Airgo is a family tent brand from outdoor retailer Go Outdoors, based around its air-tube tents and awnings.
A budget brand sold exclusively by Halfords that includes two- and four-person tents, including a small dome model. Prices are so competitive that you can buy a complete camping set, including a four-berth tent with sleeping bags and more, at less than £100.
As the name suggests, this is a manufacturer of a range of bell tents in unbleached cotton canvas. Set up in 2006, the company also makes other tents from traditional materials, including its take on the classic Scout patrol tent.
Founded in 1959, this French manufacturer is best known for its traditional frame tents, using cotton or polycotton. The tents are designed to last and are priced accordingly, though their quality is evidenced by the number permanently sited on campsites. Cabanon supplies, for example, the Ready Camp tents sited on Camping and Caravanning Club Sites.
This Scottish-based manufacturer offers a range of tents that act as awnings for cars. It has a partner company in Walton on Thames, Surrey that can adapt one if the basic model doesn’t quite fit your vehicle. The name Caranex is a contraction of the term ‘car annexe’. The company has been producing these since the 1970s and they can be seen on campsites and elsewhere, providing extra accommodation on anything from a MINI to a VW camper.
An outdoor brand that was founded in the same year as The Camping and Caravanning Club (1901), Coleman began with the development of the petrol lantern and it is still well known for its camping accessories in the UK. Its tent range reflects its heritage in the vast spaces of North America, with a selection of backpacking tents, including long-lasting names such as Bedrock and Cobra, but it also has a strong range of family tents. The FastPitch and Instant tents are all quick-pitch, including models with inflatable-tubes, pre-threaded poles and pop-up frames.
Easy Camp is part of the Danish Oase Outdoors group and produces camping equipment that’s cost effective, aimed mainly at those who are just starting out in the field. Festival and fair-weather adventure campers are well catered for, as are families. The most recent tent ranges include air-tube versions of tunnel tent designs. You won’t find many extra frills on an Easy Camp tent, but it will be designed to bring camping within the reach of those on a lower budget.
This Dutch company has the largest tent manufacturing factory in Holland and provides fabric to many other outdoor supplies companies. It can trace its roots back to 1922 and now sells tents with traditional designs, predominantly in cotton or heavy-duty polyester with a cotton feel.
Blacks and Millets (now both owned by JD Sports Fashion plc) are part of a network of outdoor specialist shops and Eurohike is the name associated with their own-brand products. Eurohike tents range from pop-up festival-style units to eight-man family tunnel tents, all at competitive prices but without the bells and whistles you might find in more expensive brands.
The original Force Ten tent was designed in the 1960s and became an instant success with those who travel light, including explorers on major expeditions to the Himalayas. Today the tent is still available, in its Classic Mk 5 form, but the Force Ten range has been extended to include backpacking and lightweight tents for all types of camping expedition, in one-, two- and three-berth forms.
Now owned by Sports Direct, Gelert has been supplying camping kit from its base in Beddgelert, Snowdonia, since 1975 and is named after the famous dog buried in the village. Its current tent portfolio is smaller than in years gone by, but still covers everything from a ten-berth tipi to a two-man backpacking tent and from an eight-berth inflatable-tube to a quick-pitch pop-up.
Hi Gear is the name given by outdoor retailer Go Outdoors to its traditionally-poled family tent range (other tent brands in the Go Outdoors family include Airgo and OEX). These mid-range tents are mainly tunnel style but range from smaller, weekender tents to large units that can accommodate a family for a fortnight in comfort. The retail outlets are generally large enough to have several pitched tents on display.
This company was started in the mid 1980s by a mountaineer who took over an old army surplus store and is still owned by the same family in Scotland. Its current range of tents extends from small backpacking ones to six-berth family tunnels, all designed to do the job without unnecessary extras at keen prices.
Based in Sweden, family-owned Hilleberg only designs and sells tents, no other products. The tents will also stand the worst of the world’s weather and have been doing so since the 1970s. You will pay a fair amount for a Hilleberg tent, but it’s the type of unit that could keep you alive in the most extreme conditions. The technical fabrics involved mean the tents are generally lightweight and ideal for carrying into the wilderness.
Hypercamp is the house brand of Obelink, an outdoor megastore in Winterswijk, in the east of the Netherlands, and includes several ranges including traditional frame tents that are rarely seen in UK stores today. The tents generally have a classic Dutch feel, with muted colours and cotton-feel fabrics.
Throughout its history Isabella has produced high-quality awnings for caravans, with a few tent models appearing in its line up at different times during its 60 year history. In 2017 it will be supplying a small range of tents in 1960s/70s designs as part of its anniversary celebrations.
A German company best known for its outdoor wear that also supplies a range of technical tents for backpackers and expeditions, along with a few family models.
A British brand that has had a strong presence in the caravan and motorhome awning market for several decades and has moved into tents more recently. Its current range includes a selection of well-specified poled and air-tube tents for families and couples alongside smaller weekender tents.
Although inflatable-tube tents have become popular in recent years, Dutch company Karsten has been supplying high-quality, cotton tents with air-tube frames since the 1980s. Represented in the UK by the Camping Travel Store, the tents are modular so you can buy as little or as much space as you need, though the prices reflect the fabric and build quality. These are tents designed to last.
A big brand in its USA homeland, but with limited representation in the UK, the range of tents available in this country depends on the current importer’s selection. Although there are a large number of tents in the Kelty range, they are all of a single-room dome-style design and many are not designed with UK weather conditions in mind. Several, for example, do not have flysheets so the mesh windows would let in the rain. Nevertheless, they produce some interesting tents for the right conditions.
With more than a quarter of a century’s experience, Khyam has made its name with its Flexi Dome Quick Erect system featuring sprung poles with knuckle joints that can be left attached to the tent itself and make pitching very swift. Sizes range from single-dog to eight-berth-family tent. Today the company also sells some family-size inflatable-tube and poled tents.
A budget brand from the AMG Group, which also includes Vango and Force Ten. The Litchfield name has a long history, though today Litchfield tents are generally available online and through supermarket-style retailers.
Founded by a serious climber who has done unsupported treks across the Andes and more, Lightwave supplies lightweight tents with no added frills for three-, four- and five-season use.
The new backpacking tent brand from outdoor retailer Go Outdoors, designed to give kit that performs well at an affordable price. It currently sells a small range of one-, two- and three-berth tents.
OLPro was founded in 2011 as a family tent brand and has both poled and inflatable-tube tunnel tents in its current range, in a selection of distinctive colours.
Outdoor Revolution has a heritage in caravan and motorhome awnings but has reintroduced tents into its portfolio in recent years. All in a distinctive grey and black colourway, there are several family-sized tents in both air-tube and poled designs along with the festival-style Hendrix.
Part of the Danish company Oase Outdoors (with sister brands Easy Camp and Robens) and firmly established in the UK as a leading player in the family tent market, Outwell has a huge portfolio of tents in varying layouts, fabrics and at different price points.
This is a budget range of tents sold by the high street chain, Argos – among others – with basic tunnel and dome designs.
Best known as a pioneer of budget-priced pop-up tents – with ranges including 2 Seconds Easy and Air Seconds inflatable-tube tents – the full Quechua range includes poled, pop-up and inflatable tube tents, in sizes up to eight berth, all sold through the retail chain Decathlon.
The technical brand within the Danish Oase Outdoors group, Robens tents include lightweight backpacker models, tipi styles and family units offering up to ten berth accommodation.
A budget brand based in the English Midlands, Royal is now owned by FPS Limited, best known for its distribution network, which allows it to supply its tents to a wide range of outlets. It currently supplies a range of poled and air-tube tunnel tents in four- to eight-berth variations without frills.
Skandika is based in Germany and sells a large range of tents, primarily aimed at family camping, right up to a 12-berth pod-style tent. It does not have outlets in the UK but its keen pricing is making it increasingly popular with those buying online.
UK-based manufacturer of traditional ridge and bell tent designs in cotton and polycotton.
Better known for its outdoor clothing lines, Sprayway has recently stepped away from supplying its own brand of tents in favour of selling Zempire ones, originating in New Zealand.
A long-established tent brand, SunnCamp currently offers a choice of models aimed at families. The Air Volution inflatable-tube tents offer two- to six-person accommodation.
Based in Derbyshire, Terra Nova has been making mountain and specialist lightweight tents since the early 1990s when it took over the tent arm of Wild Country. In recent years it has also resurrected the Wild Country name as its entry-level backpacking and family tent brand. Terra Nova also holds Guinness World Records for some of the lightest production tents available.
The North Face
Outdoor brand The North Face celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and currently offers a small range of lightweight tents in the UK.
The camping brand of the Halfords retail stores network, Urban Escape includes a range of family tents from a two-man pop-up upwards.
A German company with a long heritage in the tent market. Founded in 1974, it won Germany’s Most Sustainable Brand award in 2015. Its range of lightweight tents are designed for a range of conditions, right up to the most extreme expeditions.
The name Vango tells of the company’s origins in Glasgow as it’s an anagram of Govan, the area of the city in which it was originally based. Now part of the AMG Group, along with Force Ten, Vango is the UK’s largest tent brand, with a heritage that goes back more than 50 years. It has ranges to cover all types of tents, from lightweight backpacking tents (with Duke of Edinburgh Award and Scout approval for some ranges) to large polycotton tents. It is also credited with bringing inflatable-tube tents into the mainstream with its AirBeam collections.
Terra Nova’s entry-level tent brand, Wild Country’s portfolio extends from lightweight and backpacking tents to weekend and touring tents with a few family models.
A long-standing name going back to the 1930s that is now part of the same group as Khyam. 2017 will see a relaunch of the brand with a range of poled tents.
These tents from New Zealand are mainly inflatable-tube designs with distinctive shapes reflected in their names, such as Mothership. The colours are also slightly unusual in the UK camping world and the tents are sold by outdoor-wear supplier Sprayway in this country.