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Review Of The Vango Aspen 500 For 365 Camping Caravanning

 

 

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Vango Aspen 500
(Sleeping Capacity 5 persons)

 

Review Vango Aspen 500 - 365 Camping Caravanning

 

The Tent
The Vango Aspen 500 is a 5 Berth  Dome tent with a difference in that it utilises steel poles (as opposed to the durawrap type poles) which provide a rigid steel frame structure ensuring the tent is secure and provides comfortable living space. The Aspen range is not limited to the 500, the Aspen 500 DLX (with extended porch) and the Aspen 700 DLX (the 500 DLXís big sister) compliment this popular range of tents. With high specifications (see below) this tent is built for comfort and durability.

 

Flysheet: Protex 5000

Inner: Breathable H2O repellent Ripstop Polyester

Breathable Polyester inners with mesh vents, Draft valance on porch area

Sewn-In Groundsheet (SIG)

Rigid Steel Structure with Fibreflex poles for the porch area

Colour coded poles and continuous pole sleeves

'Crystal Clear' window/vent system, Detachable porch groundsheet included

Seam taped flysheet which gives long lasting protection from the elements.

Groundsheet: Polyehtylene

Mesh ventilation on the inner tent to condensation and keeps bugs out.

Mesh side door which adds extra ventilation options.

Rear roof vents

Skylights

Roller bag with zip opening for easy packing away and transport.

Repair kit

Colours: Mallard/Cloud

Fire retardant materials used throughout and comes with Lifetime Warranty

 

Pitch Footprint, Size And Weight
Width: 370 cm, Length: 605 cm, Height: 235 cm
Packed Size  Canvas: 80 cm x 50 cm x 40cm Poles: 110 cm x 30cm x 12cm
Total Weight  43 kg

 

Erection / Pitching
All in this range are pitched inner tent first and uses the popular ring & pin system for both the inner tent and flysheet. Thereís quite a few pole section to sort out before you start pitching:  5 shaped roof poles, 10 upright poles + corner pieces, 2 light canopy poles, 1 straight roof pole and 1 porch poleÖ.phew!!!! Luckily they are colour coded to make the puzzle easier to solve along with good clear instructions, which are also downloadable from the Vango website (an option all tent manufacturers should follow). The weight of the steel poles and the size of the inner tent can make it a tad awkward to pull upright and you would struggle to attempt this on your own so itís definitely a 2 person task. Once the inner is up you can see your efforts have been worthwhile as the mass of poles and material has suddenly been transformed into a stable and rigid structure. As with a lot of the larger, pitch Ďinnerí first, tents the ípulling the flysheet over the inner before itís sent into orbití cat & mouse game can be frustrating, but, some help is at hand with the Aspen as the front of the flysheet is anchored to the inner via the flysheet porch poles and the ring & pin system, once in place it makes the task of getting the flysheet over the inner tent a little easier. Fabric ties are used to help anchor the flysheet to the poles of the inner but I tend to find these a little fiddly at times and would have preferred a clip system. All thatís left now is to peg out the anchor straps on the porch and bedrooms and then peg out all the remaining guy lines.

 

Pros and Cons

 

Pros

Cons: 

  • Spacious

  • Well ventilated

  • Stable

  • Good Storage

  • Pitching time

  • Porch size

 

The Cost
Around £240 for the 2006 model but my advice would be to pay the extra £60 or so for the DLX version to get the benefit of the extended porch.

 

The Verdict
Vango is a well established player in the camping field and their experience is very much evident in this tent. Itís not the quickest tent to pitch (around 40 - 45mins) but with practice this may be reduced to around the 35mins mark. I feel the porch is a bit on the small side to be fully utilised and interestingly Vango may agree as they have produced the Aspen 500 DLX which has the larger porch. Overall this tent is a good spacious family tent for week (or longer) stays. I especially like the dressing room/wardrobe area (including hanging rail/pole). It has good ventilation (to reduce condensation), has a nice bright interior thanks to the large windows and skylights, large living area (easily fit your table and chairs with room to spare) and has huge standing height bedrooms (partition can be removed).

 

Information and Links
For further information on Vango and their products visit Vango

 

Reviewed by Camper Pete

Note We recommend with all tents that you see them fully erected and satisfy yourself that the product is right for you prior to making a purchase.

  Discount Camping Tents at Outdoor Megastore

 
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