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Old 01.05.2017, 13:52
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Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

I'm thinking about buying a new tent for family camping trips.
A big one like 7x6m..

I've read loads of reviews but I'd like to actually see some of them, there's only so much you can tell from pictures.

Do you know any sports / outdoor type shops that have fully erected tents on display? Not just one or two but lots ?

Decathlon usually have a couple on display but they only sell their own brand.

I would happily drive a couple of hours.
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Old 01.05.2017, 14:54
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

In West Side shopping center (Bern), I noticed this Saturday (April 29th) they had around 10 tents set outside in the grass for display. No idea the brand, but they were tents from 1 or to persons, until probably tents for 6 I would say.

I think the tents were set by the shop SportXX (Migros), which is located in that shopping center.

This is the shopping center: http://www.westside.ch/
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Old 02.05.2017, 11:58
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

Also Transa has many tents, though usually a bit pricey as they are made for harsher user than city camping. There is a big store near Zurich HB.
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Old 02.05.2017, 13:05
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

We camped quite a bit last few years and had North Face tent, really good and light. It was good even for extreme transatlantic frosts and winds.
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Old 02.05.2017, 14:50
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

Ask to spend a night in it, just for testing purposes...
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Old 02.05.2017, 15:18
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

If you don't mind spending a bit for good quality gear, I can recommend:
https://spatz.ch/
My parents bought a tent from them 50 years ago and it's still going strong, and I'm saving up for one, too.
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Old 02.05.2017, 15:26
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

We're probably looking at something like this .. And spending upwards of a grand..

There are loads of brands which do very similar styles and sizes though and the price varies massively between them.

Hence it would be nice to go touch them. My google skills are just not finding much near me.
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Old 02.05.2017, 15:27
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

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If you don't mind spending a bit for good quality gear, I can recommend:
https://spatz.ch/
My parents bought a tent from them 50 years ago and it's still going strong, and I'm saving up for one, too.
Tent design has moved on a lot since then with stronger, lighter, more flexible poles allowing much more complex shapes with much more head room over the tent's floor area - and areas under cover for cooking and eating.

This is a Spatz tent today:



This is a modern Vango tent:



Another problem with the Spatz tents is that they are made from cotton canvas. When you come back from a weekend, if it has been at all wet, you'll have to dry the tent out really carefully which will need a lot of space and a lot of time.

We have quite a few tents of different sizes. We got a 6-8 person Vango about fifteen years ago for just over 200 GBP. It's still going strong and we have used it for two week holidays a few times too.
No rips, no breaks, no broken zips.
How many nights in a hotel would 200 GBP get you?

Last edited by Tom1234; 02.05.2017 at 15:28. Reason: Just seen J.H's post - it looks like he's thinking along similar lines.
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Old 02.05.2017, 15:45
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

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Tent design has moved on a lot since then with stronger, lighter, more flexible poles allowing much more complex shapes with much more head room over the tent's floor area - and areas under cover for cooking and eating.

This is a Spatz tent today:



This is a modern Vango tent:



Another problem with the Spatz tents is that they are made from cotton canvas. When you come back from a weekend, if it has been at all wet, you'll have to dry the tent out really carefully which will need a lot of space and a lot of time.

We have quite a few tents of different sizes. We got a 6-8 person Vango about fifteen years ago for just over 200 GBP. It's still going strong and we have used it for two week holidays a few times too.
No rips, no breaks, no broken zips.
How many nights in a hotel would 200 GBP get you?
Sure Just thought I'd point them out - personally I own a few tents, and for expected good weather I just love the cotton tents much more so than the sticky plasticky feeling.
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Old 02.05.2017, 15:50
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

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Sure Just thought I'd point them out - personally I own a few tents, and for expected good weather I just love the cotton tents much more so than the sticky plasticky feeling.
I agree - they do have a lot of plus points.

The first hi-tech backpacking tent I had was ripstop nylon but the inner tent was lightweight cotton and much nicer than a nylon inner - and quieter - especially when on a Snowdonian hilltop in a gale!
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Old 02.05.2017, 23:13
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

We had to visit quite a few shops last year when we were looking for a family tent, but never got to see the tents on display. So, in the end we had to buy blind! Most shops have the small tents on display, byt not the big family tents. Once we knew the brand we wanted, we viewed quite a few YouTube videos to get an idea of the product.

If you have questions re the Vango, let me know!
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Old 03.05.2017, 11:11
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

Bantam have some but not set up last time we went. Camping here seems way behind what's available in the UK. Certainly haven't seen any what I'd call large shops. We bought a Migros Trevolution brand years ago which did a good few summers + is still good (but we went posh & got a caravan instead after being flooded one year).
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Old 09.05.2017, 13:35
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

SportXX in Oftringen have a really big range of tents on display, including many large family size tents. It's a fun place to look around with the kids.


You can view the list on display there (and at other SportXX stores) here:


http://www.sportxx.ch/de/cp.tent-exhibit
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Old 09.05.2017, 16:10
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

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Bantam have some but not set up last time we went. Camping here seems way behind what's available in the UK. Certainly haven't seen any what I'd call large shops. We bought a Migros Trevolution brand years ago which did a good few summers + is still good (but we went posh & got a caravan instead after being flooded one year).
We were at Bantam in Etagnières a couple of weeks ago and they had about ten tents on display, of varying sizes. They were pitched on a huge balcony that you can only get to from the mezzanine level, so you can't see them when you enter the store.

I know there was a couple of Outwell tents. Don't remember the other brands though. Staff very helpful.
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Old 09.05.2017, 17:00
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

Vauchersport in Bern have big selection on the roof each year. Mckinley, Jack wolfskin, Outwell and similar brands...
Not sure if its still within the distance you are willing to drive though...
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Old 21.06.2017, 20:28
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

Spatz opened a new shop in Glatt Centrum a couple of years ago but failed. They used to have alot of good tents on display. Now they have nothing much to offer.


This is a good guide

https://www.campz.ch/outdoor-camping...tung/zelt.html
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If you don't mind spending a bit for good quality gear, I can recommend:
https://spatz.ch/
My parents bought a tent from them 50 years ago and it's still going strong, and I'm saving up for one, too.
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Old 21.06.2017, 21:20
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Re: Camping tents - Place to see before buying?

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Also Transa has many tents, though usually a bit pricey as they are made for harsher user than city camping. There is a big store near Zurich HB.
I agree Transa is a good starting point, they have a decent selection
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