Heading out on my ML Assessment I decided to take a gamble and used a tent that I had no prior experience of, not the done thing I know, but the Nitro 200+ was the tent in question, being considerably lighter and more compact than my other 2 person tents, I was relying solely on the heritage of Vango's reputable Force Ten brand. Weighing just 2.25kg with a price tag of £400 it's about 10% lighter and 25% cheaper than the equivalent Lightwave (T2 Ultra XT) and Terra Nova (Voyager XL).
I'm a big fan of extended flysheets on backpacking tents. Being able to put rucksacks and boots undercover and still have plenty of space to sit and cook without a major reshuffle of kit makes life so much easier, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Putting up the tent for the first time in the garden, in the pitch dark, wasn't my greatest piece of planning, but once I twigged that part of the weight saving design was to only put flysheet tensioners on one side of the tent, I was up and running in no time. The three poles are very clearly colour coded, so even under torchlight there's no mistaking which goes where.
The outer and inner pitch together or the outer can be pitched first, which again is great in our climate. When I've been out for more than one night, I've packed away the inner in a separate dry bag to keep it as dry as possible. It also saves wrestling the whole thing into the very snug bag supplied with it. Shock-cord loops on the inner tent attach to plastic hooks on the outer. Simple and effective. When the elastic starts to sag after a couple of years - just replace the shock cord. Great design feature Vango.
When it comes to sleeping, there's plenty of room for 2 - as long as you don't both have Neo Air Thermarests. The inner tent has really good ventilation with 2 mesh patches at the toe end and an adjustable mesh vent on the door, so it's easy to avoid condensation build-up on the inner tent. The outer tent has corresponding mesh vents at the toe end and 2 on the extended fly, all 4 protected from the elements by wired cowls. I managed to build up condensation on the fly sheet while cooking once, it was raining stair rods and I didn't want to open the top of the door to increase the ventilation.
This being a tunnel tent, pitching end-on to the wind is the recommended technique. However, the door is on the side of the vestibule, so pitching with the door away from the wind makes life more comfortable, unless gales are forecast.
The only niggle I have is the headroom. My head touches the fly sheet when sitting up. At 95cm it is a wee bit lower than the Lightwave and the Terra Nova, which is probably where they've made the weight saving, but it's not a deal breaker. The lower profile, coupled with the tension band system on the main pole makes the tent very stable in strong winds.
All in all this is a well thought out tent and after the short period i've used it, the design, materials and standard of manufacture all appear to be good quality and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
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