Khyam XXL Excelsior
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Colours: Dark green/elephant skin/sage trim
Weight: 27 kgms
Khyam says:"The Classic range as with all Khyam Quick Erect is built using the unique Rapidex® pole system, the only quick erect tent pole system that works. XXL Excelsior is a six berth tent ideal for families that want a large spacious tent while touring from a car. Stay in the Excelsior!"
Features to Note:
- 8 berth (6 in comfort)
- Flysheet: 2 oz polyester 185 T WeatherWeave 5000 with Flame retardant coating. Taped Seams including PVC windows
- Hydrostatic Head: 3,000 mm
- Flysheet Features: Rear J-door. PVC window & privacy curtain. Front canopy door with multi-functional window vent. Roll down full zip mesh panel. Large guy-out bedroom vent. Adjustable webbing on corner pegging point, Mud walling. Standard & bedroom tri-guys
- Main Poles: A combination of 19 mm Aluminium and solid 13 mm fibreglass poles utilising the unique Rapidex® joint system - 2 manual joints & 1 auto joint operating around a central Rapidex® hub.
- Bedroom Poles: Aluminium auto jointed bedroom pole with QCP system.
- Inner Tent(s): 2 x Poly Cotton inner tents with robust Polyethylene sewn in groundsheets. Berth Capacity - 2x4 berth with roll down dividing wall and twin doors. 8 Inner tent pockets for handy storage. Inner tent rear mesh panel & secondary mesh doors on main inner tent doors for added ventilation.
- Dimensions: External height - 230 cms. Packed size 118 x 44 cms.
- Strong Polyester fully zipped Carry bag
As with most other tents in the range, the Khyam XXL Excelsior features the superb Rapidex® Quick Erect System. This is basically a pre-assembly system which has the main structural poles of the tent pre-inserted through the tent sleeves.
The poles themselves have two different types of joint. In the Tourer 400 the top and bottom joints are locked into position manually using an easy-to-use locking collar. The mid joints lock into position automatically when the poles are fully extended
Once the poles are in place, you simply clip in the inner tents and then peg-out the guy-lines and the tent is ready to use.
This system works really well and means that even the bigger tents in the range can be erected - and taken down - remarkably quickly. This Ridgi-dome tent was tested during a rather cold and windy night in The Yorkshire Dales. Courtesy of Khyam's Rapidex® Erect system, (and a couple of 'practice' runs in the garden first) I can get this 4 person tent from car boot to fully erect in about 7 minutes all on my own.
The internal accommodation - based on a Vis-a-Vis style layout - is plentiful for 6 people though a bit cramped for the suggested 8 (particularly if they are all adults). Each of the two sleeping bays - one at either end - offers an adequate amount of room for three people and all their kit and the 'bath-tub' floor is robust and strong.
The central living area does not have a ground sheet (one is available from Khyam as an extra) and is high enough for all but the tallest individual to stand upright.
The windy conditions during the test presented no problem at all and the whole tent felt reassuringly stable throughout.
There are 3 large vents - one at each end and one in the main door opening which also has a clear 'window'.
Each 'bedroom area' has storage pockets for smaller items like a torch or car keys and the two sleeping compartment entrances both incorporate mosquito nets useful in hotter conditions and/or midgey Scotland. One sleeping compartment has a partition dividing it into two smaller bedrooms for added privacy.
Taking the tent down again was also extremely easy - I did this on my own in less than 15 minutes - and most of that time was taken up compressing the package small enough to get it back into its storage sack.
If it has a downside - then it might be the weight. At 27kg (60lbs) you will need two people to carry the Khyam XXL Excelsior very far. On most commercial campsites though you would expect to pitch your tent close to your car so this is not a problem.
Good level of accommodation (for 6 people) and performance from a tent that is supremely easy to pitch and take down. If you have ever tried to 'thread' poles through tent fabric in wind and rain you will just love speed and simplicity of Khyam's Rapidex® Quick Erect System. It is just a pity all tents aren't his good.
The Khyam XXL Excelsior is an excellent option for a larger family touring by car, pitching and repitching on several different campsites when the Rapidex® Quick Erect system really comes into its own. NB We have sent this tent on a further test by a local girl guiding group and will publish their findings here as soon as we have them.
What do you think?
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