Jake Jackson, an avid British camper, had a problem with modern-day tents.
Higher quality tents took too long to pitch and pop up tents were flimsy kiddie toys.
No one thought to marry the quality of expensive tents with the ease of use of a pop up tent.
There was a chasm in the market, and manufacturers were blind to it.
So Mr Jackson did something about it. He built his own pop up tent; then he improved it; then he started selling to friends, then strangers.
Mr Jackson changed the tent game. Not Coleman, but a potential Coleman customer.
He took concepts found in more advanced dome or tunnel tents and added these to a range of pop up tents he christened the Cinch!.
Not only did he manage to marry two contrasting markets, he officiated at the wedding of a plus size model by making the largest pop up tent in the world, a four man colossus.
The Cinch! has turned the industry on its head. Whereas before, serious campers wouldn’t glance at a pop up tent, they’d be foolish to not have the Cinch! on their shortlist.
The beauty of the Cinch! is… no, wait, there’s no single beautiful aspect. The Cinch! is an amalgamation of awesomeness.
Let’s take a closer look.
Cinch! offers three pop up tent sizes: a two man, three man and four man tent.
Mr Jackson claims that his company makes the biggest four man pop up tent in the world. This seems to be true, if you look at other four man pop up tents on the market, such as the Coleman FastPitch™ Pop Up Galiano 4. It dwarfs in comparison.
The Cinch! is much larger than any of the listed competitors.
There’s enough space inside the Cinch! for you, your family and your pet elephant.
The Cinch! has a hydrostatic head of 4000mm.
To label a tent waterproof, it needs to have a hydrostatic head of at least 1000mm.
I don’t know where they found this info, but it’s one of the claims on their FAQ page. (Not sure if this applies to British tents only.)
The higher a tent’s hydrostatic head, the more waterproof the material it’s made from.
Don’t take your Cinch! for a swim though. A tent’s waterproof level consists of many factors, not hydrostatic head only. Read the Crua Hybrid article for more info.
The Cinch! beats the competition at waterproofing. Not only do they use a material with a high hydrostatic head, they also double tape their seams to keep water out.
* Quechua says that their 2 Seconds model’s seams are not sealed and does not provide full waterproofing.
The Cinch! is much heavier than other pop up tents. This makes it ideal for car camping; too heavy for hiking.
Design and features
Let’s take a closer look at the Cinch!’s design and features.
The Cinch! is a tunnel tent.
A round tent offers less resistance to wind than a square or rectangular tent.
Dome and tunnel tents are standard for camping these days, so nothing special here.
The ground sheet
Cinch! makes use of a bathtub style ground sheet. The only information they share about this ground sheet is that it has a hydrostatic head of 12000 mm.
The idea with their bathtub style ground sheet is to ensure that the Cinch! is waterproof from beneath. As above, so below.
The Cinch!’s inner contains full mosquito netting.
That’s good news for African campers, since African mosquitoes reach the size of elephants and kidnap campers.
The Cinch! is made from a double layer of material. This assists in preventing condensation, the arch-enemy of campers.
Two tent entrances
Have you ever needed to navigate your way around a tent, through a spine-chilling landscape of guy lines and tent pegs? No need to with the Cinch!; it’s got two entrances.
On a hot day, open up both entrances for some much needed ventilation.
Each Cinch! model offers a storage space inside each entrance of the tent. That’s two entrances per tent.
Here are the storage space sizes:
- Cinch! two man – 2 m x 63 cm (6.56ft x 24.8 inches)
- Cinch! three man – 2 m x 70 cm (6.56ft x 27.56 inches)
- Cinch! four man – 2 m x 80 cm (6.56ft x 31.49 inches)
These vestibules are not waterproof. A groundsheet covers most of the storage regions, but it’s not stitched into the tent.
The Cinch! offers ample illumination, so you won’t be tripping over guy lines or walking into the side of the tent when you’re stargazing at night.
The Cinch! comes standard with luminous guy lines, as well as plastic tent pegs with built-in LED lights.
You also receive two LED torches with every purchase.
The Cinch!’s poles are made from superflex fiberglass.
Fiberglass has a bit of a rogue’s reputation among some campers. Bringing up this word seems to elicit ill feelings of the bitterest kind. Fiberglass de-laminates, given enough time. This causes the material to become brittle.
Fiberglass breaks in an unforgiving way. It’s all sharp edges that has the potential to stab and poke holes.
I’m curious to see whether Mr Jackson will be looking at carbon fiber in future models. This should bring the tent’s weight down and put him further in the lead.
The power pack
The Cinch! comes with an optional solar power pack.
Attach the solar panel to the tent’s roof and connect to an internal 13,000mAh, detachable, pocket-sized power bank which charges two devices simultaneously via USB ports.
According to the Indiegogo page, the power bank stores enough energy to charge an iPhone six times. They don’t say which model iPhone though.
I find this extraneous. I’d prefer using a different source for charging my electronics. Too many South Africans suffer from crow syndrome. They see something shiny and they want it, so they take yours.
I can imagine pitching a Cinch!, setting up the solar panel, going fishing and coming back to a tent minus the solar panel. The tent might be gone too.
But there might be campers out there who find this add-on invaluable.
The Cinch! comes with an optional blackout canopy made from ultra-reflective material that helps keep out the heat.
They don’t say what the canopy is made from or how thick it is.
Need more protection from the sun?
Get the optional extension canopy that provides 75 per cent more shaded space.
The canopy connects to your tent or can be used as a stand-alone shelter.
Time to pitch
Mark Boehnlein bought the four man Cinch! and shows us how to set it up. It’s fast, considering the size of the tent.
Mark mentions in the second installment of his Cinch! review that he, his daughter and three of his nieces slept inside the Cinch!.
Time to pack away
The Cinch! four man is a little trickier to take down than to set up. Mark made a video showing how he collapses the tent and stashes it.
Even though it seems a little difficult, he still managed to do it in less than six minutes. It seems easier than taking down a traditional dome tent.
Mark has this to say in the comments section of the second installment of his Cinch! video review, responding to someone’s question about wind:
I have not had it in anything beyond light breezes but we’ve had no issues at all. I haven’t used any of the tie downs on the tent itself yet. Someone commented on one of my videos that used it in very windy conditions in Britain and with proper tie downs it performed great. Other things I read before purchasing was that if the wind did blow it in, the spring of the shock-cords always popped it back out.
Number of guy lines
According to the Cinch! website’s FAQ section, the Cinch! comes with 20 guy lines.
If it’s not too windy you won’t require the guy lines to keep the tent up. Just use the tent pegs.
The Cinch! ships with a 12 month warranty. You receive a warranty registration card which you need to complete and return to Cinch! within 14 days after purchase.
The warranty only covers manufacturing mistakes or material defects.
Check out the FAQ section on the Cinch! website for full warranty info.
The Cinch! looks like a great product. It brings together a host of useful features and boasts a ruggedness reserved for traditional upmarket dome tents.
The product is heavy, and I’m surprised at the use of fiberglass for the poles, but it looks like a good investment if you’re in the market for a top quality car camp pop up tent.
Jake Jackson’s tent is, in another Jackson’s words, bad.
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- Coleman FastPitch™