Dwights Tents

Made by our family - for your family.

On a summery day in 1979, as Ross Dwight stared out the window from behind the confines of his desk, he had a vision. Thousands of kiwis were spending their summers in camping grounds, on the banks of lakes and rivers, and hiking through national parks. But the gear on offer didn’t match the aspirations of our fair nation of adventurers. 

It was time to give kiwis more choice and better quality kit for their adventures. And as luck would have it there was a canvas business for sale on Ross’s doorstep. And so, Dwights was born.

For the next 20 years Ross toiled, building a business that would go with generations of kiwis on every adventure they took. He always believed that if you don’t stand for something you don’t stand for anything. So he hung tight to three guiding principles. Quality. Innovation. Personal Service.

Over the years, as Ross’s children grew, Dwights became world famous in Wellington for these things. But, like all great entrepreneurs, Ross wasn’t satisfied. He knew he could do more. That a design tweak here, a fabric change there, could shift the way kiwis experience the outdoors. And so, with son David, who was all grown up by this stage in the story, Ross started a camping revolution. In a very kiwi way of course.

Whether you’re an extreme hiker or hunter, heading on cycle tour, or going on a family holiday, we’ve thought about what you need (and what you don’t) and created it. We do a bunch of things others overlook. But we don’t scream from the top of Aoraki Mt Cook about it. We let our quality products speak from themselves.

Our family makes the best products for you to enjoy with your family. We’re the people you want to camp next to. The people who do know how to fix your fly, patch your tent, and jimmy up a makeshift shelter so mum can make a cuppa without getting wet. In fact, we’ve already done all that for you…

Real innovation for real people

Innovation at Dwights means New Zealand designed products for New Zealand conditions. The best parts for the job. And smart, practical design. The result is that Dwights Outdoors makes, hands-down, the very best tents available in New Zealand.

When it comes to building the best tents for kiwi adventurers, it’s not about bells and whistles that sound good, and look flash. They’re not going to keep you dry and warm when it’s blowing a gale and you’re half way across the Southern Traverse. It’s the practical stuff that counts—innovations that make your trip safer, easier, and more fun. It might take a few extra zips and poles but we don’t believe in selling you something that’s not going to do what you need it to.

We were the first company in New Zealand to build our tents with double fiberglass poles. This means our tents are twice as strong as other tents, which can come in handy when your townie hiking-buddy reads the forecast wrong on his not-so-smart phone.

We were also among the first companies to add full side awnings to our tents, so the kids can do the washing up in the shade while mum settles into the lounger with Rodrigo from her Mills & Boon for the arvo.

And if you’re at the beach, lake or river, the last thing you want is the ankle-biters sneaking out before you wake up for an unsupervised boogie board, so all our Canvas and Adventure Dome tents are lockable. Another first.

Our gear is tried and true, and we won’t mess with the recipe unless we’re sure it’s going to make your outdoor adventures better. We expect our tents to last the distance (we’ve got customers who have had their Dwights tent for 30 years!) so we’ve got to be convinced a new fabric’s going to endure some fairly hard wear, over a long time, before we change it. The fabrics we use at the moment have been around for almost a decade, and we still believe they’re the best materials available. There’s no room for ‘fly by night’ in our business.

Because of this approach we can hand-on-heart say that we’ve got an innovative, high-quality solution you can trust to work in most situations.

We know our tents are the best on the market. Try one and see for yourself.

Built, designed and manufactured for NZ conditions. 

You probably understand by now that we’re doers not talkers. We want you to choose our products and see for yourself that they’re the best in the market.

All of our tents are designed in New Zealand, by New Zealanders, for New Zealanders. The Dwight family has been camping in New Zealand for more than half a century so we know the conditions that we’re designing for. This is how innovations like double fiberglass poles, full-side awnings and lockable doors came about.

We then take our designs to China, to the most technologically advanced tent factories in the world, to be built. David Dwight is regularly onsite when they are manufacturing for us, personally checking the quality of the goods we put our family name to.

As soon as he gets back to New Zealand David checks the forecast for the worst weather he can find, loads the kids in the car, and takes the prototype up to Kaitoke Regional Park for a test drive. He’s a bit like a storm chaser. The rangers don’t even bother to warn him about what’s coming anymore, they just keep the gate unlocked in case the latest product isn’t up to scratch. He hasn’t had to use it yet.

So when you buy one of our tents you know it was designed for New Zealand conditions, made in the best factory in the world and then personally tested to make sure it performs in most conditions this great country has to offer.

But to make your choice even easier we’ve also developed the Category 5 quality mark with other like-minded businesses in New Zealand, Australia and China.

Note: Although a great effort has been put into the design and manufacture of these tents they can be damaged in some weather conditions and/or incorrect pitching. The guarantee on our products protects the purchaser from manufacturing fault and defects. Damage caused by adverse conditions cannot be covered by our guarantee.

If the weather changes dramatically as it can do, you always need to be prepared to pack up and vacate your site.

Click on the Category 5 Logo below to hear more about this exciting and exclusive concept!