This smart, canvas-style and rather boxy tent is new to Robens’ stable of camping designs for Spring 2022, with an RRP of £747.9. Robens calls it ‘a spacious base that can be taken wherever adventure leads’, but does it live up to those claims?
The Yukon is certainly spacious, with a palatial bedroom and a big door that makes indoor-outdoor living a doddle. So is this handsome design the sweet spot where practical camping tent meet pretty and spacious glamping tent? I put it through its paces to see if it's up there among the best tents. Read on for my full Robens Yukon Shelter tent review.
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Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: design
Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: specs
Main material: Polycotton and polyester
Pitching time: 15-20 minutes
Standing height: yes
Pack size: 91 x 25cm
Robens was inspired by the simple wood refuges that are dotted across the Scandinavian countryside to design the Yukon Shelter, and it shows – this tent design really stands out from the usual tipi-style glamping tents or geodesic backpacking tents I’m used to reviewing. What this square-ish design gives the camper is lots of room, standing height in part of the bedroom and a decent-sized porch that can be opened up fully to the elements for eating alfresco, or covered with a mesh door to repel insects. The spacious design and the fact that you can fully open up the front of the Yukon Shelter means it would also work very nicely just pitched in a larger back garden as a sun shade or a playhouse on hot summer days.
Polycotton (in this case, a mix of 65% polyester and 35% cotton) is a great material for tents - cotton works well in colder weather as it retains heat and is water-resistant, and the fabric breathes and will remain cooler than polyester in hot weather. Polycotton is definitely heavier than polyester, but no-one look at the 17.2kg Yukon Shelter and think it was designed for lightweight backpacking adventures or shorter camps – this is a tent designed for putting in the boot of your car to take on relaxed, week-long holidays in your favourite campsite.
I’ve reviewed a few Robens tents in the past and have always noticed their great attention to detail, and you get what you pay for once again with the Yukon Shelter, from reflective guy lines that are easy to spot in the glow of a head torch to insect-repelling mesh screens and solid toggles for tying up the main door. This really feels like a tent that will last for years of happy camping.
Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: setup and use
The first time I took Robens’ Yukon Shelter out of its carry bag, I was completely flummoxed by the instructions. Robens could do with taking some tips from Ikea and investing in some clear drawings of how erect this tent, because I (plus my partner and two reasonably outdoorsy friends) could not work out what to do with the various steel poles in different states of assembly. We resorted to watching an online video provided by Robens, and finally cracking which pole went where felt like being on an episode of Crystal Maze.
That said, once we worked out how to slot the poles into the Yukon Shelter, all was forgiven – the Yukon is easy and fast to erect and could probably done by just one person, which is far simpler than many family tents that require at least two people.
Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: at camp
Once you’ve got the hang of pitching the Yukon, what you’ve got is a rather square, safari-style tent. A central, football goal-shaped steel pole holds the tent’s door and ceiling up, and smaller poles support each corner of the tent. Once the Yukon Shelter is erect, guy ropes are easy to tighten and the tent takes shape easily. Inside, the one bedroom is huge, comfortable and airy, with standing room at one end. While you could indeed fit four people lying in a row, we prefer it as a roomier bedroom for two or three people with room for kit. Families will probably prefer a tent with two bedrooms, but if you’re camping with younger children, this may still suit. You can leave the main door of the Yukon closed or roll it up fully, and there’s also an option to pitch the Yukon Shelter’s front door as an extended canopy, but these poles aren’t included, which is a pity considering this tent’s premium price point.
Robens’ great-quality canvas-style polycotton outer fly makes the main room feel cool and comfortable even in hot weather, and on test I found this tent far more breathable than most traditional polyester tents. The polycotton also repels rain reliably (although do note that this thicker material does take a whole day in full sunshine to dry before you can store it).
Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: alternatives to consider
If you like the lovely looks and canvas-style quality of the Yukon Shelter but want a design that sleeps more than four, try the roomy Klondike PRS, which fits five-six people (£695.99). Not a fan of fiddly poles? The palatial Robens Aero Yurt is pricier but a doddle to inflate in minutes (£1,734.99). Or if you’re after multiple bedrooms, try Decathlon’s inflatable four-man Air Seconds (£899.99).
Robens Yukon Shelter tent review: verdict
There’s a tent out there to suit every kind of camper, and while I think Robens’ Yukon Shelter only works for quite specific nights out under the stars, it definitely excels at what it’s designed to do. This roomy tent provides a lovely, weatherproof bedroom for two or three people, which a fair amount of room for kit, and it stands out for easy indoor-outdoor summer living thanks to that huge door and canopy option. It’s also ideal for very hot weather thanks to the bug-proof mesh inner door and the cooling properties of polycotton. If you fancy adding a bit of safari-style luxe to your next camping holiday for two, this could be a great pick.