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Tent Reviews

This is where we would love to hear your (Owner) reviews of the Karsten, ESVO & Cabanon Tents

Please complete your review in the comments box at the bottom of this post, remembering to include:
a) the set up you have
b) main advantages of the tent for you
c) your style of camping with the tent
d) the level of service expected and received from CTS

I've started with the first set up we had to give you an idea....


  1. We started with a Karsten 280, Comfort Awning, Front Wall with window set and Rain Awning.

    Not only did we like the quick pitch inflatable tubes, but the fact it was cotton canvas with a sewn in ground sheet clinched the deal. The awnings were very easy to erect so much so my wife could pitch the tent easily on her own.
    We tend to camp for 3 seasons and the cotton felt warmer, but for an overnighter we just pitched the pod and any longer the awnings came out too. It's changed our camping life!!!

    James King

  2. I have a Karsten 300, Comfort awning, Front Wall with window set and Rain Awning. I tend to camp through the summer... June - September.

    I love my Karsten... it's classy, it's smart, it's brilliant! I pitch it on my own because my dog is of no use whatsoever!

    My previous tent was a standard frame tent and when it got windy I got scared and I would end up spending a sleepless night in the car. I once even cut short a camping trip and went home. The Karsten is built to withstand strong to gale force winds and when other tents are swaying about mine stays firm and that has given me amazing security. Not only do I stay in the tent on windy nights, but I sleep right through!

    Yes... I love it!


  3. We bought a Karsten 325 complete with Bedroom Extension, Comfort Awning, Front Wall with windows, Rain Awning and carpet for the main area. The Karsten has been fantastic. The first week we used it the weather took a turn for the worst. By the middle of the week we were the only tent left on site. We were dry, warm and felt totally secure in the high winds. Other tents were buckling and expensive motor home awnings were lifting off the ground. We had electric hook up, heating lighting, reading books and our radio - home from home. It was brilliant. Even in the worst of the winds the tent hardly seemed to move and not a single drop of rain made it's way in. Probably the best purchase we have ever made. Last year we caught that magical late summer week in October. What a contrast with scorching sun all week. Once again the Karsten scored maximum points. The rain awning doubled as a sun awning and all the built in vents kept us cool. The tent caused a lot of interest with other campers so we spent a very enjoyable week chatting to lots of people and hopefully converted them to future Karsten owners.

    John and Audrey

  4. Pete, Helen, Ella, Hannah30 May 2012 at 08:54

    Unit; Karsten 300 linked to a 220 with comfort, extension and front wall awnings, purchased last June.
    3 days away this weekend for the first of the year. Would we remember everything? How did the tent store over the long cold winter months? Lets hope the pump still works....!
    All the worries faded into the background pretty soon after we arrived at Riverside Lakes on the Hants/Dorset borders, our favourite site we keep returning to.
    Set up seemed to be a bit like riding a bike, the tents came out, pegged out and inflated, joined and the awnings went up. Quicker than I ever remember doing it last year! The whole set up took about an hour twenty, and thats me on my own with a very weak right shoulder. There was of course the incentive of a cold beer in the sun to spur me on.
    Gorgeous weekend, lovely food cooked in our new Cobb, lots of tent envy from others (a few leaflets passed on!) and most importantly our two girls loved every minute we were away...and to top it all, theres no phone reception so not a peep all weekend.
    We did wake up the first morning with a deflated pole and thought OH NO! But the remaining pole and guys kept it all upright. Silly me should have spent a further 5 seconds tightening the valve one more turn...more haste, less speed.
    We're so glad we bought this set up, it really does make summers great knowing we've got an indestructible, easily erecetd tent to take away with us. Every time I look at it from a distance across a site I feel really chuffed. And of course the service and advice from James and Suzie is second to none.
    Roll on Saturday moning for 5 days in Weymouth for the Jubilee, Gaw'd Bless Her.
    Pete and Helen Barty

  5. Matt and Clare8 June 2012 at 13:18

    I bought a Karsten 300 pod with a sleeping extension, comfort awning, extension awning, front wall and rain awning in March this year, following a great demo day that James and Sue hosted at the Van Hage garden centre. I had looked at some of the usual culprits like the Outwells and Vangos but having camped quite a lot as child under proper canvas, they just all seemed so flimsy that the moment I stepped into the Karsten I knew this was the one for me.
    The tent got its first proper outing over the Jubilee weekend in the Isle of Wight. Camping in the sun is always going to provide a nicer experience, so given the weather (we had night time temperatures of 6 degrees, wind gusting at force 6-7, driving very heavy rain) I came away very grateful for having a great tent. The campsite was looking quite battered each morning, windbreaks snapped, gazebo’s shredded and bent, Karsten looking the same as when I bought it.
    The extra front awnings were great, providing the “living quarters” with the pod for sleeping. Due to the bad weather I packed the sleeping extention away during a sunny break, and the main pod was more than enough space for me, my partner, daughter (3yr) and son (4 months in a travel cot).
    Putting the tent up was easy, despite it being very windy at the time, due to the weight on the tent plus integral ground sheet weighing it down I had no problems putting the whole set-up up single handed. What took most time was putting all (and I mean all) of the guy ropes in (e.g. 3 storm lines per corner) due to predicted bad weather. I had a compressor so whilst the tent was inflating I could start pegging out the sleeping extension and groundsheet for the front awnings, all is all was an easy and pleasant job. There are some useful videos on Youtube showing the set-up process, it’s all pretty simple. The single most useful thing I found in the instructions was the folding guide to get the tent back in the bag!
    I also bought the Human Comfort self-inflating mats plus memory foam toppers from James and Sue and these were great, they are large, warm and very very comfortable.
    All in all James and Sue have gone out of their way to provide a great service throughout the buying (and waiting whilst it’s made) process. Yes the tents are very expensive relative to others, but are also not really comparable, just a different league when it comes to build quality. We were warm and dry the whole time (our camping neighbours were so wet and cold they had to resort to trying to sleep in their car), and had a great first trip. I am left with little doubt that the quality on the tent was the determining factor in our positive Jubilee weekend! We can’t wait for our next trip
    Thanks again James and Sue

  6. Karsten 350 plus rain awning
    Used for the first time at the Karsten get to gether
    The quality of these tents is stunning it rained heavily on Saturday night all was dry inside ,the vents work really well and is alot warmer than plastic tents.
    The range of combinations is abit mind blowing so my advice is to go see James at one of his shows and take pen to paper and find out the best combination you require before you order.
    After you have used a Karsten and are wondering round other tent displays you notice how rubbish they all are .
    I have worked on prewar Rolls Royce cars and can apreaciate the quality of manufacturing in these Karsten tents,
    Save up and buy!