* Prices may differ from that shown
Have had this tent for about 18 months as a smaller version to take the family away for a quick weekend break, purchased for £60!! Our other tent is an Outwell Hartford which is massive! The Vango is very easy to put together - just two long sets of poles, a porch pole and a small roof pole to keep the shape. I reckon 20 minutes is good going to get the tent up with all the guy ropes in place.
The tent pitches outer first which is superb if it is raining on arrival or departure, you belongings can stay dry while you pack everything away and then budle the fly sheet in last. Once you have erected the outer sheet you simply hook the inner tent inside which has the porch ground sheet attached. It all fits together very well.
In extreme conditions this tent performs well, it has a hydro head of 3000 and taped seams, even at the tightest points the zips are protected by convenient flaps that keep the elements out.
We sleep 6 in this tent, 4 comfortably in the main area and two in the porch. OK there is a very slight breeze in the porch due to the gaps between fly and ground sheet but it's nothing to worry about. There is a side door and you can also open out the large front door but we have had no need to do this yet. There are some nice little storage pockets in the inner tent.
The tent is packed in a nice carry holdal and is very compact.
One of our poles split after the 2nd use although Vango sent out replacements the same week so no problem. We have used the tent around 6 or 7 times and it is like new.
I have had one of these for a couple of years now, and have had no problems with it at all. I have only recently upgraded it to the Icarus 500, which is just a bit more spacious.
Vango tents seem to be the market leader nowadays in terms of the quality you get in relation to the price you pay, and this tent is the perfect example.
The tent is very easy to erect; it comes with 2 carbon fibre tubes, to erect the tent the tube sections are clicked into each other and placed through the tents outer layer to give it its strength and rigidity. This makes it so much easier to erect the tent than the ways of old where you had to erect the whole frame then try to place the outer layer over the top of it.
The tube system also makes it relatively easy to put the tent up in high wind, although I do still struggle to see how one person could do it on their own.
The poles are designed to move a certain amount in high winds - this can give the impression that the tent is unstable and moving around a lot, but this is how it is designed and does not bother me.
After a few practices we have got the pitching time down to about 12-15 minutes.
Inside the tent is plenty spacious - although I disagree with Vango's 5 man rating. When you consider the kit people take camping I would say 3 man would be more realistic. The porch area is nice and spacious and gives you an area to eat in if it is not so nice outside.
Overall this tent has never let me down - I have taken it on weekends away when the weather has been awful and it has stood up to it all and I have never had any leaks, even in storm conditions.
We recently decided to start camping with our two young children as a cheap break option. Having previously owned a very small 2 man single skin dome we wanted something a bit bigger.
We looked round at lots of tents, I really wanted one I could stand up in, which you easily can throughout the middle of the tent, and I liked the fact that this was a 5 man tent which gave us a little bit more room. It also has the option of splitting the bedroom in two with a curtain or having one big room. The big room really suits us having two small children. We can fit a single airbed, a double air bed and a pop up travel cot in the bed room area. And there will be enough room to put in another single airbed when the time comes (instead of the cot).
The main living area is a good size with two doors which makes it easy to position to get a nice breeze there is also a window. We put a small table in there and 2 adult chairs and put a blanket on the floor for the kids. It also has a really handy zip to put the power supply through.
I really like the sewn in ground sheet, prevents too many bugs getting in! The bedroom area has two doors for access each have a fly net so that you can get fresh air. The side door also has a fly net but the main door doesn't. There are air vents above the main door and the window.
It is really easy to put up, and has been done by one person. Also easy to fold up and get it back in to the bag. Its also not that heavy. It is very sturdy and does not move much in the wind, I think this is mainly due to the bracing straps that are either side of the main door and either side of the bedroom doors. Once the tent is erected the straps are tightened.
A great tent, we have had some good breaks in it with no complaints. And have not found it to leak.
I love this tent. I bought mine about 5 years ago and it has taken some hammer. It has been in some heavy storms in wales, extreme winds in bridlington and has always kept us sheltered and dry. If you are new to camping and want more room then a small dome tent I reckon this is the best starting tent. It is usually around £80 and it really is value for money. I cant even count the number of times mine has been used. and it is still going strong apart from the wear and tear of 3 rouge children and 2 dogs. Dont get me wrong there are far better tents on the market but for the money it really is a good tent. With practice it can be put up on your own. Im only 5ft 2 and managed it with 2 little ones many times. Its good aswell for a family tent for popping off for weekends. Room enough for all to sit inside if the weather is bad but also small enough that it wont take ages to set up.
*A bit of background*
Still undoubtedly a mere novice, my camping career only started earlier this summer. My OH and I have always enjoyed weekends and holidays away, both in the UK and overseas. However, with money getting ever-tighter, it seemed absolutely frivolous to be spending £££ on weekends to expensive hotels. At the same time, I didn't want to give up my little breaks. I mean, it's not all about work, work, work... Am I right?
Enter our solution... camping.
Once the idea popped into our minds, it was hard to shrug off. We very quickly warmed to the idea and decided to buy the kit we needed to go for a weekend away.
*What's out there?*
As a product researching nut, I did tons of research online to see what tent I should invest in. There is a very popular site called www.ukcampsite.co.uk. It's probably the best site out there for campers/caravanners, etc. After trawling through this site and also looking at different tents both off and online, we settled on the Vango Venture 500.
We bought the Vango Venture 500 online from Go Outdoors for about £70-£80. It was on a special offer at the time (it's still on offer at time of writing this review, although it has gone up in price). I think the RRP is £120. So, I think we got a very good deal indeed.
There are plenty of recommendations out there for this tent. The reviews are all generally very positive, saying that it was a very high quality tent for the price - easy to pitch, roomy with enough headroom to stand up in. Vango is a reputable brand.
When the tent arrived, we had a go at doing a testing pitch. The tent is a dome design with a large porch and bedroom that can fit a double bed. The bedroom can also be divided into two spaces using an optional divider sheet.
To summarise the features, with this tent you get:
Vango Lifetime Guarantee
Waterproofed on inside- Protex 2000 (2000mm HH) polyester fly
Seam taped fly
Flysheet first pitching - also reinforced on the main pressure points where tent pegs hold tent down
Mesh ventilation on inner tent
Bathtub inner groundsheet
External continuous pole sleeves
Colour coded poles
Front and side entry
Flysheet vents. 'Crystal Clear' windows
*What's the tent like up?*
Once the tent was up, I was very surprised on both the good quality - and the size. This is supposed to be a 5 berth tent, but there's only two of us, so we have plenty of room, which is great. I don't think I'd actually like to share this tent with 4 other campers, but I'm not really the 'rough and ready' type of camper. I like my space!
*The tent in use*
We have a double blow up bed and 'bedroom' space in the large roomy bedroom. I like to put down bright picnic rugs for carpeting and set up a lovely chill out space. Comfy duvets, plenty of cushions, and so on.... You can actually get very cosy!
We use the porch as the main living space for during the day, if we're not out and about, that is. The 'crystal clear' windows are very useful to peer out of - as are the array of zips/flaps, that allow you to open up the tent and roll up the 'doors', and so on. The design of the tent flaps/windows means that it is flexible for you to use in different light/weather.
I'm not sure how many seasons this tent is supposed to be used in, but I think it'd probably be best to use this tent in late spring, summer and early autumn at most. The main reason is that, due to the height of it (190cm at highest point), it can flap about a fair bit in the wind - as our experience has shown.
So far, we've used it on 3 camping trips and it's served us well so far. We've had a couple of minor rips, mainly due to freak gusts of wind on our first camping trip. Nothing, though, that makes the tent unusable.
*My rating and why*
I give this tent 5/5. All in all, for the price, I'm extremely satisfied with the tent and would not hesitate to recommend for a first time or even a more experienced camper looking for a really good quality tent for under £100.
We bought this tent at the beginning of the summer 2005 from Gaynor Sports in Ambleside. It was only ever intended for use by two of us (my wife and myself) and our dog, but we wanted a bit of room to get dressed in and store stuff and most importantly we wanted to be able to stand up it. The Vango Venture 500 was set up and was a winner as soon as we looked at it.
Dimensions and Layout
The tent measures approximately 12' X 8' and is about 5'10" high at the highest point. There is a large porch at the front which takes up about a third of the length of the tent, and the rest is taken up by the bedroom.
The porch is a good enough size to set up a table and two chairs to eat if required, as we have done in the past, and it has two entrances, a large one to the front of the tent or a smaller one to the side. There are also two decent sized windows, which you can actually see through and these both have curtains for privacy if required. I am 5'9" and can almost stand up in the porch. The porch has a seperate ground sheet which hooks on to the outer walls.
The bedroom makes up the rest of the tent and is about 8' X 8' and is meant to sleep five, like I said earlier we have only ever had two and the dog but I suppose five would be possible if a little cramped. There is a divider that can be put in the middle of the bedrooom to make it into two bedrooms if required. I have no problem standing up in the bedroom. The bedroom has two doors, with mosquito nets, so you can have the two bedroom option and it consists of an inner flysheet to the outer tent with a built - in groung sheet. There are also five storage pockets in the bedroom.
Erection And Dismantling
This tent is extremely easy to erect and the wife and I can put it up in under twenty minutes now. There are four colour coded poles, two which cross over to make up the main area where the bedroom is situated, a third to hold up the front of the porch and forth little one to lift the headroom at the entrance to the bedroom.
Once the outer part of the tent is up and pegged you can get inside and hook the bedroom section in to the also colour coded hooks and fit the ground sheet in the porch.
Dismantling is just as easy as erection you take the inner part out first and fold each part quite carefully and there is no problem getting it all back in the bag.
What's It Like In Use
We only really go camping in summer but the British weather manages to throw a few tests our way still! We have just been up to the lake district this weekend and had some fairly stong wind and some rain. The Vango Venture 500 stood up to the wind brilliantly considering its size and height and as long as it is well pegged down it can withstand quite strong winds with very little problems.
We had a little rain this weekend and had no problems with leaks however we have been out in fairly heavy rain before and this manages to find its way through the material so I would not recomend it in the rain, however it is only advertised as a three season tent so this is to be expected. I have purchased a spray this weekend that is supposed to water - proof the tent material but have not tried it out yet so cannot comment yet.
The Vango Venture 500 comes with a very handy carry bag split into three sections, one for the outer tent, another for the inner tent and a pocket down the middle for the poles, pegs and a small spares and repair kit. When packed the tent is bulky to say the least and measures about 2' X 1' X 1' and is also quite heavy so that is why I only recomend for family car camping, you could certainly not go backpacking with this tent!!
Value For Money
We paid £89.99 just over three years ago now and, to be honest bought it as a cheap starter tent which I expected to have replaced by now, however the Venture 500 is still going strong three years, and a lot of use, on and to be honest still looks a lot like new, so I think it offers extremely good value for money, and I expect to still be using it in another three years.
All in all I would say the Vango Venture 500 is a very good buy and would recomend it to couples, small familys and groups of friends. It is handy having the option of one or two bedrooms and has plenty of room, including head room. It is very easy to put up once you have done it the first time and just as easy to take down again. It will withstand a little rain and very strong winds. It is extremely durable and like I said earlier, still looks like new really three years on. The instructions and colour coding of poles and inner hooks make putting it up the first time very easy also.
Thankyou for reading.........John May 2008