“ Brand: Halfords „
I will be hitting up several festivals this year, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
My friend recommended this set to me, which is available from Halfords for £80, as we didn't want to invest too much on something we may not use again after this summer.
We tried this out this week in Wales and even though the weather was pretty miserable our experience was not. We remained comfortable, warm and more importantly dry.
The pack consists of a 4 man tent, 4 sleeping bags and inflatable beds and a compact holdall to fit everything in, which was incredibly lightweight and so easy to carry even for 3 girls.
The tent itself required minimal construction and remained sturdy for our 2 day trip. The ground sheet didnt seem to fit well. I had assumed that it would be connected to the actual tent, but regaardless we didn't get any draughts.
There are even a few pockets in the tent which was perfect for storage.
There was no pump included for the mattress, but luckily we acknowledged this before we set off, or we would have been stuck.
Remembering back to my youth the tent we used was old and had a funny smell when you first got it out. It did the trick and weathered storms so obviously couldn't have been too bad! As I now have my own children the camping holidays are coming back, it's time for our own family tent. I now realize why we never bought a new one all those years ago, they are expensive! Sales here I come for sure
Roaming the sales:
Many different stores hold various sales throughout the year. The tent that topped our list was a pop tent from Dacathlon but it was still a lot even in the sales and didn't come with any extras so we ended up purchasing our second choice which was a 4 man tent pack from Halfords. In the sale we got it for £99 (down from £149).
The tent has a main living area with one bedroom off each side.
What's in the pack:
The added bonus was that the tent pack comes with the tent, 4 sleeping bags, 2 double air-beds and a carry bag to tuck it all away at the end. I like the idea of the sleeping bags being in the carry bag awaiting their next use so it's one less thing to remember when loading up the car. Also my kids use their normal sleeping bags at friends houses and during winter a lot so they get a bit grubby and it would suck to have to take away a dirty one because I ran out of time to wash or dry it.
When the tent first came home the children wanted it to be put up in the back garden so they could see it. The pack doesn't include a ground sheet but that is something we already had so no trouble but if you don't have one get one before you head out to camp.
The carry bag is topped with a drawstring so if you don't pack things "just right" you can still manage to get it closed. A vital bit as sometimes it can be really hard to get things back into their packaging.
Quite easy and straightforward to set up so we're good on the argument front! This is why we liked the idea of the pop tent so much but to be honest this one wasn't difficult. In total I think it took us about 30 minutes to get the tent up and beds in place.
We have a few nifty gadgets that charge via the car so we were able to easily and quickly inflate the air-beds. They are awesome and feel like such luxury from my childhood days of camping. The only problem we found with them was that the kids move a lot in their sleep and have managed on occasion to wedge themselves along the edge. Mine are old enough to get unstuck but if you have younger less capable children might be worth lining the edge with pillows.
The middle living area is a great size. the children and I can walk around and only have to bend at the sides (husband is a different story but that's his own fault for being so tall). We bought a camping torch from Halfords for £6.99 that lights the whole area nicely. We put our camping table up in the centre as the weather wasn't great and had the board games at the ready. Sadly the weather that weekend didn't improve but it gave a good test of the tents durability. The winds were high and the rain was heavy so a true test. We did add a few extra stakes just to be on the safe side. The next morning we were all nice and dry so that's good. The living area wasn't 100% dry as the door had blown in but it wasn't horrendously wet and the door was fixable. I had left the lantern hooked up over night (not on, just hanging) and it had fallen off but didn't brake.
From the Halfords website:
Approx Pitch Time: 25 minutes
Fire Retardant: Yes
Guarantee Period: 1 year
Hydrostatic Head: 1500mm
Maximum Head Height: 200cm
Number Man Tent: 4
Number of Bedrooms: 2
Number of Doors: 1
Pole Material: Fibreglass
Taped Seams: Yes
Packed Weight: 22kg
I have wiped it clean so far and that is all that has been needed to get it nice and ready for another use.
I would say the Halfords 4 man tent is a good one and the pack comes with the basics needed but I would only recommend it to those planning to camp 1-3 times a year at most. If you go more often it would be worth investing more.
*On our second trip out one of the air-beds was a lot lower by morning so we'll need to locate that leak!*
(C) oioiyou 2013