The problem with most tunnel tents is that the shape is so tapered that there is limited usable space. The Viperine gets around this problem by using a unique pole configuration, which provides incredible inner space far exceeding that of similar designs. Pitching is easy, thanks to the clear instructions and the hand-friendly pegs. It is inner-pitched-first with the flysheet fitting over the inner and ladder-lock adjustment around the base. There is one entrance and this has bottom, side and top opening options to suit the weather. There is also a window in the porch. The porch itself is very large and ideal for a couple of rucksacks with space to cook. The tent is also very stable, making it suitable for a variety of general backpacking situations. But this tent pitches inner-first, so it’s not ideal if you are forced to pitch or strike camp in the wettest weather. The vertical sides have made the roof quite flat, so I am a little concerned how it will fare in heavy rain, which may collect on the roof. You can get lighter, lower-priced models, and some tents have two porches.
Poles: shock-corded alloy
Inner: 68D polyester and mesh
Flysheet: 68D polyester, 1500mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet: 68D nylon, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions: length 210cm; width 120cm; height 95cm
Packed size: 52x16cm
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: 75
Verdict: Superb internal space is the appeal of this tent, making it ideal for backpacking; but the inner-pitched-first design will be a drawback if you have to erect it in rain.
First published in Trail magazine, May 2008