Blacks Mountain Tent

rated 4.5 of 5 stars (7)

Specs

Reviews

A vintage very weather-proof tent for rough conditions.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £28-15-00 (£28.75)

Summary

A vintage very weather-proof tent for rough conditions. Hard-wearing tough orange ventile material.

Pros

  • Withstands the roughest of storms.
  • Appears to be rainproof even without the flysheet.

Cons

  • Small with not much headroom, but have used it to camp with wife and baby...just.
  • Heavy, 24lbs, so hard work if backpacking on foot.

Bought my New Mountain Tent new on 24 April 1969 from Lawrence and Plater, Eastgate, Leeds for £28-15-00 (£28.75 in new money). Some years later after Blacks had stopped producing this tent I found the flysheet in a sale in the Blacks shop in Cambridge for a very low price.

This is a very hard-wearing tent:  mine is still in excellent condition after 50 years.

In April 2016 I camped at Fionnphort campsite on Mull, in extremely rough conditions.

The tent survived extremely well, but the noise of the wind was incredible.

The next day it snowed all up the west coast of Scotland....

In September 1969 on one of its early outings, my then girlfriend and I backpacked on Mull with this tent. We walked and hitchhiked, but found the tent rather heavy for backpacking.

Experience

This tent is tough enough to see me out! Probably won't need to buy another.

After much deliberation I decided to buy the Blacks…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Four season ridge tent 'A' poles for harsh environment
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: 6/10 Needs two in stormy weather. Threading the 'A' poles through the sleeves is the hardest part.
Weight: In ventile fabric and with the cotton flysheet the weight is 24 lbs
Price Paid: Expensive in 1973

After much deliberation I decided to buy the Blacks "New Mountain Tent" in ventile material. The first thing that you notice is the strong stitching and reinforcing patches and the very tough ventile fabric. Alloy poles are very well made, although I modified them to accept shock cord linking instead of nylon cord.

The tunnel entrance is totally draught-free when closed and the tent is very breathable due to: a) The generous space between the inner and the "Protex" cotton flysheet. b) The tunnel ventilators at the front and rear. c) And of course the ventile fabric itself.

In practice this tent is bombproof, no leaks whatsoever. It is however very heavy (24 lbs with flysheet) but if I had to spend more than a week camping in the moutains, this is the tent I would take.

In summary I would say that the Mountain Tent is very much a 1950's style, quite narrow and not very high which can be claustrophobic to some people, but it is built to last. Mine is still in excellent condition after 30 years of use, and it still looks good!

Bought second-hand in about 1981, for 40 quid if I…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: 40, I think.

Summary

Bought second-hand in about 1981, for 40 quid if I recall. Used in all weathers, nothing fazed it. Apparently, in the original form the flysheet was optional!

Pros

  • Tough as old boots
  • Easy to pitch
  • Very wind-resistant
  • Extremely snug with the tunnel entrance

Cons

  • Weighs a lot!

I bought this secondhand in about 1981 from a work colleague. It was the first tent I owned personally, and the start of a lifelong collecting habit (I think the current count is 12).

It was used in a variety of places from the Lakes to Norway. Originally designed for high mountain, 4-season use, it was perhaps a bit of overkill, but I appreciated the fact that it was bombproof.

Scored over the iconic Force 10 in that the ridge-pole and vertical lower walls made it far more spacious, though inevitably heavier and slightly more complex to put up.

Nicely stable in all weathers, including snow—it comes with snow flaps and a tunnel entrance to keep it stable to minimise heat loss. Cotton fabric means it's not over-hot in warm weather, too.

I've had it for 37 years, not used for a while, but it's still in decent nick.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Marc! Thanks for sharing a review of your Mountain tent. If you have any pictures of yours, those would be great to see in your review, especially as no one else has shared any of this tent.


1 year ago

Wonderful for cold snowy weather. Believe was the…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £50

Summary

Wonderful for cold snowy weather. Believe was the tent for the 1920s Everest expeditions. I loved mine, but sooo heavy.

Foolishly gave it to a friend!!! Wish I still had it!!!

Pros

  • Wonderful comfortable in very snowy cold conditions
  • Very wind resistant
  • Fairly easy to erect

Cons

  • Very heavy

Wonderful historic mountain tent. Ideal for cold and snowy conditions.

Just rather heavy.

Able to stand up to quite severe winds. Loved it.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, John! If you happen to still have a picture of your tent, I'd love to see a picture in your review.


5 years ago
John Gadsby

Hi there


5 years ago
John Gadsby

basic ridge tent with flysheet in heavy canvas Tunnel entrance


5 years ago

Bought the tent in a Black and Edgington sale at Sidcup…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Bombproof!
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Straightforward
Weight: Heavyish (canvas) but shared OK.
Price Paid: 20 quid?

Bought the tent in a Black and Edgington sale at Sidcup in 1969. The lads from the mountaineering club at Dartford Grammar picked up other types of tent. We all went off to Norway for a month on the Jostedal Icecap, mapping a surging glacier tongue (Tungsberg I recall).

Then my new wife and I took off for Canada. Next summer went out to western Canada and the Rockies, along with our first child. Had a line squall in Salmon Arm. British Columbia. Only tent on the site left standing was the Mountain Tent!

Doesn't get much better than that!

Picked the full unit up in a Black and Edgington sale…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 4 season--A pole wth ridge
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: easy most of the time -in wind ?? able
Weight: bloody heavy
Price Paid: £50 in 1969

Picked the full unit up in a Black and Edgington sale at Sidcup in 1969. Flysheet in Protex 3 cotton and the inner tent in stormproof. A great tent that has stood up to the worst of weather during numerous summers away fron home for up to seven weeks on the trot.

Have tried a geodesic "" and still prefer the tough old boot of the Mountain tent. It became even more useful when I adapted a Vango Mark 4 extension to fit it {a bit like a kitchen extension}. I can always drop it if the weather gets really rough and batten down in the Mountain till the worst is past.

Years after buying it I picked up the legendary "Arctic Guinea" from an advert in the Sheffield Telegraph. Cost me £25 and had been used twice. The seller had bought it for backpacking and found it too heavy--LOL. This lovely unit also had the tent in stormproof material and offered that bit more space. What's more the adapted Vango extension also fits with a bit of tweaking.

The flysheet on the Mountain is now getting a bit careworn as is that on the Arctic Guinea. Does anyone know where I might be able to source either or both of them? It's a long shot I know, but you can only patch something up so many times.

Both these old-timers hold fond memories for me and have kept me safe and dry for well over 30 years.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of any of the flysheets drop us a line on dwb.artglas@btinternet.com It would be much appreciated.

All the best, Dave Barker

I got this tent in 1973 and have used it in the most…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 4 season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: needs 1 in good weather, 2 in high winds
Weight: @20lbs
Price Paid: £120

I got this tent in 1973 and have used it in the most extreme weather, and it has stood its ground no problem. It's heavy cotton, with 2 "A" poles and a ridge pole, with a front tunnel entrance. It has never let me down but is now just about worn out. Don't think they still make them, but if they do i would rush to buy another.

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