Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

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radek
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Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby radek » 24 May 2018, 10:12pm

Could we please get some recommendations for a family tent to be used for 2 adults and 1 child? We also need a sleeping bag and a mat for the child. We do not want to spend a lot of money :D but we want to have enough room inside to feel comfortable. I am the longest 6f2 tall. Any advice would be appreciated. We are based in Scotland and are planning to cycle next month.

crazydave789
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby crazydave789 » 24 May 2018, 11:03pm

wild country aspect three is a good size and value while not that much weight. plenty of room for people and kit. it's a squared off tunnel type tent.

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/tents/p/Wil ... ect-3/1978

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wild-Country ... Swn1ta6Ipa

we've got a bigger wild country and they are tough and well made.

a 3/4 mat either inflatable or just cut down/double up a foam one,

for a sleeping bag at this time of year any will do. you can use an adult bag and fold it in half under the child as it is ground insulation that counts. tesco asda etc.. will be stocking up for summer, aldi had some lightweight bags in that will do 2 seasons.

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pjclinch
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby pjclinch » 25 May 2018, 8:25am

For tents I'd mainly recommend having a test crawl around pitched examples as that says more about "I can live in this for a few days" than any amount of other people's preferences.
As well as outdoor shops, popular campsites are good places to look around, and ask people if you can have a look.
So many things are down to personal preference: how much space needed when pitched, how bulky/heavy when packed, one door or two, how much porch space, ease of pitch, inner first, outer first, all in one pitch, colour etc. etc.

You can get junior size sleeping bags (I think the first ones ours had were Blacks) which are physically smaller and consequently cheaper, which is good. If you get/borrow a bigger one you might use a belt to tie off the bottom which makes it more efficient, if the folding-under suggestion doesn't work for some reason.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

hamster
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby hamster » 25 May 2018, 11:59am

I'd second the Wild Country recommendation.
Our family tent is a Wild Country Monsoon, sleeps 4, very comfortable with 2 adults and 2 kids. Ours has lasted 14 years with no visible signs of ageing yet. We've also got a Terra Nova Voyager (second one, replacing the first one which we wore out after 25 years) and now also a Zephyros 2.

I see that they have a Hoolie 3 man on offer (second) at present for £120. https://www.terra-nova.co.uk/sale/tent- ... nt-second/

radek
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby radek » 25 May 2018, 12:59pm

Thanks a lot - Terra nova looks indeed the best for our needs! I am surprised that I did not looked at this company...

Wild Country Aspect 3 looks very practical, but after checking the measurements I am worried that the sleeping area may be a bit tight for us. Aspect is 3.30 KG and Hoolie 4 are almost the same weight. Hoolie 3 also looks OK size and is even more light then the aforementioned, but I am debating weather it would be better to buy Hoolie 4 (I found it for £130)??? I think that having space inside is more important to us. I can imagine that if it rains we will appreciate having more room for the 4 year old to bouncy around. I will have a 3.3 snugpak trap for covering bicycles and weehoo turbo, and empty panniers so storage space is not that important. I do not think that someone will come at night to take our panniers from under the tarp :lol:

Thanks for the recommendations for the sleeping mat and bag. Now I am thinking about cutting my foam multimat and using my old vango latitude 300 sleeping bag folded under the child. 4 year old does not need a pillow - she has been sleeping without one since she was born. Only problem is that the vango latitude 300 is bulky and heavy....

I have been thinking ! ... about zipping together my Rab Ascent 700 XL with wifes Ascent 500. Then the child could sleep in the middle. Both sleeping bags are quite warm and possibly an overkill for the time of the year, hence even if we get air entering from the top we may still be warm. If it is too hot we can always use the bags as a cover.

This will be the first bicycle camping experience for my wife and child. I want to make sure that they are warm and conformable...

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pjclinch
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby pjclinch » 26 May 2018, 7:45am

With the Hoolie (or similar), consider the extended porch designs (ETC in Wild Country/TN ranges). They give you a lot of extra useful space and make cooking and divesting rain jackets etc. in poor weather substantially easier. In poor weather it's important to keep the inner pristine and having a decent sized "quarantine zone" helps with this.

Zipping together a couple of Mummy bags for all 3... well, give it a try out at home but I suspect it may not really be a goer. Technical bags tend to feature relatively little wiggle room as that's thermally inefficient and adds to weight and bulk, so especially if anyone concerned likes moving around at all it wouldn't be my idea of a comfortable night (my wife and I will zip our bags together for a snuggle, but when it comes time for a good night's sleep we'll usually unzip).
You also run in to mat issues with the child at the join. There are "couples kits", straps which hold mats together so you don't get them drifting apart, but the working idea is effectively a mat each.

Try out combinations before you go though, including the tried and trusted camping in the garden (borrow a friend's if you don't have one) and if you've a big enough room, inside (tent can still go back if it's only been pitched inside).

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

bretonbikes
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby bretonbikes » 28 May 2018, 1:24pm

May be a bit left-field but in my experience the best bags for kids are full sized adult bags. For a given budget you get better quality than a child's bag (which tend to be bulky with cheaper filling). What you do it turn them 1/2 inside-out if you know what I mean, so that the bag becomes about 3 foot long but is double layered so extremely warm. It means you have an adult bag as they grow up and it's all much more flexible. It's what we've supplied to our customers after we found child-specific bags weighed 1/2 as much again as the adult ones...

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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby Vorpal » 28 May 2018, 2:40pm

The simplest solution for warm is to get a couple of rectangular bags or camping duvets and use (or zip) them together for the whole family to sleep in. That's what I did with my kids when they were small.

I have two 2/3 person tents that I currently use. One is a Vango Spectre 300 (which is no longer made, but similar to the Banshee). The other is a Helsport.

The Vango, I bought it used off this forum & have been reasonably happy with it. We've never been wet in some pretty bad weather. We have had a little condensation a few times, which could be problematic with continuous wet weather. Size and layout are ideal for the sort of camping you describe, and I have mainly used it camping with my kids (who are now 12 &9).

The Helsport is a two person tent (I think it's a Fjellheim, but I'm not sure about that). I love it. It weighs half as much, even though it's 2/3rds the size), it goes up more easily, and the fabric seems more durable. I would have said that the HelSport was not ventilated as well as the Vango, but we've never had any condensation in it. The poles are better, on the HelSport, too. We have a couple of slightly bent poles on the Vango, though they don't seem to affect the structure.

I have woken up cold a couple of times in the Vango. I have never woken up cold in the Helsport. It seems to hold body heat better. The only disadvantage of the HelSport is that it is hotter on a warm summer day. I don't spend much time in it on a warm sunny day, so that doesn't bother me particularly. It could be a significant disadvantage to someone who likes to have lay-ins

If I were buying a new tent, I'd get another Helsport.

They are pricey; I think pjclinch has referred to them as the 'Norwegian Hilleberg' to give you some idea. A few companies sell them in the UK. I've dealt a couple of times with their UK distributor, Tamarack Outdoors, and had good, friendly service from them.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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pjclinch
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby pjclinch » 29 May 2018, 4:17pm

Vorpal wrote:If I were buying a new tent, I'd get another Helsport.

They are pricey; I think pjclinch has referred to them as the 'Norwegian Hilleberg' to give you some idea. A few companies sell them in the UK. I've dealt a couple of times with their UK distributor, Tamarack Outdoors, and had good, friendly service from them.


I can't remember if it was me that said that, but I'd say a fair comment.

Helsports and Hillebergs are famously wallet-shredding, but there are people who think they're worth it (Vorpal and myself, for starters). However, much as I think the Kaitum 3 I have is the badger's nadgers and would probably suit your purposes very well, it's probably not a good idea unless you either have more money than you know what to do with and/or are very sure you want a long term camping investment in that quite particular format.

All the money goes on tangible stuff, but unless that particular stuff is relevant to you it's not worth paying for. One also has to remember that even money-no-object stuff like this is a compromise because no tent is the perfect combination of size (pitched), size (packed), weight, bulk, strength, ease of pitching, headroom, porch space etc. etc. If you can afford these don't write them off, but do think carefully whether you're at the point of being sure that's what you really want. One thing if you do get one and decide it's not for you is the resale values are good...

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Vorpal
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby Vorpal » 29 May 2018, 9:46pm

I agree with that assessment. If the main objective is just to be reasonably comfortable for a couple of trips per year, and needs are likely to change anyway with a child growing, most people are probably better off spending rather less money.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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MrsHJ
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby MrsHJ » 2 Jun 2018, 12:02am

radek wrote:Could we please get some recommendations for a family tent to be used for 2 adults and 1 child? We also need a sleeping bag and a mat for the child. We do not want to spend a lot of money :D but we want to have enough room inside to feel comfortable. I am the longest 6f2 tall. Any advice would be appreciated. We are based in Scotland and are planning to cycle next month.


We got our kids decathlon inflatable sleeping mats and they are fine. However they all (including him in doors) want my thermarest neo air.

For tents there are plenty of options-I'd go for a lightweight but not ultralight 4 person tent. mSR do one in their hubba hubba range and so do Big Agnes in their copper spur. No particular preference for US brands except that i was planning to get one of these two when I was out in Denver last summer. Having said that it depends on your likely usage-we are totally summer campers so the US tents work fine for us as they have fly sheets that don't go all the way to the ground and mesh interiors. I also got an MSR so it's freestanding for when I eventually do the transam-not needed in Europe.

With cash constraints a lot of the camp shop own brands are fine. You probably won't be cycling huge distances anyway with a 4 year old so a little more weight will be ok. I hate to mention the obvious but the tent has to fit on the bike somewhere if you are touring. Our Coleman is a cheap one we got when needing a 3 person tent on a family cycle trip to Brittany but it's a bit bulky and so it only fits on my bike!! PS I looked at the Hoolie very seriously a couple of years ago and think it's a nice choice and would go for the 4 person one rather than the 3 (most cyclists add one to the tent size compared to the size of their group).

radek
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby radek » 12 Jul 2018, 10:10am

Thanks a lot to you all for the smart words. We have completed the mini tour and our 4 year old loved it.

We have used the Terra Nova Hoolie 4 and I can say that this is a great tent. Our 3, 3 and 4 season sleeping bags worked great. We have used them as blankets. Our daughter slept on a torso size open foam multimat. She did not even wake up once through the two nights. We were very lucky as we had the whole camping ground to us selves. Not to mention the perfect weather. My 4 year did not want to go back home :)

hamster
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby hamster » 12 Jul 2018, 10:23am

Glad it all went so well!

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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby Vorpal » 12 Jul 2018, 12:05pm

radek wrote:Thanks a lot to you all for the smart words. We have completed the mini tour and our 4 year old loved it.

We have used the Terra Nova Hoolie 4 and I can say that this is a great tent. Our 3, 3 and 4 season sleeping bags worked great. We have used them as blankets. Our daughter slept on a torso size open foam multimat. She did not even wake up once through the two nights. We were very lucky as we had the whole camping ground to us selves. Not to mention the perfect weather. My 4 year did not want to go back home :)

Sounds good. Glad to hear it was a success!
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Tangled Metal
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Re: Family touring tent and sleeping bag for 4 year old

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Jul 2018, 12:34pm

Only saw this late. I'm glad the bookie worked for you. On our tour of part of Scotland the bookie etc had loads of problems. Pole snapped two days in, about that time a few stitching points failed (where the strap from the outer joined the corners of the inner tent at the ground and a few other near failures.

Cheap tent from a former quality brand. My advice is to save up and replace with at least a helsport, lightwave, nordisk quality level. Hilleberg even better.

Late for this trip but adult bag tied up at the right length for your child is better option than children specific sleeping bags.

Scotland is very nice to visit. Our child loved it. Can I recommend the Netherlands for your next trip? Newcastle to IJmuiden then north to the dunes.

It's good to see your feedback on the trip too. We don't always get feedback on our advice or about how the trip went.