CAMPING | 5 Nights Camping In The Stunning New Star Canopy Bell Tent from Boutique Camping

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Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

What is it?

5m Sandstone Star Bell Tent With Zipped In Ground Sheet
£669 from Boutique Camping
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Tent Features

  • Brand new Boutique Camping 5m Star Bell Tent design
  • Luxury bell tent with heavy duty zipped in water resistant, extra thick groundsheet (540g per sqm)
  • Total weight 5m = 29kg
  • 3m lightweight 35mm diameter Aluminium centre pole.
  • Centre pole has loop to hang chandeliers
  • 3 Extra thick 5mm guy ropes for the canopy entrance
  • 360 netting around the 75cm walls, can be rolled up for airflow
  • Heavy Duty Pegs; 6mm groundsheet pegs and 8mm robust groundsheet pegs
  • Packed downsize (105cm x 36cm x 36cm)
  • Integrated canopy with 50cm overhang at the entrance with bendy pole to form the canopy
  • Webbing to secure the tent to the ground
  • 3 way double sided zips with loops that can be easily padlocked for extra security
  • 3 inside pockets for extra storage
  • Secondary zipped mosquito door
  • 4 zipped windows for airflow and ventilation with mesh cover to keep insects away
  • Canvas is treated with UV, mildew, rot & water repellent

See all of the features here

Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

Putting the Tent up

Getting the tent up was just as easy as any other bell tent we’ve used. After pegging out the bottom, there’s a single sturdy pole that pushes up inside the centre of the tent. Next there’s a sturdy A-frame in sections, that creates the opening for the huge front door. We loved that the door was so much taller than in other 5m bell tents (no bending to walk in and out!) and found the extra width really handy too.

We loved that the door was so much taller than in other 5m bell tents and found the extra width really handy too.

Due to the design of this tent and the addition of the canopy,  it means there’s an extra pole. The thin flexible pole was snapped quckily into place and easily threaded through the front seam to form the front of the canopy.

Inside the new Star Canopy Bell TentThe bright and airy interior, not quite as organgey/brown as the photos look!

The new bell tent design uses a combination of mainly sturdy webbing straps instead of traditional guy ropes, however, there are still 3 guy ropes on the front to keep the canopy in place. The whole set up process took no more than 20 minutes between the 2 of us, and now we’re familiar with it, I expect we’ll be able to get it up in around 15 minutes on future trips.

What we thought

Let’s be honest, running a blog like this means we get to try out more than our fair share of tents. As well as long-term tests of a plethora of modern tents, we’ve also been proud bell tent owners for several years now. It takes a lot to impress us generally, but we always appreciate good looks and great design that provides high levels of functionality and comfort. We’re delighted to report that the new Boutique Camping Star Bell Tent exceeded our expectations.

Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

Inside the star canopy bell tent

During our camping trip we faced lots of different weather conditions, from blazing hot sunshine to 24 hours of torrential rain. During the rain, we did get a few wet patches, but nothing serious and certainly nothing we weren’t already expecting. As existing bell tent owners will know, canvas tents are only fully waterproof once they have been wet for the first time and dried out.

Despite the rain, it was still pretty warm. Usually keeping the half-moon window vents open during rain means you’re very likely to let a lot of water in, not so with this tent. The star canopy effectively acts like an umbrella, so you can keep the window vents open but you are still protected from rain.

Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent
Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

Inside the new Star Canopy Bell TentInside the tent with all of our camp furniture set up

Features that we loved

The built in front canopy

This is something we’ve never seen in a bell tent before and it provides a really useful covered space – invaluable in the UK when rain is an almost constant possibility!

The front canopy shown from the side

Boutique Camping Star Canopy Bell Tent

The star design is utterly genius

It means that in hot weather, you can open all of the ventilation windows to get the air flowing, but if it rains, you’ve got added protection as the points of the star offer additional cover from the rain. Brilliant!

Sturdy webbing instead of guy ropes

The sturdy webbing makes it easy to get even tensioning, and despite a couple of windy days, we didn’t need to re-peg or tighten anything as the webbing is designed to keep the tent standing firm, even in strong wind.

Star Bell Tent WebbingSturdy webbing instead of traditional guy ropes

Heavy duty tent pegs

We love the big strong heavy duty pegs that come with the tent, and you’ll find two kinds. A thinner smooth tent peg used to peg out the base of the tent, plus big heavy duty pegs for the guy ropes and webbbing, that keep the tent anchored firmly.

Generous door height

We’ve never been inside a 5m bell tent that didn’t require some degree of stooping or bending to get into. Usually the apex of the doorway is too low (I’m 5.6″) so bending is necessary. Not so with this beauty. The door way is a huge 2m high and 2.90cm wide. The extra height and width makes getting in and out of the tent a breeze, and makes it easy to get all of your camp furniture in and out.

Inside the new Star Canopy Bell TentInside the star canopy bell tent, showing our enormous Outwell Kitchen unit and double bed set up inside.

Internal space

Once inside a bell tent it can be surprising how much usable space is lost due to low sides and the sloping roof, especially if you use camp furniture. The sides of bell tents (i.e. the straight bit before the roof starts to slant) can vary greatly in height and most are pretty low. We found in this model however that as well as the half-moon window vents being a bit bigger, the height of the walls were also much more generous than usual, meaning more usable space.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • It looks amazing
  • High quality, thick canvas
  • Sturdy webbing instead of guy ropes
  • Star canopy provides shelter from the sun/rain
  • High sides, means more usable internal space
  • Heavy duty pegs and funky purple guy ropes
  • Enormous doors (both tall and wide)
  • Great attention to detail, branded zippers, tension adjusters and carry bag
  • New 360 degree bug mesh
  • Can be put up by one person alone if necessary (though it is pretty heavy)
  • Window vents are larger than usual
  • Great at regulating temperature
  • Did we already mention that It looks amazing?
  • With the addition of the canopy the tent is slightly heavier than a standard 5m bell
  • In the morning the tent felt particularly bright
  • The tent does not have anchor points to fit an inner tent

Final Verdict

This is a genuinely stunning tent. Not only does it look gorgeous but it’s excellent quality, well made and sturdy. For those that are already bell tent converts, you’ll love the clever new design features in this tent that provide shelter from the sun and rain, extra stability from the webbing in bad weather, and more usable interior space. For those new to bell tents, this is a superb quality, industry-leading tent that provides a host of extra features over and above a standard bell tent.

We still adore our brightly coloured 6m rainbow bell tent, but for shorter camping trips, you can bet that this is the tent we’ll be taking with us from now on.

Front door canopy of the bell tentThe front canopy of the bell tent

A big thank you to Boutique Camping Camping who provided the featured tent for us to review.