Tourer Tents Vs the Instant Ups for trip round Oz

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 18:11
ThreadID: 109031 Views:6577 Replies:11 FollowUps:5
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Hi Guys,

Heading from the east coast to Perth and back over 5 wks in Sept, Oct this year. Will be going through Alice on the way, and then back along the Nullabour with regular stops of 1-3 nights at a time.

Looking for a tent that i:s
- easy to set up/take down,
- will fit in the back of a Forester with the back seats down
- stand up to a bit of wind that will be expected in some pretty exposed camping areas.

Have been looking at some of the following options:
- Exo Lite 250 - (around $420)
- Exo Pro 250 – (around $600)
- Coleman Instant Up 4P (around $230)

- Tourer 260 by Companion (around $340)
- Tourer 9 by OzTrail (around $400)
- Sufari by Darche (260cm) (around $550)

Does anyone have any strong opinions re the best option? Is a canvas tourer the go over the mesh instant up type tents? If instant up tents are ok – is the cheapest option (ie the Coleman) up to the task?

Any help would be appreciated and thanks heaps in advance!

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:44

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:44
With the criteria you have stated, you have eliminated one of the best tents for ease of setup, flexibility and practical tents on the market.

The Oztent meets all these criteria but won't fit in the back of a forester with the seats down.
This area is more critical for other camping articles.

Why not not add a couple of roof rack bars to your vehicle and thus carry the tent on top, thus freeing the internal space for less weatherproof items.

Over a 5 week period, you will be continually setting up and breaking camp and the ease of erecting and collapsing the tent is an important factor.
Not only does the Oztent meet this criteria, but will provide a protected "living space" under the good sized awning for cooking/resting in all types of weather.
For multiple day stopovers, add a pair of side panels and you will increase the functionality of the tent in all weather conditions.

But what am I saying, the Oztent is not on your list, so forget everything I have said.

Other folk may provide personal experience with one of the items on your short list.

I can only give my input based on my personal experience with the Oztent.
I love it.

Just keep in mind, that besides the tent itself, you will need to store and transport several other items of camping gear, including a table, chairs, cooking equipment, fridge or cooler, etc. I even carry our swags on top as they are sizable items, but due to their construction, are impervious to the weather, although I also utilise a canvas rooftop bag to enclose everything. Have a look at my profile page and you will see the roof top storage setup I use.

Every bit of space you can utilise outside of your vehicle will enable you to carry more inside. Oh, I forgot the other items such as foodstuffs, bedding and personal clothing etc. These need to be carried inside.

My personal experience is to carry the tent, folding table and chairs and cooking apparatus on top utilising a pair of roof rack bars and preferably a basket of an appropriate size to suit your vehicle. I also store one or two small gas bottles in the rear corners of the cage.

Only through trial and error, will you arrive at the ultimate setup to suit your own lifestyle and although you can read input from others, there is nothing like personal experience to arrive at the best setup to suit your circumstances.


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Follow Up By: Warwick I - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 20:58

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 20:58
Thanks heaps for the advice. Will have some surfboards on the roof racks so getting the tent in the car is important. The Oztents do look really good!
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Follow Up By: Parso - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 20:55

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 20:55
Why do you carry swags when you use an Oztent?
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 22:38

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 22:38
Parso, wondered that myself.

One word of advice about OzTents, they are great tents, however they still need to be pegged down. Don't be lulled by the quick set-up demo's at camping shows. The larger ones still need 2 people to erect, and with fly's, awnings, and tightening at the back, you'll still need to hammer in at least 7-9 pegs.
FollowupID: 821611

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 22:40

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 22:40
And they are heavy suckers to lift up and down
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 22:10

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 22:10
One thing to remember about many of the " instant up" tents is...they are far from instant down...and a lot of the cheap tents are just rubbish.

I was given one of those fibergass stick dome tent things.......please give me old fashon ropes and poles any 30 year old a frame tent with ropes and poles is way easier to put up and down.

The only thing that puts me off the oztent, is it massive packed size.

AnswerID: 537216

Reply By: 08crd - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 22:59

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 22:59
We have used the Southern Cross centre pole touring tent for years and found it great for putting up and down quickly.
The one thing you may need is a reasonable quality cordless drill and a long masonary bit, the limestone on the nullabor is realy hard to bang tent pegs into.
AnswerID: 537218

Reply By: Mike SK - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 23:02

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 23:02
I have the Coleman instant up. While I love the quick and easy setup it won't do you any good in heavy winds. Took it to the tip last year and it collapsed at both cooktown and loyalty beach.
AnswerID: 537219

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 05:24

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 05:24
Have you considered one of the large queen size swags? Something like The Roos System one is a quality product for not a lot of money and will handle all weather conditions better than any tent and are quick to erect and dismantle, will even stand up without any pegs and will pack down smaller as well. We use two single self mattresses in ours rather than the mattress supplied as they are too bulky and it is easier pack up and stow
You could also carry a cheap two bow nylon tent as well for the fair weather days if you want a standard style tent

Otherwise the traditional centre pole canvas tents would be the best in high wind due to their shape and they are self bracing by design
AnswerID: 537224

Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 06:39

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 06:39
My vote is for a quality Southern Cross central pole tent. Good size area, withstand all kinds of weather, especially high winds, and easy to erect and pack away.

For a trip you are describing go quality over price.

Enjoy, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 537227

Reply By: Top End Az - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 07:45

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 07:45
Also consider the Black Wolf turbo range. A bit exxy, but the smaller ones like the 230 should fit in the a Forester. Quick up, not too bad taking down, and very stable in strong winds. Good quality materials used. Been using ours for 4 weeks at a time whilst touring and very happy. Usually a fair bit cheaper online than in store, but I price shopped our local camping store against online and they came to the party and saved $380.
AnswerID: 537232

Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 10:24

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 10:24
I'm onto my second Oztrail Tourer tent. We had the Tourer 9 plus and did plenty of trips with it. We chose the 'plus' as it fitted our QS 4wd mat plus the two kids on their rollout foam mats ok. It was pretty snug, but did the job. It didn't leak or blow over on any of our trips, including plenty of rain up at Cooktown and Bargara.

We've since upgraded to a Tourer Twin, as it's got room for two queen beds and has a much better/bigger front door awning.

They both fold flat to the same size if you leave the roof frame in place. 80 x 80 cm and about 15cm deep. I carry this in my roof bag, but it might fit in the back of your Forester.

The go up and down very quickly and importantly, they fit back into the carry bag no dramas at all! I generally do the setup and packup on my own while my wife occupies the kids.
AnswerID: 537241

Follow Up By: chris3580 - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 13:31

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 13:31
We use the Blackwolf Turbo 300, the best tent I have ever seen for touring. Well made and really easy to put up and pull down. Would fit in your vehicle with seats down. On special now.
FollowupID: 821525

Reply By: Member - David P (WA) - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 20:09

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 20:09
Hi Warwick,

A mate and I went from Perth to Cairns to Cape York and back down the east coast and across the Nullabour back to Perth last year in Foresters. It took me 9 weeks and he used a centre pole tent which I think was a Southern Cross and I used a two man Blackstump "instant tent". I also have a Black Wolf turbo 240 but as that takes up a lot of the room in the back seat I didn't take it on this trip. Neither of us had any problems and we got some windy weather on the way.

AnswerID: 537270

Reply By: graemejoa - Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:53

Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:53
Check out the Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tents. They have a smaller one thats about 9 x 8 Ft (Model 6098) that might be perfect for you. A friend of mine has one and used it travelling thru the Simpson Desert. Swears by it !! Apparently they will stand up to some major weather yet are pretty quick to put up. There is a video on them on YouTube. I think my friend bought it direct from the Australia importer.
AnswerID: 537363

Reply By: Member - powernut (AFL Power) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 20:51

Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 20:51
We have had a Oztent for years and love it. Camped for four weeks on last trip and only pegged it once. It took me longer to roll up my self inflating mattress than it took two of us to pack up the Oztent. Two couples came with new Black Wolf tents which were flash, but they stopped using them after two nights due to pack up times. They simply slept in swags under the stars. The Black Wolf units were largish units took up a lot of room.

Yes the Oztent is long and needs to be stored on the roof, but is not wide.

Only problem with ours is it is not long enough for stretchers. The newer units have a larger size.
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