Vango Banshee 200 2011

Vango has for many years dominated the market for practical backpacking tents that are also very well-priced. The Banshee 200 has been a particularly successful and popular model, which also forms part of Vango’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Recommended Kit list. At just 2kg, the Vango Banshee 200 is the lightest tent in our test.

Design
The Vango Banshee 200 is basically a tunnel with a side entry, rather than a more conventional end entry. This side entry allows the whole of the inner to be very easily accessed while also allowing access to a porch that extends the full length of the tent. The tent comes supplied with the inner tent pre-attached to the flysheet, so they can be pitched as one, or the flysheet can be pitched first and the inner added later. The poles are colour-coded so you know which pole goes in which pole sleeve, and there is adjustable webbing around the base to allow for a fast and easy pitch. A series of guy lines at the ends and sides complete the pitch. The inner has a mesh upper section and there are vents on the outer at each end for increased ventilation to reduce condensation. There is just one side entry to this tent.

On the hill
Pitching is very easy, and once up the Vango Banshee 200 was pretty stable. The end panel that slopes down from the highest pole does flap and bow a little if this end is pitched into the wind, so it is best to pitch the lower end into the wind and hope the wind does not turn through 180 degrees in the night. The side entry is great for one person, but two people do have to work out tactics a little to prevent them clambering over one another. When used by one person though this entrance works well. The porch is long, but it is also narrow. So again this is great for one person, but two rucksacks and wet gear crammed into this porch is a squeeze. The headroom is a little less than some others too and again while tolerable for one person it gets a bit irritating when two are fighting over the limited headroom that reaches its maximum under the bigger pole and then slopes away steeply in all directions from this point. When using this tent I really appreciated that the doors can be vented from the top and the tent end so condensation is not a major problem. This is a great tent for one person even at 2kg, but find a friend to share it and each person only has     
to carry1kg of tent if they can tolerate limited living space.

Design two-pole, side-entry tunnel
Poles shock-corded alloy
Materials outer: Protex HC5000 polyester, 5000mm hydrostatic head; groundsheet: polyester, 6000mm hydrostatic head; inner: polyester
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 120cm; height 90cm
Packed size 40x12cm
Weight 2kg
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. 0844 770 7058; www.vango.co.uk
Stores in the UK not provided

The Vango Banshee 200 weighs only 2kg; good ventilation provided; reasonably stable; easy to pitch. However one side entry is not ideal for two campers; quite dark and gloomy inside; porch is not the biggest available; slightly less inner space than some. It’s an ideal backpacking tent but quite cosy for two, great as a solo tent; the black and red version tested was slightly gloomy inside. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2011