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Tent Reviews: Vango Orchy 500

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Orchy 500 Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
5  (more 5 berth tents)
12.00 KG
Fully Sewn-in
In one
Average User Rating:
7.39/10 from 46 reviews

Viewed: 123372 times

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46 Reviews of the Orchy 500         Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4   5  

By: Pilk68  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Easy to erect, Have slept Five but very tight, Have used our tent 20 Weeks in total up to now, starting to show age as has couple of drips. Tent pegs as others have mentioned are flimsy. Next tent We buy Would prefer bigger windows & also blackout for bedroom. Better to have two people to erect. But overall good tent.
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By: D Martin  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

We bought the Orchy 500 in April 2008 and have used it at least 3 times a year for breaks from 3 to 12 days in 5 years. Probably totalling around 15 times. We've experienced heavy rain and very strong winds with no damage. Usually we set up in a sheltered area alongside trees etc or if not possible we give the tent some shelter by facing the back to the wind or parking the car upwind.

It does sway about in wind as we'd expect from the high design but with well pegged in and tensioned guy ropes it can be managed. There has been the odd drip in a corner of the living area during torrential rain but nothing that has overly worried us. So far we've had no leaks or excessive condensation in the bedroom area.

I'm a 6 foot man and would struggle to put the tent up on my own, it would be possible but is much easier with another adult, one inside lifting up the centre of the dome while the other engages the pins into the bottom of the poles. This also stresses the poles a lot less. It takes us about 20 minutes to erect, including a footprint groundsheet.

The supplied pegs do bend quiet easily if tapped into hard ground, we overcame this problem by substituting them with 6 inch large head steel nails which can be knocked into stoney or hard sun baked ground with a metal hammer. Angling them back a touch from the tent avoids the guy ropes slipping off the heads or any chance of them pulling out.

Through trial and error we can now get the tent back into it's bag quite easily every time, including the hammer and peg bag. Leave the bedroom vent and both doors unzipped then lengthwise, fold the sides into the middle, then fold over again in effect quartering the width. Fully roll up the tent then unroll it and roll it back up the other way. This forces out most of the trapped air that will otherwise make it too large to fit the bag.

We haven't re-treated the outside of the tent and there are now signs of a substance around the black pole sleeve areas cracking off. We'll look into this and ask for recommendations.

All in all, we've found the Orchy 500 fulfils all of our camping needs and is an attractive tent. I can get changed comfortably in the living area, there's plenty of room in the sleeping area for two of us and our dog, 5 people would fit using both the living area and bedroom but it would be snug. ;-)


Attractive shape.

Easy for 2 adults to erect.

Sealed in groundsheet (SIG) keeping out water and bugs.

Lots of clear panels to let in plenty of light.

Two doors 90 degs apart to avoid direct wind and rain when entering or leaving the tent.

The option of fully open, closed or mesh doors.

Blinds to block out full sun heat from the windows.

Zip up air vents on the side and rear of the tent to allow airflow day or night.


Tad small to be called a comfortable 5 berth tent.

Standard pegs are a little soft for tough ground conditions.

A need to be careful with it's orientation with respect to any strong wind direction.
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By: Paulhartburn  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Great tent with a nice large living area with good standing height. Plenty can cram into it when its wet. 5 adults would be a bit much for this tent though. Easy to put up by yourself. Only dislike is that the blue version doesn't block much light so when the sun comes up in the morning its bright inside the tent
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By: Milady B  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

**TIP - shorten the guys to give the poles much better stability in the wind**

I was looking for something to replace a well-loved but worn-out old Vango Venture 500, and wanted to keep the carpet and sun canopy I'd bought for it. I made sure I bought the newer version with the full length front pole, after reading the reviews on here.

I have to add that the first Orchy we received was faulty - the tension strap in front of the bedroom was too short, and broke the short pole behind the dome when we connected it. I've seen at least one other review where the reviewer said they'd had this problem - perhaps a bad batch? Simply Hike sent me a 'working' tent the very next day, so props to them for such good customer service!

So off we went, a couple of weeks ago, to use our tent for the first time. I was a bit apprehensive as the forecast was for gales. We had to pitch with the wind coming from the rear corner of the tent, and it wasn't easy to stop the new-fangled skinny dome pole from bending more than I was happy with, until we shortened the guys on the bedroom and dome poles (just knotted a loop in the middle), which gave it much better stability. We also added a couple of extra guys to the the windward poles, and the tent stood up to 30mph winds with 60mph gusts over several days like a trooper!

The tent also stood up to some awful torrential rain. The side door doesn't pour water on you and into the tent when you open it. We did have a couple of small areas where some water got in (it rained like a monsoon several times - I'd have been amazed if it didn't). However, these were fixed with seam sealant, and they were far less severe than leaks in other new tents I've owned. Just a few drops on the join over the side door and a very small puddle at the join of the dome/bedroom/groundsheet on the windward side when it rained hardest.

The storm skirt, solid panels at the bottom of the fly-screen doors and the full bathtub groundsheet kept the wind and rain (and bugs!) out. The humid weather meant we had a fair amount of condensation in the mornings, but the tent soon aired.

The skylight windows are a nice touch, and the living area is nice and roomy. I was concerned the bedroom might feel small due to the lower roof compared to the Venture, but it didn't at all, and was warmer at night too.

Looking forward to using the tent again soon, but hoping we won't have to put up with gales and torrential rain next time!
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By: Fizzymix1  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

We have just got back from our first break in our Orchy 500. The tent was quick to pitch with colour coded poles and ring pin system. We didn't time ourselves but it was pouring it down with rain but would estimate that it took about 15 - 20 mins which was good considering it was only the second time of erecting (1st time was in the garden). We like the fact that once it was erected it was ready to fill with all your camping gear. No fiddling around with inners and groundsheets. We used the footprint which assisted with pitching and protected the SIG.The sewn in ground sheet kept the tent lovely and warm and cosy even with gale force winds and rain. We didn't use a carpet but we are considering buying this. We used picnic blankets and also a water proof beach mat and standard doormat on the floor nearest the door as, in the rain this does get wet when opening the tent. The living area is of a very good size for myself hubby and little dog but anymore and it would feel a bit cramped. I cannot imagine sleeping 5 or even 4 people in the sleeping area

Unless roll mats were used instead of inflatable beds. We found it perfect for the three of us though. The dog slept in her crate at the side of the bed and there was enough room either side to store clothes etc. If you were to sleep 2 adults and 2 kids in the sleeping area there would not be a lot of privacy as there is only a flimsy curtain to divide you unlike tents with separate sleeping pods there is only one pod. The storage pockets are a nice touch. We used EHU and there is a zip for this so no gaps anywhere. We used an electric heater which kept us lovely and toasty. There is a lot of ventilation and we didn't experience any condensation in the living area but we did in the bedroom. It wasn't apparent until we packed down the tent and the airbeds were wet through underneath. With a large puddle on the groundsheet which was easily mopped up with a towel. We were concerned about being cold at night as we experienced that in our old tent in August so went well prepared. We took the wrong airbed as we didnt check it before going so it went down in the night. So the next day went and bought another and placed it on top of the deflated one for added insulation. Then we added a memory foam topper then a sleeping bag. Then our winter weight quilt. We kept the inner tent open while we slept and had the heater on low as I said we were lovely and warm and didn't know about the wet until packing up. The weather was awful with heavy rain and gales, I kept waking up to hear and see the tent being thrashed about and was scared but the tent held up well, no leaks or broken poles which was amazing as there seemed to be quite a bit of damage around the campsite the following morning with caravan awnings. The tent pegs supplied with the tent were a bit flimsy so would recommend getting better ones as we did have a bent one with the stones under the grass. The tent kept it's form with no bending unlike the earlier models previously reviewed. This is because they have modified the poles to crossover to add extra stability. We liked having the option of the side door if the wind and rain was driving into the front door.

What we liked about this tent

Easy pitch

The large living area the extras eg storage pockets and EHU point, plenty of light from skylights and windows, sewn in ground sheet and price - you really do get good value for money.


Floor gets a bit wet when opening the door after rain. So not really practical to use a carpet. Door doesn't turn into a canopy for shelter when cooking etc.

We have just purchased the enclosed porch extension 2011 model so this should dispel the above dislikes.

I would highly recommend but not for 5 persons, at a push I would say 2 adults and 2 kids but for comfort 2 adults and 1 child.
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By: Teagan21  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

We have owned several different makes/types of tent (Coleman,royal,Outwell) and we have to say the orchy is the best of the bunch. So easy to pitch (20 mins) Perfect if you want to tour around. Withstood torrential rain and wind with no problems - anyone who has visited Durness can confirm the extreme weather! We did attach a couple of extra guy lines, but don't think we really need them. Excellent all purpose tent
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By: Amdclan  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2011   Rating: 

Just used this tent for the first time this weekend and got to say I'm over the moon with it.

Easy to pitch and collapse, the weather was a mixed bag with sun,rain and a light breeze. The tent was cool in the heat with the side door open, and never leaked when it rained. As for the collapsing in the wind problem, we never had strong winds, however the tent looks sturdy and the main reason I got this tent is I liked the cross pole set-up which gives extra strength.

There was no real condensation problems as there is a lot of ventilation.

We got the extension which is also good and allows a lot more flexibility in camping.

Overall we are very pleased with this tent and look forward to using it again soon.
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By: Flirtyraver  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

After having a few ebay disasters I managed to find one of there at outdoor gear for you at less than 100 brand new with free delivery. Awesome. Easy to put up, did it myself colour coded poles, went up as one like a tent hotel inside. Loads of space I would happily live in it for next 6 weeks if I could. Amazing.
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By: Sammy840  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

This is the first tent we have owned and after buying I was a little worried because of some of the reviews! I have to say though that we were very impressed, lots of space in the tent and lovely and airy. There is plenty of room for me, my husband and our little girl and all our bits and bobs! The tent stayed lovely and dry and was very stable even though it was tipping it down and the wind was so bad I thought we might take off!

We all can't wait to get out again soon.
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By: Leelovescamping  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

Spent a year looking for a smaller tent than the mobile castle that I own and decided on the orchy 500 based on living space, head room and of course the Vango name (i had used the Vango force ten on many years gone by).

I have used the tent on three occasions, found it easy to erect by one person once you find the best order to tension up the poles (leave the dome poles to last).

On both occasions I have erected the tent in wind free conditions and in line with the pitch direction on both sites. On both occasions the wind has picked up and hit the tent from the opposite side to the side door. The tent has stood up well against high winds from the side and held of the rain very well, however I have not experienced the wind concerns from the rear of the tent that others have and will bear this in mind for future stays.

It is worth buying the footprint as this helps keep the tent clean and also the carpet which keeps the floor comfortable and warm. The carpet is a fraction smaller than the floor space so moves a little and would have benefited from some kind of securing mechanism.

This tent for me was a very good purchase and one I will use for many other trips. I have now bought the premium extension and am looking forward to its first try out.

Overall a very good tent although a fight to get it back into its bag with the poles and pegs.
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46 User Reviews of the Orchy 500 - Showing 01 to 10          Page:   1   2   3   4   5  

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Manufacturer's Description

Protex® 3000 polyester waterproof, durable and reliable
> Taped seams for waterproof protection
> Comfort colours darker over bedrooms for more restful sleep
> Storm skirt system waterproof exterior skirt system which creates dry comfort zones. Heavy duty oxford fabric used for strength and durability
> Flysheet first pitching inner tents are kept dry
> Guy tidy velcro holder allows guylines to be packed neatly, making re-pitching easier
> Colour coded poles match the poles to the sleeve tab for easy pitching
> Powerflex® fibreglass poles tough, sturdy and reliable
> Pre-angled poles improves angles of the walls resulting in more usable space and stability
> Front flysheet vents with covers allows continual airflow enhancing comfort
> PE waterproof groundsheet 5000HH minimum ensures dry inner tents
> Rain gutter zip covers keeps zips dry
> Sewn-in groundsheet fully enclosed to protect against unwanted draughts and bugs
> Drop down groundsheet at doors fillet and toggle system improves performance and comfort by eliminating gaps. Also a useful safety feature by removing tripping obstacles in doorways
> Front and side mesh doors reduces build up of condensation and keeps bugs out
> Mesh vents on inner allows continual airflow enhancing comfort
> Double zip windows flexible internal cover allowing choice between - light and vent, light only or vent only
> Pelmet aesthetic addition to conceal inner attachment points giving the interior a more finished look.
> Breathable fabric inner creates a comfortable sleeping area
> Parallel zip door allows the use of accessory King Poles to create a canopy for sheltered entry
> Carry bag oversized to ease the pack away and easy transportation
> Matching Accessories includes Sleeping Bags, Carpets, Furniture, Windbreaks, Sun Canopies, etc

Pack size: 72 x 29 x 26cm
Pitching area: 615 x 390cm
Pitching time: 2

... there may be more info on their website

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