When you choose the wrong tent
We first went camping in a tent I purchased off the internet. It was brand new, unbranded and only £60 for a so called 8-9 man tent. I could not see the point in spending a fortune if we were not going to enjoy camping, as we were trailing 4 active children, including a young baby. £60 sounded retrievable if I were to decide I did not like camping and wanted to sell all my camping equipment. That was such a big mistake, as everything apart from the tent was brilliant, a good tent would have made the holiday great. It was so cheap that my husband tore it twice just putting the ground pegs in. That may not have been all the poor tents fault as my husband is a bit accident prone.
The worst tent ever!
The scenery on the hills of Derbyshire amist a very rural farm was amazing.Rolling hills for miles, spotted with the odd sheep or horse. We were not cramped, or overlooked. What a false sense of greatness that was. We unpacked the tent and rolled it out, as you should. My husband and I had that tent up with in an hour. It was a flimsy tent with no skirt or built in ground sheet, like I knew those things were even important. The tent had a 12 inch gap all around the edge, no amount of adjusting would help, the tent could not even be driven further in to the ground as that had already been done and my husband was looking like a hunchback in there already too.
The 8 man tent was at maximum a 6 man tent, with 3 small pods for the bedroom and a small dome in the middle as the living quarters. My poor 6 foot husband could only stand up if he was in the middle of the tent, otherwise even myself at 5 foot 6 was crouching. That is quite irritating after more than an hour.
Next I tried out the bedrooms, they were not big enough to hold the steel army style green camp beds, when any tent manufacturer state they are either 2,3,4 or 5 man bedroom pods, they mean sleeping bags, but also add to the same amount as single air beds. This meant that the sealed up bedroom pods had to be left unzipped and the army styled camp beds had to be placed slightly over the entrance. At least the kids were off the floor but with no built in ground sheet for the main tent perimeter, it was cold. We even went out after the first night and double upped on the sleeping bags for everyone. Thank heavens for Argos is all I can say!
Was that the end of the camping for our family? No way! This was a start of a challenge, I just needed to get us a new tent, one that didn't have great big drafts that felt like you were sleeping in an open field in the middle of winter. Off I went hunting for my nice new tent, and cometh forward the best tent I have ever seen for less than £500.
Anyone who says that size doesn't matter, never slept in a cramped up tent for a week. The Sprayway Ravine 8 man tunnel tent is a great big fabric home from home. The stats on this fabulous tent are as follows
- The tents blue print is 795 long by 440 wide.
- At the back of the Sprayway Ravine is a row of 3 bedroom pods that are also fully enclosed. Each pod holds two people. The pods can be left out for an open sleeping area. Alternatively, there is an extra pod that is fixed up in the living area but still self enclosed for an extra two sleepers or as a wardrobe.
- It has a built in bucket ground sheet that covers the area with the bedrooms and living area, but not the second area, known as "the wet room". The built in ground sheet can be unpopped as to remove it for cleaning.
- The wet room is an area that you can either enclose for extra space on rainy days, or open up and bring your outside in, whilst still having an enclosed other living area.
- The Sprayway Ravine is also a steel framed tent, so no flimsy fibre glass poles. This does make it rather heavy, with an outerfly sheet and an inner fly sheet, plus metal poles, this baby comes in 4 separate bags, that are supplied with the tent.
- There are small vents and zips for things like electric hook up cables, an essential in todays world of camping.
- It is extremely water proof at a rating of 4000.
- The Sprayway Ravine is a straight tunnel tent, making it very easy and straight forward to put up.
- Weighing in at 48 kg, it is understandable that the Sprayway Ravine Tunnel tent would be much better to put up with two people, it is just so sturdy.
- The extra to this tunnel tent is the built in sun canopy at the main entrance, making a lovely seating area on lovely days.
- There is a matching footprint available. I like to purchase this as it means you can lay your Tunnel tent out in any weather and know it isn't going to get filthy, as the ground is covered first. Using a footprint to your tunnel tent also saves your built in ground sheet from rocks and thistles whilst you are camping in fields.
- There are available to purchase separately, extra side porches and a further front porch, really this tent is larger than most already, if you feel you still want extra room to go camping, at least the Sprayway Ravine tunnel tent will grow with you whilst you purchase extra space.
I am positive that you will not find a stronger or larger tent of such quality, where the benefits are really great and you don't get a bad neck from crouching all day, all for less that £500.