I was contacted by Adam at Go Outdoors and asked if I wished to receive a tent to review. Great timing, as we had been thinking that maybe we should get a new ‘base’ tent, ie a big, roomy beast to use when car camping. Browsing the selection of tents on the Go Outdoors website, I opted for a Vango EOS 350 tent. We had a 3-person Vango tent for family trips years ago. This was much used and much loved and finally passed on to my brother to try with his sons, although by then the fabric was looking very faded and worn after many weeks camping in full sunshine. (Not holidays in Scotland!)
So less than 2 days after ordering this from Go Outdoors, a Vango EOS 350 arrived by post.
Technical Specifications of this tent include
Height (cm): 145.00
Length (cm): 435.00
Width (cm): 220.00
Flysheet Hydrostatic Head (mm): 3000
Groundsheet Hydrostatic Head (mm): 10000
Weight (kg): 6.15
Pack Size (cm): 65 x 19 x 18 cm
The EOS was easy to set up being a simple tunnel design with three poles. The instructions say the poles are colour coded to match the pole sleeves. They are, but the coloured ‘mark’ (a wee grey tab) to show where the grey pole went was tiny and I didn’t see it for minutes. However, it is obvious from the picture that the slightly longer pole goes in the centre and the other two equal length poles go front and back. The poles are pushed through poles sleeves, and, as with all tents of this design, care needs to be taken not to catch the end of the pole on the sleeve. But it wasn’t a problem.
It took 2 of us about 15 minutes to put up for the first time (without the guys) but we’re sure we could do it in 10 in future. The tent pitched fly first, but you can leave the inner tent attached to the fly to make pitching quicker.
One reason I selected this tent was because of the high value of the waterproofness of the ground sheet (Hydrostatic Head = 10,000). The only twice when we’ve had a tent suffer from water getting inside has been through the ground sheet and has been in our large tents at camp sites or music festival sites. As you can imagine music festival ‘sites’ are simply fields with no thought given to drainage, but the time we got flooded on a camp site, was a surprise. The groundsheet has a good bath-tub design, so this together with the high HH value should mean no water gets in from below.
The EOS has a huge porch – with an attached ground sheet. The porch will be big enough for a small table (although we don’t actually have a camping table), low chairs, a cool box, and all manner of camping paraphernalia – for those who like to carry everything but the kitchen sink.
The tent has two large doors – one on each side of the porch and one of these has a mesh inner. There is a window on each side too, There are ample tie-backs for all of these, although I found the toggle and elastic fastenings to these a wee bit fiddly.
The inner tent is easily large enough for two standard size sleeping mats, eg original Thermarests, plus rucksacks or holdalls of clothing. There are three pockets at each side of the front door. The door opens with a two-way zip in a large C-opening almost the whole way round. There is a small pocket to tuck away the door when open, which I thought was a nice touch. There is a mesh panel to the top quarter of the door.
This is marketed at a 3-person tent, but I think 3 adults may find it a little tight for anything other than a occasional night. It would be great for crashing out in after a night partying at a festival – and you could even squeeze an extra person in the porch – but it’s probably better suited for two adults if used for a week-long camping holiday. It would be roomy enough for two, plus a small child.
Being a tunnel design, the tent does not have any shape until pegged out, but the Vango Tension Band system helps you to get the right shape. It’s easy to get the correct amount of tautness in the flysheet – at least when on a level flat pitch. Being a tunnel it needs to be pitched with the ends pointing into the winds, but that’s something I’d do naturally anyway.
We decided to leave the inner tent attached to the fly when packing away. This took us a few minutes of folding and rolling, and re-folding and rolling to get the tent thin enough to fit in the tent bag. It needs to be folded so it’s quite long and skinny, to fit the bag at 65 x 19 x 18 cm.
The tent came with a couple of spare steel tent pegs and a wee swatch of each of the three colours of fabric.
We can’t give an opinion on the robustness of the materials yet, but from looking carefully at all seams and tension points, it appears to be well made. For the price it’s a lot of tent for your money. It’s currently available for £89.99 (with home delivery) from Go Outdoors and I suggest it is a good buy for a large car-camping tent.
(Neil even joined me for the tent testing.)
Edit: 16 September – See the follow up review here.