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Tent Reviews: Force Ten Classic Standard Mk4

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Force Ten  >  Classic Standard Mk4 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
3  (more 3 berth tents)
5.60 KG
Fly first
Average User Rating:
9.56/10 from 9 reviews

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9 Reviews of the Classic Standard Mk4

By: LesGus  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

Really can't beat it! used these tents all the time in the 90's when camping with friends. I have one now that just me and the wife use.

They're super robust and warm. You'll not find a thicker ground sheet.

The only down side is the weight, the MK4 is a good size for 2 people and the weight is just about manageable for short 2-3 day hikes with the tent split between us.
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By: Richardh1905  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have decided to write a review in memory of my wonderful Mk4 Force Ten that I finally had to scrap last year, after no less than 33 years of faithful service. It cost me £200 in 1984, and this has been the best £200 that I have ever spent.

Incredibly durable, easy to pitch, and utterly bomb proof; this is a tent that, if pitched correctly, will quite simply not let you down, whatever the weather throws at you.

My worst night was in the field opposite the Wasdale Head Inn one winter; periods of calm interrupted every 15 minutes or so by violent gusts of wind that you could hear approaching, thundering up the valley like an express train. This did not make for a good nights sleep and I've never experienced anything quite like it either before or after, but the tent took it all in it's stride.

Anyway, it's a 10/10 from me. You can quite simply not buy a better tent for 'boot of the car' all season camping.

Note that someone is selling used army surplus MK4s on ebay right now, for £60 + postage. I'm tempted.
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By: Babywhale  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2016   Rating: 

Bought one of these for 1-2 night camps with the OH and the dogs. We mostly camp in Scotland, so we wanted something that would keep us warm, and which would withstand strong winds.

In fairness I wanted an MK5 but these were not available at the time. For two adults the MK4 is quite cosy, but there is room for a double SIM and some space at the bottom of the tent for the two dogs.

There is a small storage area just outside the inner as well, for boots etc.

The tent is very well made and the materials highly durable. The cotton and stitching is excellent quality. The zips are also good quality. Takes the two of us about 10 minutes to put up and peg out, but you could manage it yourself in about 10-15 minutes as well.

No leaks or draughts, although it takes a little while to dry out. Usually we just pack it up damp and air it over the bannister at home for a day or two. That's the good thing about having a small cotton tent.

No condensation at all, as you'd expect, and also surprisingly warm at night.

We fix a tarp (a tatonka 4x4m) to the rear pole and use a robens telescopic pole to give the tarp height at the front. It creates a nice outside sheltered seating area and also keeps the tent largely dry.

A little too heavy to backpack with, although if you're not on your own you could carry parts of the tent separately. Even with regular use I'd expect this tent to last a long time - much better value in the long term than nylon/polyester pop ups for festivals which barely last a few uses and give poor performance.
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By: Caligula  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have just obtained an all but mint mid nineties example of this model by Muta/Vango.

Good 'poly' cotton construction, the inner and outer fly are of similar weight material for excellent rain protection and a more constant temperature.

Uses twin sprung aluminium A frames locked with a sprung ridge pole, and either inner or outer can be set up first.

The inner has a robust groundsheet, and four inner pockets for odds and sods storage, plus a bell end.Snigger, giggle.

There is also a hanging loop for a light. Door on this model is a three way zip. Latter ones have one long curved zipway. Mesh air gaps are found above the doors.

There are 2 tabs to lock the fly any inner together, and give a little more clearance in the tent. It prevents the inner roof sagging in and optimizes what little headroom there is in a Mk4.

The flysheet also has an extension over the front to make a small porch and only 2 guys either side to again pull out the roof line a bit, and add a bit of extra stability in strong breezes. An optional guy line fore and aft can be added if needed for really windy conditions from the A frames.

Set up is fabulously simple and quick, and the tent is set nice and taut without constant fiddling and adjusting, unlike my much loved Good Companions tents for example? Take down and packing is not much more than seconds.

There is loads about the stability, strength and alround capability of these tents, so I won't reiterate that, and specifications are on this page below.

The Mk 4 is very nice and roomy for one, roomy enough for two and kit, but no way a three person tent as advertised!

Fabulous, sensible, thoughtful design and build: that's why they are still made 40 + years on, and so well thought of.Someone has once described them as the 'Landrover of tents'. That's about right.
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By: Rayt  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

Owned since 1980, bit tatty but still ok in all weathers. Forgot Apex pieces last year but hammered tent pegs into a Y shape and gaffer taped to frame. Bit of line to tie one end to car and was fine for the weekend.

Lets a little water in but not enough to stop me using it when on my own, too small for comfort for 2 people but 2 with bags can fit
1 from 1 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Ron75  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

I'm from germany. Never have seen this tent here. Have got the F10 mk3 (std) and the F10 mk4 (std) new at a very good price over ebay-uk. I don't know the older models made in Scotland. I think this tents now are made in asia (china?). Have used only the MKIV about 3 weeks. This tent ist very stable, enough space for 2 (3 good friends ;)), but used it alone with gear. The Vango adventure tarp fits perfect (without modifications) and gives some more space to cook or sit under in rain. Love this tent. With the orange color you'll never have problems to find your tent. I think very rare in germany. The cotton gives a good climate. Very satisfied.
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By: Vango man  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

An iconic bit of kit. Almost 20 years old and still as good as new. A perfect retreat from bad weather on the mountain farms where we camp, not very big inside but very cosey for us. We car camp and don't carry it so the bulk is not an issue. Can take the worst of snowdonia and come back for more, year in year out, must be dry before packing away as its cotton. Smells lovely inside and is very warm. Worth getting one just to say you own one, very easy to put up and only takes 5 mins. Would we buy another ? without a doubt. A ten pointer if ever the was one.
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By: Gde745  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

My Vango Force 10 mk 3 goes back to 1978 and the mk 4 to 1982! Both are still going strong. Very dependable and durable classic tents; although cotton fabric needs to be stored bone dry and reproofed every couple of years.


*Quiet in strong winds compared to nylon

*Very long life if cared for correctly

*bombproof in gales and rain but should be pitched back end facing into the wind

*4 season capability


*limited internal space (but adequate if organised)

*Too heavy for backpacking/cycle touring
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By: Chrismo  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

What can I say, really. I now get the same sort of comments about the trusty old Vango as I did about my Morris 1000.

So, it's not got the space, headroom, and light weight of a modern dome or other design. People do make jokes about boy scouts. But it's 30 years old, still weatherproof,strong, stable and takes about 2 minutes to put up. And it smells lovely ! And it's orange canvas !

I think the Mark 4 is supposed to be 4 man; well, maybe if you're on an Arctic expedition. Mine is just for me and the dog. My 2 kids share another one. Not state of the art these days for backpacking, but great to chuck in the back of the car.

I have, and do, own a few other tents of varying sizes, but this is the best for convenience and reliability. I don't know if Vango still make them, but I'd buy one today if I had to.
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Manufacturer's Description

The Force Ten Classics have been used by expeditions, adventurers and youth groups for over 40 years. So brilliant, the design is as recognisable today as it was then. Easy to erect yet tough and durable, they perform exceptionally well in all kinds of weather and provide welcome respite from even the most savage conditions. Using Protex® DWR Cotton flysheet and inner offers real nostalgia, cooler space inside the tent as well as good protection from the elements.

Flysheet: Protex® DWR cottofloorplan
Inner: Protex® DWR cotton
Groundsheet: Polyester/PVC 15,000
Poles: PowerLite® 7001-T6 alloy ø19–22mm
Pitching: Flysheet or inner first

• Protex® DWR cotton flysheet
• Protex® DWR cotton inner
• Polyester/PVC laminate 15,000 groundsheet
• PowerLite® 7001-T6 alloy poles ø19–22mm
• Alloy ‘A’ frame design
• Seam taped groundsheet
• Flysheet or inner first pitching
• Large porch
• Mesh panel on inner door
• Vertical zip on flysheet door
• Inner tent pockets
• Storm guylines included
• Line-lok guyline runners
• Repair kit
• Cotton compression stuffsac

... there may be more info on their website

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