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Vango TBS Spirit 200 Lite


LFTO rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

For camping and backpacking in the UK this 2-person backpacking tent offers most of the features that most walkers will want. The Vango TBS Spirit 200 Lite is based around the well-established 2-pole tunnel design, which is renowned for being spacious, reasonably stable and lightweight; however a geodesic design would be more stable. But you also get the Tension Band System (TBS), which provides extra stability to each pole by tensioning a pair of internal guylines. At 2300g this is reasonably light . One of the main advantages though is that the Vango TBS Spirit 200 Lite is pitched outer-first, while many other lightweight tents are pitched inner-first. The tent is pitched very easily. There is adjustment around the base to allow good tension and easy peg placement on uneven ground. There is an entrance at one end. The excellent door design allows the door to be opened from the top or it can be rolled to the side. Being able to open the door from the top is ideal when you need to vent steam while cooking in the porch during rain, a common practice in the UK! There is one porch, and it is large enough for a couple of big rucksacks with space to cook. The inner tent has an additional midge net door and mesh vents allow air flow, without allowing the inner to become cold and draughty. Inner space is good for two and only drops a little at the tail end. Make no mistake this is a real bargain at £200. But you do only get one entrance and one porch. The inner of this tent is not as spacious as some designs, so this is definitely not the best option if you expect to sit out lots of bad weather. Tunnel designs are not as stable as geodesic designs (such as the Lightwave), so others are best for wild camping in high, remote settings. If these features are more important than being able to pitch the tent outer-first then other tents will be better for you.

Verdict: Buy it if you want an outer-pitched-first tent with good space for two and reasonable stability at a good weight and good price as this is the best at  £200 or less.

Design: 2-pole tunnel

Poles: shock-corded alloy

Flysheet: Protex SPU-SL3000; hydrostatic head 3000mm

Inner: breathable ripstop polyester with H2O-repellent finish

Groundsheet: HD nylon 5000 hydrostatic head 5000mm

Internal dimensions: length 205cm; width 130cm; height 95cm

Packed size: 50x10cm

Weight: 2300g

Made in: China

Stores in UK: England 20; Wales 2; Scotland 2; Ireland 1

User's Reviews

  • Snug but tough


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    User's Overall Rating rating is 4.5

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    Performancerating is 4
    Build qualityrating is 5
    Value for moneyrating is 5

    This tent has served me well over the last 10 years. It still stacks up against much more modern and expensive lightweight tents in terms of weight, maybe not so much in terms of packed size. The inner is always bone-dry and always seems to keep its shape regardless of the terrain you erect the tent on. I have been thankful on a number of occasions for the design allowing you to put it up in the worst of weather and still keep the inside away from the rain. The porch is nice a spacious for a tunnel tent, but it sits low with very little headroom, so getting in and out isn't too easy, especially in the wet (you can put your boots on with just your feet sticking into the porch, but you'll have to open the outer door to get out before you can shut the inner). The sleeping compartment is very snug with two people, but that's the only real trade-off here.

    (Written by: magicguppy)

    31 July 2013 15:33

  • An ideal 3-season tent for wild camping in Britain


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    User's Overall Rating rating is 4

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    Performancerating is 4
    Build qualityrating is 4
    Value for moneyrating is 5

    When buying a tent I was having a hard time trying to find all of the features that I required. Two man, Large porch, outer pitching first, 2kg and under £200. I though that I would have to comprise that was until I found the Spirit 200. I was so excited to get it and couldn't wait to get out onto the hill to try it out. On the first trip it did not let me down it was perfect. The porch was brilliant just large enough to fit two sacks and wet gear. It was light weight so did not weigh heavy in my sack. After a comfortable and dry night I felt my wishes had come true. It is hard to criticize such a great tent but there are a couple of down sides. Despite appearing to have good ventilation it does suffer from large amounts of condensation. In addition to this it is a tunnel tent so is not the most stable of tents, but I have been used it in windy and wet conditions without any problems. For the money and the conditions that I go out in I am impressed with its performance and it comes highly recommended for three season use in Britain.

    (Written by: annie-blue)

    08 March 2009 19:08

  • Vango TBS Spirit 200 Lite



    User's Overall Rating rating is 3.5

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    Performancerating is 3
    Build qualityrating is 4
    Value for moneyrating is 4

    The tent is great... have used it a couple of times - loads of space for gear in the porch, and decent sleeping area for two people. BUT the amount of condensation that was there the next moring was unbelievable...

    (Written by: Zapscan)

    21 January 2008 20:25


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