Is light always right? It’s easy to make a tent lighter after all. Just make it smaller, ditch the porch and use a single layer of material rather than an inner and an outer. But how light can a tent be if it offers two-person space, a double wall and retains a porch? According to Vaude, the Power Lizard holds the record at 1000g.
Interestingly, when weighed in its stuffsack, the Power Lizard actually tips the scales at 1055g. This also highlights the lengths brands will go to make big claims, and Vaude is not alone in ditching the stuffsack to achieve an attractive weight. Other manufacturers have been known to ditch pegs, guy lines and even tent poles!
I took the Vaude Power Lizard into the central Lakeland fells. The packed size is good and the poles are only 35cm long when folded, some 10cm shorter than its competitors. The packed length means the poles are ideal for stashing on bikes as well as smaller rucksacks.
As dark clouds started to gather, I found a wild camping spot on the fell and pulled the tent from its stuffsack. That weight also included pitching instructions sewn into the stuffsack, so putting it up was a doddle as the rain began to fall.
Once pitched, the size of the tent is what becomes important. The inner is 115cm wide and 95cm high, which is bigger than some lightweights. But there is also a full-length porch, which easily swallows a rucksack or two. Is it a true two-person tent though? It’s certainly around 25cm wider than some one-person tents, but equally it is some 15cm narrower than many two-person backpacking tents.
No matter how big a tent is, you won’t sleep if it flaps like a paper bag. The Power Frame is what sets the Power Lizard apart from most lightweights. This system uses unique clips, which have two parts: a grey clip to attach the outer to the pole and a red clip to lock the pole in place (see photo below). There’s also an internal guy line system that provides extra tension to the pole. The result is an incredibly stable tent.
As the skies darkened further and the rain began to tap out a rhythm on the flysheet, the space and stability of the Vaude Power Lizard were extremely welcome. For one person this tent is ideal as it has room for you to sit out the rain in comfort. You can stash a rucksack with space to cook in the porch, and there’s great headroom throughout. Yes, you could squeeze two people inside if you really wanted to; but I wouldn’t want to unless I was desperately trying to travel light.
The manufacturers may call the Power Lizard UL the world’s lightest two-person double wall tent of its class, but I call it a superb one-person backpacking tent that is spacious, stable and comfortable!
Design side-entry tunnel
Poles 7.5mm diameter shock-corded alloy
Flysheet double-sided siliconised 20D polyamide: 3000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet polyamide: 10,000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 115cm; height 95cm
Packed size 35x10cm
Made in Far East
Stockist details – tel. (01665) 510660: www.vaude.co.uk
The Vaude Power Lizard UL is extremely light; very stable due to Power Frame; good-sized porch and inner for one person; easy to pitch; inner can be removed for striking tent in the wet. But it’s not really a two-person tent; there are lighter tents if weight is your top priority; high price tag. In summary, the Vaude Power Lizard UL is an excellent light, stable tent for solo camping in comfort.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine April 2010