Camping with our Bell Tent – Why we Love it

Camping with our Bell Tent – Why we Love it

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When Jason, Finlay and I first dipped our toes into camping in the UK, I never imagined we’d end up with a Bell Tent of our own.

Our first few experiences of camping were with borrowed gear. This was to help us decide whether camping was right for us before spending a lot of money on kit. During those first few expeditions, we experienced lows (rain, cold, mist, puddles inside the tent) and highs (beautiful locations, relaxing family time, lots of laughs with friends). We decided the good experiences outweighed the bad and we were in – camping was for us!




The first decision – what sort of tent?

Our number one priority for our tent was that it had to be easy to put up and pull down. It also had to be stable, particularly in windy conditions.  So the research began.

I spent a lot of time trawling websites and camping forums, looking at the pros and cons of various types of tents. All roads led to a Bell Tent. Jason needed a bit of convincing initially, but once presented with the evidence, he agreed a Bell Tent was right for us.

There are quite a few options when it comes to buying a Bell Tent. We decided to purchase ours from Blacks of Greenock, a Scottish company with a reputation for high-quality products and great service.

We decided on a 4-metre Solace I tent, and also purchased a Solace Canopy for a bit of extra space, protected from the rain (or sun).

Solace I Bell Tent with Canopy

We’ve only had our tent for a short time, and so far have been camping with it four times (as well as a few extra times it’s been put up in the garden).  I’m happy to report, that so far it’s been a success!

Why we love our Bell Tent
  1. It is indeed, very easy to put up, and pull down. Now we are practised, it can easily go up in 10-15 minutes and come down even quicker. It can even be put up by Jason on his own.
  2. It copes well with the wind. We haven’t camped in very extreme conditions yet, but we did camp over Easter which was very cold (and windy), and it felt strong and stable.
  3. It feels great being inside it. It feels light and airy, and at the same time wonderfully cosy sleeping under canvas.
  4. Those simple good looks. There’s no denying it’s a nice looking tent, and it puts a smile on my face whenever I see it 🙂
Any drawbacks?

So far we’ve only come across one drawback. As it’s made of heavy-duty canvas (one of the reasons we love it) it takes longer to dry than polyester tents. In Scotland, that is a slight drawback, as every camping trip we’ve been it has rained at some point. A tent should never be stored wet, so on several occasions after returning home we’ve set it up in the garden to dry it completely, before packing it away. Luckily, it is very quick and easy to put up (see point 1!)

It’s also worth noting that it’s quite heavy to carry, so is suitable really only for car camping, not backpacking!

As we head out on more camping trips we’ll report back on any other pros and cons we encounter.

Solace I Bell Tent

Do you have a Bell Tent? What are your thoughts?

If you are thinking of getting one, feel free to ask any questions. We’ll do our best to answer from our experience so far.

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Solice I Bell Tent and canopy




There is an increasingly wide variety of bell tents available to purchase. Here are some of the bestsellers on Amazon:

Bestseller No. 1
Andes 5m 100% Cotton Canvas Bell Tent With Heavy Duty Zipped In Groundsheet, Camping, Glamping, Festival, Luxury Teepee
  • High quality, heavy duty, 100% double stitched cotton canvas (285gsm) Andes bell tent - The perfect tent for a more luxurious camping experience
  • 540gsm groundsheet with groundsheet entrance flap. Heavy duty pegs and heavy duty spring loaded pole. Chunky wooden guy rope sliders also included
  • Mosquito netting door entrance and windows. Internal fittings for an inner tent and power cord access provided. Matching canvas storage bag also provided
  • Full pitching guide and instructions included. Please see description for more details
  • Diameter - 500cm (16'4"). Internal Height at Centre - 300cm (9'10"). A-Frame Entrance Height - 170cm (5'7"). Side Wall Height - 60cm (2'). Total Weight - 30kg. Central Pole Diameter - 32mm
Bestseller No. 2
Andes 3m 100% Cotton Canvas Bell Tent With Heavy Duty Zipped In Groundsheet, Camping, Glamping, Festival, Luxury Teepee
  • High quality, heavy duty Andes bell tent - The perfect tent for a more luxurious camping experience
  • Diameter: 300cm. Internal height at centre: 200cm. Side wall height: 57cm
  • Quick and easy to pitch – You can have your bell tent up and ready for use in under 20 minutes (full instructions provided)
  • The strong, sturdy centre pole has a suction cap on each end for great stability and the robust A-frame provides the unique bell tent shape. The heavy duty pegs, thick guylines and chunky wooden sliders pull the tent tight to ensure your tent remains robust and sturdy
  • 3 air vents at the top of the tent provide good ventilation. A small rain cap is provided to sit on top of the A-frame to ensure no leaks. A handy hanging hook is provided on the centre pole to enable tent lights to be used
Bestseller No. 4
SAFACUS Teepee Tent for Adults 5-6 Person Family Camping Tent, Two doors with Double layer Party Tipi Tent,12' x 12' Tower Post Bell Tent for Family Vacation
  • 【Double Doors】: Zipper door with double layers can be best for ventilation, waterproof rainfly can keep the tent dry.
  • 【Rainfly Material】: 68D / 190T fabric, PU 2000mm.
  • 【Sight Window】: You can enjoy the scenery by 4 big PVC windows, each window with a curtain.
  • 【Total Size】: 360 x 360 x 250 cm
  • 【Total Weight】: 7 KG , Package size: 22 x 22 x 63 cm
Bestseller No. 5
Andes 4m 100% Cotton Canvas Bell Tent With Heavy Duty SIG Groundsheet
  • High quality, heavy duty Andes bell tent with sewn in groundsheet (SIG) - The perfect tent for a more luxurious camping experience
  • Diameter - 400cm (13'1"). Internal Height at Centre - 250cm (8'2"). A-Frame Entrance Height - 160cm (5'2"). Side Wall Height - 60cm (2')
  • Quick and easy to pitch - You can have your bell tent up and ready for use in under 20 minutes (full instructions provided)
  • The strong, sturdy centre pole has a suction cap on each end for great stability and the robust A-frame provides the unique bell tent shape. The heavy duty pegs, thick guylines and chunky wooden sliders pull the tent tight to ensure your tent remains
  • 3 air vents at the top of the tent provide good ventilation. A small rain cap is provided to sit on top of the A-frame to ensure no leaks. A handy hanging hook is provided on the centre pole to enable tent lights to be used

 

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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