Breathe in the air
Functional, Comfortable, Dead Simple To Put Up, Lasts Forever
I couldn't find any reviews for Southern Cross tents here, which is strange, given they're such an iconic, well regarded brand.
Anyway, we own far too many tents and couldn't justify buying a Southern Cross, even though I always liked the look of them. Our tent of preference for longer trips in summer was an Oztrail 16x9, 2 room cabin. Big and heavy but really comfortable. It took a bit longer than a dome to put up but by the time you add in everything else in the set up/take down cycle, it didn't make a material difference to the whole process.
Then I broke my shoulder and ribs, plus my wife did her back just before our big Xmas trip, so we couldn't handle the weight of the Oztrail and we had to find another tent that was easier to set up. There was an Ultimate Trekker on Gumtree for a reasonable price, so we decided to go for it.
Ironically, it was much older than expected and if I'd known that beforehand, I probably wouldn't have bought it but I'm glad I did. After we got it, I found out it was 21 years old (!). It was a bit grubby here and there but otherwise pretty much as good as new. Based on how it's performed so far, I reckon it will last us another 15 years, until we're done camping and still be going strong.
It uses a heavier canvas than their current model (14oz I think). It has smaller windows and 2 poles inside at the back, instead of the external frame but they're minor differences. It takes 3-4 mins max to put up the basic tent - we've got it down to 9 pegs.
It's waterproof, stormproof and bombproof. In hot weather, we use a big tarp over the whole tent, instead of the custom awning that came with it, as that keeps everything cool. We use the tent's awning poles, plus a few ocky straps to keep the tarp tied down.
I like the way that everything about it is butch and built to last forever. I thought the canvas would be difficult to handle when wet but it dries really quickly. I just find camping with it more enjoyable than a dome tent. It seems to take the sting out of the weather, whatever it's doing. It's become the default go-to tent for the 2 of us, because it's so easy to set up and is so comfortable.
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