Lightwieght family tent search
I have been looking around for a lightweight tent that can sleep 4 so that the family can get away for weekend camps. I have a cupboard full of tents from my trusted Terra Nova Voyager and Laser, to a Mountain Hardwear Skyview 3 and a Vango Diablo 400.
The Skyview 3 is now too small for us (as the kids are now 8 and 10 and have developed sharp elbows!) and the Diablo is great for4 days or more, but is a monster, takes some time to pitch and is really not great for a quick weekend getaway.
We are looking for a tent where you just want to throw in the car and go and then not have to spend an hour (minimum) at the other end pitchin, and one that could be carried for some semi-wild camping. We had set on a budget of maximum about £300-320, and that the tentmust be able to be puty up easily by one adult (or two kids), not weigh more than 10 kg, and ideally have two entrances/exits.
I had my heart set on a Marmot Halo 4p, but Marmot seem to have stopped selling them in the UK. I had then thought about the Marmot Limestone 6p, but it has gone up £80 since last year and it is pushing the budget too far.
I then happened upon the Wild Country Etesian 4, a new offering from Terra Nova, which uses a lightweight approach to family camping. It only has one entrace/exit, but is quite tall so that may not be an issue.
Has anyone seen one of these in the flesh? What did you think?
Does anyone have any other tent suggestions? We will mainly be camping in scotland so it needs to be a robust tent.
All contributions welcome.
Haven't seen one of the Eteian tents, but they look very steep sided and have a nice wind-catchin beak on the front. Not sure how they would do in strong winds.
Similar to the Marmot Halo 4P (but a touch smaller) would be the Vango Halo 400, which is new for this year and seems like it will be priced something under £200. Or another model from Vango; the Omega 450 could be OK (?).
Ritchie - i've seen one in horizontal rain on the Pembrokeshire coast and it didn't half shake!
my current family tent is a WC Monsoon (old style), 2 adults and two kids job, and after looking at the issue of what happens when the kids get bigger (we've got broadly similar requirements to you) we've decided to go for a two tent solution because a) lightweight, large, durable tents that cost less than £500 are a bit thin on the ground, and b) as the kids get older they aren't going to want to sleep in the tent with us (nor us with them tbh...).
so, two 2 man backbacking tents are the answer. we've got the monsoon, a two man Alpkit Kangri, and when the time comes well go on fleabay and pick up a secondhand Quasar/Voyager/Kangri type thing that the kids can use while they a) decide if they like camping on their own, and b) wreck because they're a pair of clumsy fcukers!
we did look hard for a solution to the 3/4 season, backpackable, 4 man, durable tent problem - but we just kept coming back to that £500+ pricetag, and we decided when the kids want to go camping on their own, we wouldn't be keen on them using a £500+ tent, and that itwouldn't be much use when its not all four of us as it'll be too heavy to backpack.
Ritchie Somerville wrote (see)
The Vango Expedition (bit of a misnomer) offerings are well worth a look. We had a similar change of heart as regards family car camping. We used to take a 17kg Vango tent that you could stand up in but took 2 adults to pitch, a kitchen tent with double gas burner etc. We spent half of a weekend away just setting up and packing stuff.
We now have a Vango Equinox 450 that weighs c7kg and can be pitched by me alone in 20 minutes, no kitchen tent and a single gas stove. Vango tunnel tents are reasonably priced, well made and can take some weather. The Equinox is above your stated price limit but the Omega fits your criteria, with the exception of being backpackable but I think you're going to struggle to tick that box as well.
having seen it 'in action' again, i wouldn't bother. its got the aerodynamics of a brick and it catches every breeze going. what i saw was not at 1300m on Ben Nevis in March, but on a reasonably sheltered campsite in north Devon in June.
because of the design the flysheet presses against the inner at every opportunity, so water will get into the tent - all. the. time - and when it got blustery it shook like mad. if the people staying in it were comfortable then i'm a hobbit.
big fan of WC - we've got a monsoon - but this is just ill-thought out tat. wouldn't touch it with a stick.
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