Standing in the pouring rain while you peer at the complicated directions for erecting your tent is very few people's idea of fun.
That's why pop-up models such as the Eurohike Flash Mach III Blackout are so handy. Gone are the days of inserting pole b into tab c and praying to the god of camping for forgiveness.
To put up the Flash Mach III Blackout, you simply remove it from its bag. While packed up it looks as if it will be a fairly small structure, it actually expands to an impressive size.
Once the tent has erected itself, you simply have to insert a pair of poles to support the roof and peg the sides and guylines down. The whole process takes no more than a couple of minutes.
Unlike some tents, which claim to have space for three people but leave you crammed together like a selection of sleeping-bag-clad sardines, the Mach III Blackout is very roomy. It's also well appointed with a row of netting storage pockets on the back wall and window panels that can be covered.
The blackout lining works but only to a point. You don't get total darkness. Instead, the tent lets in a red glow, which is less harsh but not exactly pitch-black.
Struggling to collapse
While putting the tent up is simple, collapsing it is slightly more tricky. The directions on how to fold the canvas shell back up are not incredibly clear, and it took us some time to get to grips with them.
Once you've worked out the method it’s fine, but if you're planning to take the Flash Mach III Blackout to a festival, it's worth practising before you go.
The other major advantage of the Flash Mach III Blackout is its size and weight when packed up. At just 4.8kg, it’s very lightweight and ideally suited for lugging on a train or trudging across a festival site. The bag has rucksack-style straps, which make it far easier to carry than ordinary handles would.