I have been looking for the ideal bivvy/tent to take on my trips to France for years now and I think I may have found it at last!
I have owned and tried many different bivvy’s but whilst they have had their good points, they have all been missing something that would make my trips that much more comfortable and therefore enjoyable. What follows is my review of what is a different tent to the standard bivvies available.
The Oztent is not purpose made for the angling trade, but is a tent made and designed for general use. It is advertised as the “30 second” tent and clips can be found on YouTube showing it being put up in under 30 seconds. The Oztent is Australian designed (as the name would imply!) and is multi award winning.
- Height – I am 6ft 2” so most bivvies are a problem for me with their low profile. This has a height of 1.9m so I can almost stand upright in it thereby saving my back.
- Built in awning – this is the best feature of the Oztent for me. I don’t know about other anglers but personally I loathe having to sit in the confines of my bivvy if it is raining. The awning is built in so you simply have to un-clip it, roll it out and add the supporting poles (included) and guy ropes. An excellent feature!
- Put up time – the “30 second” put up time is slightly misleading as that doesn’t include (cant include unless your Usain Bolt!) pegging the tent or the guy ropes out or setting up the awning (which took me about 20 minutes first time round but much quicker next time when I got the jist of it).
The tent has a built in aluminium main frame which does make it quite heavy. Basically, all you have to do to put it up is roll the tent out, pull out each “side” then pull together the two sides of the mainframe. It really is that easy.
- Quality of materials – in summary, top quality. The main material is totally waterproof as tested in a recent prolonged heavy downpour during a thunderstorm whilst in France. The material appears to be very hardwearing and is guaranteed for 2 years.
- Built in groundsheet – gone are the days for me of messing around with separate groundsheets, the Oztent has one built in and is heat sealed into the main tent material thereby guaranteeing no leaks!
- Built in guy ropes – a clever little design feature. The guy ropes (again, great quality) can be rolled up and put into a specially designed pouch until you need them again.
- Side and rear windows – it has a large rear and two side windows, all of which can be opened for added ventilation if required.
- Mozzie door and windows – a mesh door and windows keeps out “uninvited guests”.
- Everything included – all you need is included in the price including a good quality holdall, pegs, guy ropes etc
Of course, it wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t point out some of the less desirable features:
- Length – you need to have a vehicle that can cope with the length of the Oztent which is 2m. Be warned, it may not fit into smaller vehicles so do check before purchasing.
- Weight – as mentioned previously, it is quite heavy because of its aluminium frame so is not something I would use on short sessions. However, for a week it is worth the extra effort.
- Price – at an RRP of £600 the Oztent is not cheap. However, you can see why when you look at the overall quality of the materials and fittings
- Size – I went for the RV-2 which is advertised as a good sized one person or small two person tent. In my opinion, I think that’s a bit generous and would recommend the next size up (RV-3) to comfortably fit two people and all the gear we take with us.
Overall, I would say this is a fantastic piece of kit and if you are after comfort whilst long session fishing then I would take a closer look at this range.
I am very impressed and look forward to using it again during my next outing in France in October.
Duncan de Gruchy