Festival time is now upon us; from sheds and attics across the land musty and dusty camping gear is slowly emerging for the annual short-break under the stars. Whether your destination be the glamping fields of Goodwood, or one of the dozens of music festival across the UK, MotorPunk has sourced a selection of the most interesting and innovative shelters you can buy today.

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THE SPLITTY SLICKER…

Fancy a ‘60s Volkswagen Type-2 but don’t want the overblown costs, breakdowns, corrosion, engine fires or streams of soap-dodging surfer-types waving at you every five minutes? Then this could be your answer. Officially licensed by VW this 1:1 scale replica of their iconic 1965 Camper can comfortably accommodate four in two double- sized sleeping partitions, and its 3000mm waterproofing should keep the worst of our summer hurricanes at bay. MotorPunk were disappointed to hear that there are no plans for a Mazda Bongo Friendee based version.

Bad points: Hardcore Dub nuts may mock your lack of wealth and bravery for not getting a proper one.
Good points: Performance figures and NCAP ratings are similar to the original’s.

Price: £300
From: www.firebox.com

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THE LAST BOY SCOUT…

Remember the days before CRB checks when slightly nerdy men would take every Boy Scout in your village for a night under canvas? Ah, teenagers today will never enjoy the same simple pleasures as we did back in the ‘80s – whittling at driftwood with a penknife, catching frogs in the local brook or discovering the shreds of a discarded ‘rhythm pamphlet’ in a hedge bottom. However, if you want to rekindle those halcyon days then you’ll need to get an old-school tent. This ex-MOD 10 man Arctic bell tent offers plenty of space for a camp-out with your chums, and even has an integral flue for a wood burning stove where you can boil up lashings of steaming cocoa.

boyscout

Bad points: It’s heavy: You’ll need an ex-Army Landie to shift the thing.
Good points: Looks tough: no draft-dodging hippies are gonna mess with your stuff at the Green Man Festival.

Price: £475
From: www.anchorsupplies.com

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ROOF TOP LIVING…

As used by the support vehicles on McGregor & Boorman’s adventures, Howling Moon roof tents from South Africa can turn the top of your 4X4 into a virtual campsite. Lifted above the damp cold earth you can look down on the shivering huddled masses in their primitive shelters below; when you’re ready to move on to ‘pastures new’ the tents just fold up into their own compact roof boxes and off you go. Strapped to the roof of a Defender we think they look the business – who needs a flaky old Microbus?

rooftop

Bad points: Might look a bit top heavy on the roof of a Toyota iQ. Pith helmets are an optional extra.
Good points: Equally useful for evading snakes and venomous insects whilst on Safari, or discarded prophylactics and syringes at the Download Festival.

Price: £1300
From: www.trekoverland.com

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LOTUS DON’T DO TENTS, BUT IF THEY DID…

What could be simpler or lighter than camping in the clothes you’re already wearing. “Isn’t that what cider-addled tramps do?” I hear you cry! Well, actually, the ever- thoughtful Wehrmacht came up with a better solution decades ago when they designed a waterproof jacket/sleeping bag combo to help keep their snipers comfy.


Updated for the 21st Century the JakPak is a high-tech evolution with tent-like mosquito netting and a less claustrophobic breathing space. While it passes for a dreary cagoule in the daytime, when you fancy a quick nap the JakPak’s sleeping bag folds down from the back of the jacket which also features a hood that can be supported by little lightweight rods.

Bad points: You’ll look like a poorly tailored train spotter by day and a body-bagged corpse at night.
Good points: A cleverly designed emergency shelter; ideal for hikers, daytime drinkers or sociopathic barbeque guests.

Price: $199.99
From: www.jakpak.com

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FROM THE CHAPS DOWN UNDER…

I’m going to be quite honest and admit that this tent is actually nicer than my house. At the touch of a button the Opera unfolds to its full canvas glory in just five minutes – its design paying homage to the famous Sydney landmark. Floors are teak, the interior walls are high-grade cotton and the finishings are oak, Corian and stainless steel to complete the contemporary feel. In addition to the electrically controlled beds and underfloor heating other amenities include a wine cabinet, an espresso bar, ceramic toilet and a built-in compass so campers can orientate the teak veranda for G&Ts in the evening sun.


Bad points: Expensive. For that sort of wedge you could buy an S2 Exige and two JakPaks.
Good points: Glamping just got taken to a whole new level.

Price: £23,000
From: www.ysin.nl

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A PARTIR DE CES FOUS FRANCAIS…

From those crazy French we have the BubbleTree. For around £600 this French company, delivers and inflates these totally transparent igloos at the camp site of your choice. Its designer said he was inspired to create these pods because ‘having a night under the stars or seeing the sun rise and set is not something that many people experience anymore. A normal tent or camper van means people miss out on these things.’ It’s a noble ideal. However, expect to see terrified middle-class families being rolled around Glastonbury’s main stage sometime next summer.

bubbletree

Bad points: Steve McFadden. Looking like Rhino from the film ‘BOLT’.
Good points: If you’re a big ugly hairy-backed chap you’ll get the field to yourself.

Price: €2000
From: www.bubbletree.fr

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