Can anyone advise on whether these tents being sold by sports direct are any good
Campri and Karrimor
Just looking for something simple and safe to bring the kids away.
'Karrimor', as sold by Sports direct, is not a brand per se - like Terra Nova, North Face, Mountain Hardwear etc - it is a company that goes around Chinese factories saying 'we'll have 2000 of them, stick this label on them and send them to this address'.
its not a company that builds stuff, it just sells stuff that other people have made to a price.
i've not heard of Capri tents, so i can't give you a real answer - however, all of the tents you've indicated have fibre-glass poles, low hydro-static heads (a measurement of how waterproof the fabric is), and are spectacularly heavy for their size. these are all indicators that the tents will be, sadly, cheap tat. they may last one weekend, they may last a summer - and there's no way of knowing until you've used it.
as long as the poles don't split, and the fabric doesn't tear, then these tents will be fine for dry, still conditions. if however it gets a bit windy, or it rains for more than an hour, you'll be throwing them in the bin. tents have three qualities - they can be light, they can be strong, and they can be cheap. you can only ever have two of those choices. the tents you've looked at look like their only quality is that they are cheap.
i should also add that SportsDirect have a pretty appalling reputation for customer service.
i would recommend Wild Country tents - they have a demo/seconds section on their website. i bought a WC monsoon, a four-man, family tent about 5 years ago thats still going strong, and its been used in Scottish winter conditions as well as storms in Cornwall - the WC Family Khamsin also has a very good reputation.
if you're feeling flush, the Alpkit tents are very, very good...
all depends on your purpose.
if you want to bring the tent in the car to a campsite type location in the summer, cheapish tat is fine. I picked up a nice regatta tent in argos a few years ago for 50 quid. has given great service, within the limits of what I expected of it.
for the more demanding situations i use appropriate gear. hammock in the woods, bivy for the mountains.
So, for the scenario you describe above. It's been 20 years since I have been camping, but want to get back into it a bit. I'm planning to bring the car to campsite somewhere on the north west coast in July with two teenage sons to see how it goes. Would one of these be OK for that, or should I get something better?
sportsdirect.com have free delivery to ireland this weekend,
this one looks good
The previous advice applies, obviously - you pay for quality in the end. However, for a first tent, it should suffice.
Whatever tent you get, definitely pitch it at home (or somewhere) before you go camping for the first time. Put the pegs in at an angle (away from the tent if you know what I mean), and ensure the guy lines on the flysheet are tight and correctly angled so as to keep the flysheet from coming into contact with the inner tent.