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Your 28 page guide to…

TENTS 2017 The latest models from top brands including: Coleman • Vango • Khyam • Outwell • Outdoor Revolution

PLUS ▲ How to choose your ideal tent ▲ Tent maintenance essentials ▲ The best tents of all time? Tent Guide 2017

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When it comes to buying a new tent, where do you start? Well, here of course… Camping editor Iain Duff welcomes you to the wonderful world of tents.


non-camping acquaintance recently informed me that “one tent is very much like another”. He has clearly never spent endless hours online trying to decide whether to go for a tunnel, a dome or a vis a vis; whether two or three rooms will be enough or whether the cable entry point should be on the left or the right. Decisions, decisions… Buying a new tent is not easy. Because, despite what my friend might think, there are literally hundreds of different models in a mindboggling array of styles to choose from. Knowledge is power, however, and our annual guide has the answers to all the big questions. Inflatable, pop-up or traditional poles? Is a four berth big enough for your family or should you go for the six? And what on earth is hydrostatic head? From panaoramic views to tinted windows. Blackout bedrooms to XXL dorms. Skylights to built-in LED lighting. These are just some of the latest features designed to make camping more comfortable that you’ll find in the brand new tents that are hitting the shops right now. The design guys and girls at the big manufacturers certainly haven’t been resting on their laurels. For example, many of Vango’s new tents will feature the innovative SkyTrack system, which

Outwelll master bedroom

allows you to attach fixtures like lighting and hanging hooks to the tent’s air beams. Skylights are another new addition to Vango’s Elite and Exclusive collections for 2017. Such is the attention to detail, that you’ll even find three cable entry points on some tents, so you can rig up your electrical gear however you like.

Outwell’s designers have also been hard at work over the last 12 months, coming up with new ideas. Master bedrooms with extra space for furniture and for moving around, thermo-reflective coating to help create the perfect ambience inside the tent and cable entry points on inner tents to allow you to bring electricity to the bedrooms.

Tent Guide 2017

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Kampa Hayling poled tent

Coleman’s key developments this year include further expansion of the innovations they launched last year: groundbreaking blackout linings, XXL bedrooms and hinged tent doors. And it’s not just the ‘Big Three’ manufacturers you need to look out for. Brands like Khyam, Kampa, Sunncamp, Outdoor Revolution and Wild Country continue to innovate, while big retail chains like Blacks, Decathlon, and Go Outdoors are also coming up with interesting new products, particularly at the lower end of the price scale. Inflatable tents have been one of the big success stories in family camping over the last couple of years and all the signs are that they are going to continue to grow in popularity. Quite simply, campers love their simplicity and convenience. Vango started the trend in 2011 with their AirBeam range and many of the other manufacturers quickly followed in their footsteps. These days it’s hard to find a manufacturer that doesn’t offer pole-free tents. It’s difficult to say for certain, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d estimate that at least 70% of all new tents this year will be inflatable. And interestingly, after several years when they were at the upper end of the price range, it looks as if prices are beginning to fall, which surely means they will make even further inroads into the market. But despite the rise of inflatables, traditional pole tents show no sign of disappearing. There are plenty of campers out there who prefer the traditional approach and there are lots of new models being introduced for them this year. And while huge tents continue to prove very popular, there does seem to be resurgence in smaller family tents. Versatility is often the key factor in choosing a tent, so instead of buying one big unit that is great for a fortnight away but totally impractical for a weekend break, many campers are going for a smaller model and investing in an extension or awning for longer trips. There are many benefits to this approach – a smaller tent is quicker and easier to pitch, takes up less space in the car boot and doesn’t take as long to dry out when you get home. They are also considerably cheaper and even buying an extension can be less expensive than purchasing a vast

Coleman blackout room

tent, especially if the retailer can offer you a discounted package. The alternative is to buy more than one tent for different uses – and as the proud owner of 12 (at the last count) – I can’t really argue against that! But even I have found myself downsizing recently, preferring to use the same smaller tent for most trips. Of course I spend a lot of my camping jaunts trying out new gear – and tents are no exception. I reckon I’ve checked out a couple of hundred tents in the last 12 months and I have to say most of them are pretty excellent. In fact, apart from those budget models at the very bottom of barrel, you won’t find many that aren’t of

Khyam integrated LEDs

a good standard. That’s testament to the hard work put in by the designers and the quality controllers who work for the major manufacturers. The tents featured over the next few pages are among the very best; there will always be a compromise between price and quality and features, but with a bit of research you will be able to find your perfect tent. So whether you’re looking at a big brand name like Outwell, Vango or Coleman or a relatively small operator you’ll find details of their 2017 range here. Read on for everything you’ll need to know about buying a tent this year. Oh and if you’re still wondering… we explain hydrostatic head on page 21!

Bedroom cable entry

Vango skylight

Vango SkyTrack system Coleman ventilation

Outwell thermo reflective coating Tent Guide 2017

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THE STYLE GUIDE Tents come in all shapes and sizes – from tiny solo backpacking shelters to vast inflatable family models. Become an instant expert with our ultimate guide to tent designs


our choice of tent style will depend upon the kind of camping that you plan to do and who it’ll be with. The distinction between types is becoming less clear-cut these days, with some designs borrowing elements of different types, but we’ve put together a guide to the basic types to help you make your choice.


Still the most popular and common type of family tent. Two, three or four poles provide the tunnel shape. Easily pitched and with plenty of room available for both living and sleeping, but can be less stable in strong winds. Some models have extended porch sections that can be used to store bikes and gear.

VIS A VIS Basic designs have two inner tents at opposite ends separated by a central living section, particularly popular among families with older kids. In some cases, one inner tent can be removed to provide even more space as and when it is needed.

INFLATABLE TENTS Although inflatable tents have been around for many years, they really came into the mainstream in 2011 when Vango launched their AirBeam range. Nearly all the major manufacturers now do their own version, usually based around the tunnel style. Rather than using fibreglass, steel or alloy poles, these tents are supported with air-filled chambers that mean you can have a large family tent pitched in a few minutes. The downside is that they are rather heavy and currently quite expensive, although prices are beginning to come down.

Tent Guide 2017

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DOME Two or three flexible poles - fibreglass or aluminium – are used to create a freestanding tent with reasonably high headroom. Stability is good in smaller models, but the higher the dome, the less stable it is. Some domes may have extended porch sections formed by the inclusion of an extra hoop at the front of the flysheet.

POP UP TENTS These can be pitched in a matter of seconds simply by unleashing the frame from its bag.. Most pop-up tents are for one or two campers and are ideal for festivals but there are several on the market today for families. While pitching is easy, it’s often difficult to get the pop-ups back in their bags, and they can be quite cumbersome to carry around. Khyam and Coleman also have their own styles of ‘instant’ tents that can be pitched quickly and provide good living space for larger groups.å

GEODESIC/SEMI-GEODESIC One of the most stable designs around, they are particularly favoured by the mountaineering and expedition fraternity. Four or more poles cross to give exceptional stability, and a dome-type design. Three-pole semi-geodesics are popular as lightweight backpacking tents.

POD TENTS For a while pod-style tents were becoming the most popular model for family camping, but they have gone out of fashion somewhat in recent years. They have a central living area with several sleeping pods leading off. The main benefit is that they allow everyone to have their own personal space in the tent while still having plenty of room to congregate at meal times. But they have a very large footprint, meaning some sites will charge extra, and they can be difficult to pitch.

RIDGE Ask someone to draw a tent and they’ll probably come up with something like this, the classic triangular shape tent, formed by upright or A-shaped poles with a ridge pole between. Tent Guide 2017

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TENT 2017 GUIDE BUYING A NEW TENT? Although we are mainly concerned with the mainstream family market, there are plenty of other types of tent for you to consider – from backpackers to trailer tents you can tow behind your car. Of course, many folk like to have more than one tent, so that they can decide which one they want to use to suit any given occasion or time. The main types of tent covered in this issue can be classed as:

FAMILY Tending to be larger, with all kinds of family in mind, but generally designed for longer tem pitching than just the occasional night. Likely to have at least one bedroom (also known as inners). Their design also means they’re most suited for transporting by car. Most are a form of tunnel tent, but you can also get larger dome tents.

WEEKENDER Also known as a tourer, adventurer or festival, or indeed just smaller tents generally. Also included under this title are instant-pitch tents. Also known as quick-pitch or pop-ups, these literally do just pop into shape as soon as they’re taken out of their bags; after that, they just need pegging out. There are other kinds of tents – notably lighter and smaller designs for backpacking and mountaineering. We focus on them in this issue too.

BIGGER IS BETTER? Yes and no. Of course, it’s great to have all that extra space when you’re on site. But, bear in mind there are pitch size restrictions on some campsites, and – again generally – the larger the tent the longer it takes to put up, take down and look after. Bigger tents tend, also to be heavier as well as bulkier when packed. That’s something to think about in terms of how much luggage capacity you have to spare, also taking into consideration other items of gear you want to take with you when you go camping.

PITCHING Different tents offer different ways of pitching. Typically, most of the tents featured in this issue are flysheet-first or as-one – the latter term referring to the way the whole tent (including groundsheet and any inners) pitches as a single piece. If a tent is inner-pitching first, that means you connect the bedrooms etc to the frame before adding the flysheet. Not ideal when it’s raining!

GROUNDSHEETS Separate, sewn-in or zipped-in. Again, the exact terms will vary with manufacturer. A lot of people prefer to have some kind of fitted ground sheet because, although it makes things bulkier for packing, it can mean there’s less chance of any unwelcome creepy-crawly visitors getting into the tent.

Tent Guide 2017


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POLES Typically, the poles for a modern tent will be either steel, alloy or glassfibre – or a mix of any or all of these. Alloy poles tend to feature on the more expensive tents mentioned in this supplement. Steel poles are heaviest. Glassfibre can be very costeffective but are arguably most prone to damage. Some form of colour-coding – where you can match the right pole to the right sleeve on the flysheet – is always helpful when it comes to putting up a tent.

Want to know your stuff? Here’s a brief run-through of some of the terms worth knowing if you’re thinking of buying a tent

AWNINGS AND EXTENSIONS You can add a whole extra room, or even some additional shelter, to many tents by opting for an awning or an extension. Well worth considering at time of purchase.


LIVING ROOM SPACE How much room is there for seating in the living area, possibly around a table? Also consider standing room/head height throughout the tent, including the bedrooms.

Just like at home, a carpet for the tent floor is an ideal way of adding extra comfort and insulation. Increasingly popular, it’s usually offered as an extra.

FLYSHEET This is the term for the tent’s main fabric covering.


FOOTPRINT The name for an additional section of groundsheet-type material that goes under the whole tent. Very useful if you’re pitching on harder ground and don’t want to damage the tent’s actual groundsheet, a foot print also offers a bit of valuable extra insulation.

Where possible, check how doors open and close, and their systems for keeping them folded back when required.



PVC windows can really brighten up and improve the feel of your tent, especially if you are stuck inside during the day because of the weather. Panoramic windows let you sit inside and watch the world go by.

An official form of measurement of the waterproofing qualities of the tent’s flysheet. It’s a measure of the amount of pressure a column of water has to reach before it breaches the tent material. Expressed in millimetres.



Condensation, as created by any humans, is more noticeable in an enclosed space such as a tent. Hence the need for good ventilation (at the expense of becoming downright draughty, of course). Check out for good levels of low- as well as high-level ventilation, as well as whether it can be sealed off as required.

Inner tents – or extra rooms, usually bedrooms – that can be set up within the tent itself.


QUALITY OF MATERIALS USED Not the easiest to assess, but simply looking at materials used, for example, will give you a clue to their quality. Is the material even? Can you see pinholes where there’s any stitching. Are there areas where it’s overstretched? Are guylines, pegs etc of an acceptable quality?

A breathable flysheet material that promises to offer the best of both worlds in terms the better long-term waterproofing abilities of manmade materials and the superior ambience offered by cotton. Initially, in wet weather, such material actually absorbs some water then subsequently becomes water tight. As it dries, the fabric actually opens up, hence the term breathability. Tent Guide 2017

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Vango Airbeam Diablo


ver the past five decades Vango has experienced great change, particularly with the development of AirBeam inflatable tents. But what has remained a constant is the company’s desire to excite campers with fresh thinking and innovative ideas. This philosophy is at the heart of the 2017 collection, with pioneering designs and technological advancements. These include the new SkyTrack® system: an innovative and flexible solution to hanging accessories like lighting, moving away from traditional restrictive hanging loops. Sky Lights have been introduced into the Elite and Exclusive collections, flooding the living area with light and giving a bright and airy feel, even when curtains are closed for privacy.

Condensation is currently a hot topic amongst campers. The huge developments in fabric quality and level of waterproofing have been fantastic, but the downside of that is the level of condensation that can develop has increased. To combat this, in most of their 2017 range, Vango has increased the size of vents by 50%. A video and blog has also been posted on the Vango website to help campers deal with condensation. In poled tents, the Exceed Plus collection is now available in the popular sky blue colour and the fabric has been upgraded to a 150 denier with 5000mm waterproofing. The “home from home” features have been improved to include more storage and larger windows with zipped curtains. The Claremont in this collection is an absolute stunner. The re-birth of the famous Diablo as part of the AirBeam range is generating a

lot of interest. Vango have taken the unique podded layout and shape of the classic Diablo and put it into the AirBeam Exclusive collection. It provides one of the largest and most versatile inflatable tents on the market, sleeping up to 12 people in six bedrooms. Also catching the eye is the Stanford 800, with its popular vis-à-vis layout and then there’s the Padstow package, which includes the Padstow 500 tent, Padstow carpet (140x300) and the Padstow footprint and extension groundsheet. Quality and aftersales care are important to Vango therefore the company has increased resources in quality management, with new people and revised processes to raise standards even higher. As a result, the warranty on most equipment has been improved to provide two-year protection, which can be extended to three by registering the kit online.


Once a popular poled tent, the Maritsa 600XL is a new addition to

the AirBeam collection. Pre-angled beams, along with king-sized bedrooms and a built-in front awning generously increase the internal space within the Maritsa. Skylight windows and a high roof give this tent a light and airy feel. Other features include the brand new SkyTrack® system which allows for flexible lighting positions or for extra hanging storage and 50% larger

Vango Padstow 500

Vango Claremont

Inside the spacious Diablo

Increased ventilation vents which increase airflow and significantly reduce condensation.

The new SkyTrack® system


Price: £1,500 Berths: 6 Weight: 49.5kg Pitching Time: 12 minutes Dimensions: 740cm x 450cm Height: 230cm Tent Guide 2017

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For details call 01763 262555

Cross Camping and Leisure Ltd, Phillimore Garden Centre, Cambridge Road, Melbourn, Hertfordshire, SG8 6EY Visit one of the best inflatable tent and awning displays in the UK this summer where you will see inflatable tents, caravan and camper van awnings displayed from brands such as Vango, Outwell, Kampa, Outdoor Revolution & Westfield Outdoors. We are one of the UK,s premier inflatable tent and awning specialists along with traditional poled tents and a well stocked camping store, it’s worth the journey!

For more information on any of our

products please call 01763 262555

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• Free next day timed delivery on all inflatable tents purchased!

Visit our website to see some fantastic walk through product videos

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Kobuk Valley 3 Plus

Cortes Octagon 8

Coleman Oak Canyon


orn from a bright idea in 1901, Coleman has been producing outdoor equipment for over 115 years. Trusted by generations of campers, all Coleman products share the same quality and attention to detail. And of course, each is backed by an extensive testing programme. All new Coleman tents for 2017 combine high-quality materials with innovative features such as BlackOut bedrooms for increased comfort and effortless pitching. The BlackOut bedrooms, which use a black PU coating to block up

to 99% of external light, were a huge success when launched in 2016 and will now feature on all new tents for 2017, even smaller weekend/touring models. BlackOut bedrooms also help keep bedroom areas up to 5°C cooler by day and up to 1°C warmer by night. The Oak Canyon 4 (£349.99) is one of the key new 2017 models, featuring a generously proportioned bedroom, with a zipped divider, which comfortably sleeps up to four people. It enjoys full head height throughout and a spacious living area with large windows. The porch peak over

the large front door provides protection from rain on entry while the Oak Canyon’s flysheet has a high 4,500mm hydrostatic head and the UVGuard offers excellent protection from the sun’s harmful rays. The Kobuk Valley Plus (3-berth: £119.99/4-berth: £139.99) is a quick and easyto-pitch dome tent with the additional benefit of an extended porch area for increased living and storage space. Comfortable, onvenient and featuring BlackOut bedrooms, it’s perfect for festivals or weekend camping trips, with optimum head height thanks to its peaked-porch and

Blackout bedrooms dome structure. A spacious innerbedroom made from breathable polyester and ultra-fine, mesh keeps even the smallest bugs at bay, while adjustable ventilation panels and double layer bedroom door allow you to manage the interior airflow, reducing condensation. The Cortes Octagon 8, with its 360 deg view of the great outdoors, continues to be a firm favourite, and now comes in a striking blue colour-way while the Valdes - Coleman’s first inflatable tent - comes packed with features such as XXL bedrooms, rigid hinged door and BlackOut bedrooms.


The Rocky Mountain 5 Plus is a spacious, easy-to-pitch, family tunnel tent, offering a comfortable

home-from-home in the great outdoors. Featuring Coleman’s innovative BlackOut bedrooms, a removable divider in the bedroom offers maximum sleeping flexibility while the large living area is generous enough to take a family table and chairs. It also features PVC windows with covers and zippable ventilation panels allow you to manage the level of airflow through the tent, reducing the risk

of condensation and maintaining a comfortable interior temperature. For easy access and exit the tent has a full-height door with a drop-down section providing a totally flat entrance, perfect for buggies and wheelchairs and removing a trip hazard. The impressive 4,500mm hydrostatic head rating on the flysheet combined with the strong and waterproof PE groundsheet will ensure that you stay dry, whatever the weather, and the porch over the door gives shelter while you unzip your tent door.

Extra security is provided by the zipper stoppers on the tent doors which ensure that zips are always within easy reach in the event of an emergency, even for children.


Price: £349.99 Berths: 5 Pack Size: 75 x 30 x 30cm Weight 15.8kg Pitching time: 15 minutes Dimensions: 480 x 310cm Height: 195 Tent Guide 2017

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Outwell Cruiser 6AC


rom the moment we step inside Outwell’s bright and airy headquarters in Denmark and speak to the people there, it’s clear that family camping is in their DNA. A few minutes in the company of the researchers and designers who develop their tents and camping gear is all it takes to feel the passion they have for what they do. It is campers working for campers and their goal is to create the sort of home-fromhome comforts that make the outdoors accessible to all. The Danish brand has led the way in promoting family camping over the last two decades – with its iconic Montana arguably the most popular family tent of all time. Innovation is at the heart of everything Outwell do so when we were invited over

to Denmark for a behind-thescenes tour of their centre of operations, and the chance to see the full 2017 range of 16 clearly defined tent collections, we jumped at the opportunity. And we weren’t disappointed. New developments in the showroom and on the display fields at Give included the Royal and Ambassador master bedrooms, which provide 50cm extra length over industry standard. Premier rooms are at least 15cm above the standard. Also new for 2017 is embossed fabric and tinted windows as standard throughout the range, night sky ceilings, cable entry points on the inner tents and thermo-refelective coating to regulate temperature. Not forgetting signature Outwell features like panoramic windows, mesh-backed doors and luminous piping and guys.

Along with Easy Camp and Robens, Outwell is a key part of family-run Oase Outdoors and all three brands share a Scandinavian flair for design, innovation and quality. The research team in Denmark works closely with sourcing experts in the Far East, where Oase has a permanent office, to ensure the ideas developed at HQ are fulfilled to the letter. Testing continues in Denmark, with speciallybuilt rain and wind machines stretching the materials and designs to the limit. Only those that come through the checks unscathed make it into the shops. It’s this level of commitment to fulfilling the needs of their customers that has helped Outwell stay at the front of the pack for the last 20 years.


A huge, luxury tunnel tent that has four bedrooms and can comfortably sleep

up to nine people. The gothic-shaped air tubes are inflated individually and designed to maximum stability and headroom. The Ambassador master bedrooms also offer more headroom and a larger footprint, allowing you to add more furniture to the sleeping areas. Ventilation panels, Night Sky Windows and thermo-

Royal master bedroom

Smart Air Night Sky ceiling

Outwell Earth 5

reflective coating regulate temperature and light in the bedrooms, increasing comfort levels. The large tinted windows in the living area feature zip-up curtains and panoramic views and the front porch has a detachable bathtub groundsheet that can be removed to create an internal wetroom. The tent is part of the new Élan Collection that features the upmarket Outtex 6000HD – a hard

wearing canvas-like Taslon polyester. And for extra rigidity there are two upright steel poles to complement the inflatable tubes.


Price £1,999.99 Berths 9 Weight 57.2kg Dimensions 820 x 480cm Height 220cm Tent Guide 2017

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O-Zone 6 0 XTR


utdoor Revolution say they have created the ultimate, most innovative and reliable tents for 2017, with quality assurances, guaranteeing the best experience of the great outdoors. Established in 2003, Outdoor Revolution has continually pursued technological advances, to maintain their aim to be the most aspirational manufacturer in the inflatable family tent market. The range has taken the very best of new technologies available, to design, manufacture and provide the most aspirational products possible, while offering unequalled value for money. The exclusive Oxygen airframe, used on all Outdoor

Revolution’s airframed tents, utilises the fast and easy Dynamic Speed Valve, in conjunction with the patented “Intelligent Frame” Relief Valve. This self-regulates the air pressure in the tube, to release surplus air, ensuring there is no damage done to the tube through air expansion on hot days. The O-Zone 6.0XTRV is new for 2017; based on the iconic 6.0XTR, with the addition of new, outstanding features, including a Vario door system that can move back and forth to create additional living space or an integrated porch area. It’s manufactured using Outdoor Revolution’s 150 denier double rip-stop endurance fabrics, which provide the optimum

strength to weight ratio of any tent fabric. Outdoor Revolution have increased the range of the celebrated Inspiral tents to include the 5.2XT; offering the ultimate family tent utilising the Inspiral inflation system. This five-person tent has the capability to clip in an additional bedroom to create enough sleeping space for seven. The large porch offers great space for cooking, alfresco dining or relaxing, protected from the afternoon sun. The ingenious Inspiral frame provides time saving benefits due to the exclusive endoskeleton airframe, that spirals though the tent, making inflation and pitching amazingly easy; the tent inflates to its pre-designed form.

Airedale 8.0


SHOWCASE AIREDALE 6.0 The Airedale 6.0 was Outdoor Revolution’s bestselling family tent in 2016 and is set for a repeat performance in 2017. It is a truly outstanding family tent that has the perfect footprint, including three flexible bedroom compartments, a large living

space and a spacious porch area at the front. There is a solid front door, which provides additional security and storage space, while the porch is not in use. The Airedale’s tubes come with a lifetime guarantee against any manufacturing fault, demonstrating the confidence Outdoor Revolution have in their tent technology.

MORE INFORMATION Price £899 Berths 6 Weight 36kg Pitching time 15 minutes Dimensions 380 x 665cm Height 215cm Tent Guide 2017

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Tent Guide 2017

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hyam came to the market over 30 years ago and soon became renowned for innovation, particularly in tents. Initially the Flexidome Quick Erect System made huge inroads into the small tent market. Then came the Ridgidome Quick Erect System for family tents, followed by the Khyam Motordome range of campervan and motorhome Quick Erect awnings. Khyam reckon their Quick Erect tents and awnings offer pitching and striking speeds that inflatables cannot match.

KHYAM Building on the success of the Flexidome range, Khyam will introduce the Freelander Plus for 2017. The current Freelander is extremely popular, with generous living space and accommodation for up to three. The Freelander Plus, which can be erected and pitched in minutes, is a larger family tent, ideal for touring but compact enough for smaller cars. Also new for 2017 is the Megatop – a brand new concept in large, linked shelter design. Tents are becoming bigger and the glamping furniture inside requires more and


Proving extremely popular in 2016, The Chatsworth Plus is expected to be a winner for 2017. The

Chatsworth Plus features four berths, front and twin side doors and a host of other features, with all of the benefits of the latest Khyam technology. The Chatsworth Plus also features a fully sewn-in 150D polyester groundsheet. This large family tent (£799.99) is perfect for weekends away or longer family holidays. The huge central section and the nine panoramic windows create a welcoming living area ideal for dining or simply relaxing after a great day. Erecting and pitching in minutes, the Chatsworth Plus can be put up easily by one (it’s even easier with two!)

Megatops Linked

more space to provide campers with a luxurious environment. Erected in a matter of minutes, the Megatop has a multitude of uses thanks to its unique link design feature. As a stand-alone shelter, it offers nearly 30sq m of space. But if that’s not enough, you can join two – or more – together with the optional link tunnel. The modular two-berth bedrooms option allows you to change the Megatop from a shelter to a massive family tent sleeping up to eight people. A vehicle link can be added too, allowing up to four campervan-size vehicles to be connected, creating a great community awning ideal for festivals and events. Freelander Plus

ORDER HOTLINE: 0800 644 4401



QUICK ERECT TOURING TENTS Whilst out and about, a tent is a place of retreat and comfort, which is what you will find with a Khyam tent, whatever the size, shape or style. Technically they are some of the most advanced tents available, and can be erected in a matter of seconds making them a popular favourite amongst Backpackers Walkers and Cyclists alike. All of the tents in this range are designed for quick pitching and dismantling, whilst also boasting stability and strength.


QUICK ERECT FAMILY TENTS UNRIVALLED PITCHING AND STRIKING SPEEDS THAT INFLATABLES SIMPLY CANNOT MATCH!! The Ridgidome Range offers plenty of space for your money. With generously sized doorways, large full length panoramic windows as well as a host of other features, they make true classics with all of the benefits of the latest Khyam technology. The Ridgidome Range also features fully sewn in 150D polyester groundsheets, keeping the inside of your tent bug free and cosy. The huge central section as well as the full length panoramic windows around it create a welcoming living area in all models, ideal for family dining or simply relaxing after a great day outside. Erecting and pitching in minutes, Ridgidomes can be put up easily by one person (it’s even easier with two!). The large inner tents provide spacious, comfortable sleeping areas complete with inner pockets and a clip-in dividing wall.



The Khyam Motordome range of awnings has become the leading brand in the Caravan, Motorhome & Campervan market, offering the ultimate answer to many campers dreams……a quick erect awning that performs. The Khyam Motordome range of quick erect driveaway awnings can be erected easily in minutes and fitted to a variety of vehicles in a number of ways so whatever campervan or motorhome you have Khyam have the model to suit.

Khyam AeroTech™ Air Pole systems offer speed and simplicity. All Aerotech models utilise 150 Denier Ripstop Polyester Fabric and a highly specialised, tough air bladder system. The Aerotech air poles are inflated through a specially design ‘switchable’ valves making inflation a simple and easy process. If your feeling pumped and want an inflatable tent/awning then you can choose from both spacious family tents and Campervan awning models.



Find out more about the Khyam range of tents, visit or call 0800 644 4401 secco khyam.indd 1

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A PITCH IN TIME Ever wondered how to go about putting an inflatable tent up? Wonder no more – just follow our easy 9-step guide




Some manufacturers have detailed instructions on their websites and even a video to guide you through the pitching process.

Unfold the tent, find the door, and place it where you want it. Lay it out flat and peg down the corners.



Different brands will have the valves in different places on the tent. Some have a single valve, others have one for each beam.

Depending on your model, the fitting will either screw in, click in or push into the valve.

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Make sure you don’t pump too much air into the beam – ideally use a pump with a pressure gauge.

If it’s a bit breezy you might need a helping hand here – especially if you’ve got a large or heavy tent.



You might after all that pumping! Of course we really mean you need to peg out the groundsheet and the side walls, checking for creases as you go along. Insert any poles for canopies etc

Unravel the guyropes and peg them loosely round the tent before tightening them up.

9.RELAX! Fifteen minutes after starting and you’re done. Time for a well deserved cuppa. Tent Guide 2017

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CARE AND REPAIR A tent is a big investment but look after it properly and you could make it last for years. Here’s our guide to essential tent maintenance and fixes

MAINTENANCE Keeping your tent well maintained should extend its life by several years. Checking for damage and carrying out running repairs is only part of the story – you also need to keep the tent clean, store it properly and make sure it continues to be waterproof. At the end of a camping trip, ideally you should pack your tent away dry, but there will be occasions when you’ve no choice but to put it away wet. In that scenario, it might be better to put the tent loose in the back of your car, rather than using the bags. When you get home unpack it and leave it out to dry as soon as possible. If the weather makes this difficult, even spreading it out in a garage or shed is better than leaving it in the bag while wet. The biggest fear for most campers is that their tent might spring a leak. If the flysheet is polyester it really shouldn’t need any initial weatherproofing. The water repellent qualities of cotton and polycotton tents only really kicks in after a few drenchings so, if you can, pitch your tent in your garden and let it get wet and dry out naturally. If you find water inside, the first thing to do is check it is actually a leak and not simply a gathering of condensation. Once you’ve established that, check the seams – treating them with seam sealer should solve the problem. You’ll know your tent needs waterproofing if the rain starts to darken the flysheet. If the fabric needs treatment, the ideal time to act is towards the end of the summer – before the weather starts to change and before you think about packing your tent away for the winter. Cleaning and reproofing materials can be found at most camping shops. Among the names to consider are Storm, Nikwax and Grangers Fabsil. Large tents will have to be pitched and brush washed by hand but smaller tents should fit into washing machines.

First, thoroughly clean the tent fabric before applying the proofer. There are two main types: water-based and solvent-based. Solvent products dry quicker – from just a few minutes for a fluoropolymer product such as Storm Brush-on Proofer to a couple of hours for a silicone product. Spray-on applications are convenient and easy to use – especially on smaller tents. Treatments vary in application to wet or dry fabric – you’ll find advice and instructions on the container and on the manufacturers’ websites. After treatment, dry the tent naturally; avoid rain or dew, as they’ll wash out the proofer. Allow your tent to dry thoroughly before packing away.

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It doesn’t matter how carefully you follow the maintenance rules, there’s a fair chance that your tent will eventually suffer some damage. But before heading to the dump, try a bit of DIY repair work. Chances are, if something goes wrong it’s likely to be while you are onsite. Running repairs can limit further damage and hopefully keep the elements out. Every camper should have a roll of duck tape in their kit – it’s useful for emergency repairs on everything from broken poles to ripped fabric and damaged PVC windows. Once you’re back home you can think about longer term repairs. Some rips can be simply sewn back together, either by hand or with a sewing machine, then coated on both sides with seam sealant. For ragged tears and seams it makes sense to add a patch. Gluing as well as sewing the patch on will make the repair more durable, and again, you should apply a seam sealant.

Duck tape Metal pole sleeve Self-adhesive tent patches Needle and thread Spare guylines Seam sealant Safety pins

POLES For an effective temporary repair to a snapped pole, slide a short metal tube over the break and tape in place. Most repair kits will come with one of these sleeves but if yours has gone missing (or has already been used) then a length of tube of the correct diameter from a hardware shop will do the trick. If a fibreglass pole splits along its length, the answer is to wrap the pole in duct tape. A wide range of spares is available including spring clips for poles, pole kits and sections and shock cord repair kits.

ZIPS Zips are one of the simplest parts of the tent design but one that can go wrong so easily. Pitching the tent properly should avoid the problem of the zips bursting open because the fabric is drawn too tight. The other side of the coin is catching loose fabric in the zip’s teeth. You need to avoid damaging zip and fabric. Keep the zips free of dirt or grit to help them to run freely and if all else fails make sure you pack a few safety pins to secure the door.

GUYLINES Guyropes can get worn through friction, especially the loop that goes around the peg. Pack a decent length of spare cord and a few adjustable runners

GROUNDSHEETS Sewn-in groundsheets can easily be damaged by stones on your pitch. A tear or hole can be fixed with a patch but if there is a lot of damage then it’s impossible to fix. The problem then is if you have a sewn in groundsheet, your entire tent is rendered useless. The best way to avoid this is to use a groundsheet footprint from the start. This protects the groundsheet from any sharp objects on the pitch and is much easier to clean when you get home. Tent Guide 2017

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We asked our readers and social media friends to tell us their favourite tent of all time. Here’s a selection of your replies‌ 1


Kampa Croyde Air 6 (with mismatched awning!). Debbie Clapham


The beautiful Outwell Hornet L. It not only looks great but is plenty roomy for us two. Love it! Wendy Wood


Easy peasy! My Kampa Hayling 4 Air. Money very well spent. It's perfect for us two adults and two small children. It's very sturdy in the wind and it's lovely and cosy too. Dan Henley


The Vango Icarus 600 with canopy; home from home for many a trip. Dave Lloyd


Our Conway Crusader folding camper with adapted porch awning for a weekend getaway! Marie Lancaster

2 Tent Guide 2017

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A Lichfield Combat 4 from my youth in the mid '80s. Great memories. Sadly my mum and stepdad borrowed it, left a biscuit in it and packed it away wet. It had a massive mould stain on it for the rest of its life. Perry Ambler


Our first tent, so obviously the best. The Kampa Daymer 8 Air. Ian Woodhams

8 3

Easy! It's my Berghaus Air 6 loads of room, easy to put up by myself and even withstood crazy wind. That said I've generally loved every tent I've owned for different reasons because so many fab memories are attached to them. Liz Morrell

9 10

The Montana 6. David Higginbottom

We love our Outwell Montana 6P. It’s great for our family of five and still has plenty of room. It’s like a Tardis. Suzy Smith


We’ve only really been camping for four years, but our current fave is our Robens Klondike. Love it for weekends. Dan McKenna

5 4


Vango Inspire 600 2016. A really amazing tent. Gary Walters


I really enjoy using my Coleman Octagon 8 tent. Stood up to very windy Cornwall weather and lots of space inside. Kristof Downer

14 15

It’s the Outwell Monty 6P. Daniel Grice



Zempire Aerodome1. I really enjoy the balance of protection from elements and fresh air. Jennifer Farley

7 8 Tent Guide 2017

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TENT 2017 GUIDE Karen Murphy A tough choice, but my favourite all-rounder has to be my Robens Fairbanks. An easy pitch and it's withstood gales, ice and torrential rain with no problems. Love it! Janette Songhurst Our Robens Cabin 500. Easy to pitch and loads of space for us, two kids and two rabbits for a weekend.


Steve Barton One of our first tents: a Vango Icarus 500 with extension. Rob Baker I've enjoyed all of the (many) tents I've owned but the one that probably generates the most memories would be my Khyam Pocket Duo. I backpacked all over the UK in it after I graduated uni. Victoria McCausland My 4m bell tent from 10T. I had 14 tents at one point but since getting this one I haven't used any of the others. It stands up well to stormy weather, is very roomy inside and, being polycotton, does not heat up excessively with direct sun. Jon Milner Vango Force 10 or swag roll, both brilliant


Jamie Francis Vango Airbeam Exodus 2013.






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WIN•WIN•WIN•WIN•WIN•WIN•WIN Camping magazine have teamed up with What Knot to give four lucky readers the chance to win ‘6 What Knots + Cargo Net’ sets. The What Knot can tie and unfasten almost any rope with a thickness between 3mm and 15mm. Each prize includes a larger cargo net complete with 6 What Knots for a variety of uses at home, in the garden, garage etc. Use the What Knots to secure the cargo net over a mid-range trailer or in the back of a van as

a temporary bulkhead. You can even use it as a hammock when you’re away from home - ideal for campers and outdoorsy people. Children can use it as a goal net in the home, garage or garden. Whatever you use yours for, What Knots enable you to tie the cargo net in place quickly and easily with a simple twist - no need for knots or potentially dangerous bungee cords. For more information, visit

Visit to find out; using the What Knot, you can tie and untie ropes in less than: a) 10 seconds b) 8 seconds c) 6 seconds Then visit to enter. Competition closes 1st March 2017

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Lightweight camping and backpacking guru Clive Tully looks at new tents and other lightweight bits for 2017


t’s amazing how you can hike for miles on end out in the countryside, and your feet hardly feel it. But spend a day and a bit walking around a trade show, and those same tootsies can end up feeling crippled. Last autumn I spurned supportive footbeds and wandered almost barefoot round the Outdoor Trade Show at Stoneleigh Park in a pair of Vibram Fivefingers KSO TrekSport. They were something I’d written about for Camping around three years ago, and then put them away, but I resurrected them last summer, using them for short “screen break” walks of one to two miles most days. Of course, having vaguely yeti-like feet proved something of an amusement to those at OTS that noticed, but the best bit about wearing them was the beneficial effect on my feet – a marked improvement on the usual trade show fatigue! It was also the opportunity to celebrate 50 years of the respected outdoors brand Vango. And while they’ve always been at the forefront of camping technology, it’s amazing to think that one of their early successes, the Force Ten Mk3 standard, is still going strong. Famously sketched out by Hamish Hamilton on the back of an empty packet

Above: Vango Meteor 200 and 300 Left: Vango Pinnacle A1 back length adjustment using the single red strap

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of Senior Service cigarettes back in the 1960s, the A frames and ridge pole combined with a flysheet which came all the way down to the ground, making a sturdy tent capable of going anywhere, doing anything. Which is pretty much what Vango have done ever since. There seemed to be lots of upgrades amongst Vango’s lightweight tents, as well as the new Meteor 200 (£160) and 300 (£180) front entrance tunnels. Designed for real ease of pitching, they have two Gothic Arch poles of the same length, and inner and fly are connected. And with TBS II internal guying to improve stability when the weather gets up, they look ideal for DoE Awards participants or anyone after a foolproof tent built to handle wild camps. The 200 is a little under 3kg, the 300 just over. If you’ve ever been put off adjustable back length rucksacks because you think they might be too fiddly to alter, Vango’s new Pinnacle could be right up your mountain! It comes in 60+10 litre (£100) and 70+10 litre (£110) versions, both adjusted one-handed with a single strap while being worn. Interesting developments, too, with their sleeping bags. Ultralite Pro features tri-lateral insulation, where outer and inner shells have the insulation bonded to the fabric, while a third layer floats in between. Not only is there less stitching to compromise insulation, it also makes for a slightly lighter bag. There are three weights, with the 100 (£80), weighing 900 grams, the 200 (£90) at 1.1kg and the 300 (£100) 1.35kg. New tent offerings from Force Ten include the Helium UL, available in solo (1.23kg) and two-berth (1.43kg) models. It’s the same hybrid tunnel design as previous versions, but this time featuring an amazingly lightweight 15D silicone/PU Nylon flysheet. Both use TBS Pro for extra stability, with Dyneema cords to provide the internal bracing. Also new is the Gothic arch shaped tunnel Xenon UL 2 (£300, weight 2.0kg) and 2+ (£350, weight 2.6kg), the latter having an extended front porch with side entry. Although the solo model wasn’t pitched at OTS, the new Helm range from Wild Country comes in one (£160), two (£190) and three-berth (£220) models. It’s a basic dome design with two poles crossing over the flysheet through external sleeves to provide a free-standing tent – the solo model with a single side entrance and porch, while the larger models have a porch and entrance on each side. I was told that retailers were showing a lot of interest, not least because they had decent enough height inside to allow you to sit up, and the weights are pretty good, too – 1.87, 2.27 and 2.8kg.

MSR Hubba Tour 2 and 1 Just when you think Terra Nova can’t get their tents any lighter, they come along and do just that! The new Starlite range of sloping tunnels comes in one (£480), two (£540) and three-berth (£670) models, weighing 1.12, 1.53 and 2.38kg respectively. So you have a traditional sloping tunnel style, but using state of the art materials, including flysheet made from Watershed Si2, a 20 denier Nylon silicone coated on both sides, with Seam Plus water-resistant seam technology. And interestingly not just for backpackers but cycle tourers, too, the pole sections are shorter to enable the tent to pack down more easily. While Starlites 1 and 2 have traditional front entrances and porches, Starlite 3 is slightly different in that the porch is extended, with the flysheet door panel on the side. MSR have taken their popular Hubba three-season tents, and given them extended porches to become Hubba Tour 1 (£425) and 2 (£510), with respective weights just over 2kg and just under 2.5. And since the inner is side entry, that means the porch, supported by a separate hoop, is big – big enough to garage a bike. In fact, the extended part of the porch has a built-in groundsheet, so you also have the means to entertain guests – even house a couple of extra campers! Hubba Tour gives you all in one what you previously could achieve with a standard Hubba augmented with a Gear Shed. Also new is the Access series of hybrid dome tents, designed to provide a lightweight alternative for year-round backpacking. Terra Nova Starlite 3

With 20d silicone/PU ripstop Nylon flysheets, and an inner tent balance MSR TrailShot between ripstop Nylon and polyester micromesh weighted very much towards the former, the aim is for light weight and warmth. Access comes in solo (£440), two (£540) and three-berth (£600) models. Away from the tents, I rather liked the look of the new MSR TrailShot (£40), a water filtration device which allows you to drink straight from your source. Fortunately there’s a short pickup tube to reduce the grovelling on your knees, and then all you do is squeeze the filter to deliver clean water from the mouthpiece. I shall always remember the time I walked the Milford Track in New Zealand. The day I went over the Mackinnon Pass, 13 inches of rain fell in 24 hours! So you can expect Kiwi gear to be able to take a battering. Macpac is a well respected New Zealand brand, now distributed in the UK by Troll, and while I was told that not a great deal had changed in the tent range since I last looked at them around 10 years ago, one tends to think that if what you have stands up to Kiwi weather, then you’re already as good as you need to be. The Sololight (£320) is a single hoop tunnel with short struts at each end using a 40 denier ripstop Nylon flysheet and floor, the whole thing tipping the scales Force Ten line-up Tent Guide 2017

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TENT 2017 GUIDE Ferrino Atom 2 Therm-a-Rest Trail King SV

Paramo New Quito Jacket at 1.25kg. Campers on more of a budget are well served with the Nautilus (£180), a two-berth classic tunnel weighing 2.3kg. The ink was only just dry on the agreement between Italian outdoors company Ferrino and UK distributor Man o’Leisure, so sadly there weren’t any tents pitched outside at OTS. Ferrino make rucksacks, tents, sleeping bags and clothing, and when I checked through my digital archive, the last time I wrote about them was 20 years ago! One of their great claims to fame is the close working relationship they enjoyed with Italian mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner. And while one of their camping options is the Portaledge, a snip at just under £3,000 for anyone looking to conquer a sheer rock face like Yosemite's El Capitan – for backpackers, the Atom 2 and Atom 3, priced £289.99 and £349.99 respectively, look pretty attractive options. With siliconised/PU coated 20d Nylon flysheets, these free-standing lightweight hybrid domes weigh 2 and 2.3kg. Having last year introduced a breath of fresh air to camping mattresses with their SpeedValve fast inflation system, this year Therm-a-Rest are out to take your breath away. Combining SpeedValve with their AirFrame foam and air channel technologies has produced what they claim to be the fastest self-inflating backpacking mattress, the Trail King SV (£110). It inflates in seconds to a luxurious 6 cms of loft, but weighs just 0.8kg. I include the £245 Grand Solo 2 Canvas Swag from Essex-based Outhaus more as an illustration how sizes and shapes of tent adapt across widely different uses. It looks like a slightly larger than normal bivvy tent, but when you fondle the fabric, you realise it’s made of the same kind of hefty stuff more likely found as the body of your typical rucksack. A three-pole sloping tunnel set-up, it has a mesh-lined entrance at the end, plus

Wild Country Helm 2

an alternative one in the roof. The groundsheet material is similarly robust, and extends to a “doormat” at front and side. And while it comes complete with fitted mattress, the overall weight is a slightly less than lightweight 7.5kg! Very popular, apparently, with the off-roading and bushcraft sets. I can see it working well with a Land Rover parked next to it. If you’ve ever had a zip fastener jam on you, it might once have been considered terminal. The American-made FixnZip is a replacement zip slider which works on plastic or metal tooth, coil or waterresistant zips, and is easily attachable. Normal zip sliders have to be inched back to the start of the zip to work properly, while FixnZip attaches without tools or sewing anywhere along the zip’s length, tightened up with a thumbscrew on the top. They come in small, medium and large sizes, each fitting a range of different size zips. Bearing in mind a broken zip can have potentially serious consequences, one or two of these stashed away in a pocket would make good sense.

Mountain King have taken their already amazingly light aluminium Trail Blaze hiking poles, and made them lighter still, the new carbon fibre range called Trail Blaze Skyrunner. As before, the poles are non-adjustable (which saves weight), so they come in five fixed lengths from 110 to 130 cms, with weights from 103 to 109 grams! They feature a comfortable Airflow grip, and the pole sections connect like tent poles, with a cord running from tip to handle, locking off at the top. Multi-activity is the target for Páramo’s new Quito jacket (£230). The Nikwax Analogy Light fabric provides weather protection but with good ventilation and styling for walking and cycling - and all fully recyclable, PFC-free, and ethically manufactured! I confess I can't remember the last time I wore a pair of jeans, but someone out there loves them, as they inspired the new Montero trousers (£90). The difference is that while they look vaguely jeanslike, the highly water-repellent quick-drying stretch microfibre fabric promises a far wider scale of comfort than traditional cotton denim.

Macpac Nautilus.

Outhaus Grand Solo 2 Canvas Swag

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Blackout Bedroom® Blocks up to 99% of daylight from your bedroom Coleman® BlackOut Bedroom® is a revolutionary new sleep system for campers. Ideal for parents or anyone who is sensitive to daylight, BlackOut Bedroom® block´up to 99% of daylight penetrating the bedroom - helping you get a longer, more restful sleep - whatever time of day! For extra comfort, the special fabric of BlackOut Bedroom® stores the sun’s energy, keeping you cooler during the day and warmer at night. BlackOut Bedroom® are featured on all Coleman® Valdes & Coleman® Cabral tent models.

5°C cooler during the day and 1°C warmer at night!

Tired children make unhappy campers!

Also appeals to parents – they can get a good night’s sleep and stay in bed for longer

Ideal for festival go-ers who are up all night

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Best Camping Innovation


13/12/2016 09:52


A 28 page guide to the latest tents from top brands including: Coleman, Vango, Khyam, Outwell and Outdoor Revolution. Plus: * How to choo...


A 28 page guide to the latest tents from top brands including: Coleman, Vango, Khyam, Outwell and Outdoor Revolution. Plus: * How to choo...