Vango Force Ten Helium 100 (2012)

The F10 Helium 100 has won ‘Best Value’ awards from Trail in the past, but the 2012 version is even better. The tent is based around a single precurved transverse pole that slips through a sleeve in the outer, to create a side entry tunnel. There’s an additional vertical pole at each end to add extra headroom. There are now additional internal mesh vents, which are protected by a small canopy at each end, and these should improve airflow and reduce condensation. The inner and outer fabrics are also brighter than last year, so it feels a little less gloomy inside. The headroom is still slightly low at each end, but you can sit up under the main pole. The porch is ideal for stashing a rucksack while leaving good access and space to cook. There’s a Tension Band System (TBS) too – which is a pair of internal guy lines that help stabilise the main pole. These do get in the way a little, but they can also be removed if not needed. The Force Ten Helium 100 weighs just 1205g; however if that is still too heavy check out the Helium Carbon 100, which has carbon fibre poles and comes in at just 946g – but it will cost you £400.

Flysheet material Protex silicone-coated nylon ripstop
Inner material nylon ripstop
Groundsheet material PU-coated nylon
Internal dimensions (length x width x height) 210x95x90cm
Packed size 40x11cm
Weight 1433g
Website www.forcetentents.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Force Ten Helium 100 is a superb solo backpacking tent that is even better this year and still well-priced – indeed, it won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award – although a little more headroom would be nice.

 

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2012