Most festival attendees have seen their fair share of dark places. Ministry of Sound's Crash Pad is one they'll want to revisit
Surviving three days in farmers' fields and local recreational grounds doesn't tend to require a particularly technical tent; as long as it provides shelter from the inevitable rain it's deemed festival-worthy.
But most tents are also far from ideal for the job. They're typically designed for standard human behavioural patterns: sleep at night, be out and about during the day. As any festival attendee will explain, this is not how festival life works.
Hence the design of the Crash Pad. This tent, brought to us by Ministry Of Sound and Blacks' outdoor experts, is built specifically for festivals. To this end it has a black flysheet and tent inner to block out the sun during the day, allowing the revellers within to get some much-needed shut-eye after a heavy night.
Bring on the rain
The Crash Pad is a cosy two-man design. It's extremely light but has a sturdy construction and is made from highly water-resistant materials, so it’s more than capable of getting its occupiers through a few days of festival weather. It's finished in a technical-looking black gloss criss-cross design.
Putting the Crash Pad up is very straightforward, especially if you pay attention to the instructions. We took about 15 minutes to erect it first time, and you should manage it in under 10 with a little practice. Sure, it's no pop-up, but anyone with the slightest camping experience will be able to work it out.
There's room inside for a double inflatable mattress but not much else. Storage is limited to a meagre porch – okay for a couple of pairs of wellies, but no more. If you come back to this tent covered in mud and water, your bedding is likely to get covered.
The Crash Pad's unique feature is the darkness that enshrouds anyone who enters it. In reality it's not pitch black – more crimson – but it really takes the edge off direct sunlight. Close your eyes and you should be able to sleep in there even at the height of summer.
If you want light, though, there are plenty of places to get it – the inside of the tent is bristling with torch-friendly toggles and hooks.
It's also surprisingly cool. We tested on a warm day at the beginning of May, so couldn't quite recreate August conditions, but it was the least stuffy tent we've ever resided in.
Outside of its festival comfort zone the Crash Pad will hold up just fine. Not one for the Scouts, perhaps, but more than up for a couple of days in the Lake District – especially if you like sleeping late.
Ministry of Sound Crash Pad review
An excellent purpose-built festival tent. Only lack of storage space lets it down