Party Tent Hiring Guide
A birthday party is a special time and there are so many options. We want you to remember your event for all the right reasons so whether you book with us or someone else, read on for what to look out for when booking a glamping party or tent.
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What to look out for when you're booking a bell tent or glamping birthday party
Tent Size. The secret to a Bell Tent's rigidity and durability is in how it's pegged out: the outer ropes should be evenly spaced around the tent's circular perimeter. As a general rule you need an additional metre of space around the tent to allow the ropes to be pulled outwards enough. So for a tent with a 5m diameter you need approximately 6m across for it to fit properly. This is the first and most important thing you need to check when booking a bell tent for your backyard.
Saggy Tents. A bell tent should not sag and all sides should be tight and smooth. This is important for two reasons: firstly, tight canvas encourages water to bead away and secondly (and most importantly) loose sides indicate that there is slack in the ropes, meaning the tent is not properly secured and could therefore be unsafe. The canvas panels should be firm to the touch in between the stitching and no sagging in the panels should be visible in photos.
Blow up Beds. Ask your provider what sort of beds they use. It is simply not possible to operate a reliable glamping business with blow up beds - period. Over consecutive hires they de velop small tears and slow leaks which are impossible to avoid so aside from being generally uncomfortable anyway you run the risk of finding a flat deflated bed by the time you go to sleep - or waking up flat on the floor in the middle of the night! Insist your provider uses real foam mattresses.
Tent Canvas Quality. There are many competing Bell Tent brands on the market and it is very difficult to tell from a photograph whether the manufacturer has cut corners. GSM (grams per square metre) is a measure of the thickness of the canvas: thicker canvas will resist water properly as well as better insulate the tent. Ask for a tent that is made of at least 350gsm canvas with at least a 650gsm floor. Also make sure the tent itself is actually made of canvas and not plastic (this is a major way to lower the cost of the tent): plastic sides will not breathe overnight, meaning you'll wake up with condensation on your nose!
Two Night Minimum Hires. Beware of advertised prices that seem very low - they might have a minimum 2 night stay. It's only when you go to book that you find the price is actually double what was advertised. Not only is this illegal, it's just plain misleading. Our prices are transparent and honest.
Excessive Security Bonds or Booking Deposits. You shouldn't be paying the cost of the party over again as a security bond. Nor should your booking deposit be more than a fair amount. We charge a $100 booking deposit (which comes off the cost of your party) and only a $150 or $200 (depending on what you book) refundable security bond. We've seen security bonds of $500 and booking deposits of 50% or more. That's not fair. Speaking of fair...
Hidden or Unfair Terms. Read the T's & C's! Beware of terms that allow the operator to cancel your booking for no good reason or unfair cancellation terms. We've also seen companies with surcharges for walking more than 5m from their car to the tent site! So that means you'll never get the advertised price for a party in your backyard. All we ask for is reasonable access from the front of the house to your yard, which generally means use of your driveway if possible and please let us know if there are lots of steps. Here are our T's & C's.
Fake Google Reviews. Beware of companies where the owner reviews themselves or has their friends and family review their business. This is surprisingly common and can be hard to spot. Choose a company that has a lot of reviews - it's hard to repeat this scam believably over and over again, much less get 170+ real 5-star reviews like we have.
Stock Photos on the website. It's easy to find stock glamping photos on the internet but if they're used to advertise the service that you are hiring, that's dishonest. Every single photo on this website is of tents and setups that we did ourselves and all pictures were either taken by us or (in just a few cases) by photographers we hired to photograph our setups.
Stale Social Media. Check the social media feeds of the company you are considering. If they haven't posted in a while there are likely to be reasons for that - none of them good. There are links to our social media feeds on our Contact Us page.
Late Setups. You need your party set up and ready when you need it. We've seen some companies who want to start setting up at 4 pm! That's not right. All our overnight parties are guaranteed to be set up and ready to go by no later than 3 pm and almost all our parties are ready well before then. Of course, you should be able to arrange an earlier party too, if that's what you want.