The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Karrimor Beta 2 man tent review.

The Karrimor Beta tent, kindly supplied by Millets for review, has been around for quite sometime and has evolved slowly over the years. I had the chance to review it at the Duddon Valley Fell Race in June 2011)
Karrimor beta 2 man tent. (Photo 1)

As delivered including bags and small repair kit the tent weight is 3.269 kg. (Photo 2)
Opening the bag was a nice surprise as the kit was neatly packaged. There was no forcing of the parts into the smallest space possible. There was also an instruction aid to pitching and a small repair kit.
Contents of the bag, poles and pegs in the centre of the tent bundle. (Photo 3)

I read the instructions once prior to pitching and they are clear and easy to understand.
This tent pitches inner first. Unroll the inner and assemble the 3 poles, a nice touch is that the 3 poles have coloured ends which match the colour on the tent sleeves. 
2 red for the inner and 1 blue for the flysheet. Slide the 2 red tipped poles through the mesh sleeves and locate into the relevant eyelets.
Inner poles showing red sleeve hem and pole tip. (Photo 4)
 End View (Photo 5)
Front View (Photo 6)
Locate the flysheet over the inner ensuring that the pole sleeve is central over the inner and positioned front to back.
Flysheet in position and showing the 1/3 mesh inner door. (Photo 7)
Locate the 4 eyelet ribbons on the fly and position the inner pole tips into the eyelets. Then pass the remaining pole through the sleeve and into the eyelet ribbon. 
You will find a long ribbon attached to the base of the groundsheet with a clasp on it, this locates at the bottom of the outer crossing pole and is repeated on the other side.
Complete pitch. (Photo 8)
 All that is left to do is peg it down at the corners and in the centre of the flysheet panels and also 2 guying points, 1 at each end.

We found this was a simple tent to erect and it took about 5 minutes to achieve.

This tent has 2 doors, which is a bonus, meaning that you don’t have to scramble over your partner to get out.
The inner door has a 1/3 mesh/nylon option for visibility, ventilation and to stop bugs entering. (Photo 7)
 (Photo 9) showing the inner storage space 3 pockets at ground level, 1 in the roof and 1 mid point.
 This is repeated at the other end also.
A roof light is located 1 each side. (Photo 10)
Ventilation and stay located at each end. (Photo 11)
 Enough room for 2 and with 2 porches there is good space for gear. (Photo 12)
Adequate head height of both doorways and internal. (Photo 13)

Specification, as per Millets webpage.

Tent Type2 Person
Weight Kilos3.03          (Actual as delivered, on my scales 3.269kg)
Tent Height 1 cm105
Tent Height 2 cm100
Pack Length46
Pack Width21
Fly Sheet190T Polyester PU, Water Resistant, 3000mm
Inner Material170T Polyester, Breathable, Water Resistant
Groundsheet190T Nylon PU, Water Resistant
No of Compartments1
No of Doors2
Colour Coded PolesYes
Hydrostatic Head3000
Tent DesignSemi-geodesic

Packaging excellent.
Pitching very easy.
Quality of materials and stitching:- Flysheet very good, lots of untrimmed stitching on the inner side walls and doors made it look a bit cheap which it isn’t.
Groundsheet excellent.
Floor space good.
Head height good.
Space at shoulder height a little disappointing. (see photo 5)
Ventilation could be improved by increasing the mesh to solid ratio on the inner door or by having the option of mesh or solid twin zip.
Poles, not the best but adequate.
Pegs. Poor and very heavy for a backpacking tent. Improvements can be made here quite cheaply.
Price £149.99.

Millets market this tent as for backpacking and trekking where weight is crucial. The tent does split down well between 2 people but i feel that at 1.7kg per person, that is right at the top end of what i consider backpacking or trekking weight. 
Ideal for cycle touring, canoeing, motorcycling etc, without a doubt.


Mac E said...

Looks useable Alan although I agree that it's on the limit weight wise. The inner tent reminds me of one of the Terra Nova tents, could be the Solar 2.2

AlanR said...

Hi Richard,
I agree with your comment. It's also somewhat similar to the inner on the Wild Country Sciroco although the additional crossing pole gives added support.

Bill said...

Would you like to make a comment regarding the colour?

AlanR said...

Hi Bill,
Blue tents are not that popular with the backpacking community due to it being regarded as a cold colour. They usually go for more warmer colours. However colour is a personal preference and to some people it is completely insignificant all together. The price is what usually sways it.

Anonymous said...

This colour, blue, is for me a good reason not to buy this tent.

AlanR said...

Hi Anonymous,
Having used it for a couple of occasions i can honestly say it didn’t bother me one bit. It’s just something you get used to.
Not a good colour to go stealth camping with though. Otherwise no complaints from me.

Mick said...

Hi alan,

This was a great review, especially the 2 door feature, can't tell you how many times I've woke my wife up!

AlanR said...

Cheers Mike,
Much appreciated comment

Bill_W said...

Nice review, looks like a great tent for bad weather. I'm really looking for a review of the Karrimor X Lite 3 Tent. Any idea's where to see one? Its cropping up at incredible price, and I'm keen to see if its up to the punishment that 3x teens on D_of_E are likely to give it. It has a huge porch area, ideal for stacking wet gear + cooking with plenty of ventilation. But I'm anxious about the quality having seen what has happened to Karrimore's great reputation with rucksacks since 2005 [except the Karrimore SF range]. Good to hear the build + material quality is good on this 2man example of Karrimor tentage. :-)

AlanR said...

Hi Bill,
Yes it’s a good D of E tent. Ideal for the younger end.
Regarding the Xlite 3, i havn’t been offered one to test as yet and i don’t know anybody who has.
Without seeing one in the flesh i cannot give you my thoughts. From the photo’s it does look ok for base camps but i wouldn’t like to carry it.
At £65 it’s a good price if the quality is anything like the Beta 2, but there is something telling me that it might not be.
If i hear anything more i will let you know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. just read it on my 'smartphone' as lying in one of these Beta tents! I chose it because thought the design was 'cool'..Millets had it up in a showroom.I really like the colour,it cheers me up! Do practice putting it up is pretty simple but i gave last year when very tired and in slight wind and retreated into old but familiar cheepo tent for the night.I really like that the side doors and porches mean you can lie down but have a view of trees and sky. jon

AlanR said...

Glad you like it Jon. I thought Millets had gone? Swallowed by Blacks etc.

Anonymous said...

Hello Alan

Great review - I've owned one of these tents for over five years and love it. It's been to festivals and on back packing holidays and I will agree it's a fairly hefty unit compared to other backpacking models, but once it's up I'm usually the envy of my friends in their lightweight sarcophagi! The 2 entrances are roomy with plenty of space to cook on one side and sling the backpack in the other and if the wind changes direction - which it often does, you simply swap around. I would say it would be a bit tight for 2 people but then i do like to spread out. The interior is also generously appointed with numerous pockets - even 2 in the ceiling, which i have found make an excellent place to put my iPhone for a comfortable late night film!
Regarding bad weather performance, I was out in a fairly stiff Welsh gale last week and it clung to the hillside like a limpet. The only thing which kept me awake was the flapping from the tents around me!

Keep up the good work.


AlanR said...

Thanks Paul. I agree with all your comment. But there are large light tents out there which i would rather backpack with. But they are hefty on price. Eureka wiki 3 for example.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,

Warning note: In spite of your excellent review, and my own experience of this tent, both Millets and Blacks still advertise it as "Outer Pitch First", which it patently isn't. Great little tent though.


Spindle said...

Just bought my second tent of this type on eBay and I'm very pleased with it. I've kept the inner and certain parts including the poles from the previous tent (whose sunbleached flysheet finally gave out) and I'm looking forward to many many more years camping in this beautifully designed tent. I know I'm about 8 years behind the curve of innovation but I just love this tent. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Quite right.

Anonymous said...

AlanR. Hope my review helped. I have only just recently given mine away.

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