For event shelters on a budget, check out Practical Caravan's Easy Camp Pavilion review – a good choice for weekend caravan breaks, rallies and parties

Overview

Whether you're away in your caravan or at home it's fantastic to eat outside as much as possible. This is even more fun when you go away with friends or in a large family group. To make the whole 'outdoor dining' plan foil-proof whatever the weather, it's a good idea to buy some kind of gazebo, event shelter or day tent. 

It's also very handy to put up a quick porch structure outside your caravan on weekend breaks when you can't be bothered with putting up full caravan awnings. So, what products are available to help make setting up your caravan on site as fast as possible so that you can get comfy and start having all that holiday fun without delay?

We've been testing a selection of eight day tents and event shelters for sale in the UK today. We've tried out the Kampa Cabana, with its four clip-in sides and the Khyam Megatop 10-sided dome. We tested the Khyam Day Shelter 300, a proper tent that has front and rear doors that you can use as canopies, as well as the more expensive Khyam Screenhouse, which is a proper tent for camping which sleeps four and could make a good substitute for a caravan awning. Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 6 impressed us when we discovered we could put it up in less than a minute, so we also tried out the lesser Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 4. Light and airy shelters have their uses as sunshades, offering privacy and protection from light showers as a bonus, so we tested the Coleman Event Shelter 12 x 12 and the Kampa Cabana. You can read Practical Caravan's test verdicts on the day tents and shelters at the end of each of these camping accessories reviews

The Easy Camp Pavilion is a day shelter that comes out of its bag with the poles and fabric pre-attached. And while it’s initially confusing when laid out – because the legs lie back on themselves over the roof members – the use of telescopic poles throughout means that the structure is up and ready for pegging down in a few minutes.

Once you've built the Easy Camp Pavilion, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sturdiness or fabric-smoothing tension built into the design. It’s deceptively spacious too, measuring 4.4m x 3.2m and is 2.6m high in the centre of the dome.

It just has one living room and the flysheet is made of fire retardant 190T PU-coated polyester, with taped seams for strength. The telescopic steel poles have push locks and the guy ropes are attached.

Like Kampa’s Cabana, the wide corners house several handy pockets – perfect for stashing odds and ends. The makers clearly expect the Easy Camp Pavilion to take centre stage at the party, because there is a handy lantern hanging point in the middle of the domed ceiling. 

The whole thing weighs 15.3Kg and packs down to 130cm x 20cm.

The sides are simple clip-ins (costing £24.99 a pair), but fitting the panels won’t make the structure fully weatherproof.

Technical specs

Weight15.3kg
PolesTelescopic steel with push locks, 16/19mm
Pack size130cm x 20cm
Hydrostatic head3000mm
Rooms1 living room

Verdict

If you want a quick and easy shelter to put up for outdoor dining on site or at events and parties, consider the Easy Camp Pavilion. It's not fully weatherproof, but you'll find it pretty handy for fair-weather gatherings. We've awarded the Easy Camp Pavilion a four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • We put it up in minutes
  • Sturdy
  • Spacious
  • Good value

Cons

  • Clip-in sides cost an extra £24.99 a pair
  • Not fully weatherproof
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