“ Brand: Mountain Warehouse / Type: Two Man Tent „
My Mum decided to buy my oldest son a small tent for his birthday last year. I had expected her to buy a basic pop-up style play tent but she actually went for a 'proper' albeit small two man domed tent from Mountain Warehouse.
I was a bit dubious about this purchase initially as I'm not the most adept at putting things together and pegging a tent in the garden sounded a little too much like hard work to me! In hindsight, this has turned out to be a pretty good purchase with a much greater potential for long term use than a play tent would have.
My initial fears about assembling this tent also proved to be unfounded. The instructions provided are pretty clear and comprehensive, making the first attempt at setting this tent up to be much quicker and more straightforward than I'd anticipated. The instruction leaflet was mislaid some time ago but the steps needed to assemble the tent are so basic that my (now) ten year old is able to set this up unaided, with a little 'help' from his five year old brother.
The body of the tent comes as one ready to assemble piece, with the sturdy groundsheet already attached to the top section, which makes the whole process so much simpler. It is simply a matter of shaking the whole thing out, spreading the groundsheet out and securing the base in place with the four metal pegs provided. The domed shape of the tent is created by surprisingly strong fibreglass rods which need to be patiently slotted through two 'sleeves' over the roof of the tent. This then supports the tent in position, providing a safe and watertight environment for my kids to enjoy.
The assembled tent looks pretty good with a simple blue colour scheme with contrasting black trimming. The entrance has a double layer, secured with a zip, including a netted section which the kids particularly like as they can spy out of the tent without people being able to see inside. The netting also serves a more practical purpose by keeping out any unwanted insects whilst allowing additional ventilation into the tent as it does get hot and stuffy inside.
In terms of capacity, whilst this is described as a two man tent I'd imagine it would be a pretty tight squeeze if two people did intend to sleep in this overnight, especially with any belongings stored inside. Realistically, this is only a practical option for a single person for one or two nights, given the amount of available space. The head height is also really limited, even as a play tent, as even my ten year old son is forced to crouch and stoop inside the tent.
After use the tent packs into a very small and easily portable bag which helps with storage, keeping everything safely together with less chance of pieces going astray between uses. Even the poles fold down into themselves to take up minimal space. More importantly, it doesn't require the skills of Houdini to fold the tent into a small enough parcel to get it back into the bag provided. Even when full, the tent bag is pretty compact and lightweight and could be a practical choice for anybody needing to carry a tent for any distance or slot it into a car boot or small space while being stored or transported.
This is a pretty basic dome tent but it is actually much better quality and far more robust than I'd anticipated. It has withstood a year of sporadic rough outdoor play from my three children with no signs of any damage or visible wear and tear. The groundsheet is particularly strong and resilient and being a practical black colour, it doesn't tend to show any marks or dirt. (My son does make me laugh by insisting that his brothers remove their shoes when playing inside!) I'm also surprised how waterproof the tent has proven to be, even when assembled by a ten year old. I'd always thought that a decent tent needs an additional layer to keep water out but this tent has remained in position for a couple of weeks at a time during our wet Summer and never leaked at all. The outer sheeting doesn't appear to be particularly thick, however, and is only comprised of a single layer of material so I'd be reluctant to recommend this particular tent for a trip involving inclement conditions.
I would recommend this basic domed tent for its durability, compact sizing (both when assembled and stored) and its low price. It is best suited for child's play purposes or infrequent use over short periods of time (such as overnight trips or festivals) rather than for any hardcore camping activities.
Mountain Warehouse have domed two men tents on offeronline for £29.99 which seems excellent value for money, given the quality and simplicity. The tents currently in stock also have the added benefit of a small external porch area, which ours lacks. At that kind of price, I'd be happy to recommend this small tent for play purposes or for a single person intending to camp out for one or two nights. For any longer periods, I would advise investing in something a little more spacious and protective but this is a perfectly serviceable budget buy for short periods.