When Outdoor Camping Direct offered to send me a tent to try out at the recent Outdoor Bloggers weekend, I could have gone for a massive tent that would pump up with an air compressor, be tall enough to stand up in, be suitable to cook inside, take a double air-bed and have space for all my friends to come in and get out of the rain. But I wanted something a bit more portable, something that was enough for just me on short camping weekends like the one in Edale.
I was allowed to choose so after a bit of research I went for the two man Regatta Halin Point 214. I have heard good things about short tunnel shaped tents, and having had a dome tent for a number of years I wanted something a bit easier to erect alone. Knowing the British weather, I definitely wanted something that you put up fly sheet first so the inner doesn’t get wet when raining during pitching, and had plenty of guy ropes to keep the tent stable in the wind. A porch area between the inner and fly sheet was vital so I could keep my muddy boots away from my sleeping bag but out of sight for any passing animals (or unfriendly idiots). Finally, I wanted something compact that would be easy to transport, and wouldn’t take up much space should I choose to make camp in a small private corner somewhere. The Regatta ticked all of these boxes.
I admit I think I was expecting something a bit smaller. Obviously the dimensions are correct on the Outdoor Camping Direct website but I saw on other sites that this tent would be good for back packing, so in my head the bag was going to be teeny and light. I’m probably small and weak but I don’t think I’d want to hike far with this attached to my bag. This is a two man tent so it could be split between two packs of course – but I wouldn’t recommend it for a solo expedition; you probably wouldn’t choose something like this anyway, a small one man number would be much more sensible.
Having said all that, the size of the Regatta Halin Point 214 is a definite benefit. In the world of one, two and three man tents (etc.), the general rule is that the rating refers to the number of sleeping bags you can lay next to each other without any space in between. In a two man tent there isn’t usually enough room for two people to sleep and keep their kit inside. But I think there might just be room in this one. The little green ridge tent I had as a young teenager as a ‘pup tent’ to the family camping set-up was certainly a lot smaller (oh how I loved family camping trips)! I was able to fit all my kit inside the tent with me and still have loads of spare space. It was roomy! I had space to stretch out and easily lay out my gear making it easy to ’live’ there for a couple of nights. And if I had a buddy with me there’s the little porch at the front for my pack and boots. A really good sized two man tent.
Putting it up, which I know can be stressful for some, is a doddle. I was planning a timelapse video but it was raining so you’ll have to imagine! I might add one next time I pitch it. I think it took about 20 minutes, maybe half an hour in all, the first time I pitched it, and I know I’ll be quicker next time as I know how it all goes and I haven’t got to sort any of the bits and bobs such as guy ropes. I pitched the tent alone, and took it down on my own too. It did take a bit of adjustment to get the back and front just right, but the ground was soft enough for me to put pegs in by hand so that wasn’t any bother. Once up and with all my stuff inside I was a happy camper. Oh and it even went back in the bag easily – that’s a first!
I am not very tall so bear that in mind, but I can just about sit up comfortably at the tallest end of the tent. I could sit inside with the door wide open and watch the scenery without any problem, keeping me out of the rain. Even with the door closed there was plenty of ventilation inside thanks to two little ‘windows’ at the front, and a larger one at the back. While the tent is a dark colour, it is thin and so let’s in loads of light meaning if you get sorted before its pitch black you won’t need a lamp on a nice evening – if you do there’s a handy hook for your head torch so you can relieve your forehead while inside.
While the tent did the job for me perfectly well, there are a couple of design points to note. One is that the design of the door, sloping down to provide space for your kit in the porch area and make it easy to get in and out means that when it’s raining the water will come right in and collects on the groundsheet. This is inevitable, but the added bowl type form of the front groundsheet (they call it “bathhub groundsheet design”) means the water isn’t easy to brush away. Although that very design does of course mean there isn’t seepage from the ground and if it’s incredibly wet outside the water won’t come in from underneath. I would have liked the addition of a double zip on the door to allow the top half of the door to open as a window to the world, which would also make doing up and undoing the very sloping door much easier from the inside.
Apart from those small niggles this is a great little tent and one I will make use of again, hopefully soon. It has a large floor space for what it is, is easy to put up on your own, will protect you from the wind and rain, let’s in lots of light, and is very portable. While I might be tempted to look for a tent in which I can stand up in and maybe cook inside for longer trips, for short camping weekends this is just what i need.
Check out this and other two man tent options at Outdoor Camping Direct. The Regatta Halin Point 214 is currently £95.99.
Thank you to Outdoor Camping Direct for sending me this tent so I didn’t have to sleep outside at the Outdoor Bloggers Weekend.