Vango Equinox 350 TBS
Having just bought the Vango Equinox TBS 350 I am quite impressed overall. Having done loads of research, consulted internet forums and trawled the web for hours, I finally settled for this tent as best meeting my requirements. My requirements were:
1. A high waterproof rating to keep out the wet under severe weather conditions
2. Lightweight enough to be able to backpack with-even if it meant splitting the load between 2-3 people but also….
3. Large enough to pitch for a few days at a time and live comfortably in for base-camp type car holidays.
4. A reasonable size covered “porch” area separate from the “living” quarters for cooking, storage or just socialising if weather not too good.
5. Aluminium-type poles (bad experience with cheapo fibreglass ones previously)
Here is how the Vango Equinox TBS 350 has met my requirements:
1. Hydrostatic head of 6000mm on the fly and 8000mm on the groundsheet ie. very resistant to water penetration
2. Weight of about 6kg--not the lightest, I know, but split between a few people=no problem
3. Would have no problem staying for a few days in this tent, it is big.
4. Porch area as big as the actual sleeping area (about 2m x 2m)--enough room for cooking, gear stowage and will easily take 4 adults sitting on the groundsheet-for those after-walk wines and sundowners
5. Alloy poles--really lightweight too…
I have only pitched it in the back yard at this stage and “garden-tested” it for one night so haven’t faced field conditions just yet but soon… I will point out a few downers but hastily add that none of these would put me off buying this tent again.
1. Headroom is 1,3m in the porch area so can’t stand up straight. Suppose extra height means extra weight--I just decided weight was more important than height
2. Condensation issues on inner fly when tent is closed up--I would suggest opening all vents and one door when sleeping to prevent this, weather permitting of course. Will add that no moisture penetration of the sleeping area or drips occurred, just condensation build up on inner fly...5 mins in the sun with doors open all gone now.
3. Although Vango markets this as a 3/4 person tent, my feeling is that it would be a tight squeeze getting 4 in the sleeping area comfortably for any length of time. I am 6-foot odd and had to sleep lengthwise (across the tent) by the door and didn’t touch sides. Lying the other way (along the tent) on my back, my big ‘ol feet were tickling the sides….This is because of the shallow slope/taper of the tent at the end…
Shared tent with my g/friend…plenty space for 2, OK for 3 but would really have to be a small 4th person to get in (granted, Vango’s illustration does show a child as the 4th person). Of course the porch offers same dimensions as sleeping area so could sleep there if really hardcore rough sleepers (porch comes with detachable groundsheet--very handy).
Vango also claim this tent is stable under windy conditions due to the TBS system. This consists of two bands per pole (3 poles) kind of “cross bracing” the tent on the inside. Does give the feel of extra stability. Overall most impressed with this tent…
Price Paid: £220
Good tent--a bit heavy. At the time I did not know about the Equinox 300.
Getting the poles in is a bit fiddly if the inner tent is on--much easier if you unclip the ends of the inner.
Very useful porch but I do not understand why there is a mossy net on the porch flaps as mossy's can get in around the bottom of the porch as there is a gap between the porch and the groundsheet.
I am considering getting an extra porch groundsheet to use as a footprint for the inner tent as the groundsheet on that is flimsy.
Overall I am happy with it and it is very stable and dry.
Design: Three season
Ease of Setup: difficult to pitch on your own
Price Paid: £200
Very good value for money, semi tech tent that's ideal for 4-season car or base camp camping. loads of storage, cooking, socialising space and a seperate inner that easily takes three with plenty of storage pockets, ideal for the family and climbing trips as well. the tension band system really beefs up the strength should you need it. just seam seal the toggle stitching above the doors as this appears to be the only leak point. great value and very practical.
Ease of Setup: 3 out of 5
Weight: 5 Kg ?
Price Paid: £180 paid
Had my lovely equinox now for 8 years, it's been used plenty of times in the bonny hills of Scotland, and it's still in perfect condition ! Most suitable for car camping as its quite heavy, but it's stayed strong in some pretty hairy Scottish weather. And green tents are best of course as you don't want to intrude on your surroundings with something horribly garish, you'll scare off the wildlife ! The Tension Band System is amazing...
Ease of Setup: 5-10 minutes no problems
Price Paid: £220