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Tent Showcase: Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600

Tent Showcase Index  >  Vango  >  Airbeam Eclipse 600 Reviews

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6  (more 6 berth tents)
36.00 KG
£950.00
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Average User Rating:
7.22/10 from 9 reviews

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9 Reviews of the Airbeam Eclipse 600

By: Oggdog1952  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 26/06/2014

Hi all just returned back from my 2nd trip in our brand new Vango Eclipse Airbeam 600 supplied by |Gary at cross camping.

Firstly the tent is huge we have the added luxury of the sun canopy which easily zips on plus carpet and footprint

The tent comes in a very large bag which easily goes back in.

It took 2 of us 5 min to blow tent up and about 40 min pegging out.

3 large bedrooms and loads of windows.

We have owned loads of tents and this is by far the best tent yet.

It comes down very quickly and rolls neatly back into the bag.

We are both over 60yrs old and find this tent the perfect OAP tent if you like camping
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By: Marty2711  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 24/06/2014

When I started researching 'Air' tents at the start of the year I was totally aghast at the amount of manufacturers that had thrown their hat in the ring with their respective offerings.

Following a sweep of the market place and researching the virtues of each product to within an inch of my life (big money involved here folks!) I decided that the Vango Eclipse 600 was the answer for our needs (Mum, Dad, boy 9 and girl aged 6). I got to that decision based on a small number of criteria, namely, having used Vango successfully already (Vista 800 DLX), continued development of their Airbeam system and the size of the tent which would probably never require us to add an extension/ porch.

I ordered it in early May, keeping a close eye on what people were saying about it on here. A few small niggles and where it had gone really wrong, Vango and the retailers were on the case. The tent was delivered (bought directly from the Vango website) and THEN. 2 reviews, below mine detailing horrific experiences. To say I was anxious about the what was in the big bag in my front room was an understatement. Had I bought a dog of a tent?

May was a busy month for us so no camping and so no chance to get the Eclipse out and about. Last weekend was when we managed to get away for a couple of nights to Loch Ken near Castle Douglas, one of our favourite sites.

Full of enthusiasm - me and my wife having the usual bicker about where was the flattest, and once that was resolved, with me having, as usual, to concede, we set about building the tent. When we started pumping the Airbeams they were hesitant to take shape but I later realised that was because of the weight of the tent. Once all the beams were inflated the tent stood as it should with some minor encouragement from us to get them into shape. Remember it's the first time it's been pitched.

REALITY CHECK - these tents don't take 5 or 10 or 12 or 15 minutes to pitch. Yes they do go up with ease and there's no fiddling with pole sleeves and that really annoying bit trying to get the pole into the pin on the tight side! Been there? I won't go into the detail of pitching it, it's been described in detail already, in short, peg 4 corners, blow it up, help it take shape, guy the ropes and bands, have a cup of tea, and set up your home from home on the inside. We were done and dusted within about three quarters of an hour.

Once it was all set up I had a really good look round it checking for quality issues, based on my knowledge of the other experiences. I can honestly say, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. There were some small cuts of thread probably from the manufacturing process. All zips, all stitching, all beams, all windows and doors and all exterior guying points and pegging straps working as they should. Relief.

We stayed two nights in it on this trip. Crucially - the weather did not produce a drop of rain during the weekend - you'll be the first to know if there's anything to tell next time! The lights out bedroom material is better than in our previous tent but it's not as dark as perhaps I was lead to believe.

The space the Eclipse has on offer is class leading, no other air tent gets near it. At 7.4m x 4.4m x 2.1m high, it truly is one massive tent. That said, it feels secure, it builds so it's nice and tight - no flapping material. We had a number of campers came and asked for a peak, it did turn some heads.

We're away for 10 days in it in a couple of weeks and no doubt we'll experience some broader weather events, I'll stick on another review if there's anything to report.

Summary - easy to build, easy to pack away (first time into bag - result), brilliant space, great windows and a real class act on the campsite.

Martin.
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By: Mac2  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 03/06/2014

I bought the air beam for two adults, 2 kids. Took it on two trips. Had faults on two zips, two rips, and air beam valve went. The quality is shockingly bad. Returned it and got the kampa filey 6 air instead. They are like night and day.
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By: OLLYOIL  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 28/05/2014

Great tent until it rained, every beam had a puddle around the bottoms each side and also the roof leaked all over. Woke up second morning to find a pools of water on top of the inner tent.

Took it back to the supplier (Cotswold Outdoor) and they replaced it for another one. Yet to test the replacement but if it leaks like the first one I will be asking for my money back.
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By: Steve 21  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 16/05/2014

This is a follow on to my previous report on the Vango Eclipse 600. We have now been on our first outing as we reported we were going to do and this is our findings.

Firstly every thing I said in my first review still stands. Although we did not have gale force winds and rain we did have occasional modest wind and rain which posed no problem.

The only thing we had to be aware of was the carpet. Due to it being a light colour we had to be very careful on entering the tent in order to keep it clean (or as near as possible). Mats where you step in are being sorted out. When the sun came out it was very pleasant to sit outside the front as my wife finds out (see photos).

This then gave us the first sight of a problem with the tent. We noticed a slightly off colour patch about 3 inches x 6 inches in the corner of the front panel about 4 foot off the floor. Closer inspection revealed that the fabric to be very slightly shrivelled up as if a hot iron had been used and left on for a fraction to long. This was worrying as we were concerned that the fabric may have been weakened at this point and may fail at a later date. We reported this to the dealer to whom we had purchased the tent from (Norwich Camping and Leisure) when we returned and they were very good and on inspecting the tent had no hesitation on exchanging it. This may be a one off problem but at least it is now sorted and we have just done a another test setup in the garden with the replacement ready for our next trip to the Isle of Wight in the beginning of July.

We have purchased a 2mtr x 2mtr Gazebo which we intend to use with our Cadac for cooking as the tent does not lend itself suitable for cooking in so this should solve this problem. All in all a tent we hope to be using for many a trip in the future and I hope Vango can take on board some of the improvements as we perceive them and improve on a good tent even further
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By: Steve 21  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 30/04/2014

I have just got this tent after looking at it last year. My wife and I have got a 9 berth Royal tent that we have used for longish trips and a Vango Icarus 500 for shorter ones.The Royal took us in reality two and a half hours to set up with footprint,guyropes,bedrooms and little extras. The Icarus was about one and a half hours for the same. The thought of being able to take a large tent on even small trips with minimal putting up time was appealing. We have not been on a trip as yet with the Eclipse but this will be happening for 3 days over the May bank holiday weekend (Report to follow) but we have tried a trial setup in the garden. This trial proved positive as from erecting and some deliberation as to how we were going to set out our gear inside and repacking all this was done in one and a half hours. In fairness we did not put the guys out but the amount of time we were deliberating other matters would have allowed us that time to do that. This tent is large and some may think to large for just the wife and I but she does like space and who am I to argue. Time will tell but the tent seems well made and the beams do seem sturdy but we will have to wait till the winds decide to put it to the test. There are some things that could have been done to make a good tent better, some already mentioned on other reviews (only one cable entry point, only one lantern hanging point being in the wrong place) but other things with a bit more thought could have made it even better. This may seem a small thing (and probably is)but the curtain system is good but why did they use a plain fabric for them,it would have been nice to see a delicate pattern on these to add class to the tent. I like the small canopy over the side door but why could they have not had one on the other door or better still made it attachable by zip as per the front extension canopy you can buy extra. This would allow you to put it what side was more convenient on site. As for the front canopy mentioned why did they not keep the nice design they have for the main tent allowing it to follow though to the extension. The small front canopy on the main tent to me could be attached to the zip on the tent, this could then be taken off when attaching the large canopy to this zip then the small canopy could then be re-attached to the extension canopy keeping the good looks of the original tent. These comments are not meant to detract from what seems and I hope a good tent but just my thoughts as how I believe a good tent could be even better
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By: Lampy27  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating:   Date: 22/03/2014

I still have some mixed feelings about this tent and Vango themselves.

You have to take the pitching time quoted with a pinch of salt as from my experience of putting this tent up dozens of times, is that the quoted times are only from when you have laid the tent on the ground and pegged the corners out. As others have commented on, you then have to fully guy it out so I would say it is approx. A 20 mins time saving on a similar pole tent and the same in taking down. Great that the bedrooms are always fitted within the tent so this can also save some extra time.

What is has done is also made camping more relaxing. No more hassle of putting poles together and feeding then through. We like to camp in luxury so enjoy a big tent and a comparable tent with steel poles was difficult for my wife to help put up. A lot less “disagreements” and a lot less stress.

The quality and thickness of the ground sheet means that we simply don't feel the need for the additional cost of a carpet.

Love the two side doors and the fact that one has a small rain canopy. This bit is well thought out as well as the small canopy at the front to stop rain dripping in when you open the door.

Now to some of the negatives which are mainly down to the design team. The light hanging and electrical input point are at the back by the bedrooms and poorly thought out. The tent layout means that you will have your kitchen at the front of the tent and therefore have to lay the electrical cable along the floor and right under the one of the side doors. This creates a trip hazard (happened to my children several times) so you have to feed the electrical cable behind the pillars to try and reduce this. Best to do before you fully inflate them. An electrical input point at the front side of the tent would make much more sense.

I want my electrical lighting near the front of the tent not right outside the bedrooms (disturbs the kids) and there are no cable tidies nor light hanging point at the front.

I got round this by taking a beam completely out (sorry to state the obvious but to avoid punctures then put it back in) and sewing in my own tidies. Several hours work and cost me under £10. Vango's official stance is that this will invalidate the warranty however my dealer got involved and Vango backed down. So as I did, get your dealer on side before you do this as they will be the first port of call for any warranty issues.

The tent can get hot inside (hotter than my previous tents) and I am not sure if this is down to the higher quality material and as this is the first 150d tent I have owned, difficult to compare.

The zip on the front door can stick a bit regardless of how it is pitched however I have got used to this.

Minor point but they have a little waterproof tent tidy that fits on the outside of the tent and aimed at putting your boots etc in. On other smaller models it is right outside the door so you can get to your boots without leaving the tent. On this one, it is on the other side of the tent form the door so you have to get out the tent to get your boots. Again poorly thought out by the design team but certainly not a real issue.

Another aspect to fully consider with these range of tents from Vango is that they only make a certain amount and they don't make as many accessories as tents. The canopy for example was like gold dust. I am told this will be no different for the 2014 model so always get your accessories at the same time as if you later decide you want the canopy or footprint, you may be disappointed.

As commented on later, one beam was supplied with a puncture on the seams and as I hope you are aware, it is dam near impossible to repair a puncture on a seam. With a normal tent you can find replacement poles in most camping shops. With a bream, it may take several days to get one sent to you. We are looking to take ours abroad so we MUST factor in a spare beam at circa £70. Because I have seen the implications of a puncture (stability of the tent was lost), for camping abroad, week + camping or long travel distances, a spare beam is a must. This does however put extra cost on the tent.

I put this tent up over a dozen times in my garden and camped with it a few times and getting it back in the bag is a challenge and there is a knack to it. We had to try numerous different ways so I would suggest lots of practise and work out the best way for you and put a little diagram in the bag to remind you.

The above points may seem negative however I have got round most issues and just want to make you aware of the best way in advance to buy this tent (good luck as very difficult to get hold of) and there will be the same potential accessory stock issues for 2014.

Back to the positives. It is a very roomy tent and other than my minor build issues the overall quality feels good. It is expensive, on average twice the cost of a similar sized pole tent however you need to bear in mind the material at 150d is twice that of the current pole tents so will last 3 – 4 times longer. Just remember to treat every few years, as it’s the UV rays that greatly reduce a tent’s life.

My wife also struggled to help put up the big heavy steel pole tents and this one has already reduced the 'family tensions' of putting up tents and to me, that alone is worth some of the extra cost. She only needs to stand inside the tent to help the beams go up properly when you inflate them (stop them kinking in the middle and quite common in all inflatable tents) then she can leave me to peg out whilst she sorts out the bedrooms etc. Certainly much more relaxing.

The bag has plenty of room and when we first got the tent we kept refolding it as we simply thought it would not go back it however it’s an optical illusion, it will easily go in. We smile now as we wasted a lot of unnecessary time.

Best to buy from a dealer that can get everything for you before you part with cash. May not be an issue at the start of the season but was for us when we purchased in June.

Poor Build Quality and customer service

The build quality is as to be expected from tents made in China. Expect to have to properly tie the guy ropes and check all the stitching. We had to send ours back under warranty for faulty stitching in the bedroom, one of the corner pegging points broke on about the third use and the back beam bowed. When it came back from repair it had a rip in the main material so the whole tent had to be replaced. None left so we have had to wait until 2014 for a replacement.

The footprint was poorly made and had to be returned. However they had none in stock so it went back at the end of the season for me to then receive a new one in 2014.

I finally managed to track down and purchase a canopy and this was delivered with a punctured beam and a tear in one of the pegging points.

It also did not come with the stated puncture repair kit

In summary to this point, every part of our purchase had aspects of quality issues and every part needs to be replaced. The customer services from Vango is the worst I have seen and had it not been for my excellent dealer service, I would have been driven mad. They don’t call back, forget that they are even dealing with an issue and certainly don’t seem to have any complaint procedure in place. At one stage it was only when I stated that I would write to the directors at their home addresses that I got a response.

At the time of writing this review (Feb 2014) they have now provided me with a replacement 2014 model tent and footprint but I am still awaiting a response on the canopy as they”forgot” to sort this part out!

I have only persevered in this because the size suits our family needs and the inflatable competition does not. My wife loves (as do I) the principal of the inflatable because as commented on before, it greatly reduces the stress of putting up a tent with young children running around and steel poled tents are heavy. I know two other friends with Airbeams and no issues so just have to hope I have been the unluckiest Vango customer in history!

I have now received the 2014 model and footprint but the canopy is not yet available. Let’s hope that this year I get better quality.
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By: Beckaward  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating:   Date: 17/08/2013

We purchased this tent as we wanted something quick and easy to put up for weekends. We've put it up 3 times over the summer and we can now put it up and peg it down in about 30 minutes.No arguments over which pole goes where - it doesn't have any poles!

It has a lovely large living area, which is very homely with the carpet down.

The other main reason we purchased this model was the number and size of windows and doors. It is lovely to be able to sit inside of an evening and still see whats going on outside!

We love this tent - the only reason it doesn't get 10/10 is that the doors/bedrooms don't have 2 way zips and also porch door on side entrance could be slightly larger, to be able to cook under in the rain. But overall we are very happy with the tent.
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By: Ladybirdh2  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2013   Rating:   Date: 15/08/2013

Forget the heavy poles and spending hours threading poles through the fabric. With the Vango Airbeam tents you don't need poles. With it's ingenious airbeam technology you just literally pump up the special beams of the tent.

The Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600 is very easy to pitch and set up.

First you peg out the footprint ( if you have the footprint )

Unpack the tent

Peg out the 4 corners in the required position

Start with the CENTRE airbeam, attach the pump and blow the beam up until the dial reaches the green section of the pump. ( this helps ensure you don't over inflate the airbeam ).

Guide the airbeams into an arch as they inflate

Remove the pump and tighten the screw

Pump up remaining airbeams

Peg all guide lines

The Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600 is a very spacious tent, that can quite easily accommodate 6 people.

The 3 bedrooms are located at the back of the tent, helping separate the living area from the sleeping compartments. Each bedroom can hold a double airbed without any problem. You have the added option of making 2 bedrooms into 1 as you can undo the adjoining wall. Each bedroom is well ventilated and has its own fly sheet and door for added privacy.

The main area of the tent is very spacious and light , you can unzip all the windows to really open up the tent. I found the Eclipse 600 cool even when the sun was beating directly on the top of it. With the added bonus of the fly screens on each door, it meant you could open all the doors and zip the fly screen down to allow the air to circulate within the tent.

One of the extra accessories for the Eclipse 600 is the carpet. I can highly recommend the carpet not only was it soft to walk on, it gave the tent a luxurious feel to it and was so comfortable to sit on and also helps keep the tent warm underfoot.

There are plenty of little pockets just outside the bedrooms which you can store your keys, phone but nothing too big or heavy.

We took our Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600 to Scotland, it withstood a torrential rainstorm without any problems. The outside of the tent soon dried once the sun was on it.

The Vango Eclipse 600 is a very large tent standing at 4.4m by 7.3m

You can add a canopy to the tent which again you pump up and add it to the tent , by zipping it at the front of the tent. This then makes the overall size of the tent 4.4m by 8.3m . We found the canopy made an ideal dining room .

The pack size of the tent is 78cm x 48cm x 44cm

Pack size weight 36kg

Pack size of the canopy is 69cm x 33cm x 25cm

Pack size weight of the canopy is 11.75kg

Disclaimer we were sent a Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600 , carpet , footprint and canopy for the purpose of this review. My family and myself tested this tent. I have 4 children, 3 whom have complex needs and my husband and myself. We found the Vango Airbeam Eclipse 600 plus canopy very spacious and perfect for my families needs.
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Manufacturer's Description

The Eclipse is truly luxurious and impressive in its size. The very bright and airy living area this tent provides through the inclusion of enormous windows and pre-bent AirBeams loads of living space for friends and family gatherings. This combined with the ease and speed that Vango AirBeam® offers makes this tent the ideal solution for busy families who want home comforts when they camp without the hassles usually associated with pitching a large tent.

... there may be more info on their website

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