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Review Of The Vango Amazon 800 For 365 Camping Caravanning

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Vango Amazon 800

(Sleeping Capacity 8 persons)

The Tent
New for 2008 the Vango Amazon range (available in 6 and 8 berth) boasts a truly massive living space and flexible sleeping compartments to suit your needs. The steel pole tunnel structure makes the maximum use of space while being easy to pitch, durable and solid. Features include:- 

Protex® 5000 polyester Waterproof.
Powerplus® steel poles Reliable formed structure.
PE waterproof groundsheet 5000HH Minimum.
Taped seams for waterproof protection.
Storm skirt system waterproof exterior skirt system.
Heavy duty oxford fabric used.
Flysheet first pitching inner tents are kept dry.
Guy tidy velcro holder,
Colour coded poles
Pre-angled poles makes walls more vertical
A sewn-in groundsheet fully enclosed
Mesh vents vents on inner tent for continual airflow.
Air flow vent system - new system of repeated small vents below skirt level ensures low to high ventng

3 mesh doors reduces build up of condensation
Inner pockets and hanging organisers
Crystal clear windows allow maximum light in
Lantern point loop or hook for lighting.
Double zip windows flexible internal cover allowing choice between - light and vent or vent only.
Skylights light in living area with internal covers.
Cable entry points and tidy zipped entry point
Flexible inners can be removed for more space.
Front door can be opened fully giving a verandah feel to your tent.
Rain gutter zip cover keeps zip dry.
Roller tent bag oversized to ease the pack away. Repair Kit included

Optional Extras:
Tent Carpet  £95, Stone Protection Sheet   £40

Pitch Footprint, Size and Weight
Pitching Area: 700 x 650cm
Pitching Time: 50min
Pack Size Poles: 77 x 27 x 21
Weight Poles: 30.10kg
Weight Flysheet: 19.40kg
Weight Inners: 8.30kg
Pack Size Flysheet: 81 x 42 x 37cm
Pack Size Inners: 77 x 51 x 15cm

Erection and Pitching

Pitching time is around 50 minutes and the tent comes with a DVD on how to put it up, but if you have ever put a tent up it is fairly simple. It's a tunnel tent - so no poles looping over from back to front. Once we got the hang of the poles it was fairly quick to slot everything in place, peg the back out - raise the poles and pull them into position. 5 pegs hold the back in place and 2 at the front hold it so that you can peg the tent completely. A nice touch is the velcro straps on the guys so that they can be simply put away when the tent comes down. The tent took shape so easily, I know I have camped before, but believe me - this took shape very easily, no odd shapes or kinks here. The inners are colour coded to help put them up and everywhere there are pull straps to keep everything tight. I was also impressed by the number of toggles and loops on the inners - made them very stable and a good shape. They are also well vented - A little worrying this early in the year. I was pleased to see so many pockets in the inner too, along with the ones on the "pelmet" which is also held in place by toggles. If you don't want them they roll up and tuck into neat little pockets at the top. The curtains on the windows all open downwards and can be rolled/folded/stuffed into pockets at the bottom. The windows are very large too. During the day the tent has a light and airy feel to it, at night you don't feel trapped in due to the space. 

Pros and Cons

 

Pros:

Cons:

A really good tent (and big - pitch size is 7x 6.5 metres) and has room in it for everyone.

 I can imagine it being a great family tent especially on a wet day - you can all be in it without being under each others feet.

The bag is far too heavy when loaded. The wheels on it are useless (after one weekend, my bag is badly scratched and damaged).
It takes a couple of you to load it in the car. You’d be advised to get separate bags for the main canvas, the poles and the inners as I have.

Not so much a fault, but certainly a recommendation is the footprint groundsheet - much easier to clean the built in one after a muddy weekend.

The Cost
Around the £400 mark 

Verdict
This year I decided I needed a better tent so I started looking online. It had to accommodate 7-8 people minimum (Most of the time there is only 3 of us but I like the room) so friends could come if they wanted. A search of the net showed the Outwell Vermont XL as a promising option. Then saw the new Vango Amazon 800. Got put off the Vango by a few comments on different Forums. Then saw the Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show was on so decided to wait and see.I quickly found the Outwell Vermont XL and was surprised how small it actually was, it was also fairly dark inside. The idea of the outer area and the inner area appealed, but were actually quite small. Once a year I do a meal in the field for around 7 people - I wanted the option to sit everyone around the table in the tent - that just wasn't going to happen in the Vermont XL. It's inbuilt wardrobe took up too much room - almost a half inner itself. Across from it was the Vango Amazon 800 with it's carpet. I was very impressed - this had loads of room. The groundsheet was sewn in to make the tent more or less one piece. The front door opened to create a very large opening or a simple door, and had a large canopy - plus 2 side doors with large flaps covering them. There is also a small zip either side to allow for electrics to be run out. Lots of ventilation points as well to reduce condensation and cool in summer. Then there is the carpet! I know that it isn't universally popular but I like it, warm and practical. More of a huge picnic blanket really. Must admit mine has a fair few flaws in it and I did consider complaining, but I am sure we'll add a few of our own pretty quickly so decided that it wasn't a major problem. So, did I have enough room? Hell yes - a table for 6 (a proper camping roll up table I add) took up very little room one side of the tent while the kitchen area took less than a quarter, leaving room for a seating area (no I don't have a TV... yet). One heater was enough to keep us warm too (it was early March remember). I cooked a meal with no problems in the tent and as night came on we hung a battery lamp from the middle of the roof. The position of the tag meant that there was enough light, but we had a further 2 anyway. I was really impressed with the way I could walk under the lamp hanging from the ceiling and I am 6ft tall. Three of us stayed in the 4 man inner. Did run an EHU  lead in so we could use the heater if need be, but we were all warm enough all night. After breakfast we cleared away (okay I'll admit it - I've got a rechargeable carpet sweeper for the carpet!!). Could we get all the tent back into it's bag? Yes we could.. the bag is over sized so it was no problem. I love my Vango now and am really happy with my choice.                                                                              

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

Reviewed by Davan
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.

                    

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