What tent to buy?

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 16:20
ThreadID: 85619 Views:6994 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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We are are looking around for our first tent and need some advice. Needs to be big enough for two adults, 3 kids, oldest 8. Don't want to spend any more than $500. Would probably only use it two or three times a year but maybe in winter. Big W have a Trek 10-person option for $178, but worried about quality. Also looked at Oztrail Villa Dome which can get for $500 or DMH Murray 6G, which can get for $359. Any advice out there??
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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 16:23

Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 16:23

Keep looking until you find the one you are after

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 451250

Reply By: Bushmeat - Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 18:27

Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 18:27
Look out for Outdoor Connection Tents.
Brisbane Company Awesome Quality, excellent ventilation. Id rate them higher than Coleman.
Easy to put up and excellent pole system.

AnswerID: 451256

Reply By: Member - John C (INT) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 23:17

Thursday, Apr 14, 2011 at 23:17
I have tried all types of tents over 40+ years of camping and it makes no difference how many times a year or were you are going to use it, always buy the best you can afford, and make sure it is quick and easy to set up. I have had cheap tents that were slow or hard to set up or that did not stay in shape in the wind so you do not enjoy your camping. Now have Oztent (when not in camper) not big enough for family though. Good luck with your shopping for a tent but have a good look at the camping stores and canvas makers to see what is suitable for you remember “the dearest way in can be the cheapest way out”.John c
AnswerID: 451275

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 07:15

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 07:15
If you are only using it a couple of times a year ( at the moment) I wouldn't fuss too much about getting the best, most expensive tent.

The only thing that is certain is that the tent you get now is going to be the wrong tent being the first one you experience it is almost impossible to get the right tent for all situations first time up. I have bought 8 or more tents and use different ones for different situations. Look at this as a learning excercise.

Lots of things could happen, you could get into it more and want a better, quicker tent, the wife and kids drop out and you and the 8yo are the only ones going for a few years, you all hate it and never go again etc. No one tent suits all of these situations.

A couple of hundred bucks will get you a half decent dome tent that will be more than big enough for the family plus clothes, some storage etc inside. Use the extra money to make the whole experience more enjoyable. Things like stove, table, etc etc and most importantly lights inc headlights for everyone, and warm clothes.

Then over a year or two you will have a much better idea of what you really want and you can save the first tent as a spare for when you introduce other families to camping if you are still into it or for thaose times when the whole family still goes.

Also if you do end up with one of those $200 dome tents with a fly, make sure you put it up in your back yard, and get a perminant marker out. Label each corner Front right, Front left, Rear Right etc, and the centers Center Right, Center Left. That will save you 5 - 10 minutes when you put the tent up in future.

Also check the floor, they will all have a very thin floor but some are useless.

If you think of the tent as a 2 year learning project, at 3 trips are year of 2 nights, thats about $15 per night for accommodation so who cares if it doesn't last a lifetime. Better than wasting $500 - $1000 on something you never use if things change.

AnswerID: 451281

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 09:34

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 09:34
Sounds like very good advice!

Cheers, The Landy
FollowupID: 723932

Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 09:55

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 09:55
Boobook, that's one the best "good advice" replies I have ever seen on here.

Well said mate.

FollowupID: 723933

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:19

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:19
Ditto Landy's & Fred 's compliment to Boobook.

Having spent anything from $20 to $20 000 on tents over 30 years (if you include a camper trailer as a tent), the only further thing I would add is to buy a K Mart/ Big W style tarp if you intend to go to a place and stay put for an extended period (>3 days). Especially if it is a coastal or higher rainfall region.

Make sure the Tarp gives you an extra 1-2m each side of your chosen tent, few extra pegs, maybe poles and ropes and you will be water proof almost no matter how much it rains. Importantly so will your belongings you leave outside your tent.

If you get a chance, have a wander through some of the caravan parks in tourist areas, they should all be on display at the moment with Easter/ school holidays.
Pre camper trailers, for family camping we found K Mart style tents with a tarp more than adequate. The cheaper tents from K Mart/ BCF etc have enabled so many more people to be able to afford camping. We wouldn't of had so many wonderful family camping holidays without them.

FollowupID: 724095

Reply By: Madfisher - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 20:15

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 20:15
We have given up on dome tents as we have found them dodgy in high winds. Our Oztrail tent is the first 100% waterproof tent we have owned. We where up at lake St Clair this week when it poured one night. To my surprise I did not find one dribble next morning.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 451350

Reply By: Trev6 - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 20:26

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 20:26
Where abouts are you Paul A5, I have a large family size dome tent that we no longer use and is in very good condition, if you are interested let me know.

AnswerID: 451351

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