Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Gelert Atlantis 5 Tent Halfords

Following on from their Camp Bestival review, here's what Gadget Dad thought of  Gelerts Atlantis 5 tent, available from Halfords.Was it easy to put up, or did they sleep out in the stars?

I am a big fan of camping in general, the getting back to nature and sleeping out in the open with only a piece of material between you and the elements has always been fun for me. Tents and putting them up though is usually the not so fun part- are they fiddly and need a degree in engineering to put up? Do they fly off in the wind while you try and find out where the 30th pole of the day goes? 

Well, it was the first time this weekend that I have ever camped with the family- I usually make do with a pop up 2 man tent. But with two toddlers and 20somethingmum coming along too, the tent needed to be a good size.

We tried out the Gelert Atlantis 5 man tent from Halfords (£129.99, currently 70% off), which has two pods, one for sleeping and one for general "campsite living".

We made the journey by rail, catching 3 trains there and back, and the tent was quite heavy to move around- it comes in a handy bag with handles, repair kit and built in ground sheets, but I did have to wheel it and our sleeping bags on a trolley. I did however expect such a large tent to be heavy though.

When we reached our camping spot, I was quite surprised that the tent had only 3 poles- even my daughters play tent has 4- but I am pleased to say that from taking it from the holdall, to putting the pegs in the ground, it took no more than ten minutes, and I practically did it by myself, even though the wind was quite strong as we were on the top of a hill and open on all sides. 

All the poles slot together easily to form 3 rigid poles, and all go through the tent easily, and are easy to place as there are raised material slots (20SomethingMum likened them to the tops of curtains). The pegs are all heavy duty metal, and all the same size, even in the hard ground we camped on they went in very easily and there weren't too many guide ropes to put in. 
The ropes themselves are cleverly glow in the dark- so we didn't experience any late night revelers falling over them whilst searching for their tent, and it made spotting ours in the sea of similar tents easy.

The bedroom area is double lined and this kept out the gales which we experienced and rain firmly outdoors, and meant the Tots slept better in the tent than they ever do at home. 

The tent also has lots of handy pockets, just right for crayons and dollies, as well as drinks and snacks to be held in. The tent is just the right height for me, and we could easily stand up with room to spare, and the living area was large enough to fit at least two camping chairs easily.

The bedroom, suitable for 5 grown adults easily could have fitted two adults and 4 small children comfortably, and when all zipped up (the doors are double lined) was warm and cosy.

Just as easy to fold down (a record at 5 minutes) the hardest part was folding it back in the bag!

A great family tent purpose built and easy enough for a first timer to put up with ease, we can definitely give it a well deserved Family Panel Thumbs Up.

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