I’d been at home all day and yet the pile of laundry hadn’t been ironed, the floors hadn’t been hoovered and the washing-up fairy hadn’t paid a visit. The Wife was due home in a few minutes, I knew I’d be in the doghouse and that gave me inspiration. There was only one thing for it – a distraction technique was needed and I had just the thing.
I’d been sent the Dog House tent by Monster Factory and set about erecting it in the middle of the garden in order to attract the eyes of she-who-must-be-distracted as she walked into the kitchen. And it worked brilliantly.
It’s exactly the kind of tent that does that – it attracts people’s eyes. In fact, when I first saw it pitched up at an Outdoor Show I was amazed – It just makes people stop and smile.
Pitching it for the first time takes a good 10 minutes.
It’s not supplied with instructions [Edit by Andy: I just found some instructions buried in the original shipping box, and they’re very clear and waterproof, which is excellent], and the guylines need attaching so think of the first erection as a learning process.
The poles are simple steel affairs which feel very sturdy and can be put together extremely easily by a child or a man holding a camera and trying to get a dog to sit still.
Once each pole was into the tent and velcroed into its respective position with pretty sturdy looking tabs, the six guylines are then employed to keep the roof and side walls taut.
Monster Factory supply 10 strong tent pegs, so getting the guylines nice and pluckable is a cinch, and the finished construction feels pretty well balanced.
The groundsheet of the Dog House is sewn in and of the bucket type – which is to say that it curls up slightly at the edge to keep surface water out. The roof of the Dog House is rated to 3000mm on the Hydrostatic Head (Read what that means here), which is ample for festivals and summer use.
The walls themselves (the wooden effect bits) are rated to 1000mm, which is OK for rain, but if you brush up against the inside of the tent too much in the wet, it’ll probably leak a bit.
That said… I pitched the Dog House before 48 hours of torrential rain and wind last week and it didn’t let in a single drop. Not even through the non-waterproof zipper, which is very impressive.
Once pitched, I laid out the dog bowl (included in the bag), and hung the little vinyl sign and stood back to take a photo. Some deep genetic memory must have been triggered because SamTheDog (GearWeAre’s standard unit of measurement) ran straight into the Dog House and sat there posing for the photo.
I eventually crawled in there with him and we lay down to get a feel for the space of the Dog House.
It may look fit for a dog, but the Dog House is certainly OK for a couple of humans too. It’s a 2-man tent and with a floorplan of 2m x 1.1m, which in old money is enough for a 6-footer to stretch out, or in practical terms plenty of room for 1-person to go to a festival with their backpack. Sitting height is just about OK if you’re on your own in there and can sit in the middle.
Unfortunately, no 2-man tent is ever going to be big enough to escape morning dog-breath, so you’ll still need a kennel inside your Dog House if you want to avoid early-rising Winalot yawns.
I reckon that the Dog House would be brilliant as a kids’ tent. It’s a fun place to sleep and play, and somewhere they’ll want to be. It could also be an excellent Festival tent, since it’s distinctive, very simple in design and not too heavy. It’s not an expedition or long-term tent, so avoid if you’re going on a touring holiday.
SUMMARY: The Dog House is a simple tent which is essentially a waterproof bag with a frame inside. It’s easy to pitch and stood up remarkably well against rain and wind. It’s no expedition or touring tent, but for festivals, kids or indeed one man and his dog it would do excellently. It’s also a great talking point. It packs down OK and isn’t too heavy. It’s a single-skin novelty-looking tent… with free dog bowl and running ‘in-the-doghouse’ gags.
Price: £59.99 inc delivery
From: Monster Factory