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Tent Reviews: Vango Icarus 500

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Icarus 500 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
5  (more 5 berth tents)
10.20 KG
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
8.4/10 from 243 reviews

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243 Reviews of the Icarus 500        Showing 61 to 70          Page:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25  
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By: RM955i  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 25/08/2012

I've just had my first night away in an Icarus 500 and have a couple of concerns. Ours is a NEW tent but it is 2011 stock - I knew this when I bought and it was reflected in the excellent price.

We were in Derbyshire last night which was just a single night away as a bit of a 'dummy run' before trying something longer. It absolutely hammered down all night, fairly torrential stuff in all honesty.

This morning we awoke nice and dry BUT something did concern me: having pitched on a slight downward incline (pretty negligible but a slight slope none the less) I noticed 2 small pools of water at the 2 front corners by the windows. My wife thinks it may have been coming in by the groundsheet seam but we can't be sure.

My immediate thoughts are 1) it could just be condensation errrr. Condensing and then pooling in the corners 2) I didn't pitch it right (being a relative novice) and didn't have the guys tight enough to ensure the fabric was tight with no creases 3) I've got a defective tent.

I had expected [b]total[/b] waterproofing as it is a claimed 3000HH and am a little disappointed but not sufficiently alarmed to rush back (yet) and demand a refund although I have read of similar problems but with no definitive cause.

We're just starting out with camping so for us the Vango was a happy medium between a cheap 'supermarket tent' and something more premium. I am not at all concerned at having to take it back and will stand my ground if I think it is defective - I will re-pitch it, make sure it is all crease free and the guys tight and then give it a prolonger soaking in the garden before deciding on what to do
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By: Lee67  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 21/08/2012

We bought this as a weekend tent for the family, as our other tent is too big. We tested it out for a week. We did not buy the footprint or canopy, but instead used a tarpaulin for the footprint and our existing side opening porch for an extension. This eliminated the problem of the door dripping water in, which I can see would be annoying.

It was easy to put up, but does need 2 people. It was spacious and sturdy, although didn't seem quite as tall as the display model we had seen. We had torrential rain one night and developed a small leak where the vent in the main compartment is. It appears that the spongey part in the vent opening had soaked up water, so we added extra seam sealer and so far so good.

Like the light living area with 2 doors - allowed lots of air flow when it got hot and sunny. The storage pockets were really useful, and there is plenty of room for a family to eat at a table.

Easy to take down, but wish we'd left the bedrooms in place as the arange clips holding them in place are very difficult to undo. Will leave it clipped on in future.
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By: Vanessa68  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 17/08/2012

I have a Vango Icarus 500 and it has been a great tent for many weekends/longer breaks. It is easy to put up and has remained weather tight in torrential rain. However, this week was the first time I used the tent in windier conditions and the tent was a slight nightmare to say the least.

Despite ensuring the tension on tent was checked ahead of approaching winds, two of the supporting poles snapped and the tent caved in 35mph winds which my old dome tent would have easily coped with. As a result, two other campers came to our rescue to help us get the tent together and I'm not happy to discover that replacing poles is complicated (hacksaws etc).

To summarise, I would highly recommend the tent and canopy for larger space for weekends/longer breaks in still/warm weather conditions but unsuitable for anything more than a strong breeze.
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By: Vee4 Gaz  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 31/07/2012

We bought this tent after seeing it in a Go Outdoors display, we had used a Coleman Coastline 3+ a couple of times and found we needed something bigger (Just to stand up in really) so decided on the Icarus 500.

We are newish to camping but found this tent easy to put up with two people and it has plenty of room inside once erected. I like the fact that poles are all the same length so saves a bit of time trying to figure out which poles go where. I also like the way in which the pole ends are kept in place, not sure what you call it? It’s just simple but effective.

We found the hanging storage pockets very useful indeed so another plus point.

We were unable to run a rain test, as the weather was fantastic, hot and sunny all weekend so we will have to update you on that. Reading other reviews about the doors letting in rain however has made us think that a canopy will be next thing on the shopping list, oh and a carpet and a bigger lantern and a …….This camping lark is getting expensive.

Just a couple of things I would like to change/add to the tent would be to split the sleeping pod into two completely separate compartments so you have the choice of using one or both compartments depending on the amount of people sleeping in the tent, At the moment there is one large pod with a single removable net as a divider. Also I would have liked a couple more hanging rings for lanterns and lights. It might be me though as not sure where you can hang stuff from yet will need to investigate a bit more.

All in all a really nice tent for the money. Happy camping everyone.
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By: Rogermooreseyebrow  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 30/07/2012

We used to have a Vango Fireblazer dome tent, which I loved. It was simple to erect, had a reasonable amount of space and looked good. Unfortunately, a horrible storm whilst in the Lake District snapped one of the poles which then duly tore through one side of the tent. I tried to get another one, but had no joy.

Instead, I plumped for the Vango Icarus 500. I liked the fact that I'd be able to stand up in it, and as our son is getting older and bigger, I just thought a larger tent would be a sound investment.

My wife, son and I road tested it recently and it was everything I hoped it would be. I'd watched a video on youtube beforehand to give me an idea of how to put it up, but I can't believe how ridiculously easy this tent is to erect. We were done and dusted in 15 minutes at the most.

Space-wise, it's got plenty. I think you'd struggle to get 5 people in it without a squeeze, but for a family of 4 weekend warriors, it's absolutely fine.

We had a bit of wind and rain during one night and it held up nicely. It's pretty sturdy.

Can't wait to take it out again and it's no surprise that I saw a large number of Icarus range tents on the campsite that we stayed in.

Cracking tent.
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By: Achill  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 30/07/2012

For me, the basic requirement of a tent is that it does its job in rough weather. We camped in this tent in very strong winds one night. I don't know how strong, but the Atlantic was a couple of hundred yards away and it was a rough night. The tent shook and flapped like crazy, making sleeping difficult. One of the rods failed during the night (one of its lengths split) and another one broke in the morning, causing the tent to collapse completely. To be fair, ours wasn't the only tent to experience problems that night. I would estimate that well over half the tents had disappeared by morning, their owners apparently having packed up and fled during the night! But the experience has convinced me that we need a proper 3-season tent - and this tent definitely is not that!
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By: Mucker1884  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 15/07/2012

Got this in a package, with enclosed canopy and footprint. We're new to the game, so haven't a clue how this would compare to other tents, but we are well happy with it!

Just the two of us, so we have loads of room, essentially tying back the bedroom divider to give us one very large, spacious area to fit 2 camp beds, and enough room left over for a midnight waltz!

The living area of the tent would be a squeeze for the stated 5 berth, but for us, it is a carpeted haven for dressing, storage with wardrobe, loo bucket etc. We spend the day in the extension/canopy (see separate review), so Whilst I wouldn't advise a family of 5 to go for this tent, for a couple, with maybe a dog, or child, it would more than suffice.

Before you dash off and buy one, be aware, we did have issues, but we have managed to iron them out. Bearing in mind ours was last years model, but nevertheless brand new, we had a couple of leaks when we did a test pitch in the garden. After reading up on here, it sounds that quite a few new tents are susceptible to a few leaks, and will sort themselves out once 'weathered'. We applied a little seam-seal to two leaks, and ignored two others near the top of the GS, and all were fine after a couple of wet/dry, wet/dry processes.

We made our first campsite pitch in heavy drizzle, which continued through the night, and a thorough search next morning confirmed all was well.

As many others have stated, the door design ain't great, and the sloping front means rain can follow you in when you open the door, so bear that in mind. I intend to get a tarp to sort that out, you may not want to have to bother, and find a tent that already has a door canopy. I suspect you will pay considerably more, so for now at least, don't dismiss this tent. It is an excellent tent for the money, and it has left at least one couple of newbie campers delighted with their first purchase!
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By: EmZ690  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating:   Date: 02/07/2012

*2011 model*

First of all what a fantastic tent. It's big enough for myself, my other half and our 2 Pug dogs. Such a reasonable price of £150 from Go Outdoors. We knew nothing about tents but wanted something with a sewn in groundsheet around the tent because British weather doesn't have the best track record and we wanted something with space to move about and stand up in. We got what we wanted.

Basically this tent has been through it with us. We've had 4 different holidays so far out of it and it's never let us down. We've just finished a two week holiday in Cornwall for one week and then Wales for another week with this tent and all the extras from Vango that go with this model (Canopy, Footprint and Carpet). It went through 37mph winds one day and although it sounded like it was going to collapse on the inside when you saw it from the outside it was holding up so well (With strong pegs bearing in mind holding it down!). It's also been through loads of rain on our different holidays in Norfolk, Weymouth, Cornwall and Wales. We've only spotted the odd puddle in the back or front when we've packed away. So no noticeable flooding during the rainy times and the odd puddle which is easy to clear up when you pack away does not phase us one bit.

It's an incredibly strong tent I give it that. To go through strong winds and rain and still be standing ready for another 7 night holiday soon I couldn't ask for a better tent. I recommend the footprint to keep the bottom of the tent from getting ripped or muddy. I especially recommend the front enclosed canopy for this tent to. It gives you so much more room and acts as a bigger tent for yourselves. The carpet is an added bonus to make it all cosy in the tent for you!

This tent is more than just a weekend tent! It's a proper holiday tent. We proved it by camping with it for 2 weeks in 2 different locations.
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By: Lawsie  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating:   Date: 21/04/2012

First of all, let me make clear that this is a review of the 2012 model which had only been out for a few weeks when we purchased it so it's likely earlier reviews on here were the 2011 or earlier models.

We bought the Vango Icarus from a Yeomans camping show in the Peak District only one week before we were due to spend a week away in it. Amazon didn't have any stock and at the time were more expensive. Seeing it at the show was very beneficial to get an impression of the size of it and to work out what should go where.

As it turned out the week away in it was a baptism of fire for it, and as stern a test as we're ever likely to give it. We rocked up at Laneside Campsite at Hope in the Peak District with snow still on the ground, in the middle of a monsoon. We'd not previously taken it out of the bag so put it up for the first time in anger while we quickly got soaking wet. We'd also bought the Vango Icarus groundsheet so pegged that out first which gave us an idea of the footprint of the tent. It really is quite sizeable and thought must be given to ensure room is left around the footprint to allow guide ropes to be properly pegged out.

Talk of 10-15 minute erection times were very optimistic and we were closer on 40 minutes, but that was because we didn't really know what we were doing and were only making cursory glances at the instructions. I'd suggest next time around we'll have it sorted in about 20 minutes, but it's definitely a 2 person job. There are three collapsable poles that create the structure, each of which snap in two places on either side of the tent to the outer membrane of the tent itself. This aids rigidity and form of the tent. There are twelve guide ropes to peg down, which I did need to re-tension a couple of times during the week as they had slipped a little through the plastic adjuster thing. The pegs provided are a pretty basic metal type which I may upgrade, however despite a week in very soggy ground and strong winds I have to say that they didn't move or bend in any way.

I would add that our tent came with both the front and side door unzipped, which allowed rain to get inside the tent while we were pitching it before we noticed and zipped them up. Worth noting as a few of those 40 minutes were spent mopping up the puddles that had formed.

Once we'd erected the external tent we then put up the internal sleeping area divides. Once put in they can stay in if required, which will again shorten erection times, however we took ours down at the end of the stay to inspect for any problems. I'd note that the yellow clips that attach the inner sleeping area to the main tent are extremely difficult to remove. Painful split thumbs, swearing and use of tent pegs as levers got the job done eventually, but because of this we will probably keep the inner tent in place from now on.

Inside the tent there is a huge amount of space. Our other tent was an Outwell pop-up tent which had very little storage area. The Icarus had acres of space. As other have said, I'd take claims of it being a 5 man tent with a pinch of salt. Yes, 5 could sleep in it, but 5 living in it would be very snug. For a two person tent it is the ideal companion for extended breaks. We used the 2 man sleeping compartment as our 'en suite' featuring our Kampa Khazi which was a fabulous purchase. There was lots of room left for our clothes bags in there too. The main compartment has plenty of room for cooking and seating areas. The main sleeping area had more than enough room for our Coleman airbed, with plenty of storage pockets all around. The full height storage pockets in the centre of the tent were brilliant too.

We were mightily impressed with the resilience the tent put up to the weather. The week was extremely wet and very windy, with some strong bouts of hail, but the tent put up with everything. Even better was that there was so much room in the tent we could come back from a wet stomp around the Peak, get into the tent and shut up shop for the night. There was as much room as we needed to cook in safety and hanging space to dry off wet clothes. It really was a tent you could live in for extended periods of time.

There were a few negative points which I will mention. The doors, as on previous years models, are poor. I'm not entirely sure why Vango don't put a full zip around the outer doors, as it really is silly. It's okay when the inner mesh is zipped up, as it can't flap inside the tent, but if it isn't then it easily blows inside the tent and rain water soon drips inside. There are also no outer fastenings for the side door as you roll it up. The fastenings are on the inside which is great in fair weather, but when the tent is wet it just lets the water drip inside. Again, a bit silly. It could do with perhaps at least one more ventilation point. There's one above the front door, a large one across the rear, and one below the side window, but on two mornings we found condensation dripping from the roof of the tent as the sun came up. On both previous nights we'd boiled quite a lot of water during the course of cooking, so it was an extreme test, but we felt additional ventilation could be possible. I did also suffer a snapped guide rope on the third day, which I felt unusual as that particular one didn't appear to be under much tension. I've replaced it and got a few other spares just in case the others are weak also.

However, the above negatives are far outweighed by the positives. I think Vango must have listened to previous comments regarding the storage bag as despite not folding it back up in the same way it came out of the bag there was still ample room left in there. Putting it away was fairly straight forward, however it took us some time purely because we had to dry the outer surfaces of the tent down before storing it away. It really was a soggy week. It proved the water tightness of the tent though as the ground beneath it had dropped and was totally saturated, so we actually spent a week camping in a small lake.

Overall, I'm very impressed and the tent has been everything that we wanted it to be. I can only see me upgrading in future to another Vango. We'd have considered an Airbeam version (Kinetic) if they'd have been out at the time of purchase, especially after how the Yeomans guys were enthusing about how quick it went up, but then they are a lot more money. The Icarus is well worth its relatively modest cost.
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By: Vix770  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating:   Date: 17/04/2012

I loved this tent initially- brilliant design, quick to pitch and fairly spacious for weekend camping trips- it ticked all the boxes initially. We used it maybe twice, before we went to IOW Festival in 2011 and in true festival style it rained, and it rained! The tent leaked horrendously, literally poured through the living area. As the front entrance does not have a zip at the bottom water also poured in there every time the wind blew. Due to the soft wet ground the pegs kept coming out and the entire front pole repeatedly blew in. This design of tent is not great for a soggy and windy field as it is totally guy rope and peg dependant! We have since re-proofed it twice and it still leaks. Very sad as I loved so much about it.
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243 User Reviews of the Icarus 500 - Showing 61 to 70          Page:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25  

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Manufacturer's Description

Icarus flew towards the sun and this tent is also aiming high. Easy to pitch, ‘as one’ structure with generous living area, this tent will create an ideal base for your weekend adventures. The Icarus provides a place to hide when the weather is poor or a haven to return to after a long day in the sun.


Flysheet: Protex® 2000 polyester, hydrostatic head 2000mm, tape sealed seams, Fire retardant
Inner: Breathable polyester with central divider curtain
Groundsheet: PE, hydrostatic head 10,000mm, Sewn-in
Poles: Poweflex fibreglass poles
Weight: 10.2kg
Pack Size: 72 x 26 x 26cm
Colour: Ensign/Bluebell


As one pitching simple and quick to pitch
Crystal clear windows allows maximum light into living room
Pre-attached guylines with guy tidies improves pitching and re-pitching speed
Reinforcement points extra strength on tension areas of the flysheet
Reflective webbing find your tent at night or in adverse conditions
Parallel zip door create a canopy for sheltered entry or shaded seating
Front over door mesh vents allow continual airflow to enhance comfort
Polyethylene 10,000HH groundsheet strong, sturdy, waterproof protection, Sewn-in
Comfort Colours darker over the bedroom for a restful nights sleep
Side Mesh Door allows door to be left open for insect-free ventilation
Heavy duty pole sleeves ensures even distribution of tension
Inner Pockets keeps those essentials close at hand
Handled carry bag for easy pack-and-go
Repair Kit for that unforseen tent emergency

... there may be more info on their website

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