and does it. Trying to hang it in the garage is a nightmare.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,618
1,714
S. Lanarkshire
It is not our first trip we have had one trip out in each of the last to years not including my solo trips. we have made to with a simple chest height dome tent but I looking to make thing more comfortable. We will use the same tent this year if I cant find something good. I may be able to make a front kit/sitting area in front of the tent using some tarps and a beach wind break if I cant find anything better
The ones I have are a bitty higher than that. I'm 5'2" and I can't stand up inside ours, but it's not a crawl to get in either.
I like, and have, near fires safe canvas tents, but they're heavy. Too heavy for me on my own to lug any distance to set up. Like Nice65 and his bell tent, it's a beggar of a thing dry out a sodden canvas tent in our climate. Fine if you have an airy garage you can use, or the Sun is glorious and constant for a couple of days, otherwise, well, mine don't get a lot of use, tbh.

I bought one of the cheap tipi's a couple of years ago. Fun, easily erected, easily dried, but it needs a tarp/porch made for over the door otherwise you'll find all the wet and muck of the day trailed in. Runs a bit with condensation too, even with the bottom vents open. Briliant for space, and fun for the kids in Summer :D My two slept in the garden all Summer long when they were young, but then half the kids in the street did so too. Every back washing green had a bare patch by the time the kids went back to school :)

It sounds as though one of the tunnel tents might suit you very well. They're roomy, surprisingly robust, and with a bit of practice you can start at one end and just put it up as you go. Just work your way back round again true-ing everything up and then put in the inner room/s.
Good height in those, but they do need a lot of footprint space I find.

M
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,350
591
Lancashire
Take a look at Outdoor Action in Blackburn. They sell online but their shop has a large permanent tent display indoors. Cheap prices for what you get too.

We got a Coleman da gama 4 man tent, zipped out the bedroom divider for the 3 of us. It was Award winning when it came out and outdoor action sold it with carpet and groundsheet protector. We also got the porch extension. That added a great sheltered cooking area but leaving it behind still gave you a decent tent.

I think you could get a tent with air support for that budget i think. Those airbeam tents are very easy to pitch.
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
Air tents are just smsller versions of air tents that cover tennis courts, pools and so on.
I am sure they are great in the garden, but I would not take one out in Nature.
from the video reviews I have seen they seem to stand up to windy conditions better the tents with flexible poles
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,257
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I guess it depends on how you use the lines to stabilise it.
I have been is storms in a tent with two collapsible aluminium poles.

What would worry me is if you puncture the air bladder.

I wonder how much pressure it takes to blow one tent up? Can an old smoker like me do it?
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
I guess it depends on how you use the lines to stabilise it.
I have been is storms in a tent with two collapsible aluminium poles.

What would worry me is if you puncture the air bladder.

I wonder how much pressure it takes to blow one tent up? Can an old smoker like me do it?
As with everything there is a compromise. The big advantage of air tents is they are easy to put up. you just attach a pump, blow it up to the correct pressure and the tent takes shape almost automatically.

a puncture is you biggest problem if you get one but the air bladders just zip out and can be replaced if damaged. I think if you have a tent with fibreglass poles you are just as likely to break one of those as to get a puncture as the air bladders do seem to be well designed

but having a think about my needs I am still very much undecided. My latest thinking is maybe to save my money I could just use my old dome tent as a sleep area and to add some comfort by building a tarp shelter if front of it and use a wind break as walls. Not as good as a proper tent but will cost about £450 less
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,257
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
As with everything there is a compromise. The big advantage of air tents is they are easy to put up. you just attach a pump, blow it up to the correct pressure and the tent takes shape almost automatically.

a puncture is you biggest problem if you get one but the air bladders just zip out and can be replaced if damaged. I think if you have a tent with fibreglass poles you are just as likely to break one of those as to get a puncture as the air bladders do seem to be well designed

but having a think about my needs I am still very much undecided. My latest thinking is maybe to save my money I could just use my old dome tent as a sleep area and to add some comfort by building a tarp shelter if front of it and use a wind break as walls. Not as good as a proper tent but will cost about £450 less
It is ok with a pump if you have a vehicle to carry it. And to plug it in to as it needs a power supply.

If a pole breaks it is easy to replace the broken section with a nit of branch. Done that. Wirks.
I would not like to have to carry a replacement bladder, or a repair kit.

Those tents must be fantastic on an orgnized Camping site.

Have you checked out the Czech tent manufacturer yet? They have what you wanted initially.
 

philipb

Forager
Feb 20, 2016
197
0
wales
It is ok with a pump if you have a vehicle to carry it. And to plug it in to as it needs a power supply.

If a pole breaks it is easy to replace the broken section with a nit of branch. Done that. Wirks.
I would not like to have to carry a replacement bladder, or a repair kit.

Those tents must be fantastic on an orgnized Camping site.



Have you checked out the Czech tent manufacturer yet? They have what you wanted initially.
well for the most part it will be on organised camp sites and with a car as I said earlier. the Czech do look fantastic and so do the tents on bell tent uk that's why I am still very much undecided, the canvas tents offer more versatility and the option of adding a stove. I did think the centre pole may be awkward to work around but after seeing a few I now know that is not the case as they do offer plenty of room