Vango has a wide range of low-priced tents that compete on virtually equal footing with those costing twice as much. The Nitro 200 (like most Vango tents) benefits from the Tension Band System to add extra stability. A weight of only 2300g coupled with good dimensions and that all-important price tag of £200 makes this a strong competitor.
The Nitro comes in a compression sack, making it easy to stash and pack neatly, while pitching instructions are stitched into the stuff sack. The alloy poles are colour-coded and easily matched to the sleeves, which allow them to be threaded around the outside of the flysheet. The pole ends are then located into eyelets where adjustable webbing straps allow easy tensioning. The pegs at the front and tail create the tunnel and these pegging points are also adjustable, which is useful on rocky ground. Inside the tent the Tension Band System can be fitted under the larger front pole if more stability is needed. The outer door does not allow as many opening options as other tents, but it can be opened from the top and one side, which is enough for most situations anyway.
On the hill
Once pitched the Nitro is clearly very stable for a tunnel. I liked its general ease of pitching, particularly as I could strip out the inner first on a wet morning and pack this up before stashing the wet outer. There is good ventilation through the length of the inner, thanks to a pair of tail vents and a vent that can be provided by the top of the front door. But others have more ventilation as the inner door only has a small section of midge netting that can be exposed, while others have a full midge door for maximum ventilation. The porch is ample size, and I was able to store a couple of packs in here and have space to cook without difficulty. The inner tent is a few centimetres smaller than the others here and also slightly more triangular, resulting in the inner feeling a little more restrictive in terms of headroom than others. My biggest niggle is the colour of the inner, which is orange and black. I did not feel this was a welcoming colour scheme and certainly felt others were a better colour to live with. That Tension Band System when in use does get in the way too, but at least it can be stashed in a small pocket when not needed, which is a real benefit.
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner 70D ripstop nylon
Outer Protex 40D ripstop nylon, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet high density nylon, 8000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 215cm; width 130cm; height 95cm
Packed size 15x 45cm
Packed weight 2300g
Made in China
Stores in UK 90
Stockist details – tel. (01475) 746000; www.vango.co.uk
Verdict: The Vango Nitro 200 two-person two-pole tunnel tent has a good price; outer pitches first; adjustable pegging points; colour-coded poles. But if offers relatively small living space; orange and black inner; heaviest here; ventilation could be better. Overall, it’s unbeatable on price, though others have benefits in all other departments. However for many backpackers the Nitro 200 offers enough of what they really need at a bargain price
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2009