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Tent Reviews: Vango Spectre 300

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Vango  >  Spectre 300 Reviews

Current Model?
Berths:
Weight:
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
Discontinued
3  (more 3 berth tents)
3.10 KG
£110.00
1
Bathtub
In one
Average User Rating:
8.75/10 from 4 reviews

Viewed: 38461 times

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4 Reviews of the Spectre 300

By: Alan-172  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

I mainly use this tent for cycle touring with my son and can say with confidence that it is ideal for this purpose. It is reasonably lightweight and packs down to a manageable size to be stowed on a cycle rack. It is very easy to pitch in all weather conditions; I do tend to pitch the flysheet first, then put down a ground sheet protector, then hang the inner tent. When its raining you can pack the inner first keeping it dry; before you pack the flysheet. This is a must for multi day touring.

In general the tent is very well designed and constructed. It does have a feeling of durability, the flysheet is a rip-stop material, pegging points are a sturdy webbing material, the poles are well constructed aluminum alloy. Over several outings in all weather conditions I can say that this tent has never let me down, and still looks as good as new. Overall a good value tent that I would recommend for two people cycle touring or backpacking.
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By: Dad+Son  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2010   Rating: 

My 12 year old son and I have used our Spectre 300 twice, the first time it was at Easter and with frost, and the second time it was in June but quite windy. So we have not used it when it has been wet. My daughter has used it on her DofE expeditions but again, not when it has been wet. It is a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition approved tent.

The first point to make is that from the Vango website pictures you might not realise that one complete side of the inner is all no-see-um mesh and that side is stepped in from the flysheet by about a foot at the widest point. This makes me pitch the tent with the wind direction in mind because, as another reviewer has pointed out, the fly doesn't go completely to the ground. On the other hand - with all that ventilation -you don't get condensation in the inner!

It's an easy tent to pitch all-in-one go and takes about 5 minutes. It is stable in wind.

I particularly like the space - you can easily get two full size backpacks inside when using it as a two-man tent and my daughter has used it as a three-girl tent with packs and said it was fine. Two entrances is also a good idea.

The groundsheet is very thin but we camped on wet ground with no leaks. I recommend putting a separate sheet underneath if weight is not an issue - or check carefully for stones.

The pegs are very light alloy and be warned, they are not as strong as they look. Don't be tempted to hammer them in or to use your boot.

This is a lot of tent for not a lot of money. Having all one side of the inner as mesh is a bit of a novel idea but the more I use this tent the more I like it. It's well designed and a bit of Tardis inside.

Well done Vango.
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By: Mountearl  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2009   Rating: 

Overall - good tent for two, reasonable space, light, good value.

Owned this tent for six weeks, been out in it five times. Last time was me, the missus, and two kids aged 3 and 20 months. In common with many '3 man' tents - it is for two adults. Tent fits four sleeping mats - two regular and two short. The floor layout prevents 3 regular mats being laid head to head, so the layout in the Vango brochure shows nose to tail to fit three in.

It is light at 3 kgs. There are two zipped 'lockers' under the ends of the tent - which I managed to fit a half empty 80l Berghaus Expedition pack in. No groundsheet in these areas, so you will either need to make some up from a tarp or only put boots, waterproofs, packs etc in there. There is a further storage area between the inner and outer at the door and down the long side, but it narrows quickly, so is only really useful for day packs or boots. Makes a good area for bad weather cooking, or leaning out to put first brew of the day on without having to get out of your bag.

One quirk - I haven't managed to get the fly to tighten properly yet - probably because I have put it up in the dark each time I've used it so far. I think the trick is to not pitch with the two end poles strictly vertical, but angle the poles out a few degrees before pegging.

Pitching time is - at a quoted 10 minutes - a bit pessimistic. I can do it in the dark in 10, so with a bit of daylight may be quicker. Tent is very easy to get back in the bag - the bag seems to be oversize, and is a compression sack.

I have used it in all conditions - sub zero in February, and it stayed quite warm inside down to minus 5 or so; rain two weeks ago, when it was raining heavily without wind, and there wasn't a drop inside until opening the door; and in (relatively!) warm weather last week, where it started to get a bit warm in direct sun - the green fly absorbs the radiation. Fly is honeycomb pattern ripstop, and seems quite strong and resistant to snags on thorns and the like. Groundsheet is very thin and flexible - so needs care when pitching to avoid sharp stones - but very waterproof, and withstood two good Welsh downpours on Easter weekend without a drop getting through. Poles are well engineered and fit together properly, and are easy to thread through the sleeves.

Niggles - fly doesn't quite reach the ground. Single zip only, so can't open from the top to let a bit of fresh air in and remain waterproof. Groundsheet could do with extending into zipped locker areas under the ends of the tent. As with any small tent, condensation is an issue in cold weather, and the two flapped ventilation cutouts could do with being a bit stiffer so that throughflow is improved.

In all - great tent for two for the money, with typical Vango quality. Some minor issues for Vango to sort for next season would make it 10/10.

POSTSCRIPT - 2010 model has an additional door, opposite the original, presumably to allow entry out of the prevailing weather. Also, smaller pack size. Sensible design improvements.
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By: Adrianw  Reason: I've used one  Made in: 2008   Rating: 

This is a reasonably priced, reasonably light, reasonably spacious tent.

It's not super light by any means, but light enough that one or two people can use it for backpacking.

It pitches all-in-one, so no getting the silk wet or kneeling in the mud fitting the inner. There are three poles, two small ones that are no trouble at all and a larger one in the centre that is a two man or walk round the tent fix. The whole thing is symmetrical, so you can face the door to the side you prefer.

For a small tent there's a comforting amount of space between the outer and inner. Yes, the inner is orange, but you don't notice it.

There is enough space in the living part for a double airbed to have with space around it, and enough headroom to sit up in the centre of the tent. The storage areas at the two ends are just about big enough for rucksacks, but there's no groundsheet to keep them dry.

The area between the inner and outer doors is sufficient to store a couple of pairs of boots.

A set of storage pockets that Vango rather grandly call a loft hangs from the roof and the inner has three corner pockets.

The tension band system is a couple of webbing straps that brace the centre of the tent to the ends of the main pole. This makes the tent much more rigid at the expense of cutting a triangle into the living space. If this bothers you the TBS can be unclipped.

Finally I have to mention the pegs, which look very solid and yet weight almost nothing.
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Manufacturer's Description

Lightweight and with new zipped storage areas at both ends, this gem of a tent exceeds the requirements of any backpacker on a budget. With all the attributes of any Vango product it will perform and provide assured shelter.

Materials:
Flysheet: Protex® 3000 polyester waterproof, durable and reliable
Groundsheet: PU waterproof groundsheet 5000HH minimum ensures dry inner tents
Poles: Powerlite® alloy poles light, flexible and durable

Specification:
Capacity: 3 person
Total weight: 3.10kg
Pack size: 64 x 16 x 15cm
Area: 5.5m2
Pitching time: 10 min

... there may be more info on their website

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