A light, spacious day tent that usefully comes with four clip-in sides, read more about the £150 Kampa Cabana in Practical Caravan's review

Overview

As part of our day tents group test, here we are testing the Kampa Cabana, which carries a £150 price tag. But what is a day tent? How does this one perform? And how did we test the products? Read on.

Being caravanners, you're sure to be familiar with awnings and to have seen them at campsites while on tour. Day tents or event shelters can be useful additions to your camping equipment because they can provide flexible extra living and storage space. If you're on holiday with family and friends they can come into their own, giving you extra room for communal dining and socialising, without encroaching on one group's personal space.

Yes, you will see cheap tents for sale much like these at supermarkets, but think before you buy: there have been reports of some taking off in windy conditions, meaning some campsites have banned them. However, do your homework, buy the right product and your day tent or event shelter will help you make the most of being outdoors, protecting you from the sun and light rain.

With those wind-related concerns in mind, when we conducted our day tents group test, we assessed the sturdiness of each product, to determine whether or not they were stable enough to withstand use in typical British weather. We also wanted to see if the structures could be made fully weatherproof – many can't, but it's very useful if they can be, then you can store and protect your kit in them.

Erection and dismantling times were also important, as you don't want to waste precious holiday time pitching your tent – some were stunningly quick and easy.

Each day tent was also tested to see if it delivered the true gazebo experience, by taking note of what can be done with its sides. Can they function as handy screen nets, which are great at making stiff winds become gentle breezes? Could they be made into canopies, fully opened or left as windows?

The standing height in the tent and the floor space provided were also important – arched or sloping sides might mean the edges can only be used for floor-level storage. And as you'll have to stow the product in your car or caravan, its pack-down size and weight matter, too.

So, how did the Kampa Cabana perform? This is a pole-and-sleeve version of Coleman’s Event Shelter, but it stands out from the group in several ways. It’s the smallest to store – pack-down size is 70cm x 22cm x 20cm – and, at 9.5kg, it’s the lightest. It’s also the cheapest product that comes supplied with all four sides – albeit clip-ins, which are better suited to aiding privacy, sun protection, or guarding against light rain than making the structure weatherproof.

We found that this was a good five or 10 minutes quicker to build than the Coleman. And once built, we liked the 4m x 4m floor space, the pockets provided, and the 2.35m maximum height, but more guy lines would make the structure more stable.

Technical specs

Pack-down size70cm x 22cm x 20cm
Weight9.5kg
Floor space4m x 4m
Maximum height2.35m

Verdict

Practical Caravan's expert test team gave the Kampa Cabana a two-star rating. It's both affordable and spacious, but we'd like it to be more stable.

Other day tents reviewed in our group test include the aforementioned Coleman Event Shelter 12 x 12, plus the Khyam Day Shelter 300 and Khyam Megatop. We also put up the Kyham Screenhouse, the lightning-fast Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 6 and its little sibling, the Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 4 and Easy Camp Pavilion. They've all been given star ratings, and we've decided their pros and cons to give you a head start when deciding which are the best camping shelters and day tents in the UK for you.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Quick to pitch
  • It's light and cheap
  • It provides a good amount of space

Cons

  • More guy lines would help its stability
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