[Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

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[Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

Postby Mickl » Fri 19 Jun, 2015 5:22 pm

Manufacturer - Vango
Model - Force 10 Helium 200 (older single door model)
Web link to current model - http://www.wildearth.com.au/buy/vango-f ... fte-hel2-j
Current RRP $349 AUD
Price paid $200 approx second hand
Weight – Approx 1200 grams (current model 1430 grams)

Fly: Protex 20d ripstop nylon, 5000 mm, taped seams (no seam sealing required)
Inner Tent: 40d ripstop nylon with two mesh windows (bright orange and black)
Tent Floor: Protex 20d nylon, 5000 mm (black)
1 x pre bent Alloy pole and 2 x end guy struts, Minimum 6 pegs required.

Tent can be pitched inner/outer together or can be used outer only also.

Tent 1st set up.JPG



This review is partly one that I put up in another person’s post some time ago. I thought to get the ball rolling on the review section I would re type it in more of a review style post. I purchase this tent in 2013 I believe and was the second owner after it was used lightly by the first. The only change from stock was the pegs as it was supplied with MSR groundhog stakes.

A couple of things I thought worth pointing out. I was on my own when doing this so did not get any decent photo’s of someone lying in the tent. I have taken several measurements with a tape while in and out the tent so hopefully that will be helpful. Also I was trying to mark up some tyvek for a ground sheet and add some side guy lines at the same time so was probably a bit more focused on that then getting a perfect pitch. I did slightly tighten a few of the elastics that attach the inner to the outer after the pics were taken and that did tighten the slack in the inner a bit but I didn’t think it was enough to warrant new pics/measurements although it may have added a cm here or there.

The mat for reference was an old school Thermarest 185cm long x 52 wide x 3cm thick. I would normally use an Exped UL7 mat but this saved me blowing it up as it was already laid out ready to go. All the measurements are taken with the mat about 15cm from the entry side parallel to the entry. All measurements are approx but should be very close.

Advertised size

Dimensions.jpg
Dimensions.jpg (27.45 KiB) Viewed 11787 times


My measurements of actual tent were as advertised and measurements taken were more so people could get an idea of actual usable room.

- From the end of the mat to the inner bath tub wall is approx 15cm at the head and foot end.
- From the centre of the mat to the inner opposite the door is approx 50cm.
- From the head and foot end of the mat to the non entry side of the bath tub wall is approx 20cm.
- Laying on my back on the mat and measuring from my body to the inner above was approx 30 cms above my head, 50cms above my stomach and approx 30cms above my feet. This height could be adjusted by sliding the mat towards one end more which would give more height one end.
- Measuring the vestibule space from inner wall to outer wall in the centre is approx 45cms and from the ground to the outer fly at the inner wall is approx 75cms. The vestibule runs most of the length of the entry side so is quite long and just tapers from the 45cms centre to either end where it’s just off the inner.

Tent 1st set up inner.JPG

Tent 1st set up inner 3.JPG

Tent 1st set up inner 4.JPG

Tent 1st set up inner door storage depth.JPG

Tent 1st set up inner door storage height.JPG



Set up / Pack down

Set up of this tent is very easy. Basically the arch pole goes in. The end struts go in both ends and then you peg out the strut guys, end corners and after reaching under the fly and hooking the inner elastic out over the same pegs used for the outer its up. Due to this design its quick to set up and very easy to set up with a dry inner when raining. Only negative to this set up I can see is that the inner tension is not easy to adjust as it has to use the same pegs as the outer and they are simly loops of shock cord with no adjustment. I so far have not found this to be an issue. Pack down is basically a reverse of the above. I find folding and rolling the best way to pack up tent but if the tent was dry you could also stuff it into the sack as there are no poles left in tent for pack up.

First Use

Initial use was on overnight stay on my back lawn! Initially it was to suss out the tent and also test a new EE quilt I had just received. After the first nights use i took the below pic which was lying on top of an Exped Downmat 9 LW inside my EE 20F Quilt. This was to show the room inside the tent during actual use. The end of my quilt was well off the tent walls and using a normal pillow my head was still well off the inner at the head end. I am 174cm’s for reference.
During the first night and morning it chucked it down with rain and the tent was dry with no water coming through anywhere. The outer fly did lose a bit of its taughtness with the water on it but was still well clear of the inner. As a result I decided to leave the tent out for a few days on the lawn in the rain. Over a few days it rained so much that my back verandah was flooded and the yard and everything else was soaked. Once the rain stopped after a couple of days I went back out and was happy to find not a drop of water on the inside of the tent. After this test I am pretty confident that this tent would do well in wet weather.

Tent 1st set up inner lying in exped and 20f quilt.JPG


Extended Use

I have used this tent on several trips to date, the longest and most recent being 5 nights in deep creek conservation park South Australia. The walk was a school group walk and was a set up and pack down every day trip. The weather on this trip was heavy wind and rain 3 of the 5 nights with the remaining two nights being still. The final night was cold and very wet with condensation so the tent has had a good test in varying conditions.

Before leaving on this trip I added side guy lines on both sides to the main arch pole as they are not attached as standard. During one night of this trip I was woken up by the tent shaking and decided to peek outside for a look. I was surprised when I opened the tent at just how windy it was outside. I was glad at that point I was not underneath any large trees! The tent was moving a fair bit and was noisy enough to wake me (although I do sleep lightly) but given the wind I would say the tent did really well. I believe the side guy lines helped a lot with this and would recommend adding them to anyone with this tent. The last night which was very cold and still I woke to huge amounts of condensation. I was completely dry due to the separate inner which I was glad about on that occasion.

IMG_1055[1].JPG

IMG_1060.JPG


Overall thoughts after use

Main point I think is like most tents I would not call this a 2 person tent. This is a nice solo tent but would be very cosy with two people especially with one entry. The new model of this tent weighs about 150-200 grams more but also has dual side entries similar to tents like the scarp. This is in my book a big plus and would make it a great solo tent that I would consider getting.

Pro’s

Very easy and quick to set up, light weight, Packs small and fits in pack well, very waterproof and roomy enough for one person if you’re not a giant!

Cons

The main con I can think of is the single entry. This is really the only thing that annoyed me a bit on every trip so far. If the weather was nice and you could leave gear outside or you tend to unpack completely each camp leaving any empty bag then it would not be an issue. Given the weather on my trips, I had my bag under the door and mostly packed still which was a little tight with a 70 litre pack and gear. The only other thing I think that could be better is the amount of slack in the inner tent roof. As you can see from photo's its not very tight which could assist with not touching the outer walls etc but I feel it makes the inner feel a little smaller than it is. This could probably be sorted with some pins or similar if it was a real bother.

I currently still have this tent and plan on using it in the future although I do have a gear buying problem so will most likely pass it onto my wife so I can try something else!
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Re: Vango Force 10 Helium 200

Postby neilmny » Fri 19 Jun, 2015 5:51 pm

That's a great review Mickl. Thanks for doing it.

I also have a Vango Helium 200 which I bought from a forum member.
It is the 2 door version and I am very happy with it.
My first use had cold, rainy wet and steamy all in one weekend.

Cold was not an issue as could be expected.

Rainy wet was interesting but I was bone dry in the morning.
The only thing I found was that because of the tapered ends the sound of rain drops was very close to my face, a bit like some sort of water torture might be. Ear plugs solved this. The rainy night was humid and quite still. Condensation was heavy on the inside of the outer tent but not an issue as far as wetting me or the inner was concerned.

I am really happy I bought this tent and agree it is really a 1 person tent. I bought it to use as a one person tent.
I am about 182cm and use a Synmat UL9 LW and there is enough length and width for me and my gear in there.
I don't reckon I could sleep in it with my better half. But most 2 up tents are like that space wise.

I must look into the extra guys. It's a good idea.
One thing I've done which I guess doesn't help resale (not that I tend to sell my gear) is add a couple of pockets near the main door. I just like to have certain stuff easily at hand and the pockets were needed in my opinion.
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Re: [Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

Postby Jag » Thu 02 Jul, 2015 4:23 pm

I used the single one ( 900gr) for the Appalachian in 2010 . Sometimes condensation & I never got the inner layer taut & often not the outer layer taut but unless it was wet it did not matter .

The times when it was wet & in fact poured , I magically found the right tension & stayed dry . This times I also managed to get the pack under the eaves & it worked . I kept all my things in 4 waterproof bags . Clothes - equipment - hygiene - food & could get them all in . ( I am 170 kg & 64 kgs. ) .

I gave used it since on all my long distance hikes since . I have still got most of the original pegs & have never had a rip . I think it is also a good camouflage tent when you don't want to broadcast to passing traffic that you are camping as its dark green blends in . Not to camp on a forestry trail however or you could be run over .

The newer models look good but Ikinda like my familiar little world inside my Vango - especially if I get the tension right. I will add the guy lines . Whenever I think of a new one , nothing compares to the 900grams .

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Re: [Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

Postby Paul De Andrade » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 12:27 am

I'm looking for advise on the MSR Fury tents. I've been looking for a 4 season tent that's still lite and this is the best one that i can find.

Please advise if i'm heading in the right direction.
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Re: [Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

Postby dmc88 » Tue 14 Mar, 2017 11:49 pm

I have the Helium 100. Used it on 70 nights last year and is a champion. Rain has never come in. Mine weighs 1200g (about) as well. Condensation has only been an issue in those annoying temperatures where it hovers just above 0. This was in scotland in sep and november and the condensation in the air was quite a bit. Have the flies open and you should be alright. Of course if it pisses down in these conditions you'll have to do a workaround.

Rain has never come inside my tent.

The fly weighs about 500 or 600 g. It could be used without the inner tent to save weight.

It is easy to set up.

The tent is not massive but I am 6 foot (and skinny) and my bag and myself can fit fine inside the tent.

I love it. It's good value.
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Re: [Tent] Vango Force 10 Helium 200, $349

Postby dmc88 » Tue 14 Mar, 2017 11:49 pm

Good in wind also!
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