When LitteStuff tried out the Bahia 7 Tent.
It used to be that the husband and I only ever had one question to answer for our holidays – where do we fancy taking the tent this time?
We ALWAYS camped. And it made us happy to our bones.
Once the children came along, the logistics got a bit harder. More than just a couple of duvets, cooking equipment and a few clothes bunged into a bag.
But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with boy no.3, had a crawling 10mth old, and a boisterous 3yr old to fit into our tent that I decided that next year, we would be holidaying in a place with a washing machine, a tap, and a real bed.
And so we switched to self-catering – we found cottages in as remote and secluded places as we possibly could find, but we had to admit we’d softened up and gone for the easy option.
And we missed it.
We really did.
And also – we felt the children were missing out, too.
A cottage holiday is fun – but it’s just not the same as experiencing camping. With the weather, the chores, the togetherness, and the sheer OUTDOORS-ness of it all.
So a few years ago, we headed to Yorkshire to show them what camping was all about. And they got totally bitten by the bug. No, not those bugs (though the midges were shocking), the camping bug.
And now we divide our holidays. Camping IS harder than an all-mod-cons cottage, that’s for sure. But also? Nothing beats it. Doing both allows us the best of all worlds, and keeps us all happy.
But there are 6 of us, plus one really very big dog! Finding a tent that fits us all comfortably enough for a two-week living space is trickier than you’d think.
So we were delighted when Outwell asked if we’d like to review the Bahia 7 (delighted? I may have bitten their arm off in my speed to say yes please).
Sadly, a now-famous argument with a lawnmower (I got lucky – one slightly shortened finger is all the damage I did in the end) put paid to our Big Camping Adventure last summer. But the Bahia 7 tent waited patiently for us, and we managed to get a quick weekend in it before the weather turned cold and wet (we’re lightweight fair-weather campers these days, I’m slightly ashamed to say).
So – was it all we needed?
Oh my yes! Everything and more!
It looks utterly enormous, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s probably because it IS – and it needs to be. Imagine 2 children, 2 teens and 2 adults, plus one large and bumptious dog living in one room together? Exactly.
But the Bahia 7 tent gave us all the space we needed.
We had the additional Storage Pod too, which meant that the bedroom space was more roomy with no bags in it.
The layout is an easy tunnel set up – bedrooms at the far end. One separate for the grown ups, two that have the optional divider (we don’t bother) for the four children.
That leaves you two ‘rooms’ for living space – which is plenty. It feels HUGE inside, and there’s bags of room on a wet morning for everyone to sprawl out and play games.
You could easily fit table and chairs in there, if that’s what you choose (we don’t – but we think that we should every time we camp, and now we actually have a tent big enough to take it!).
Most importantly there’s enough room for everyone to spread out a little, and not feel like you’re living in each other’s laps. There’s nothing more grumpy-making than being squashed up on a wet day with no space to move.
We used the front ‘room’ for cooking and eating. The middle area for spillover stretching out and storing games/boots/dog. You can remove the middle panel and make it one large space. We found the best option for us was to close that off as soon as the evening meal started to cook. This kept the middle area free of midges, and maintained some warmth for later. Leaving it as one huge space made it feel cold and damp at that time of year quite quickly.
Under the Stars
If you get some proper weather, the front end can be opened right up, really making you part of the great outdoors. On warm summer nights we fully intend to sleep ‘outside’ by bring the beds up to the front, and sleeping almost under the stars. But even on a dull day there are so many windows that the tent feels bright and comfortable to be in.
Honestly, there are so many great features to this tent that I want to tell you about. Being Outwell it’s made incredibly well. The design has simply been thought out by someone who actually camps; they just know the small things that make a huge difference.
As the Bahia 7 tent was designed with family camping in mind, there are great touches like the masses of pocket storage. And whilst we tried it out in damp old Blighty, the ventilation netting on every available door and window and wall mean this tent is going to work just as fabulously in the heat of the south of France this year.
The best price we found online for the Bahia 7 tent was at CampingWorld, where’ll you’ll get a penny change from £1200 – a really great price for a truly brilliant family tent with masses of growing room, and years and years of holidays.