I’ve always wanted to write a Eurohike Rydal 500 review just to let everyone know how brilliant this tent is for a family. In fact, it is a brilliant entry-level tent not just for families, but for everyone from 2-5 people occupancy.
Needless to say, a 5-berth tent these days is not for five grown-ups, but rather for a family of five where the children are under 10 years or so, but hey ho…
Eurohike Rydal 500 Review
So let’s have a look at the features and some of the most common issues with the Eurohike Rydal 500
Who is the Eurohike Rydal 500 For?
The Eurohike Rydal 500 is perfect for couples – plenty of space both in the bedrooms and in the living area; as well as families of up to 5 (with 3 smaller children).
Two double beds will easily fit into the large, 5-berth sleeping pod.
I touched on it already, the Rydal 500 offers a decent amount of space for an entire family.
The sleeping area is large, 300 cms wide. This would be a bit tight for 5 adults – 60 cms per head – and I don’t recommend the Rydal 500 as a 5-person tent. On the other hand, even with 3 kids you have plenty of space – parents sleep on one double mattress, kids can sleep on the other one, but side ways. This way they would have 190-200 cms width to share – 60-65 cms each – which is probably more than enough for them.
There is a toggled divider if you’d like to split the sleeping area 2/3, but bear in mind that the smaller bedroom would be 120cms wide, so you would not be able fit in a normal double mattress. But you could go for a narrow one by all means.
You can also use the divider to separate a storage area, but obviously, the 3-berth master bedroom is only suitable for a couple.
The bedrooms are ‘Darkened’ which is a nice feature to have, I actually prefer it to the full black-out bedrooms.
As for living space, you have around 6.2 square metres which is very generous.
It’s just big enough to have some cooking gear or storage unit on one side, and still have plenty of space to sit down and play a board game if the weather turns nasty.
There is one large side door and one main door, so be mindful of the wind direction when pitching the tent. The windows are quite small and there is no window on the sidewall, which can make the living room a bit claustrophobic when the it’s cloudy, especially with this dark blue flysheet.
The groundsheet can be dropped flat at the main door but not on the side door, which is a bit of a trip hazard. It is not too high though, and you have the guylines too to trip over.
There is one lantern hanging point at the middle of the tent. I tried these solar lanterns the a couple of weeks ago and I was quite impressed how long they lasted with one charge, and I could even charge my phone with them. I am curious how sturdy they are going to be as they seem a bit flimsy to me, but they come in a pack of two anyways.
Related post: Best Camping Lanterns
There’s plenty of storage in the living room (and there are pockets in the bedroom too).
The Eurohike Rydal 500 comes with a sewn in groundsheet and taped seams. The flysheet is polyester of course, with 2000mm HH waterproof rating. This is the very low-end in every aspect, so if you plan to use the Rydal 500 over more than one seasons, make sure to re-proof it next year if you want to stay dry.
Polyester is lightweight but not breathable if there is a coating applied, so condensation is going to be an issue especially with a sewn-in groundsheet.
The groundsheet is rather thin, and although there is a 2000mm HH waterproof coating on the groundsheet too, it probably won’t stop water coming through in case of a prolonged exposure. When you step on the groundsheet, the force of your weight will be more than what a 2000mm HH coating can withstand, so water will come through if there is some underneath the groundsheet. Also, when you walk on it, minor stones can crack through the groundsheet, and then water will easily seep through. To cut it short, buy a tent carpet and/or a footprint that goes underneath the tent. It’s not just more comfortable but it actually helps protect the groundsheet and helps you stay dry.
Eurohike Rydal 500 Transport and Pitching
The Eurohike Rydal 500 is quite lightweight and easy to carry in its carrybag. It weighs only 14.6 kgs, and the carrybag is not bigger than 75cm x 33cm x 33cm, so it fits into the smaller boots too, or you can put it in the roofbox if you’d like to.
There are three colour-coded fibreglass poles to fiddle with, 12.7 mm thick each. In general, pitching the Rydal 500 is straightforward and relatively easy: it won’t take longer than 10-15 minutes. Packing away is slightly more difficult, you need to be very careful how the bedroom is folded / flattened inside before you roll the tent up, as the bag is not ‘oversized’. It may take a few attempts to roll up tight enough for it to go back into the bag. The zipper of the bag is not ‘heavy duty’ so if you force the tent back, the stitching around the zipper might give up eventually.
As for pitching, the bedroom is pre-attached and the tent is ‘flysheet first’, which means that the bedroom stays dry even if you pitch the tent in rain.
What’s not so great – Eurohike Rydal 500 issues
The Eurohike Rydal 500 has many positive features but it is not without some compromise.
The first thing I’d mention is the lack of mesh on the doors – although there are several ventilation points around the tent, it would certainly help the airflow within the tent if it had mesh on at least one of the doors. On warmer nights a decent bug-zapper will be your best friend.
The next one to bear in mind is the fact that there’s no porch or any other canopy to protect the doors when it’s raining. Although the zippers are covered so in theory, water would not come through there, but if you wanted to go in and out the tent when it’s pouring down, the rain would fall straight into the tent.
There is also a small gap between the fold-flat groundsheet at the front entrance and the flysheet. This is owing to the design and it is like this on almost every tent in this category (and even on more expensive tents). If it bothers you, a bit of DIY may be required to stitch a few tapes of velcro there.
I already mentioned the small windows – again, consider a situation when it is raining outside so you can’t open the doors (see above). You only have two small windows on the front.
The next one on the list is the toggled divider. Again, it is the same on every tent up to £700 inflatable tents, but the toggled divider allows very little privacy.
I talked about the groundsheet that is a bit thin, but that can be rectified with a footprint and a carpet. The flysheet however cannot be improved, it is something that can be a limiting factor of not just how and where you use it the Rydal 500, but for how long.
Other manufacturers would not recommend ‘frequent use’ ie. more than a few weeks across the whole year. UV light of the sun can (will) break down the waterproof coating, so if you pitch the Rydal 500 in your garden in May, it is likely that it will lose some or most of its waterproof coating by the end of summer.
Eurohike Rydal 500 Porch
To address some of the issues I mentioned above, it would be great to have a porch, even if bought separately. Sadly, I could not find any that would fit the Eurohike Rydal 500.
If you have any alternative method, please leave a comment I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks to Stephen who commented while on his holiday in North Wales, the Eurohike Adventure tarp is handy, although not perfect solution to this problem (from GoOutdoors or Amazon. Amazon is cheaper) . As a matter of fact, probably any universal tarp would do the job, so if the Eurohike is out of stock, you can always get a Vango Adventure Tarp for example.
Eurohike Rydal 500 Footprint
On the other hand, there is a bespoke footprint for the Eurohike Rydal 500. I must be bought separately but it is rather inexpensive so I strongly recommend getting one. (Rydal 500 footprint on GoOutdoors)
Eurohike Rydal 500 Carpet
There isn’t a bespoke carpet for the Rydal 500, but it is compatible with the Eurohike Medium tent carpet – again, not expensive and helps a lot protecting the groundsheet.
Eurohike Rydal 500 Pole Repair Kit
When one of the poles snap, it often means that the camping holiday comes to an early end. Not with the Eurohike Rydal 500, if you have the repair kit. The Eurohike Rydal 500 is one of those lucky ones that have a bespoke pole repair kit available on Amazon.
Where to buy the Eurohike Rydal 500
It seems that GoOutdoors and Blacks have aligned their Eurohike stocks, cause they have literally the same stock for the same price. GoOutdoors often runs sales events, at the time of writing this, the Eurohike Rydal 500 is a good £30 cheaper on GoOutdoors.
Alternatives to consider
The Vango Icarus 500 is very similar to the Eurohike Rydal 500 – detailed review of the Vango Icarus 500 can be found here. The Vango is slightly bigger, and slightly pricier, but there is an option to attach a bespoke awning to the Vango Icarus 500 which increases versatility as well as improves weather protection.
The Coleman Mosedale 5 is another popular alternative: very similar to the Rydal 500 size-wise, but the fabrics (both flysheet and the groundsheet) are a big improvement compared to the Rydal 500 – again, reflected in the price. Detailed review of the Coleman Mosedale 5 here.
You can put the Eurohike Sendero 6 on the list too, it is bigger than the Rydal 500 but not much bigger, and has great specs. Detailed review of the Eurohike Sendero tents here.
If you don’t mind inflatable beams, the Eurohike Genus 400 or even the Genus 800 could be a good alternative. The Genus 400 is slightly smaller as it is only a 4-person tent, but the Eurohike Genus 800 is much larger, having two 4-person bedrooms enclosing a small living area. Detailed reviews here: Eurohike Genus 400 Air Tent Review and here: Airgo Air Genus 800 Review
All in all, the Eurohike Rydal 500 is a brilliant little tent. It offers decent weather protection, and a lot of space and versatility for a price that is more than reasonable. I strongly recommend the Rydal 500 if you plan a quick camping trip with your partner or with the family, but have little experience in camping.
The Rydal 500 is easy to pitch and easy to like, you won’t be disappointed.