Outwell Yukon River 4 Tent
Having camped a couple of years ago in a tent that was smaller than our three door car, we decided that an upgrade was in order. In particular, we needed a tent that you could stand up in - it's no fun trying to dress whilst lying down. Lets face it one gets to an age where those sort of gymnastics are beyond funny. And we needed a tent that didn't drip on you overnight.
We did a lot of research, both online and in local camping stores, and really liked the Outwell range of tents. When we came to part with our cash, this year, we found a new addition to the Outwell family, the Yukon River 4 and we were smitten.
Pitching the Yukon river 4
There's no doubt that sleeping under canvas is much more comfortable than sleeping in a nylon tent. The material is warmer, and does not create condensation at night. In addition it's waterproof - light showers simply roll off, and when the tent fabric becomes wet, the fibres tighten to form a waterproof barrier.
Features of the Yukon River 4
Zipped in ground sheet: This was important to us for two main reasons, firstly, that when it rains the Zipped in ground sheet is water-tight, whereas a ground sheet that is not attached to the tent allows water to leak in. Secondly, our dogs couldn't escape once inside (this would be great for small kids too).
Steel Poles: The main reason we chose a tent with steel poles is that it's darned windy in Devon and Cornwall! we wanted a tent that would withstand some weather.
Luminous Guy Ropes: I have a tendency to trip over non luminous things in a dark field.
Yukon river 4
Large Windows: The picture windows of the Yukon river 4 are particularly impressive, allowing an almost 180 degree view from the front of the tent. The windows also have a zipped in mesh liner in case you want fresh air without bugs, and a blackout curtain for sleeping.
Doors: Three of the windows double up as doors, so if the wind whips round, you can simply open a door on the leeward side and remain much warmer.
Heavy Duty Zips: These are a must, as it's amazing how often you zip and unzip in a 24 hour period.
Reinforced stress Points: These are also a must, so that the parts of the tent taking most tension don't rip, particularly if the tent has to withstand some West Country Weather.
Buy Yukon River 4
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Detachable polycotton bedroom chamber: The cotton bedroom area takes around five minutes to clip into the tent. It has two rooms that sleep 2 X 2 adults, that you can stand up in. Each room has plenty of storage pockets around the sides, and facing into the lounge area of the tent. The separate bed area keeps you a little warmer in the night and ensures that if there were any drips (there won't be) they won't reach you.
Yukon River 4 Accessories
There are a few accessories that would make this tent even more comfortable:
Footprint: Not an obvious comfort buy; this is a separate ground sheet that lies underneath the zipped in ground sheet and protects it from damage by stones, twigs, brambles etc., and hence means you won't wake up to leaks.
Carpet: Yes, you can buy a plush carpet for your tent - we did! The waterproof backed, fleece carpet adds to the warmth and general comfort, plus it stops a lot of muck from being trailed into the sleeping area.
Extension: You can buy an extension to attach to the front of your tent, like an awning, to further extend your comfort and living area.
Yukon River 4 Advantages
Size: This is a comfortably large tent. It's a delight to have a tent that you can stand full height in all areas. The living room is big enough to fit a table to seat four (six at a squeeze), plus two camping armchairs.
Warmth: The outer fabric and inner polycotton bedroom make the Yukon River 4 a really warm, dry tent.
Daylight: Thanks to those picture windows, the tent is wonderfully light. This really matters when the weather's too wet to sit out - other campers will be huddled in the dark, but you will still have plenty of daylight.
Strength: This is a very sturdy tent, that can withstand some weather.
Yukon river 4 Disadvantages
Size: Whilst the Yukon river 4 is a superb family tent, you won't be taking it backpacking, and you'll need to think about whether it will fit in your car with all the other camping gear. When packed away in it's canvas bag, the tent measures 29 x 93cm (very roughly 1' x 3') and weighs a whopping 22.6kg (a shade under 50lbs).
And that's just the tent!
The poles pack away to 19 x 92 cm (roughly 8" x 3') and weigh 13.9 kg (around 30lbs).
Nevertheless - following a blustery week in Cornwall this year, I remain a firm fan of the Yukon river 4. During one particular storm other tents blew down, leaked, water flooded in, whilst we stayed smugly warm and dry - thank you, Outwell!
Cost: Not cheap. Not cheap. Expect to pay upwards of £360 for the tent, with a few accessories on top you're not likely to see change from £500 (but it's so worth it!)