Robens Raptor Tent

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They Say - The Raptor uses a free-standing tunnel tent design with an extra lateral pole for even better stability, even in challenging conditions. Two doors, two generous porches and large rainproof mesh vents that are accessible from inside, add to its three-season suitability and it is quick and easy to pitch thanks to using double clip-on hooks and Fast-Foot cups on one side.

See the tent online at http://www.robens.de/en/Products/Tents/Lite/Raptor.aspx

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We Say – I’ve just used this tent for 3 weeks of wild camping around England. I’ve had a few very heavy storms, loads of cold early morning take downs and a few opportunities to practice putting the tent up in the dark at the early part of the trip when I was still trying to arrive after dark and pack up before dawn. Here are some photos of the tent in action.

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The first time I put the tent up I did so without instructions. It’s a very easy process and took no more than 10 minutes. There are 3 poles, 2 that thread through the outer tarp crossways and 1 that goes the other way; each of them threads through the outer material very easily with very little snagging. Then there are 6 pegs to secure to main tent, and 4 more to tension it if needed. When I got the hang of it after a few days I found that I could put it up or break it down in less than 3 minutes, when I needed to.

And when might I have needed to do this? When a storm started and I was eager to break camp and get out of the wind and rain. When the early morning cold made me just want to pack up and move on as quickly as possible in order to get warm. And when I wanted to set up camp quickly, so that people couldn’t see me.

On the subject of being inobstrusive it’s obviously best, if you are wild camping on land that you perhaps shouldn’t be (which, if you live in many countries including England, you have to do if you want a decent camping experience outside or an organised campground), to be as invisible as possible. I found this Raptor tent to be excellent in this respect. It’s high enough so that you can sit up in it without your head touching the top of the inner tent but low enough so that you can pitch behind a regular hedge, or down in a slight dip, and nobody is going to know you are there.

I had a minor issue with the tent inner tearing. It was at the side of the inner, above the doorway on one of the entrances.

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This was due to me kneeling on the bottom of the door whilst I was trying to zip it closed. Now, this was easy to repair with a needle and cotton so it’s no big deal, and obviously it was my fault as I knelt on the lower material and tried to force the upper door to do things it just couldn’t do (close without sufficient material), but it’s worth noting that this is a lightweight tent, so perhaps it’s going to be slightly more fragile that one that weighs a lot more. Treat it as it was built to be treated and I am sure that it’ll be fine, but if you’re sloppy like me take care.

Another vital plus point is that the tent dries quickly. Usually I packed up around 7am when the dew or overnight rain was still heavy on the tent so I had to pack it away wet, but when I set it up again in the evening it only took half hour or so to dry completely out. Less than that if I had bright sun, perhaps an hour in total if it was still raining.

Weight wise it’s just 3.4kg; wrapped up in it’s bag it took up about a quarter of the space of my 70 litre rucksack. Talking about the bag, this is large enough so that even when the tent is wet it’s easy to fit it back in, along with the poles and pegs.

The tent is waterproof to 3000mm. In real life this meant that I never got wet. Even when heavy rain fell all day for 2 days and I was confined to tent I stayed dry. I felt damp, for sure, but no water made it in.

I really enjoyed having 2 porches. It helped a lot with ventilation and also with viewing sunset and sunrise from the comfort of my sleeping bag! Here are a couple of views I took whilst I was lying in the tent.

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The Raptor is a 2 person tent and there is room in there for 2. I was on my own and found it very spacious, here’s a view just as I was setting up one day;

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And here is a view of me in it in the garden when I first set it up and checked it out.

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I intend to use it when my wife and I go hiking this summer for a month and it’ll be fine for us. We can store our bags in the covered porches and just have the indoors for sleeping mats and bags. There is also a line stretching across the inner tent and enough space to hang your wet kit up overnight, which came in handy for me on a few occasions. I had a couple of the air vents on the doors open a little overnight to prevent condensation build up (they worked well) but even so the inner tent retained warmth well and although wet kit didn’t dry out completely it was certainly better in the morning that it had been when I’d hung it there at night.

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I did have a campsite on 2 occasions and at one there was a brazier;

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As the evening wore on I built the fire up and the wind blew sparks over onto the tent. I was worried at first that they’d put small holes in the fabric but this didn’t happen. Robens do say that the tent is fire retardant and this certainly seems to be the case.

In summary, this Robens Raptor has been a fantastic tent for a wild camp tour. It has protected me completely from a wide range of weather (temperatures of minus 3, high winds and long storms) and is very simple and quick to erect. I’m confident it’ll serve the wife and I well on our month long summer tour of Scotland and I would say if you’re in the market for a tent (or other camping gear for that matter, Robens have a wide range of sleeping bags, mats and cookery kits) then do have a look at the Robens site as I’ve tried out a couple of their tents and bags now and have always been very satisfied with them.

Here’s the Raptor tent web address again http://www.robens.de/en/Products/Tents/Lite/Raptor.aspx

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