Camping is a great family time, there is something very special about a campsite filled with children getting to know each other, exploring, running and having space to play outside. I can’t recommend it enough.
I am a huge advocate of camping and that the right equipment makes or breaks camping.
Earlier in the summer we camped at a festival; Camp Bestival. We have a huge family tent, it is great but bulky and heavy. Fine, if we are camping next to the car. Camp Bestival doesn’t offer that, campers have to carry kit to the campsite and then find a pitch. I like to travel light. I want to pitch and go. The tent is somewhere for sleeping. Our weekend focus was the festival.
It turned out to be the perfect festival tent, easy to carry, quick to pitch and roomie enough to be comfortable for 2 adults, one wriggly 5 year old and all our stuff for 3 nights.
This week we grabbed an opportunity of good weather, chucked the tent in the car and camped in the garden of a friends holiday let for a night. Once again the Tasman 4 proved perfect. The temperature was lower, we found the sleeping pod warm and comfortable. In the morning the tent was covered in dew and in the shade. We packed it damp and dried it the following day on the washing line, it took at most an hour.
We’ve pitched the tent 3 times. Firstly, on the local common as a test run. On first pitch my partner pitched the tent in 20 minutes. It is very straightforward with 3 colour coded poles. Even I can do it!
It can be pitched by one person, but ideally it helps to have a second person to hold one end which helps with the tension of the fabric.
The tent comes in two parts the outer shell which goes up first and an inter sleeping pod which hooks in to obvious loops within the tent. After the first pitch, knowing we’d use the tent again soon, we put it away with the inner pod still hooked in which made pitching at Camp Bestival quicker.
My son, at 5, can stand up in the tent. We can’t but that’s fine for a short camping break.
The porch is spacious and easily held a large box of some cooking equipment, food, a large bag of clothes for all weathers, a few toys and us.
The ground sheet comes up a good 3 inches and keeps everything dry in the porch.
The sleep pod measures 230 cm by 240 cm and comfortably sleeps 3, 2 adults and 1 child. (I’m about 1m 77 and Mr Noo is 1m 83) on full size sleeping mats. It is designed for 4. Four adults would be very snug, two adults and two children would be comfortable.
Weather Tec – technology and clever features to ensure you stay dry.
UV Guard – protects against the sun.
Fire Retardant – will not flare dangerously and will self-extinguish to escape in case of emergency.
Water column – a waterproof coating on the outer fabric.
The full spec is here.
We’ve been lucky with weather and not confined to the tent by rain. However, it did rain on the final Sunday night of Camp Bestival. My partner was a touch sceptical and expected the tent to leak. It didn’t and we slept soundly through a night of rain. The tent dried quickly in the morning and we were able to pack up a dry tent by 10 am. Which is a real positive, packing a wet tent isn’t ideal.
Door and Windows
The Tasman 4 has two door ways, which gives alternative entrance options when pitched. With both open it gives the porch an airy, spacious feel. Two front windows with inside covers for privacy and air vents to front and rear, which gives a through draft.
The bag weights 7.1 kg and is fairly compact. We had no issues getting it back into the bag. I’ve experienced a tent that refused to fit back into the bag it came out of (annoying).
What makes a good tent?
Size and quality do matter. This probably isn’t the tent for 2 weeks of family camping with older children. However, this tent is a great festival tent or for a short camping break. If space is of less interest or the weather is guaranteed good, you have a small car, or want to get to a campsite via a flight or public transport then this is an easy carry quality tent which offers reasonable space in the both the sleeping pod and porch.
New to camping?
The quality of the tent makes all the difference when camping, better quality tents are warmer and keep the rain out. It’s easy to be tempted by ‘cheap’ tent deals which can make for a miserable camping experience if the weather turns. Decent sized family tents are an investment buy and a family new to camping may balk at the price of a family sized tent. This tent retails about £90.
I think, the Tasman 4 makes a good starter tent. This is a perfect tent should you be considering camping and want to have a few test runs before investing in something bigger, or just want a tent for the occasional festival.
Another factor to bear in mind with tents is that a quality tent, properly aired and packed away will last for years. The Tasman 4 is a good size for children when they want to move into their own tent space.
We love the Tasman 4, having had a great summer, we are already thinking about short trips and festivals for next year and this is the tent we will be taking.
Disclosure: I was send the Coleman Tasman 4 to review. All words and opinions are my own.