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Review Of The Cabanon Biscaya 370 For 365 Camping Caravanning

 

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Cabanon Biscaya 370 Lightweight
(Sleeping Capacity 5 persons)

 

 

 

The Tent
The Biscaya 370, it’s smaller sister the Biscaya 320 and it’s big sister, the Biscaya 440, have been around for a while in a ‘Cotton’ version and have proved to be very popular (The 320, 370 and 440 of the Biscaya range refers to the actual width of the tent in centimetres i.e. 3.2m, 3.7m and 4.4m respectively) but at an RRP of over £1000 for the 370 Cotton/Canvas versions they can remain but a dream for some. Cabanon have attempted to make some dreams come true and, in an effort to attract wanting ‘Cabanon’ owners, have not only ‘pitched’ this tent at a more affordable  price (around the £750 mark) but also seem to be making an effort to attract the vast numbers of the ‘non-canvas’ tenters into the Cabanon fold. I can hear the cries now from the ‘non-canvas’ campers ”£750 for a Polyester tent! well, yes, it is an expense but what makes this tent worth the cost?, what makes this tent stand out from the rest?. One word, ”Quality” from the selection of materials and quality control down to the last stitch, all hallmarks of a first class manufacturer. So what does the Cabanon Biscaya 370 Polyester have to offer for your hard earned cash?

  • Large, fully enclosed, spacious living area, 2 large clear PVC windows with zipped down curtains)

  • Roll-away front panel with large clear PVC window with zipped down curtain

  • Fixed front sun canopy

  • Generous bedroom inner tent with roll-away dividing curtain

  • Rip Stop Polyester Flysheet

  • Polycotton Inner (bedroom)

  • Aluminium Tube Poles

  • Heavy duty Sewn-In-Groundsheet (SIG).

  • Rear Air vents .

  • Headroom 205cm

  • Weight 38 kg (tent 27 kg, poles 11 kg)

  • 5 berth (max)

  • Packed in three compact bags for easy transportation (Tent, Bedroom & Poles)

  • Optional front sun canopy (recommended)

On opening the tent packaging the first thing that strikes you is the quality of the tent and poles bags. The pole bag is made of  an old fashion Hessian/Potato sack material (the type that leaves bits of itself on your clothes for weeks once touched) and the tent bag is no more than an overlarge modern plastic potato sack, which was disappointing when you compare some of the tent and poles bags of other manufacturers for half the price. My disappointment was quickly allayed once the tent was out of it’s bag, the sheer quality of  the tent material instils a feeling of confidence, and that if purchasing this tent, would make you feel you’d made the right choice and it was money well spent. The 4 ‘spring linked’ poles (yes, there are only 4 which eases pitching) are extremely lightweight but yet feel very tough. The pitching instructions are, like many other tent manufacturers, adequate but not the best and are a little confusing at times. Especially when you are instructed to “zip the ground sheet to the canvas” maybe Cabanon had forgotten that this tent has a “Sewn-In-Groundsheet” or maybe they couldn’t be bothered to print new instructions and just threw in the same instructions for the Canvas versions of the Biscaya, we may never know.

 

Pitch Footprint
At just 370cm x 680cm that's a large tent by most campsite ratings but not a monster by any standards and a comfortable fit for most campsite pitches.

 

Erection / Pitching
The tent erection is simplicity itself as each of the 4 poles (1 for the front canopy and 3 for the tent shell) clip together to form a ‘hoop’ which are zipped into the sleeves on the inside of tent (the pole ends have a wide rubber/plastic circular base that not only protects the groundsheet but also functions as an anti-slip aid). As you have to be able to reach the highest point in the tent (205cm) to zip the poles in their sleeves then if you’re under 5’ 2” then you may have issues, unless you have arms as long as an Orangutang, but for the non-vertically challenged amongst us then this task shouldn’t be an issue. There are no guy lines on this model (although 3 straps are supplied to secure the front canopy in place and to assist with overall stability) but it really doesn’t need them as the design of internal poles is a stroke of genius in that it’s simple to pitch in all weather conditions and provides immediate stability to the whole structure before it’s even pegged down. The tent has numerous pegging points all around, the ground sheet is secured by pegging the fixed plastic loops and the main outer of the tent via pegging the webbing straps. Good quality ‘hooked’ pegs and ‘storm’ pegs are supplied along with a rubber mallet, now there’s a nice touch.

The inner tent (bedroom) is connected  to the groundsheet via toggles at the base and the top of bedroom hangs from the rear 2  pole sleeves via ‘s’ shaped metal hooks. The bedroom has two separate doors (which can be tied back) and a central dividing curtain which itself can be rolled up and tied in position. The built in large canopy is a good size and very useful but to be able to use this area to it’s  full potential then it’s worth investing an extra £90 or so for the additional sun canopy which is not only practical but makes the whole package more aesthetically pleasing on the eye.

 

Pros and Cons  
Pros Cons: 
  • Easy to pitch taking around 15 - 20mins.

  • Solid as a rock

  • Quality assured from Cabanon a quality tent manufacturer

  • The bedroom has to be removed when de-camping and re hung when erecting due to rear pole position.

  • Guy points on the rear vents and side windows but no guy lines supplied. Not sure of the logic there?

 

The Cost
Around the £750 mark, t’s worth investing an extra £90 or so for the additional sun canopy, which makes the Biscaya 370 an expensive tent and may not fall within everyone's budget but you get what you pay for, a quality tent from a quality manufacturer

 

The Verdict
I’ve heard said that “owning a Cabanon is a life long relationship”, maybe akin to a marriage, personally I would compare this to a Celebrity marriage i.e. it’s great for a while and will stand up to anything thrown at it but soon the excitement fades and the relationship deteriorates as something younger and more desirable arrives just around the corner. The colours, a mix of light and dark blue panels, although very light and airy just don’t do it for me. I prefer the good old, beiges, browns and greens that are more in keeping with the countryside environment but as I note that many of these blue colours are now covering many campsites, I have to admit that one day I may fall into the minority.

 

Information and Links
For further information on Cabanon and their products visit Cabanon

 

Review By Camper Pete

Note We recommend with all tents that you see them fully erected and satisfy yourself that the product is right for you prior to making a purchase.

 

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