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Tent Reviews: Force Ten Classic Standard Mk 5

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Force Ten  >  Classic Standard Mk 5 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
4  (more 4 berth tents)
10.10 KG
Fully Sewn-in
Inner first
Average User Rating:
9.67/10 from 18 reviews

Viewed: 81297 times

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18 Reviews of the Classic Standard Mk 5         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

By: Happybonzo  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have owned 3 Mk5s over the years. One was sold when I was short of money; the next one was sold and as the buyer disappeared down the road my daughter looked at me and said 'What have we done?'. We replaced it the following day.

The various Mk5s, all cotton, not the CNX model, have been used from the heat of Morocco through to near blizzard conditions in Snowdonia, North Wales.

I used elasticated hooks to guy out the Flysheet and have always done so with every tent that I've bought: It does give a bit more stability to the Flysheet in a strong wind.

My only complaint if one could call it that is that as I get older I would like to be able to stand up in a Tent and not do everything on my knees but that is not the fault of the tent!

Pitching the tent? I once saw a review that said 'No exams necessary' and that really sums the Mk5 up.
1 from 1 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Rob-L  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

After owning a Force ten MK3 standard and it surviving a freak hurricane that hit the three cliffs bay area in 1989 I always thought well of these tents. I also own a North face westwind mountain tent which has done a night on ben macdui in high winds (scared for my life).

The force ten MK5 is a heavy weight rolls royce tent that is warm, breathable and strong enough to withstand high mountain weather if pitched properly. Even though it is far removed from the new modern looking camping tents in every way It remains at the top of its game.

We paid around £260 in 2008 from sports warehouse who had these on a deal. Expect to pay £400+ now.

Pricey but worth it still.

The cotton fly sheet of the standard makes it waterproof to extreme levels and the extra tough ground sheet is far superior to its predecessors and tougher than any i've seen. The modernised strap configuration is way better than past designs. The headroom in the MK5 is luxurious and the orange glow on the inside is a comfort in bad weather. To summarise:-

1. Its Heavy

2. It is totally waterproof and if the flysheet is well looked after it will stay that way forever. Use the guy lines!

3.The groundsheet is super tough.

4.Really easy to pitch.

5.Don't buy the nylon flysheet (CN) version.

6.Once you've bought it don't sell it.

7.Enjoy supreme comfort in summer or winter. Safe as houses.
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By: Eyespy999  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have reverted back to traditional camping having sold the trailer tent and large family tent for a Vango force 10. The one I have has a navy blue rubberised groundsheet (probably circa 1970's?) with rope as a substitute for rubber rings on the fly sheet. Our tent has been used in all sorts of weather, it is well built, easy to pitch and rustle free when the wind is howling outside and now the flysheet has been reproofed it will last in all sorts of wet and dreary weather and will be a match for whatever Dartmoor can throw at it. Highly recommended.
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By: Gazrow  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

My Force Ten started life in 1984 as a Mk V CNX. I used it for family camping through to 2005 when the CNX flysheet tore in half due to sun damage over the years. It has been brilliant and stood up to some massive weather. In a Cornish storm it was unperturbed when surrounded by bent and twisted caravan awnings all around. There weren't many tents that had not suffered water ingress and two of the other tents in my party had suffered badly, one suffering a broken ridge pole. The cost of the damage to clothes and sleeping bags, far exceeded the cost of the secure Mk V.

After 30 years, I decided to upgrade it with the current version, but was disappointed that the fabrics have changed and in my opinion for the worse and I sold it on. For a start, the rubberised groundsheet which is so soft to the touch has been replaced by a polyester fabric which I don't like. Secondly, the inner tent material is so soft and comforting. When it brushes against your cheek it's really nice.

So, left with poles and an inner tent in great condition, I've ordered a new flysheet and that should be with me soon. Ready for another 30 years.

The apex rain caps are essential and easily purchased when they split.

I'm also considering using a Terra Nova Tarp as an extension. We'll see.

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

I bought this tent at a greatly reduced price on the internet to take my wife and grandson camping in Southwold. There was enough space for the three of us to sleep, but would be more room for kit if used by only 2 people. I pitched the tent on my own in 5 minutes. The tent stood up to the worst overnight thunderstorm I've ever camped in. As expected there wasn't a drop of water in the tent and the strong gusts of wind were not very noticeable, hardly moving the tent. The heavy rain and strong wind made much less noise that it would on a synthetic tent. There were no draughts in the tent which you always get inside synthetic tents because of the ventilation systems to reduce condensation. Also being made of canvas, the inner tent was free from condensation in the early morning and after the rain the flysheet soon dried out. The bucket groundsheet is substantial and the tent fabric and stitching and reassuringly reminiscent of my trusted 1970's Blacks Itisa Senior tent. I also bought an extra large 4.25mx4m tarp with adjustable poles to live and cook under which I attached to the tent . The tarp gives us standing headroom and together with the tent makes a very practical arrangement which looks great!

Striking the tent and packing it into it's generous valise took minutes. We had a great weekend. I really like this tent.
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By: Bennevisplace  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

We're still on the original, vintage 1978. It's seen many years' use by 2 + 2 kids + gear in the Drakensberg, the Grampians, Queensland, by untold numbers at Reading festivals, and more recently by the grown-up kid + husband + son + 2 dogs.

The fabric, seams, guys and sheet are all intact, the A-poles are still straight. Sharp stones holed the groundsheet: fixed w tape. Some rubber ties perished and all original pegs eventually bent double: easily replaced. The flysheet is faded but still weatherproof.

OK, the Force Ten Mk 5 is no backpacker. The vestibule is small, head height is restricted and there's no space for the TV. But if you want a compact family tent that won't leak, flap or blow away whatever the weather, and will continue to do so for three generations, then baby this is it.
4 from 4 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?   

By: Rustycog  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2005   Rating: 

Readers should be aware that the only review on here not giving 10/10 is not a review for a classic mk5, but a mark 5cn. Because of this ,the star rating is distorted and should be ten stars !I have never owned one of these but have used one. I currently use a mk3st but am upgrading to a mk5 this season. For solo or dog and me, this will be the height of luxury. Throw in a king pole and a canvas tarp for an extension and I probably will not want to go home.
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By: Jacoby  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Stress free camping! This tent is awesome. Warm in cold weather, cool in hot weather, quiet (no flapping) , very secure in gale force winds and rain. Fantastic for couples or small family of 3. I know wherever I take this tent it will do the job well! Easy to pitch up and take down and also a real head turner on the campsites. We had lots of positive comments from passers by :-) If you're thinking of getting this tent go for it!
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By: B12MLT  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

My trusty Vango Force Ten Classic MKIV (5) has been used by me, then my husband and I and finally by adding 1 then 2 children. (we now use a Vango Samara 600 for 2 week family camping)I purchased it in 1989 and it's still never needed re-proofing, broken any part and faded to a lovely pale orange. We also use the Vango nylon extension sometimes (discontinued but they do come up on e-bay, sometimes). At scout camps it always stands out with my led white fairy lights round the front guyline! Our scout group was so impressed they bought 4 for the scouts in addition to the large patrol tents. My kids now have a MK3 each of their own too! You can get a 2nd hand one on e-bay but expect to pay 150 - 250 for one as new cost £400 + . Easy to erect and take down and the zips and groundsheet are robust. Cotton inner and fly means you are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I've already camped Jan and Feb and May so far this year. A force ten gale/wind doesn't bother this fantastic design. I highly recommend it - you will not be disappointed.
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By: Lescargo  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I have a mk5 CNX, great tent, only real problem with CN types is that the flysheet does de-laminate after time and water will run straight through, although reproofing does assist it will not be 100% after., Storm brand waterproofing is recommended by Vango themselves.

I now use the mk5 as a real all weather family tent (minimal kit) 2 adults, 2 toddlers.

I have used F10, in winter snows on Ben Macdui in Cairngorms. Basic design and bombproof for it.

Only 8 out of 10 due the nylon flysheet. I wish I had a cotton one
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18 User Reviews of the Classic Standard Mk 5 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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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

Flysheet Protex® DWR cotton flysheet
Inner Protex® DWR cotton inner
Groundsheet Polyester / PVC laminate 15000 groundsheet
Capacity 4 person
Total weight 10.10 kg
Pack size 74 x ø 30 cm
Pitching time 10 min

# The Force Ten Classic STD MK 5 features a seam taped groundsheet - water tight seal on all seams.
# Alloy 'A' frame design -extremely strong, easy to set up.
# Flysheet or inner first pitching - total flexibility depending on conditions.
# Flysheet tension adjustment for maximum performance.
# The Force Ten Classic STD MK 5 features a large porch - sheltered entry in all conditions.
# Mesh panel on inner door additional ventilation.
# Inner tent pockets for all your bits and pieces.
# Cotton compression stuffsac easy pack and go.
# The Force Ten Classic STD MK 5 includes a Repair Kit for that unforeseen tent emergency.

... there may be more info on their website

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