As the kiddos get older we’re looking at getting a tent for next year. I want to have a good idea of what to buy so that i can keep my eye on things over the Autumn/Spring/Winter for deals? Anyone know when they tend to go on offer i.e. get rid of stock in the winter when nobody is buying them, or ship them off in the spring as the new season ones land?
The primary question though is the classic ‘any recommendations?’
Vango and Coleman are the obvious contenders, with Berghaus and Outwell up there as well.
Family of 4, so assume a 5/6 man tent would be required. Any other direct recommendations on model or at least features e.g. size and shape of living areas, blackouts - are they actually any good? The Coleman Valdes 6XL seems to have good reviews on its blackout technology, and looks like a decent option, for example.
Anything else i’m forgetting about?
Next topic can then be camping trip essentials - roll mats, beds, tables, battery packs etc etc.
Oh and before you miltary lot start harping on about just needing a hatchet and a bivvy bag, i do need my family to enjoy themselves if i want them to go more than once over the next few years!! !
We recently bought a small Vango airbeam awning for our caravan & having tried it out over the Helvellyn weekend it’s going to be great for short stays.
For a family of 4 I would go for at least a 6 person tent, you’re always going to need more space, particularly on a wet day.
If going abroad or expecting hot camping a polycotton could be worth looking at, it’ll be more comfortable & also more weatherproof if it’s raining. Possible drawbacks with polycotton is that they are more expensive & bulkier/heavier.
We did the whole camping thing as main holiday for a few years… slowly adding more and more stuff to make it more comfortable.
One thing I’d highly recommend tho is a decent porch. Ours was about the same size as the tent!! But we didnt put a floor down in it. So when it was wet… you can come in, have somewhere to walk without making anything dirty (or needing cleaning), can hang wet kit, more space to store stuff outside of your “living space” and most importantly, keeping that living space dry and clean.
I would 2nd this. The best thing i bought, to make my tent even more MASSIVER… was a Coleman event shelter that sat nicely over the front porch and gave us an extended outdoor area to sit sheltered from the sun and the thunderstorms we experienced. An inflatable sofa is nice, as is a camping wardrobe and foldaway tables (2). We had a van, a trailer and a roofbox. Our summer holiday was like the mobilization of a small army.
If Covid has subsided, to the extent that foreign travel is back on, by next summer I suspect there will be a glut of Tents, Caravans & Campervans on the 2nd hand market next year. “Only used once, like new”
Many years camping experience with family. I would really recommend a used trailer tent primarily because it makes packing so much easier.
Anyway, with a regular tent these would be my essentials
Fridge, wouldn’t bother with an absorbtion fridge as don’t work brilliantly, however a small compressor fridge is really useful, we have a Coleman one
Induction hob, really cheap 2 ring induction hob from Amazon, around £80 so much easier and lighter than a gas hob (obviously need EHU)
Coleman event shelter, the 4.5 x 4.5 one is excellent. stands up in the wind, provides shade in the sun (works in Spain) and is pretty waterproof in rain. Its big enough that you can have kitchen and table setup under the shelter
2 Trailer tents, both under £500
Kids tents (as they got older they wanted their own tents
Built a kitchen counter - bought a B&Q oak worktop for £100 and 4 IKEA island legs. Made a much more stable cooking surface and right height for cooking. Goes on the roof rack. If you plan to stay in the same location for a couple of weeks, it makes camping much more convenient
We bought a fantastic 6 person air beam tent from Decathlon last summer, it was really good and much cheaper than the main brands for the same quality. Haven’t used it again because I bought a caravan!