A budget, lightweight, backpacking tent
I bought my Vango Nevis 200 tent in May 2018 without any research or thought, it was simply the only reasonable quality, lightweight, 2 man/person tent in the shop for under £100! I was due to start my Mountain Leader Training the next day, I decided to test out my existing tent and discovered that all the fabric of the pole sleeve had disintegrated. I had 2 hours to get to a shop and buy something. It has turned out to be a really good little tent and is still going well after 2 years of use in all sorts of weathers and all year round.
The Vango Nevis 200 is a cheap lightweight tent, this post will explore why I consider this a great tent for the money. It is advertised and sold as a 2 person tent, however to sleep 2 people you need to be positioned top-to-toe as per the picture below. Personally I would not find that a great way to share a tent, however, this tent is a fantastic size for 1 person and their kit. Vango also make a Nevis 100 and a Nevis 300 if you need a slightly smaller or larger tent.
The tent is designed with a central hooped pole and two short poles at each end. The inner is clipped into the flysheet so is quick and easy to put up in all weathers without the inner getting wet. The flysheet has 3000mm HH and this has coped with wet conditions although I have to say I have not used it for prolonged wet weather. Vango also make a very similar tent – Caingorm 200 and this has 5000mm HH so might be a better choice if you are planning a longer expedition.
The thing I really like about this tent is that it has a door on each side. On one side there is no porch while on the other side you get a decent size porch and you can peg the door so that you have a sheltered area for cooking in poor weather conditions. I have also used the porch area for storing kit whilst using the other door to get in and out of the tent. This is a useful option if you are using it for two people. Inside are a couple of storage pockets and also a little pocket to tuck the inner door into.
I have used this tent all year round both on sites and wild camping. It has performed really well in windy conditions in the Brecon Beacons, Scotland and the Lake District. In November 2019 I walked the West Highland Way and camped out in temperatures of -5 degrees C. The tent was a little crispy to pack up but I found that it breathed well and there was little condensation on the inside.
The Vango Nevis 200 tent packs away into a large bag that you then make smaller with the compression straps. This is another of the features that I really like, I often have problems with my fingers getting numb and painful in cold and wet weather and struggle to put a tent back into a small bag. With this one I can just roll it up with the poles and pegs, drop it into the bag and pull the straps tight. Another benefit I have found to this bag is that I can also store other items in it, along with the tent. When walking the West Highland Way I put several dehydrated meals into the bag!
At just over 2kg in weight it is not the lightest of this type of tent, but for the for the money you will struggle to find one lighter. If you wanted to spend £150 – £200 you might find a tent weighing around 1.5kg. I did reduce the weight slightly by changing the pegs to lighter weight and stronger ones.
To carry my kit I use a 30 litre Osprey Tempest rucksack which means that the tent does not fit inside with all my other kit. However I just strap it to the top and this seems to work just fine.
Would I buy this tent again? Yes definitely as it has proved its worth in some testing conditions. The only downside so far is that you need to be able to peg the tent down, so for hard standing conditions where I needed a self-supporting geodesic design I would probably use my old but trusty Wild Country tent.
Have you used this tent? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below.