Follow Taunton Shop’s Tom on his awesome New Years Adventure in the Lakes with a Tentipi Safir to keep him cosy!
My partner Claire and I were lucky enough to borrow a Tentipi Safir 9 to make our New Year’s trip to the Lake District a bit different. In previous years I’ve spent my New Year in mountaineering huts in Snowdonia but, with the COVID-19 pandemic still disrupting our lives, getting a group together renting a hut wasn’t really an option. Instead, we had the Safir 9, along with the comfort inner, porch, and Eldfell stove.
Tentipi makes Nordic tipi tents, with the Safir series being the top of their range. The Safir 9 is an 8-10 man polycotton tent designed to withstand extreme conditions and it certainly didn’t disappoint us. We were hoping for a cold and snowy trip to the Lakes but, as we should probably have expected, Cumbria provided us with near-continuous rain instead; this was still extreme in Claire’s book. I’d just say “Welcome to Cumbria”.
Erecting the Safir 9 couldn’t be simpler. It comes in an expandable and durable polycotton bag, which allows you to leave a floor or inner tent away; making set-up with accessories even faster. In the bag, you’ll find a polycotton cloth template and tape marked with lines for each of the models and sizes in the Nordic tipi range and a metal stake. Of course, there is also a tent, a single central pole, and a set of pegs.
As it was pouring with rain when we arrived, I used the cloth template, tape, and stake to put each of the eight pegs into the ground before even taking the tent itself out of the car. Then it was a simple case of positioning the tent on the pegs, fitting the pole into the cap lifting it into position, and pulling the tensioners tight. The tent was up in around five minutes and this was the first time we’d used it.
With the rain only seeming to fall more heavily, we were very glad to have the porch to use as a dry entry. It fits into a hook and loop accessory sleeve above the door, and goes up with only a few straps and pegs, providing a very welcome dry entry into the main tent. Do make sure to fit the porch into the accessory sleeve properly or like, me you may have to spend an extra couple of minutes in the rain repositioning it to get the porch up.
Setting the stove up was also very straightforward; just get it out of the wooden box it comes in, put the chimney sections together, and fix them on top of the stove. The only minor issue we had was in reaching the specially-designed chimney opening to put the chimney through, but it was easy enough to find something to stand on.
Once the tent was up we had plenty of space to spend a few days in complete comfort. Despite having a double mattress, and a stove in the middle of the tent, we still had room to move around, play some board games and stand up. With the design of the tent, there isn’t much height around the edges, but this makes great storage space.
Claire was worried about the tent with all of the wind and rain on the first night, but she needn’t have worried. The guy ropes did their job despite the extremely soft ground and fairly strong winds. We were also glad we’d taken the optional pole plate, to put under the central pole, otherwise, the pole might have sunk a bit.
The Safir 9 also has plenty of ventilation, with three large bug-proof vents along the bottom edge and a top cap that can be opened in six sections by cords inside the tent. We didn’t expect to use any of these vents but with the polycotton outer, the Comfort inner tent, and the Eldfell stove it got very warm when I made the mistake of putting two logs on at once on the first night. In retrospect, we didn’t need the inner tent in the milder than hoped-for conditions, but it certainly made for a comfortable and cosy trip, despite the rain.
For anyone looking for a seriously well-designed and user-friendly tent, whether it’s a remote basecamp or camping come glamping break, I would highly recommend the Safir range of tents. Especially when paired with the Eldfell stove. Neither of us had ever been so comfortable camping in the winter or the rain and the tent, including all of the accessories, fitted easily in the boot of a Volkswagon Golf with room to spare!