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Tent Reviews: Vango Ark DS 400

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Ark DS 400 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
4  (more 4 berth tents)
5.40 KG
In one
Average User Rating:
8.67/10 from 6 reviews

Viewed: 39337 times

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6 Reviews of the Ark DS 400

By: Lesnorman  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2014   Rating: 

Well, this is a surprise and a nice one too. After years, in fact decades with big tents and a caravan we have downsized with great trepidation to a Vango Ark 400DS. It is spacious, cosy and I can have it up and be in it in less than five minutes. The porch is as good as you get in any small tent without going up a size, and the linked-in groundsheet is very substantial and not open and flappy like the reports of the Vango Beta's. The bedroom is luxury size for two, three would be OK, four is very optimistic but possible. Adding in the Tarp gives you a lot more space and shade with entry protection when it rains. We did not feel at all squeezed or contained. Highly recommended tent especially with the tarp. There is an Ark 400+ with a bigger porch for £50 more.
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By: Leeb0y  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

I think the important thing with buying a tent is to exactly match the tent to your requirements.

If you want a spacious lightweight that goes up quickly and sleeps 1-3 people in comfort then you cannot go wrong with the Ark DS400 at the price! Sure it has a couple of issues as mentioned below but look it's under £80 FFS.

I bought it for a 3 day Dartmoor wild camp/hike for my son and I last year and apart from one very windy night in a bowl surrounded by hills to all sides making it impossible to pitch into wind, it performed excellently. This is a great weekender, motorbike trip, festival tent. IT IS NOT A FORTNIGHT FAMILY CAMPING ALL SINGING DANCING SOLUTION. But it is brilliant for a couple for a weekend or touring quick pitch requirements and knocks spots off most of those throw up festival tents. As mentioned supplied pegs are worthless and should be replaced. With 2 of us there was plenty of room for kit. Porch is a great size but does slope meaning rain will enter if open. However if designed differently it would require an extra pole so I was happy with that. Hiking up mountains I would advise peeps to look at the Coleman Cobra as it is half the weight but still maintain this is a super little tardis tent.
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By: Sknarf  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

A great tent I have just been on the South Coast for two weeks in this tent and have had a comfortable and dry time.

The tent is roomy and warm with being an all in one tub style tent It withstood some heavy wind and rain and I felt confident that I would not have any issues in any adverse weather.

The main interior has more than adequate space for a double bed,bags and your general gear, with 8 internal pockets for storage which was great for not loosing your keys and wallet etc.The porch area has plenty of room for your cool-box shoes and every thing else you might have.

There is an eyelet sewn into the back of the tent for hanging a light and good ventilation as I never felt stuffy at night.

It would be nice to have an eyelet in the front of the tent for hanging a second light, so not have to reach across your bedding if wet to turn the light on.

Also the main zip has a stopper so you have to have the zips meet in the middle at the bottom of the fly sheet, It would be nice to have the flexibility to have the zipper close to one side if you were to have electric hook up, just to keep cables to one side and not in the way or to have an electric hook up opening sewn in to the front of the tent allowing for safe stowage of cables.

Apart from those very minor points a great tent for a couple with all round usability and performance.
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By: Popsider  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Strengths are its compact pack size and relatively easy to erect. What you see is pretty much what you get - which is a simple but practical tent with plenty of room for two.

I agree that it's difficult to get it back in it's original bag - it can be done but the other half couldn't manage it - presumably they keep the bag small to reduce the claimed pack size but it just causes aggro when packing up.

We use it for our two older kids alongside out own tent and they seemed happy with it. Personally if I were camping in it I'd prefer a design with more of a porch - in this tent the porch is very small and is open to filling with water if it rains and the tent isn't fully zipped. That's something that would be obvious in advance to anyone considering buying this tent though and it's a trade off with having a large sleeping area in a small compact tent.
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By: Melord  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Pitched for the first time down in 'Bude' manufacturer says '5 mins' pitch. It would of been however I put the lines in the wrong way round.

However on pitched the area in the living space is more than efficient. Space for a fridge and small cooker, plus your food for the week.

The interior space is great, I could almost stand at 5ft 2 and my double airbed fitted with ease. Lots of space left which I used for clothing and wash bags. Never felt cold at night it stood the one night when the wind was up and woke up feeling refreshed as the internal air vent at the back let in a cool breeze.

I saw this tent pitched at a local shop and went to see it after two full weeks of bad rain, no inlet of any kind hence the purchase. I feel this tent will stand up to the weather where ever you pitch.

The only bad point was no two way zip on the internal bed area, if you want to go out the whole bed area is exposed. The front however has two zip opening and fully opening windows, which I never used I wound up the front opening and used the useful clips on the top to get the air in for the morning.

Overall a fantastic tent that you can with ease spend a week camping and not feel exposed to the elements with lots of space.
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By: JTLM  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

We bought an Ark DS 400 from Blacks for our recent 8 day trip following the Tour de France. With the weather being so poor even in North West France, we were looking for something that was quick to pitch with a bit of space for the pair of us plus our Border Terrier. It is pretty light and packs down small for a tent this size which was also important. We have the yellow version and it looks very smart.

The tent pitches very easily with two colour-coded poles but I found it quite tricky to peg out the groundsheet - I had to keep 'wiggling' the tent around to get it right. Re-packing the tent to fit in it's bag was impossible so I stuck it an Exped stuff sack that I had with me.

Luckily we didn't have any rain during the evenings so we only slept in the inner tent although there is just about enough room to sit in there (slouching in camping chairs). The inner has a single hanging loop and could do with another one by the door. There are plenty of pockets and some of them are quite small which is a good thing as they don't sag too much when you put heavier objects inside such as an iPhone. I would have liked to see a double zip on the inner door to increase ventilation options. Another obvious cost-cutting area is the fact that the inner doesn't detach so if you have to pack the tent wet, you'll need to air it out again.

The small porch was useful for shoes and stuff and we stored our electric cool box there during the night. There is a window either side of the door with 'curtains' which would be useful if you did have to escape the weather. The outer door has two zips but there is a small gap in the middle at the bottom where they meet - which meant the cool box cable had to run into the tent at this point. The main door has eyelets to enable it to be used as an awning. Because of the generous height of the tent, getting in and out is easy (I'm 6'2' and getting too old to crawl around).

I never guyed the tent apart from one at the front but it remained stable and even withstood a proper buffeting from an early morning thunderstorm in Belfort. The tent remained dry in all the right places. Having a sewn-in groundsheet, it's warm and definitely a tent for Northern rather than Southern Europe (in the summer). The pegs supplied by Vango are rubbish and several started to bend just pushing them in with the sole of my training shoe.

Overall it's a useful addition to our tent collection and it served us well.
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Manufacturer's Description

The 4 man Ark is a new gothic arch tunnel tent with great internal space, head room and stability. It has an inner tent and full height front windows. The sewn in groundsheets make this a very comfortable tent for both sleeping and relaxing. The front door can also be turned into a simple sun porch to create even more space.

All in one pitching
Easy pitch tunnel style
Protex® 3,000HH polyester embossed 70D
Polyethylene 10,000HH groundsheet
Breathable polyester inner tent
Orange guylines
Colour coded poles
Inner tent pockets
NEW larger windows
Fully wind & rain tested
King pole doors
Lantern Loop
Part mesh inner door
Reflective webbing
Handled carry bag
Sewn-in groundsheet

... there may be more info on their website

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