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
4M Bell Tent Lite
  • 4M bell Tent lite
  • A lightweight alternative to Canvas
  • 14.2kg total weight
  • Ideal for Camping and Glamping
Bestseller No. 2
4m Fire Retardant Bell tent with Stove Hole 100% 320gsm Cotton Canvas Family Tent Camping Tent Glamping Tent
  • TENT - 100% Fire Retardant Cotton Canvas, 320gsm, With stove hole in second panel for stove with top exit flue, Plus stove hole flap to cover hole when stove not in use, Treated with rot, mould & water repellent & fire retardant to BS7837:1996, With strong wooden handled rubber mallet
  • FLOOR - Heavy duty 540gsm waterproof PVC groundsheet, Zipped in floor to roll up the sides on a warm day, Bucket style groundsheet to avoid water running in, Strong ABS zips
  • INSIDE - Fly screens at all doors, windows and vents, Internal fixings for an inner tent, Pockets round the side, Hook on central pole to hang lightweight items
  • POLES - Spring loaded metal poles for extra strength, Extra long door spike for easy awning attachment, 2 rain caps included - they get lost easily
  • PEGS & GUYS - Extra strong, grooved steel pegs, Extra set pegs for skirt, Toggles around tent for storage of guys after use, prevents tangling & dirt on tent, Durable metal sliders, much stronger than plastic and easier to slide, Florescent guys, easy to see in the dark
Bestseller No. 3
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. 4
glamcamp Luxury 4M Bell Tent (An Extra Waterproof Protector Included) 100% Cotton Canvas Tent with Heavy-duty Sew-in Groundsheet for All Seasons Glamping
  • 【Spacious Space】: With diameter 13.1ft(4M)/door height 5ft(1.5m)/top height 8.2ft(2.5m)/side wall 23.6in(60cm),you're able to fit a queen bed and two blow-up mattresses, the bell tent still has plenty of room to walk around.
  • 【High-quality Material】 : Due to 100% Cotton canvas(waterproof & fire retardant),the bell tent can withstand the heavy rain/wind even the snow.
  • 【A Big Door】 : With door height 5ft(1.5m),you're able to move your gear in and out easily.The door with mesh screen allow you to open it to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the breeze in hotter days and avoiding the mosquitos and bugs.
  • 【Easy to Assemble】 : Detailed instruction could help you,usually the bell tent can be set up within 20 min. Put your tent into position, fix the stakes around the edge ,slot in the central pole and the A-frame door pole, , tighten the ropes ,hammer your pegs and your bell tent is ready to go!
  • 【Complete Accessories】: An extra waterproof protector as the last picture showed /24 stakes of two types /12 adjustable ropes/ a mallet and so on are all provided in the waterproof canvas bag.
Bestseller No. 5
5m Bell Tent Zipped in Groundsheet 100% Cotton Canvas Family Glamping Garden Camping Tent (Sand)
  • TENT - 100% Cotton Canvas, 285gsm, Treated with rot, mould & water repellent, With strong wooden handled rubber mallet
  • FLOOR - Heavy duty 540gsm waterproof PVC groundsheet, Zipped in floor to roll up the sides on a warm day, Bucket style groundsheet to avoid water running in, Strong ABS zips
  • INSIDE - Fly screens at all doors, windows and vents, Internal fixings for an inner tent, Hook on central pole to hang lightweight items, Pockets round the side
  • POLES - Spring loaded metal poles for extra strength, Extra long door spike for easy awning attachment 2 rain caps included - they get lost easily
  • PEGS & GUYS - Extra strong, grooved steel pegs, Extra set pegs for skirt, Toggles around tent for storage of guys, prevents tangling & dirt on tent, Durable metal sliders, much stronger than plastic and easier to slide, Florescent guys, easy to see in the dark

 

Last update on 2021-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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