ONCE upon a time I went on a camping holiday in Cornwall.
It was a wet and windy weekend in May and, because I’d not read up properly, I managed to pick the most exposed campsite in the entire county. Possibly in the UK.
It was a gorgeous spot near Newquay, right by the airport, and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The views were spectacular but the wind was relentless.
One night, following a day of constant rain, a storm blew in and very nearly blew away our tent including all its contents and my rather shocked wife.
We promised ourselves, after that rather terrifying episode, that we’d do two things before our next camping holiday. One; check it’s not an exposed and breezy site and, two; get a windbreak.
Now I’m not suggesting there’s a windbreak anywhere on the market that will stand up against a 65mph gust of wind but the worst thing about an incessant breeze when you’re under canvas is it makes life a little tricky.
Papers blow about everywhere, you’re constantly wearing a windproof jacket, sleep is very difficult without copious amounts of Cornish scrumpy and heaven help anyone that tries to boil a kettle using a gas stove. It simply can’t be done.
So when Gelert suggested I should try their top-of-the-range wind-break, the ‘Breeze Blocker DLX I practically bit their hands off.
Firstly, it’s so far removed from the traditional wood and horrid plasticy fabric affairs you still see on the nation’s beaches. This one’s made from the same material as modern tents and it has the same lightweight poles and bright ropes that secure its four large panels into place.
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to put up, because it’s not. It’s fiddly, but during our recent camping trip we used it twice and the second time was a lot easier.
The difficulty lies in keeping it upright at the same time as securing the ropes to the ground or a nearby post. With one person on the job it’s nigh-on impossible but, with two, it’s fairly straight-forward and once it’s up it’s very secure.
Smaller versions are available and I’m sure they’d be easier to erect but the DLX is massive and that’s its biggest strength.
We were able to use it to effectively add an extra, al-fresco room to our tent and, although the breeze never got too bad during our stay, it was very effective at keeping the wind at bay.
Better still it easily packs away into a small bag so it’s perfect for carrying to the beach or a festival.
I honestly can’t fault it as a lightweight windbreak that does exactly what it should.