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Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

£690.00

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SKU: Prospector
Brand: Robens

If you are after a larger retro-style canvas family tent for your holidays, then the Robens Prospector might be just what you are after.

I’ve always dreamt of having a cabin by a lake surrounded by mountains…… However, back in the real world….

When I first saw the Robens Prospector tent it ticked a lot of boxes: This could be that cabin, albeit a canvas one, that we could move from place to place in the search for that perfect camping spot.

The tent is much more of a traditional design.  Plus it has a flap to allow for a wood burning stove flue: so you could be kept nice and warm even when the weather isn’t great. There is also an optional matching tarp that connects to the front of the tent, so you could have plenty of outdoor living without the elements ruining things.

So, does the image live up to expectations? Fortunately, Robens sent us one over to have a closer look….

Not one but two bags

The Robens Prospector is no backpacking tent

The Robens Prospector tent arrived in two separate boxes.

Robens make some excellent lightweight backpacking tents but with the boxes 17.9kg and 26.5kg, this was no backpacking tent 😉

The tent and the poles are in separate bags.

As you might imagine, the tent comes in two bags. Both heavy duty canvas bags.

One contains the tent; the other contains the poles.

The tent comes in a secure bundle

There are a good many poles, which make up 3 A-frames.

There were also some pretty heavy duty aluminium tent pegs… a sign of things to come with this tent.

Large Tent Pegs that come with the Prospector

Pitching the Robens Prospector

As any good camper would, we did a test pitch of the new tent in our back garden before taking it to the campsite.

Now pitching the Robens Prospector reminded us just how much easier air framed tents, such as our Outwell Montana 5SA, are to pitch. The Robens Prospector is a metal framed tent, and it wasn’t going to be pitched in a matter of minutes.

Each of the tent poles is colour coded to make assembly easier.

The tent poles are colour coded and slot together

First, you peg the tent out at the corners.

Lay the tent out and peg the corners before crawling inside and inserting the poles

Now here came the awkward bit for us: putting in the poles!

You basically have to crawl inside the tent and push the material up, then build the frame from the inside. This proved to be quite challenging!

You build the tent frame from inside the tent

The frame is very simple to put together, and it is easy to Velcro the tent to the frame.

The poles attach with Velcro

However, it was the height of this tent (2.3m) that we struggled with. Shell and I aren’t the tallest of people, and this will definitely need a small step ladder to put up when we are at the campsite.

The apex is quite high (2.3m) – a small step ladder will be needed at the campsite.

The tent has 3 A-Frames that slot together with ridge poles, so there’s a lot of reaching to get them into place.

I’m sure we’ll get better with practice 😉

The tent is supported by three A-frames.

Once up, what’s the Robens Prospector Like?

We’ll, once up, the Robens Prospector is a big tent!

We just managed to get the tent pitched in our garden

So here’s what the tent looks like when pitched. Though, please note that we don’t have enough room to peg out all the guy lines in our garden, so it’s a little ‘saggy’.

There’s quite a lot of space inside. It’s more like a canvas house!

Inside the Prospector Tent we set-up the stove

As you can see, we had the tent ‘open plan’. You can also see the Robens Kobuk stove in the far corner.

The Robens Prospector inner tent creates two 3-person bedrooms

You can get an inner tent for the Prospector. This creates two three-person bedrooms.Unfortunately, we don’t have the inner tent to show you, but you can see it on the Robens website and in the picture on the right.

With the inner tent, you still have space for a general living area at the front of the tent where the stove can be fitted.


The tarp connects to the front of the Robens Prospector tent. You can even fit another Prospector tent at the other end of the tarp to create a sheltered tunnel between the two tents.

You can also get a tarp that connects to the front of the tent. In fact, you can even use the tarp to connect two Propospector tents in a vis-a-vis fashion.

At both ends of the tent are quite large ventilation windows, as well as ventilation around the sides.

Adequate ventilation is essential if you are using a stove in your tent.

Big window vents at the back of the tent

Outside the tent

Outside the tent you can see the flap that protects the flue – this tent is already for some ‘hot tenting’ without you having to adapt it to use with a stove. Inside, the tent has a section of the groundsheet that you can unzip so that the stove can sit on the ground and not melt the ground sheet underneath.

On the roof this cover protects the flue sleave for a wood burning stove

There are some other neat additions outside, such as the aluminium guy line tensioners and the aluminium rings for the tent pegs.

The guy line tensioners are heavy duty aluminium

Guy lines are protected with these aluminium rings

Verdict

At the time of writing, we’ve yet to get the Robens Prospector tent to the campsite.

It’s a fantastic tent, but the effort involved in pitching means that we recommend this tent only for when you are camping a number of nights rather than just a quick weekend one-night camp.

The tent with the stove’s flue fitted

Once we had the tent pitched in our back garden, we spent two nights in it – despite our house being literally on our doorstep!

With the Robens Kobuk Stove (detailed in another post soon) the tent was very cosy, and when fitted out, could easily be that home from home. I think this is really going to become a great tent as the weather gets cooler this Autumn.

Now, I just need to find that mountain lake…

8.8Expert Score
Although we struggled to get the Robens Prospector up, once it was pitched, it was a great tent to create a home in, especially when the wood burning stove was fitted.
Value for Money
9
Quality
10
Family Friendly
9
Practicality
7
PROS
  • The Robens Prospector is a large canvas tent that comes ready to use with a camping stove.
CONS
  • It's very heavy and a small step ladder is recommended to help get it pitched.

Specification: Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

Bedrooms

Frame Type

Year Introduced

2017

Sleeps

Recommended Tent Use

Videos: Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

Photos: Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

Where to Buy: Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

4 reviews for Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style

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  1. Simon French

    Hi Gav,

    Thanks for the reviews. Your work makes it easier for us to consider. A couple of questions. I have two young children – what is your experience between the Prospector and the Kiowa? The prospector looks to have a lot more useable area but this would be traded off against ease of erecting and weight?I can’t imagine having an inner tent for either. Also have you tried any of the Helsport tipis? They look really interesting but without a porch look more challenging for the British weather

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    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Hi Simon,
      We have found the Kiowa a lot more practical than the Robens Prospector. The Kiowa is easier to throw in the boot of your car and a lot quicker to pitch.
      However, if you are planning on a long camp, staying in one place for a week or more, then the Prospector will give you a lot more space. The Kiowa is best for 1 or 2 nights IMHO.
      The Helsport tipis look a good buy. Unfortunately, I’ve not used one though.
      In a way, they are similar to the Robens Fieldstation we’ve been using this last year, which we absolutely love. Even smaller and lighter than the Kiowa, and even quicker to pitch. You can’t use a stove in it though.
      Interestingly, Robens have retired the Fieldstation this year and replaced it with a version that has a porch like the Kiowa does, which will make the tent a lot more practical, and an ideal choice if you don’t need a stove.
      Cheers,
      Gav

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  2. Maurizio Taglianini

    Thank you Gav and Craig,

    Very useful information, really appreciated, it’s almost impossible to see a Prospector on display and premium tents require more information when comparing best quality and value 🙂

    Regards

    Maurizio

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  3. Glenn

    Hi there,

    How are you getting on with the Prospector tent you reviewed on you tube. Have you had any issues with the pole strength?

    Regards,

    Glenn

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    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Hi Glenn,
      Unfortunately, we’ve not had a chance to camp with it much more. We were going to take it away this October, but since it could be the last time with the Caravan, we decided to take that instead.
      There is a lot of canvas material on the Robens Prospector, but I have seen the Prospector out on display for long periods with no visible signs of issues with pole strength.
      Cheers,
      Gav

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  4. Craig

    the pitching instructions tell you to start from back of the tent. i have found if you put the first A frame up at the entrance, then peg that so it doesnt fall. This opens the tent and saves you scrambling in the canvas and allows for an easier pitch.

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    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Thanks Craig. That does sound like a better method than the instructions.

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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.

    Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style
    Robens Prospector – Retro Camping Style
    Get Out With The Kids
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