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:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cozy House Outdoor Waterproof Four Seasons Family Camping Bell Tent with Meshed Door and Windows (Beige Cotton Canvas Tent, Diameter 3M)
  • Cover material: 285g/sqm cotton canvas with 3000mm waterproof PU coating, the tent is waterproof on its own.
  • Ground sheet material: 540g/sqm PVC
  • Center pole material: diameter 38mm x thickness 2mm galvanized steel tubes
  • Door pole material: diameter 19mm x thickness 1mm galvanized steel tubes
  • Please kindly use the cloth to cover the zipper closely in rainy day, so the rain won't leak in from the zipper around the floor.
Bestseller No. 2
Bell Tent 4 metre with stove hole & zipped in groundsheet by Bell Tent Boutique
  • Luxury bell tent with heavy duty 540gsm waterproof PVC zipped in ground sheet
  • Fireproof stove hole & Cover
  • 285g per sqm 100% natural cotton canvas
  • Spring loaded 32mm diameter metal centre pole
  • Canvas treated with UV colour fast, mould, rot & water repellent
SaleBestseller No. 3
Bell Tent 5 metre with Stove Hole by Bell Tent Boutique
  • Luxury bell tent with heavy duty 540gsm waterproof PVC zipped in ground sheet
  • 285g per sqm 100% natural cotton canvas
  • Secondary mosquito door
  • Spring loaded 32mm diameter metal centre pole
  • Canvas treated with UV colour fast, mould, rot & water repellent
SaleBestseller No. 4
Latourreg Pyramid Round Bell Tent Canvas Yurt Tent With Zipped Groundsheet For Family Outdoor Camping (Beige Canvas Tent, Diameter 4M Bell Tent)
  • Size: diameter 4m bell tent, the top height of 250 cm, side wall height of 60 cm, door high of 150cm. It is a polygonal base and can accommodate 4-5 people(can place 2 Queen size bed, or 1Queen size bed with 2 single size bed), weight of 28kg. for 1-2 person within 20-30 minutes to set up.
  • Structure: The bell tent is made of beige 285gsm cotton canvas with waterproof PU coating and heavy duty of brown 540gsm waterproof PVC as groundsheet. Premium anti-rust and galvanized steel tube for central pole and door frame provide a sturdy structural support. Soft white mesh and durable SBS zipper to keep insect out. Double sit-itching fabric and glue pressing treatment to be waterproof. Fabric should be kept interior dry when pack it.
  • Ventilation : Top air vents and zipped windows or door both come complete with white soft and high-density mesh structure design to keep biting insects out. All side walls can be rolled up to allow a cool breeze to blow through on a summer's day.
  • Space: When you place 1 double bed then it also can place small table and still have plenty of room to move around and hang out in the tent! Great for family camping, hunting, hiking, weekend camping trips, extended camping trips or remodel your house.
  • Design: This bell tent come with 1pc stove jacket on side wall, not on the top roof. When people don’t use the hole, you can cover it with canvas. Please note to cover fully the top hole when it is rainy.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Outdoor Portable Waterproof 3M Camping Pyramid Teepee Tent Pentagonal Adult Tipi Tent with Stove Hole (Brown)
  • Size: The open size is 310x310x220cm(Diagonal length of 310cm), Pentagon shape, Each Side length of 185cm. The peak height is 220cm. The tent come with the pentagonal base, it can accommodate 2 person.
  • Material: The tent is made of 300D tear resistant Oxford cloth with waterproof and anti-UV coating. The seams are sealed by PVC tape. It can resist heavy rain. The tent comes with a separate PU floor. The central pole is diameter 25mm steel pole.
  • Design: The design is a simple structure and economic tent, supported by a single central pole, and covered with the rain cap. Setting up this tent only needs a few minutes.
  • Feature: The tent come with a removable rain cap for the top of the tent, you can remove the rain cap to get better ventilation in the sunny days. And it also come with a detachable floor mat, easy to remove when don’t use it.
  • Stove hole: The chimney holes and ventilation windows on the side wall of the tent. There is a stove hole. You use the camping stove inside the tent.

Last update on 2020-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API