11.03.2016
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This version has now been discontinued, but I’ve noticed a few still remain in stock on some websites, and if anyone is thinking to purchase one second-hand then this review may still be of use.If you’re looking for a quality tent, that’s easy to live with and to be used for extended holidays of a week or more, then a Wolf Lake could be the perfect choice.
More like a temporary construction really - it's pretty solid.We camp from May - November in the UK, and the polycotton keeps you warm in the cold (very windproof) and cool in the summer. We're a family of 3, so the 5 birth tent gives us plenty of space for our gear without it feeling crowded or messy. Those who are used to normal polyester tents will see a huge difference when moving to polycotton. We find pitching easy if a bit time consuming - but there were a couple of beers consumed during this so we weren't rushing! The wife and myself find the size of the tent ideal for the two of us, plus the usual paraphernalia(!). The Canopy is useful for cooking and for sitting in it adds the protection you need in this country if the weather turns.
We have always been immensely pleased with the comfort and quality but it is after this latest holiday over Jubilee Bank Holiday week that I really want to issue it with a Gold Star. The entrance 'verandah' is also great for the UK - big enough to cook under if it's wet (we also cook inside in autumn), and you are sheltered from wind and rain.
We've only taken it for a long weekend trip so far but it will definitely suit all our needs for a longer trip too. Agree with all the other positive comments about the wolf lake 5, we bought ours a few weeks ago and have used it twice so far.
From a personal perspective, for a typical family of 4 I’d probably look at the Wolf Lake 7 for adequate space.The Wolfie is surprisingly easy to erect, so don’t let the sheer size of it put you off. We were really happy with it but still had a hankering for the benefits of the polycotton Wolf lake. The built in ground sheet which can be zipped in and out is a great idea as you can clean it after your trip.
While the 'Wolfie' has experienced a couple of meaty thunderstorms in the past, they have been as nothing to the weather conditions we have just experienced. We'd never buy another tent that doesn't have this 'porch' facility now we've tried it.The only real downside is the weight and size when packed (as others have noted). The first pitch in the garden was fairly easy for 2 adults but on site it was very windy and we did need an extra pair of hands to hold onto a couple of poles while we got the key pegs in (luckily my mother in law was on hand!).
The only negative we've found is that the front door doesn't have a mozzie mesh cover option like all the windows do, and it does get to be a bit of a pain constantly zipping and unzipping to keep the bugs out.


My OH and I use the ‘Gary Cross’ method of putting it up, that is, we lay down the foot print, peg out all four corners of the tent, and then start by inserting the centre pole first and working outwards. There is only my wife and I who camp and we find the space really useful for all of our furniture. The tent packs down into two duffel bags, each weighing 40 kilos - so the whole tent weighs 80 kilos, and it can be a tussle getting it upright. We don't use the sleeping pods, preferring to have one large space, as we have a king size airbed. What most impresses me, and this would apply to all similar polycotton tents, is that once the centre pole is inserted, the tent can sit there and stays extremely stable while you move on to add the remaining poles. Outwell rule and polycotton is the best for coolness in the sun and warmth during colder times. We have a Ford Focus and the packs don't fit in our boot, so we have to put them both across the back seat.We basically only use this tent if we are going away for 5 nights or more, as it takes us (2 adults) almost 2 hours to pitch the tent. Having said that, once it was up, the wind didn't trouble it at all - it didn't move an inch.
We did find the pack very heavy, but bought a foldable sack truck for ?20 and it was great!
This makes life far easier rather than having to haul up all five poles and flysheet at once. Everything stood firm and at no time did we feel in danger of collapse, ripping or any discomfort from things being disturbed by billowing tent sides. Stood the pack on its end, bungie'd it on with the bungy that came with it, and away you go!
On the first try my OH actually commented how simple it was to put up, especially using the above method. Also the pitch we were on was on a slope and ended up with a puddle forming underneath the tent. In addition to the winds, we had rain - full blown torrential downpours every day or night of our holiday and again not a dribble to be spotted inside the tent. If you peg everything, there are 87 pegs to put in including the footprint!We have recently seen that Gelert are doing polycotton tents in smaller sizes and using aluminium poles instead of Outwell's steel ones, so we are planning on buying one of those (a Lakesbury 4) to use for weekends, or when we go away individually, as we really love the canvas of the WL5 but sometimes wish it was a bit more portable! Was brilliant, especially as the last site we were on (Great Langdale) you couldnt take your car to the pitch. The added weight can work to your advantage too – on windy days the tent flysheet hardly budges.
We knew the 'Wolfie' was a quality tent when we bought it but it has repaid our faith in spades! We also love the large windows and the fact that there are 3 doors (front and one at each side). We have now moved on to a trailer tent as we had so much stuff we needed a trailer anyway, but we really enjoyed the time we spent in the Wolf Lake. The only real difficulty is lifting the fabric and 5 poles together because of the weight, but once it's upright its sorted. Wheeled our way over the bumpy field with only one spill!We also find that the footprint is really useful for finding the right aspect to pitch as well as keeping the groundsheet nice and clean. We also have an Outwell Sliding Canopy; this blows around like the proverbial kite in a storm in comparison!I didn’t follow conventional wisdom, and due to struggling to get the opportunity to do so, I neglected to ‘weather’ the Wolfie before its first use. We used the carpet as well, and I admit to being a bit sceptical, but now I'm hooked on it! We don't bother pegging the groundsheet down (once it's zipped in it doesn't move) and that saves a lot of time when pitching.


During the second night we had a pretty strong storm that continued into the next day, but after thorough checks, there was not a single bead of water inside.There are various aspects of the Wolfie that particularly impress me. We used this without its groundsheet and had our cooker stand and a fold-out picnic table in there. There are plenty of features I love, many mentioned already by others, but these are the highlights for me.
The table did get wet when it rained as the canopy only just covers it but it's still a very useful space.Inside, there are pockets under both front windows and between the bedroom pods. This means that you’re left with a number of trip wires in front that could have been avoided. Ok, it takes an extra 5 minutes to unfold and zip it in etc., but the thickness and quality of the groundsheet is perfect.
Proper repitching and drying)-Front extension is a little short – so when it’s serious rain it still comes in and makes everything wet that’s kept there. The windows all have curtains that can be put half way or fully up with velcro - good for getting a balance between light and privacy. Having put it up in the garden when we first bought it, we needed to go around all of the stitching with scissors to cut off the loose threads – and there were loads of them.
Like the other older generation ‘Lakes’ this tent has the ‘Vent View’ system that allows the windows to be opened completely, or closed with only a mesh to prevent a mozzie attack. There was also a couple of seams that needed firming up with seam sealer, as the thread looked like it would run. In warmer climes this is ideal to keep things cool, in addition to the breathable polycotton. Some of the velcro patches on the curtains don’t quite line up with the windows underneath.
Something that I’d sorely miss.The polycotton fabric makes living conditions so much more pleasant. Additionally Outwell themselves took ages to get back to me and then simply referred me to the shop we’d been to.Since we bought this tent, Outwell have brought out the fully cotton range.
It’s not thick or luxurious as 100% cotton, but it really does make life far more bearable than polyester. I’m afraid to say (much to my bank accounts distress!) I’ve been converted and will never buy polyester again.
I’ve tried packing the groundsheet in with the flysheet - it’s possible, but the bulk of the bag makes it difficult to handle.
It would also have been a nice addition to have wheels on the bags, similar to other tents in the price range, to help shift them!No front extension. The removable front canopy is great, but it would have been even better to have the option to purchase a front extension like the Bear Lake 4 & 6. Thankfully Outwell have remedied this somewhat with the 2013 model, the front canopy is far larger, has hanging poles (to dry off towels etc.) and the option to close off the canopy with the awning conversion kit.
Plus, the conversion kit is not exactly cheap, on a tent that is already double the price I paid for mine!Purchase rock pegs (at least for the guys and four corners). The pegs supplied by Outwell bend like cheese!Apart from these niggles (and I’m being picky), quite simply, the Wolfie is a fantastic tent.



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