The tents you see most on European campsites are often from Decathlon. And it’s easy to see why. Not only do they look rather stylish, they’re some of the cheapest tents we’ve found.
Decathlon isn’t great for everything, though. Their camping range is relatively small because the store covers so many other sports – from fishing to diving.
So, we’ve given a thorough test of their most promising camping gear and chosen the items that really make the grade and save you money.
They look lovely and sleep from three to eight people.
Prices range from around £150 to £700 for the big eight-person tent.
There are poled tents too if you’re not into pumping up your tent.
More tents in our guide to quick-erect tents from all the top manufacturers.
It looks a bit weird, but this is a clever camping shower. You pump it by hand to get the pressure and the sun heats the water. You can fill it with warm water if you have no sun!
8-litre capacity and an on-off button to save water. Around £35.
If this one isn’t for you, have a look at our other recommended camping showers.
We use our Fresh tarp as a sunshade, a rain shelter, to make extra space or to create a windbreak. They cost around £30 and pack up very small.
We’ve written a guide to setting up and using tarps with some important info about pegging them down. Have a look!
Fishing umbrellas for shelter?
One of our readers left us a comment below about using a fishing brolly instead of a tarp. It’s a great tip. Decathlon’s fishing umbrellas come in a range of sizes, but don’t forget you’ll probably also want to buy the separate ‘awning’ – a sort of curtain that gives you more shelter. Brollies from around £25 and the awning bit around £15.
Comfort that’s not just for anglers
We’ve actually written a whole article about campbeds and chairs that are designed for anglers. Some of this super-comfy kit is light enough for day-to-day camping too.
The Caperlan bedchair is under £60 and weighs only 5kg – light for one of these comfortable campbeds.
And the Fullbreak chair is another good one, with adjustable legs for uneven ground. Around £40.
Have a look at other comfy options in our article.
Personally, this is a step too far for us for camping, but we spoke to someone using one this summer and they loved it. Basically, it’s a blow-up base for your camping mattress, which is held in place by straps.
Weighs just under 4kg and packs down into a neatish size. You need a decent pump with it because it needs to be fully inflated.
Costs around £50.
We use an amazing Dometic compressor fridge for BIG camping trips, but this coolbag is brilliant for picnics and weekends away.
This one is the family-size 36-litre (£40), but there’s a 26-litre version and two smaller backpack coolbags too.
A cross between a warm fleece and a hiking jacket, this women’s top gives you heat where you need it, plus breathability. The fleece part is polyester and so you’ll need to wash it using a Guppybag to catch the microplastics. £40 and available in blue or white .
See our article on environmentally-friendly alternatives for more details.
These are gazebo-like structures, but with lots of options for opening the sides. They’re great for extra room or for rain shelter, but they really come into their own when they’re used as a campervan awning.
This is the Arpenaz Base Fresh. It comes in a medium (2.5×2.5m) and a large size (3x3m and costs £80/£130.
We’ve tested some fantastic (and expensive camping mattresses), but this Arpenaz 4.5cm self-inflating mat isn’t half bad.
If you’re happy to spend more on a thicker mat, have a look at our other recommendations for the best camping mats.
Ponchos with arms – great in the rain
Ponchos are an easy way to keep dry, but they can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to set up camp or cook outside. The answer is a poncho with arms.
We like Decathlon’s sturdy poncho designed for horse-riding. Around £35.
And the B’Twin cyclists’ ponchos in a choice of colours for £25.