The BlackWolf Turbo Plus 240 2012/13 model has a new, larger awning that can be fitted with optional front and side panels. The awning provides a useful space to shelter from the weather — sun, rain, and with the optional panels fitted, wind. The new tent still has BlackWolf’s high quality and robust performance in bad weather.
I am a big fan of BlackWolf tents, so I was pleased to be offered the opportunity to test the Turbo Plus 240 2012/13 model tent. I received the latest model tent and set it up on my front lawn resulting in some first impressions. I had the chance to use the BlackWolf Turbo Plus 240 a few days later on a family camping trip to Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park at Lennox Heads in northern New South Wales.
I have to confess, when I was originally offered the opportunity to test a 2012/13 model Blackwolf Turbo Plus 240, I was a little concerned about the new larger awning. I thought it would take longer to set up and in strong winds be an even larger kite than the previous awning. I had already experienced strong winds in my own BlackWolf Turbo Plus 300 tent (read article here) and was concerned that the larger awning would be a problem.
My concerns were unnecessary. Yes, the larger awning probably takes two more minutes to put in the ridge and third pole and to peg out the guy rope — no big deal for most people. And, yes, in very strong winds, like any awning, I am sure that the larger awning will need to be tied away. In the moderate winds from nearly every point of the compass during my stay at Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park, I was surprised how stable the larger awning was. I put this down to the ridge pole giving the awning a more solid shape. The eyelets at the front of the awning look strong and should be able to withstand quite a bit of punishment.
The awning provides a useful shaded area at the front of the tent. With the side panels attached, which only take a couple of minutes to put up (the ones supplied were pre-production and I did not have the front panel), the awning provided a very useful sheltered area. (Update: I have received a front panel — comments and photos here.)
I connected the optional side panels so that I could take some photos. A few hours later the wind was picking up and we were leaving the camp site to travel to Bangalow for lunch, so I pulled the side panels down. On our return, my wife requested that the panels be put back up. The space under the awning became a favourite spot for the kids and my wife to spend some time, sheltered out of the wind, which was coming over the rear corner of the tent.
I can also see people using the awning area with the panels up to store gear out of sight. It would be a useful place to store an icebox and chairs away from prying eyes while you are away from the camp site.
The awning does make the BlackWolf Turbo Plus 240 a long tent. I measured the tent and awning length at approximately 5.7 meters. Add another 1 metre at the back to guy out the rear of the tent and about 2 metres at the front for the awning guy ropes and that is nearly 9 metres in overall length! The camp sites at Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park were a generous size, but we stretched nearly the length of our site.
While talking about tent size, I was torn between testing the BlackWolf Turbo Lite Plus 300 or the smaller canvas Turbo Plus 240. In the end, I received the BlackWolf Turbo Plus 240. My own tent is a BlackWolf Turbo Plus 300, which at the time of purchase my wife was convinced was too small for our family of four. Halfway into the trip, my wife volunteered that the Turbo Plus 240 was quite big enough for us. We really only use our tent for sleeping and storing our clothes bags.
Bigger is not always best when camping, and the combination of the heavier canvas tent in a smaller size was perfect for my family of two adults and two primary school aged children.
I found that the Turbo Plus 240 was easy to pack back into the bag. The packed length fits across the back of my Toyota Prado boot — my Turbo Plus 300 is too long to go in the boot and has to be carried on my roof rack. The Turbo Plus 240 would allow me to reorganise how I pack my car, with the tent in the boot and bulky, light items like clothes bags and bedding to go in a waterproof roof rack bag.
The new model Turbo Plus tents carry features from the previous years’ tents, such as the gusset windows and arched rear pole that allows water to shed better from the rear of the tent.
The BlackWolf Turbo tents also have many other convenient features, such as a zip to feed a power cord into the tent, as well as velcro tabs to secure the power cord against the wall and a hook at the peak of the roof to hang a light. Ventilation flaps in the roof can be left open in all weather minimise condensation inside the tent and there are some handy storage pockets in the rear section of the tent.
The 2012/13 model BlackWolf Turbo Plus 240 continues a tradition of quality, robust tents that will be the envy of other campers. One afternoon, I was lying in the tent having an afternoon nap (one of camping’s little luxuries!) and I overheard a very astute passer-by commenting to his mates that this was the latest model BlackWolf tent with the new larger awning. Well spotted!