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Tent Reviews: Vango Columbia 600

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Columbia 600 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
6  (more 6 berth tents)
32.50 KG
Fully Sewn-in
Fly first
Average User Rating:
9.35/10 from 20 reviews

Viewed: 51773 times

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20 Reviews of the Columbia 600         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

By: Beckett-family  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Bought our tent off Ebay in 2010 new, I guess its was old stock as this model is discontinued but there is nothing wrong and seemed to be new. We also got the footprint at the same time and would definitely recommend getting one as it makes packing away the main tent so much cleaner. We had previously used a cheap tent from Halfords to see if we would like it and my wife decided we needed something bigger. The only downside are the poles are quite heavy but my advantage is I can borrow a 5 seater van (Mercedes Dueliner) from work so plenty of space to take all our kit.

The tent has been in use a couple of years now and has stood up to strong wind, heavy rain including thunder storms and cold nights. It has also had a small repair due to a gust of wind when taking down and a pole coming apart leaving the end to poke through. A professional repair soon put that right and the material round the repair has not got any worse. We don't have the carpet but would think it would make the living area more comfortable and cozey, the porch area is ideal for storing unused items including wet gear and the many storage pockets dotted around the pods and main area help keep the place tidy. I have a couple of minor niggles but they are mainly due to how we use the tent, we rig up a light suspended where the TSB's clip in in the middle of the roof and the tent could do with something to keep the wire against the tent side out the way. There could be a hook-up access point on both sides not just the one as the hookup is not always on the same side in the field, we make do putting it out through the porch if its that side. Previous posts all say the pin in the pole bottom is difficult, yes it is but no more than other tents, just make sure the tension strap is fully out both sides.
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By: Trip Hazard  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

I have just come back from the North Devon coast, spending the first 2 1/2 weeks of August in the Vango Columbia 600. There were two of us, myself and my 11yr old son.

We, not surprisingly found the tent very spacious, but I reckon 4 people easily, and even 5 could take an extended camping holiday in this tent.

Over that time there was a fair selection of British weather including strong winds, rain and strong winds with rain, oh and there was a bit of sun. I have to say that I was very impressed with the tent, it stood firm, there were no leaks, and no damage. On one particular windy day I stood inside looking at the fabric and stitching marvelling at how it held together, the side porch was very useful. So full marks to Vango for build and finish quality.

This tent was only produced for a year to compete with the Montana 6, itself a fine tent. I think that it's a real shame it was discontinued, the tent is a gem and in my opinion does what it was designed for.

I had previously put the tent up in the garden with help from my wife and also found getting the pins into the poles a struggle. I read in tent help a method which I found easier and which worked for me so thanks to that contributor.

This involves assembling the arched frame, but leaving the bottom section of one side not assembled. You can now put both bottom sections on the pins, and using the extra leverage lock the bottom section in to complete the side.

I had to make sure that the fabric was in the correct position because I could see there was the potential to rip it because of the extra leverage you gain so if this seems like a method you want to try be careful, it might not be risk free, but it worked for me without incident.

My next trip with this tent will probably be in a years time, but it's something I'm looking forward to immensely.
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By: Susiekershaw  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

A lovely tent, more luxurious than anything we have owned before and slept our family of 6 plus a dog comfortably. Stood up to some strong winds extremely well with no noise. Loads of space in the living room to keep things neat and tidy. The small children could still manage the doors easily themselves. All in all great to sleep and live in but points deducted as the pins are awkward to get into the poles and one of the tension straps came away on our first outing, not that it made any difference to the performance. If you were going to spend much time in the living room on cool days or evenings, I'm sure a carpet or a few travel rugs would make a difference.
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By: 627417  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

Got one and brilliant only thing is we would like to extend it but can't find one any ideas anyone? Took it to Cornwall and was very windy and not a problem, takes two to put up and the porch side door we used as a wet room for our boots and shoes. Massive dining area and three double bedrooms one which we used as a changing room.
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By: Rnsyorks  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Brilliant tent. Just had its maiden voyage to Bridlington and stood up brilliantly to 70mph gusts and torrential rain. The only bad point really is that the pins are quite awkward to get into the legs, you really have to pull the canvas along the poles as much as possible and you do worry that you might cause some damage. Definitely a 2 person job! Love all the storage pockets and the side porch I can see will be extremely useful in wet conditions with 2 little boys! Plenty of room inside although the 2 side bedrooms would be a bit cosy with a double air bed in.
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By: Campingchick71  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Just come back from 2 weeks camping in Cornwall in this tent which we bought in January. Had put it up in the garden and spent a weekend away in May to try it out but this was the real test. Had a fantastic 2 weeks in it - it was home from home - ok slight exaggeration :) - but it was really comfortable and felt spacious. Bought the footprint and carpet to go with it. The carpet felt a real luxury. The porch with removable ground sheet was great for wet shoes and just tidying things away.

My husband and I also found the ring and pin things difficult to put in but once this was overcome the tent is easy to put up. (Deducted a star for this.)

Have just managed to find a Sungari 600 canopy to fit this which Vango recommended me to buy to fit the Columbia 600. I have ordered it and hoping that the stock details are up-to-date as have spent 4 hours searching!
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By: Speedcamp  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

We thought we'd submit another review now we've used it for a year, totalling about 5 weeks in total.

The tent has experienced winds and a lot of rain and performed a treat! Very stable, dry and quiet even in very windy weather. All seams, fabric, toggles, guys, zips and stitching have stood up to the use and still as good as new. We don't use the supplied pegs, preferring our own rock pegs. We've never had a zip catch unlike one of the previous reviewers and there are quite a few zips on the tent, as they are also used for the window covers. Having the double zipped window covers means that you can choose to expose the mesh top or the window panel or have both. There is no risk of covers sagging, flapping or coming off velcro tabs (as used in many tents).

The ventilation panels above the windows, the rear vent and the low level vents below the tent's skirt provide excellent ventilation. We haven't found condensation a problem and yet the tent is not drafty. The tent, like some frame tents, uses extended lengths to the bottom of the side door and front panel that tuck under the groundsheet to avoid drafts here (unlike many modern tents). The ventilation can be further combined with the full or part opening front, mesh side door and porch on the hottest of days making the tent very livable. We love having the full front open and enjoying the tent as a protected but part open-topped canopy. If you roll up the section to the right of the door you also have a half-front opening option which is excellent when you want a little more protection. If its raining we have successfully used the Vango Adventure Tarp to protect either the half or full open front to cook outside and watch the weather. We haven't bothered with a canopy. The height and lack of any tripping hazard with the drop-down door thresholds makes the external doorways and front even more pleasant to use (even for my 6ft husband).

We love the open living space and find room for our son to play, table and chairs and cooking equipment easily. We use the separate bedroom inner for storage and as a changing room, keeping the living area clear of clutter. The 2/3 bedroom arrangement is brilliant for this! The 140cm wide bedrooms cope easily with our extra large and long Coleman Maxi Comfort airbeds (no walk around space though), while the narrower one works a treat as a single bedroom with extra place for toys, bags etc. The curtain divider in the larger bedroom allows parents to check on young children without getting out of bed whilst giving each their privacy and own room. Saves those chilly walks in the night!

The enclosed porch also provides excellent storage for wet things, outdoor toys, shoes and the toilet at night. Thanks to the porch and the separate groundsheet here the tent carpet hasn't needed cleaning.

OH yes - whilst on the subject of the carpet. We spilt red wine on it last time and thought we'd ruined it. We rapidly poured some water on it and dabbed it with kitchen roll. In seconds the stain completely disappeared. Fantastic!

Another useful thing we've found is the number of organisers around the tent: in the inner tents, on the front of the inner tents and the 2 large ones attachable under the side windows. We don't use them all (so many) but it means you have them where you need them.

Overall, as you can probably guess, we've found this tent to be excellent in both design and performance - reliable, flexible and comfortable without being overly fussy.
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By: Davepickup68  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

I have just been to the Gower for a holiday and was gutted when my indestructible 16year old tent that has withstood gale force winds and torrential rain finally decided to go to the tent field in the sky. Guess it could not take any more rain??. So, having only one option open to me I went to mike davies camping in killay (great guys) and purchased a Vango Columbia 600. As it now discontinued they were on special 224 and at that price I could not resist.

I got the tent back to the site and got ready to set it up (what ruddy good is a pitching dvd when you are in the middle of a field with no dvd player or electric) Some 2hrs later the tent was taking shape. Could not believe the size of the thing, it's cavernous. Apart from the worry of, how am I going to fit fit this in my little ford focus with everything else, I am really impressed with the tent. The wet store is great for your rain soaked stuff, the bedrooms are more than ample in size, The hanging organiser pockets are a great addition. We had plenty more rain and the tent performed well which saved the holiday.

I look forward to using it many more times in the future. The only criticism that I would have is the ring and pin system really bites.(nearly lost my finger a couple of times! ouch!
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By: Krissii  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Ok, I bought this tent as I hoped by the description that it would be fairly quick to put up. I also own a couple of other tents, but for he sake of this review, shall only mention one, the one we use most, my darling Aspen 500 DLX! That tent is awesome in every way, it just takes about 40 mins to put up, before you start setting up inside, so I bought the Columbia in the hope that it would be quicker to erect yet still give us plenty of room, more suitable for a weekend away.

The Columbia IS a pretty good tent, but it still takes about 40 minutes to pitch, so no less time than the Aspen, which I was disappointed with. I honestly felt the design of this tent would make it much faster to pitch, but not so.

As someone else wrote, it is a bit of a struggle to get the pins into the poles as it is very tight, and we had previously watched the pitching video and did it exactly as instructed. Still, I deduct a point for this, because easy this part is not!

Once up, there is no doubt it is spacious, but the main living area is only single skinned (the fly sheet) unlike the Aspen whose main living area and bedrooms are all double skinned (both inner tent and fly sheet). The Columbia is spacious in a 'cave like' way, as opposed to the Aspen feeling more like your living room.

We have the carpet for both, and the carpet for the Columbia is an improvement, but this is just Vango changing the design and nothing to do with the tent. There is nothing wrong with the Aspen carpet, it is apparently more prone to 'threading' although I have yet to experience this. I do recommend carpets as they really do make tents much more cosey and homely!

One thing I did notice, was that the build quality between the two was apparent! The Columbia definitely feels more cheaply made. I don't wish to cause offence to anyone who has this tent, I just have the benefit of comparing. The zips were more prone to catching the material as a lot of the seams were not sewn particularly straight, and on first erect, one of the toggles that connects the storage pockets between bedrooms broke, the stitching came right apart. The 'curtains' on the windows are pretty much just squares of material that are zipped on. The bedrooms, although giving a good height, are small front to back, and do not offer as much room as those in the Aspen. On the second erect, one of the spring connectors joining the poles also came apart. I couldn't believe it.

By comparison, on the Aspen, I have never experienced a more solid tent, and it frequently gets compliments whenever we take it out! The living area IS smaller than that on the Columbia, but makes it cosier, and we use the big front porch as our separate kitchen area, which we find ideal. The 2 side doors and the front door connecting to the porch, ALL have mesh inners, allowing you to have 3 vented but fly proof doors open on hotter days, as opposed to just one door on the Columbia. There are also two skylights on the Aspen to allow extra light in, and a window for each of the 3 bedrooms, whereas on the Columbia there are NO bedroom windows because they are pods. They only have vents.

The curtains in the living area of the Aspen are a pretty arched shape, and have toggles to secure them, and they also have a vented area at the top, not just solid plastic, allowing for extra ventilation.

Another point to make is that although the Aspen is officially only a 5 berth tent (single rooms to either end and 3 in the middle), and the Columbia a 6 berth (1 pod for 4 people {with divider} and another pod for 2 people), I find the rooms in the Aspen to be bigger. The 2 person pod in the Columbia is NOT big enough for a double air mattress (at least not ours, and ours is nothing special) and there is no way you would get two double air mattresses in the pod for 4 people either. The Aspen rooms seem bigger and airier I think due to the almost vertical walls, and there is definitely floor space for what it says it can hold.

I like the Columbia, I really do, but I wanted this review to be honest, and I hope that the comparison will help people considering buying to know what options are out there. For the money, you can buy the Aspen at a really good price on ebay now, and I would say it is a much better value tent than the Columbia. It's only downside is that pitching is inner tent first, which can be a pain in wet weather, but it does dry quickly.

I would recommend the Columbia, but only if you couldn't get an Aspen first! Just my opinion, hope it helps?
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By: Teapothughes  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Amazing tent, plenty of living room but found the bedrooms quite a squeeze with 6 adults. After looking at the photos we wanted the sun canopy but found that like the tent it had been discontinued but were told by another camper that the Sungari 600 sun canopy fits the Columbia 600 as it is the same size. Well off we went and what an even more amazing tent, glad my son is 6ft 2 as putting up the canopy was a bit of a nightmare, but well well worth it. All in all great in the sunshine, great in the rain and very strong in the winds.One downside is we need a bigger car to transport all our stuff but happy days, that camping.
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20 User Reviews of the Columbia 600 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2  

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Manufacturer's Description

It's easy to put up, and you won't want to put it down. Generous living areas, an array of intuitive storage options, adaptable bedroom compartments, a real joy to sit in when enjoying the afternoon sun or the night air. To keep the inside of the tent pristine, the Columbia boasts an enclosed side entrance to store your wet items in should you happen to get caught in an unexpected shower.

The tent frame is constructed with pre-angled Powerplus steel poles, a Protex 5000 Polyester flysheet (5000mm hydrostatic head protection) and as is the norm these days, the groundsheet is fully sewn-in to keep out unwanted pests and draughts. The other key features of the tent include a waterproof exterior storm skirt, flysheet first pitching, 2+2+2 sleeping arrangement, TBS tension band system for extra strengthening in adverse weather, 10,000mm HH internal polyester groundsheet, cable entry point and tidies, mesh double doors, Air Flow venting system, hanging organizers and internal pockets, 'Crystal Clear' windows, double zip windows (for vent/light/cover flexibility), breathable fabric inner tent, inner can be removed when not in use, parallel zipped front door can be used as a sun canopy, 'J' door front door option, porch side door, rain gutter zip covers. Roller bag and repair kit included. Flame retardant throughout.

Weight: 21.4kg (tent); 11.2kg (poles)
Pack Size: 75x48x37cm (tent); 69x27x11cm (poles)
Dimensions: (Internal) 210+355 x 445
Height: (Inner) 205cm
Colour: Smoke/Black Trim

... there may be more info on their website

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