“ Manufacturer: Eurohike / Type: Camping - 5 man tent with porch „
Camping - for some it's their idea of heaven, for others it's hell, but one thing is sure over the last couple of years it's increasingly popular in the UK. Up until this year I'd failed to jump on the bandwagon, but when friends suggested a weekend away, I realised that my trusty old 3 person tent was not going to comfortably accommodate a family of 4, and so the hunt was on for a family tent.
I wanted to spend no more than the price of a hotel room for one night (in case we hated the experience so much that we never did it again) and be able to sleep everyone in one "room", and this is why I bought this tent, for which I paid £69.96 at the time at Millets. It has previously been priced as high as £269 and a few prices in between, and is currently on offer for £70.00. At the seventy pound mark I think this tent is a good buy, and we have been pleased with it so far.
The brand of this tent is Eurohike, which is stocked solely by Blacks and Millets in the UK. My previous tent, now 20 years old, was a Eurohike and still in good waterproof condition, so the brand was an obvious choice for me. The tent comes packaged in a fairly small bag - it's 70cm long, and contains all that you need for pitching - in theory. When we bought ours and lugged all 13 kg home we found out that the instructions, which should have been stitched into the bag, were missing. Luckily we had planned to pitch the tent in the garden before our trip - which turned out to be a good idea.
Putting the tent up, even without the instructions initially (we took the bag back to be exchanged the next day) is fairly straightforward. There are four poles, two for front porch you can see in the picture, and two which cross over for the main sleeping area. The poles are colour coded, they are the folding fibreglass kind that all modern tents seem to have these days, and their colour makes it clear which sewn part they should go into, red or silver. You put up the outer part first - the only bit we found tricky with this was fitting the end of the poles into the metal rings that attach them to the outer part - it's very definitely a two person job however, and you should probably buy a mallet to knock in the pegs as this is one thing that is not supplied. We found that the guy ropes had been already attached to the tent, and realised what a plus this was when we eventually did go camping and spent a long time attaching ropes to our friend's Tesco tent. The poles on this particular tent are quite nice and thick and the whole thing seems fairly made - with everything well stitched; again it stood up well in comparison with our friend's tent on first sight, and on actual experience over the weekend, though it's maybe not quite as well constructed as my 20 year old Eurohike tent. The instructions, which we eventually obtained, are pretty concise but easy to follow.
The inner sleeping area attaches with rings to the outer bit of the tent, again easily done. Once the tent is made you end up with a front porch and an inner sleeping double layer part with a sewn in ground sheet. The tent is 180cm -2m high, which means that you can stand up in it, again a good thing when camping for comfort's sake. The outer porch is large enough to easily hold a camping table (useful to eat "indoors" to escape rain or wasp attacks we found), and is also great for stowing all your gear. The whole thing is 5 metres long, and just under 3m wide, it certainly looked pretty big in our garden but is, I suppose, an average size for most campsite pitches. It probably takes about 20 minutes -30 minutes to pitch, with practice, and a similar amount of time to dismantle. We've found it pretty hard to fit everything back into the bag after that initial assembly, but it can be done.
The tent has a few good features, there are fluorescent pulls on the zippers to the front of the tent, which is useful at night time. There are tensioners on the outer sheet so you can adjust the way it is pitched, and the inner sleeper, which is netting, has two pockets for torches and a cord to attach a light. There are also some ventilation vents and a couple of windows on the porch, you can have the porch in a couple of configurations as two sides can be fully unzipped and rolled up, a nice touch. The tent pegs are of fairly good quality, and there are plenty supplied to be able to pitch the tent. We found that the mozzies were kept out of the sleeping area and that the groundsheet is plenty thick enough for comfort.
What's probably most important to know is whether the tent stands up to use - well suffice to say we have used it a few times now and are pretty happy. We haven't camped out in lashing rain, and if I can help it I never intend to, but the tent has withstood some light rain, and remained bone dry inside. We have had the tent up in some very windy weather and found that it resisted the wind well.
In terms of how big the tent is, we have found it the perfect size for a family of four. Like, it seems, most tents, the manufacturer shows this one as sleeping 5 people shoulder to shoulder, width wise. In our experience, due to our wish for some degree of comfort, this in reality transferred to 3 people being able to sleep on inflatable mattresses width wise and one along the bottom - you just wouldn't be able to sleep 5 people comfortably next to each other in my opinion, but for 4 it is perfect.
Talking of resistance to rain, the hydrostatic head on this nylon tent is 1500mm, and it is fire retardent - having read up on this after purchase I believe this to be at the lower end of waterproofness, but it's sufficient for Summer and Spring use I would think. If you were thinking of camping for a longer period then perhaps it would be worth investigating more waterproof tents, and also looking for one that has some blackout feature (this one doesn't and it does get quite light in the mornings), but like I said for our use it has been fine.
Overall, and as someone who doesn't want to take up camping "seriously", I'm pretty pleased with this tent, and I'm sure that we will be getting lots of use of it as a family over the years to come. I've given it 4 stars purely for the fact that the instructions were missing and that a slightly higher hydrostatic head would be preferable.
For the price I paid it is a good tent and for use that is similar to mine I would recommend it.
Full details: http://www.millets.co.uk/product/093150.html