I was planning a New Zealand trip for the entire April and I was pretty lucky that I had this cheap but absolutely reliable tent from Kiwi Camping. Compared to other manufactures you get in this price range one of the best available tents.
At first I was pretty skeptical about what you can get for NZD199. I arrived in Christchurch and picked up the tent and I was so curious that I gave it immediately a trial set up. So I went to Taylors Mistake, a beach close to Christchurch and did a trial setup. As a person who pitched up a lot of tents I thought: Let’s do it without the instructions! I was quite impressed about how well it is designed and how easy and fast the tent was ready to enter. This gave me a good feeling about my almost daily shelter.
I used the PUKEKO TENT a lot when I went for overnight hikes or at campgrounds but for some reasons I was incredibly lucky with the weather. I never had more than a tiny bit of rain. But it’s also a kind of a pity that I didn’t had the chance to test how it performs in crazy New Zealand rain. But anyway I took a closer look to the fly fabric and they look well made. The stitches are sealed and the whole outer fabric is aqua rated with 4000mm. The floor is with 5000m aqua rating also quite reliable. This keeps you definitely dry and gives you the freedom to enjoy the sound of the rain J
One of the biggest things I love of the PUKEKO is the fact that you pitch at first the rain fly. If this is done you just attach the inner tent with a couple clips. So in case you would get in to rain you could “comfortably” pitch the rain shelter first and then you would have all the time of the world to attach the inner part in a dry environment.
At first you lead the pole through a sleeve on top of the tent and you attach both ends with little pins. Afterwards you just need to peg the pegs around at the corners and then you’re almost done. Attach two pegs with ropes of the air circulation door to get a more fresh air and to avoid condensation. Now you just need to enter the shelter and attach the inner tent. I usually started in the corners on the ground then the behind wall and at last you finish with the middle up to the top. That’s it! BUT in case you have a strong wind then you should use the extra ropes which are already connected with the tent. I did it a couple times just to go sure and it was incredible stable.
Once pitched the inner part of the tent is with 200cm x 130cm big enough to sleep comfortable with two persons. I met once a friend at a campground and but he didn’t had a tent so we just shared the PUKEKO and he is probably a bit more than 190cm tall but we had both a pretty good sleep. On the head and feet site you have two pouches for valuables or other smaller things. To get a better air circulation you can open a kind of a second mesh window which is part of the inner door.
To sum it up: If you’re looking for a tent which has to be on the one hand affordable and on the other hand reliable then you should have a closer look for the PUKEKO. It is packed an about 45cm long tube with a diameter of 13cm and it weights only 2,1kg. So it fits nicely in a 60l backpack and you’ll still have plenty space for all your other gear. Ok there is one tiny negative point I have to mention. It’s about the clips to attach the inner part. They are actually a ring and a tiny stick. If you don’t lead the stick entirely through the ring it will snap back immediately and this hurts on your fingers 😀 But apart from this the PUKEKO is an amazing tent. Sure you can find lighter and smaller tents…but for this price? No way. Good job KIWI CAMPING. This tent works well.
Review and images courtesy of Eric Seehof.