Tent Showcase: Vango Shangri La 600 Airbeam
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8.57/10 from 7 reviews
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7 Reviews of the Shangri La 600 Airbeam
By: Sarahlr Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2013 Rating: Date: 14/04/2015
We owned an Outwell Vermont XL for more than five years, and it was a great tent for the five of us, but since we started camping in France we felt we needed the benefits of a polycotton tent. We had looked at the inflatable Outwells, Concorde, Harrier etc, but none were quite large enough. At that time, the Vango Eden had just come out but we were put off by the canopy, we were looking for something much more easy to pitch.
A visit to our local independent shop held a treat, their last Shangri La! It was just what we were looking for: simple design, polycotton, three bedrooms and a large living area. We have had several trips now and it's just a pleasure to camp in. Yes, the ten mins pitching time is unattainable, especially as the fabric is heavy and needs a bit of coaxing, but it is great not having to build poles, thread poles etc. In bad weather you can be inside much more quickly. Pumping up the beams is ok, but can be tiring after a long drive. We are considering an electric pump to take the strain. Sometimes the back beam bows out a little, but we were told by the retailer to add a couple of psi to this beam, as the weight of the bedding etc in the cotton bedrooms inners can pull the tent out of shape there. This has fixed the problem. We find the guying out takes less time as there are less guy ropes than the Vermont. There is usually a group of people watching you inflate the tent, several questions about it during your stay, and another group watching it deflate! In France last year, the couple on the pitch opposite delayed going out for the day until they had seen us let the air out.
Inside, it's fairly well thought out. The cotton bedroom inners are comfy and warm, the groundsheet is very good quality (similar to Outwell lake tents) and we like the zip curtains (which fold into their own pockets) and flat front door. We did have to use a Velcro loop to hold the cable to our electric light in place - the hanging loop Vango suggests is in front of the bedrooms, but there is another on the next beam. We have used the TBS once so far in high winds and it worked well, I think the text flexes and copes with the wind much better than the Vermont did, partly due to the polycotton outer. No problems with leaks, we weathered the tent with a hose and sunshine when we first got it. It's great to wake up in the morning and not have condensation on the roof either.
The only thing I missed from our old tent was the porch, it was a great space to store stuff. This was easily fixed by buying a larger kitchen tent (3x3 m), which we take on longer trips.
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By: Dawnconnon Reason: Other Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 24/05/2014
Update to my previous review after using it during all types of weather over the last couple of seasons and I have to report that we are still in love with this tent, which is despite having a heavy downpour on our last day on our recent trip to Devon so had to strike camp whilst the heavens opened. We even managed to get the tent back in the bag and zip it up! Yes it is a heavy tent, but we have devised a routine - see my previous post - which works really well, goes up very easily and has been incredibly sturdy in all weathers. We have been looking to add the Eden XL extension as have been informed it would be a good fit :) and would then make this the perfect tent for us. Must also add that other than having to add a bit of air to a couple of the beams over the fortnight, we have had no issues with the beams. It's just a brilliant tent :):):)
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By: Jules_day Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2013 Rating: Date: 17/07/2013
We bought the Shangri-La at the caravan and camping exhibition this year. We had been looking at the airbeam tents for some time. We were originally interested in purchasing the eclipse, but were told about the polycotton Shangri-La. As we are planning on camping abroad in the future we thought it worth the extra money. When we received the tent we were shocked at the size and weight of the pack, but thought the speed and ease of erecting it would compensate this. We received our tent in March and have been looking toward to trying it out.We have done so twice now, 2 weekends away and cannot believe how difficult it is to put up. The cotton is so difficult to manoeuvre, it doesn't go up like the polyester airbeam tents which we're demonstrated at the exhibition. Moving the tent is so difficult, the wheeled bag certainly does NOT make it easy to move as advertised on the Vango website. Dreading using the tent again, such a chore to use. Wish we'd got the polyester now. Feel like we have wasted near on £1500!
The weight of lifting the tent with the pathetic handles on the bag is extremely stressful on the back and shoulder as you have to lift with just one arm.63kg is way too much!
Apart from that the space, windows and doors are fab, but probably won't be using it again.
Wish we still had our 8 man sprayway tent!
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By: Dawnconnon Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 20/05/2013
We bought the Shangri La for much the same reasons as everyone else - ease of pitching and it didn't disappoint. There is only the 2 of us but we like the space a large tent affords and this is the largest poly cotton tent on the market at the moment and for us it has to be poly cotton now.
We have just spent 2 weeks in Devon and had mixed weather. The Shangri La stood up to it all without a problem and for almost 2 days we had very strong winds and torrential rain.
We have developed routine with pitching - peg out all 4 corners as taut as possible then OH mans the pump and as the middle beam starts to inflate I go inside and assist as the 'beams' tend to kink as they inflate and just need a bit of assistance to straighten out. Once the middle beam is done we work from the centre out for the remaining 4. Guying out is very straight forward and there seem to be less guys than on our previous tents, plus 2 storm straps front and rear. Once inside there is a generous amount of living space and the bedroom pods are adequate, tho we unzip 2 of the pods to make a larger double and the third we use for storage etc. The darker material on the bedroom pods works well too. When the weather is warmer opening all 3 doors allows a nice flow of air and they all have mesh on them so no unwanted visitors of the bug variety have been able to invade. I like the fact that the curtains are zipped tho there are no toggles provided so you can't roll up the curtains and tidy them away - minor issue only. Love the fact that there is a straight 'wall' too and this is where we placed our kitchen.
Striking camp is incredibly easy as you just release all the caps on the beams and the tent goes down itself quite quickly. Once it is down I have walked on the beams to get the remaining air out - bear feet I hasten to add. We unzipped all the doors so that remaining air could escape and then folded the tent in half and then folded that half in 3 lengthways ( hope that makes sense) then OH rolled it as tight as possible and in this way we were able to get it back in the bag - no mean feat I can tell you! Like Mallows we also ease the bag over the rolled up tent.
This tent ticks just about all our boxes but unfortunately an extension to this tent is not available. Had Vango made one then this would have made the tent perfect and I would have given it 10/10.
Hope this helps.
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By: Mallows Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 01/08/2012
Just a quick review before we officially test this tent at a proper camp site.
We were looking for a Polycotton tent that would fit a family of 4 comfortably whilst not taking up too much boot room when packed down. The Shangri-La seemed to tick all these boxes as it does not have an additional bag for poles which almost halved the bag size compared with relative Polycotton Outwell models. Having said this, the bag is still very heavy and big but we were prepared to sacrifice boot space for Polycotton.
It was easy to put up but does work your arm muscles using the pump included. Easy to put down too - we rolled the tent up and folded it as small as we could and in response to A Eales, we found the easiest way to put it back into the bag was to put the bag on top of the folded tent and ease it around. 2nd time of trying and it fit perfectly.
Looking forward to trying it out in a few weeks. Oh and Vango customer service and that from Outback trading where we bought the tent was genuinely excellent
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By: A Eales Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 22/07/2012
We too have just purchased this tent much for the same reasons i.E. Speed of set up etc. We are seasoned campers & own a very large poly cotton tent it just takes so long to set up & take down we saw this as an opportunity to have the same comfort but more speed.
We too have pitched in the garden to try it out and found the same as BiffBaff with set up - took around 30 mins and the beams were a bit tricky to get upright but with practice I think this will be fine.
Our only issue is that we have been unable to repack it. After over 30 mins of a lot of huffing & puffing we have managed to get it into the bag but cant close it or even get the accessories like the legs or pump in. So. Our big question is - what's the knack to repacking?
We can't even consider tacking it anywhere else until we master this as I'm worried we won't get it back in the car.
HELP - anyone from Vango!
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By: BiffBaff Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 03/07/2012
My Shangri La arrived last week so, on the basis of one pitch, these are my thoughts.
Firstly, I'm a returning lapsed camper. Back in the day (pre kids, bad knees, work etc) I'd only consider small light tents that could withstand Force 10 pitched on the side of a cliff. Not any more. So some of my comments may be old hat to those experienced campers from recent times; new technology is all a wonder to me.
I needed a tent to accommodate a slightly reluctant wife and 3 under 6 year olds. I'm sure there's many options out there, but I was lured into the Shangri La by the Airbeam technology and the poly-cotton outer.
On arrival, you realise just how huge this thing is. It's 65kgs in a well packaged case on 2 wheels, with sold handles at either end. In the case is the tent, pump, straps for the front and back of the tent, pegs and a rubber mallet. Not much in the way of instructions though (lay out; pump the centre beam first; pump to 7 psi).
The case is good but takes some shifting - I wouldn't want to take it too far from the car. (In fact, I'll need a run up to get it in the car.) But then again, this is a whole lot of tent.
Once it's laid out, the centre beam inflated easy enough, but (at least in my experience of one attempt) don't expect it to spring vertical and stay there - it leans over to one side and lays on the floor. The remaining 4 beams did the same and then I had a bit of a job to pull them all vertical. I suspect this will get easier with practice, but I was panting a bit by the end of it.
Once up it's an easy job to peg out, and, of course, the kids were exploring the inside straight away. After 2 false starts (I'd underestimated how big the tent would be so had to reposition in my garden through lack of space.) it took about 20 - 30 minutes to get up. Again, with practice, I reckon I could cut this down but Vango's estimate of 10 minutes may require someone considerably fitter than me.
The inside of the tent is fantastic: well designed, loads of space, pockets, windows, doors and 3 (or 2 if you unzip the joining wall) bedroom compartments of good size. It also felt warm despite chilly outside temperatures. There's also plenty of headroom - I'm 6ft and rarely bashed my bonce.
The TBS works well and the whole tent felt solid and secure. A good dose of Welsh wind and rain was strugged off with ease.
To take it down was of course a piece of cake - unscrew the air locks to the beams and a very satisfying pop of air brings everything down.
Getting the tent back in the case was always going to be a challenge, but actually a bit easier than I thought - it's still not something for the feint hearted though.
So, so far so good and it's exceeded my expectations. I'll try and remember to update this post after some more thorough testing.
Hope this helps.
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The 6 man Shangri-La 600 offers the ultimate extension of Vango AirBeam® Technology in this polycotton model. The beams are strong enough to support the heavier fabric and TBS®II creates a stable tunnel structure, This tent offers the ultimate in luxury camping with a huge front living area, mesh doors, quality fabrics and large windows and storage options.
VANGO AIRBEAM® TECHNOLOGY
All in one or flysheet first pitching
Easy pitch tunnel style
TBS®II - Tension Band System
Protex® TC cotton flysheet & inner
Sewn in mesh pvc groundsheet
Lightweight inner tent groundsheet
NEW larger windows
NEW privacy curtains
Supplied with plastic pegs & mallet
NEW fully wind & rain tested
Reflective guying straps
Line Lok® guyline runners
3 Mesh doors
Zipped inner divider
Supplied with Pump
... there may be more info on their website
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