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Review: 30-Second Oztent RV-5 is an Effortlessly Efficient Camping Tent

Your tent is the single most important piece of camping gear you’ll buy, so shopping around for the right one can sometimes feel as weighty as buying a property or a new car. My family has been casually camping for the last few years and have slept our way through several tent setups ranging from brands like Kmart, Coleman, and Oztrail.

After consulting our more experience camping friends, we were recommended to try the Oztent RV-5, and let me tell you, this tent is the epitome of convenience, particularly when it comes to setup. The Oztent RV-5 is a masterclass in design for the pragmatic camper. Boasting a 30-second set-up time, this tent eliminates one of the biggest camping hassles – tedious assembly.

Oztent RV-5 set up | Image: Supplied, Oztent
Oztent RV-5 set up | Image: Supplied, Oztent

The 30-second Setup

Now I’ve set up a few tents in my time and at first I was sceptical at the brand’s 30-second claim. I’d previously fallen for the trap of some tent brands claiming a “one-minute set-up”, only to find myself still trying to take it out of the bag 15 minutes later. This is probably why setting up and packing down a tent has always been a dreaded chore for me. 

Setting up the RV-5 in my backyard. | Image: John Guanzon, Man of Many

To set up the core sleeping area, you simply spread out the clearly labelled ‘A’ and ‘B’ legs on the ground and simply pull up the Oztent tab in the centre of the frame. All you have to do from this point is lock both side panels from the inside and you’re good to go. Now the 30-second set-up claim doesn’t include pegging it down to the ground, but the initial set-up is relatively instant. Before we headed off camping, I set the tent up a few times in my backyard with a timer and managed to put it up in 27 seconds. 

Its intuitive design is not just about speed; it’s also about packing away with equal ease. The tent packs down almost as quickly as it goes up and fits comfortably in the canvas carry bag. 

Durable and built to last

Durability is a key factor in selecting a tent, and the RV-5 does not disappoint. All Oztent tents are made with a high-quality 8oz Ripstop polycotton canvas and a heavy-duty, heat-sealed PVC floor. Tents made from cotton canvas are known to be much more breathable, waterproof, environmentally friendly, and insulating. Most camping tents you’ll find in retail stores are made from plastics (nylon, polyester) which are cheap to manufacture but lack the durability and weather resistance of canvas. So if you’re looking for a long-lasting, durable tent to last you years, take a look into canvas. 

Oztent RV-5 at the beach | Image: Supplied, Oztent

Space and Comfort

Space is a luxury in outdoor camping and the RV-5 offers an abundance of it. The tent comfortably sleeps up to five adults, making it ideal for family outings or trips with friends. The interior is surprisingly spacious, with ample headroom and floor space, allowing for a comfortable standing and sleeping experience. We managed to fit two adults and three kids, all on self-inflatable floor mats. The inclusion of large windows and a zippered power inlet adds to the comfort by ensuring ventilation and allowing easy access to power for gadgets. 

One thing to note is that the five-person capacity is generally for floor sleepers. If you’re thinking about setting up stretcher beds, I’d say you’d only be able to fit in two to three. 

Inside can fit up to 5 people | Image: John Guanzon, Man of Many

Tent Expansions & Accessories

What I love about the Oztent brand is how modular and compatible all its products are with each other. The well-thought-out design allows you to build on and expand your tent space with a variety of attachments and accessories. The Deluxe Peaked Side Panels and Front Panel can transform the awning area into an extra enclosed room. This is particularly useful for larger groups or families who need additional living or storage space.

We used it as a storage area and mud room, for the kids to take their dirty shoes off before entering the sleeping area. If you owned two RV-5 tents, you could most certainly zip them together to form one mega-mansion two-bedroom tent.

Another useful addition is the Oztent Mesh Floor Saver, which extends the tent’s life by protecting the floor against sharp objects and rough ground. It also makes cleaning the tent a breeze, as it prevents dirt and mud from getting inside.

These HotSpot Pouches are a must-have for winter | Image: Supplied, Oztent

For those who enjoy a bit of luxury in the wilderness, the Oztent King Goanna Stretcher and Oztent Gecko Chair are perfect. These provide comfortable seating and sleeping options, elevating the overall camping experience.

Finally, the one accessory that came in handy on those cold outdoor nights was the Oztent HotSpot Thermal Pouch. The HotSpot Thermal Pouch is a unique accessory that can be used with selected Oztent chairs and with selected Oztent sleeping bags. It consists of four insulated, heat-reflective HotSpot Pouches. These pouches can be heated in boiling water (for 7-10 minutes), and then placed in the chair’s specially designed pockets. This feature is particularly valuable in cooler climates or during colder nights, as it provides a warm and cozy seating experience, almost like a cozy hot water bottle. We even heated them before bedtime and used them inside our sleeping bags for extra warmth. 

Dry run set up in my backyard | Image: John Guanzon, Man of Many

What We Liked

The Oztent RV-5 is brimming with features that enhance the camping experience. As previously mentioned, its exceptional ease of setup is a game changer for anyone who dreads the tedious task of tent assembly. But the benefits don’t stop there. The high-quality construction of the tent, using 8oz Ripstop polycotton canvas, is immediately noticeable. It feels sturdy and secure, a necessity for any outdoor adventure. You can tell why this tent is constantly winning international awards year after year.

The attention to detail in the design didn’t go unnoticed by me. The large windows provide excellent ventilation, crucial in warmer climates, and the zippered power inlet is a thoughtful addition for modern campers who bring gadgets. Additionally, the high ceiling and spacious interior make it feel less cramped, a common issue with many tents, especially when camping with a family. 

It does however come at a more premium price point. The base tent without any accessories retails at AUD$1,699. And while you can easily pick up a relatively decent tent from your local outdoor department store for around AUD$100-$800, you honestly get what you pay for when it comes to quality. If you’re looking for a durable, easy, and spacious tent for your next family camping trip, the Oztent RV-5 is the one to look at. 

Disclaimer: The author of this article, John Guanzon, was supplied an Oztent RV-5 for the purposes of this review.