With two kids under the age of five essentially relegating our old hiking tents to the cupboard, a large family tent was put on the shopping list.
A caveat was it had to be lightweight and pack up compact, as we had downsized from our large 4x4 wagon to a Subaru Forester. We also wanted it to be up to the more roughand- tumble conditions, and Black Wolf’s Tuff Dome Plus tent fit the bill.
The Tuff Dome Plus is part of Black Wolf’s 12-tent Dome range. On top of the regular Tuff Dome, the Plus adheres to its moniker by adding an extra 600mm of interior length (4800mm long, 2400mm wide, 2000mm tall).
At 11.5kg, the Plus is 2.7kg up on the Dome’s 9.8kg and it’s a very small compromise to make for the additional space. Another reason for choosing the Tuff Dome Plus was its interior height of two metres.
The asking price may seem a bit steep for a polyester/nylon dome tent, but the construction is top-notch, ensuring a robust build that will cop any wild weather – it has numerous guy-line attachments for extra stability in windy conditions.
Rather than use cheap, easily broken plastic or fibreglass poles, Black Wolf specs tough aluminium jobbies. The floor fabric is 300D Oxford Nylon PU and it has already copped a hammering, filled with sand, dirt, sea shells and other campsite detritus. So far there’s no tearing or marking.
Clever features on the tent include gusseted windows on the 150D Polyester PU fly (there are three large windows on the tent inner with No-see-um mesh, plus the front door) so even when it is raining, you can still keep air flowing through the tent as these gussets direct rainfall away from the window and interior. The seams on the floor and on the fly are sealed via waterproof tape and we’ve had no water get in at all.
The 1.2m-deep vestibule is spacious enough to store our duffel bags, Esky, camp storage boxes and other camp paraphernalia. If I would improve anything, perhaps it needs an even larger vestibule.
Setting up the tent is easy: the two main poles (16mm aluminium) are pre-bent and thread easily through their sleeves on the tent inner. Two 13mm aluminium poles extend the fly and the rear of the tent. They are also pre-bent and, again, quite easy to fit and secure. Then you just throw the fly over, clip it to the tent buckles and you’re done.
It takes 10-15 minutes to put up and is even quicker to pack away.
So far, the tent has performed with aplomb. The assurance of its robust build and quality materials makes me confident I will get many years’ service out of it. This also makes that asking price not so scary when you space out expenditure per years of service, making the Black Wolf Tuff Dome Plus impressive bang for your buck.
Available from: www.blackwolf.com.au
We say: spacious, good value, durable