Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

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Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Brad M » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:21 pm

Hi guys,

Just wondering if you had any advice or opinions on quick erect tents or a reliable, quality 4 man tent?

We have a large Oztrail family tent that we have had no problems with and we were looking to get a smaller tent so just my 2 year old son and I could go away for little weekend of overnite trips. My wife is pregnant so not keen on going camping any time soon, but our little bloke loves it! Every time he walks past our pile of camping gear under the pool table, he pats the tent bag and says "ten" with a big smile on his face.

So I was trying to find a 4 man tent that would let us sleep comfortably as well as store our gear in the tent with us. I've tried the Oztrail Breezeway 4 Dome tent and we are now on our second - soon to be taken back. Both of them have had tears in the tent and fly straight out of the box. I don't want another one.

I also tried the Blackstump Euro 2 quick erect tent. Don't go near them! They work on the same principle as those pop-up dome food covers - just bigger. It opened and closed perfectly the first time I used it. The second time I tried to erect it to show my wife how simple it was, there was a great big cracking sound and the pop-up mechanism broke - the tent is useless. Broke on the second time I ever used it. I spoke to the place I bought it from and it looks doubtfull that I will get a refund or exchange. I certainly don't want another of those tents regardless.

I was looking at the Coleman 4 person Instant Up tent as I know Coleman have a good name and it looks like I would be able to put it up myself. That's one of my main concerns, is that it would need to be a tent one person could put up.

Any advice or suggestions would be great.

Cheers

Brad
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Lin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:17 pm

I've just been looking into this as I would like a tent that's faster to set up than the ones I currently have.

I almost bought the new Coleman Insta 8 person tent from Amazon - my finger hovered over the 'Confirm payment' button! - but then I read some more reviews and decided that there were too many complaints about leaks and condensation.

I looked at those Instant Up tents, but I personally would have a big problem with the lack of ventilation as there are no windows in that fly. Apart from the heat issue, I also like being able to look out when I'm inside the tent. I would love to hear what people who have used on think of it though, so I hope someone here has.

I currently have a Coleman 4 person tent (old model, not sure what it compares to now, one room and a non-enclosed vestibule) and a Black Wolf Mojave SG4. I have no problem setting up either by myself, but it does take me 30 mins - maybe a little bit longer with the Mojave.

Check out my post on the Outdoor Connection Weekender too. Choice claims it only takes them 10 mins to set up. But I cannot find any confirmation on that!

The other option is to go with canvast turbo type tent if you don't mind the weight.

Look forward to hearing what you end up getting and what your experiences are!

PS: I don't know why but they only seem to sell those Instant Up tents in Australia. Which makes it very hard to find reviews.
Last edited by Lin on Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Poodle Jewel » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Lin I know they are heavier but i had a Canvas tourer tent 14kg but very easy to erect, peg the floor down then a pole straight up the middle,once that was done i used to put the side poles in so i could remove the middle pole then just pull out the back.?? one room but very large inside.Look at "show us your camp site " page 15 and you will see a post by me with photos.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby xmasbaby67 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:09 pm

I'm with PJ here.... My girlfriend has the canvas tourer tent also and puts it up mostly by herself. She has her and her two girls sleep in the tent with plenty of room and the girls really don't help her much at all when she puts her's up.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Brad M » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:25 pm

OK, just thought I'd let you know which way I ended up going. I spent nearly an hour today with the sales guy and in the end I went for the Coleman Instant Up 4 man tent. The sales guy went through all the pros and cons of the tent and for what I want it seems perfect. It came down to two tents. The Coleman Overlander or the Instant Up. The Instant Up got the job because most likely I will have to put the tent up myself.

From what I discussed with the sales guy and what I've picked up myself, here's what I've found
Pros
- Easy setup and pull down. 1 person can set the entire tent up, including the fly in under 5 mins. The best I did this aftenoon was 3 mins 15 secs, from out of the bag to totally set up.
- heaps of height. Can stand up in it no worries.
- big windows on all walls
- all the zips are covered by flaps
- can have the windows open even if it's raining

Cons
- you have to make sure the tent is laid out correctly before standing it up. The sales guy said prvoided you do that every time, you'll never have any problems. If you don't lay it out correctly and try to force the tent up, you can damage the two way joints in the supports.
- the sales guy recommended a tarp or ground sheet for under the tent because the Instant Up tents don't have as strong a floor as the standard Coleman Gold Series tents.
- you can't see any view out of the three of the windows because of the way the fly is designed. This feature does allow you to keep the windows open if it rains though. You can see out the big front door/window though.
- bit of a nuisance "rolling" the tent up to put it back in the bag. Because the tent is attached to the supports you can't flatten the tent out to roll it up. You also have to remember that the tent must go back in the bag a particular way. The bag is a padded at one end to to protect the support apex where all the struts join. If you damage the apex you're in all sorts of trouble apparently.

The sales guy did say that if I had the money the Oztrail Blitz canvas tents were good value for money, or any quick erect canvas tent, but it depended on budget, frequency of use etc. He said canvas was always the best way to go if you had the money - which we don't ;-)

All up, I think I've found a good tent for me and the little bloke to go for "man trip" overnite camping adventures. He "helped" me put it up this afternoon and even with his assistance I still managed to get it done in about 5 minutes. A determined 2 year old trying to help put a fly on a 2 metre tall tent is good for a laugh.

Cheers

Brad
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby xmasbaby67 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:37 pm

That sounds great Brad....

Even though it does take a little longer with the little guy helping, the memories are well worth it. :?#

Looks like a great little tent and the price is not too steep either:

Here's some pics for those interested:

http://www.snowys.com.au/Tents-Shelters/Touring-Tents/Instant-Up-4P-Tent.aspx?c=1&sc=3&ssc=79&id=3118

Look forward to hearing how the first trip goes.... ::)
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Lin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:46 pm

I'd love to hear how you find it after your first camping trip!

If it had windows in the fly, I wouldn't hesitate. And maybe it doesn't matter at all. The set-up time is definitely very attractive. So is the weight. Though I'd probably go for the 6p as I also have a dog that takes up space and I just like having lots of room.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Brad M » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:13 pm

Hi ya all,

Just a quick one to let you know that my son and I had our first "man trip" in the Coleman Instant Up tent on the weekend. Albeit, it was only out to Pop's farm to keep Pop company while Nanna was away for the weekend and we did pitch the tent in the house yard, but it still counts as a trip in the tent. Every meal was on the bbq, so that's camping for me. The good thing was that we had a couple good showers and I'm happy to report that there were no leaks and we were able to keep the windows open the entire time during the showers. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the front vestibule bit. I had to adjust that a few times and really stretch it out as far as I could, otherwise it flapped around a bit in the wind and when the showers came we copped a bit of spray against the front door during one of the flaps. Apart from that, I am a big fan. We put our queen size air bed in there, a good sized bag and the little bloke and I were very comfy.

I'm definitely glad we got it now.

Does anyone else have small kids (2yr old) that want to climb into the tent bag when you're packing it away?

Cheers

Brad
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Poodle Jewel » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:20 pm

Sounds like a great camp,yes back yard camps count..don`t they? It`s good especially if trialing your set up i usually go to one of my brothers who have small acerage you can iron out the bugs so to speak.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Titch2 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:53 am

Great camp Brad.
Sounds like the little Bloke enjoyed it, :*** bag diving sounds like a new game.
Cheers.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:24 am

Poodle Jewel wrote:Sounds like a great camp,yes back yard camps count..don`t they? .




I agree....it definitely counts as a camping trip Brad and congratulations on a successful one.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby xmasbaby67 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:46 am

My word it definately counts especially since you got rain....that's always a sign of camping.. :*** :***

Bag diving???? Is that the new planking???? :?# :?# :?# :?#

Glad to hear it all went well. Look for to hearing about your next "man trip" :lol:
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Richard E1 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Thanks for your review. Think I might go to BCF to check out the 8 man version this weekend.
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby xmasbaby67 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:07 pm

Make sure you let us all know how it goes Richard!!!!

Tent shopping sounds like a great way to spend a day.. :?#
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Re: Advice on quick erect tents - 4 man tents

Postby Richard E1 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:49 pm

So i went to BCF in Epping, Vic today.
First up acces to this place is a pain .. severe logjam in the car park.
I was in BCF nearly half an hour and could not get any staff to stop and talk to me, only staff available were at the checkout.
After watching many videos on youtube and reading reviews I'm sure this is right for us though so have just ordered through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003QUT9OE
BCF = $500
Amazon = 312.10
I'll let you know when I get it ;)
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