Vango TBS Spirit 200 Lite

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