Felt more like a Universal Roof protector...
We bought this after using out Silver Hill 5 and discovering what an amazing tent it was.
Because we loved it so much we decided to go the extra mile and start buying the extras to increase it’s lifespan. Along with this we loved the extra ‘promised’ features of it. Mainly the heat reducing silver side of the protector and the side door canopy which would allow us to have some shade or even cook under it in bad weather etc.
Well, after buying it we decided to have a few nights away and try out the roof protector before our main camping holiday in September. All I can say is we have been camping now for a number of years and have had a lot of experience pitching tents and their extras but this is by far our worst experience.
On opening the roof protector we discovered there were no instructions on how to fit it and were shocked to discover not one single video on their youtube channel explaining how to fit it.
However, it looked quite straight forward so gave it ago (Silver side up).
We quickly discovered that it was impossible to fit it silver side up and have the canopy above the door, no matter how you flipped it, due to the placement of the elasticated cords not being near the tent poles which you are supposedly meant to attach them to. This left the roof protector flapping in the mild breeze and making one hell of a racket.
In the end we gave up attempting to fit it silver side up (with the canopy over the side door) and attached it black side up. We then came across another problem - where to actually attach the attachment cords… If we fitted the hooks to the poles they’d easily just slip off as soon as you let go of them, The bungie straps were too short to be able to attach them to the storm straps which were the suggestion on numerous Outwell roof protector videos and the only alternative was to wrap them around the metal poles and hook them back onto their selves which, in my opinion, left an even bigger problem. After going back inside of the tent for the first time we discovered the roof had become baggy and was hanging down around 3-4 inches and looked as if we had not pitched the tent correctly, which we had. The roof protector was actually pulling the poles closer together causing the tents roof to become baggy.
We also found that the wind, which was extremely mild, was getting under the roof protector and blowing the protector AND the poles around making the roof become even more baggy with every gust of wind. We decided at that moment to take it down and take it back to the store for a refund.
Later that evening we had a discussion and decided to give it one more go but this time removing the bungie cards all together and attaching some spare guy ropes instead and attaching them to some guy rope pegs. Thirty minutes later it was looking exactly how it should be. It was tight-ish against the roof, it was no longer making the roof saggy, it was a lot sturdier in mild wind and just looked a lot better in general.
We have decided to keep it due to finding this work around and wanting to protect our tent from UV rays and bird droppings but I must admit I am shocked at the quality of this roof protector especially from a company like Outwell which we have ALWAYS found to have some of the best quality goods on the market for their price range. For the price we paid (£89) I felt the product was WAY over priced due to the amount of ‘modding’ we had to do to actually get it to fit. That along with it being unable to fit silver side up and still have the canopy above the door, which could easily have been fixed simply by Outwell fitting a zip on the other side of the roof protector rather than just on the one side.
Would I buy it again knowing what I do now? Probably not - I’d have maybe just sunk the £100 into tent insurance that covers U.V protection and had done with it. Would I suggest you buy it? If you are simply buying it for use with the black side up, want extra protection from the sun and don’t mind a bit of modding with guy ropes and pegs.. maybe.