CAMPING | A Weekend In the 5m Oxford Canvas Bell Tent from Boutique Camping

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5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping
The Oxford bell tent from Boutique Camping
Boutique Camping

What is it?

5m Oxford Canvas Bell Tent
Boutique Camping, from £489.99
Buy it here

Technical Details

  • Luxury grey bell tent with taped seams and a heavy duty zipped-in extra thick ground sheet
  • Waterproof, mold resistant PU canvas coating
  • Extra thick 5mm guy ropes, heavy duty Pegs; 6mm ground sheet pegs and 8mm robust groundsheets
  • Spring loaded 32mm diameter centre pole with a robust 1.2mm metal thickness
  • New extra large vents for ventilation
  • 3 way zips with loops that can be easily pad locked for extra security
  • 3 inside pockets for extra storage
  • Comes with 12 months manufacturers warranty
  • 60cm walls can be unzipped and rolled up for airflow
  • Secondary zipped mosquito door
  • 4 zipped windows for airflow and ventilation with mesh cover to keep insects away
  • Fittings to add optional inner tent
5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping In the boot

The Oxford bell tent packed away into the boot of the car

The new Oxford canvas tent is exclusive to Boutique Camping, and features a limited-edition PU treated canvas fabric that provides extra durability plus all of the features of their canvas bell tents, but at a more affordable price – roughly £100 less than cotton canvas bell tents.

What did we think?

We turned to bell tents a few years ago, and since then have purchased a 5m bell tent from Boutique Camping, and more recently have been using their fantastic 6m rainbow bell tent, so we were keen to see how the new Oxford canvas would compare.

5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping internal shot

Inside the Oxford bell tent

At first look, it’s just like the other canvas bell tents that we are used to. Get up close though and when you touch the fabric you can tell that it’s been specially coated, but aesthetically, we think it looks just as nice as traditional canvas.

5m Oxford Bell Tent

Inside the Boutique Camping branded carry bag, there’s an instruction manual, the tent with pre-attached zipped in groundsheet, a bag containing two different kinds of tent pegs and a pole bag that contains, the centre pole and the A frame for the doorway.

5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping

We find bell tents very easy to put up and the Oxford bell goes up just like any other. It’s simply a matter of lying the tent out, then pegging the groundsheet loops to the ground. In goes the centre pole, we then peg out a few guy ropes using the heavy duty pegs before popping in the A-frame to create the doorway, pegging in the remaining guy ropes.

5m Oxford Bell Tent ceiling vents

Centre pole with attachment loops

First time around setting the tent up takes a little longer as each of the guy ropes need to be tied on, but in general two people can erect this tent in 15 minutes. The centre pole includes a loop, which we use for hanging our HUBi light, but it also acts as an anchor point should you wish to use an inner tent (purchased separately), with additional anchor points all around the base of the tent so you can position the inner tent wherever you want.

5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping internal details

Left: Loops that allow you to roll the sides of the tent up Right: Groundsheet anchor points for an inner tent

Several hours of heavy rain when using a new bell tent generally results in puddles and leaks. That’s because to be totally waterproof, the canvas needs to be wet and then dried for the canvas to tighten and become properly water-tight. Had we been in a new canvas bell tent, the amount of rain we had on the first night would have definitely left us with puddles inside, but the specially coated Oxford canvas along with its taped seams meant no first-use leaks whatsoever.

5m Oxford Bell Tent branding on the tent
5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping door toggle

Why you should consider it

The new Oxford fabric is easier to care for than traditional canvas and it won’t rot or attract mildew spots. Our coloured bell tents have both faded over time, but the new Oxford canvas will hold colour for longer and is essentially more durable than traditional canvas.

5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping rain on fabric

When we read that the Oxford fabric was grey, we weren’t certain we’d like it, but once up, we found we actually prefer the contemporary light grey colour to the usual cream/beige colour of bell tents.

5m Oxford Bell Tent

The Oxford bell has all the same features as the existing range of Boutique Camping bell tents, including a great quality groundsheet, robust zips, ceiling vents, mesh insect covers for doors and windows and heavy duty tent pegs. All of these things, together with it’s lower price point makes it an attractive proposition, especially for those who are new to bell tents.

The limited edition Oxford bell tent is available in either 4 or 5 metre sizes, priced at £359 and £449 respectively.

Find out more at Boutique Camping.

5m Oxford Bell Tent from Boutique Camping
Boutique Camping

Thank you to Boutique Camping for providing the Oxford bell tent to review.

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Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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