An easy to use, pocket-friendly choice if you’re after a first family tent or unfussy festival abode, with decent living space and ample sleeping room.
Big living space with room to stand
Too flimsy to withstand strong winds
On the heavier side
Not a quick pitch
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Decathlon’s cheap and cheerful range of tents, including the Quechua Arpenaz 4.2, are the perfect place to start if you’re after a simple, affordable tent to sleep a family of four for a first camping holiday, or to share with a few friends at a summer festival.
We love the living design of this tunnel tent, which features a bedroom at each end and a large living area you can stand up in in the middle. Two big doors on either side of the living room open up the tent still further, making it a nice space to hang out in in warmer weather.
The bedrooms aren’t huge, but are adequate, and they’re lined with ‘Fresh & Black’ technology. A bathtub-style groundsheet and 2,000mm of waterproofing mean the Arpenaz can take on mercurial weather. The tent is pitched all in one and has colour-coded poles to make the process relatively simple.
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We took the Arpenaz 4.2 away for a weekend on the coast to see how it performed in the wild, and were impressed by how much tent you get for your money with this model.
We really rated the thoughtful design of this tunnel tent, which features a bedroom at each end and a large living area you can stand up in in the middle – perfect for two couples sharing who want their own space, or for sticking the kids at one end while adults sleep at the other.
Two big doors on either side of the living room open up the tent still further, making it a nice, airy space to hang out in warmer weather. This design means that the tent feels larger than the sum of its parts, and makes walking in and out with kit and cooking paraphernalia when you’re setting up camp or making supper a breeze.
The bedrooms aren’t huge, but will definitely sleep two adults each (which isn’t true of all allegedly ‘four-person’ tents), and are lined with ‘Fresh & Black’ technology which we found very effective on test at keeping the rooms cooler and darker during the night and on early sun-flooded mornings – ideal if you have children who tend to wake up at the crack of dawn, of if you have enjoyed one too many round-the-fire refreshments.
The tent is relatively easy to set up, especially with two people on the job, but it’s not a fast pitch – we reckon it takes a lengthy 30 minutes to erect.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.
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