Tent 24.5kg; poles 20.4kg
Tent 78cm x 40cm x 42cm; poles: 23cm x 73cm
Outer 660cm x 360cm (porch 240cm x 210cm); inners 180cm x 215cm
Outer 220cm; inner 190cm
The Idaho L is the smallest in Outwell's new two-tent range that brings together many of the best features from its other designs. On first glance the Idaho is a good-looking tent, but there appears to be little to differentiate it from other four-hoop tunnels that have an extended porch.
However, look a little closer and you find some very neat additions. For a start, the porch windows are much larger than those previously featured. These panoramic windows have curtain panels that unfurl from the bottom up. This allows campers to zip the panels up until they have an eye-level view out while maintaining a little privacy.
Next, take a step back and look at the line of the roof. You will see that the living area stands higher than normal, and that the porch follows the contours of the tent. Inside, you immediately find the tent and porch far roomier than previous models.
This is down to Outwell's new Space Frame System that consists of crossed glass fibre poles located in the living area roof. In effect, this turns the tunnel at this point into a dome - with all the additional benefits this creates, such as enhanced headroom and a greater porch area.
The benefits do not end here. Coupled with the pre-bent poles, it provides more headroom in the sleeping area. But, Outwell is not content with this. The company has moved the bedroom inners so that they face towards the front of the tent rather than into the living area.
The extra headroom and space has allowed them to create a proper dressing area with enough room to pull on your clothes comfortably as if at home. It can be closed off from the living area for privacy - and to hide the bedding and laundry. The dressing area boasts a hanging clothes rail and organiser pockets.
Ventilation appears ample for such a large tent. Low light windows, roof lights, a rear-wall window and rear door backed by mesh panel all help alongside the numerous vents to keep the tent light and airy. The fully sewn-in groundsheet also helps to minimise condensation while keeping out unwanted drafts and bugs.
Outwell reckons the large porch adds another 5m2 of living space to the unit. It has a bathtub groundsheet that can be removed for cleaning.
If you are greedy for yet more features you can choose from a list of matching optional extras. Besides the long list of furniture and windbreaks, you can purchase a protective footprint to go beneath the groundsheet. Then there is the luxurious carpet to go alongside the standard doormat. And, believe it or not, you can also purchase a front extension that attaches to the already massive porch. But, watch the floorspace - its 310cm x 240cm might just take it over some pitch sizes.
Undoubtedly, the most eye-catching option has to be the Kid's Room (above) - an inner tent that is available for most Outwell tents. It has a green groundsheet, attractive printed sides featuring plants and butterflies, and a dark roof studded with stars. Although there is a large door for adults, the smaller ground level hatch is the one most children will choose to use.
Inside, there are hanging shelves for stuff like iPods - and a mesh loft ball game. Soft balls are supplied to throw through holes in the mesh and the highest score wins. Will your children be able to sleep? Not unless you can remove dad from the room first - it is great fun! CG
This tent review was published in the March 2008 issue of Camping magazine. To order our latest issue please click here.
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