The Great Outdoors (UK)

Luxe Outdoor

Octapeak F8A


£329 (+optional pole at £50) 3kg without pole, 3.5kg with

weight, space, flexibilit­y smaller porches Flysheet: 40D / 260T nylon ripstop fabric with one side PU-coated and one side siliconise­d Inner: high-density nylon mesh Groundshee­t: 68D nylon taffeta (built in) PU 4000mm Poles: not supplied, but the ‘strong adjustable tarp pole 231X’ is recommende­d Pegs: 8 supplied (ours came with 16!), Y clamcleats Porches: 2, 200x60cm approx Inner: 300x230cm, height 197cm backpackin­

The Octapeak is the only pyramid-style (actually an octagonal shape, as the name suggests) tent in this review; and, I’d argue, it’s the only family- or group-sized tent that is of a weight suitable to backpack longer distances with. We’ve used it over the last 4 years for family wild camping on foot or bike. It can be pitched inneror outer-first (an advantage in rainy conditions) and used with or without the inner. We have the standard F8A, which is bundled with a single, four-person inner (half solid, half mesh, with a shallow PU bathtub floor), but there are several other options available, with anything from hot tenting chimney ports to two inner vestibules. The central sleeping space is huge, with enough room to (almost) stand upright in the middle, and a single pole hole (with a long gusset to prevent groundwate­r ingress) for the central support. Inside the inner, the four pockets aren’t the best and there’s a single hanging loop.

There are two doors and two porches. These are ample for stashing rucksacks and boots and can also be cooked in, although care is needed to do so if the doors are closed. The shelter vents are above the doors but we’ve yet to suffer condensati­on in the roof, or anywhere else. One disadvanta­ge is that because of the sloping walls, driving rain can enter the inner when the doors are fully open. There are 15 pegging points around the base of the shelter, and a further eight places to attach guylines. We currently have four guys attached, and high mountain camping would warrant the additional four. Zips have all proved very durable. It does need seam-sealing and I’d recommend the stronger pole (not supplied) and extra guylines, but don’t let any of that put you off. We tend to use it less at formal sites because of the smaller porch space, but otherwise the Octapeak is a superb-value, lightweigh­t, flexible and robust family shelter, which has withstood plenty of remote camps in all weathers on or below the treeline. TGO Challenge favourites Bob and Rose at backpackin­ are the only UK retailers.

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