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Which Bell Tent do you buy? (Part 2 - Suppliers & Reviews)

BELL TENT SUPPLIERS

  Reviews & Comments

Lotus Belle

 www.lotusbelle.co.uk

 Offered one to trial, there is a full REVIEW here: 

http://bellsandlabs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/review-lotus-belle.html

Canvas & Cast

http://canvasandcast.com/

Supplier of my 6m bell. Superior canvas and fittings to other suppliers.  Generally more expensive, but the quality is higher

Belltent.co.uk

http://www.belltent.co.uk/index.php My first belltent was a 5m from here.  No problems whatsoever.  No leakage (it wasn't weathered, but had no problems).  Spec at the time was a thicker centre pole.  Finish and canvas was all of a high standard.  This was later painted to create the Mr Men Tent Soulpad

http://soulpad.co.uk/ Standard 285g spec tent, customer service and quality usually good Karma

http://www.karmacanvas.co.uk/ Standard 285g spec tent, customer service and quality usually good.  Additional mesh doors and wooden sliders supplied as standard

Boutique Camping

http://www.boutiquecamping.com/

7th June 2014 - Update
Evidently some very unhappy customers with Boutique Bell tents lately - Amongst other things the following: Poor stitching, zippers coming off runners, inferior quality canvas, poorly dyed - large splodges of dye on panels and poor customer service
Will update if I hear more positive reviews, but would advise to shop elsewhere December 2014 Boutique have been in contact re: workmanship.  Evidently there was a faulty batch over the summer and new stocks are due in.  There are also further improvements and upgrades expected on the 2015 models.  Hopefully I will get a chance to review these in the new year, and will give an update then
Easter 2015
Reviewed the 4m pro bell tent. Unfortunately had huge problems with the waterpoofing, so I wouldn't recommend

Baker & Bell

http://www.bakerandbell.com/

 

Canvas and Camp http://www.canvascamp.com/en

(Overseas but sell to the UK).Tend to be one of the lowest priced suppliers, and tents are the same quality as belltentuk.  Quick delivery to the UK.  A few customer service comments, but generally ok Standard 285g spec tent, thicker pro versions also available

 

Obelink  

(Overseas company, sell only bells to Europe, but accessories and other tents delivered to the UK)  Delivery very quick. Efficient Standard 285g spec tent

BCT Tents

  http://www.bctbelltent.co.uk/ Cotton Tent Company http://thecottontentcompany.co.uk/category/belltents/ Nice quality, cost does reflect this though Green Outdoor http://www.greenoutdoor.co.uk/

A slightly different range of bells and bushfire tents

Glam Camping

http://www.theglamcampingcompany.com/

Spring 2014 - Update
Some nice accessories, but I would steer clear of the 'Strawberry and Cream Tent'.  It is sold as non waterproof (?!) and it does leak.  Originally they sold the Rhubarb and Custard tent (very similar) which is the one I have, and this is totally waterfast
7th June 2014: Update
New stocks in of the strawberry and cream tent, but have heard of no reviews

 

Camping Under The Stars

http://www.campingunderthestars.co.uk/

I have reviewed one of these in my blog, full review here: http://bellsandlabs.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-camping-under-stars-5m-bell-tent.html

Pukka Tents

 

http://www.pukkatents.co.uk/

 Not had any personal experience of these tents, but I have been contacted by Pukka, who gave the following info:

 
My name’s Debbie and I’m from Pukka Tents. I am aware of some comments on your blog about Pukka Tents, so I thought I would respond.
First of all I’d like to say that we are very friendly and always try to help our customers with any queries or concerns they have. As well as Customer Service, we take Quality seriously and are proud of our 2015 tent stock – for instance we only use YKK zips, have generous-sized storm flaps throughout, including over window zips, have zippable mesh windows, use strong push-click poles along with quality pegs, ropes and wooden sliders.
Regarding the possibility of leakage in new tents, we have always recommended that canvas tents should be ‘weathered’  as a precaution before use, to allow for the canvas to naturally tighten up. However, our 2015 tents, when erected in heavy rain with no pre-weathering, have showed no sign of any leakage at all. Our 2015 camel-coloured tents and tri-awnings are now 350gsm+.
Recently, we cleared some old stock 4mx4m tarps: it was made clear on the website that the tarp fabric was 130-150gsm PU-coated polycotton, and ivory/white in colour (matching the colour of our pre-2015 tents). Nowhere did we suggest that these tarps should be used as tent carpets!
It’s good that you help people to understand tent issues as I know it gets confusing out there and I’d be really pleased if you could relay some of the above, somehow. 
If you have any questions, please do get in touch with me.
Thanks for your time
*********************************************************************************

Poly Bell tent Supplier

Camping Outdoor Europe

http://www.camping-outdoor.eu/de/camping/

(the same tents are also available on Amazon UK from this supplier)

 

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And the ones to avoid.....!!!!

 

Pook Look

 
 

Several bought, and all had waterproofing issues, very prone to leaks!!

           

Sabritex Tents

Only mentioning these as a company NOT to buy from.  Leakage and generally poor workmanship.
Although cheaper, its not worth the savings
Example of leakage, just one problem, by the a-frame:-

Poorly fitted eyelets and staining      

   
 
 
 

Camping & canvas 

 Unfortunately I have had to add these to the list of avoids, as the website is still live. The company have gone into liquidation, so don't place orders!!

 If you after a second hand tent, and come across one, then I had no issues with the actual tent, and I would recommend.

 

23 comments:

  1. Hi. Thanks for all your great handy tips. I'm thinking of purchasing a bell tent to offer as a glamping option on our farm for families. It will stay erected for a few months so want a sturdy, good one. I would really appreciate your views on which to go for? I thank you in advance.

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  2. I would look at 400g heavier weight 5m bells. Either belltentuk or canvascamp are the cheapest option. There are heavier weight tents out there, but for long time use you are better to sell off at the end of the season, and replace with new to keep them in decent condition (resell value is excellent)

    for a more upmarket option, it's also worth considering the lotus belle - a bit more unique and something different in a the many glamping sites that have now popped up.

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  3. Thank you I really appreciate your generous valuable advice.

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  4. This site is a dream for me, I'm a family camper wanting a bell tent and your advice and craftiness us awesome!

    I'm looking to get a 5m bell tent (2adults +2kids to fit and not kill each other on rainy days!) We need the lightest option possible -what would you recommend? I've looked at the cheaper poly ones and think they will not last or be warm, but the canvas ones seem to heavy -any advice?
    Thanks

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  5. We're a family of 4. Children 2yrs old and 10 weeks. My wife has always preferred the tunnel tents but I think the bell tents offer more fun for a family - would you agree with that? If you had to purchase one it would seem either the 5m Camping & Canvas you've reviewed or the Camping & Cast (Podpads) tents look the best option - which one would you go for? We want zipped in groundsheets to keep out the bugs and ideally a mesh door to give us a bit of light whilst keeping the bugs out. Any advice much appreciated - thank you.

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  6. Do you have any experience with Honeybells tents? I am thinking about buying one of their ex-rental tents. Any advice would be very welcome, thank you. And thanks for this amazing resource!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I've never heard of them as a brand - it may be worth checking, as they they may be one of the standard suppliers, and the company selling is just called honey Bell?

      Delete
  7. I was wondering if you have any experience in building your own tent from scratch, and how difficult it may be (whether or not you have experience- just based on your experience with good tents). If you have any resources to follow for tent building, that would be awesome!

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    Replies
    1. I've made a full awning from scratch, but never the tent.

      Tbh I would say leave with the professionals, and just make modifications to suit.

      Waterproofing would be a nightmare, and I'm never going to buy a 80mph wind tunnel to test it before use!

      Delete
  8. I am very disappointed by belltent.co.uk. Their after-sales service is very bad. Then some of the components they use in their tents/awning are of bad quality. This is my story. It has been a year now that I am trying to find replacement for a secure connector (screw and nut) for one of the awnings I bought from them (along with £400 worth of goods). Also some triangle eye-screws M6 for their extensible poles since the previous ones became worn off after some usage. It is very hard to find the screws anywhere else as they look very specialised. Still nothing!!! Without these screw replacements I cannot use the awnings. They keep telling me that they are out of stock, they are very slow in the responses and now they are advising me to buy a brand new awning and poles. And all these for a couple of hard to find screws. I will try to avoid them. Personally I would not recommend belltent.co.uk to anyone.

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  9. hi - anyone got experience with Pukka tents? I'm looking at a 2nd hand Pukka (5m ZIG) via dedicated Bell Tent Facebook page - local seller to me. Given the comments from Pukka above was there a change in their quality in 2015? The bell i'm looking at i think is circa 2014 (white, more than ivory/beige) but appears to be looked after plus they have got the 4x4 awning and extra ground footprint etc. First time tent purchase so want to avoid issues but could be a good value buy!?!? Cheers

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  10. Hello there, looking to buy some 5m bell tents for our Scout Group to replace some very complicated, leaky modern style tents which we've had for quite a while! Between belltent.co.uk and campingandcanvas, which would you recommend?! The spec seems pretty much the same for both, though these tents will see a reasonable amount of use from lots of young people and having worked so hard to raise the funds the buy them, we want them to last a very long time! We are also looking to buy an awning for each tent to use as a dining shelter, though the campingandcanvas seem to make the better sized 2.6mx4m ones of these so this may be the better option? belltentuk make 3x3m or 4x4m, one seems too small the other too big, though it's so hard to really know without trying them out! Guessing the canvas colour of each make of tent is probably different?! Any advise would be hugely appreciated :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elinor, check my comment "quietplace 27 May 2016 at 09:46" about belltent.co.uk postsales support and product quality. I am very disappointed about their post-sales support. They took long time to respond and finally they could not deliver me replacements screws. Tents, poles etc will fail at some point so you want to make sure that post-sales support is good.

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  11. Hello! Have you had any experience with Glamptex? I saw a nice Harlekin one on ebay from this company, 5m for Pounds 445, but have not heard from them otherwise. Thank you and thanks for the site, really helpful as we are currently looking for a suitable 3- seasons- family tent! - Best, Norma

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    Replies
    1. Never had experience with them, sorry

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  12. This has been a very informative blog. Thank you so much. During my research I have also come across a company called Bell Tent Boutique.

    www.belltentboutique.co.uk

    Has anyone had any experience with them? Comments of quality and build would be great as I am looking to purchase an Emperor Bell Tent which is a big investment. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bell tent boutique are fairly new to the game, but so far reviews and opinions seem to be favourable for them.

      They actively comment on Facebook, and seem to have good customer service, and a nice range.

      They also sell the larger version of the Touareg tent, the 4m x 5m - I would lean towards this, rather than the emporer tbh

      Delete
  13. Thank you for sharing this information. I found a lot of knowledge about the High quality tents in Dubai from your wonderful blog and this helps to choose best camping tents for us.
    High quality tents in Dubai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously I wouldn't encourage anyone reading this blog to bother buying tents from unscrupulous blatant advertisers, who post random crap, on other peoples blogs just for the publicity

      Delete
  14. Yes I bought a 5metre "Glamptex" Bell Tent through Bell-tents.co.uk. The company details on the website are listed as Glamptex Ltd although the email address to contact is Sabritex ( an oversees company) The tent was poorly made, badly packaged and damaged. The customer service from Sabritex or Glamptex or Bell-tents.co.uk was the worst I have ever encountered. They have ignored dozens of emails and have still not collected the damaged/unwanted tent a month later I will be claiming the money back through my Credit card company using Section 75 consume credit regulations. PLEASE AVOID GLAMPTEX, SABRITEX OR BELL-TENTS.CO.UK if you value your sanity.

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  15. in case anyone reads this comment, please don't confuse belltent.co,uk with bell-tents.co.uk

    Totally different companies!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have just ordered a 4m Bell Tent from SoulPad, have you had any experience?

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  17. Not owned a SoulPad, but generally they get good reviews, and very helpful customer service

    I'd advise you pitch, give it a good soaking before you actually camp - it should be watertight. Any minor drips may swell and tighten, then it should be ok

    If you have any issues, return it!

    ReplyDelete

REVIEW: 'Camping under the Stars' 5m Bell Tent

Camping Under The Stars 12 months ago, Tommy approached me and asked if I would like to review one of his bell tents. No problem.. ...