It’s always worth shopping around for the best deals on your camping accessories. We often find quite a variation between the prices charged for the same or similar products. This was certainly the case when we decided to gather a selection of products together on the Practical Caravan test bench for a big windbreaks test.

We’ve seen so many caravans set up with and without their awnings, surrounded by those cheerful striped windbreaks with wooden poles. More often than not, the windbreaks are used as dog enclosures as well as for privacy and to stop other people taking shortcuts across the pitch on their way to the campsite washrooms!

Now, though, there’s a quiet revolution going on. Tent manufacturers have started making windbreaks, too. The latest wave of windbreaks tend to be in subtle greens, greys and sky blue, sometimes with clear plastic window sections, and they use light metal or glass fibre tent poles and pegs, guy ropes and ground spikes. 

The latest windbreaks are more expensive than the old-style products, so are they any better at doing the job?

To find out, we tested cheap windbreaks, such as the Gelert Breeze Blocker, costing £24.99, the Halfords Urban Escape Camping, at £20, the yellow banana-shaped Easy Camp Surf at £19.99 and the Vango Adventure Windbreak at £24.99,

Then we checked out the slightly more expensive Olpro Picket Fence Windbreak, costing £29.99, the Kampa Break, at £39.99, the Coleman Windshield XL, costing £49.99, and the Quest 7 Pole Family Windbreak at £49.99.

Finally we tested some premium-priced windbreaks, such as the Kampa Deluxe Windbreak, at £89.98, the Vango 5 Pole Windbreak, costing £64.99, Outwell Premium Round Windscreen, at £69.99, and the Quest Windshield Pro, at £104.99. 

We wanted lightweight, compact windbreaks that would fit neatly in the caravan lockers when not in use, and might be light enough to take to the beach for family picnics. We were looking for stability and strength and whether or not we could attach the windbreaks to the awning or the caravan. Finally, we were checking for gaps between the bottom section of fabric and the ground. The last thing we wanted was a windbreak that lets dogs and toddlers escape underneath. We also wanted to prevent sand blowing under the windbreak and into our picnic as we reclined on the beach. 

When looking for outdoor equipment, lots of us head to Argos, for the sake of convenience. We’re normally big fans of the store. However, not all the products are premium brands and it’s still worth shopping around for the best value camping accessories.

The Trespass Windbreak from Argos is a windbreak that doesn’t feel like money well spent when you first unpack it. The material feels almost like a budget sacking. But the real problem is the poles. They’re steel, but even the slight force of pushing the spiked ends of the poles into the ground was enough to make one of them buckle, and they flexed alarmingly when subjected to wind.

The white plastic caps for the tops of the poles are flimsy, so we’d recommend that you try to push the poles into the ground rather than hitting these plastic covers with the mallet.

Overall stability is not helped by the complete lack of anchorage between the material and the ground. At least there are guy ropes.