The Skandika Västervik Tent seems like an appropriate product to cover at this time of the year. It's a tent that primarily aims itself at families and groups.
Ascetically the Västervik looks quite traditional and clean. With its four sided triangular dome shape which is distinguished by the front oval awning. Its exterior visible body is entirely green and blends well into the countryside. It's four (seven possible but compromising) berth, 365cm in length, 185cm at peak height and 285cm in width. It isn’t tall enough for an average adult to stand up in and is overall quite compact.
Assembling the tent was definitely not a breeze upon first attempt. Three of us struggled to understand the instructions which simply show four pictures of what the tent should look like whilst assembling. This may be a universally understandable method of communication but the pictures weren't clear and were also in black and white, whilst the poles needed to prop up the tent are colour coded (on the tent itself there is helpful colour coded communication showing where the poles should go). We initially assembled the tent incorrectly because of this but after around half an hour we figured out how the tent was supposed to be setup. The instructions are strikingly the poorest aspect of the Västeroid, we'd have preferred poorly translated written instructions or visually understandable pictures.
There are two individual elemental parts of the tent to assemble. The exterior fire retardant 185T Polyester, PU coated flysheet is constructed by using a traditional three good quality fibreglass poles, many pegs and strong guy ropes, so it has to be grounded on soft ground and one with a flat surface preferably. When this is assembled correctly it takes around twenty minutes to complete with two people. The exterior tents material is water resistant with selaed seams and the claim of a 5,000 mm water column, which is very high for a family tent and it’s also extremely durable too. We’ve left ours out within the wilderness pitched for nearly a month and during this time it's been in harsh weather and hasn’t displayed any signs of wear or damage and the tent didn't collapse or loose placement. A repair kit is included with the tent in case of any unexpected eventualities.
The front awning area has a detachable ground sheet. It makes for roomy storage facilities of items such as cookers, chairs, food/drink, coats etc., but could also be used to sleep in; we found three people could squeeze into this area. However, the level of comfort would be disadvantaged in comparison to sleeping within the sleep pod because the ground sheet isn't fixed onto the awning, leaving the winds and rain to make possible appearances, and it's generally colder within this section too. We did enjoy that we could sit in the awning in the day with both entrances unzipped and truly see and breath the outdoors from the comfort of the tent.
The interior of the Västervik known as the 'sleeping pod' is literally a totally separate integral tent measuring 270 x 270 cm, its intended purpose, as its name suggests, is to be slept within and it can comfortably fit four people. The pod has to be attached to the inside of the exterior flysheet, this takes around 10 minutes to setup. The benefits of this were felt when sleeping because inside the tent the wind isn't so harsh, but ventilation is good and heat is better maintained. Also no water could enter the sleeping pod because it has an attached ground sheet. The sleeping pod is made from breathable pale green 185T polyester and we'd vouch for its breathability. When sleeping in the pod throughout mild nights it didn't feel stuffy and instead was airy, pleasant and warm. We assume that if the outer tent wasn't present the sleeping pod would leak if it were to rain, which is the reason for its design. However during very hot days, it's unpleasant to stay within the sleeping pod with the entrance closed, despite it having one ceiling and two side windows. The windows only allow a slim degree of air within the tent via unstrapping their attached velcro. But they don't lift up, they simply protrude forwards and this means you can't see the outdoors through the windows, this is something we'd ideally like to see altered.
The sleeping pod is accessed by unzipping one of the two main entrances within the awning and then you have to walk through the awning up to the sleeping pods entrance door which also has to be unzipped. This door includes a mesh layer to keep out bugs and insects which can be left zipped in place whilst in the sleeping pod, allowing viewing of the awning area and more air, but no flies. Having to unzip both the awning and pod doors to get into the sleeping pod could at times seem tedious and the zips can't be quickly whisked around as they will catch on the material of the tent, but it does make you feel secure.
Taking the Västervik tent down is greatly quicker than putting it up. Once down it can be folded up and stored within the supplied carry bag, an addition that we appreciated immensely. The weight of the tent within this bag is hefty, with it weighing 8.5kg.
The Skandika Västervik Tent is a brilliant camping solution for families and smaller groups. It allows for a pleasant sleeping experience and includes hefty storage capabilities from the desirable awning. It’s also unchallenging to setup when you know how to do it correctly.