Back in the 90s my Halford tent’s lightweight poles and integral groundsheet were state of the art. Just as Nikasil changed the way we think about performance kits, rapid erect tents could transform the ‘hitch and pitch’ type of camping typical of scooter rallies.
Unlike traditional rod and sleeve tent construction Slumit’s FlashFrame range has an integral frame meaning there’s no assembly required. Slumit’s literature claims that the tent can be erected and dismantled in seconds.
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Time For Truth
It’s easy to quote a press release or live with a tent for one or two nights but how does the Slumit Cub II fare under prolonged use? After six months I’m very impressed. Erecting the tent is similar to putting up an umbrella — simply spread out the tents ‘legs’, lift the centre pole and simply click into place. I found that as long as care is taken to align its joints, the tent can be up or down in about the time it takes to unload. Once packed away the tent is slightly narrower than a scooter headset which is an important consideration if you want to avoid humiliation while filtering! Inside the condensation reducing twin-skin construction there’s just room for an inflatable double mattress and there are plenty of storage pouches. The loft net is particularly useful, being ideal for keeping fragile items like spectacles out of harm’s way.
Anyone who went to Woolacombe last September will vouch for the weather being a test of any waterproof kit. My chalet renting drinking companions found the gale force winds and torrential rain far more amusing than I did! I returned to my pitch with every expectation that if my tent hadn’t blown away. I would, at best find a soaked sleeping bag. But I need not have worried. The Cub more than held its own and it was quite pleasant laying snug inside listening to the elements doing their worst.
Weather-wise I’d trust the Cub anywhere and its small reflective panels mean it literally stands out in the crowd — a feature that could have been designed with partying scooterists in mind!
As regular readers know I’m not a small man, at 6ft 2in most tents are cramped and in honesty the Cub’s no exception. For a night or two away it’s fine but it would feel a little claustrophobic if I had to spend any length of time inside. While pointing out niggles, the porch area is smaller than I’m used to and the lack of any window panels is quite noticeable.
It’s possible to buy a fully decorated Christmas Cake for less than £20 but change ‘Christmas’ to ‘Wedding’ and another zero appears. Anything claiming to be motorcycle friendly also carries a premium and against that background the Slumit range offers good value. The Cub has a full price of £110 but at the time of writing their entire range was on offer, reducing it to £71.20.
Move On Up
The test Cub was kindly loaned by Slumit but my tent for the 2017 season was always going to be bought with my own hard earned cash. So will it be a Slumit? The answer’s a definite yes. The FlashFrame system is impressive and I’d say Slumit undersells how quickly it can be erected and taken down. I’ve real faith in the weatherproofing too. My only decision is whether to plump for the compact practicality of the Cub or buy the Gobi III which offers everything I like about the Cub but with slightly more room and very little extra weight penalty.
My main ride may be a temperamental 32-year-old two-stroke but thankfully my accommodation will be state of the art.
SLUMIT CUB SPECIFICATIONS (APPROXIMATE)
Pack size: 71 x 18 x 18cm
Packed weight: 3.5kg
Sleeping area: 200 x 135cm
Words & Photographs: Stan
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