If you’re looking for a manageable-sized tent for a young family (or couple with a load of stuff), which won’t break the bank, but is built to last, then the Easy Camp Baltimore 400 is worth reading about.
We’ve spent a couple of long weekends with the Baltimore 400 (400 = sleeps 4 people, gettit?) and it has proven to be a bit of a winner. It’s a tall tunnel-style tent which uses fibreglass (bendy) poles and enough guy ropes to secure it to a cliff to build a structure which has stood up very well to gusty winds, showery rain and very hot sun.
Assembling the Baltimore 400 is a 2-person job. The wife insists that it’s a 3-person job, despite the fact that we’ve managed it together with no problem twice, and I will concede that getting the poles from horizontal to vertical when they’re all in their (colour coded) pockets is a bit of a logistical test the first time you pitch it. Once you’ve pegged the sewn-in groundsheet in place, it requires a bit of shuffling and repositioning to get ‘just-so’, but given 15 minutes it will be up and respledent.
Easy Camp supply generic-style steel tent pegs which worked well on soft ground, but struggled a bit on rockier ground, so you might need to invest in some chunky rock-pegs if you camp on a stony field. That said, the copious guy lines kept the Baltimore rock solid when they were up.
The inner tent is a mesh affair with two double compartments. These are in turn separated by an opaque mesh divider, which is sealed at each side. It’s not sealed at the bottom, which makes sense if you have kids so you can keep an eye on them. It does mean that, if you give your smelly dog his own compartment, he can crawl under and lick your face at the crack of dawn… so be warned.
The Baltimore 400 has massive clear windows which mean that you can easily keep an eye on the kids playing outside, or if it’s raining the rest of the miserable campsite can stare in at you playing cards and drinking cooking lager whilst the kids beat each other with expensive electronic devices.
And if the sun is out, the end of the tent zips up and becomes a canopy under which you can sit and watch the day go by. It works excellently as a sun shield.
The Baltimore is made from polyester which is waterproof to 3000mm on the Hydrostatic Head (read what that means here), and it features a nifty bucket-style groundsheet and entrances which pin up at foot level when they’re closed, stopping breezes and rain coming in.
Size wise, the Baltimore will sleep 4 comfortably. And 6-footers won’t have a problem either. Standing height in the centre is good (6ft 6in) and there’s plenty of room for 4 chairs and luggage storage in the porch.
Easy Camp have kept the cost down to £180 rrp, but not particularly scrimped on the features. You still get a mains-electric entry point (a zippered hole), extra poles for the sun canopy and enough features that you won’t outgrow the Baltimore for a while.
Pack size for the Baltimore 400 is quite large – 75cm x 35cm x 35cm, and it weighs 14.5Kg, which means that it’s definitely a car-camping tent, and you’re going to struggle to lug it very far at the other end if you have kids in tow too.
SUMMARY: The Easy Camp Baltimore 400 makes a really neat weekend car-camping tent for a young family or perhaps a couple who need more room. It’s not too hard to pitch, but does take a little trial-and-error to get perfect. All the components are decent quality and for the price, its size is excellent. In hot sun it’s brilliant with a wide-open canopy, and then in rain and cold it battens down quite well too.
Price: £180 rrp
More: Easy Camp