REVIEW – Wild Country Zephyros 1 Tent

The Zephyros 1 tent is a lightweight, one person tent, and exceptional value for money for what you get.

At under £100, this compact tent is, quite honestly, a bargain.

I’ve used the tent for four nights so far, in a variety of conditions (other than torrential rain). Once in a campsite in the New Forest in Hampshire, and then three nights wild camping in the far north of Scotland.

Here are my thoughts on this tent.

Wild Country Zephyros 1 Tent - Wild Camping

Wild Country Zephyros 1 Tent – Wild Camping

Wild Country Zephyros 1 Tent -Wild Camping

Wild Country Zephyros 1 Tent -Wild Camping

After a few runs in the back garden, I found out pretty quickly the tent is really easy to put up, especially in no wind. Simplicity is key.

The single pole design means the tent quickly takes shape. Over time, I found it easier to pitch pegs first (even more so in wind), and then erect the pole last. During a night camping in Sandwood Bay, we camped in high winds (40/50mph approx), which required two of us to hold things down whilst the other put in the pegs etc, but then this wouldn’t obviously be feasible if you were solo camping. Practice makes perfect, the key may be to get the streamlined shape of the tent in line with the direction of the wind.

The design means there are two smaller inner poles located at each end of the tent, to create more head space. I found it was hard to get these poles to stay completely upright, and I kept amending the position of these. I also found it easier to pack the tent away when these were detached from the outer sheet.

The outer sheet and inner sheet are attached to one another, and it took two or three nights of use to locate the strapping underneath the groundsheet to then get a more taught pitch and a bit more space inside. I may have been a bit heavy handed with the door, but the metal zip fasteners to open and shut this are already broken after four nights use. Easily fixed with a piece of string or elastic through the loop, but not ideal.

Positives:

  • Value for money. £100 approx. is great value for a decent, and quite well made tent.
  • Pitching is straightforward. First time up, no problems at all in the garden or campsite. A little while longer wild camping in the wind.
  • I found it easy to put away in the morning, and didn’t take up much room in a 48l pack. I altered between packing away the tents, poles & pegs in entire storage bag, or compressing the sheets into the backpack, and then sliding the poles down the side. Probably not the correct technique, but this saved some room.
  • Although the staff in Cotswolds recommended an even more lightweight tent (£800 for 600g, I think, maybe not just yet), I was more than happy with the weight. It doesn’t feel like 1.5kgs.
  • No problems at all with storage or size. It’s a one person tent – I could lie down fine (I’m 5ft 11in), and store my pack and a few bits and pieces inside with no issues.

Negatives:

  • I didn’t think there were enough pegs, or they were good enough. With the amount provided, there is no flexibility if you break or lose one peg, as you need all the pegs that come with the tent. I bought some extra angle pegs in addition, and mainly used these instead, as the original pegs bend very easily it seems.
  • No internal pockets, or ties in the roof. As someone who wears daily contact lenses, I usually take these out and put my glasses on to read in the evening. There wasn’t any internal storage pockets for, say, a glasses case, or somewhere to hang a your head-torch or a lantern (other than your head). This leads to the anxiety of rolling over in your sleep and breaking something valuable or needed!
  • This may be a practice issue, I found it tricky to get a really tight pitch. Not a problem on a calm day, but during a windy night, the outer layer flapped around a lot. Also might be an issue in the rain.
  • I couldn’t find anywhere to fasten the door open, to keep it open when rolled. It’s nice to look at the view from inside the tent, rather than the inside of the door!

These aren’t big negatives, and the positives and value for money certainly outweigh this. I haven’t used the tent yet in heavy rain.

Generally very happy with this tent. A really good value, entry level tent that was easy to use in both a campsite and wild camping. 4/5

IMG_2282

Wild Country Zephyros 1 tent. Wild camping near Suilven, Scotland

I purchased the tent from Cotswolds, Covent Garden store in April 2015. The product features below are from their website.

Product Features

  • Weight: 1.57kg
  • Pack size: 52 x 14cm
  • Sleeps: 1
  • Flysheet: Ripstop PU Polyester 4000mm FR
  • Groundsheet: Ripstop PU Polyester 6000mm
  • Poles: 8.5mm Superflex alloy
  • Aluminium V-angle pegs
  • All-in-one pitching
  • Reflective guylines
  • Half mesh inner door
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