This summer I made my first tent purchase for camping with the kids. We wanted a spacious family dome tent, with a large living area and sleeping room for up to six. Read this review of Skandika Copenhagen 6 to find out how we got along.
Over the years I have done a lot of camping, but it was either with friends, on my own when travelling, or with my wife. I’d had the same small three man tent for around fifteen years that I bought when backpacking in Australia. It had been on plenty of adventures – if I am honest I was too sentimental to replace it.
Last summer I borrowed a friends large tunnel tent and took the kids camping to test if they enjoyed it. Unsurprisingly they loved it. So it was time to replace the old three man tent with something suitable for family camping.
I have always considered the most important thing about a tent to be it’s packed size and weight, mainly because I take it hiking or end up carrying it across muddy fields at a festival. But with years of family camping ahead, I realised we will normally be pitching near our car, meaning size and weight are less of an issue.
Kids need entertaining, which is easy when camping in good weather. But get a bit of rain and you need room to relax under cover. For this reason we decided we needed a tent with a large living area we could all sit in, that has a fitted groundsheet throughout.
There are four of us in our family, and at the start of this summer our kids were only two and four years old. But we decided on a six man tent. Partly because as they get older the boys may want to bring friends, but also because we plan longer camping holidays so the extra space will be appreciated.
I am not one to let bad weather put me off camping. So I decided on a dome tent rather than tunnel because they are stronger and more wind resistant. Plus my wife demanded room to stand up, and dome tents are typically wider at the top giving more head room.
So after considering our needs I decided a spacious family dome tent for 6 people was required. I looked at a lot of tents, from a lot of different brands, and decided on the Skandika Copenhagen 6 as it met all our needs, had some good additional features, and looked incredibly robust.
When the tent arrived I was surprised how big and heavy the package was and my inbuilt nature to go small and light had me slightly worried. Out of the packaging it felt more manageable, and at 23.5kg I could carry it like a backpack by using the tent bags handles as straps.
Putting any tent up for the first time can be a difficult experience. Instructions tend to be either too complex to get your head around, or too brief to really help. At first I thought the Skandika instructions were going to fall into the later category, but as I began to follow them I realised they make sense in a simple way.
Colour coding the poles with their corresponding holes is a nice touch, and the lattice of five poles that go across the roof all slipped into place very easily. These poles are made of strong shatterproof fibreglass. Combined with each other they provide a sturdy but flexible dome roof.
The end of each of these poles slots into a connector, to which the ten steel leg poles are connected. These are fairly thick, and clearly very strong, they act as the support for the roof and connect to metal pins on adjustable straps at the base of the tent.
Once you have tightened these straps, and used the plastic connectors to clip it the fly sheet to the steel poles, the tent is up and secure without needing to use any guy ropes. As we like to go to festivals not having to use guy ropes is a huge advantage as sometimes you get very little space.
Although you don’t need them, guy ropes help if the wind gets up, and ‘once a scout always a scout’, so I like to put it up properly. Pegging the tent down and attaching the guy ropes takes a bit of time but it is worth it, particularly if you are expecting wild weather, or want to make the kids game of run around the tent more challenging.
The inner sleeping cabin simply clips into place by attaching to rings in the roof and floor. It came pre-attached when we first put it up, so I have kept it that way saving one extra job when pitching this spacious family dome tent.
The first time putting it up took about 25 minutes, although my wife helped a little she was sorting the kids some lunch, so it was mainly put up on my own. Overall I thought it was very easy, except for getting the leg poles into place which is better with two of you as you need to lift the roof.
Knowing how to pitch it, the second time – this time with a little more help – it was erected and pegged out in around 10 minutes. I have also put it up entirely on my own in around 15 minutes, so although not the quickest of tents to pitch, for it’s size, and the fact it is not a simple tunnel tent I was very impressed.
Our camping this summer has ranged from gloriously hot and sunny, to wet and windy. In fact one weekend we went camping despite there being an amber weather warning for rain and wind (shame on you friends that cancelled!).
The outer flysheet is waterproof up to 5,000 mm which is a measurement of the depth of a column of water it can withstand before leaking. To put that in perspective, for a tent to be considered waterproof it only needs to be 1,200 mm. Plus all the seams are sealed to avoid moisture getting in.
At one point it rained exceptionally hard from around 10pm until 5am, but we were stayed perfectly dry. This was accompanied by strong winds, with gusts of up to 50mph (80kph), and the Copenhagen spacious family dome tent handled it all in it’s stride.
Of course keeping moisture out is only half of the problem, you also need to let moisture escape to avoid condensation building up on the inside. The bedroom capsule is made from a breathable material, plus there are vents all around the tent that let air in and are hooded to keep rain out.
The Skandika Copenhagen has three doors. This helps with ventilation, but is also convenient as you can pitch near other tents or obstructions and just leave one door clear. In windy weather you can use the door in the lee of the wind. All the doors have a weather proof flap and an inner insect door so you can ventilate without letting bugs in.
We said we wanted a spacious family dome tent and boy does the Copenhagen deliver. At 2m by 4.6m the living space is large, and feels even larger because of the floor to ceiling windows. When you roll back the curtains it lets lots of light in makes you feel closer to the environment you are camping in.
There is plenty of room for a table and chairs and all your camping gear. If camping with a large group you could easily sleep an extra six people in the living space.
The sleeping area is 3.8m x 2.1m and there was plenty of room for a double blow up mattress and the boys camp beds with ample walking and storage room around the sides. There are dividers in the sleeping area that can be used to create three bedrooms giving you all a little privacy.
The peak of the dome is 2.1 m high so for most people you’ll have plenty of room to stand. The height drops to around 1.9 m towards the edges which for us was more than way.
When camping things can quickly get untidy. With sleeping bags on the floor (as above!), and things exploding from bags it’s easy to misplace key things such as torches, suncream and toothbrushes. To help with this, the bedroom compartment has plenty of pocket organisers that keep important things easily findable even after dark.
The only negative thing I have to say in this review of Skandika Copenhagen 6, is that on the third time of pitching one of the connectors which attach the roof poles to the legs snapped in half. This could have been a complete disaster but luckily gaffer tape fixed it.
Before using the gaffer tape fix we were hit by a heavy shower. Minus one corner leg the tent was slightly compromised. However it still stood firm, and although a small puddle formed on the roof, because the missing leg did not keep the flysheet tight, no water came in.
Clipping the leg in place using the pin on the base strap and the flysheet clips helped, as did balancing the two poles against each other. If I had been in a situation where gaffer tape was not coming to the rescue, I would have swapped the corner connector for one of the middle ones and been happy to camp in it.
It is good to know that even one leg down this spacious family dome tent by Skandika is robust enough to stay standing, and withstand a heavy shower.
The connector had broken when I was inserting the leg, at this point extra pressure is put on the connector. Although I had done exactly the same thing around 25 times and not had a problem so perhaps there was a micro fracture in the connector to begin with, or it was damaged in transport.
I asked Skandika customer service about this and they said it is not a problem they have encountered before. They also said it’s their policy to replace any parts that break within the two year warranty no questions asked. They have since sent me two connectors to replace the one that broke.
My goal was a spacious family dome tent, that would be robust and suitable for all weather conditions for many years to come. Although I have only had it for one summer I am confident the Skandika Copenhagen 6 will last well and deliver many years of family camping fun whatever the weather.
The attitude of Skandika when I let them know of the broken connector was refreshing, other companies may have blamed human error and refused to replace it. But their positive approach to customer service, coupled with a great product, meant I recommended Skandika to friends who have since bought one of their tunnel tents.
To conclude this review of Skandika Copenhagen 6, I will say it is by far the best tent I have ever used. My old three manner – that I was overly sentimental about – has since been relegated to a play tent for the kids, while the Copenhagen spacious family dome tent will be a huge part of our camping plans for years to come.
I hope you found this review of Skandika Copenhagen 6 useful. If you’re looking for a spacious family dome tent then it is highly recommended. Find out more at www.skandika.com. The RRP is £529/€599, but I picked mine up from MaxTrader (Skandika’s official partner) on Amazon for £280.