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Tent Reviews: Vango Calisto 500

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Calisto 500 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
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Pitching Style:
5  (more 5 berth tents)

Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
9.07/10 from 15 reviews

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15 Reviews of the Calisto 500         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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

Very pleased with this tent! We bought it because of steel poles and the head height / overall dimensions. Easy to pitch - can manage this in 15 minutes and then just needs a bit of tightening of guy ropes. Mostly used by just 2 of us this gives lots of bedroom room and space in living area for sitting and cooking. No problem to have 4 adults sitting in living area on cold evenings.

For longer trips or when in a larger group we also use the canopy which gives an option for more social space / storage and is useful for wet things.
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By: MandiNKel  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Absolutely love this tent!

Upgraded from the Vango Icarus as one of our poles snapped in high winds which really made me feel uneasy as I suffer with anxiety.

So opted for the Calisto as it is virtually the same size as the Icarus but with steel poles.

It's a lot easier to put up and the large windows let in loads of light. Getting the pins in can be quite difficult and when first put up the fabric did seem quite tight, but by time it came to packing up was a lot easier to take the pins out and wasn't as tight.

With the Icarus always seem to get condensation in the Icarus just come back from 4 day trip and didn't have any condensation at all which was a nice surprise.
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By: Slarticus  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

We have recently purchased a Calisto 500 second hand along with the canopy and carpet (all in original bags and unused). We have just returned from our first outing with the tent and thought a quick review of it was in order.

After a practice pitch in the back garden it still took us better part of an hour to fully pitch including the canopy once we arrived at our campsite. The weather only just holding off and as soon as our last bag was in the tent and the zipp went up the heavens opened allowing us to fully water proof test the tent. We stayed dry thankfully, but did have a few issues with some condensation on the inside during our stay but this was mostly of a morning after a nights sleep.

The inside of the tent is lovely and roomy, which is just what we wanted. There is only two of us so this gave us plenty of room for our double folding camp bed in the sleeping pod with room either side for our clothes and even room for the dogs bed. There is lots of storage pockets around and the netted doors keep the nasty bugs out.

With the canopy attached to the front you get three nice sized rooms and with the main tent having the sown in ground sheet and the canopy coming with a separate sheet. This did mean some little puddles in the canopy area but the main tent area was dry as a bone. I'm sure that was just down to not being familiar with how to use a separate sheet properly. As an outside covered storage room it was fine.

The metal poles and design give a secure feeling of stability and strength to the tent. The main v pegs are a little flimsy and do tent to easily bend (stronger ones added to shopping list). We did have an issue with two of the loops for pegs ripping when removing the pegs but I am sure they will stitch back on easily. The front door does seem a little tight in places when trying to close from fully open but once past that its closes easily. Overall we are very happy with our tent so far and hope to have many more adventures with it.
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By: B4rlow  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

We purchased the Calisto 500 and front porch to use as a smaller weekend tent.

We picked this tent as it was a steel pole tent (like our larger maritsa 700) which we prefer to fibreglass poles

The tent was easy to erect taking around 15 mins and the porch a further 15 mins.

The tent has a sewn in groundsheet and the porch has a bath tub type ground sheet.

It is a 5 man tent but would say suits 4 better ( 2 adults and 2 Children) it is quite spacious, the front porch is large and ads the extra space we need and is also ideal for cooking in.

We experienced wind, light rain, heavy rain and a thunderstorm on our first outing and we had no issues at all.

We purchased the tent with the porch, footprint and carpet for just under £320. For the money we paid I could not find a better tent. Highly Recommended
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By: Tentbunny50  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

We wanted a large, yet sturdy tent that we could stand up in. After replacing wind damaged, flimsy, fibreglass poles in the past it was wonderful to have tough steel poles to hold our tent up. However, attaching these poles into the ends can be a real hardship, particularly when you do not have an assistant. Erecting does get easier with practise. If you find the weight of the poles too much I recommend the Vango Icarus 500, which is similar in style.

It can be bought in surf blue, or moss green. The 2012 model has slightly less indoor living space than the 2011 one, but there is a windbreak to the front.

The hydrostatic head measurement is 3000. I never suggest anything lower than this, as it will not keep the rain out. This tent is warm and dry.

I really love this tent and in particular the sewn in ground sheet, which helps keep out draughts in the cold. I could not comment on the matching carpet, as we just use picnic rugs on the floor. It is a very strong tent, which can be used all year through. We have used it in ten centimetres of snow, in floods, at minus 12ºC and in heavy storms. It has never let us down and because because of the steel construction we feel secure inside. I definitely recommend this tent.
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By: Roxy1  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

Purchased a 2012 Calisto 500 from Outdoor Megastore - package including tent, front canopy, carpet and footprint for £369. Very impressed with tent. Steel poles make it rock solid and give it plenty of headroom -I am 6'3 and there is still plenty of headroom.

The carpet is excellent and gives the living area quite a homely feel.

The front canopy provides stacks of extra living space and is well worth the money. It fits well onto the front of the tent and has steel poles the same as the tent.

If you are camping for more than a few nights I would say the front canopy is almost essential as it really does transform the tent.

The supplied tent pegs are OK, but nothing special. Its worth getting a dozen Rock Pegs for peace of mind in a storm.

My only slight criticism is the Vango Lights Out sleeping compartment. Despite what they say, its not really that dark inside. For a few extra quid Vango could have made a black out type sleeping compartment.

Overall, a very good tent which I would thoroughly recommend.
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By: Hillboy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

I bought this as my wife did not like crawling in and out of my wee 2 man tent.

Firstly, it's awkward to put up on your own but ok with someone helping. It can be a bit of a struggle to fit the pins into the bottom of the poles but I found that breaking the pole at the first joint helped.

I'm disappointed with the amount of water ingress through the seams. So much that on a recent visit to Glencoe there was a large puddle inside when I took down the bedroom when packing up. This was only the 4th time using the tent and the 1st time in prolonged heavy rain. Seam sealant is cheap enough though.

On the plus side, it stood rock solid in some very strong gusts of wind. Probably due to the steel poles. The bedroom is plenty big enough for 5 but the living area is snug with a cooker set up and 4 adults seated round a table. Perhaps I need to invest in an extension.

A pretty good tent over all.
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By: Me and my dog  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

I gave up camping in my little dome tent 15 years ago because all the squatting was too much for my back and knees. Last autumn I decided to get a tent with room for a couple of tables and a decent chair, and headroom to stand to cook. I bought this Calisto 500, the fitted carpet and the footprint groundsheet.

First use was a couple of weeks ago, just me (60, female) and my dog. I was glad I tried putting it up in the garden first. I couldn't get the pins into the pole ends. I looked on-line and found some great guy had given two essential hints in a review (for the 600) - he even has an hour long U-tube of himself putting it up (a bit boring). He said oil the joints of the poles as they are hard to pull apart otherwise. Was glad I did this. But the essential thing was to point the feet of the poles towards the back of the tent, when you attach them. I had them pointing towards the front, as it lay on the ground, and this was why I couldn't get the pins in.

Having said that, I still found it took all my strength to get the pins in, even with the straps fully loosened, and in fact had to ask a passing man to help with a couple of them on site. Taking it down was fine. Apart from that I did manage to get the tent up on my own. It took me 90 minutes, taking it slowly, carefully and including unpacking the car! It would have been much quicker with two. I was glad I wasn't a man and therefore obliged as a matter of honour to get it up in 20 minutes.

I was very pleased with the tent. It was well made and sturdy and cleverly designed. There was lots of very heavy rain, but we were snug and dry. However I plan to get the front extension, because the rain came straight into the tent if either door was open - even with the opening propped up on two poles as a sort of porch - and of course this was into the fitted groundsheet in the living area. I understand the 2012 version is slightly improved in this regard.

I suppose I wasn't that impressed with the fitted 'carpet'. It had a sturdy waterproof backing, so it did protect the floor, but the top was more like polyester fleece than carpet, and it slipped about a bit. Hooks at the corners to keep it in place would have been nice. There is no carpet for the bedroom, so I'd indulgently bought a thick woollen rug - it was reduced at IKEA and wonderfully thick and heavy. It stayed in place, and helped my mattress to stay in place on the slippy groundsheet, as I was on a slightly sloping site.

I'd have liked more ventilation at night. Perhaps a push-out ventilation collar (like the v good one above the front door and the side window) at the back of the tent?

When I packed up, I found there were puddles under the tent, and even between the groundsheets. The ground was uneven and sloping and the heavy rain must have run down between the sheets. So I was even more impressed at how completely dry the tent had remained inside.

The tent is very heavy. I separated the inner, the outer and the heavy pole bag, for easy carrying.

I went for a design with steel poles, because I'm an anxious person and read that the fibreglass ones can sometimes snap. And I did appreciate the stability they gave the tent in the v bad weather. But they do 'cost' quite a lot in terms of weight and ease of erection.

I was anxious, going on this first camping trip, that I might be embarrassed by having such a big tent. But in fact out of 30 tents, there were only two as small as mine! The extension will make it similar size to most. Perhaps two thirds of the tents on my site had the same external steel pole system.
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By: Tellingd  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

We currently have the 2012 model but initially purchased the 2011 model, which we were pleased with but slightly concerned (as mentioned by someone else) by the tension in the zips at the front. After 4 outings in the Scottish 'Summer' the old tent sprung a leak in one of the roof seams, which always seemed very tight. Vango were great and replaced with no problem, but with a 2012 model.

The later model is slightly different at the front - more vertical, which helps keep raindrops from coming in when you open the front door but you do lose some internal space. Also the tent generally seems to have less tension and so presumably is less likely to come apart at the seams.

We now have a 2011 Calisto carpet that is too big for the 2012 tent - only a minor gripe. The stithed-in ground sheet means that you could pitch this tent in 1 or 2 inches of standing water and still be dry in the tent. No issues with condensation.

The tent is great for us (2 people with bikes) and having doors on 2 sides generally means you can have one of them open without the rain blowing in. The inner (insect) doors are great for keeping out the midges and the tent itself is solid, albeit a little heavy to carry and erect. We had only one issue with the tent coming down but that was due to the V pegs on a rocky site and pitching the tent on the sea front in Ullapool - a little breezy . . .

The V pegs are flimsy but I don't expect much from them, and have now purchased something a little more substantial. The bag for the new tent is noticeably stronger than the old one so I assume Vango listen to the feedback. It is also easy to get the tent rolled back up and in the bag.

Overall very happy with the tent and would definitely recommend. There are pockets in the front section as well as the inner liner. The divider can be moved so the spaces can be equal sized or split 3:2 - handy for 5 adults I should imagine.

We bought the Calisto for its head height and the steel poles. Now that we have decent pegs I'm happy to venture into just about anything the British weather can throw at us with this tent.
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By: Spuddy237  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2012   Rating: 

We originally looked at purchasing the Vango Icarus, then we saw the Calisto and went with it as we preferred the poles and also in the main part of the tent the ceiling was higher.

We took it to Cornwall for 5 days, there were 4 of us, 2 children aged 8 and 4.

Being first time campers it took slightly longer to erect for the first time, the colour coded tabs were fab, very easy to erect, the tent was fab inside, the bedroom compartment was easy to install.

The canopy we erected in 20 mins, this tent was the perfect size for us with the canopy on, canopy also comes with a groundsheet which was a bonus. The canopy fits nice and snug to the tent, our brother was on the pitch next to us in his Icarus and his canopy did not fit as well, so pleased with the Calisto.

The 2 doors were a bonus and lots of windows too, loved the pocket by the main room to keep keys etc in.

Withheld wind and rain fine, no leaks so very very pleased :)

We bought the tent, canopy, footprint, carpet and windbreak for £420, very pleased with our purchase. :D

Highly recommend.
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15 User Reviews of the Calisto 500 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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Manufacturer's Description

Technical Specifications:
Fabrics: Flysheet: Protex® 3000 polyester embossed
Inner: Breathable 190T polyester
Groundsheets: Polyethylene 10,000
Windows: PVC
Poles: PowerPlus steel 22mm
Pitching: Flysheet-first

General Details
• 3000 HH
• Vango easy-pitch tunnel
• Sewn-in groundsheet
• Vango ‘lights out’ inner tent
• Vango pelmet
• Easy fi nd orange inner clips
• Part mesh inner door
• Mesh doors
• Detachable inner divider
• Mesh ventilation
• Windows have internal curtains
• Vango Air-Zone - Large venting panels
• Storage solutions
• Lantern loop
• Zipped cable entry point
• Fire retardant fabric

... there may be more info on their website

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