I spent a memorable 3 nights at the foot of Ben Nevis in the Tay. Memorable mostly for the extreme proximity of dog-breath at dawn every morning, which is a sure-fire way of rousing you from even the heaviest of slumbers.
We bought the Tay after deciding that our other 2-man tents (we actually seem to have accumulated 4 of them!) weren’t quite big enough for us and the dog, and that we needed something with a porch big enough to store all our stuff without inducing claustrophobia. So, a last-minute skip down to Millets and £20 later we emerged with the Tay.
First impressions – it packs up quite small considering its size – but the flip side of this is that getting back in the bag is serious pain in the backside, especially when it’s wet and muddy. That gripe aside, it is the perfect size to bungee to the back of a motorbike on a tour once it is in it’s bag.
Unfurled, it’s about 14ft long and is a classic 2-parter. 3 poles and 6 guy-lines erect the flysheet in a jiffy, and then 5 minutes of huffing, puffing and careful positioning of one’s knees allow for the inner tent to be pegged to the fly. However, and here’s my biggest problem with the Tay… despite twisting, turning and re-positioning we really struggled to get the inner and outer tents at the same angle and have ended up most nights with a sizeable (can of coke) gap between the edge of the fly and the inner tent/floor. I suppose this is fine when it’s dry, but heavy rains have seen the porch area flood as the fly drips onto it.
A night’s sleep in the Tay is decent. There have been a couple of ‘wet feet’ occasions when the poor alignment of inner and fly have resulted in condensation meeting sleeping bag, but it wasn’t enough to wake me. Like all the Eurohike tents I’ve used, the zipper is ear-shatteringly loud at 4am when you need a wee, and what seems to be an unfortunate design flaw has resulted in the outer zippers almost always catching on their own rain-flaps. Irritating in the extreme.
SUMMARY: At £20, the Tay represents a small investment for a lot of space. The layout is good and 2-men (and 1 dog) weren’t too much on top of each other. The generous porch is excellent for storage and hiding from the rain, and once packed it’s nice and compact. BUT the odd fit of fly vs inner, the irritating zipper and the flooding porch mean I have to mark this down.
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