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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

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Author
Family tents - how big is too big?
martym
4/04/2014
10:18:57 PM
So at Xmas, we put up our "bigger" hiking tent (4kg!) next to our friend's minarets and various other flys etc. (no one else had kids)
Wandering around we noticed all the other families and actually most other campers had these massive Taj Mahal's with ensuite showers and stables...

So now my wife has said - if we're going to go camping with two babies; we need a bigger tent.
Here's my question to anyone who has a big arse tent:

Is a low ceiling a major pain in the arse?

The Blackwolf Mojave seems to get the best reviews, but the vestibule (where you'd actually spend most time standing up) is just 175cm high at it's highest.
No problem for the littleuns, but I don't want stoop the whole time I'm in the tent... I can do that in my Coleman!
Thoughts?

Miguel75
4/04/2014
11:51:19 PM
We usually spend 2.5 weeks over the Christmas holidays in one of these;

http://www.tentworld.com.au/products/tents/item/oztrail-elite-villa-dome-tent.aspx

I don't like low ceilings. I'm 6'2 and have no problems with headroom when standing up in the tent listed above. The kids have their own wing, we have the opposite wing and the middle is for camp wardrobes and visiting PhillipIvan's...

It's big when packed up (~30kg) though is very spacious for the four of us for the few weeks of "family fun."

JamesMc
5/04/2014
7:41:48 AM
We made the mistake of buying a taj mahal when the first baby came along. It might be OK for camping once a year but was a serious hastle to pitch and also to dry out back at home. Over the years, we updated to smaller and smaller tents, eventually ending up with a two person tent for the boys and a two person tent for the grownups. Plus a fly to live under for extended camps, but didn't use that often. If you want sleep with the baby, a 3 or 4 person dome is probably the best option.

deadbudgy
5/04/2014
8:15:32 AM
It's not the size that counts. It's how you pitch it

Sabu
5/04/2014
9:11:22 AM
We used to own a taj mahal for some strange reason. The worst tent in the world. Period. Such a pain to put up and take down even with multiple people and it takes a huge amount of room in the car. They're also useless in high winds and cave in faster than a gym junkie on a trad route.
Paul
5/04/2014
9:34:19 AM
I use the Macpac Wanaka for car camping, heaps of room, can sleep 8. I can stand up in it and i am 6'2". It doesn't bend in half in strong winds like a lot of large dome tents. I can set it up or pack it up in about 5 minutes.
I would highly recommend it.

http://www.macpac.com.au/mwc-deals/all-macpac-tents/wanaka-camping-tent.html

pedro.c
5/04/2014
5:09:46 PM
We've had similar experiences to JamesMc. We've owned a few of the larger family tents and had them shirt themselves in high winds in unlikely places e.g. Nowra Ski park, Scotts Head Caravan Park

We were camped at Thredbo Diggings, in busy school holidays in Gale force winds. The only Taj Mahal still standing in the morning was one of those big canvas fortresses with lots of guy ropes. The four of us were in a couple of 2-3 man tents, nothing flash but they remained upright.

Wendy
5/04/2014
5:21:52 PM
I love my taj mahals. They have both been cheap and nasty, but they have also both been fine at Buffalo, Frog, Moonarie, Gramps, Nowra, assorted beaches. They are the dome with tunnel extension type. Really not that tedious to put up - 10mins at the most, although they are pretty bulky. Only about 12kg though, don't know what Mike is lugging around for 30kg. I think these were meant to be 6 or 9 people, and are big enough for normal people to stand in although somehow we fill it with 2 people, a futon, climbing gear, clothes and food. I figure if it's car camping, why not by luxurious? If it's going to be windy, bung in a truck load of guy ropes, they seem to come with a ridiculous quantity of them. They have also withstood complete downpours without leaking. Eventually the zip went on the first one, plus I had to sew up the holes the dog made trying to get out of it.

BoulderBaby
5/04/2014
6:15:30 PM
look at a TNF bedrock 4 or 6.
the 4 person is 5kg. And the 6 person is huuuuuge.
martym
5/04/2014
10:17:44 PM
Thanks for sharing all the stories! I'm more confused now than before I asked.. maybe a good thing.
I was at Dunphy's Campground in the Blue Mountains last year and watched at least 5 Taj's crumple & several fibreglass poles snap. That said, a lot of the poorly pegged hiker tents ended up in trees!
I guess with our girls as little as they are, we will probably bail at the first sight of bad weather...

Since we'll be travelling with toddlers for the next few years, the enclosed playroom space is most important, and I guess having it conveniently connected to the sleeping area so we can just toss them out there and snooze for a bit is appealing...
jono_1
6/04/2014
5:45:53 AM
We were given a 40 year old Primus brand canvas taj mahal. It ways about 40kg, is a pain to setup especially just one person. But it is great for for our family and great in the rain. It will stand up in just about any wind not like crappy Kathmandu or Anaconda tents.

We are now looking for a lighter, easier to pitch tent and the Macpac Wanaka looks good.
Paul
6/04/2014
8:21:08 AM
On 6/04/2014 jono_1 wrote:
>We were given a 40 year old Primus brand canvas taj mahal. It ways about
>40kg, is a pain to setup especially just one person. But it is great for
>for our family and great in the rain. It will stand up in just about any
>wind not like crappy Kathmandu or Anaconda tents.
>
>We are now looking for a lighter, easier to pitch tent and the Macpac
>Wanaka looks good.

The wanaka also has sturdy aluminium poles which don't bend or snap easily like those fibreglass ones, they are about twice the thickness of those in my hiking tents. The storage bag for the tent is also way bigger than needed so packing up is always easy.
rolsen1
6/04/2014
8:29:33 AM
Another vote for taj mahals. I have a 9 person cheapo, plenty of room for myself and three kids, my wife doesn't do camping. I can put it and take it down easily by myself in about 15 minutes...
Paul
6/04/2014
9:41:09 AM
Any votes for setting up alpine mountaineering tents with about 50 million guy ropes for everyone who walks through the camp ground to trip over? Last Araps trip i saw one with extended guy ropes going out about 7 foot from the tent.

dr box
6/04/2014
2:46:17 PM
I've got a big Canvas castle that i want to get rid of.
It was my family tent when i was growing up. So its pink green and beige (gotta love the 90s)
Its in good nik, not too hard to set up once you know how.
easy to stand in, sleeps 4
Has had a few nights at the Pines
Anyone?

phillipivan
Online Now
6/04/2014
3:28:26 PM
On 4/04/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>We usually spend 2.5 weeks over the Christmas holidays in one of these;
>
>http://www.tentworld.com.au/products/tents/item/oztrail-elite-villa-dome-tent.aspx
>
>I don't like low ceilings. I'm 6'2 and have no problems with headroom
>when standing up in the tent listed above. The kids have their own wing,
>we have the opposite wing and the middle is for camp wardrobes and visiting
>PhillipIvan's...
>

It was pretty eye opening to see a tent with a foyer large enough for me to comfortably sleep in, without appreciably taking up any space whatsoever in. I could set up my tent at least four times over in that monster.

There are 16 messages in this topic.

 

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