In a couple of weeks we go camping in Mull for the weekend and then its a count down to a campervan tour of Scandinavia next month. We seem to be spending most of our leisure time looking at campsite websites and planning how to fit everything into Dougal.
I have always been very suspiscious of Bell Tents - I thought they were probably a bit style over substance and really for pitching near home and decorating with fancy cushions and fairy lights. I doubted that they would be any use on a proper camping trip.
However, we needed to buy a smaller lighter tent than the family Vanguard one we had (too heavy for the vw to carry, too big for lots of pitches if we wanted to get camper on too) and I began to obsessively compare tent weights, sizes etc.
I completely changed my mind.
The bell tent was much, much lighter than any of the other tents I looked at as it only has one pole, it also is much, much quicker to put up (10 minutes if there are 2 adults and a reasonably willing child). This is particularly important in Scotland as its good to get everyone inside and dry as quickly as possible. It also has a very nice light feel - because it is natural canvas there isn't that spooky green/blue light inside the tent.
We, realising that 90% of our camping is likely to be wind and rainswept went for the 4m deluxe version with zipped ground sheet (will allow us to still roll up the sides in the remaining 10%). If we hadn't also got Dougal on site and the girls were sleeping in with us, then I would probably have gone for the 5m.