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Tent Reviews: Force Ten Classic Standard Mk 3

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Force Ten  >  Classic Standard Mk 3 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
2  (more 2 berth tents)
7.10 KG
Fully Sewn-in
Fly first
Average User Rating:
9.78/10 from 9 reviews

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9 Reviews of the Classic Standard Mk 3

By: GrimSleeper69  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

I recently purchased a Vango force 10 Mk3 tent, following some research into good 1-2 man winter camping tents.

I also remember this tent from back in the boy scout days during the early 1980's, particularly the distinguishable smell of canvas, and the sense of security & comfort this tent provided.

Unfortunately for me, I managed to pick the worst night ever for my winter camping experience, having decided to camp in the Mendips during last weekend for 3 nights, little known to me at the time, a yellow weather warning had been issued for hurricane force winds and rain! (Friday October 29th 2019).

That night the heavy winds really started to pick up, and extremely heavy rain at the same time, being in a fantastic tent I didn't really think much of it, as I was pretty much unaffected inside, despite the heavy wind and rain, I felt comforted knowing I was safe.

The worst that happened was I had overlooked weathering the tent, as had only recently purchased two days earlier, and in my excitement to test it out, I headed off to the Mendips.

On Saturday morning I woke up to a puddle in one side of the tent, and all my dry clothing that I had just happened to leave on that particular side of the tent was all completely soaked!

Unfortunately I had pitched the tent in such a position, that the wind was blowing head on into one side of the tent, and I could feel the tent bending in the wind!

During the night I was waking up on and off listening to the heavy rain and wind, and if I am completely honest feeling slightly worried!

Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale and remained completely dry, despite the water ingress (in one side of the tent).

Mainly due to my own lack of awareness and knowledge around Vango's recommendation for weathering the polycotton tent prior to use.

Hopefully the next trip will be ok, and the tent will be fully weathered and waterproof now ;)

Anyway the worst that happened was I had to pack up the tent on Saturday morning in the wet, and due to my clothes being completely soaked, I had to drive home in my shorts!

Despite all of this, the mk3 force 10 remained upright and stable in hurricane force winds as stated on the label.

Looking forward to many more enjoyable nights camping hopefully in slightly finer weather this time :)
1 from 1 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Ewen c  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2016   Rating: 

Originally a 2016 model MK3CN, upgraded to a cotton fly model with brand new flysheet from Blacks. D door, spike poles instead of mushroom feet poles, bombproof groundsheet and no condensation whatever.

Vango have made yet another change to how the fly side connection is made to the inner. On 2016 models there was an unsatisfactory (too much slack) shockcord and loop system. The new fly has a side release clip but it does not marry up to my inner and it is a non standard clip. Also, the fly smells of whatever treatment they give it. A good soaking has not managed to banish it. This is a very small niggle as replacement flysheets were unavailable for yyears and now I have a pristine jaffa,
1 from 1 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Simonmiles  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2015   Rating: 

Having previously owned an old F10 Classic, I'm happy to confirm that the new model retains all the best features of the original, is just as well made and in some respects is actually better (e.G. Better groundsheet, better pole support and better inner door). It is absolutely rock solid when pitched correctly with the guys in place and inspires real confidence in bad weather. This is the warmest tent I own and, like all cotton tents, it breathes so that condensation, which plagues all modern synthetic tents to some degree, is never a problem. You can't criticise the weight, as it's actually very light for a cotton tent. You wouldn't want to hike with it but for car and base camping it's easy to handle and packs down very compactly. My only complaint is I wish the inner was held under slightly more tension, as the sloping sides do hang down a bit, which limits the useable internal space. For this reason I personally feel the Mk3 is a bit tight for 2 people. As a luxury solo tent, however, it's wonderful. The Mk3 is the cheapest of the F10 classics and can be bought new for less (in some cases a lot less) than a modern nylon tent and will last a lot longer. Just a great tent.
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By: Yte8  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

I picked up one of the new versions of the classic in Go Outdoors 2 years ago, having owned one back in the 1980's (a Mk3 CNX). I have used it about 4 or 5 times since then.

There are a few mods compared to the 80's version but all seem good, this tent remains the simplest tent I know to put up and is very well made.

Nice and cosy when it's cold and breathes when warm thanks to its polycotton outer and inner.

Has been brill in every weather doing exactly what you would expect, not moving and not leaking.

The weight is the downside, which is a reflection of the heavy duty nature of the materials it is made of. So OK if you don't have to carry it around (at least not on your own).
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

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

I love these tents, there great. Iv camped in them for years an last year I got the chance to buy my own. It was an E-bay bargain from 1986. Ive used it several times with my girlfriend an a fair amount of equipment. They are able to cope with all conditions due to the material. I once woke up to find it was -5! the tent was warm an dry an we folded the doors open as they were frozen solid.

Would never sell this tent

It will be a life timer!
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Kevin02  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have a orange one got it in 1983 and still use it today like the others have said its bomb proof, yes a bit heavy, but when it is put up it's there. Come what ever the weather is, it is usually strapped to the back of my bike in all weathers from Hot Portugal to the norm British (sun cold/wet frozen) Bike rallies.

Does not matter where in Britain I pitch it, someone appears and says have not seen one of them in years and like above used them in school camping trips.

Apart from re proofing it never had a problem.

Have had other makes but none match this one Love it. Only thing is eye adjustment first thing in morning coz things look orange for a bit!
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

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

Like most people I was introduced to this tent through youth groups in the 1980's.

It is absolutely perfect for this role, they are so strong that I have never seen one fail through teenage abuse.

I acquired one of these in around 1990 and even used it to backpack once or twice, in retrospect I would never dream of trying that nowadays as they weigh about the same as a small house!

Mine snapped it's ridge pole in gale force conditions high on Snowdon, which was a big problem at the time but this was probably down to bad pitching in extreme conditions.

In the end I had to retire my force ten as the flysheet shrank to the point where it was impossible to pitch and I moved to a tent which was the same weight but twice the size, I've since moved on to one which is the same size but half the weight!

I would buy another, purely to use as a campsite tent for my now teenage children to use and abuse.
1 from 1 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Jon.mcguinness  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I first used one of these tents at Lulworth Cove in 1987 on a school expedition and was hooked. The tent is bomb proof, simple to put up and will last for years.

There are two types available, mine is the bright orange (faded to salmon pink) cotton fly type, the other is the green nylon fly. Being of cotton, it is heavy, especially if it gets wet.

The usual pitching is inner first, but the fly can be pitched first in wet weather. The main frame is a steel A frame at each end, connected by a steel ridge pole. The inner simply hooks onto the frame and the fly sits on top of the frame. As soom as it's pegged out, the tent is solid!

Being a two-person tent, space is limited for two people, but loads of room for one person and their kit. The doors are at one end only. The tent seems warmer and quieter than my other tents.Maybe because it is cotton?

My tent is getting on for 20 years old, but I re-proof it every year and it is still waterproof. The seams are not stretched and are still as good as new. Every part of this tent is replaceable, so there is no reason why the tent won't last forever!

Vango have changed the design very little over the last 40 odd years since the Force 10 was released which is testament to the success of the design.

I feel proud every time I put this tent up.

All in all, a superb tent built to last!
3 from 3 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Ardgathen  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 1981   Rating: 

Actually, I don't like having to put this down as a 2001 vintage, try 1981.

This is the tent that first introduced me to the outdoors - bomb proof & teen proof - easy to put up and maintain.

If I had one minor complaint, gear stowage is limited to the one entry/exit end, but then in saying that you can get all your kit, plus two 6ft plus 30 somethings with all the comfort goodies we could never afford when we first used these tents in the early 90's in the inner tent.

I have to say it is on the heavy side, but those who see it pitched and are in the know just nod in appreciation. Whenever we head for the hills and we are arranging the kit we often take the force 10 - to put this in perspective our group also own Terra Nova Quasars and Lightwave trek tents.

There is no finer experience than a sunset in the highlands viewed from the doorway with a suitable beverage in hand, safe in the knowledge that even a hurricane won't shift you in the night - just keep the distances down or use it as a base camp tent.
4 from 4 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

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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.

The Protex® DWR Cotton inner and outer are supported by a strong alloy 'A' pole structure with a super-strong HD nylon (10,000 HH) groundsheet. These tents have been used by expeditions, adventure and youth groups for over 30 years. STD are standard models in all cotton.

... there may be more info on their website

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