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Family Pole Tents

Opting for pole tents can save you a lot of money over going for an inflatable air tent and they have many advantages over air-beam tents as well.  Pole tents are cheaper for the manufacturers to make than air-beam tents and so you get more for your money.  Whilst air-beam tents have advantages such as their quicker pitching times, they do sacrifice some head height and they weigh considerably more as well as taking up more room in your car boot.  If you are on a budget and don't mind spending an extra 10 minutes pitching your tent, poles are the way to go!

Below we have picked what we believe are the best family pole tents you can buy right now.  We have scoured the internet and read through hundreds of reviews to bring you all the info you need to make the right purchase for you.  We have also provided links to where you can buy these tents as well as links to essential add-ons such a footprints and carpets.  Full disclosure, we do receive a small commission if you purchase through these links.  This does not cost you a single extra penny to buy the tent but it does allow us to continue to pull together all of these in-depth reviews and YouTube how to videos for each tent.  

Coleman Meadowood 6L Large Tent

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Coleman Meadowood 6L

The Coleman 6L Meadowood tent is a fantastic mid-priced pole tent ideal for families. It’s has a totally sealed outer layer and a sleep pod which attaches inside at the rear of the tent.

 

Reviewers loved the following

  • Good sized tent that easily accommodates a family of 6.

  • Two entrances, main at the front and one on the side.

  • Outer porch saves the need for a gazebo and provides cover from the rain when cooking and the porch is an ideal place for kids muddy boots!

  • Sleeping area has removeable walls so you can have it either as one large sleeping area or split it into three.  This is ideal if you have young children.

  • Multiple entrances to the sleeping area so that people don’t have to climb over each other.

  • Sleeping area is blacked out so you don’t get woken by the blazing sun at 5am!

  • Large windows all around the living area which can be closed over for privacy if required.

  • Ample headroom for most so you can stand up straight inside (210cm in middle of living area tapering to 200cm at the sleeping area)

  • Electrical access zips for hooking up to site power.

 

Reviewers had some minor criticisms

  • Requires two people to put up the tent.

  • Not easy to get back in the bag when taking down. 

 

Water Proofness

The tent states it has 4000mm of hydrostatic head which should keep the inside of the tent dry even in the harshest of conditions.  Certainly there were no negative reviews with regards to this.  In addition the flysheet has an SPF of 50 which should keep the sun at bay and protect the little ones and adults alike.

 

Pitching the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent

Most reviewers commented that this tent is very straight forward to put up thanks to its colour coded poles.  Once the poles are all inserted it is simply a case of pegging it out.  The sleeping pod area is already attached inside but can be taken off for drying / cleaning if required.  Check out the video below to see how the tent is pitched.

Taking the Coleman Meadowood 6L Tent Down

Simply the reverse of putting it up and very quick.  As mentioned some reviewers do struggle to get the tent back into the carry bag.  When packed away the bag measures 75 x 39 x 39 cm and weighs 25.8kg.

Sleeping Area

The Coleman Meadowood 6L can comfortably fit 3 double air beds into the sleeping area.  The area can be divided into three separate bedrooms by clipping up removeable fabric walls.  These do not zip so don’t give complete privacy from adjoining bedrooms, not that it really matters when you are camping!

The blackout lining claims to block 99% of light, however, reviewers state that it does let a very small amount of light through though not enough to cause any annoyance when sleeping.  One really nice feature of this tent which kids find particularly comforting is it has glow in the dark zips, very useful to have when your toddler needs the toilet in the middle of the night!

 

Ventilation

The main entrance can be unzipped so that only the fine insect net layer is left.  This coupled with closable flaps on the sides of the tent give more than adequate ventilation when needed.

 

Storage

There are pockets sewn into the outside of the sleeping area which are great for storing things like clothes, toys etc but there are also pockets on the inside of the sleeping area, really handy for mobile phones, glasses etc.

 

Accessories

In our view purchasing a footprint and carpet for this tent is a must.  The footprint will keep the tent clean and make it last longer, think of the footprint as an extra groundsheet to protect the tent and also means the porch floor will be covered.  From experience, the carpet really does make the tent feel like a home from home and adds a really cosy feel.  Links to where you can purchase them below.

 

Our Verdict

This a really solid mid range pole tent that is perfect for large families or even just couples who want loads of space.  It is well built, well designed and will undoubtedly provide many years of family camping fun.  Highly recommended.

OLPRO Wichenford 8 Person Pole Tent

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Overview

 

This OLPRO Wichenford 8 Berth Family Camping Tunnel Tent is a huge tunnel shaped tent with two separate sleeping areas within the shell tent. It has been on the market for several years which tells you that it must sell well and customers recommend it.  It has been continually improved, so this is the version 3. 

Reviewers loved the following

  • There is so much room inside this tent, two separate bedroom areas, 5 rooms in total and a huge living space.  The tent can also be used without the inner bedroom tents resulting in an absolutely huge space!

  • The entire tent has a heavy duty fully sewn in ground sheet, this coupled with a very high water proof rating means it will be able to deal with the UK weather with ease and avoid trampling mud everywhere.  Even the bedroom area tents have fully waterproof sewn in floors giving double rain protection.

  • 2 access doors, 1 of which allows you to convert it to a side awning giving even more space!

  • Very handy electrical access zips for hooking up to site power.

  • Very high head height at 210cm so even the tallest of people wont have to duck!

 

Reviewers had some minor criticisms

  • Poles have to be handled delicately to avoid damage.

  • Packed tent bag is heavy at 28kg.

 

Water Proof Rating

The tent states it has 5000mm of hydrostatic head which is very impressive and should keep the inside of the tent dry even in the harshest of conditions.  We could only find 1 review that mentioned any water ingress so it would appear that owners are overall very happy with the water protection.

 

Pitching the OLPRO Wichenford 8 Berth

As with all pole tents of this size you really need two people to pitch it.  That being said, the YouTube link below shows how easy it is to pitch.  The sleeping areas are already attached inside but can be taken off for drying / cleaning if required

 

Taking the OLPRO Wichenford 8 Berth down

Simply the reverse of putting it up and very quick.  There were no reported issues getting the folded tent back in the bag.  The packed bag dimensions are 70 x 40 x 40cm with a weight of 28kg which is on the heavy side but very reasonable given the shear size of this tent.

 

Sleeping Area

There are two sleeping areas at opposite ends of the tent, each with its own dividing curtain.  This is perfect for two couples camping wishing some extra privacy.  The dividing curtains can be removed so there are a number of different layouts you can experiment with to suit your needs.  The sleeping areas are large enough that you can fit a queen sized mattress in each!

 

Ventilation

Ventilation is definitely not a problem with this tent which has no fewer than 6 vent flaps!  In addition each door can be unzipped down to the insect mesh screen.

 

Storage

There are pockets sewn into the outside of the sleeping area which are great for storing things like clothes, toys etc.  Conveniently there is a an electrical cable access point for site hook-up and a lantern holder on the ceiling.

 

Accessories

A footprint and carpet are a good idea for any tent, the OLPRO being no exception.  The footprint will keep the tent clean and make it last longer, think of the footprint as an extra groundsheet to protect the tent and also means the porch floor will be covered.  From experience, the carpet really does make the tent feel like a home from home and adds a really cosy feel.  Links to where you can purchase them here.

 

Our Verdict

For a mid range 8 berth tent the OLPRO Wichenford is fantastic value.  It is absolutely huge at 7m x 3m so ideal for big families at a budget price.

Vango Casa Lux

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Overview

The Vango Casa Lux is a family sized 7-person tent. It has a unique porch area which is half covered and half open and features very large bedrooms with black-out lining and a fully sealed, sewn in groundsheet. 4000mm hydrostatic head and Vangos ‘TBS II’ Tension Band System. The tents total footprint including porch areas comes in at 7.25 x 4.5 metres.

 

Reviewers loved the following

  • Fantastic size for the price, incredibly roomy and high head-height throughout.

  • Very sturdy and built to last.  Handles high winds with ease thanks to Vango’s TBS II tension band system.

  • The unique partially enclosed front porch is really practical and can be used as a changing area to get out of muddy boots / clothes before hopping in the tent.  It is also the perfect place to cook, affording shelter from the rain but ensuring cooking smells can escape easily.

  • Nice large windows making the tent feel light.

  • Huge sleeping area that can be split 50 / 50, 70 / 30 or left as one big space.

 

Reviewers had some minor criticisms

  • Could do with more storage pockets in living area.

  • No flynets on side door but does have one on the main.

 

Water Proof Rating

The tent states it has 4000mm of hydrostatic head which is on the high side.  There have been no reported water ingress issues across the reviews we read.

 

Pitching the Vango Casa Lux

There are 5 light-weight, strong fibreglass ‘Powerflex ‘poles, flysheet with sewn in groundsheet and a separate groundsheet for the covered element of the porch which is attached using toggles. Pitching is reportedly straightforward taking less than an hour with two people.  Two people are required to pitch the tent.  The sleeping pod is already attached inside the tent which saves time, although this can be removed for cleaning / drying.  The YouTube video below shows how easy it is to pitch this tent.

Taking the Vango Casa Lux down

Simply the reverse of putting it up and very quick.  There are no reported difficulties getting the tent back into the storage bag.  The packed bag measures 24cm x 24cm x 78cm and weights a considerable 30kg.

 

Sleeping Area

The Vango Casa Lux sleeping area can be divided into two separate bedrooms by clipping up a removeable fabric curtain.  Layout options include completely open for one massive bedroom or a 50/ 50 or 70 / 30 split.

The sleeping area is darkened but is not a complete blackout. 

 

Ventilation

There are 6 ventilations flaps situated around the tent with a very large one towards the rear.  This tent has absolutely no ventilation problems.

 

Storage

There are pockets sewn into the outside of the sleeping area which are great for storing things like clothes, toys etc but there are also pockets on the inside of the sleeping area, really handy for mobile phones, glasses etc.

 

Accessories

There are carpets and footprints available for this tent.  Links at end of article.

 

Our Verdict

This is a lot of tent for the money and comes with the quality assured from a brand like Vango. 

Vango Longleat II 800XL

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