This tent is a real gem! From wind to rain to bitter cold, this tent did the trick for me. Of course, I do have some gripes about it, but I’ll get to the rants and raves in a minute.
First, let’s start with the where, when, why, and how I ended up with this tent. I was in England at the time, and searching for a 2-person tent that would be perfect for backpacking, or for carrying some distances by train and bus and foot.
The dream tent
Basically, the ideal tent needed to be light and easy to carry, but big enough to house my wife and I for several nights at a time. We needed it to withstand a variety of weather situations, because we planned to camp in areas around England, and then in other countries down the line.
Possibly the most important aspect of this future “dream tent” was that it needed to be easy to set up and tear down. We are avid hikers, and spend most of our camping time away from our sites, so our set up has always been minimal—usually as simple as a tent and a pile of firewood.
Vango Ark 200
After much research, we scoped out the Vango Ark 200 at a popular outdoor shop in Northern England, and then purchased it online. It seemed to be the right size, color, and shape. Plus, it was reasonably priced, and had most of the features we were searching for.
Let’s break it down:
- Capacity: 1-2 people
- Weight: 7.6 lbs (3.45 kg)
- Floor Dimensions: 112 x 63 inches (285 x 160 centimeters)
- Height: 45 inches (115 centimeters)
- Price: $106.32 (£74.99)
- Style: Gothic Arch Tunnel; 2-pole structure with color-coded poles
- Poles: 2
- Entrances: 1
- Assembly time: 5 min
- Mesh and fabric cabin front door
- 4 cabin tent pockets
- Lantern Loop
- Carrying bag with handle
- Enclosed porch area with two plastic windows and linked-in floor
- Sewn-in groundsheet
Pros and Cons (according to Two Tents Down)
- Reasonable price: For a hundred bucks, this tent has far surpassed our expectations. It has been in three countries–on planes, trains, and subways. It’s seen three seasons, and all sorts of weather in between, and is still as tough as the day we got it.
- Waterproof: On one camping trip, it rained on our trusty Vango for a day and a half. Not a drop of water leaked into the cabin or porch area.
- Durable: If wind and rain storms weren’t enough, this tent also stood tall against rowdy teenagers with rocks and rodents with sharp teeth. By now the tent is a quilt, we patched it so many times. Still, no leaks and no problems.
- Strong zippers
- Large front door: It’s easy to enter/exit tent.
- Lightning quick set up: Simple set up is a priority in my camping life. One of my favorite features of this tent is the quick assembly time. With two people, this tent is up and ready-to-go in less than five minutes.
- Cabin area remains completely insect free
- Bugs can enter in through porch area: The porch area groundsheet is removable, so there is a tiny sliver of separation between the groundsheet itself and the porch wall. Through that tiny space, bugs can climb through and hang out in the porch area.
- Poor ventilation: Although the cabin area fabric is breathable, it can get pretty stuffy inside the tent. Unfortunately, there is only one actual vent.
- Too heavy for backpacking: As much as we researched, we somehow underestimated the weight of this tent. It is far too heavy to be taken on a backpacking trip. However, it would be a fantastic car camping tent for kids, or an extra tent for a last-minute camper who decides to join your camping trip!
- Impossible to assemble tent without rain cover: This is a negative inside of a positive, really. The cabin clips onto the fly sheet, once it is already staked and poled. The great thing about this, is that the fly will never meet the thinner fabric of the cabin, so moisture cannot seep into the tent. The down fall is that on those hot, dry night you’re stuck inside a tent with minimal ventilation and a thick rain cover over the top.
I recently discovered that Vango has a blog, with all sorts of details about camping products and camping itself—from hiking gear to biking gear to choosing the right sleeping bag. It’s worth checking out!
Tell me your “survivor” tent stories in the comment section below!
If you need me, I’m just Two Tents Down!
Note: This review is based on opinion and personal experience the using Vango Ark 200 tent. Two Tents Down did not receive any sort of compensation for the review.