Comment: Buying a Tent

Has anyone ever heard of Outwell Tents? My family and I are originally from the UK where we were avid campers, we moved out to Oz five years ago and are thoroughly enjoying travelling and camping throughout the state of WA.
We used an Outwell tent for many years in the UK in very harsh weather and it stood strong against the elements. It also served us for the first 2 years of camping here in Australia. However, as my family grew and my wife wanted more home comforts whilst camping I decided to upgrade to a slightly larger tent. I purchased a big name brand tent that lasted for 2 seasons (in which time I replaced several snapped poles) then finally a pole snapped and tore a two foot hole through the flysheet!! Camping trip over, early journey home, not a happy camper!!
So, for the time being we are forced to dig out the old Outwell from the back of the garage and use it whilst I decide on a replacement tent.
We have decided to spend a little more on a canvas type tent this time and after researching the prices for some of the big brand name tents I have noticed I will need to spend well over $1000 for a reputable canvas tent and there is very limited choice of design.
This made me look back into Outwell tents as I knew they were high quality (tried and tested in Europe) and they also sold a diverse range of canvas tents. However there isn't anywhere in Australia that supplies them!!
I wondered if I were to open a supply chain of Outwell tents would people consider buying them, or is the general consensus here to stick with Aussie brands. It would be interesting to hear other campers opinions on purchasing a lesser known brand (in Australia) tent that still offers a very high quality at a competitive price.
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Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 21:32

Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 21:32
Think you may have an uphill battle selling them due to price for so many of the cheap and nasty ones you see advertised.
Suggest you look at this website-:, came across their website the other day and being a small manufacturer they look like a very interesting product, even though they are on the opposite side of the country to you.
We had a Lightning Tent for several years and it was great quality and very easy to erect & pull down, these look like a bigger version of what we had.
AnswerID: 510395

Reply By: mountainman - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 01:00

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 01:00
sorry champ but the 30sec oz tent gets the gong in oz..
driving 4thousand k's in a few days, and sister highly recommends it, as well as soo many others..
quick to erect and put away.. wouldnt the old timers loove that with their wives.........
who needs viagra.....

kind of hard to get warranty with a europe made tent.
support our aussie industry buddy..
we tend to whinge less here....... ha ha ha
wed go bonkers using pommy stuff aye...

handles a decent flogging, the TENT that is..ha ha
and floor is waterproof, can be in a pool of water from overnight rain..
you folks be used to rain...
and bone dry inside...
and brilliant backup.
AnswerID: 510404

Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 01:21

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 01:21
I purchased an Oz Tent RV4 and am sorry I didn't spend the extra for the RV5. Great tent, quick to put up and pull down - takes longer to put back in the bag than it does to erect it and drop it. And there are a bundle of accessories to add to it if required. & foot length is the only drawback in my opinion.

FollowupID: 788568

Reply By: Member - Russler - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 08:00

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 08:00
Hi, have you looked at tents made by Southern Cross Canvas (made in Victoria)?
AnswerID: 510409

Reply By: ken D3 - Monday, May 06, 2013 at 12:06

Monday, May 06, 2013 at 12:06
Seems to me that we already have a whole bunch of cheap Asian imports to add to the Aussie made stuff, all of whom claim to be tried and tested for Aussie weather conditions.
When I lived in the UK I had a Blacks tent that lasted donkeys years with a bit of TLC and that was real heavy weather, including frost snow and ice. Never let me down!
I now own a Black Wolf tent, its the closest to what I have been used too albeit a bit flimsy, but it is rip stop canvass and in 2 years has earnt its 1000 dollar price tag.
I would encourage people to look to European brands, many of which have tried the test of time
AnswerID: 510440

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 22:07

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 22:07
Outwell make some really good, quality tents and the designs are a cut above that normally seen in Oz (as are many of the US tents not common here). I don't think they will be popular over here for two reasons-

1. The mentality of "Oz is better" sadly pervades, despite the fact that sheer weight of numbers means there is a greater range of quality product in the US & Europe.

2. The conditions we see in Oz does require a greater flexibility in our equipment. Even in the US most people don't buy for tropical heat and mountain storms. Here we have beautiful country connected with huge areas of nothing, so we tend to think nothing of being in a snow-storm one day and suffering through the tropical humidity a few days later. I don't think I'd like to spend too many nights around Kakadu in an Outwell tent with its "wonderful ventilation panels".

Personally I'm not a lover of our most popular touring tents (the Oz tent is, in my eyes, a heavy. cumbersome, expensive canvas box that goes up quickly but needs additional extras to make it comfortable and waterproof in a storm. I'm five foot nothing (well, maybe a BIT taller) and I can only stand up at the very front. Not bad for nightly stops in desert conditions but not my cup of tea. The Turbo tents are fairly well made, but seem to develop problems with waterproofing- particularly around the joints- and look really fast to put up, until you start with the fly, then the extra covers to give a modicum of usable outdoor space. Again expensive and not perfect (but what is?).

Both tents are better options for Australian conditions than the Outwell, but there may be a a market for such well designed, quality tent. We could do with more competition and less jingoistic chest thumping (if I've purchased any of the popular tents I am certain to be shouting to the world how good my choice is, I bought one, didn't I?).


Hell, I love getting shouted down!



AnswerID: 510547

Reply By: Craigu123 - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 00:03

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 00:03
Thanks for all the replies, its very interesting to hear mixed opinions about which tent is prefferred.

In our quest for a new tent we have looked at the Oztent RV5 and it was far too small when erected and too big when packed away, aren't tents supposed to be the opposite to that?

We also looked at and were very tempted by the blackwolf turbo 300 plus, more space than the Oztent, looks well made but still bulky when packed away and like the Oztent you have to spend almost the same as the tent itself costs to buy the extras (extended fly, wall panels, etc.)

I did some research on the jet-tent but quite a few forums report issues with them (leaking, fabric catching in poles and tearing, etc) so I think I will go for something with a bit more tried and tested R&D behind it.

I'm not saying I wouldn't spend my hard earned on any of the above but the limited choice of 3 (2 of which are an identical design) is why I started looking further afield (namely Outwell).

I'm not sure why the canvas tents from outwell which have force 10 gale ratings and have proven waterproofing (I know from many years of camping in torrential downpours in the UK) wouldn't stand up as well to the Australian elements as a canvas tent from BW or OZtent but I completely understand peoples mindset that 'if it aint broke, dont fix it' and BW and OzTents current lineup seem to provide what customers want. However, I wonder if there is a market for customers that want something just as robust but a bit different?

AnswerID: 510551

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 19:50

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 19:50
Craig, I'm not sure if your comment on why the Outwell wouldn't stand up to Oz conditions was a reference to my post, if it was I think you misunderstood. I wouldn't say the Outwell wouldn't STAND UP to our conditions, simply that the design isn't the most appropriate. Not sure if you have spent any nights up north in humid conditions, but the Outwell design (and most European and many US designs) are mainly aimed at stability, durability and waterproofness. They (generally) do ventilation poorly, and the Outwell is no exception. I was trying to say (sorry if I communicated poorly) that most Australians need a tent that will compromise between excellent (and I mean excellent) ventilation and good wind and waterproofness.

Mind you, still not convinced the OzTent meets those needs well either! I think you may be right that there could be a market for these tents for some users.


FollowupID: 788704

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