An affordable but durable family tent that’s easy to set up
Good fit for family of 5
The Vango Iris is divided in to a living and sleeping area. The sleeping area is actually a separate piece that hangs off the main structure. (When packing up the tent you don’t need to detach it, just fold it down with the main tent.) This area comfortably fits 5 sleeping bags. We use air beds – a double and a king. You could probably fit 2 kings though it would be very snug. A central divider can be attached and zipped up to separate the sleeping areas if you so desire.
Easy to erect
We are restless on the road, like to be spontaneous and tend to move around a lot, so a tent that’s easy to put together and take down is a priority for us. That’s the main reason we went with the Vango Iris. It’s a classic ‘tunnel tent’ supported by 3 fibreglass poles, so it’s a cinch to erect. You lay it out flat, peg down at the corners and sides, then insert the 3 poles which hold the whole ‘tunnel’ up. You don’t even need to read the instructions really. There are 2 red poles and one black. You match the red poles up with the red tabs that clearly mark 2 of the openings, then the black one goes in the third. Then you extend the guy ropes and peg down for maximum stability.
Can take an Irish battering
We only camp May to September, but have encountered our fair share of moisture and not a drop has ever gotten in. As with all tents though, you have to be careful to secure both the inner mesh and outer doors when entering and exiting in the rain to prevent puddling.
Wind hasn’t been a problem either, if properly pegged and guyed down. An adjustable tension cord, located in the middle of the tent just outside the sleeping area, can be secured in high winds for extra stability.
Condensation can be an issue as it’s a polyester tent. With 5 sleeping bodies overnight, the flysheet can gather a lot of moisture by morning. Just be aware of it and let some air in as soon as you’re up.
We don’t tend to hang out in the tent at all during the day. When we lived in Spain, our tent didn’t have a front porch and we never missed it. In Ireland however it’s a different story. The porch is an absolute godsend when it’s wet. We use it as a storage area for gear and camping chairs etc, or if we’re coming back late in the rain, we can discard all our wet clothes and shoes in the front area before entering the cosy, bone-dry inner sanctuary of the bedroom.
You can also use this area for eating or just hanging out. There are 2 side windows for views, one of which can be completely zipped down to let a breeze in. We’ve seen lots of people with this tent on camp sites with a table and chairs set up indoors, though it wouldn’t be big enough for us now. With smaller children you’d manage.
Other cool features
I like that I can fully stand up (I’m 5ft 9) throughout the tent, the soft moss green colour, love the windows in the porch that allow light to flood in and the band of low pockets in the sleeping area are very handy for torches and books.
This is not a bells and whistles type tent. It’s pretty basic, that’s why we like it, and its very reasonable price (currently £215.50 on Amazon) reflects this.
Buy the Vango Iris 600 tent on Amazon