Views on tents

Submitted: Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:08
ThreadID: 83713 Views:11848 Replies:18 FollowUps:11
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Hi. We are considering buying a good tent to go outback camping and is quick to erect and after some initial research it would appear there are 3 very good tents on the market, i.e. black wolf, oztent or jet tent. The problem is they are all very expensive. I would be keen to hear everyone's views on these tents or any other make that we might consider. PoppyG
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Reply By: Member - Michael R (NSW) - Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:23

Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:23
Hi Poppy,

We have played the game a little. We had a canvas Southern Cross canvas centre pole tent which was great - did Simpson etc. Downside was how it packed up (squarish) and the weight. I broke my shoulder last year and lifting it up on the roof was no longer an option. After a lot of research we settled on the Blackwolf turbo 300, packs neatly into the bag which makes it easier to move around and pack. The Blackwolf can be picked up beter that RRP from some online stores.

Looked very closely at the Oztent, but the length when packed turned us away from that, as well as the fact that the sloping roof meant that the headroom was all at the front of the tent, for 2 adults and a 11yo the configuration of mattresses just didn't work for us (even though we have the Foxwing which would have been a good match).

Depends on whether you intend staying in one spot for a while, or moving each day. Looking at doing a 2 week trip later inthe year, and are considering the 2 second tents and self inflating mattresses for sake of ease and speed.

I don't think any one tent ticks all the boxes (explains why we have a camper trailer down to hiking tents).


AnswerID: 442151

Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:30

Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:30

Your point about the cost of these tents is well made. The Oztent and the Black Wolf will get good reviews from owners here but none are cheap. Maybe after you have absorbed all the excellent information you will get you could try hiring before you buy. Good way to find out if the one you like really suits.


AnswerID: 442152

Reply By: the_fitzroys - Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:36

Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:36
Hi Poppy,
We have the Black Wolf Turbo 300 and we love it. We can be set up in 10 mins, max., and that allows for raking the site and laying out a groundsheet. Best ever construction - everything is logical and intuitive. Great quality. Can't praise it highly enough.
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 19:24

Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 19:24
We have the Black Wolf Turbo 300 too. Excellent tent, very sturdy, good value. I find it a bit heavy to lift on and off the roof rack, but I think there is a more recent BW model that uses lighter weight material.

Lots of threads about each of the models you are looking at.
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Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:42

Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 22:42
It really depends on the space you have and the features you want, also as discussed above weight may be an issue if you plan carrying it on the roof.

I have a Southern Cross Ultimate Trakka with a detachable 5 x 3m awning. It is by far the best tent I have ever owned. The down side is the weight, but for me the way it packed up (about 900 x 900 x 250mm) was perfect for the space i had under a draw in the back of the vehicle. Without the awning it can be put up in 5 or so minutes and is 4 x 3m so quite substantial. There are smaller touring models as well. This tent is 10 years old and is still in perfect condition after a lot of use.

I just bought a new camp trailer but will be keeping the tent as you never know where you will end up.

AnswerID: 442155

Reply By: poppy&gogo - Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 23:01

Monday, Jan 17, 2011 at 23:01
I had a camper trailer up until a few months ago, but circumstances have now changed so its back to basics. We intend doing the North West of WA & Kimberley's and need to be able set up for overnight stops and then for a couple days here and there at the usual tourist sights. I will have a look at the Southern Cross but the weight and size issue is something I will need to consider.
AnswerID: 442157

Reply By: TheMightyMoose - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 06:44

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 06:44
Hey PoppyG - if you like the Blackwolf style do yourself a favour and has a squiz at the Oztrail Blitz. Very similar except Oztrail is(was) way cheaper. Son bought one recently and it looks damn good - the floor is as good, if not better than, what I have in my CT. Easy to erect. Quality looks to be excellent. They are quite bulky and reasonably heavy though.
Personally for our upcoming desert trip I'm leaving the CT at home and we have a centre pole canvas unit. With a couple of stretchers we reckon it will make life quite easy given that stops will mostly be overnighters only.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 08:05

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 08:05
I Find it a tricky subject Poppy , and have never found a full solution.

For a long time we have had lots of tents at our camps , 13 this year and its been fascinating to watch the realities over the years.

Tents like the Black Wolf are really great when up , but its not easy, and they take longer to pull down and packup.
So much so that I have seen the simply fall into disuse and replace with much less complex items.

We tried the centre pole ones also and they have some advantages but it can take a lot of force to put up pole and they seem to pack well but you end up with a big square and heavy package. Gave ours away in the end -to much trouble.

From all we have seen the Oztent comes closest but you clearly have to be able to store it in the car / roof rack.

While we prefer to have the car setup to sleep in , this isn't always possible and when we tent we now use just the cheapie domes, usually sub $50 bucks.
We have 3 or 4 of different sizes, the smaller the quicker , some times we use the little 3 man ones for overnight based trips.

On a recent trip we used a $19 3 man version, hardly worth packing it back up !

When it has a problem you just throw it away , funny thing is that overall we seemed to have had less issues than many much more expensive items and I conclude that simple things like putting in all the guys ropes before the wind comes is more important than tent type.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:58

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:58

Just some comments on your post for info... I have a Turbo 300 and have used it extensively.

When new it IS a little harder to get back into the bag and roll up etc.. but once they get some use, they free up a little. Also you get better at putting up and pulling down with experience. I use a couple of tensioning straps to help. Putting it up is really very easy and quick and in reality, the speed of putting the tent up is largely irrelevant as I find its all the other bits and pieces that take the time...tables, chairs, pacing and unpacking etc... It is, however a big, heavy tent and I feel I will use it more when my toddlers grow up a bit, and where the campertrailer is impractical... I store it on the floor behind the driver/passenger seat, under the kids' feet. This may need to change as their legs grow longer...roof would be the only option and I don't look forward to hauling it up

I agree with some of your comments on the small hiking tents, but with a 12 years living in them, I am acutely aware of the risk in poor quality ones. They leak. I have been wet on numerous occasions in cheapo tents....though I did ask a lot of them in extremes of weather, including snow and wind etc.. I have had tie downs ripped off, tents torn and failure of seam sealing to keep out the water. They also don't last ( but at $50 who cares I guess?) My little 2 person hiking tent, 15 years old and very well used, still gets use. It only takes a couple of minutes to put up and weighs 3kg and I am guaranteed a dry and comfortable night. It did cost $450 15 years ago however. I don't see any reason it won't last another 15 years... that's not bad value in my opinion.

Tents are all a compromise and no one thing suits every circumstance, travel type and personal preference.

It is, however a great topic to debate......


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Follow Up By: CJ - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 17:50

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 17:50
Robin, I have to agree with Mrk.

I had an Oztent, but when we upgraded the car I had no need for the roofrack so I got the BlackWolf Turbo. The kids have the domes.
So I have experience in all three.
The Blackwolf is EASY to set up and pack up. Like many things the first time might be testing, but thereafter it is a breeze.
I have just camped over the flood period in Bundaberg. The kids had the BlackWolf. It leaked a very little at a seam where the horizontal rain punded it with 70 mm overnight. If they were in their dome, they would not have lasted one hour before everything inside was wet.

In saying all this, we were quite fond of the Oztent and if I have a roofrack it will be my first choice, but Turbotent would be a close second

Cheers, CJ
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 19:56

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 19:56
Hi Guys

I think these different views reflect why we have to consider our own approach and capabilities carefully with these decisions.

Some for example simply do not have the phyiscal strength to put up some of these things - or even the ability to remember, or presevre with a complex sequence of processes to pack/unpack.

And so when considering the options , in can only really be done , not with our personnal capabilities in mind , but rather those of the user.

Mind you the person who can no longer be bothered with the Black Wolf - had one of those shower tents which you loop around , and it got chopped up with an axe for not folding up (seriously).
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:07

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:07
I go along with Robin on this, for ease of use, compact size and feather weight you cant beat the cheap little dome tents for fair weather camping. I have found this the best way to go and carry a better more substantial tent that I will pull out and set up if it looks like we are going to cop some nasty weather, otherwise for every other pack up I have two bow hoops to pack up and a sleeping bag size wad of nylon tent..................quick easy and light.
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Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 08:13

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 08:13
I like the oztent because storing it on the roof rack leaves more space in the back of the 4wd . I consider it an advantage going on the roof rack . It really does take 30 seconds to take out of the bag and put up . I went thru a violent storm once in a cheap dome tent , never again .
AnswerID: 442171

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:11

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:11
Go for the Oztent and you will never regret your purchase.


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Reply By: tg123 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:11

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:11
Check out the Trader - Camping Gear section of the forum - there's a few tents for sale in there including a BlackWolf Turbo 300 & a centre pole type

AnswerID: 442178

Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:35

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:35
What ever you do - remember the old adage 'buy cheap buy twice' ie buy the best you can afford.

many of us have made the mistake of buying a cheapie only to then fork out for what we thought was too expensive.


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Reply By: broometime - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:10

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:10
we have black wolf 240 tourbo,canvas. luv it.
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Follow Up By: poppy&gogo - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:11

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:11
A very good suggestion...
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Reply By: poppy&gogo - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:21

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:21
It looks the more expensive tents don't pack down to a reasonable size, so now I have to rethink. I've just purchased a Rhino roof rack which is 1.8m long so the oztent would overhang if i put it on the roof and is going to take up a fair amount of space inside the Prado. Well back to the drawing board.
AnswerID: 442202

Follow Up By: wendys - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:48

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:48
Have a look at products from Australian Canvas Company, Bayswater, melbourne. Extremely well made tents, but not cheap. Our larger tent - used when we are in one place for a few days or more - is now 16 years old, has been heavily used, and in some pretty extreme conditions; it has never leaked or caused any problems and is still going strong. It folds up into a rectangular envelope bag, which we carry on the back seat, flat. Our ACC dome tent is used for overnighting - is tall enough to stand up in, has fibre glass poles; also goes in envelope style bag.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:08

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:08
Hi Poppy

Here are a couple of pictures of our Oztent on the roof of our Prado and it is not a problem at all. Once you have used an Oztent, you would never go back to another type of tent.


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Reply By: CJ - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 17:52

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 17:52
Guys just remember better quality material is slightly thicker (specially canvas) and with double seams etc.
Of course they will pack slightly bigger and heavier, it is not a negative as many posts imply. They are also more durable and more waterfast
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Reply By: Wilko - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:45

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:45
Hi PoppyG,

I like the Oztent in fact I bought one recently. I made the mistake in trying to save $50 buy waiting a couple of weeks to get it ( it was off the shelf for $50 dearer at another shop). Still haven't seen it but when I do it'll do the job well.

I'm gonna go the whole hog and get the extras (front panel side panels etc) as well. gonna use it for most of my desert sojourns.

Cheers Wilko

AnswerID: 442254

Reply By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:27

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:27
Hello PoppyG,

I have four tents in my shed which have been used over the years, but the best one by far is the Oztent. It is so quick and easy to set up and to pull down and pack away. I carry it on the roof of my canopy in a specially made tray - a bit like cable tray. Even when it is raining heavily or blowing a gale I feel safe and secure inside it. If it is stormy I roll up the awning and use all the guy ropes. On overnight stays in calm weather I just use the weight of my swag and clothes bag to keep it anchored. If camped for more than one night I peg it down properly.

If you are putting it up in a strong wind it is far easier than a lot of other tents. Just make sure you hang onto it until you get it pegged down because if they blow away it causes a bit of damage to the inside frame.

There can be a bit of condensation in it at times which is a bit annoying but I believe a fly will fix most of that.

I have bought the peaked side panels etc. but have only put them up once when I was staying at the same place for a while and that was on a three months trip. Last year I was away for two months and didn't bother taking them.

AnswerID: 442269

Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:08

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:08
The best touring tents in my eye are minute tents. Quick & easy erection, pack flat, very sturdy, good ventilation & for most, last a lifetime. (My original Family tourer from Freedom is almost 25 years old) Only shop on price if you don't mind getting wet or intend to just go out a few times.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 442276

Follow Up By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:29

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:29
Agree with that.

Whilst our Southern Cross is on the larger side for a touring tent I had a freedom for work that got used every week and is now 10 years old and still going strong.

As I said earlier it depends on what sort of camping you do most. If it is mainly overnighters then the OZ tent may suit you best. But in my opinion with a touring tent you get the best of both worlds. Ours is large 4 x 3m, easy to erect and pack (5 to 10min without annex 15 - 20 with) up and is much more comfortable in my opinion if you are staying in the one spot for a week or so.

I have some mates that have Oz tents and whilst I agree they are brilliant as described I cannot stand up in them and they are small in comparison.

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Reply By: Teraa - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 15:37

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 15:37
We bougt a $50 kmart special dome tent went through everything sand storms you name it, it survived. But I gotta say very impressed with the Black wolf tent just so well made even the ropes have pockets just all those little things you don't get with a $50 kmart special. The best bit is the fly screen not even midgies can get in to the tent.
AnswerID: 442346

Reply By: poppy&gogo - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:55

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:55
Hi. Has anyone purchased or tried the new Jet tent from Oztent? Its more expensive than the original Oztent but is supposed the have better features. Its nearly decision time and I would like get any feedback on the jet tent. Thanks everyone for the feedback. Its given us a lot to think about Poppy.
AnswerID: 442363

Follow Up By: Muddie - Saturday, Jan 22, 2011 at 15:22

Saturday, Jan 22, 2011 at 15:22
I have been torn between the Oztent rv3 and BW turbo 270, having red heaps on the forums, in and out of camping stores for the last few months. The wife and I have just returned from BCF I now think I will go for the Jet tent F25, my wife did not like the height in the Oztent and felt it was a bit cramped but then I liked the manufacture quality, simplicity, fabric and large awning of the Oztent over the Black Wolf. The Jet Tent has the best features of both if you can overlook the price.
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