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Subject Topic: Tent definitions Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Taurian10/10/2014 at 2:41pm
Outfit:  Auto - Sleepers Symbol     Location:  Essex
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Hi all,

As an ex caravanner and soon to be tent owner, could someone answer a question for me.   I am thinking of getting a Vango 400 plus tent but it is described as a festival or weekend tent. Although I anticipate doing a lot of solo weekend camping, I would like to spend longer ( a week or so ) on occasions.   Are these tents OK for longer period or best suited to 1- 3 nights at a time ? Or are these definitions pretty meaningless?

Thanks

Message posted by Mucker188410/10/2014 at 3:54pm
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Personally, I wouldn't dream of camping in a tent "so small", ( I insist on full standing height, at the very least!) and I guess, they are hinting that on that score, it'll be fine for a night or two, but you may go stir crazy using it for a week!

Quality-wise, I don't see any problems. First off, it's a Vango. Yes, they may let the odd failure through the out door, as most manufacturer's do from time to time, but they are, of course, a long-standing company with a decent rep, so in theory, a reliable company who make reliable tents.
The HH (The waterproof rating) is 3000. I believe to be classed as waterproof, it has to be 1500 or more. Quite a few family tents are coming out at 4000, 5000, and even 6000, just lately, but even at 3000, I would consider that ample for anything below "A deluge"! I'd hazard a guess that "average" was somewhere between 3000 and 4000, so for 3 season camping in the UK (and quite possibly 4 season, who am I to say?), I'd put a month's wages on this tent being fit for the job!

For your occasional week or more, all the above qualities would still apply, of course, so the only thing you have to decide is whether it's big enough for you to camp in the style you wish.

I'd ignore the word "Festival"... this is not "A throw-away tent" if that's what was concerning you!


EDIT:

NOTE:
All the above is based on 100% amateurism, and subject to confirmation by at least one person who actually knows what they are talking about... I just thought I'd at least make a start in putting your mind at rest, as I'm pretty sure I'm on the right lines!

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Message posted by Campernic10/10/2014 at 4:46pm
Outfit:  Bell Tent Vango Coleman and Quechua      Location:  Northern Ireland
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Which model of tent is it?

A 'Standing Height' tent is about 195cm high. You need to think about your bed. If you are going for a camp bed with a Self Inflating Mat on top, or a double height airbed, then you have to take into account the slope on the side of the tent if the bedroom 'pod' is compact (if it's quite big you can always move the bed away from the side).

A 'Weekend' Tent often describes a stand up height but smallish footprint size tent, and of course you can go for longer! If you look at the Vango Kalu, it really fulfills the 'weekend' tag, but also take note of the front extension. That would turn it in to a tent you could stay in for longer and in less favourable weather.

A 'Festival' Tent often refers to a small tent that you crawl in to. They are often but not exclusively dome type tents. They would be fine but someone young, but I wouldn't want to spend a week in it. However I can see if you are doing lots of touring that it would be easier to pitch and strike in different sites each night. I would be happy with this situation if the weather was good.

I do a lot of solo camping, and my preference is a four or five man tent for just me (and the dog). I have a couple of options, a Gelert Cabana 4 - a Decathlon BS 4.2, or my Vango Icarus 500. The Icarus is probably the most flexible one, as it will accommodate other people too. Then as well as that I have the extension for it, so I have used it for fortnight long family holidays as well (there's three in my family).

Message posted by Taurian10/10/2014 at 5:45pm
Outfit:  Auto - Sleepers Symbol     Location:  Essex
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Thanks for your replies Mucker and Campernic - all points taken on board. It would be much better if I was able to stand up somewhere in the tent but I am trying to balance size of tent and ease of pitching. As a solo camper I am going to have to do everything myself and, although weight is not a problem as it will always be transported in a car, I don't want to be struggling with a huge tent that is going to take me 45 mins to put up - and thats on a day with no breeze!!   I've budgeted up to 250 and want a tried and test, reputable company as I don't want to buy something that either won't last or has quality issues. I know you can spend 1000 + on a tent but I don't want or need to go there. Iv'e spent a lot of time looking at manufacturers and configurations on line and it is truly bewildering as there are so many. Any other recommendations in any direction gratefully received.

Message posted by tmif10/10/2014 at 5:54pm
Outfit:  Vango Airbeam 800 & Outwell Fusion 400     Location:  None Entered
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What about this one...

Vango Isis 500

It's the new version of the ever popular Icarus which many people on here love (although you might still be able to get the Icarus from Go Outdoors)

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Message posted by Campernic10/10/2014 at 6:41pm
Outfit:  Bell Tent Vango Coleman and Quechua      Location:  Northern Ireland
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My Icarus takes about 15 minutes to put up solo, I put it up last weekend in a bit of a breeze. There's a good video on Youtube about the 'Gary Cross Method' of putting up any tunnel type tent, which does help. Now I pitch my Icarus by pegging all four corners, putting in the poles, walking around the other side, putting the pin in the poles, and then erecting the tent with the front door open.

If I was going to buy a tent right now, in this 'three (flexible) pole tunnel tent' category, I would prefer the Coleman Galileo. I like the mesh sleeves which are short sleeves, the angled corners making more stand up height inside. The design is good, it's better than the Icarus/Unfortunately named Isis. If it had a pelmet covering the space between the inner pod and outer fly sheet it'd be damn near perfect. But that's a minor point.

Of course while you're looking at Coleman, look at the 'instant tourer' range. I've not seen one in the flesh, and to me having built in poles makes it harder to replace one - but the trade off is that, I believe, they are very quick to pitch.

Message posted by Bob6110/10/2014 at 7:00pm
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Big doesn't necessarily mean difficult to erect. I camp solo and have a 6 man tent and it is the easiest to erect I have ever had. The problems I had with earlier tents mainly, was the fibreglass poles and full sleeves... threading the pesky things was like threading curtains on a curtain wire...kept bunching up and took forever.

If weight isn't a problem I would go for a metal poled tent and keep the tent and poles in separate bags making it lighter. Metal poled tents usually have a short roof pole that goes easily through the roof sleeve and then the side poles attach externally and the tent is just clipped to them. Metal poled tents are more stable in strong winds and don't sway about as much as fibreglass poled tents.

A tunnel tent with the poles in line are the easiest to erect and the height is usually pretty uniform throughout the whole tent including the bedroom pods. Tents with poles going in different directions often require somebody to assist.

I now wouldn't have a tent without a fully sewn in groundsheet. Not only does this make the tent warm and draught free but the inners can be left attached making it 'erect in one'.

It may help to check out tent erection videos on Utube. There are usually lots of them showing the easiest ways to do it.

Message posted by Taurian10/10/2014 at 7:58pm
Outfit:  Auto - Sleepers Symbol     Location:  Essex
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Thanks again guys for your input. I've not had chance to go to any suppliers and see some erected which is probably a good idea. Wrong time of year at the moment I think. Probably best to wait till about February time when they should start putting them up again. I've been lurking on the site for the last 3 weeks and have learnt a lot so far with soooooo much more to learn!!

Tmif - Just looked at the vango Isis 500 video and it looks great. Maybe a strong contender.

Post last edited on 10/10/2014 20:10:38

Message posted by VangoMan0210/10/2014 at 10:01pm
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Have a look at the Vango Aura 200, its probably one of the biggest tents classed as a two man . It has separate sleeping pod and sitting area, full sewn in groundsheet.
I am 5'8" and can just stand up inside.
It is discontinued but there are still some for sale on Somerset camping for under 100.
I use one for solo car camping and find it ideal without being to big and paying big tent pitch prices on site.

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Message posted by purplebean10/10/2014 at 10:24pm
Outfit:  Karsten 350 CA FW RA :)     Location:  West Yorkshire
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We have a Vango Kalu 400 that I think would be very easy to erect solo if you use the Gary Cross method

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Message posted by gulliver795211/10/2014 at 9:48pm
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Have you thought about canvas. For the price, these tents are very good and easy to pitch solo (takes me about 1/2 hr or less) even when windy. Peg the 4 corners, put center pole up then door frame and peg out. They are solid as a rock in rough weather.
If you don't use the inner they have masses of space so you can vary your sleeping arrangements / position.
They don't have a SIG but I use a slightly oversize PVC Ground Sheet which overlaps the Mud flaps all round. No drafts and being canvas it's reasonably safe to use a gas heater for 1/2 hr for those chilly evenings before bed.


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Message posted by Reverend Badger16/10/2014 at 2:44pm
Outfit:  Galileo 5     Location:  None Entered
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This year i bought a second hand Galileo 5 for me and my 6 yr old son to use. Was looking for a Galileo 4 but price on the 5 was too good to turn down.

I can put it up on my own with minimal fuss but i find packing away much more difficult.

I can highly recommend the Galileo for height and space. We did a 7 night holiday and it coped with a hefty storm and some testing sea winds no problem.

I also bought a tarp from decathlon to use as a covered porch area at the front. Well worth doing.

Message posted by Taurian16/10/2014 at 3:47pm
Outfit:  Auto - Sleepers Symbol     Location:  Essex
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I'll have look at the Galileo 5. The trouble is there are just soooooo many tents to choose from and a lot of them have good reviews.

Gulliver. I don't think I want to go down the canvas route but thanks for the suggestion.

Feeling a bit pleased with myself today as I've just picked up an Electrolux RC1600 off eBay for 50 as I was the only bidder - tested it out and it works a treat!!!

Message posted by Reverend Badger16/10/2014 at 8:21pm
Outfit:  Galileo 5     Location:  None Entered
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I spent a good couple of months researching which tent to buy. It almost drove me bonkers.

I've put a review of the Galileo in the tents section.


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