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Outwell Andaman Sea Tent

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2 Reviews

Manufacturer: Outwell / Type: Outdoor Sports - Camping / 3 Man Tent

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    2 Reviews
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      24.10.2010 21:01
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      Outwell Andaman

      I am no Roald Amundsen of nature, but I do enjoy spending time outside, and take great effort in using equipment that allows me to enjoy the nature while comfortable, with that meaning warm and dry, and hopefully with feet lasting for another day of walking... I bought this tent for a rather insane cost, 220.00 a lot to pay for a tent, but this is however very high quality, suitable for camping and hiking during the most challenging weather conditions and surroundings.

      What I first noticed when asking a buddy of mine for help to set it up, was the fact that it`s quite heavy, therefore you will need to be two or three people when putting it together and setting it up, because all though not difficult to erect, the tent is heavy, and you will need several hands to do the work. When cooperating to set up the tent, this took us about 15 minutes, which isn`t at all bad, as I have owned tents that it took ages to set up, and it was difficult as well! This tent comes in a solid canvas bag, making it easy to transport and store when not in use, and together, the collective weight stops at a little over 19 kilo, undoubtedly a lot, making it a tent you use when wanting the very best there is, under conditions that demands the best.

      This is a tent for amateurs as well as professionals, and this tent does a remarkable job of keeping out wind and rain, it remains of good temperature even in very cold weather, and not once has it leaked! This tent is so impressive that it even comes with a door mat, which I found funny at first, but now I can see how useful that is! During summer warmth, the tent allows for good ventilation and air, and come autumn, the tent remains very warm and comfortable on the inside. The material is very solid and can take a lot of strain, and having used it for a long time now, it`s very long lasting and durable for sure!

      If you are looking for perhaps one of the best tents there is, I would say this could be it, and all though the price tag could have most people pass out, it really is a superb tent in all ways, keeping me and my friends very comfortable when out in the wild forces of nature!

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    • More +
      30.08.2010 20:52
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      A perfect home from home for longer camping trips.

      I camp a lot. My earliest memories of camping are with my parents when I was a small child, and we were staying in a campsite in Scotland. I remember being cold, wet, and the endless dive bombing attacks from swarms of midges. With this unpromising start it's strange that I have continued to camp throughout my adult life, but I love the freedom it gives me, the peace, the independence, and being able to wake up to fantastic views of the natural world that I really feel connected to when I'm camping - I just don't get that feeling in hotels. I have two really good lightweight technical tents, but when I turned 30 I decided it was time to consider comfort, so I decided to treat myself to a 'luxury' tent, preferably one I could stand up in. Being a regular visitor to outdoor and camping shops I was well aware of the Outwell brand, and had often drooled over their tents, looking at the price tag and thinking "one day", well now the day had come!

      Outwell is one of three brands produced by Oase Outdoors Aps; a family owned and operated Danish company. They started in 1984, and today are widely regarded throughout Europe as the leaders in family camping, consistently winning awards for their outstanding products. They are regularly at the forefront of camping innovations. Some of the concepts Outwell introduced were luminous reflective guylines, skylights, carpets and footprints. All of these ideas have now been adopted and integrated into the tents produced by many other companies.

      At the time I was still with my ex, so I was looking for a 3 man tent. I've learnt to my cost over the years that when it comes to tents it is always best to get one berth above the number of people you intend to have sleeping in it. The Andaman Sea is one of a range of tents in Outwells' Comfort collection. It's a is a polycotton tent, similar to the classic canvas tents, something I debated about long and hard as I'm used to the lighter polyester/nylon tents. There are pros and cons obviously, but I decided the increased weight was a small price to pay for the strength, durability, superior heat management - cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and reduced condensation, that comes with a polycotton tent. The Andaman Sea is a lovely soft green colour, called sage, with a pale grey border running around the bottom, and a black base. This black bottom part is great as it doesn't show the dirt too much during a long and wet camp. It is a dome tent, which is ideal as I believe dome, ridge and geodesic tents are far stronger and more structurally stable than tunnel tents. It has a large inner sleeping area, and a spacious front porch area. It is 210 cms high, plenty of headroom for me to stand up comfortably (I'm 5'8''); and even to get dressed without any irritating bashing of my hands on the roof of the tent.

      The tent comes in an expandable sage coloured cotton canvas bag, with a luminous drawstring closure at one end. The bag has a large label sew into the neck which contains printed instructions for pitching the tent, perfect for careless people like me who tend to lose instructions over time. This bag is really strong, and has grey webbing straps, one long adjustable strap for carrying over the shoulder, and two webbing handles on either side of the bag to carry by hand. There are also webbing straps which go around the bag, are adjustable, and clip together with black plastic clips, these allow the bag to be compressed in size once packed. The packed bag is pretty heavy at 19.7 kgs, this is certainly not a backpackers tent, but it is manageable to get in and out of the car and carry short distances, even for a girlie like me!

      The tent is easily erected, but does need two people, simply because it is too heavy to initially lift and put the corner poles in their places without someone else to prop up the centre until the poles are in. The poles are Duratec fibreglass poles, the type I call 'magic wands', they are a series of short black poles, joined by a strong elastic string that runs through the middle of all the poles. The bottom of each short pole slots easily into the top of the next one, joining them all together to make one long flexible pole. There are three of these long poles which cross at the top of tent and fit neatly into metal rings at the bottom of the tent, creating a strong, rigid configuration. The poles and metal rings are colour coded, making it as simple as can be to get it right first time.

      I find the easiest way to pitch this tent is flysheet first, then to attach the inner sleeping area afterwards. The instructions suggest an alternative option is to leave the inner tent attached and pitch them both together, however, I find it too heavy and awkward to do this way. Once the flysheet has been erected and the poles are in place, I secure the four corners of the tent with pegs. A bag of standard steel tent pegs is included with the tent. These are not storm pegs, but are certainly stronger than the average tent peg - I've bought some in the past that may as well have been made of cream cheese for all the tensile strength they had! I then attach the inner sleeping area to the inside roof and walls of the tent. The inner tent is attached by a series of small plastic toggles on elastic that are passed through small plastic hoops, and catch to hold the inner tent in place. The sleeping area is a sealed unit, with an attached groundsheet, and has an O shaped door with two layers, one of mesh, and one of cotton. This allows me to partially open the top of the inner door to allow ventilation, but leaving the mesh layer closed to foil those pesky little flying, biting, critters. The sleeping area has a built in organiser pouch, ideal for keeping a torch and anything else I feel I might need to have to hand in the middle of the night. It is big enough to fit a large double inflatable mattress, and still have sufficient space for two rucksacks and some spare floor area for moving around easily. Once the inner tent is attached I peg the rest of the tent in place, another bonus of this tent is that it has adjustable pegging points. I find this invaluable because I always seem to have an enormous boulder under the grass exactly where I need to put a peg, with adjustable points this is not a problem. I also attach the guylines, which are luminous so no-one will be stumbling over them, tripping over, and waking me up in the middle of the night.

      The main area of the tent is the front porch; it has plenty of space for three people to sit comfortably in camping chairs, with a small table. It is also comfortable for my two large dogs and myself, and the groundsheet is so thick and strong the dogs nails don't leave a mark on it. The ground sheet in the porch is detachable (unlike the sleeping area which is a complete sealed unit), and it is a bucket design. With high sides which attach to the walls of the tent, this helps to prevent any leaks or dampness rising from the ground. I like having a detachable groundsheet in the living area because it is so easy to keep clean, simply detach, take out of the tent, give it a shake, and put it back.

      There is a large window in the front porch, with a curtain (in various tones of the same sage colour in a check pattern), which can be secured by Velcro fastenings. This window is in the top half of the main front door, which in warm weather can be opened completely and turned into a canopy using the two additional poles supplied. I rarely use this option, preferring to use the smaller side door for entry, and just using the window as a window. This side door can be rolled back and secured with Velcro fastenings, preventing it from flapping around in the wind. There is a large skylight in the middle of the roof, which provides plenty of light and air when open, even on hot days. I like to leave this skylight open at night so I can lie in bed and look at the stars, but that's just me! The tent also has additional ventilation which is provided by two small vents in the front and rear of the roof that can be propped open using the rigid Velcro fasteners attached to the vents.

      Also included with the tent is a large hanging organiser, consisting of one zipped pocket and two flapped pockets, I find this really useful for keeping all my bits and bobs safe. There is a repair kit included, although I'm pleased to say I haven't needed to use it yet. The tent also comes with a doormat - yes really! My friends really took the mickey out of me when they first saw it, but I love it!

      It cost me £299.00 a couple of years ago, but as new models have been brought out since the price has reduced and you can find them now for £229.00. I guess this is still pretty expensive for a tent, but I look on it as an investment buy as a good quality polycotton tent will last a lifetime if it is looked after properly. I absolutely love my tent, I can't fault it, there are loads of little extra touches to make camping that little bit more comfortable, and it's reliable, durable, spacious, comfortable, and most importantly - dry! It's got everything I could want. It only takes about 20 minutes to erect from start to finish, and it's even quicker to decamp. I would advise not to even consider it unless you are a seasoned camper, it's far too expensive to find out later that you don't like camping and you're not going to get much use out of it. However, if you are a regular camper, looking for more comfort, and you are prepared to make an investment purchase, I believe you can't do better than this tent. It's perfect for couples, and I find it great for me on my own, or with my dogs, however, you do need a friendly hand to help you get those first poles up if you're on your own.

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