They laughed when I took out my Cinch! pop up tent, but when I pitched it

The Cinch tent with an extension canopy

They laughed when I took out my Cinch! pop up tent, but when I pitched it

Design and features

Let’s take a closer look at the Cinch!’s design and features.

Tent shape

The Cinch! is a tunnel tent.

A round tent offers less resistance to wind than a square or rectangular tent. So it makes sense to opt for a tunnel or dome tent.

Dome and tunnel tents are pretty much standard for camping these days, so nothing special here.

The groundsheet

Cinch! makes use of a bathtub style groundsheet. The only information they share about this groundsheet is that it has a hydrostatic head of 12000mm.

The idea with their bathtub style groundsheet is to ensure that the Cinch! is waterproof from beneath. As above, so below.

Mosquito netting

The Cinch!’s inner contains full mosquito netting.

That’s good news for African campers, since African mosquitoes reach the size of elephants and regularly kidnap campers.

Condensation prevention

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-chillingly hazardous landscape of guylines 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.

Storage space

Each Cinch! model offers two storage spaces inside the tent. These are situated at each of the tent’s entrances.

Here are the storage space sizes for each tent:

  • Cinch! two man – 2m x 63cm
  • Cinch! three man – 2m x 0.7m
  • Cinch! four man – 2m x 0.8m

These vestibules are not waterproof. A groundsheet covers most of the storage regions, but it’s not stitched into the tent.


The Cinch! offers more than enough 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 guylines, as well as plastic tent pegs with built in LED lights.

You also receive two LED torches with every purchase.

Cinch! LED tent pegs
Cinch! LED tent pegs.
Cinch! luminous guy lines
Cinch! luminous guy lines.
The Cinch! comes with two of these LED torch lamp hybrids
The Cinch! comes with two of these LED torch lamp hybrids.

The poles

The Cinch!’s poles are made from superflex fibreglass.

What do other manufacturers use for their poles?

Tent modelPole material
Arctic MonsoonAluminium
Bushtec KestrelSpring steel
Cinch!Superflex fibreglass
Coleman FastPitch™ Pop Up GalianoFibreglass
Oztrail WayfarerFibreglass
Quechua 2 SecondsFibreglass
Vango POP 200 DSFibreglass

I must admit, it’s odd to see that not one tent on the list uses carbon fibre.

Strange, since carbon fibre has been prevalent in the outdoors industry for a long time.

Fibreglass has a bit of a rogue’s reputation among some campers. Bringing up this word seems to elicit ill feelings of the bitterest kind. Fibreglass delaminates, given enough time. This causes the material to become brittle and break easily.

The problem is, fibreglass 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 fibre in future models. This should bring the tent’s weight down dramatically and probably put him in the lead once more in producing one of the finest tents on the market.

The powerpack

The Cinch! comes with an optional solar power pack.

Attach the solar panel to the tent’s roof and connect to an internal 13,000 mAh, 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. I think 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. Perhaps the tent will be gone too, for that matter.

However, there might be campers out there who find this add-on invaluable.

Optional Cinch! solar panel
Optional Cinch! solar panel.
Cinch! solar power pack
Cinch! solar power pack.

Blackout canopy

The Cinch! comes with an optional blackout canopy (free for early adopters) made from ultra-reflective material that helps keep the heat out of your tent.

They don’t say what the canopy is made from or how thick it is.

Cinch! heat-regulating black out canopy
Cinch! heat-regulating black out canopy.

Extension canopy

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.

Your thoughts?