This is a roomy family tunnel tent that uses fibreglass poles to keep weight and volume low, but still delivers against the elements.
Compared to most family tents, the Easycamp Palmdale 600 Lux is pretty standard in terms of its weight and bulk. However, at 22.6kg, it is unlikely to be transported by any other means than car, and you’ll need two people – or a wheelbarrow – to get it to the pitch. You could possibly take it on a train if you had a little wagon, but it would be tricky to lift up from the platform.
The tent was very easy to put up, although there was some confusion when we looked for the ‘colour-coded poles and eyelets’; in reality, all the poles were black except for one, which had a grey bit on it, matching a grey strip on one of the eyelets at the back of the tent. It took about 20 minutes to put up for the first time, and took two of us – I think it would be possible to do it single-handedly if you threaded the back pole, pegged it in and then continued outwards concertina-fashion. The instructions were minimal but clear, and once we’d figured out the grey eyelet thing, it was as simple as pitching a three-man but on a bigger scale.
The tent is spacious – both in its living area and in the sleeping compartments. Four of us had bags of space, but six people would still fit in the sleeping area with elbow room. The black ‘sleep-tight’ inner tent gave decent protection from the morning light, so everyone sleeps a little longer. There’s a divider that rolls down and toggles on to the bottom of the tent, which teenagers and older children who like their own space will appreciate.
The living area is where most of the square metres are, and you could easily fit a table and chairs in there, or bikes if it’s raining. However, if it’s hot, a synthetic tent is the last place you want to be – even with both doors open, this tent was no exception.
There is a small porch, about a metre wide at the top, where you can store your camping gas and messier items. It’s not quite deep enough to sit under for shelter, unless the sun is behind you, but you can always open up the tent and sit a little further in. There are no porch accessories that specifically match the Palmdale Lux 600, but there’s nothing stopping you getting a camping tarp and creating a bespoke shelter for your position, wind direction and sun position.
There is a lantern hook in the central area, and lots of pockets – both in the sleeping compartments and in the divider on the outside. It has a waterproof entry point for mains access, although we don’t use electricity when camping.
I loved the ceiling height and living room space, and was impressed with the black sleeping inner. There are insect meshes in both the sleeping compartment and the living area, so horseflies and midges are well kept out – something else I appreciate at night.
I’d recommend this tent to families who want a bit more space, and want a simple but functional tent that offers good value and a little more room.
Facts at a glance
- Sleeps: 6
- Type of tent: Tunnel pole tent
- Pack size: 75 x 34 cm
- Weight: 22.6 kg
- Poles: Fibreglass 12.7 mm
- Flysheet: 185T polyester PU coated, fire retardant, 100% polyester
- Taping: Taped seams
- Groundsheet: Sewn in
- Hydrostatic Head: 3000 mm
- Standing room: 180cm
- Inner tent: Breathable 100% polyester (recycled)
- Floor Inner: 100% polyethylene
- Groundsheet: 100% polyethylene
- Colour: Blue
Vango Aether Air 600XL tent
A spacious, good-quality family air tent for those looking to invest in family camping holidays. A durable air tent that’s easy to put up, has a dark ‘nightfall’ sleeping compartment and similar features, including a sewn-in groundsheet and high water resistance. It’s also made from recycled polyester, saving plastic bottles from entering landfill.
Robens Gully Sleeping Bag 900
Looking for a compact sleeping bag that’s pleasantly airy to sleep in in spring, summer and autumn? This is a great option from camping brand Robens. The fill feels like 100% down, but in fact combines down with synthetic insulation. The upper layer of the bag is a 50:50 split, so should the down get damp, you can still rely on the synthetic to keep working. The underneath – the bit you lie on – is 100% synthetic. Thoughtfully, parts of the bag likely to get wet – hood and feet, which may touch a wet flysheet – are 100% synthetically insulated.