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Inflatable family tent.

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We're on the lookout for a new family tent as our one is getting a little cramped.

First question is inflatable. The future or not? 

Second - makes and models? We're a family of four (kids are 8 & 10 and growing!). My wife is convinced that they need their own room/sleeping area. I'm not, but it means three sleeping compartments and that seems to lead to six berth models which are huge and many seem to be two pods for three people which doesn't help. Any leads on three pods for two people?

Lastly, manufacturer pecking order? Who are top of the tree and who are bottom (best avoided )? Seeing names like Kampa, Outdoor Revolution and not really aware of their pedigree. 

Preferably first hand experience, good and bad. I'm Googling, so the usual suspects of Vango etc I'm aware of but if you know of any outliers, great.

Thanks. 

Post edited at 10:12
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 djwilse 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Can’t help with the pod dilemma but we have a Berghaus Air6. The layout is good for us 2 adults and 2 boys now 13 & 15yrs. We also have the porch which adds a lot of useable space (much needed if in Uk wetness!). If your kids are same gender and get on ok, I can’t see point in own pods.
The build is not as good as Outwell, we’ve had a few guys rip at seams. The other big thing to check with an air tent over poles is they are much bigger when packed down- so much so we had to get a trailer!!

Air tents seem to survive better in high winds, in that they bounce back rather than snap. If you’ve ever been to Porthclais campsite in Pembroke you will appreciate this feature!!

When we are only doing a few nights we use 2 smaller tents and a tarp, this gives some flexibility and more compact.

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 JCurrie 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I have a Coleman Valdes, it’s the six person version, the middle of three.

We love it, it has a black out bedroom for four which works really well. A divider can split this into two/two. It has a separate additional bedroom for persons five/six but we never use it and this gives a spacious living area. It goes up quickly with a dedicated two way pump and it has a wee zipped flap for electrical supply to come in for fridge...but it takes up a whole lot of boot space.
I’m probably way too far away for you to view (Aberdeen) but the offer is there. And once I’ve had a chat with my better half it could be available for purchase.

Jason

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In reply to djwilse:

> Can’t help with the pod dilemma but we have a Berghaus Air6. The layout is good for us 2 adults and 2 boys now 13 & 15yrs. We also have the porch which adds a lot of useable space (much needed if in Uk wetness!). If your kids are same gender and get on ok, I can’t see point in own pods.

> The build is not as good as Outwell, we’ve had a few guys rip at seams. The other big thing to check with an air tent over poles is they are much bigger when packed down- so much so we had to get a trailer!!

> Air tents seem to survive better in high winds, in that they bounce back rather than snap. If you’ve ever been to Porthclais campsite in Pembroke you will appreciate this feature!!

> When we are only doing a few nights we use 2 smaller tents and a tarp, this gives some flexibility and more compact.

I've a boy and a girl but never really thought that could be a future issue, so maybe it's something I have to consider. (My wife's reason was if the kids wanted to bring a friend. A) That's happening over my dead body. B) See A!

I'd also not considered the pack size which is interesting as the lower mass over pole tents seems to be a selling point.

Good to hear your experience with wind stability and it seems to fit in with my observations. I was a doubter when they first came out. Not so much now.

Thanks. 

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In reply to JCurrie:

Sheffield based so yeah , probably not practical but thanks for the offer and the pointer.

The extra bulk wasn't something I'd considered and two posts reporting on this is useful to know. 

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 ChrisJD 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Our friends (in France) have just replaced their big family tent (family of 5) with an inflatable Decathlon Blackout six-person tent (three compartments) and say it is brilliant, especially in hot summer french weather. £500 in UK.

Sounds like it could tick all the boxes for you

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 abr1966 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I've not got one but would if I was looking for a larger sized tent!

Stayed in a mates....its a Vango Airbeam. 2 sleeping pods and lots of communal space. I was very impressed by it...very solid, good in bad weather and very easy to put up.....

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 mountainbagger 27 Jul 2020
In reply to djwilse:

Second the Berghaus Air tents. I've got an Air 8 (future proofing as have a boy and girl, 7 and 9 currently, and the configuration allows 4 sleeping compartments).

Totally reliable, doddle to pitch...peg it out, blow it up. In fact, it's pretty solid with just the four corners pegged, but my OCD requires me to place every single peg and guy rope

I'm quite tall but there's loads of headroom, almost too much!

Only downside is the pack size...it's mahoosive! I can fit it, and all the rest of the camping gear in the boot of my Skoda Superb, but it's tight. If I want to take other camping comforts like a firepit, then I will need a roof box.

I do love it, though the bright blue colour isn't my cup of tea. Just got back from a weekend camping in it and it was raining at times, but so much space for the kids to play it doesn't matter too much.

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 toad 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I saw the debris on the campsite after their son brought a pin into the tent. He was so upset, He felt he'd let the whole family down

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In reply to mountainbagger:

Same family configuration so that's useful. Saw two Berghaus this weekend. I think this is where her desire has come from. 

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 ChrisJD 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Not sure how independent it is, but may be useful:

https://www.inflatable.org.uk/best-inflatable-tents/

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 ThunderCat 27 Jul 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

> Our friends (in France) have just replaced their big family tent (family of 5) with an inflatable Decathlon Blackout six-person tent (three compartments) and say it is brilliant, especially in hot summer french weather. £500 in UK.

> Sounds like it could tick all the boxes for you

I bought one of these last year - although I have nothing to really benchmark it against (I'm not really a big camper), it seems  really good!  Two sections (over arching tubes) to inflate, doesn't take long to get it standing and there are three separate poles to support the doorways.

Not actually tried it out other than a quick test run in the garden.  The weather turned rubbish pretty much the moment I walked out of the shop with it.

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 Justaname 27 Jul 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

We've just come back from the Lakes having bought a Decathlon Quechua 4.2 fresh & Black air tent. The quality of materials used and the attention to detail is streaks ahead of the competition so don't let the relatively low prices put you off, they really are incredible value. I always used to be sceptical of the air poles but they certainly do make a time difference to the set up and feel more stable. I think that they do pack up larger, and you need to factor in a pump as well. The Blackout option does work really well, however you do need a headtorch to find anything in less than great light conditions in the sleeping compartment.

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 ChrisJD 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Looks like the Decathlon tent has to be on your contender list.

Get down to the one in Sheff

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In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I'll be the contrarian of the bunch if I may.  My family, which is now depleted due to 2 kids being gone and left with only one remaining, has had many tents over the years. We have tried the massive tent options, the 'Goldilocks' option, the getting smaller tents and having a small group camping setup in a circle option and I think if separation was the option i.e. kids having to have their own space then I would probably opt for having several smaller tents and circle them as I have done before.  This allows the kids to put them up themselves (a good skill), you can build in a tenty barrier from outsiders and frees you up to have a little, ahem, 'married time' uninterrupted. You can also have a fire, if the site allows, in the centre.  The downside is weather of course and being together if its lashing down.  Perhaps a tarp or travel marquee/shade would work.

Because separation in pods wasnt necessary, we actually went for a Bell Tent. 

+

It is cavernous inside, and super tall, supports a stove (which we have never purchased but will probably do for next year if we camp out of season), solid as a rock in any conditions, robustly made and completely repairable, strangely sound proof due to the canvass, has a single pole to erect so even a complete tentophobe could erect it on their own, in about ten mins, a bit of luxury, kinda cool. My wife can still add a few girly things to the tent such as lights and such, which look nice.

-

Very heavy, large pack size, needs a bit of oomph to erect, single space (although a screen can be purchased), needs to be dry before it gets packed away, not cheap but then nor are the air tents, I dont believe.

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In reply to ChrisJD:

> Looks like the Decathlon tent has to be on your contender list.

> Get down to the one in Sheff

I like the look of them. 

Post edited at 19:10
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In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Using my present stock of mountain tents was actually one of my suggestions. I've been told no. 

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In reply to ChrisJD:

> Decathlon Blackout six-person tent (three compartments) and say it is brilliant, especially in hot summer french weather

Decathlon did seem to be innovative with their 'Fresh Black' tents. My sister has one for festivals, and loves not being woken up early by light or heat. Think she's recently bought one of their air beam versions, too. She takes a little sack trolley for carting her stuff to he pitch...

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In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

When we camped with our kids then once they were 10 or so I was always glad that that they slept in separate tents.

Lately, with just the two of us, we have gone for a Decathlon Quechua inflatable thing you can stand up in for camp site camping and I really like it. It is quick to put up and has survived some pretty stiff winds. If I needed to I would very happily look at bigger models.

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 greg_may_ 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Justaname:

We have one, so far so good!  Size is great and I can stand up fully. Not a problem for the other short family people...to be fair one is only 3. 

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 jimtitt 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I've used the Decathlon one for 3 years now, couldn't recommend it enough. I use a Vango Nevis 6 extension with as well.

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 Denni 28 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

We have 2 girls, 10 and 6 and wanted an inflatable tent rather than good old poles but I was really sceptical but our old Vermont is so bloody heavy, takes up so much room and it's 15 years old so time for a change.

Fast forward a month or so and the definate looming purchase of a Decathlon Quechua 6 black. We know of two families who have them and they have been hammered and they're still in great condition. Pre lockdown, they used them for late winter camping and one of them used them for a winter surfing trip to Thurso!! 

I've been in them a few times, loads of room, up and down really quickly but important to us, packs relatively small and lightweight enough. Our neighbours have had it up in their garden for 2 months in all weathers whilst they renovate during lockdown and nothing seems to have bothered it.

We have 4 excited people awaiting a new toy!

Post edited at 21:29
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 marsbar 28 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

One of the reasons to have 1 pod per kid is that it makes it so much easier with which clothes and stuff belong to which kid.  Putting 2 siblings in a small area can be a bit of a nightmare when all their stuff gets muddled up and they argue.  

I'm not sure about inflatable vs poles but I have an enormous vango as my big tent and I love it.  If you get one with detachable sleeping pods you can put up some of them and have the rest as a living room.  

I think mine is technically 8 man in 3 or 4 pods but its perfect for longer camps with 4 people.   

Post edited at 21:48
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 jalien 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Another + for the Quechua inflatable blackout tents, I've got one and it's great - really easy to put up or down single handed, and good quality. Bargain for the price, especially when they do regular discounts. Thinking of getting a larger version already (have the 4.1, but would like more headroom for wet camping trips)

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 JB 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

We have a Vango Winslow 500. £160. Didn't go for inflatable...feels like something else to go wrong plus more money and we couldn't get to see one in the flesh either. But I can see the attraction. 

Huge porch...room for 4 to sit round a table. Sold as a 5 man (3 and 2) and has removable divider inside. Our kids are younger/ smaller (3 and 6) and plenty of room in the sleeping area but suspect you might need a bit more. 

I'm 6 ft and can stand throughout. Needs two to put up and downside is packed size...14kg and massive!! Getting the thing dry after a wet trip is a bit of a mission. 

Build quality feels pretty good for price...had a couple of other Vango car camping tents are they are still in good nick after a fair bit of use. We've had a couple of very wet nights with no probs, no strong winds yet mind. 

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 elliot.baker 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I reading all these replies with interest because 3 years ago we bought a huge Go Outdoors tent £400 (Eclipse 6 I think, with porch) it's pole tent, had two fantastic holidays in it in, massive inside and with carpet and an inflatable sofa very luxurious! But it took two of us a good while to get it all set up because it's just so big and the dome needs someone to stand inside it and raise it while someone on the outside fights to bend the poles into position.

Now we have a 1 year old and we can't use it because one of us would need to look after him but it needs 2 people to put it up! I'm thinking about selling it and getting a tent one person can put up (either a bell / teepee single pole tent; or an inflatable).

I love the teepee tents but don't really understand the canvas - is it waterproof? I don't get it? Why is it canvas and not traditional tent material?

All the inflatable tent people - no one has mentioned punctures or slow leaks although I recognise that's probably the first concern people would think of - is this not typically an issue in practice?

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In reply to elliot.baker:

> I reading all these replies with interest because 3 years ago we bought a huge Go Outdoors tent £400 (Eclipse 6 I think, with porch) it's pole tent, had two fantastic holidays in it in, massive inside and with carpet and an inflatable sofa very luxurious! But it took two of us a good while to get it all set up because it's just so big and the dome needs someone to stand inside it and raise it while someone on the outside fights to bend the poles into position.

> Now we have a 1 year old and we can't use it because one of us would need to look after him but it needs 2 people to put it up! I'm thinking about selling it and getting a tent one person can put up (either a bell / teepee single pole tent; or an inflatable).

> I love the teepee tents but don't really understand the canvas - is it waterproof? I don't get it? Why is it canvas and not traditional tent material?

> All the inflatable tent people - no one has mentioned punctures or slow leaks although I recognise that's probably the first concern people would think of - is this not typically an issue in practice?

Getting the tent up solo is quite high on the list as my wife often takes the kids away on her own (we haven't the space to have lots of different tents, so need one do-it-all). 

I was also concerned about punctures but thinking rationally they're as likely (and fixable) as poles breaking or fabric ripping.

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 Jenny C 29 Jul 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

> I reading all these replies with interest because 3 years ago we bought a huge Go Outdoors tent £400 (Eclipse 6 I think, with porch) it's pole tent, had two fantastic holidays in it in, massive inside and with carpet and an inflatable sofa very luxurious! But it took two of us a good while to get it all set up because it's just so big and the dome needs someone to stand inside it and raise it while someone on the outside fights to bend the poles into position.

> Now we have a 1 year old and we can't use it because one of us would need to look after him but it needs 2 people to put it up! I'm thinking about selling it and getting a tent one person can put up (either a bell / teepee single pole tent; or an inflatable).

> I love the teepee tents but don't really understand the canvas - is it waterproof? I don't get it? Why is it canvas and not traditional tent material?

Canvas is traditional tent material.

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 elliot.baker 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

haha you know what I mean - I mean the synthetic tenty material every tent I've ever seen is made out of - 

How is the canvas waterproof - it looks pourous?

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 Skip 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Presuming this is for "car camping" trips. I've never understood why people buy modern nylon tents. New canvas bell tents are cheaper for a comparable size and last a lot longer. They are waterproof, I've been using the same canvas bell tent 2 or 3 times a year for over ten years. It's still waterproof. 

Post edited at 11:08
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 Jenny C 29 Jul 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

Don't quote my on the physics ....

The cotton absorbs water and expands, then surface tension creates a waterproof barrier. Canvas tents to occasionally leak in high wind if the rain is forced through the material, or if you touch the sides and break the surface tension. I've also had issues with sudden heavy rain where the material hasn't had a chance to wet out before a heavy downpour. Despite the shortfalls once dried out they are good to go again, so if looked after they will last a lifetime. 

Plus as you say canvas is porous, so they are much less prone to condensation than the plastic bin bags (sorry nylon modern materials). I also think they are cooler in warm weather, plus they don't flap so are much quieter in wind. 

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 elliot.baker 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

Any recommendations for specific canvas / teepee / bell tents or brands? 

I've seen the Robens Klondike and others from that brand but never seen any other brands that do canvas style ones.

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 Skip 29 Jul 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

> Any recommendations for specific canvas / teepee / bell tents or brands?

Soul pad

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In reply to Skip:

I spent the first twenty years of my camping life under canvas and the next forty under nylon. Cotton and canvas tents indeed have some advantages but need to be looked after very carefully if they are to last well. (They also have some disadvantages, e.g., they tend to be heavier, so less suitable for backpacking).

Tents made of natural fibres must always be packed up bone dry. If they are packed up wet or even damp, they rot very quickly and can literally fall apart in your hands next time you come to use them.

Ten years is not that long to make a judgment on this. Most of my tents (canvas and nylon) have lasted at least twenty years.

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In reply to elliot.baker:

> Any recommendations for specific canvas / teepee / bell tents or brands? 

> I've seen the Robens Klondike and others from that brand but never seen any other brands that do canvas style ones.

Bell Tent is the brand.  

I have the deluxe one, I think. Cant remember the size but its mahoosive and I found to be much more fun than the nylon ones and feels much more special.  Bloomin heavy though and feels like it would stand up to a hurricane.

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 marsbar 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> Using my present stock of mountain tents was actually one of my suggestions. I've been told no. 

What if you buy an event shelter (I've used the Coleman one before, but there are others) and one wall, and put three tents up with the doors inside the event shelter to make one big tent?  Quite flexible arrangement, easier to pack and cheaper than a new tent.  

Link for picture only, no idea if it's a proper company.  

https://m.addnature.co.uk/coleman-event-shelter-45-x-45-tent-accessories-grey-brown-236718.html

Post edited at 14:23
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 marsbar 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Skip:

It's a lot harder to dry a canvas tent if you don't have a garden.  

I can hang a nylon one inside even in a flat.  

The canvas and poles can be quite big too.  

However they are a good option if you have the space.  

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In reply to marsbar:

Thanks for the input folks.

Been through all the variations and permutations of alternatives and alternative systems/layouts, so it's just personal recommendations of family sized inflatable tents I'm after. Cheers. 

Post edited at 15:46
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 marsbar 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Fair enough, just a thought.  

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In reply to marsbar:

> Fair enough, just a thought.  

Thanks for the input anyway. 

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 elliot.baker 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Re-reading seems a lot of 1st hand and 2nd hand votes for the Decathlon ones - but if you read the reviews there is this 1* review which really puts me off the biggest 8 person one (insert Lol emoji - pls read this review it's hilarious)

Review:

We took our 6 kids on a camping holiday after buying this tent. We drove nearly 400 miles, got to the camping park, went to put the tent up and found the tent poles were missing. All of them.
We had to find a hotel for the night then drove the nearly 400 miles home.
Kids were all upset, and our holiday completely ruined.
I will be returning it for a full refund. Absolutely disgraceful.

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 marsbar 29 Jul 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

When I was a Scout Leader many years ago it was a troop in a deprived area.  We found that we possessed quite a few 40 year old tents that were perfectly serviceable and we used them for many camps.  

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In reply to elliot.baker:

The lesson there: check that everything you need is in the tent bag before you set off.

I first used my Marmot Citadel mountain tent (in 2000 it cost more than twice as much as the Decathlon inflatable I talked of in a post above) on Lundy with my two young daughters. A nice test, I thought, before I take it to the Alps. It had the wrong poles and for two days we lived in a flapping shack.

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 Jenny C 29 Jul 2020
In reply to mbh:

> The lesson there: check that everything you need is in the tent bag before you set off.

>..... It had the wrong poles and for two days we lived in a flapping shack.

A friend made a full set of DIY wooden poles for their ridge tent after accidentally leaving the Ali ones at home. 

As you say, basic check when packing is are the poles and pegs in the bag? OK yes of course you expect a new tent to be complete, but.... 

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 ChrisJD 29 Jul 2020
In reply to mbh:

> The lesson there: check that everything you need is in the tent bag before you set off.

.... are you missing the point?

... There were no poles missing, it was an air beam tent ...

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In reply to mbh:

> The lesson there: check that everything you need is in the tent bag before you set off.

The thing missing would have been the air pump (or brain cells, possibly), if they did not realise that Decathlon air beam tents do not come supplied with a pump... I imagine the argument is that the pump can be used for many of their air beam products, so you just need to buy one, rather than have the extra cost with the purchase of every air beam product (tents, canoes, SUPs, etc).

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In reply to ChrisJD:

Ha! Maybe I am! But still the point remains - check that you have all  the bits you need before setting off. They would have needed a pump.

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 Pinch'a'salt 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

We have the Vangoe Airbeam Taiga 500 xl.

Family of 4 - our 2 kids (6 & 8) are both already in 10 year olds clothes so space was a big consideration.

Pluses:

Ease of pitching single handed.

Headroom - I am 6'2" and can stand comfortably with height to spare.

Loads of living room putside of the sleeping compartments. Plenty of space for storing kit and to set up camping table & chairs etc if it is bad weather.

Big 'porch' area or transitioning from inside to out in bad weather without getting to much crap in the main tent.

Minuses:

Pack size - one big lump as opposed to several smaller lumps.

Sleeping area is one big pod with a divider as opposed to separate pods.

The so-called 'lights-out' sleeping pod interior (or whatever they call it) should really fall foul of the trades description act as it does not massively cut down daylight (my biggest gripe with the tent - sadly due to cirmcumstances I was unable to check it out before buying...).

But on the whole super-happy with it, though I do have the niggling feeling that I should buy a spare airbeam pole for the day when one finally gives up the ghost mid trip.

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 Pinch'a'salt 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

We have the Vango Airbeam Taiga 500 xl.

Family of 4 - our 2 kids (6 & 8) are both already in 10 year olds clothes so space was a big consideration.

Pluses:

Ease of pitching single handed.

Headroom - I am 6'2" and can stand comfortably with height to spare.

Loads of living room putside of the sleeping compartments. Plenty of space for storing kit and to set up camping table & chairs etc if it is bad weather.

Big 'porch' area or transitioning from inside to out in bad weather without getting to much crap in the main tent.

Minuses:

Pack size - one big lump as opposed to several smaller lumps.

Sleeping area is one big pod with a divider as opposed to separate pods.

The so-called 'lights-out' sleeping pod interior (or whatever they call it) should really fall foul of the trades description act as it does not massively cut down daylight (my biggest gripe with the tent - sadly due to cirmcumstances I was unable to check it out before buying...).

But on the whole super-happy with it, though I do have the niggling feeling that I should buy a spare airbeam pole for the day when one finally gives up the ghost mid trip.

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 marsbar 29 Jul 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

I missed that!  D’oh.  

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In reply to Pinch'a'salt:

> We have the Vangoe Airbeam Taiga 500 xl.

> Family of 4 - our 2 kids (6 & 8) are both already in 10 year olds clothes so space was a big consideration.

> Pluses:

> Ease of pitching single handed.

> Headroom - I am 6'2" and can stand comfortably with height to spare.

> Loads of living room putside of the sleeping compartments. Plenty of space for storing kit and to set up camping table & chairs etc if it is bad weather.

> Big 'porch' area or transitioning from inside to out in bad weather without getting to much crap in the main tent.

> Minuses:

> Pack size - one big lump as opposed to several smaller lumps.

> Sleeping area is one big pod with a divider as opposed to separate pods.

> The so-called 'lights-out' sleeping pod interior (or whatever they call it) should really fall foul of the trades description act as it does not massively cut down daylight (my biggest gripe with the tent - sadly due to cirmcumstances I was unable to check it out before buying...).

> But on the whole super-happy with it, though I do have the niggling feeling that I should buy a spare airbeam pole for the day when one finally gives up the ghost mid trip.

The porch/transition area is something that is a must now I've seen them up close. I think I'm slowly winning the battle away from them having to have seperate areas to sleep in so a 2+2 or 3 arrangement is on the cards. The Taiga 500XL is one I like the look of. 

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 Pinch'a'salt 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

The sleeping area divider has proven not to be a problem for us as both kids fight over who gets to sleep in the same compartment as their Mum (long story involving a daughter with separation anxiety and a jealous brother) so actually it is simpler for the foreseeable for us to just be in one big area... (Though it does rather put the damper on any adult privacy... ).

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In reply to captain paranoia:

> Think she's recently bought one of their air beam versions, too.

Hah! Tempus fugit. Just found her FB post from 2017 announcing the purchase of an Air Seconds Blackout 4.2XL...

Post edited at 22:39
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 somethingelse 30 Jul 2020
 Jenny C 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> The porch/transition area is something that is a must now I've seen them up close. I think I'm slowly winning the battle away from them having to have seperate areas to sleep in so a 2+2 or 3 arrangement is on the cards. The Taiga 500XL is one I like the look of. 

It sounds like you already have small tents that the kids could use should they want/need separate sleeping areas in the future. The big tent would still offer a central family space for wet weather.

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In reply to Jenny C:

> It sounds like you already have small tents that the kids could use should they want/need separate sleeping areas in the future. The big tent would still offer a central family space for wet weather.

Not an option but thanks. 

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In reply to somethingelse:

How do you pump it up? 

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 galpinos 07:48 Mon
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Just had our first proper trip in the Decathlon 6.3 Fresh and Black. We've now had two nights in my mother in laws garden and 5 nights on the windy Silverdale coast. Short review, we love it.

Pros

  • Goes up very easily and hard to "pitch wrong"
  • Fresh and Black rooms are black! Kids went down easily (7 and 4) and weren't woken by ear;y sun, slept in till 8 most mornings..... This is NOT normal.
  • Loads of living room inside. splashed out on a Decathlon folding kitchen unit thing which was set up with a double gas hob on it all the time along with a table and four chairs and we still felt we had room.
  • Good selection of doors, windows, mesh vents etc.

Cons

  • The only con is no big covered porch but we couldn't find a tent with a porch that wasn't huge, the 6.3 seem big enough.

The kids loved it and have got over selling the campervan, and for the parents (me), much easier than the van for a longer trip. The most popular (air) tents on the site were the Berghaus though. The Berghaus one that caught my eye had been the Air 4XL for £200 more than the Decathlon but am very happy with our choice.

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In reply to galpinos:

Hi Thanks for the review - Is this the tent that is a tunnel and one end can be Either a door or a 2 person bedroom? I thought that was an unusual set - up but this model was also top of my list.

How did you find having the door / bedroom bit if you used it as a bedroom?

Sorry one more question - I also read that none of the Decathlon tents have sewn in ground-sheets (which is better for ventilation - but wondered how you found this as well, does it seem like a risk for leaking in heavy rain?

Post edited at 08:29
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In reply to galpinos:

Another vote of thanks for your review. 

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 galpinos 11:18 Mon
In reply to elliot.baker:

> Hi Thanks for the review - Is this the tent that is a tunnel and one end can be Either a door or a 2 person bedroom? I thought that was an unusual set - up but this model was also top of my list.

It is this model. I believe it's really designed, as we have used it, as a 4 person with massive porch with the option for an extra two if required.

> How did you find having the door / bedroom bit if you used it as a bedroom?

We haven't used it! It's still folded up in my basement. I would say it'll be very usable even as a 6 man. When we set up in the mother in law's garden, we only used the "side door" due to the pitched orientation and I quite like that set up. there would still be plenty of light through the windows/mesh and a big living area.

> Sorry one more question - I also read that none of the Decathlon tents have sewn in ground-sheets (which is better for ventilation - but wondered how you found this as well, does it seem like a risk for leaking in heavy rain?

This would have been on my cons list, but I actually quite liked it! I have been borrowing an old 4.2 that had a sewn in groundsheet so was disappointed to see the new ones weren’t. However, in practise, I really like it. It’s attached by toggles and we “untoggled” it to sweep it after meals. The upstand is quite high and even with wind driven heavy rain coming off the sea, we had no issues, though had some shelter from the wall. The sleeping pods are sewn in, it’s just the “atrium” that isn’t.

It’s worth noting the “atrium” is a massive space so on a chilly night, it does get cool. The sleeping pods were a lot warmer (though do ventilate well in the sun and the “fresh” part of the F&B actually seems to work – they seemed to have a “flatter” temperature than the atrium that got hot with the sun and then cooled down pretty quickly.

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 galpinos 11:20 Mon
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Just be aware it was a fantastic family holiday so that might have some influence on my opinion of the tent!

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In reply to galpinos:

awesome thank for letting us know. 

don't make me jealous I'm desperate to go camping with our 16 month old but we are apprehensive about it (what if he won't sleep at night and keeps the whole campsite up / what if the tent is too hot in the day for him to nap / what will we do all evening while he's asleep in the tent metres away etc. etc.) 

I want to just bite the bullet and go but not sure it's going to happen!

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 galpinos 12:26 Mon
In reply to elliot.baker:

> awesome thank for letting us know. 

> don't make me jealous I'm desperate to go camping with our 16 month old but we are apprehensive about it

We have been taking our eldest since she was 5 months old, though we had a campervan then. The sooner you do it, the sooner you realise it is actually fine and you can enjoy it, the better. Mine are 7 and 4 now so less intimidating I guess but we all love it, the kids were really sad when we packed the tent up yesterday.

> what if he won't sleep at night and keeps the whole campsite up

Don't worry about it. There were two really small babies camped near us this weekend. No-one minds if they cry, most people are families and understand. You might have push the pram round the campsite a bit, it was more fun in Brittany than in the pouring rain in Wales, but it's generally ok.

> what if the tent is too hot in the day for him to nap

If they nap well in a pram like ours did, then we generally went for the pram in the shade of the tent option.

> what will we do all evening while he's asleep in the tent metres away etc. etc.

Chat, read, enjoy a beer. One of you can do for a run/walk/bike while the other reads the paper/actually gets to read the book you have tried to start multiple times already? That is precious time, use it wisely!

> I want to just bite the bullet and go but not sure it's going to happen!

Good luck!

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In reply to elliot.baker:

> awesome thank for letting us know. 

> don't make me jealous I'm desperate to go camping with our 16 month old but we are apprehensive about it (what if he won't sleep at night and keeps the whole campsite up / what if the tent is too hot in the day for him to nap / what will we do all evening while he's asleep in the tent metres away etc. etc.) 

> I want to just bite the bullet and go but not sure it's going to happen!

First few times we went camping with our eldest he'd have been about that age. Kept it local and booked in for a couple of nights for the first few times so we had the option to ditch it and head home if needs be. Never had to execute that plan. 

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In reply to galpinos:

I will be sharing this post with my wife as evidence for my case! 

My wife also wants to go local for a quick camp so we can bail if needed but 1) our current tent takes forever to put up, which makes me want to stay for longer and 2) I'm desperate to take him to some beaches (which are far away).

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 stuartf 13:51 Mon
In reply to elliot.baker:

Do it. We've camped with both of ours when they were younger than that. We have a littlelife arc travel cot which has a sunshade so if it's too hot for a nap in the tent we just put them down outside!

Evenings with a comfy chair and a beer are great, or also a good chance for one of you to go for a run whilst the other chills out.

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