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Bushcraft techniques, kit reviews, fire-lighting, motorcycle camping, knife making

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Tentipi Safir 5cp Tent Review

After my budget Tresspass 2 person tent took on the new role of paddling pool on a somewhat wet and blustery night in Applecross earlier this year, I was forced to take shelter in a friends Tentipi. This lack of durability of my traditional tent in moderate Scottish weather made me look towards a different form of tent for my overnight outdoor accommodations.

 Setting up camp. It takes 20 minutes when practiced.

As most of my camping and outdoor trips are undertaken by motorcycle, my R1200GS 2008 beast of a machine, iut would need to fulfill basic bike camping needs....

1. Be relatively compact, lightweight and be able to fit across the rear seat and panniers of my BMW.
2. Be able to sleep two or three comfortably
3. Be very durable and watertight
4. Be easy to put up and take down, particularly in bad weather

So, I popped down to my local Tentipi supplier Nordic Outdoors and spoke with David and Casper, both very helpful and full of great advice on these unusual tents. The Safir 5 weighs, with groundsheet approximately 10kg, so although a little more than my second choice, a Hilleberg Nallo GT tent, the space it provides inside is exceptional. Having the ability to stand up to put on motorcycle boots and get changed into your bike gear greatly transforms the experience from one of wriggling around on the ground to one of comfort. The tent is made from a cotton/polyester fabric, not unlike the Bell tents of old and is extremely well made. The fabric breathes and there is no real need for the optional inner tent, although a groundsheet (at additional cost) is something I wouldn't be without. That groundsheet comes in two options - both having zips that allow the ground to be made accessible for an open fire which we shall discuss a little further on. The only real difference between the groundsheets is weight, significant purchase cost and the ability to make an opening at the door or not. The latter being useful but not worth a hundred quid more in my view.

Camp set up at Comrie Croft.

One aspect of having stayed in a Tentipi was the experience of an open fire within the tent itself, having a chimney flap and ability to take a freestanding wood buning stove if required. This transforms wet and windy or even cold days to an enjoyable experience. The marketing blurb says "togetherness" with relation to sitting round an open fire but although slightly cheesy in concept, actually is pretty accurate. For the best part of a grand, you expect quality and I'm happy to say this tent oozes that particular asset. The difference between a traditional tent while motorcycle camping and the Tentipi is vast - the latter is like having a small house on the back of your bike, with a lot of comfort and the ability to practice all your firelighting bushcraft techniques upon arrival at your destination.

I'll be continuing to post feedback on how the tent performs over the next few years so watch this space for updates....

The Tentipi on the back of the GS in a waterproof stuff sack. 

Altogether, the Tentipi Safir is highly recommended for motorcycle camping trips, particularly in the varied Scottish climate.


  1. Very nice bike. I have lusted after one for years, but I am a midget in the inside leg department so it's probably unrealistic. Instead I ride a totally impractical Hayabusa! There is not much room to carry much on it.

  2. A few years since you first purchased the Safir. 5 years on and what's your view? Still using it? Quality still standing up? Any comments on using it in hot climates?