Value for Money
Argos Value dome
Kampa Mersea three-person
Gelert Quick-Pitch two-person
Regatta two-person pop-up
ARGOS TWO-PERSON DOME €12.99
We love the price of this tent, not least because we get it at the sale price (although even at its full price of €17.49, it’s pretty cheap). It is not, however, the kind of tent you would want if you were trekking in the Himalayas, or even spending a week on a windswept beach campsite in Courttown, as it is small and a bit flimsy, and we are not entirely convinced it would cope well with a few hours of driving rain. It is easy to put up, however, and the kind of thing you could buy for a festival and then dispose of – in an environmentally friendly fashion, of course – without feeling too bad about it.
Verdict: Cheap but short-term.
Star rating: ***
REGATTA TWO-PERSON POP-UP €34.99
We’d have felt very hard-done-by if we had bought this at the full price of €70, but, when we happen upon it in Argos, it is selling for the far more reasonable price of €34.99. It is the easiest of the tents to put up and we are good to go within about three minutes. It is just 95cm from groundsheet to roof, and fairly narrow, so you might feel claustrophobic, but it’s not as if you will be spending too much time hanging around in this kind of tent. It weighs 1.75kg, which makes it slightly heavier than the Argos rival, but we reckon we would get more than one summer out of it. While putting it up is simple, getting it to fold down neatly was beyond us.
Verdict: Handy and good value at this price.
Star rating: ****
KAMPA MERSEA THREE-PERSON €179
This is a serious tent, and one you could use for a weekend away or a month in an exotic campsite. It is pleasingly spacious, and a fairly short adult – of no more than 1½ metres – will be able to stand in it without bending. It will sleep three at a pinch, although not three big people. We like the clip-in ground-sheet system, which allows us to create a front porch, and the mechanism for rolling up the front door creates a sense of spaciousness. It also has two side-door pockets and cute windows. It is more than 10 times the price of the cheapest tent, but it is probably 10 times more practical and will last 10 times longer.
Verdict: A hardcore option.
Star rating: ****
GELERT QUICK PITCH TWO-PERSON £25.99
We find this pop-up tent on Amazon, and it has a couple of things going for it. It looks funky and would be easy to identify at five in the morning if you found yourself stumbling tired and emotional through a field of green and grey tents. It is also very easy to put up – and handily – take down. It comes with three air vents and a sewn in groundsheet so you will be able to breath and are unlikely to get washed out of it although it is cramped and you will have to pay postage, which makes it less attractive.
Verdict: Hassle-free to put up but not to buy.
Star rating: **