Really Cool Tents


01 Sunday 01st July 2012

The Solar Concept Tent

An eco-friendly but oh-so useful design this prototype from Orange is set to revolutionise the camping world when it finally emerges from the design suite. Ultimately providing that all important electricity supply, useful for charging phones and plugging in hair straighteners and the like, it sucks up energy from the sun through its specially woven fabric. Controlled by a central wireless hub, providing a life saving internet connection, this tent is the King of gadgetry. And for those that struggle to find their way back after a heavy night out, never fear. The solar concept is fitted with glo-cation technology whereby a simple text from your phone will light it up like a beacon.

Love: Being able to recharge our phone without leaving it in one of those dodgy 'charging stations'
Hate: Lack of waterwheel for prevailing British weather conditions.

Opera House Tent

A bit more than a tent, this Sydney Opera house inspired contraption will have even the most hardened camper mesmerized.  Effectively a trailer with a tent like thing on top, it’s a home from home with its electric twin beds, hot running water and outdoor/indoor kitchen. With a 36 litre top loading fridge it's perfect for packing in all those cans of beer, and if you think you might look a little poncy, well, who cares? You’ll be laughing when you’re snuggled up in your three-ply duvet whilst everyone else battles the downpour with a piece of tarpaulin. 

Love: The ceramic toilet that will make queuing for a portaloo seem like a distant memory.
Hate:  Its size will no doubt cause some problems with other campers.

Camper Kart

If you ever happen to be doing your food shopping and find yourself in the middle of a field late at night, cracking out this Camper Kart might just save your life (or at least make this unusual encounter more comfortable). A project that was designed to investigate habitats and housing; recycling and ecology; exploration and mobility this design from Kevin Cyr might appear unstable but is surprisingly compact. With enough space for a bed, a miniature kitchen and an all important axe (for all that wood chopping you do) just think how much fun you could have with a tent on wheels.

Love: There's only room for one. Restful nights await thee.
Hate: Storage exists under the trolley. That doesn't seem very safe to us.


Preferable for those heading to a cooler destination this summer, the I-gloobox is shaped, surprise surprise, like an igloo and provides instant respite from harsh weather conditions. A nifty looking contraption it was originally created for homeless people by Bulgarian designer Georgi Djongarski and can be folded down into an easily transportable trolley as a result. Not the first go-to for a festival I know but if our summer continues in its current vein you might be thanking me after all. 

Love: The interchangable panels so you can put it up whether under the influence or not.
Hate: The colour. Not exactly cheery. Perhaps a bright pink or sea blue would lift its spirits.

Dress Tents

Not exactly practical but certain to get you on some best (or worst) dressed lists. These dress tents, from Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao, are a mean feat in construction and symbolise a comment on architecture and landscape mixed in with a bit of fashion.

Whatever that message may be I personally think these are pretty cool and it’s a shame that you can’t wear them and camp in them at the same time. My personal favourite is the Green House Dress tent above. Look fabulous whilst harvesting your own crops. What more could you want from your wardrobe?

Love: The amount of attention we would get when wearing one.
Hate: Trying to squeeze through gaps in a crowd in a literal sweatbox.

Tree Tent

Originally designed for the Road Alert Group (that’s people that protest against deforestation) these teardrop shaped tents lift you above the ground just enough to prevent animals burrowing into your food supplies at night. In a festival setting however, where trees are fairly scarce, they might not be as useful as they seem. Supposedly fitting a family of four inside, (with its curved floor, ceiling and walls I don’t see how) the question of getting into them doesn’t seem to be answered. They look kind of pretty though so I’m sure that’s enough for most people.

Love: If we had this at Isle of Wight we'd have been nice and dry.
Hate: How difficult they look to put up. Definitely not a one man job.

Bell Tents

These are by far my favourite of the group. Not because of what they look like - fairly bog standard tents I hear you mutter - but because of what they remind me of. Being a huge Harry Potter fan I hope you’ll get this reference but these tents make me believe that I’m about to walk into an enchanted land where a three foot space transforms into a four bed house complete with kitchen, double beds and bathroom. If you know what I’m talking about I’m sure you’ll understand and given that these tents can be made into little otherworldly havens I’m not far off. Now, where can I put this three piece suite? Ah over by the fireplace will do nicely.

Love: The size. The number of people that can fit inside would make for an immense party.
Hate: Cost and lack of actual magical properties (and Harry Potter himself).

Where will you be resting your head this summer?

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