Being steel poled, pitching the Montana 6PE is not as quick as pitching an equivalent air tent, and of course you have the extra weight of the poles to lug around. These are stored in a separate 75 x 26 x 15 cm bag weighing a muscle busting 17.9 kg.
Coming in three shock corded sections, each of the five poles threads through external sleeves with the ends connecting to metal pins on the flysheet. This requires a fair amount of heaving and hoeing, not just to tension the poles into place, but also to lift the heavy flysheet. Once the poles are up, the remaining connections are via a series of C-clips and heavy-duty Velcro attachment points, creating a sturdy, dependable structure.
Outwell’s Outtex 6000 Pro fabric used in the Montana 6PE is a high-end flysheet fabric featuring an excellent 6000 mm hydrostatic head and super strong polyester construction. Combined with a waterproof and durable sewn in groundsheet the Montana 6PE is dependable in heavy rain and can take a battering from the wind.
Sleeping space is excellent for a family of four, allowing for a double camping mattress in one bedroom and two single beds in the other, with plenty of room to spread out. We were particularly pleased with the generous 230cm depth and standing headroom throughout, giving an excellent feeling of space inside.
Large mesh pockets in each bedroom are perfect for storing belongings, and adjustable ventilation through the face of the door and into the rear of the bedroom makes for an excellent through flow of air on balmy nights. The Dark Inners do an excellent job of keeping light out without making the bedrooms feel claustrophobic, allowing kids to sleep in past the dawn chorus.
Innovative magnetic doors to one side of the bedroom compartment give you a quiet route out in the middle of the night without disturbing your family with noisy zips, and the cable access point ensures that devices can be kept charged.
The living area is practical for a full week of family camping, with space to eat and relax in bad weather, easily accommodating a table and four chairs or an inflatable sofa and further furniture in the 12 sqm of space. The side porch is a boon, it’s large enough to keep wet and muddy clothes out of the main living area and offers an easy entry point to the tent.
Large windows to the sides and front of the living area let in loads of natural light and the whole front of the tent can be zipped back for al fresco living. In this configuration the groundsheet lays flat so kids can wonder in and out of the tent without tripping. All the windows feature zippable curtains, and the doors have bug net inners for airflow without flies.
Overall, the Montana 6PE is an excellent family tent with carefully considered features to make camping with the family easy and comfortable. The £1,038 RRP is a little steep considering the heavy and cumbersome steel poled construction, but the rest of the tent justifies this high price tag. A quick look online reveals a more favourable price for the Montana 6PE, and at around £699 it offers a compelling option for your next family tent.