CAMPING - TENTS & SWAGS
OzTent is justifiably famous for its revolutionary 30-second tent design and the company has added a Jet Tent product line-up that doesn’t erect as quickly, but is much easier to pack inside a vehicle.
Jet Tents invite comparison with Black Wolf’s same-sized
Turbo Tent models, because the ‘folding-knee’, external frame design is visually similar. However, there are significant differences.
Jet Tent has a thicker floor material than Turbo Tent and is
noticeably heavier as a result. It’s also quieter at night when moving around in a Jet Tent, because the Turbo Tent floor, similar to plastic tarp material – makes a ‘crackling’ sound.
Both tent brands unpack in much the same way as a double-fold-frame umbrella, but the wider span at the top of the Turbo Tent means it has extendable frame pieces that need to be pushed open and clicked into place, to tension the roof. If you’re vertically
disadvantaged this may require a step box.
Jet Tent packs up more easily than Turbo tent, because when
the roof is collapsed all the legs fold at the same time. A link inside each Jet Tent leg locks and unlocks it.
With Turbo Tent it’s necessary to unlock each ‘knee’ joint
in turn. The upside for Jet Tent is quicker packing, but the advantage for Turbo Tent is easier bush repair, should a leg have a locking issue.
Both designs come with a fly that slips over the external
frame and clips to the four corner pegs via shock cords. Turbo Tent has a meshed roof vent at its peak and Jet Tent relies on its larger window area for ventilation. Jet Tent also has two ‘dormer’ style windows, with side gussets that allow them to be left open during a rain shower.
Interior floor areas are similar across the size range.
Jet Tent has a larger stitched-on awning than Turbo Tent and it can be raised on additional poles to form an external room, with
optional side and end panel.
We did a couple of bush trips with a small, 2.1-metre-square
Jet Tent and found it easy to live with. Erection and packing times
were around five minutes for each operation, including fitting and
packing the awning support poles and the side panels. We didn’t have an end wall to check out, but the open-fronted ‘room’ proved adequate as a sheltered dining area.
Our double swag occupied most of the tent’s floor area, so we concluded that this small tent would prove too squeezy for most couples, let alone families. We’d recommend at least the 2.5-metre model.
In comparison with our long-serving, traditional OzTent we
found the Jet Tent much easier to stow in a 4WD, because it packs across the back of nearly all wagons and ute tubs. In contrast, the two-metre-long OzTent needs a long-tray ute or a wagon roof rack. Only a Troopy can easily accommodate a classic OzTent inside.
This easy-stowing feature should endear the Jet Tent to many 4WD enthusiasts.