First test pitch of the Outwell Hartsdale 4PA

With the COVID-19 lockdown in full swing, we set-up the Outwell Hartsdale 4PA tent in our back garden, at our #HomeCampsite. But testing any new tent at home is a good idea, even when the country isn’t in lockdown πŸ™‚

The Outwell Hartsdale 4PA is one of the tents I saw when visiting the Outwell 2020 Season launch, and the Hartsdale was one of the tents I singled out as particularly good. Fortunately, Outwell agreed to send us one for a hands-on test, along with the footprint and carpet πŸ™‚

First Test Pitch Video

Watch our video below to see this tent in more detail, the mistakes I made, and some of the awesome accessories we set-up inside.

Video Contents

If you want to skip to a section of the video above, use these timestamps.

  • – Intro 0:40
  • – Hartsdale Footprint 2:13
  • – Pitching the tent 7:58
  • – Hartsdale Tent Carpet 16:50
  • – Outwell Tent Hanging System 18:49
  • – Outwell Sargas Lantern 20:40
  • – Outwell Barmouth Bedside Table 22:53
  • – Outwell Dreamboat 16cm on Campbed 23:38
  • – Outwell Catamarca folding sofa 24:48
  • – Outwell Dawlish Seat/Storage 25:03
  • – Outwell Laguna Hills L Campbed 25:40
  • – Outwell Posadas Campbed 25:48
  • – Outwell Canella Supreme 3-season sleeping bag 26:00
  • – Outwell Dreamboat 16cm on Floor 26:07
  • – Outwell Contour Sleeping Bag 26:28
  • – Outwell Starland Sleep System on Campbed 26:54
  • – Outwell Katla Tent Heater 29:52
  • – Packing the tent away 31:43

In the bag

The bag is large and quite heavy. Fortunately, the bag is oversized, so that should help with getting the tent back into it.

The Hartsdale 4PA in the bag
The Outwell Hartsdale 4PA tent in its bag

Using the Tent Footprint

We don’t always bother with a tent footprint, especially if the weather is good. But they do help keep the bottom of your tent clean.

The footprint
Layout out the tent footprint (dog not included!)

However, having the footprint is a big advantage while pitching in the limited space of our back garden, as you can position exactly where the tent will go, before getting your tent out.

Or you would if you get the footprint around the right way. I pitched the Hartsdale footprint upside down, which meant when I rolled the tent out on top of it, the tent didn’t fit!

The tent footprint
Little did I realise that I had the footprint upside down.

Easy to correct. It does show on the footprint’s instructions which way around it should go. Oops! I obviously didn’t read the instructions correctly πŸ˜‰

Pitching the Outwell Hartsdale 4PA tent

The Outwell Hartsdale is an inflatable tent, with a set of steel poles for the awning.

The Outwell Tent Pegging System
The Outwell Tent Pegging System. Put the silver ones at the silver pegging points in the corners first, then inflate, then put the black pegs into the tent’s black pegging points, and finally, the luminous pegs for the luminous guy lines.

I notice that Outwell includes a new version of their hand pump with the tent, which I really like.

The new Outwell Cyclone pump. Unfasten the red plug to make it easier to push the pump. With the plug inserted, you’ll get more air into the tent on each pump but requires more effort.

This hand pump feels sturdier than the previous versions. It also has a plug on the front that you can undo if you find pumping a little difficult.

Inflating was easy enough. Each air tube has an inflation valve. And it didn’t take much effort, with our lad doing most of the inflation for me πŸ™‚

Inflating the tent
Inflating the tent is…child’s play.

I had trouble with these types of valves in the past, often knocking the button that releases the air right after I’ve just inflated the tent. However, I never had any of those issues with this tent πŸ™‚

Setting up the porch
The poles are easy to insert for the porch.

The steel poles on the front porch go together easy too. The arched pole slides into a sleeve on the tent, and then the steel legs slot in. Finally, the legs Velcro to the sides of the porch.

Laying the tent carpet

The carpet wraps up into its own carry case. Simply unfasten the Velcro straps, and roll out the carpet.

The tent carpet
The tent carpet rolls up into its own carry case.

The carpet covers the floor from wall to wall and includes carpet for the side wing of the Hartsdale tent.

The carpet
The carpet fits wall-to-wall, including in the side wing.

Setting up the Outwell Tent Hanging System

Supplied with the tent are clips that fix onto piping found around the air tubes in the living space. These help you hang things from the air tubes.

To make best use of these though, you’ll need the additional accessory: the Tent Hanging System, which Outwell also sent us πŸ™‚

The Outwell Tent Hanging System comes with three cords and a number of attachments.

The Tent Hanging System
Attaching a Sargas lantern to the Outwell Tent Hanging System.

By connecting the Hanging System to the clips, you can position lanterns or other items, where you want them. You are no longer limited to where the lantern hook has been placed in the tent.

We hung an Outwell Sargas lantern in the side wing.

Lantern hanging in the side wing
Using the Outwell Tent Hanging System to place the lantern in the side wing.

Using Camp-beds in the Bedrooms

The extra-long bedrooms of the Outwell Hartsdale tent are ideal for using camp beds for that extra bit of luxury.

We put in both an Outwell Posadas and an Outwell Laguna Hills L bed.

Camp Beds

This layout isn’t ideal if you have kids. As you can see, it’s filled up this four-person tent. You could fit more camp beds in for kids, but not if you have the wider Laguna Hills L bed, as shown below. Unless, of course, the kids sleep on the floor and you lose the space next to the bed.

The Bedroom
Making the bedroom up with a camp bed.

An alternative layout we adopted for the night, was to roll up the divider and place the beds running across the tent, with a SIM in the middle. Only a three-person set-up, so not making the most of the space, but was very comfortable.

Test Pitch
The test pitch of the tent in our garden. No room to put out all the guy lines!
Side door open
The large side door open to vent the tent.

Using the Quick and Quiet Bedroom Door

The Outwell Hartsdale 4PA only has a single Quick and Quiet door on one of the bedrooms, with the other bedroom having a traditional zip.

This wasn’t an issue with the way we set-up the tent.

We are glad to report that this feature worked exactly as described, and I never woke anyone when I got up to use ‘the facilities’ at night, nor make a cuppa first thing in the morning.

I wondered if I would wake people when opening the main tent door, but that wasn’t the case.

Putting the tent away

Air tents tend to be bulky due to the large air tubes, so getting them back in their tent bag can sometimes be difficult.

Fortunately, the tent bag is bigger than the tent.

Deflation was quick, with simply pressing a button on each of the valves to let the air out. We also used the pump on deflate mode to help get the air out of the tubes.

Rolling the tent up was also easy.

I normally do two rolls of the tent: the first gets the air out, and so the second roll is tighter. But I wanted to see if I could get this tent in the bag with just one roll.

And yes, it worked! Though, only just.

Putting the tent away
Success. Got the tent back into its bag.

The tent got back into the bag, complete with poles and pegs, though I couldn’t fit the pump inside the bag as well.

Plus when lifting the bag with the shoulder strap, there was a sound of stitching coming undone on the bag. The tent is a lot easier to lift with two of you!

Conclusion

Thumbs Up

This was just the first pitch and test of the Outwell Hartsdale 4PA, and it confirmed that this is a great family tent, that we’re happy to give it the thumbs up.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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