VERDICT A great value family tent, with a vis-à-vis layout that provides more privacy and is perfect for camping with older children
Tunnel tents are the perfect set-up for families with young children. During the day they provide plenty of living space, then, at night, allow the youngsters to sleep alongside you in the end bedroom area.
But the older they get, the less appealing this set-up becomes. When you go camping with teenagers, the vis-à-vis, with bedrooms at opposite ends of a good-sized central living area, is a far better option.
The vis-à-vis layout of Quechua’s Arpenaz 8.4 provides privacy – and, if you prefer, one of the four-berth sleeping areas can be removed to create a vast living space. Even with the two bedrooms in place, the living room in this tent is a good size, with good head height and enough room for furniture like tables, chairs and storage units.
The two big windows allow plenty of light into the living room and both doors have mesh backs, which allow you to let fresh air in during the day, but stop insects like mosquitoes from getting in.
Other features include storage pockets in the bedrooms and living area and clothes lines above the windows. As well as families with older children, the Arpenaz also works well for, say, two sets of couples, who’d prefer not to sleep alongside each other in a typical tunnel tent.
Exclusively available at Decathlon stores, the Arpenaz 8.4 has been part of the Quechua range for a few years, but has a new blue colour scheme for 2022. It is a large eight-berth poled tent, so will need a couple of people to put it up, although pitching is very straightforward. The five poles are colour-coded to ensure you can easily locate the right sleeve when pitching.
With their French origins, it’s no surprise that Quechua tents tend to be ideally suited for hot weather camping, with excellent ventilation throughout. The flysheet fabric also has UPF30 sun protection.
The hydrostatic head rating is only 2,000mm, which is relatively low compared to other family tents, but it should still be sufficient to keep you dry in most downpours.
Quechua also says its tents are tested for use in wind speeds of up to 30mph.
Packed size 58 x 38 x 38cm
Waterproof 2,000mm hydrostatic head
Pitching time 20 mins
Size 740 x 420cm
Materials Outer Polyester Poles Fibreglass