“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Tent „
We purchased this tent last year, when my daughter and her friends got through to the final round of the Urdd (Welsh cultural festival), necessitating a stay over in Aberystwyth with a very early morning start! As we had to leave our accommodation just after 6am to get to the Urdd in time, we thought that bed & breakfast would be a waste of money as we would not be around for the breakfast part, and decided instead to invest in a tent.
I have camped a lot in my life and knew that I wanted a tent with 2 skins, as these are much better in bad weather! We also wanted 2 "bedrooms", one for ourselves and one for our daughter. I spotted this tent on offer in the Tesco's catalogue for £60, and thought that at that price, it would be worth getting, as it was large enough to allow future trips with our 3 daughters as well as meeting our needs for that particular trip.
The tent comes in a zipped bag made of the same material as the tent. It contains (obviously) the tent, poles in a seperate bag, guy ropes and a bag of pegs. Weirdly though it didn't come with any erection instructions, although in fairness there are only 4 poles for the main body of the tent, and I honestly think just about anyone could work out how to put it up, although we did have a bit of trouble the first time as we weren't sure which poles went where, so did have a bit of faffing about and trial and error in order to put it up! It takes 2 people about 25 minutes to erect this tent. I don't really think one person would manage to erect this tent by themselves, at least not without considerable difficulty! I say this because it is necessary for one person to hold the tent up whilst the other stretches and pegs it, although I suppose you could probably try to do it alone it is definitely much easier to do with a couple of people helping each other!
The tent is fairly straightforward to erect; first the outer skin is erected and pegged down, then the two bedrooms are "clipped" inside the tent by means of little toggles on small loops of elastic. This is very simple to do, if a little fiddly at times! Both of the bedroom compartments have built in ground sheets (always a plus in my book)! and have zipped doorways with both a fly sheet and "ordinary" door which can be opened and closed independently of one another, another handy feature particularly in warmer weather, as it means you can leave the fly sheet zipped to stop creepy crawlies invading your tent, but allow air to get through to keep the tent cool.
Each bedroom also has a "window" to the outside, which is held in place by zips when not in use. The windows are obviously on the outer skin of the tent, so you do need to exit the tent in order to open or close the window flaps. The bedroom areas are pretty spacious, although whilst I believe they are advertised as holding 3 men each, personally if you wanted to use airbeds in them for 3 people, I think this would be a bit "cosy"! We use a double airbed in our "bedroom" and have plenty of room around it to store bags and the like, so I think 3 people would probably fit but it would be "close quarters"!
In between the 2 bedrooms is another area with large doorways, which can be opened and with the poles provided, held up to form a sort of "porchway". This is handy for cooking in bad weather as it keeps enough of the weather at bay to ensure your stove doesn't go out! I like the fact that the doors open equally on both sides of the tent, as it makes access easy and also means that it doesn't really matter which way round you pitch the tent, as either side can be seen as the "front". This middle section has a seperate groundsheet which is clipped to the tent poles with small plastic hooks. It is just the right size and does have a little extra around the edges so you can turn these upward to stop dew etc getting onto the groundsheet. The middle area is again a fairly generous size; we usually put one of those collapsible camping tables which have 4 stools on in there, and this takes up about 1/3 of the space available.
We have slept in this tent both in good and awful weather, and I am pleased to say we have not had any leaks yet! Although in hot weather you do need to be a bit mindful of where you pitch the tent, as if you don't have some kind of shade over it it quickly becomes too hot to stay in in the mornings!
The one whinge I do have about this tent is that recently when we took it camping (only the second time we had used it), we found that the elastic connecting one of the poles to its component parts had snapped. We managed to bodge the pole together with gaffer tape (!), but it was a bit disappointing to find that this had happened when the tent is still relatively new. I also would say that compared to other tents I have used, the materials used in this tent do seem to be of very basic quality, although I suppose that should be expected for the price I paid for it!
This tent returned to the Tesco catalogue this year with the same offer on, although I do believe the half price offer is time dependent and the tent goes up in price to £120 in the summer months. This is still a reasonable price for such a large tent, and it has fulfilled its function well (snapped elastic aside)! so I still think it is a good budget tent, and would recommend it, although those who are more used to the more expensive tents will probably notice the slightly inferior quality of materials used in this tent.