Many brands on the tent market earned the respect and trust of camping enthusiasts, and one of them is Crua Outdoors. This company, which name means “hard” or “tough” in Gaelic, has been on the market for eight years. They are known for their unique insulated models and their inventions.
Let's dive deep into the qualities of their models: check out what the real customers think about them, and find out if the product is worth its price.
A little bit of history
Crua Outdoors was founded in 2014 by Derek O’Sullivan. Derek grew up in the southwest of Ireland which is a perfect place for camping but he always had a bad experience with staying warm while spending nights outdoors.
Explaining his desire to create a good product, Derek said that whenever he went camping, there was nothing more aggravating than the interior of his tent. In the evening it would become an icebox, while in direct sunlight a sauna. Furthermore, if he camped at busy sites with lots of people around him then they might as well have been staying inside his haven too - due to its lack of acoustic separation from the environment.
This problem kept bothering him, and, eventually, Drek went with Napoleon’s motto: ‘If you want a thing done well, do it yourself’. He leveraged his expertise in product engineering to create the product he always wanted to use himself.
The company claimed that their revolutionary Thermo Tent was the world's first fully properly insulated system. It was unveiled through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015. After that, these models have become increasingly popular for both recreational and industrial use. Since Crua’s launch, these innovative shelters have seen success in over 50 countries worldwide with a focus on US markets.
First things first: what’s an insulated tent?
If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, an insulated tent is a type of camping shelter that is designed to provide additional insulation against the cold. This effect is typically provided by the use of special materials or design features that help to trap heat inside the haven.
The insulation can be added to the walls, roof, and floor of the shelter, including materials such as synthetic fibers, down, or foam.
These models are typically thicker and heavier than standard camping havens, and are often designed to be used in colder weather or more extreme temperatures. They are also suitable for camping in colder climates and during colder seasons, such as winter or shoulder seasons. Some havens can even stand up to extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or high winds.
Crua Insulated tents: the pros according to the brand
- Innovative fabric
According to the manufacturer, there is incredible insulation at the heart of a shelter, fused inside their signature Crua Breathe™ fabric. Not only does it provide superior protection from extreme temperatures, but its lightweight design makes it easy to transport.
This slim layer of insulation is extraordinarily effective at trapping warm air created by the body heat within the shelter. The brand claims that the layer of insulation is 13x more effective than that on a traditional product.
- Good performance during all kinds of weather
The insulation functions both ways - not only will it keep your body temperature regulated even in cooler weather but also maintain your comfort during warmer temperatures outside.
- Dark and quiet for better sleep
According to the brand, not only do their models keep a person warm, but they can also give the quietness and darkness needed for a peaceful night's sleep.
Its insulation serves as an acoustic barrier that shields any disruptive noises from other campers or animals outdoors. It even keeps out light from fellow campers if you find yourself in a campground or daylight when trying to catch some Zs.
- Top-level of durability
The Crua tent is built with only the highest-quality materials and is designed to provide a lifetime of camping experiences. The company claims that the fabric, known as Crua Breathe™, not only resists tears but also punctures. What's more, it features superior protection from mildew and UV light in addition to being treated with high-quality fire retardant formula.
- Breathable and waterproof
When choosing a shelter for your outdoor adventures, it’s very important to be able to experience nature in all its glory without getting wet and cold. The brand claims that its products are designed with waterproof yet breathable fabric and an effective ventilation system.
- High-quality poles
The team mentioned that although steel seemed like the ideal material for their project, suppliers continuously provided them with subpar quality that could even be bent by hand. Eventually, they got connected to the supplier who offered them military-grade reinforced one-inch diameter steel poles. Now, the brand claims its product will survive any adversity Mother Nature throws its way.
- Premium zippers
It’s important to make sure that the client never needs to worry about a zipper failure in the tent. According to the manufacturer, for extra durability they only use premium-grade zippers on their products, thoselarger than average.
- Warm and comfortable carpet
As much as 20% of warmth is lost through the floor when temperatures drop. That's why the Crus claims they added custom carpets for the insulation of living areas to keep the campers' feet warm. This feature is supposed to maintain an ideal temperature and provide extra comfort too.
- Proper ventilation
The Crua team mentioned that after countless trials and experiments, they have developed an ideal venting system that significantly reduces internal humidity levels.
- Illuminous guy lines
Have you ever gone for a midnight stroll around your camp and tripped on the guy lines? It's not fun, but the Crua team says they have the solution. Their guy lines are illuminated at night to make them easily visible. This means no more falls or nasty surprises during your camping trip - just peace of mind while exploring your campsite after dark.
Crua Insulated models: cons and what customers say about them
Crua has great qualities and advantages, compared to an average product on the market. But we had to check if there were any possible cons in their models. The real reviews from the customers on Amazon were mostly positive, but some clients were also disappointed and didn’t hold back.
One of the customers shared a negative experience with the noise reduction feature and storage space inside a Culla Maxx model:
“I so wanted this to work. Temperature regulation and noise reduction when camping was the aim. Camping near a road and there was no reduction in noise at all. Plus, there are several design shortcomings. No internal pockets for phone, etc. the fabric on the floor is slippy when trying to get up from a low airbed”.
To sum up, it seems like sound reduction works mostly in the natural environment but not in noisy areas, like roads. If you’re looking for comfortable placement of your belongings there may also be a problem with that as there are no built-in pockets inside.
There was also a review about the same model that claimed there was a huge ventilation system issue:
“As it is intended, it does maintain an average of twenty degrees warmer in the tent than in the outer tent. The vents, which do NOT zip up, let all the cold air in. As it got down in the twenties last night... I sat up when I awoke and could see my breath inside the tent. Even with covering the top two vents with a blanket, and covering the three vents within with thick shag pillows.”
Another camper claimed there was a capacity issue with their Culla model. They said that it could fit two people only if they were squeezed together. They also mentioned that ventilation was not as great as it was supposed to be.
“It is very well made but super thick with very little ventilation”.
One more camper said that the shelter was not spacious enough when reviewing the Tri model which is supposed fit 3 people. A customer mentioned that they went camping with an 8 year old child and there was only really room for the two of them.
Crua insulated tents: are they worth the price?
Being objective, the Crua Outdoors brand stands out because of the team’s dedication to innovations and unusual materials and this is something that deserves respect and is worth paying for. They strive to create a great product, but there is still room for improvement. If you’re thinking about buying one of their models, keep in mind the possible issues with the size, ventilation, and storage. And if you want to invest in a spacious model for the cold winter, we recommend you purchase a hot tent.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Crua tents
If you're looking for a shelter that can withstand harsh weather conditions and serve you like a temporary home, check out the RBM Outdoors products. Our models are designed for all climates and times, but they truly stand out in the most challenging weather conditions. With the innovative double-layer walls, a wood stove, and an insulated triple-layer floor, you can relax, knowing that no matter what Mother Nature throws your way, you will remain warm, dry, and comfortable throughout your stay.
These multi-functional models were designed and tested with the assistance of outdoorsy customers and their invaluable feedback.
The RBM Outdoors products are the perfect shelter for any outdoor adventure, boasting features such as openable windows, a spacious door, ventilation holes, detachable floors ideal for fishing spots, and pockets to store your belongings.
🏕 What is an insulated tent?
It is a shelter that keeps you warm while camping. Special components and materials are combined to create a secure insulation seal, trapping your body heat inside. These models are typically thicker and heavier than standard havens.
📦 Why are Crua Outdoors tents popular?
Crua Outdoors products are becoming popular for both camping and outdoor use. They provide good insulation, and protection from the elements, and have been praised for their durability and ease of setup.
💡 Are Crua Outdoors tents expensive?
The price of their models varies depending on the style and size that you choose. The larger and more feature-packed models will cost more than smaller and simpler models. However, even their most expensive product is still quite reasonably priced compared to similar products from other brands.