Although pack size and weight is important when we’re touring on the bikes, I hate cramped tents.
I can’t bear having to crawl around, scared in case I touch the sides and having nowhere comfortable to sit and whinge when it rains. The kind of tent which makes you watch your waistline for no other reason than potential access issues.
You can’t beat a bit of room – that’s what I say. I also say “can we have curry tonight?” but that wouldn’t fit this particular review and Mrs Muz would refuse anyway.
This Gelert Horizon 4 has no such troubles. It’s huge. Cavernous, in fact.
Billed as a four-man tent (the clues are all there), you could easily sleep five more (friendly) people on a warm summer night in its more than ample porch. And none of that head-to-toe thing either.
Other than that the Horizon 4 is generally a standard affair though and features a door on either side as well as a bigger roll-up door at the very front. But it was this door which let our brand new test sample down. More specifically, the zip on the door.
It was already bust when we first erected the structure (a pretty straight-forward procedure using four fibreglass poles) and after an hour farting around trying to get it to zip without popping we were too paranoid to use it for the rest of the weekend. If it does it again we might have to resort to gaffer tape. Still, the side doors were more than big enough for us so it didn’t ruin our weekend or owt.
These side doors, however, are a bit weird. Both are towards the front of the tent, one on either side of the big main door, but they’re both different designs. Maybe there’s a reason for this, but I’m just an ignorant layman so I don’t know. From the inside looking forward, the outer door on the left is square, attached at the top and closing with a zip down each side leaving the bottom open. The net mesh behind it has zips down each side which meet, closing the whole thing.
The outer door on the right is squareish, attached at the side and has one zip running across the top and down the vertical, leaving the bottom open. The inner mesh, however, also has a zip across the top and down the vertical as well as a second zip along the bottom, making getting in and out a right fart on.
There’s also the fact that the big main door, which doubles as a canopy, zips up the sides and is open at the bottom but has no inner mesh net at all, rendering the nets on the side doors entirely redundant when it comes to flying blood-suckers.
It’s all okay, if you see what I mean, but the thinking is all wrong. I think.
One thing Mrs Muz likes but I don’t – making her right and me wrong – is the mini canopy over the right-hand side door. It stays in place with its own wee pole and sticks out “a good foot and a half” (Mrs Muz), keeping light rain off most of the door so it doesn’t all end up in the porch when you head out in the morning.
But I kept walking into it. So I don’t like it.
The groundsheet rises up the sides for a few inches and is stitched right around to prevent water sloshing through when the heavens open which is a point very much in its favour, as is the small electricty-in zip in the side.
But although there are side pockets inside the very roomy sleeping pod (which can be zipped into two double-airbed-size compartments) there are no such features anywhere inside the porch, meaning everything has to go on the floor. With vents at front, back and sides air-flow is decent and the covered windows, again, are pretty much standard fayre.
There’s nothing much else to say about the Horizon 4 other than it does the job and with a reasonably average 3,000mm hydrostatic head it would be great for a small family during the year’s better months.
Despite all of the above the most intriguing thing about the Horizon 4 is the short guy rope on the main front door. It doesn’t even reach the ground and I have absolutely no idea what it’s for. When Andy took a look he stroked his stubble, scratched his head, took a swig of his G&T and belched. He didn’t know either.
SUMMARY: The Gelert Horizon 4 is okay. The key selling point is the spacious porch which is more than tall enough for me, at 6′ 2″, to stand in. The midge net arrangement could be better though. A great family tent but don’t expect a whole heap of bells and whistles. Oh, and the weight. Good God. Use the car. Or a donkey.