Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

Criterion Sleeping Bags Criterion Sleeping Bags

Whilst we wait for the full story on the Criterion Reviews, I thought it would be a great idea to plug a blog hole and right a little post on plans and preperations for winter camping and winter outdoor sports…

Are you a fine weather outdoor enthusiast, like my colleague next to me, or a stoney-faced, hardy 4 season outdoor person?  Let us know…

We want your tips on enjoying the outdoors throughout all seasons…not just the summer!

  • Where to go…
  • What to take…
  • How to prepare…
  • Why you do it to yourself…
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Update: During 2014 Cumulus was rebranded as Criterion Sleeping Bags, as such references in this article which were orginally Cumulus have been changed to Criterion.


There has been great interest in Criterion Sleeping Bags in recent years.  if you’ve got one, good choice, if not, read on…

Why Do Criterion Sleeping Bags Stand-Apart?

What stands Criterion apart from the down sleeping bag crowd and the reason for us selling their sleeping bags, is their incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, and at a very affordable price.  To follow is some tests and reviews on the Criterion sleeping bag range, but first a little bit about Criterion:

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Insulated Jackets


Insulated clothing is designed to keep you warm. Simple. Down jackets are one great way of doing this, and are often considered as the ultimate means to stay warm whilst out enjoying the great outdoors.

How do insulated jackets keep you warm?

Insulated jackets help keep you warm by storing air that has been warmed by your body in the insulation in the jacket.  The transfer of heat is important when choosing an insulated jacket, because there are three forms to consider: radiation, conduction and convection.

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One of my favourite walks was across Sharp Edge in the Lake District. Sharp Edge is a ridge scramble route up to the top of a mountain called Blencathra.

Sharp Edge, scary Lake District mountain scramble

Sharp Edge Mountain Ridge Scramble

It must have sounded like a good idea at the time!

Being scared of heights I find that scrambling can be unpleasant and I am usually reluctant to take on such challenges. One Sunday morning in August 2003, I received a text message from my walking partner to say that he would be arriving at my house imminently and that we would be going to scramble across Sharp Edge! Apparently I had agreed to this after several pints the previous Friday evening and there was no way that I would be backing out of it. It must have sounded like a good idea at the time.

Related camping and outdoor news, reviews and advice:

What is the best fleece for your outdoor needs?

An important part of the layering system is the fleece jacket or gilet.  Fleece jackets acts as a mid-layer, between the outer-layer (typically a waterproof jacket) and a baselayer (or base layer).  Fleece materials has a wide range of properties and to help learn about the layering system and a fleeces in more detail visit the outdoor clothing help and advice page here.

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Waterproof Jackets and Trousers

Waterproof Clothing

Waterproof Jackets & Trousers

Waterproof clothing is one of the most versatile and vital pieces of outdoor clothing.  A waterproof jacket can help keep you dry, warm and comfortable in the harshest of conditions.  In addition to the 3-layer clothing advice page, here’s a little extra on waterproof clothing.

I guess you could say that waterproofing technologies for clothing has come on a bit in recent years. Many now see them as the ultimate testament to the quality of outdoor gear seen in camping shops around the world – a sort of flagship product maybe.

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If you’re really into camping and outdoor sports, then you’re really into wearing the right outdoor gear.  The simple reason is that it helps you perform better and makes it easier to enjoy your time in the great outdoors!  Outdoor clothing is so important

Note: This blog post takes some information from the main outdoor clothing help and advice page on the website, as well as the outdoor clothing shop.  So for more information on outdoor clothing take a look at these pages too.

Three most common challenges when camping or enjoying outdoor sports:

  • Being too hot
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Buy a tent wisely!

Choosing a tent to buy is probably one of the most interesting camping equipment purchases. A tent is the accommodation for you and maybe your family and/or friends.  There are so many ‘types’ of camping tents available, in a variety of different models and sizes so finding the one best for you might seem like quite a challenge.  The best or right tent for your needs might be totally wrong for another camper but with a little help, CheapTents.com can help you on your way!  You can find a full article providing camping tent advice here.

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Quick tips for preparing to go camping

It’s that time of year again – pack the tent, pack your gear and don’t forget the kids!

Remembering what to take, how much to take, working out how to fit it into the car and staying sane are all challenges of preparing to go camping – especially when your dog is berserk, your son has just been stung and your partner is worried that you haven’t packed enough!  So here’s a couple of pointers to help you on your way and make one of life’s little joys, joyful.

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Being a new blog, we thought it best to add a few rules to keep you pesky spammers in check!  We also thought it would be nice to have a couple of positive rules to keep the CheapTents.com blog a nice place to keep returning to!

Everyone is welcome to contribute to the blog, just make sure that you follow these simple rules…


  1. Be polite to others and always thank people for good advice
  2. Contribute ideas, suggestions for blog posts and opinions on topics as much as you like
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Criterion Sleeping Bags Criterion Sleeping Bags