* Prices may differ from that shown
I've always liked camping, hitting the countryside and climbing a few hills when I was a lot younger, basically a few friends getting together and getting away from it all for a couple of days, sleeping under the stars, enjoying the peace and quiet, relaxing without a care in the world... a few drinks and a bit of a giggle...
And I still enjoy it now, although it's not as relaxing when you have to keep an eye on the kids as they run amok on the campsite with a football and a mad dog who's got absolutely no sense when it comes to chasing thing and avoiding obstacles that may get in his way.
But regardless of the mayhem we still try and get away on little camping break when ever we can, especially as we only live a thirty minute drive from the Peak District and some of the loveliest scenery around.
So, we have a bit of a collection of camping equipment. Not the things I used to have, such as mesh-tins, hexi-blocks and burner, cutlery sets that fold into the size of fifty pence piece... you know the stuff, things that are needed but very light to carry and don't take up much room in your ruck sack, which including stripping down a tent to just the flysheet and a base liner....
Anyway, these days, as we go out as a family, I don't tend to find the need to travel as lightly as I used to, using a car to get to a campsite is a bit of a blessing, if not a bit of a cheat. So we can take as much as we can get into the car.
One thing that is important to the family when it comes to camping is a good quality tent as they aren't keen on just sleeping under a plastic bag that only just keep the rain out.
So I, or more, we, went in search of a good quality tent, spending quite some time before finding the perfect one that not only looked the part but also fitted in with our needs.
In a certain large shop that sells a lot of sports equipment we came across an array of tents that were all set up so that you could see how they would look on a camp site, so to speak, giving us the opportunity to wonder inside the larger tents to see if they would be being enough for us as a family.
There were many tents, some small, some massive and some just right, (formerly owned by three bears I think...?), and it was one of the 'just right' tents that we decided to go with as it fitted in with all our requirements as we stood inside it and looked around.
The tent we were stood in, the one we though was just right for us, being just the right size and having ample room inside, was the Gelert Horizon 6 person tent, which is without doubt one of the finest portable tents that I have had the pleasure of living in, for a few days at a time.
* What does it look like...?
It is a tunnel tent and looks like a tunnel, but not a low tunnel, more a tunnel you can walk into, although you do have to duck a bit if you want to go right to the far side of the bedrooms.
The actual size of the tent when it is erected is about 6800mm long by 2400 wide by about 2200mm high, (that's 22 feet long by about 8 feet wide and about 7 ¼ feet in head height), although this height does drop towards the ends of the tent.
Although if you take the tape measure inside the tent you'll see that the bedrooms on either side are about 2100mm by 2100mm whilst the mid section is a good 2400mm long.
When you look at the front, or the side, or back... this all depends on where you're looking at it. So really, on one side, the long side, there is a door way, which is basically a flap that has a zip going all the way around it. Next to this there is a transparent section which is a window really.
There are three of the fibre glass poles around this section, one either side of the doorway and the window, with one in the middle.
On each end there is another pole, beyond that pole there is the end section that has what looks like a little flap on it, sticking up away from the main material, this flap is a sort of air vent to allow air to come in and out of the tent whilst keeping any rain water away.
On the ends of all the flexible poles that are little black patches of material, each one having a metal tab with a hole going through it, these tabs are for the pole ends to slot into so that when they are bent they don't 'fling' back into the straight position.
The poles are attached to the tents material using a selection of little hooks which makes it easier to actually erect the tent.
* How do I put it up..?
Luckily, it's not like the old fashioned tents. Remember those ones? Struggling with the metal poles, trying to loop the little eye over the thin rod at the top of the end poles? Then juggling the long pole to connect the two end poles? Which normally resulted in someone falling onto the tent and not being the most popular person on the site that day.
This one is a lot easier, as with the more modern tents, and only takes a matter of 1o minutes to set up, once you've done it a few times and know exactly what goes where.
In brief, you simply lay the flysheet on the ground, stretching it out as neat as you can, tapping the pegs through the holes in on the corners so that everything stays in place. Then you take the poles and place then where they are supposed to go... blue on each end, then greys next, then the thick black in the centre. The poles have to slide through a small flap like section on the top of the flysheet. Then it's a matter of putting one end of each pole into a hole on the side of the flysheet, bending the pole so that you can get the other end of the pole into the hole on the other side of the tent. You do this for each pole until the flysheet is in a dome sort of manner, having been lifted up in the centre with the poles that have gone trough the top section of the sheet.
You can then go around the tent, tightening the guidelines up and hammer a peg into the ground to secure the tent properly, making the once floppy structure as rigid as a gigolos' watsit....
The poles themselves are very flexible, they actually remind me of the old fashioned C.B. aerials that we used to use. The ones that were about 20 metres high and would bend like a blade of grass in a hurricane when ever a breeze went passed it. Although those C.B. aerials were made of metal these poles are made of fibreglass, which gives it that flexibility whilst being strong enough to hold there own.
Each pole is coloured so you know which goes where, there's two blue ones, 2 grey ones, a thin black one and a thicker black one too.
You do have to slot the shorter sections of the poles into place, putting the ends inside the wider ends of each other, until the pole is at its full length, then you're ready to get bending
So now you've got the flysheet up and you can run inside out of the rain, as you will have to if you camp in the UK as it always rains here. But once inside you can continue to build you tent without getting wet.
All you have to do is unroll all the inner sections and clip each one into place using the little plastic hooks, starting at the far end row of hooks, working round the edge of the inner tent, then hooking the nearer set of hooks into place. Once all the hooks are in place your bedrooms should look like good size dome rooms.
Finally, you take the thin black poles, ( I bet you were wondering what happened to that pole?), and you slide it through the little flap section that is above the door. This is to act as a sort of porch roof over the door, giving a little protection from dribbling rain if you want the door open whilst it's your typical British weather.
And that's it, you're done. You're tent is fully up and ready to be slept in.
* What's it like inside the tent..?
It's like living in a four start hotel, or maybe Fawlty Towers, depending on who you're camping with of course.
It can be split into three sections, those being the two bedrooms, one on either end, and a living/play/dining/chilling/dry area in the centre.
As I said the bedrooms go on either end of the tent, being hooked into place in minutes. On each front section of the bedrooms there are two zipped door ways, with each one having a little 'window' section near the top to let some light in. there's also a few little flaps for storing small thing in which you may want to keep at hand whilst keeping off the ground.
In the middle section there is another zipped door and also a window, having both on either side of the tent so that you can have the tent set up facing either direction or, if you want to, you can have both doors open to give the air a chance to blow through.
The windows both have a roll type covering that acts as a blind of sorts and, when not needed to block out those nosey neighbours, they simply roll down and can be tied in place by the little strips of string that are attached to the area below the windows.
And that's basically it. That's what it looks like inside. Although there are a few little pouches for minimum storage and there's also a little flap, which is for a cable to comes through so you can have electricity inside the tent.
I don't recommend using any Gas of BBQ products inside the tent as these tend to give off 'very dodgy' fumes and WILL kill you. But you're safe with electrical product... well, safer anyway.
* What about after you've finished with it..?
This is when you have to put it away, which is just like putting it up but in reverse, sort of.
You have to take out the inner rooms first by unclipping the little hooks that hold the rooms in place, then, once you're unclipped, you take everything out of the tent so that you can take it all down.
Now it's time to take out the guideline pegs and unclipping the poles so that the tent flops onto the ground. Slide out the poles and loosen them so that you can fold them away.
Then it's all a matter of folding up the inner rooms and the outer sheet so that it fits into the bag that you carry this about with you. This bag is a rather large one to be honest, being about 750mm long by 350 wide and 300mm deep, and when the tent is in it the whole thing weighs in at a heavy weight 22kg.
* Is there any negative points..?
Yes, a few. Such as the poles can become damaged a little to easily for my liking, even though they are flexible. One of the blue ones split on me after a while, although I think that could have been due to the way I treated it at the time.
The other thing is that when it is raining and I want to have the middle section door open, the rain can come in from the top of the door, with the little porch type covering that is supposed to keep the rain out doing a bad job and letting the water drip, or sometimes flow, into the tent and wetting the ground sheet, which is a bit annoying.
* My opinion...
I have used many tents in my camping time, from little two man tents, dome tents, even just using a fly sheet to keep the rain off my head, but when it comes to a family camping trip this tent is a must to have packed in the boot of your car.
It was pretty straight forwards to put up the first time I did it, although it is easier with a couple of people doing it, one either side of the tent so that it can go up evenly. But I have done it on my own, (the tent, putting it up), and it wasn't as bad as it looks, even though the pole ends can flick out of the little hoops if they're no put in properly in the first place.
But the inside is a doddle when it comes to putting it up on your own, as this is just a matter of clipping the bedrooms up one clip at a time, taking minutes rather than hours.
As I said I knew how big it was when I saw it set up in the shop but it seemed even bigger when I had it set up on the camp site the first time, possibly because I was surrounded by some smaller tents which made mine look like Posh and Becks mansion in the middle of a Jeremy Kyle fans housing estate, (no offence to fellow campers meant there of course).
Inside is just marvellous, having more room than you need really. The bedrooms are big enough for a double size airbed with plenty of room around the sides for 'stuff'. the kids have there own single air beds and have a lot of gear too, but there was still lots of room left in the bedroom section once all their gear was in.
In other words, each room is said to fit 3 people, that's 6 persons in total, although I tend to believe that it really is a four person tent with all their kit... that's two per bedroom and plenty of room for all her shoes and handbags.
As for the middle room, or the living/dining/playroom, this is big enough for a table and four chairs, although we're not talking one of those tables you find in a politicians dining room, we're talking more a smallish camping table that can fit four people around it without people elbowing each other in the chest, causing blood shed and spilt coffee.
But this mid section can take the lot, and still have enough room for someone to get up, standing upright, and walk around the table with people still sat there.
I mean, I'm 5 foot ten inches and my wife is an inch shorter, with the kids actually being almost as tall as her now, but none of use struggle when it comes to standing up in this 7 foot high canvas hotel. Although we do have to bend a little when it comes to getting through the doors, but not too much of a bend, and you do have to make sure you don't catch your feet on the bottom of the door ways as they are a bit of a trip hazard, which can be a bit of a nightmare when mixed with night time and alcoholic consumption. I mean, I've fallen into the tent once or twice.
As for warmth, well, it's a tent, which we all now isn't going to keep you warm on those cold evenings as it doesn't have double glazed windows, nor does it have insulated cavity walls, so if you do use it on those colder days then do make sure you've got plenty of warm clothing and a good sleeping bag.
But cold or not, the great thing about this tent is that you stay dry when you're inside it. Although, if you do get wet on one of those mad walks up and down a hill, then there's plenty of space in here to get yourself dry whilst having places to hang your clothes to dry. Plus, as the floor of the middle section is made of a wipe able material, there's no danger of any liquids soaking into the tent and causing any damage.
* What about the price of what is really a place to live which you can move about..?
I got this tent from a very well known store at a bargain price of £140 as I was a member of the shop and was therefore entitled to the discount that membership to that store gave you. (don't fret, membership cost a pound a year and you make that money back on your first purchase, even if you only buy a pair of sports socks).
But the going price for this canvas hotel, according to the big red sticker, and a search online, is between £160 and a staggering £300... Why the price difference I don't know, unless I did not read it right and maybe the higher price is for the larger 8 person tent?
Yes, there is a larger tent which sleeps 8 people, four in each bedroom. That tent is wider than this one and a little longer too, but it's also heavier so unless you have a massive family, or a wife that has to take everything with her when you go camping, then this 6 person tent should be enough for you.
* Would I recommend this tent..?
It's one of those tents that can be put up in minutes and takes just as long to take down, although rolling it up and stuffing it into the bag takes a bit of practise.
There's plenty of room inside and the head height means there's no danger of you spending all your time with a bent back.
So yes, I certainly would recommend this tent, especially if you intend to do a lot of camping as you'll definitely get your monies worth without a doubt.
A couple of years ago my family bought a tourer caravan but before that we used to go camping all the time in a tent, which I still use when I go camping with friends. We've had this for some years now and it has lasted us so far and it has been a durable and reliable holiday home. It has got plenty of room inside, is not too difficult to pitch up, and is fairly waterproof. My family has had its fair share of tents in the past and this is the best one we have ever had. I thought I would review it today having just got back from a camping trip a few days ago. We used this tent when we went this time and as always it didn't let us down.
Gelert is a North Wales brand, as far as I'm aware, and I'm pretty sure it is named after the legend of Bedgelert, which is about a dog who is unlawfully slaughtered by his master, after he has done nothing wrong, and in fact when he was protecting a baby. But anyway I'm not here to discuss old legends so I'll get back to telling you about the tent. The point I wanted to make about the brand being Gelert was just the fact that it is a really good quality brand. I've bought other products from there such as waterproof clothing. I have a waterproof jacket from here which is excellent.
The tent is expensive if you are paying its full price which is just under £450. But luckily for us when we bought this it was much cheaper. I don't know if that was because it was many years ago when we paid for it, and this new price is down to inflation. Or whether there was a sale on when we got it. But anyway I don't know much about tent pricing but I do think £450 is very steep. Possibly it has been worth it for us if we'd have paid this much, but if you hardly ever go camping I can't see how paying this much could be justified. So a disadvantage of this tent has to be the expensiv
Putting up the tent was really easily done. It didn't take long to do at all. We had a tent once where you had to put together all these long, heavy poles and you had to get one person to hold them up at one side, to allow someone else to hold up another pole on the other side, and then someone else would have to go round and clip them all together. That was a nightmare to put up and it used to take us ages even when a lot of us helped out. But with this tent it didn't take long at all to do. It is so simple that one person can put it together on their own. My dad has done this. But of course it is much quicker for two or three people to help put it up. The longest it takes to put up is half an hour.
Another great thing about this tent is the fact it is also pretty easy to carry round once it is taken down. The poles fold up and everything fits into a bag that can be carried around with you. It is heavy but if you are really strong you can carry it round on your back. Personally I'm not strong enough to put it on my back like a rucksack, I have to drag it along the floor, but my friend can carry it on her back. It easily fits in a car boot and although it does take up room there is still space for other stuff.
When we first got this it was very waterproof but over the years it has got less and less waterproof, we got some waterproof spray though which solved that problem. However I wouldn't risk putting this up in heavy rain unless you want to risk waking up in a pond. We have only ever had it up in light rain which it has survived, but I wouldn't want to risk damaging it in heavy rain.
This is a perfect family/ friends camping tent in my opinion. It is also easily cleaned, with a cloth to get rid of any stains (someone spilt alcohol in one of the bedrooms). We did also try hoovering up but the floor kept getting sucked up by the hoover so I would recommend a dust pan and brush instead!
Overall I would definitely recommend this tent.