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

About The Author

Darryl Sleath

Darryl can usually be found up to his elbows in some unloved piece of BL detritus when he isn’t snapping and scribbling for various print magazines or producing the occasional book on tally-ho adventurers, PE or road tripping. As an occasional presenter on XCAR’s YouTube channel, his other hobbies include vintage Scalextrics, ‘60s Bang & Olufsen and dabbling in grassroots motorsport.

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