I have a confession to make. I love music and festivals (that’s a given) so I finally spent a stupid amount of money purchasing a Lotus Bell tent to up my festival glamping game. I’ve been eyeing the lotus “Bud” tent for a while and finally made the plunge.
Part of my contribution to my camp this year is I am bringing my little tent has a hangout space and tea house (I’ll be serving teas as my mad hatter alias) for camp visitors. Here’s a teaser of the setup, I’ll make sure to post more photos of the final setup at the burn:
I had the chance to test the tent out on a trip to Thompson Falls, MT and brought my tent to Summer Meltdown music festival in Darrington, WA. If anyone is considering investing in one of these tents I’ve decided to list a pros vs. cons list which I will update after the burn as well:
- Tent is very beautifully designed! I purchased a limited version with bright purple canvass so it really stands out, I got a lot of compliments and visitors to my tent!
- Held up well in light rain. I had the tent out one night for a pacific northwest rain (so not a heavy rain). I was able to wipe off excess rain drops on the tent the next morning, and the cotton canvas dried completely on its own within a few hours. Stayed completely dry inside.
- It saved me from bugs. I was camping in a dense forest in Thompson Falls, MT with basically 3 million hungry mosquitoes hovering outside trying to destroy me, ants and spiders crawling all over the outside of the tent as well. I was safe and bug free inside as long as mesh windows and doors were kept zipped shut.
- The tent materials are all made with the highest quality (minus the poles which I will explain in cons).
- There is no center pole in the tent so it feels very spacious, I can stand in the tent comfortably (I’m 5’4″). Amble room to hang out with 6-7 people sitting, 4 people sleeping. If you are looking for a tent to accommodate more you’ll want to go with the larger more expensive models.
- The carry duffel bag is fairly easy to carry with two people, it packs away the tent and other gear very nicely, I haven’t had to fight to get everything back in like some tent bags.
- Once set up, the tent is incredibly sturdy & solid. I even had people leaning on the walls (don’t let them do that!) on a hill and the tent leaned a little bit but nothing broke. Speaks to the quality of the materials.
- Tent is very heavy (around 45 pounds) it’s definitely a car camping tent.
- Even packed in the duffel bag the tent is large, it takes up the entire back seat of my Honda Civic so be prepared if you need to pack a lot of gear.
- The tent is time consuming to setup and requires two people. I haven’t been able to set it up by myself yet. That being said, this tent is best for setting up for longer periods of time (multiple days like a festival or extended car camping trip) otherwise it’s just not worth the hassle. Once setup all your friends will want to hang out in it with you and are more likely to help set it up for that reason 🙂
- If the tent is in direct sunlight it gets VERY hot. I likely won’t be going inside this tent during the day at the burn. Disappointing for a canvass tent and I specifically asked the Lotus Bell customer service about this before purchasing.
- Out of the box, the tent poles were already broken but I think it is a factory defect. Part of the tent instructions stated that you should be able to twist the poles so that hinges bend the right way, however some of the pole hinges will not twist at all and are facing the wrong way. While this hasn’t caused issue yet I can see with regular use these may break eventually. I found that I just have to take the tent poles out after each use otherwise they might break trying to twist the tent up for packing. Since I purchased this tent the company no longer sells the tents with poles (instead they switched to an air beam technology, likely because these tent poles suck).