Tentipi Onyx 7 CP 2010

Tentipi Adventure Nordic tipis are based on the traditional Sami dwellings of the nomadic reindeer-herding people of northern Sweden. So they are designed to withstand the worst weather, while allowing the campers to sit around a warm fire inside the tent. Their cosy design makes them ideal for the outdoor family looking for a more ‘traditional’ camping experience.

Tipis have several advantages over more conventional modern tent designs. There is just one central pole that raises the top of the tent, so there is little framework to break. With this pole in the middle, the skirt of the tent is simply pegged in place. The result is a symmetrical shape with a low centre of gravity, which makes the tent very stable in high winds no matter what direction they come from. This means the tipi design is more stable than tents that have to be pitched into the wind to remain stable. The design allows campers to sit around a camp fire that can be situated in the middle of the tent. A large opening at the top of the tipi can be adjusted to allow smoke out and to provide efficient venting in warm weather. The basic Tentipi Onyx 7 CP tipi can be fitted with a floor (Comfort Floor, £198, as shown here), and there is an inner available too, not included here. The manufacturer believes the tipi performs well enough without an inner tent in the UK.

On the hill
With the Tentipi Onyx 7 CP, pitching is unusual, but perfectly easy once understood. You need to peg the skirt of the tipi first, and to do this you are supplied with a simple measuring cord that allows you to put the pegs in the right place before you attach the tent to these pre-positioned pegs. It is then a case of pushing in the central pole to raise the tipi. The floor is then fitted. The result is a very spacious and stable shelter. I’ve used the Tentipi Onyx 7 on several occasions and the pitching is very easy. The roof air vent can be adjusted from inside by pulling on cords, and the huge doorway makes it easy to come and go. I’ve not used this tent with an inner, but I feel it needs one for the UK as I’ve found it quite chilly, plus midges can get in very easily from the sleeping area without the protection of an inner. But this would add a further to both the weight and cost. The floor can be zipped apart to create a porch-like space near the doorway, and this is useful for stashing wet gear. As there are no additional rooms there is a real ‘community’ feel to sleeping inside this tent.

Design 1-pole tipi
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner none
Outer Cotpolmex C cotton/polyester
Groundsheet polyamide
Internal footprint length 450cm; width 450cm; height 270cm
Packed size 66x26cm
Weight 10.5kg tent + 1.78kg floor
Made in Sweden
Stores in the UK 6
Stockist details – tel. 07872 483503; www.tentipi.co.uk

The Tentipi Onyx 7 CP has a unique ambience; can house a stove; very durable; easy to pitch; good stability. But there’s no external porch outside the sleeping area; inner is additional item; high price tag. Overall, the price and lack of inner tent are drawbacks, but tipi living is a unique experience that is ideal for the family.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2010