If there was an award for the most eccentric and random outdoor leisure product company, FieldCandy would immediately whisk it into their clutches. They’re a brand that steer away from the olive green and navy blue outdoor gear we’re all used to seeing, and eclipse these with their colourful and memorable creative designs.
However surprising a monstrously sized book appears to be in a field, you can't help but smile at it: and this Fully Booked design is one of the many original tent perspectives FieldCandy have created. To give you a taste of how diverse and random the dozens of available Original Explorer designs are: there’s a garden shed, a watermelon, a piece of cheese and the obligatory sheep in a field. They all start at £295, with an accompanying 5 year guarantee. Detail rich, the front and back of the book jacket are located on each length side of the tent. Moreover, each end charmingly looks like pages fanned, to accurately achieve the book look.
A tent that is visually a book is novel enough (get it), but FieldCandy have decided to allow buyers to make it even more personal. So they have created an easy to use web based design tool, enabling buyers to upload images, change the title, the author's name and the colour of the book, which our below pink book design is an example of. The whole concept is exceptionally admirable, but FieldCandy take it one step further by also creatively incorporating part of the tent's design on the bag it’s supplied within too.
Upon our first glance at the instructions supplied we were worried by the many stages elaborately detailed before erection would be completed. In total contrast, though, after pitching the tent successfully, we thought it was one of the easiest pole based tents we’ve ever had the pleasure of using. The instructions are very in-depth, which is a good thing for novices, but if you have some experience with pitching tents, this is an intuitive one to put up. To briefly go through the steps to illustrate our point, lay the inner tent flat, peg it, build an aluminium frame, connect the two via clips, throw over the flysheet and peg that down (all aluminium pegs). By not having to thread the poles through the Original Explorer tent and instead building a frame, the total pitching time took less than 7 minutes to complete. This speed is bordering on the AirBeam quickness from Vango!
Taking it down proved to be quicker, and what we absolutely revelled in was the fact that FieldCandy haven't supplied us with a bag that 'only just' fits the tent. Its looseness meant we could neatly fold the tent up and throw it into the bag without having to reattempt the affair, with tighter and tighter folding, as is too often the scenario with most tents. For reference, it’s a reasonable 5.6kg when packed away.
Bending into the FieldCandy Original Explorer tent, through the bookend door entrance in our case, you find space (L2.4m x W1.5m x H1.15m) for two adults to happily inhabit for a weekend away at a campsite or a festival venue. With just two people, there is plenty of floor area, coupled with the front porch space, available to store things like the bags and camping stoves. There would probably be comfortable room for a child, but we feel another adult would be too crammed for a pleasant night's sleep.
In addition to the floor space FieldCandy understand the necessities of the modern day camper; we like to read a book, or perhaps check a smartphone before ZZzzzzZZzzzzz. To facilitate the storage of these possessions, a dozen low to the floor zipped and open storage pockets are scattered along three sides of the tent offering quick arm-reach access.
Sleeping in the FieldCandy on humid summer nights produced an airy atmosphere within the breathable tent. However, as you approach sunrise, heat can build up from such nightly conditions, so we are grateful that the door has a mesh window for a direct inflow of air from the outside. When we consider how well the tent self regulates temperature, we think we can approve it as a four season tent. One of the biggest drawbacks we felt from camping in the FieldCandy Original Explorer is the lack of transparent exterior windows, which we know is a stupid thing to say as it would ruin the design. And the tent's dual layered sheets let in light easily, so visibility when inside during daylight is good.
We pitched the FieldCandy Original Explorer in what we thought was a sheltered area, with trees and a hedge, on a bright sunny day. Flash forward 24hrs and the tent was being hit with reasonably heavy summer rain showers and, later into the evening, the wind started to catch beneath the flysheet. We definitely didn't expect such conditions to present themselves in the middle of summer, but it was a good opportunity to see the FieldCandy fend off water and wind easily. With both the waterproof inner tent and 5m minimum waterproof flysheet being pegged down strongly into the ground, the frequent heavy gusts of 25mph throughout the night didn't rip the tent's colourful flysheet or remove it from the ground. Of course, the pole based skeleton lends itself more to milder camping weather really, but it's nice to know it can withstand a bit of a storm.
FieldCandy haven't just launched a range of fun-looking and entirely original tents, but when inside we find practical design for pleasurable airy sleeping and plenty of storage space to boot. The Original Explorer is a brilliant and elaborately illustrated tent for festival goers and countryside weekend trippers! It's a great way to make sure you can spot your tent from a distance, too!