Sportiva vs Northstar tents

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 17:59
ThreadID: 20912 Views:11096 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
This Thread has been Archived
We are currently buying our first tent for a family of 5 (3 children under 5) and have been looking at the Sportiva Headland and Coleman Northstar 8 and was wondering if anyone had any comments on either of these tents. Apart from size, the main difference we see is price. However, we are not very tent-savvy, so would appreciate some advice. We do want quality. The Northstar seems more expensive even though it is smaller - is it better quality?
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: thepilot - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 20:05

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 20:05
Hi bladt

I have the Sportiva Headland and I find it very good. Easy to set up and it has lots
of little things built into it that make it more comfortable. Like the built in air vents,
little shoe door at the back of the tent so you dont have to walk in and take your shoes off, A zip in the side of the tent where you can put a power cable through.
I hope this is of some help as I have not had a problem with my tent. And after seeing mine my neighbour went and bought one .....


AnswerID: 100839

Reply By: glenno(bris) - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 21:47

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 21:47
OK , Problem number 1 ( First of all you said you have 3 children under 5 and you are going camping). This is a quick tent to put up . While 1 of you has a nervous breakdown looking after the kids the other person can spread the tent out on the ground and peg the four corners down . ( keep the hammer in your hand at all times as a blow to your skull from a helpful toddler with a hammer is not a pretty site ) . Grab the fibreglass poles out of the pole bag and attempt to unfold them while unknowingly 1 of your kids has just been poked in the eye by the said pole . Drop what you are doing and attempt first aid and comforting . When the child stops crying and the other kids have stopped crying thread the poles thru the pole tabs . You will need 2 people to stand the poles up because they are about sixteen feet long . At this point the other person on the other end of the pole will just keep saying ( i carnt do it over and over again) by which time you realise you should have just done it yourself anyway . Good luck
Glenno .
AnswerID: 100866

Follow Up By: glenno(bris) - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:20

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:20
Seriously though the SPORTIVA ODYSSEY 8 DOUBLE GEODESIC DOME is a nice light and easy and fast tent to put up . The zips and screen are a good quality i have found and it is a really good size . cheers
FollowupID: 358973

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 14:06

Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 14:06
LOL, man I've seen it SO many times! ;-)

In fact I've experienced it too!!

That's why I just went out the other week and bought a good quality canvas tent thats about 12 years old out of the Quokka (trading post) for $100.

Two polls outside and up she goes, no fly, all done. Lightweight canvas rolls up peice of bleep . Timed it doing it my self from unpacking the bag putting it up and taking it down and packing away (only the second time I'd done it too!) and it was less than 15 minutes. That includes time for a couple of mouthfulls of home bew admiring my work and having a poke around inside! :-)

Dome Tent = Pain in the ass. (OF COURSE IMHO) ;-)

FollowupID: 359019

Reply By: Trev88 - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:06

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:06
I have a sportiva Double dome the head land looks a simpler tent to errect but you will need the extra hands.

As for Quality my tent when through a hail storm for over 1 hour a xmas time in the Vic highlands without letting in a drop. The rating to check is the water resitence. They do this by holding a cylinder say 2 to 3 cm diamiter and filling it with water while sitting aganst the material in a type of vice. The rating (say 3000) relates to how high the cylinder is filled before the material allows a drop of water through.

Just a tip before heading off, if you have differnet lengths of polls in different positions on the tent (you will find this out by setting it up using the instructions save the head aches) use a perminate marker to write on each poll to identify it. It also helps when packing up to use some gaffa tape to secure the polls indiviually. That way you save time (and the relationship) next camp set up the alturnative is the elastic on the polls mix during travel and instead of setting up you spend your time trying to seperating the polls.

I found the sportiva good value with all the little storage and zip access and shop the price around I saved nearly $150 just by asking for a better price.

Happy camping I'm sure you'll have a ball.
AnswerID: 100874

Follow Up By: Skinnydog - Friday, Mar 04, 2005 at 00:46

Friday, Mar 04, 2005 at 00:46
double sided velcro works a treat on fishing rods, ext cords, tent poles and the like and the bonus is its reusable. you can pick it up from craft stores
FollowupID: 359085

Reply By: lukasz - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:12

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 22:12
Hi Bladt,

We also got Sportiva Headland, despite it is big and heavy 25kg, it is very comfortable. As it was mentioned above a number of little things that are really well thought out like roof window. The air vents are working better then expected and at worm nights they give nice circulation.
There is plenty of room which with 3 kids its huge advantage!

So we recommend that tent.

AnswerID: 100877

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 23:04

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 23:04
Southen Cross Canvas tent..

Will last forever, and you can sell in 10 yrs time for more than you paid as people are doing these days.
AnswerID: 100890

Reply By: The Rambler - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 23:51

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 23:51
I agree with Truckster take your pick between Southern cross or C.O.I. Liesure canvass tent(10 oz.) and you will have no regrets.
AnswerID: 100905

Reply By: Savvas - Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 08:33

Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 08:33
We have a Sportiva Odyssey 6. It's similar to the current Odyssey but 60cm narrower. I can't comment about the Headland.

In the last 3 years it hasn't let us down and has never let water in. This included a week of nightly downpours in Yamba, where some of the canvas campers had to mop up every morning.

It can be a little scary in wind, because the tent flexes. Because of this and providing you have erected it correctly then you will not have problems, you will find the tent will stay put.

The downside is that it's not suitable for touring where you are moving camp all the time. It's best for setting up and staying in one spot for a few days.

The Odyssey has stacks of room in it and will fit your family without a worry. At 25-28kg, yeah the bag is heavy. But it's lighter than any similar sized canvas tent and it all fits into one bag similar to a large sports bag.

Also, an Odyssey should only cost you less than $600 if you shop around. It wont last as long as a canvas, but at that price it doesn't need to.

We also looked at the Colemans Northstar when we bought our Sportiva Odyssey and we couldn't see any better quality in it. In fact, it didn't seem to be anywhere near as good as the Sportiva.
AnswerID: 100929

Follow Up By: hoyks - Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 13:24

Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 13:24
What he said.

I have the Odyssey 6 too and have found it great for stationary camping. I have a 3 man tent or a few swags for when I am traveling. Our Odyssey 6 hasn't leaked or torn an has survived a 3 yo on a camping trip but is a bit of a pain to pack and un pack. Marking of the poles is a good idea as they all look the same in the bag. I used marking pen and then switched to insulating tape as it is easier to see.

How old are your kids? Because if they are likely to be up talking half the night, as they do, you might want more than a thin layer of nylon between you. Might be better with a medium sized tent for Mum and Dad and put the ruggies in a 3 man tent close enough so that you know they are alive but far enough away so that you don't have to listen to them giggling all night. 2 bags are also easier to pack than 1 huge one.
FollowupID: 359015

Reply By: fozzy - Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 13:11

Thursday, Mar 03, 2005 at 13:11
would seriously consider a touring tent over the dome style tents especially if have 3 kids to contend with.
as truckster said above southern cross are fantastic quality tent and another one which would suit your family number is oztrail 10plus
website advertised on exploroz is
which has pretty good pricing from what ive seen
good luck

AnswerID: 100958

Reply By: bladt - Friday, Mar 04, 2005 at 13:41

Friday, Mar 04, 2005 at 13:41
Thank-you everyone for your advice. Sportiva seems like the go for us. We did seriously contemplate a canvas tent, but we think we might wait a few years until the kids are older and can be in their own tent - then we can have 2 smaller ones rather than one big one. We found the canvas tourers to be too small for us and the cabin style canvas to be too bulky and heavy and from advice we have received - take too long to put up. Thanks again!
AnswerID: 101104

Sponsored Links