If you're looking at day tents for sale and you're touring in a large group, the Khyam Megatop might be what you need, says Practical Caravan's expert

Overview

If you're heading off on your caravan holidays in a big group and you want to have a communal area for maybe dining or just chilling and socialising, but without taking up anybody's personal or private space, perhaps a day tent or event shelter is an item you need to add to your touring kit. Of course, this role could be fulfilled by an awning, but some prefer a dedicated, group space to keep the sun or rain off. If there's just the two of you, a day tent might also be useful as an additional storage facility.

So day tents are becoming increasingly popular with caravanners, but you must be sure you're buying a strong and sturdy product. You might have seen gazebo-style tents for sale in supermarkets, but following tales of these taking off in the wind and causing damage and/or injury, some sites no longer permit them – and, of course, you'd rather your structure was stable.

We therefore made sure that our scoring system in our group test took account of a day tent/event shelter's stability. But what else should you look out for if buying one of these? Read on – our experts are here to help.

Our first test was how difficult or simple each day tent was to put up and take down; some were amazingly easy. And, as well as its sturdiness in use, whether or not a tent has a groundsheet and can be made completely weatherproof was another factor to consider – it means you could use it as extra accommodation or to protect items from bad weather.

Also, does the tent being tested have sides? And can these sides be opened, used as canopies or screen nets, or do they have windows? Do these size hurt the floor space on offer (some sloping sides can restrict the amount of usable space), and what kind of space is provided by the tent?

Finally, as you're going to have to find space to store your day tent or event shelter when on the road, once packed away, we considered how heavy it was and what size it packed down to.

Which brings us onto our review of the Khyam Megatop. Mega by name, mega by nature: this unusual-looking dome – think Disney World’s Epcot Centre in polyester – has 10 sides, all of which are almost 2m long. Therefore, the area inside is huge: in fact, it’s positively cave-like thanks to its lofty 3m height in the middle. Only the very biggest family or groups of friends will fill it. And, in reality, this will appeal more to large groups who combine touring with other pursuits – such as sports, dog showing, equestrian meets and rallies. But if such a large structure is desired, there are few products out there that come close.

Despite the gargantuan size, extensive use of Khyam’s unique Rapidex system results in a pitch time of around five minutes, and a pack-down size smaller and lighter than many family tunnel tents. Although there’s only one door, the four large windows can either be left shut, fully opened, or be set as screen nets.

We also tested the Kyham Screenhouse, the Khyam Day Shelter 300, Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 6, Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 4, Coleman Event Shelter 12 x 12, Kampa Cabana and Easy Camp Pavilion. Enjoy browsing our camping accessory reviews before you decide the best camping shelters and day tents for you.

Technical specs

Pack-down size140cm x 40cm x 40cm
Height3m
Weight20kg

Verdict

So, at the end of the Khyam Megatop review, what do we think? If you need a day tent or event shelter to cater for a large party, few do the job better than this – but at £800, perhaps you'd expect it to perform well. Our expert testers gave it a four-star rating.

Do you want something a little more affordable? How about another Khyam product, the Day Shelter 300? We also reviewed the Kampa Cabana, the Coleman Event Shelter 12 x 12 and the Quest Elite Instant Spring Up Screen House 6.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It provides a large, high space
  • It's quick to pitch
  • Despite its size it packs down quite small and is pretty light, too

Cons

  • Its price
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Swift Elegance 530 review – 1 - Its 1661kg MTPLM means the 2017 Swift Elegance 530 isn't light, but it's also heavy on luxury which ups its appeal (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Elddis Crusader Zephyr review – 1 - The exterior colour is called 'Champagne', but it is really a heathery brown, differentiating it from the blue of its Compass Camino 660 sister van (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Lunar Lexon 590 review – 1 - Flush-fitting windows, the sunroof, alloy wheels and the cantilever-action gas locker door all add a touch of class to the 590 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sprite Quattro DD review – 1 - This twin-axle from the 2017 range of Sprite caravans has an MTPLM of 1624kg (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Bailey Pursuit 560-5 review – 1 - The single front window may look budget-style to some, but we like the uncluttered view it provides from inside the van (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Compass Capiro 550 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Compass Capiro 550 has a 1467kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)