l O'Meara Camping Tents Guide
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O'Meara Camping Tents Guide


    

    




 

Buying / Selecting Your Tent: 

Practical Hints:
The practical camping hints and tips section of the website has been compiled based upon our own camping experience, as well as the vast camping and leisure experiences and feedback provided by many of our customers. We hope that you find it useful:

Buying / Selecting your Tent: 
Ideally see your tent pitched as this is the best way to observe it. If this is not possible visit your local camping specialist or tent retailer and benefit from plenty of good advice that will help you to choose the best tent to suit your needs. Most tents are categorised into sections similar to the list below: Many people think that buying on line will save them money! O' Meara Camping are as keenly priced as you will find on the web but in addition O' Meara's will sell you what you need not just what is available. Spare poles are available in almost all circumstances for tents that O' Meara Camping sell in O' Meara's. 
See Link:
 
Types of Camping Tents:

Leisure Tents / Weekender Tents / Concert Tents. 
Refers to a smaller range of tents especially as regards the height of the tent. This range of tents would usually sleep between 1 to 5 persons and are also known as Adventure or Festival Dome tents. 
See Link:

Family Tents. 
Family tents would be larger in height and berth size. Family tents are generally designed for longer term pitching than just the occasional night. Likely to have between 1 to 4 separate bedrooms also known as inner tents. Family tents by design means they're most suited for transporting by car. Family tents are generally, Tunnel Tents, Frame tents made with lighter weight material or Family Dome Tents. See Link:

Specialist Tents: 
Consist of high quality small dome tents suitable for campers who want something that opens quickly and is lightweight & sturdy. Price is not normally a major issue in this range, as to have real quality, price has to be sacrificed. 
See Link:

Motorcycle Tents:
The new small air tents will make the weight and simplicity of the air framed tents ideal for motor cyclists. 
See Link:

Frame Tents. 
Generally a large tent that is made of either Poly Cotton or Canvas. Usually has a frame made of either Aluminium or Steel. O' Meara Camping recommend buying a Frame tent for Irish weather due to the wind and rain that we get each year. Family frame tents are more durable and usually more expensive.
See Link:

Scout Tents:
Robust tents generally made from heavy duty canvas. The Patrol tent is heavy green canvas and the Bell Tent is usually white canvas. Scouts also use the Giant Pearl large canvas ridge tent. Mess Tents used by the scouts are made using heavy duty steel frames and heavy canvas as the outer sheet. Generally Scout tents are not used for family camping however the Bell Tent, a very old tent design, is becoming popular. 
See Link:

Ridge Tents:
A few years ago all small light weight tents were made using two metal uprights to support a waterproof fly sheet made from either canvas or nylon. The ridge tent design is becoming popular again and O' Meara Camping have a ridge tent in their collection. 
See Link:

Air Tents:
Air tents, inflatable tents, Air beams etc are all been portrayed as a brand new concept.
Universal Poland about 40 years ago had an inflatable tent. It is not a new concept but it does have potential. For the moment the price of the air tents is much more expensive than the pole tents. O' Meara camping have a range of Air tents available. 
See Link:

Tunnel Tents:
Large dome tents with a vis a vis design. Come in 4 berth 6 berth and 8 berth. The design is excellent as to support the material the tent is pulled against itself and is easily erected. Air frames are available for this design also. The traditional poles used with these tents are incredibly easy to erect as the tent can be raised up almost like the hood of a pram. 
See Link:

Information about the Quality of your Tent:

Denier: Some manufacturers will give information that their flysheet has a certain Denier thickness to it. It is difficult for the customer to know what to choose so we have written this information to try and help. 
(D) = Denier which is the thickness of the thread, therefore if the tent mentions that the flysheet is 75D and another tent says it is 150D then this thread is twice the diameter. Therefore making the stitch connection better. Denier (pronounced den-YAY) is a unit of measurement that applies to a yarn’s thickness. In tents the Denier tends to be between 75 and 150 most commonly. 

PU Coating: All tents have polyurethane coating on the floor and waterproof flysheet, and it is the coating that keeps you dry, not the fabric itself.
A coating of, say, 3,000mm does not mean the coating is that thick that would make it nearly 120 inches thick. Instead, it is a measure of how much hydrostatic pressure the coating can take before it leaks. That test is accomplished by securing a selected piece of fabric to the end of a long tube, to which water is added. The 3,000mm designation means that 3,000mm of water can be added before the coating leaks. 

Tent Example: If your tent says that the HH is 4000mm then the coating on your fabric can withstand up to 4000mm of water before it leaks.

For a tent floor, Id say about 10,000mm pressure resistance is the minimum for wet conditions. The flysheet can get away with a lower rating because your not kneeling on it and potentially squeezing water through the fabric.  

Protex - Is a term used to highlight the water resistance of a tent. = Same as HH - Hydrostatic Head.

PROTEX 1500 / 2000 / 3000 / 4000 / 5000 / 6000: A premium PU coated fabric with varied HH (Hydrostatic Head). Polyester fabrics, if compared to similar nylons, have less stretch because the fibres absorb less water. It also has a consistently higher UV resistance and an exceptional colour fastness. 

HYDROSTATIC HEAD: The pressure at a given point in a liquid measured in terms of the vertical height of a column of the liquid needed to produce the same pressure.
(
Hydrostatic Head (HH) is a way of measuring how waterproof a piece of fabric is. The manufacturer will take a clear tube and clamp their material over the bottom end. They will then fill the tube slowly with water and watch to see how high the column of water can get before the material lets drips through.)
HH Video Test Sample 1
HH Video Test Sample 2
HH Video Test Sample 3

Oxford - Is another type term used by Tent Companies to describe the type of fabric used. Most have Polyester material but if Oxford is used then the fabric is a higher Quality Material.

T - Stands for the Thread Count. For example: If the tent mentions that it has 185T Polyester material this means that the tent has 185 stitches per inch. The higher the "T" Count the tighter the stitch connection. 

SEAM SEALING: Most tents are fully seam taped on the flysheet seams using a hot-air tape which bonds strongly with the Polyurethane coating on the inside of the flysheet fabric.

AIR PRESSURE:
Each AIR model tent you look at will have different PSI pressures. It is important to look at this and know the different tents. They may look the same in size but might have some huge quality and durability differences.

  • Vango Air Tents have 7psi pressure tubes. 
  • Sunncamp Air Tents have 7psi pressure tubes.
  • Royal Air Tents have 7psi pressure tubes.
  • Outwell Air Tents have 7psi pressure tubes.
  • Euro Trail Air Tents have between 8.7psi pressure tubes and tested up to 11.6psi.
  • Kampa Air Tent have between 8psi - 9psi pressure tubes and tested up to higher. (Kampa Air Caravan & Motor Home Awnings have 12psi pressure tubes and tested up to 22psi). 


Other Types of Tents O'Meara Camping Sell are:

Marquee Party Tents:
O'Meara Camping carry a range of Party tents in stock in different sizes and qualities.. See Link:

Quick Erect Tents:
O'Meara Camping have a range of sizes of quick erect tents used as market stalls and exhibitions. See Link:


Care & Repair (By The Camping Guide Magazine UK 2014)
A guide to essential fixes and maintenance that could see your tent last for years.

Repairs:
No matter how careful you are, there is a  chance that sooner or later your tent is going to suffer some damage. But rather than simple toss it in a skip and get a replacement, try a bit of DIY repair work. Chances are, if something goes wrong its likely to be while you are on site. Running repairs can limit further damage and hopefully keep the elements out. Every camper should have a roll of duck tape in their kit - its useful for emergency repairs on everything from broken poles to ripped fabric and damaged PVC windows. Once you're back home you can think about longer term repairs. Some rips can be simply sewn back together either by hand or with a sewing machine, then coated on both sides with seam sealant. For ragged tear and seams it makes sense to add a patch. ( New product now available called Stormsure suitable for many types of repairs) See Link:

Poles:
For an effective temporary repairs to a snapped pole, slide a short metal tube over the break and tape in place. Most repair kits will come with one of  these sleeves but if yours has gone missing (or has already been used) then a length of tube of the correct diameter from a hardware shop will do the trick. If a fibreglass pole splits along its length, the answer is to wrap the pole in duct tape. A wide range of spares are available including springs for metal and aluminium poles. Fibre glass poles and shock cord are available in a range of sizes. See Link:

Zips:
Zips are one of the simplest parts of the tent design but one that can go wrong so easily. Pitching the tent properly should avoid the problem of the zips bursting open because the fabric is drawn too tight. The other side of the coin is catching loose fabric in the zips teeth. You need to avoid damaging zips and fabric. Keeps the zips free of dirt or grit to help them to run freely and if all else fails make sure you pack a few safety pins to secure the door. Zips are never guaranteed by the manufacturer you must make sure to not abuse them and always peg your tent with all zip doors closed.

Guylines:
Guy ropes can get worn through friction, especially the loop that goes around the peg. Pack a decent length of spare cord or purchase some replacement guy ropes in case they are required. See Link: 

Groundsheets:
Sewn-in ground sheets can easily be damaged by stones on your pitch. A tear or hole can be fixed with a patch but if there is a lot of damage then it is impossible to repair. The problem then is that, if you have a sewn-in groundsheet, your entire tent is rendered useless. The best way to avoid this is to use a groundsheet footprint from the start. This protects the groundsheet from most sharp objects on the pitch and is much easier to clean when you get home. See Link:

Maintenance:
Keeping your tent well-maintained should extend its life by several years. Checking for damage and carrying out running repairs is only part of the story - you also need to keep the tent clean, store it properly and make sure it continues to be waterproof.
At the end of a camping trip, ideally you should pack your tent away dry, but there will be occasions when you've no choice but to put it away wet. In that scenario, it might be better to put the tent loose in the back of your car, rather than using the bags. Either way, when you get home unpack it and leave it out to dry as soon as possible, even spreading it out in a garage or shed is better than leaving it in a bag while still wet. If your tent is not dried before packing it away it more then likely will start to mildew.
The biggest fear for most campers is that their tent might spring a leak. If the flysheet is polyester it really shouldn't need any initial weatherproofing. However the water repellent qualities of cotton and poly cotton tents only really kick in after a few drenchings so, if you can, pitch you tent in your garden and let it get wet and dry out naturally. If you find water inside your tent, the first thing to do is check it i actually a leak and not simply a gathering of condensation. Once you've established that, check the seams - treating them with seam sealer should solve the problem. You'll know your tent needs waterproofing if the rain starts to darken the flysheet. If the fabric needs treatment, the ideal time to act is towards the end of the summer - before the weather starts to change and before you think about packing your tent away for the winter. Cleaning and reproofing materials can be found at most camping shops. Among the name to consider are Fabsil, Stormsure, Nikwax & Grangers. Large tents will have to be pitched and brush washed by hand. In many guides it says that smaller tents should fit into washing machines (presumably with waterproofing added to the mix) but I am not a fan of this.

Proofing
First, thoroughly clean the tent fabric before applying the proofer. After treatment, dry your tent naturally, avoid rain or dew as they will wash out the proofer. Allow your  tent to dry thoroughly and air before packing it away. See Link:

  1. Packing away properly will extent your tents life.
  2. Clean your tent before packing with a soft brush (not a cleaner).
  3. Essential maintenance and repairs kit.
  4. Brush-on waterproofing for bigger tents.
  5. Spray-on waterproofers are easy to use, especially on smaller tents.
  6. Small tents can be proofed in the washing machine. ( I am a doubter!)
  7. Seams should be sealed for waterproofing.
Repair Kit:
  • Duck Tape.
  • Metal Pole Sleeve.
  • Self - Adhesive Tent Patches.
  • Needle & Thread.
  • Spare Guy Ropes.
  • Seam Sealant / Fabsil.
  • Safety Pins.