tents- dome vs canvas

Submitted: Monday, May 28, 2007 at 14:08
ThreadID: 45986 Views:2245 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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Just looking for someone with some good gen on dome tents/ canvas centre pole tents.

We are doing a vehicle based trip in july to west & central qld. What we are trying to decide is do we take our southern cross (centre pole tent) which is reliable but very heavy or do we opt for the dome tents which are lighter and take up less room.

We need something reliable if it rains, we are using swags unless it buckets down, and something that is quick and easy to put up! Have kids and need them to help with set up etc.

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Reply By: flappa - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 15:03

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 15:03
If you have kids , then IMO , you need the most stable shelter in crappy conditions.

For that , I think the Canvas Tents are by far the better option. Heavy , Yes, take up room , Yes , almost impossible to blow over , a BIG yes.

I would take the SC any day of the week. I like my domes , but , I dont find them anywhere near as reliable in crappy conditions as the Canvas Tents
AnswerID: 242916

Reply By: Vince NSW - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 15:36

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 15:36
Take the Centre pole. The kids should be able to put it up without much botther.
Teh dome tents are very fiddley to play with. Have seen people spend 30 min on them. Great to watch, but in bad weather a pain in the rear.
PS we are tenting it for the first time in years this July, with a centre ploe.
AnswerID: 242920

Follow Up By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 16:36

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 16:36
The kids will soon be able to assit with the Southern Cross! When it comes to a dome tent, forget it.
I've had both. Yes the dome tent is lighter and more compact, but in inclement weather I reckon the centre pole tent wins out hands down and is much more adaptable should it come to adding a fly sheet etc: They are in my opinion much cooler in hot weather.
The best thing I ever did was getting rid of my dome tent and going to a Southern Cross Centre Pole model even though its harder to pack.

FollowupID: 503967

Reply By: CraigB - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 18:22

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 18:22
I've got both, and even though the canvas is bulkier and heavier I'd opt for it especially if cold weather is on the cards. Canvas is much warmer. A little tip..if you are looking for extra space inside you can buy an "A" frame kit that simply erects inside the tent and removes the need for the centre pole..thus more room.
AnswerID: 242946

Reply By: jeffwa - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 18:40

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 18:40
Canvas centre pole all the way. If you take the dome tent you'll sleep in the drivers seat with the kids on your lap rather than want to put that bloody thing up and WORSE take it down again over and over.

I've had dome tents before and then bought a second hand canvas two pole type tourer, the zip's started playing up so I have just bought a centre pole canvas tourer. I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever go back to a dome tent again! :-)

When the zip mucked up on the canvas one (it must be about 15 years old ++ I reckon) I said we need a new one, the missus said "why don't you take the old dome tent, it's still ok". I said "if it comes to that, I'll stay home." :-P

And I meant it.

Hence I have a new canvas one. :-))
AnswerID: 242952

Follow Up By: Muzzgit [WA] - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 23:11

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 23:11
Same here. About 15 years ago, I used to own a two pole canvas tent with my ex girlfriend and although it was heavy, it was solid and stable. It got a tear in it from someone elses tent pole falling on it and it was repaired in no time and was as strong as ever. We lent it to friends of hers (aarrgh) for a weekend and I never saw it or them again. Typical!

I later bought a dome tent and never really felt inthused by it. On the fifth or sixth camping trip the main zip crapped itself and we spent the rest of the weekend under the doonah hiding from those voraciuos south west mosquitoes!

After 4 attempts, yes 4, at having the zip fixed, it went in the bin and we bought a camper trailer!

Canvas is easily repaired, and candle wax will stop any sewn hems leaking.
FollowupID: 504053

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 19:24

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 19:24
Well I also have both and I did The Cape with the Dome two room tent and it was fine with two putting it up. My centre pole tent is a one person job and if I had my way again I would have two centre pole tents I feel I could put these up quicker than the dome.

Mind you I have a ute so is easy to take an extra tent.

AnswerID: 242962

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 20:46

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 20:46
Think you would be better with the dome tent GN , certainly our experience with having both (of same capacity) is that centre pole tent does go up faster - but takes as long to get down, however in practise wether it takes 5 0r 10 minutes is not the issue. With kids or people not in best health it takes physically a lot more effort to erect the centre pole tent. Hence its a lot easier to erect the dome tent for kids etc , and being able to do it gives them a sense of achievement and makes one feel more part of the trip as they have responsibilites.

I note a comment about domes being colder , but I do not see this , domes usually have 2 skins and are warmer in general patricularly in windy wet conditions where the evaporative effect makes canvas colder.

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AnswerID: 242997

Reply By: Member - Linda M (VIC) - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 21:42

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 21:42
In July in QLD, I'd take the dome, especially if space/weight in the vehicle is an issue. Average rainfull is low so a dome with a fly would probably be fine. If it does rain, you might have one wet miserable night, but it just wouldn't be camping if you didn't! :) The dome will dry quickly. I've got a dome with a fly that I've used in lots of different conditions and it holds up well. Horses for courses.

Good luck

AnswerID: 243015

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 28, 2007 at 22:13

Monday, May 28, 2007 at 22:13
I would never go a dome tent again... suck to put up, with a yillion poles ropes and crap.. If your talking if it rains, then single pole cant be beaten..

Then why not stick with the swags, and a tarp off the bullbar... ?

the only advantage domes have is they pack up smaller.
AnswerID: 243030

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 01:11

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 01:11
I've got a Serrengetti sprung steel pole canvas dome tent which has served me well over the last 6 years. It has stood up to some pretty fierce weather.

My observations with lightweight dome tents and cheap centre pole tents is that they need a tarp over the top when its wet to stop them leaking. The other issue is that when water starts flowing across the ground, how waterproof is the floor and how high do the floor sides extend above the ground.

If I was in your situation I'd be going with the canvas.
AnswerID: 243068

Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 11:40

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 11:40
Go with the centre pole, we started out with a dome erecting it always seemed to finish up with some form of 'domestic' especially if windy, it was like trying to tie down a parachute. After trying a centre pole no more problems.
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AnswerID: 243136

Reply By: cuffs - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 12:09

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 12:09
Blackwolf turbo tent is the answer 5 minutes up, no centre pole
AnswerID: 243147

Reply By: ODDMAN (NthQld) - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 14:01

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 14:01
I will never use a dome tent again even if it means not going bush. Sick of chasing them across camping areas. Sick of me or SWMBO having a 'hissy fit' because of a stupid bl@@dy dome tent. Bought a OZ Tent and we couldn't be happier.


AnswerID: 243184

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