21. Tent Testing

I tried erecting and dismantling a few different kinds of tents that I hadn't used in a while - or at all.



Inflatable



I borrowed this Vango infaltable family tent from a friend. It carried rather well on a trolley, it must weight 15kg at least, I was surprised with the weight considering it has no poles. The issue with trolleys are though - if it rains, or is bumpy, they can actually make it very difficult to push or pull. So this tent is a big boy, I'd have liked to use a smaller one but I couldn't get my hands on such a thing. My findings from it where that it was surprisingly quick to put up, I expected it to take a while. The issue with this is that you'll need to carry a bulky air pump.

So the putting up was fairly simple... getting it back in the bag was a different story. It took a long time to deflate enough. I had to fold it then lie on it each time. This is definitely NOT a hangover friendly tent.



Pop-up Umbrella Mechanism


Ok ok, this 'He Wolf' tent went up in aprox 30 seconds, no exaggeration. I couldn't find a tent like this to borrow, they don't apear to be that popular - yet. I spent a good day researching them and decided to just buy this one from Amazon, as it looks absolutely sweet. It's a great height, has 3 doors and UV protection so cool in the summer, great surface area, quick to put up and rather quick to put down. It was a tiny bit of a faff to dismantle, but really not that difficult to figure out at all. The skin is pre attached to the poles and they dismantle together so there is no struggle there. Was a bit of a pain to get back in the bag, there aren't many form improvements that can be made to this one to make it simpler. Keeping it bunched up to stuff in bag is difficult, it could do with holding straps or something. Anyway, plesantly surprised at how great this is. It's a company that I haven't heard from before, it appears to be sold mostly on Amazon. Not sure on it's quality - will try it out in the summer and get back to you ;)



Pole


This is the generic 2 pole tent that would be found at festivals. Simple to put up, takes maybe 5-10 mins. Larger ones with double skins and more poles will take longer. This issue with this one, and the others, was when putting it down. It had to be collapsed and folded back into its bag. That took me a while and I was in a dry livingroom!



Pop-up



I didn't get photos of this as it was when I was helping sort refugee donations. I wasn't flavour of the day as no one could get it back in the bag. It was flimsy and difficult. I think we may have actually broken it. It was this kind of tent though. Very awkward to carry too. It went up in seconds however. I can see its appeal.



Trying out these tents, the pop-up He-Wolf tent is actually an amazing piece of kit in my opinion. Kinda makes me want to go to a festival as I know it'll be an easy process to put up and down. On testing all of these, the common thing withthem all is that they're not as easy to put down as they are to put up. The biggest issue is getting it back in the carry bag!