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Tent Reviews: Vango Sigma 300

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Sigma 300 Reviews

Current Model?
Berths:
Weight:
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
Yes
3  (more 3 berth tents)
5.90 KG
£70.00
1
Fully Sewn-in
Fly first
Average User Rating:
8/10 from 10 reviews

Viewed: 48536 times

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10 Reviews of the Sigma 300

By: Camping Gail  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2013   Rating: 

Overall, not a bad tent although there have been one or two issues in mixed weather.

It's a perfect size for two people, is very stable in all weathers and has great storage pockets and lantern hook. It's very easy to pitch and one person can manage no problem - it's not too dissimilar to the Eurohike tent we had before although is a bit more stable in windy conditions.

However, it's not without its problems. As previous reviews suggest ventilation is a big problem, there is simply not enough and this is exacerbated by the porch groundsheet 'basin' which we have taken to tucking in under the main groundsheet - this both improves ventilation and prevents the build up of water sitting around in the basin that accumulates when coming in/out of the tent in bad weather.

We've only used this tent four times, but have found that the poor ventilation leads to a build up of condensation on the fly sheet, to such an extent that it was dripping down through the roof ventilation and seams every morning. Problems that my husband experienced not once during the ten years that he had with our previous tent.

All in all, not a bad tent, but we would have expected better from such a reliable brand. The benefits outway the disadvantages for short trips and festivals, but would probably not buy again.
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By: Sceptical Camper  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

This is a postscript to my previous review.

I have now owned my Vango Sigma 300 tent for nearly a year. During that time I've used it for more than fifty nights on a dozen or more camping trips - everything from single nights away and weekend trips up to ten-day camping expeditions. The tent has been used throughout the year (from hot summer days to sub-zero mid-winter nights) for both campsite stays and rough camping.

The tent has been out in all weathers. In particular, it has been used in near-gale force winds several times and withstood them very well indeed - if pitched and guyed properly, the Sigma remains rigid and robust in high winds. It has never leaked, even in torrential rain, and despite the amount of use it has had, there have been none of the common problems such as snapped poles, stitching or seam failures or broken zips.

In summary, the Vango Sigma 300 has proved itself to be well-made, robust, weatherproof and trouble-free. In my opinion, it has performed very well indeed for a tent in this price bracket and after a year's use I stand by the recommendation in my previous review.
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By: Johnthomas  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

New to camping, did research on internet decided to buy (offer at go outdoors £29.99)

Easy to erect,after practice in garden took less than 12 mins from arriving to siting waiting for a brew. Tent performed well. Little condensation soon dried no drafts very warm inside. Seems well built no breakages .

Perfect for 2, but 3 could be a problem

Good introduction to camping looking to purchase another larger Vango tent
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By: Starr  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

My boyfriend and I bought the Sigma 300 tent as we wanted something smaller and lighter than our 4 man tent that we could use to go what we call 'train camping' - getting a train to a few miles from the campsite and hiking in rather than driving. All the 2 man tents we looked at (and some of the 3 man ones) were too short for us as we're both pretty tall, but this one is fine - there's enough space for us and a small amount of stuff in the tent, although we tend to leave backpacks in the porch. In retrospect I wish we'd got the 300+, as it's a bit of a pain having to clamber over backpacks and cooking gear to get in & out of the tent so it'd have been nice to have the double porch, but the porch on the 300 is reasonably roomy and it means the tent isn't as big to carry so I'm not going to complain!

We've used the tent in strong winds and very heavy rain and there have been no issues at all. We also haven't had any issues with lack of ventilation even though we've been away in pretty hot weather. Overall we're very pleased with the tent.
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By: Sceptical Camper  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

DESCRIPTION

The Vango Sigma 300 is a three-pole dome tent with a single porch; the Sigma 300+ (note the 'plus' sign) is the two porch variant. I recently bought the single porch version for 'bloke-plus-dog' weekends and festival trips to replace my elderly cheap'n'cheerful small dome tent.

Vango describes the Sigma 300 as a 3-berth but, frankly, you'd need to be very good friends. However, the tent would be roomy for two; it is slightly higher than similar dome tents which gives more headroom inside. The fly is polyester and is rated at 2,000HH (the groundsheet is rated at 10,000HH). Like all Vango tents, the seams are taped.

The list price is £70 but the Sigma 300 is widely advertised at under £60. I bought mine from Go Outdoors, Coventry, on special offer for £39.99 (note you need to have a Go Outdoors discount card which costs £4 per year). This year, the colour is two shades of blue (earlier versions were blue or green with black panels).

The tent comes in a light but strong carry-bag which has adjustable clip-straps as well as a zip. There are the usual separate drawstring bags for the poles and pegs. The pitching instruction sheet is sewn into the carry-bag; the instructions themselves are clear, concise, printed in reasonably large type and include a couple of sketches. The bag is roomy so re-packing the tent is easy.

PITCHING

I found pitching the tent a bit of a struggle the first time - any new tent is unfamiliar, everything is tight and the fabric is unstretched. However once you're familiar with the procedure, pitching is straightforward although threading the pre-angled poles through the full length polesleeves can be fiddly by yourself. There's also a knack to springing the ring-pins into the ends of the poles. As with all tents, the claimed pitching time is rather optimistic - single-handed, ten minutes is more an aspiration than a reality although it can be achieved when pitching with an assistant.

The poles are fibreglass and the polesleeves (which are continuous) seem strong. The two dome poles are exactly the same and thus not colour coded; however, the shorter porch pole has a grey section and its sleeve has a matching grey tag.

Once the poles are tensioned, the unpegged fly is self-supporting and reassuringly rigid. There are nine pegging points around the main dome (plus two more at the front of the porch) and six guy lines. Each guy line on the dome itself is anchored at two ferruled points in the familiar loop-with-'O'ring formation. The guy runners are of the delta-shaped type which I consider an improvement over the traditional three-hole straight type. The tent is supplied with 17 eight-inch wire pegs plus two flat-head pegs for the porch tensioning strap; no spare pegs are provided. There is, however, a packet containing small squares of fabric for repairs and a spare guy line with runner.

With the fly pitched and pegged, hanging the inner is very easy indeed - align the doors, note that four of the hanging toggles are colour-coded and it is virtually impossible to make a mistake. Hanging the inner takes about one minute if you're in a hurry, two minutes if you dawdle.

Striking the tent is quick and simple, whether as 'in-one' or inner and fly separately. The tent fits easily into the spacious carry-bag as 'in-one', with fly and inner separated but rolled together, or with the fly and inner rolled up separately.

IN USE

Once pitched, the general quality of the tent is certainly up to the standard of other tents in this price-range. The Sigma 300 feels very sturdy and stable when fully pegged and guyed.

The Sigma 300's main drawback is that, compared to other dome tents I've owned or used, there is not a great deal of ventilation. There are two vents (inner and fly) at the bottom front corners each side and a small midge-mesh panel at the top of the inner door. Air circulation would have been better with a top vent and/or full-size midge-mesh door to the inner.

The fly door zip is protected on the outside by a generous overlapping 'gutter' (a strip with velcro pads to hold it in place over the zip to ensure waterproofing). The zip itself has three sliders to allow a variety of partial closures and loop-and-clip fastenings to hold the door rolled when open (the inner door rolls into a pocket when open). Fly sheet door height is 92cm (36 inches).

The pale blue inner tent has a bathtub SIG with a 'bib' of groundsheet extending into the porch; the bib can easily be tucked under the SIG if preferred. Inside, the general feel is light and spacious with an interior height of forty-eight inches (122cm). There are a pair of pockets on each side and a lamp-hanging loop. In plan view, the floor of the inner is approx 200cm by 180cm (6ft 6ins x 5ft 10ins) which means a six-footer can sleep fully stretched out.

As an aside, if the weather is fine one could pitch just the fly (effectively making a single-skin tent) and lay out a separate groundsheet. This would save a bit of time pitching, greatly increase ventilation on hot nights and provide more space and greater headroom.

On its first outing (two nights in the garden) the Sigma 300 withstood a day of moderate intermittent rain showers with no sign of any leaks or drips and was also impervious to moderate wind.

My Sigma 300 got its first real test at Fairport's Cropredy Convention music festival when the changeable weather included five days of intermittent, often heavy, rain showers and gusty winds. On the last night of the festival there was a thunder storm and a torrential downpour; the Sigma 300 remained leakproof throughout and was very stable in the wind.

I was at the festival with friends and two of us pitched the tent. This assistance made all the difference and the tent was fully pitched within ten minutes or so.

CONCLUSION

All in all, I have few complaints so far. It remains to be seen how the Sigma 300 fares in really bad weather and how long-lasting it proves (but for forty quid one shouldn't expect a high-end four-season tent that will last a lifetime). My main niggles are that I find the tent awkward to pitch by myself, the fly door is on the low side and the ventilation is inadequate. On the plus side, the tent looks very smart, is robust and rigid when pitched properly, is completely waterproof and feels comparatively spacious.

The Sigma 300 is a good quality tent well suited for two people on summer trips or festival weekends and I recommend it without hesitation.
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By: Scotpacker  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating: 

It is the Sigma 300+ that I have, the only difference being the entrances at either end which gives greater space for storage. I cannot complain about anything concerning this tent apart from maybe a slight upright and less sleek feel about it compared with some latest styled tents.This tent has been tested out in fairly severe weather and has had no problems. I recently used it for a week in Rome. Camp site fees for the week were about 90 euros. Imagine the savings made against accommodation in Rome. The tent was spacious and comfortable and enabled sufficient restful nights to be fresh and ready for the sites of Rome. A good tent can save you a fortune if you of a mind to travel and this one has saved me a fortune already.
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By: JauntyJackalope  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

This is a really good tent. The tent can be put up by one person but two can manage better. The poles are pre-angled giving more internal space, but this makes them a bit awkward to thread through the sleeves.

Vango think it's a three man, but it's a two man really. There are some nice touches like curtains for the windows and a few pockets for loose change and such. The ventilation is however, pretty poor. The two vents are as good as useless, the inner door has a small mesh section that can be closed off, but that’s your lot. That said, I noticed no condensation.

It is a sturdy tent, Vango call it geodesic as the porch pole crosses the dome poles. It may add to stability somewhat but it does reduce porch space. I lazily pitched it not bothering with the guy lines and it held up fine. The pegs seemed quite strong; instead of a mallet I just stood on them which usually bends pegs, but these were unharmed.

We had the obligatory thunderstorm and it held up great with no water getting in. Only thing is, opening a wet door without getting water in the porch is unfortunately quite impossible.

Packing away is an easy task, the tent bag being as advertised, oversized. I have heard this is not the case with other Vango tents, but it is with the Sigma.

I paid £55 for this 09 model (older ones can be had cheaper) and am very pleased with it. It's great couple’s tent that holds up well to some abuse, and I would definitely recommend it.
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By: JoeSurf  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

Took this on a three week tour of the South Coast. We had incredibly heavy rain some nights and very strong winds. It coped well with the punishment, but by the end of the three weeks there was some leaking through the seams, the poles were out of shape making the tent look a bit wonky and because of this they had managed to rub against each other at the bit where the poles cross which caused some splintering.

The wind was pretty brutal for the final two nights (despite glorious sunshine!) and the Sigma stuck it out where others around us failed and collapsed. Overall we were very pleased with the little thing but we're upgrading this year!
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By: Jamesmw  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

Spent a month in one of these in the rain forests of costa-rica. Liked it, although cramped for three blokes. Never leaked, and the only real downside was the appalling ventilation, the 'quarterlights' in the inside door were worse than useless. A tent suited to European climates but no further.
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By: Stumpjumper  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2007   Rating: 

It's a nice quality weekend/ festival sized tent for the money. The tent is very easy to pitch and even fits back in its bag! It has never leaked or been troubled by the wind. The twin porches are very handy for storage and allow for extra ventilation. The only downside is the black flysheet makes the tent quite dark inside but that also means you don't get woken up by the sun in the morning.
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Manufacturer's Description

A geodesic tent with spacious canopy offering generous sleeping and porch space at a very affordable price. Ideal for motorcycle camping, first time adventurers and festival goers.
Features:
• Cross over side poles which provide extra stability when the weather breaks.
• Seam taped flysheet which gives long lasting protection from the elements.
• Mesh ventilation on the inner tent reduces the build-up of condensation and keeps bugs out.
• Bathtub inner groundsheet which gives you total climate protection and prevents insects crawling in.
• External, continuous pole sleeves which help you pitch it easily.
• Colour coded poles which help you put the correct poles in their pole sleeves.
• Pre-angled poles which enhances the stability of the tent.
• Flysheet vents for comfort inside.
• Crystal Clear windows which allow the maximum amount of light through.
• Permanent porch groundsheet which gives additional comfort & adaptability whilst camping.
• Handled carry bag with zip which makes packing & moving on easier.

... there may be more info on their website

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