It was with a similar sort of delight as that moment when you find The Big Purple One hidden in a box of Quality Street that I opened the box from Easy Camp. Hidden at the bottom, under sleeping bags and fleeces was their version of The Big Purple One, only this was a Tipi!
If you’re planning on heading to a Festival or social camping this summer then the Easy Camp Tipi, with it’s unmissable violet pyramid styling will make you stand out from the crowd. It’s absolutely not designed for anything other than summer, light use at festivals and family camping, so don’t compare it to a more sturdy Tipi like Tentipi; not the same ballpark.
However, in the context of Festival camping it’s a little star of a tent.
I unfurled it in the garden on a hot, gusty day and after being hit by the purpleness of it I realised that it was much, much bigger than I’d anticipated. Because it’s a single skin, all-in-one tent with only a single large pole it packs down relatively small for its size and only weighs 4kg, despite having a footprint of nearly 3m x 3m.
I was able to erect the Easy Camp Tipi in under 3 minutes. It’s so simple that a drunkard could probably do it. You just lay the Tipi out, stick in pegs around its base, pop a circular pole into the air-vent at the top and then pop the long central pole in through the doorway. Adjusting the guylines took the longest part of the process, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I may finally have found a tent that won’t result in an argument or period of searing silence in even the most coupley of couples.
Actually, that’s a thought I’ve just had. One point against the Tipi is that it does NEED guylines to be used to give it its shape. You might have to use some ingenuity if you plan to take the Tipi to Glastonbury and be nose to nose with other tents. Or get there early!
Construction of the Tipi is simple but effective. Single stitch seams on a thin coated fabric are helped along by taped seams to keep out showers. You’re not going to survive a monsoon or blizzard in this Tipi, but then that’s not what it’s for. It does, however, have a generously high groundsheet to keep out surface water. It feels fairly tough too, so should be boot friendly. The tent fabric is rated to a hydrostatic head of 1500mm.
Entering through the very large doorway with mosquito net you are bathed in a warm purple glow and you get 4 small net pockets around the edges of the Tipi for essentials. By my reckoning you could squeeze in 2 double airbeds either side of the central pole. I think it’d be ample room for 3 or 4 friends to sleep in and stash belongings during the day. Certainly more comfortable for 3 adults, but fine for 4. It’d probably be OK for a small family too, provided they’d packed fairly light.
The Easy Camp website says that the Tipi is fire retardant, but you get the smattering of usual “Don’t get fire anywhere near this tent” warnings inside. It’s certainly not the kind of Tipi you can light a fire in – it doesn’t have ground vents.
Quality of finish on the Tipi is actually quite high considering the low price. The thin skin and simple stitching aren’t going to last forever, but if you want a tent that you can use for a week or so per year, and you’re prepared to wash and pack it properly then I can’t see why the Tipi won’t last you for a good long while.
The tipi costs £79 rrp (£69 online) and is available in four colours; red, blue, green and purple, so you should be able to narrow your chances of spotting your tipi in the crowds of tents even further.
SUMMARY: This isn’t the lightest, best-built or most feature-rich 4-person tent you can buy, but for the price it is amongst the easiest to put up, the easiest to stand up in and possibly amongst the roomiest at floor level. It looks great and I reckon Tipis are going to be this year’s must have at festivals. I’d happily use this in summer for a weekend away with the wife and dog, or take it social camping as a bit of a talking point.
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