I have been camping from the back of a motorcycle for some thirty-plus years now in all weathers and all seasons, so I suspect I have gathered a reasonable amount of experience over that period of time. For a recent five-motorcyle camping trip I purchased a SanaM 4-berth tunnel tent to use as a communal (non-sleeping) area in the event of foul weather at our destination. The weather was bitterly cold but there was no snow or rain and the windspeed was listed as '10 knots gusting 22' for the weekend - not a particularly high windspeed at all.
The moment I opened the bag I was worried. The tent material was difficult to unroll and each fold felt as if it was partially glued to its neighbour. You expect some form of 'stickingness' with a new tent but this was excessive and shrieked of cheap material. I was actually afraid that the windows would split while we were laying out the tent as the transparent plastic was so inflexible. One section of one pole split while it was being brought round to link into the security peg on the flysheet for the first time. We repaired this with gaffer (duck, duct) tape and got the rest of the tent erected. On unzipping the door and inspecting the inside, it was very apparent that the tent
was made of a very thin and very cheap material as the available light was shining though a large number of pinholes.The door zip was almost impossible to close and no amount of shifting the front hoop would relieve the pressure on the zip. Closer inspection showed that the front wall of the tent was too small for the arc it was stitched into - no amount of adjustment was going to relieve that pressure, short of taking the pole out. We also found the the overall flysheet was too small in width for the length of the poles - we could not get the mudwalls to reach the ground on both sides at the same time.
The front wall is supposed to unzip so that it can be re-zipped one tent-section further back to form a porch. On the second day we decided that rather than pressure the door zip any longer (it was showing signs of splitting away from the material), we would use the big zip. On first use we discovered that this zip would no longer close fully either. The big zip is stitched along the edges of the transparent windows and very few uses later, the leftside window split followed immediately by the tent material parting company with the zip and leaving us with no way to close the tent. It turned out that the zip was stitched mostly to the window plastic and only stitched to a very thin strip of the flysheet; we found this to be the case on the rightside window too.
In summary: very inferior quality materials, poor to non-existant quality control and definately not fit for purpose. I'm glad we didn't have to test the hydrostatic properties as I suspect they would have been poor to non-existant too.
And the tent? It remained behind, ending its very brief life in a skip (dumpster). A complete waste of money - keep your hands firmly in your pockets where SanaM products are concerned.
SanaM tents - why you should NOT buy them
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12 February 2009
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