Vango Tempest 200 tent – Gear Review

Vango Tempest 200 Vango Tempest 200

Type: Tunnel tent       Price (2009) : £80 – £100

Berth: 2 man tent

Weight: 2.55kg

Pack size: 40 x 80 x 15cm

Inner dimensions : 215 + 105 x 130

Inner height : 85 cm

Colour: Vivid Blue (2008 model) or Pine Green

I did loads of research of tents before deciding on the Vango Tempest 200 as a cycle-touring tent. Budget was probably the deciding factor;  I find Vango give you a lot of mileage for your money. It is fairly  heavy at just over 2.5 kg, but I am happy to carry the extra weight for a more ‘solid’ feeling tent and also to have the extra berth. I hate being cramped into spaces so decided on a 2-man fairly early on. The flysheet is 3000mm hydrostatic head and has stood up to continual heavy rain with no leakage. Ventilation is good and I hardly had any condensation.

Although thin, the groundsheet is impressive; at one point I had a stream of rainwater form underneath it (the West Highlands of Scotland, where else?!) and it was totally dry inside.  The tent feels strong when pitched and although I have yet to sleep out in it during a gale I have no doubts it will stand it’s ground without too much ‘flapping’ noise.

With bike locked to tent pole - the usual set up.

With bike locked to tent pole - the usual messy set up.

The porch was also a deciding factor in buying this tent – it’s large enough to cook in when the weather is atrocious and the door is arranged so that a gap can be left for ventilation.  At night it’s perfectly roomy enough to stash 4 panniers, although I prefer to keep them inside the tent with me at night. Not sure why, but it feels warmer that way. I’m 5ft11″ and can just sit up straight inside (the sleeping length is perfect). I think any taller and it may feel a little awkward.

It takes me 10 minutes to pitch and about 6 or 7 to take down; no fussing about with fiddly stuff and it always fits back in the bag.  Attention to detail is good, with a hook for a torch and a good midge-proof inner door.

You can get a lot lighter and a lot smaller pack-sized tents, but I doubt you could easily find one at the price of the Vango. Until I start Mountain Marathoning ( fat chance!) and have the reddies to buy an Akto or Vaude, this’ll do me fine.  Good quality, good value lower-budget tent for intimate couples or solo travellers who need space to stretch out.


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