Scandinavian tent brand Robens makes those tipi style tents beloved of Instagrammers and glampers, but with technical fabrics and features in line with those you'll find amongst today's best tents. One of the issues with tipi-style tents like these is that they can feel more enclosed, because it's not easy to add things like clear windows and extra side doors without ruining the aesthetic.
For its Chinook Ursa S tent, Robens has come up with a really smart innovation to address this issue: the entire front lifts up to turn create a massive sun porch. And when I say massive, it's like more than half the tent. When open, it looks like a giant umbrella. The model is new for 2021, and has just picked up a UK Outdoor Industry Award 2021 for Best Tent/Awning.
In 'open' mode, the giant three-poled front canopy delivers a completely opened up space from which to enjoy the fresh air and surrounding scenery, and socialise with campers outside the tent. A bit like today's best beach tents, you're still protected from the sun and any drizzle. Then if the weather does turn, you can shift it back into a conventional tipi with A-frame doorway. It's such a transformation, it barely looks like the same tent.
I haven't been able to try one out yet, but the mechanism sounds very simple. You undo the two zips that run up the wall either side of the door to reveal extension panels that are neatly folded into the tent design, and the A-frame coverts into support poles to secure the canopy. You can also amp up the versatility levels further by adding things like t's an impressively versatile design, with a bunch of optional extras depending on the type of trip you're heading on (inner tent, comfortable floor covering, footprint).
The Robens Chinook Ursa S sleeps up to 6 and costs from £919.99. It's based on the larger Chinook Ursa, which also has awards to its name. Find out more or buy one at Robens.