Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

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MikeB
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Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:38 pm

Thoughts please - I like having a large "family type" tent for long weekends / weeks where we're using a fixed base. I bought a Vango Icarus 500 three years ago which now leaks like a sieve and is shortly to be recycled into its component parts! Liberal application of Fabsil last year helped for one outing.

(Anyone need a pole set for one, or any other bits off it??)

Obviously it doesn't come with us when we're exped'ing. I'm loath to buy another Vango, although it has to be said it's withstood some severe winds over the years. Are the latest ones any better? I looked at a few last weekend which did seem to use a different material, and their owners didn't report the leakage we'd experienced that night in torrential rain. Mind you, one was brand new and the other virtually so.

So - recommend me a decent "5 man" tent - - not a Tentipi or similar though.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Owen » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:59 pm

What's wrong with that massive orange thing you normally use?

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:03 pm

Other than it being a Vaude? Nothing - except we've discovered the joys of being able to stand up in the tent - and indeed sit down on chairs, with a table, on occasion. It's an age thing Owen - -

If I could get the thing into the boat, with the chairs and table, I would!

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Bod Bagby » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:40 pm

Mike
We bought the Vango 600XL last year and find that the materials are excellent for the money. Almost as good as the 'standard weight' Quasar that I had for years. We find it a reasonable base camp and enjoy the height compared to our Hillberg that we use for paddling. The Hilleberg comment is to illustrate that we are tent snobs but actually really happy with the Vango! It may not be tall enough for you. It has two sleeping compartments. The smaller one is left behind to increase the free space under the fly. They are cheap as chips so if you only got 50 nights out of it that is only £5 a night.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by branwell » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:19 am

The Wild Country Homestead 4 is a superb tent. Well made and robust.
Only downside i would say is the packsize/weight, but as a base camp tent it is ideal - car camping only.
Currently some on ebay which are extremely good value...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Wild-Coun ... 3f4e69e0f3

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Mikebelluk » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:47 am

I've always been impressed with the quality of Outwell family tents when Ive been megacamping and there should be a few deals around now.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Chilliphil » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:06 pm

Outwell make very good tents. We've got a Colarado 5 man. Lots of space inside!! We've had it for around 8 years and it's only now starting to show its age. I'm also a fan of Vango but don't have any experience of their larger tents. I've got a Banshee 200 and an old Force Ten which are both great tents and well built.

You could also look at Khyam, a bit more money but our easy up awning is a good piece of kit. I've not tried one of their tents but seen them on various sites and they look pretty good.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Jim » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:19 pm

MikeB wrote:Other than it being a Vaude? Nothing - except we've discovered the joys of being able to stand up in the tent - and indeed sit down on chairs, with a table, on occasion. It's an age thing Owen - -

If I could get the thing into the boat, with the chairs and table, I would!
Ah, now I understand.

You need a long wheelbase, high top Sprinter or Crafter, comfortably converted with at least a 4m x 4m roll out awning (electric if you like but hand winding isn't too strenuous), and possibly a privacy room (sidewalls for the awning) in case it gets draughty.

(and if it is nicely outfitted and/or you want to carry a passenger, a crane to get the boats on the roof).

Sprinters/Crafters are quite narrow for their size, other vans in that class are more stressful on highland roads - seriously it may only be a few inches but I found a Boxer much more difficult on narrow roads than my Sprinter. Don't go coachbuilt, they are wider still.

It's up to you whether or not you fit a landrover badge :)

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by OGB » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:57 pm

Mike - I've got a Vango Diablo that might suit you. Similar to this:
http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/tents/p/Van ... o-600XP/14
Not been used for 5 years or so (the kids left home) and only a week's use in France prior to that. Sleeps 6, optional kitchen etc. Passing through Perth next week. £60.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:09 pm

OGB wrote:Mike - I've got a Vango Diablo that might suit you. Similar to this:
http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/tents/p/Van ... o-600XP/14
Not been used for 5 years or so (the kids left home) and only a week's use in France prior to that. Sleeps 6, optional kitchen etc. Passing through Perth next week. £60.
Offer appreciated - but I suspect it's too big, even for us!
Jim wrote:
Ah, now I understand.

You need a long wheelbase, high top Sprinter or Crafter, comfortably converted with at least a 4m x 4m roll out awning (electric if you like but hand winding isn't too strenuous), and possibly a privacy room (sidewalls for the awning) in case it gets draughty.

(and if it is nicely outfitted and/or you want to carry a passenger, a crane to get the boats on the roof).

Sprinters/Crafters are quite narrow for their size, other vans in that class are more stressful on highland roads - seriously it may only be a few inches but I found a Boxer much more difficult on narrow roads than my Sprinter. Don't go coachbuilt, they are wider still.

It's up to you whether or not you fit a landrover badge :)
Jim - how perceptive! Funnily enough, there are conversations ongoing re vans! Most likely we'll end up with a VW though as it'll also need to be a "day-to-day" vehicle.

But you have set me thinking towards a 110 with a roof tent - - -

Thanks for suggestions all - keep them coming - -

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Mikebelluk » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:32 pm


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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Jonathan. » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:38 pm

You might consider a traditional canvas bell tent from http://soulpad.co.uk.

I've heard good things about them and last week visited the showroom in Norfolk last week. The only thing that stopped me coming home with one was my inability to decide between a three and four metre version - both would have been excellent. I'm off to Brittany in August and will get one or other soon.

Cotswold Outdoors also sell them.
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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Andy Harpur » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:38 am

I've always fancied one of the tents that you often see the dutch using...
DeWaard - http://www.dewaardtenten.nl/index.htm
You'll need deep pockets though, and I'm not aware of a UK importer.

I've had 2 Khyam 'ridgidome' family tents over the space of 20 years and have been pleased with them...
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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:13 am

We ended up staying with Vango, and bought an Iris 500 largely on the recommendations of several folk we spoke to on various camp sites, all of whom were happy with theirs. Despite the Icarus being less than wonderful, and the Iris being essentially the same design, it does seem to use slightly better materials.

It's certainly got better poles and with a number of additional anchor points on the front, sits well on the ground. It also withstood some serious downpours over the 5 days we used it and was totally dry. The doors have been a little improved and are now better protected by the zips, and come further down the groundsheet tub, again helping waterproofing.

Sadly, on the second day it became clear that there was a fault with the inner tent. This seems excessively tight and the zip tore away from the surrounding material. It seems clearly like a manufacturing fault and I suspect the combination of the tight fabric and insufficient material being gathered by the zip has caused the problem.

The tent was bought on-line from Blacks - who provided exceptional service and having opted for the "next day" delivery option at a small charge, I was astonished when it arrived by courier on a Sunday, and in less than 24 hours since ordered. So expecting a similar level of service, they were notified of the fault and the tent was duly collected for return and inspection.

Sadly, it seems that Black's idea of customer service doesn't extent to honouring the warranty, or indeed the Sale of Goods Act as they assert we damaged the zip and are refusing either a replacement or a refund at this point. Some 10 days after they received the tent back, it has still not been returned to me either.

Not the sort of service I'd expect.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:57 pm

And after a F/book post, finally, a telephone call with (eventually!) the offer of a replacement tent. Which is good!

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by uxb » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:23 pm

Not much good to you as they are no longer made but our Vaude Sly Fox is the best big tent we've had...as is our medium tent a Hogan XT.
I hope they last as nothing else on the market floats our boat..or looks as good.



I hate it when 'they' discontinue good kit and 'upgrade' it with inferior kit.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:03 am

Thanks uxb - yes, I had excellent results from Vaude, back in the day. My original Vaude was bought in about 1998. The experience of a 2008 Mk II and a 2009 Power Atreus leads me to conclude that shifting manufacture to China is seldom a good idea. Excellent to crap in 10 years and I doubt I'd buy another Vaude.

The old Vango Force 10's were superb, and bombproof. From the mid to late 80's, wow, did that change! The Iris is ok for what it is - a moderately priced, mid range family tent from which I anticipate perhaps two, maybe three years service. At most.

Sad really, when respected manufacturers go this way. Mike.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by seanr » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:24 pm

How about a Tentipi? Pricey but fantastically well made and you can put a wood burner in them.

Sean

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by uxb » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:02 pm

I've seen a couple out and about Sean, I particularly like the wood burner option...

Nothing is better than being warm and cosy in a good tent on a frosty winter night - with a stove going it must be bliss..

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by JohnGreenview » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:26 am

We used a khyam tent for many years. Great light. Good headroom. Easy erecting with external attached frame. External poles a little cumbersome but otherwise a good tent.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeVeal » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:58 am

A lot of people do not realise that Nylon flysheets have a very short life. Eight to twelve weeks of sun will kill them. If you want something to last you need a cotton fly. Nylon cotton mixes are a compromise.

I have a VauDe Badawi long. It has the space, but it's not a great tent. Takes about an hour to pitch the ruddy thing.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by Ian_Montrose » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:46 pm

MikeVeal wrote:A lot of people do not realise that Nylon flysheets have a very short life. Eight to twelve weeks of sun will kill them.......

For us Scottish paddlers that's about 15 years then!

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by MikeB » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Ian_Montrose wrote:
MikeVeal wrote:A lot of people do not realise that Nylon flysheets have a very short life. Eight to twelve weeks of sun will kill them.......
For us Scottish paddlers that's about 15 years then!
LOL.

This said, my original Vaude was generally ok after about 10 + years, and had it not got torn, it would have lasted a few more years. Although there was some evidence of UV damage. The Vango Icarus, on the other hand, started to leak like a sieve through one of its panels after only 3 years of light use. Perhaps the Iris will serve better, but I'm not holding my breath.

On that note, I'd guess that buying a "second" could be fraught - certainly I'd stay well clear of anything "ex-display". They'll have almost certainly had a lot of UV exposure.

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Re: Recommend me a "basecamp" / "family" tent

Post by flat earth sails » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:57 pm

Iv resently perchased a hiliberg tent, not cheap, but the best made tent iv had , i think it will last the distance and ther designs and thort into how thay construct things is grate. Down hear we get more UV , if im puting a tent up for an extended stay i also throw a tarp up over it .

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