We recently bought the Kalahari 8 man tent. It’s not the first tent we have used by Hi Gear, when the kids were smaller and we could all squeeze in together, we sometimes used their 4 berth model.
The Kalahari Elite 8 is a really good size, providing ample space inside, without being too large to pitch quickly. There are 2 bedroom areas at each end of the tent, with the main living area located in the middle. Each bedroom area can sleep 4 people and can be set up with a divider to separate the room in two. The divider doesn’t afford much privacy between the rooms as it is not secured at the sides.
There are storage pockets on the outside of each bedroom providing handy compartments to tidy away the inevitable camping bits and pieces that seem to accompany even the shortest of stays.
The living area felt spacious enough, and could easily fit a camping table and chairs within it. Yes it did rain during our weekend away in it. And of course it rained just when we were ready to eat dinner 😉
Although rain isn’t usually welcome on a camping trip, on this occasion it was useful for testing how waterproof our new family tent really was.
Although not torrential rain, it was heavy enough, with strong wind too. The Kalahari held out well and didn’t let in any rain.
There are two doorways that you can additionally buy porches for.
Very. It could be put up by one person but is much easier and quicker to have at least 2. With 2 of us pitching for the first time it took just under 30 minutes. There are 5 fibreglass poles that easily slide into the tent openings. The sewn in ground sheet adds to the simplicity of erecting this tent.
There were the 5 of us (2 adults and 3 children) and a 6 month old puppy. Our 3 children all slept at one end, two of them on a double airbed and one on a camp bed. They used the divider to partition the bedroom into 2 (I’m not sure why as they spent most of the time talking through it!)
We slept in the other bedroom area on the other side of the tent, again on a double airbed, with our puppy in a dog crate next to us.
A really nice touch is the material of the bedrooms were made out of darkened material – not blackout material – but dark enough to keep us asleep a little later after sunrise.
Always the absolute worst part of camping – putting everything away! The Kalahari was really easy to take down. It has an ‘Easy Pack’ tent bag which made fitting it back in slightly less painful than other tents we’ve owned – of course it didn’t actually go in exactly as well as it was in when we bought it, but the fact we don’t have to try and squeeze/body slam it to try and get the zip to do up is a huge bonus!
Any tent will struggle to keep you cool in high temperatures but this model has great ventilation so you don’t get that muggy smell that often builds up in a tent. Or maybe that’s just because I camp with 4 boys and a dog?!
We bought the tent as a package from Go Outdoors which came with the footprint (an additional ground sheet that sits under the tent) and a carpet. Unfortunately the carpet had to be put away as the puppy thought it was great fun to keep pulling up (it doesn’t get secured to anything) but I look forward to days when we can use it!
You can also buy 1 or 2 porches to go on the doors – something we intend to do before our next camping trip.
I recommend this tent for families as well as couples who want some extra space inside. It feels really spacious and the darkened bedrooms are a nice addition. It is super easy to put up and take down and can withstand rain and winds.