VANGO Blade 100 Tent, Green, One Size
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- Weight 1.72kg
- Packed Dimensions 46cm x Ã11cm
- Inner First Pitching
- ProTex 70 Denier Polyester Flysheet
- All flysheet and groundsheet seams are factory taped, giving a water tight seal
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The Vango Blade 100 Tent is a simple one pole construction trekking tent ideal for solo the adventurer and backpacker. Recommended by the Scout Association because of its robust construction and quick and simple pitching the Blade 100 is a good choice for those taking their first steps towards independent wild camping. A Vango favourite this one person trekking tent has been updated with reflective guy lines and "EasyPack" compression stuff sack.
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I’ve owned several Vango tents and I’ve liked all of them. They’re well made, well designed and completely functional.
I liked the (unique) look of the Vango Blade from the first time that I saw it. I found the traversing single pole design interesting and liked the look of the small front porch with dual doors. But, the reality of ownership didn’t quite live up to the promise. If you can’t be bothered to read the rest of this review, the super-summary is … I think it’s OK, but not great. The Zenith 100 is a better choice in my opinion.
Vango claim that the weight of their (packed) Blade 100 is 1.82kg, which is just a fraction heavier than the Zenith 100. My Blade 100 is 1.95kg, but that’s with everything included – repair kit, spare pegs AND the (optional extra) footprint. This seems like a reasonable weight for a budget-priced tent. It comes with PowerLite 7001-T6 alloy poles and functional (aluminium) pegs that will hold the tent to the ground and has fully taped and waterproofed seams. The manufacturer claimed pack size is 47x11cm and but mine is 52x13cm (with the footprint). While this is a tad bulky for a trekking tent, it’s not too bad.
At 95cm high, 300cm long and 125cm wide, this is a discrete tent. Like most Vango tents, the colour blends into the countryside – a useful attribute if you’re wild camping. The porch area isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to stick a pack and a pair of boots. Despite the size, it’d be possible to make a simple meal while in the tent – if you were well prepared and careful.
The Blade 100 is an ‘inner first’ tent. On the plus side, this means that the inner can be used alone in hot (dry) climates. On the negative side, if means pitching the tent in rain can be a problem. However, the outer attaches to the inner so (after the first time of pitching) this means that they can be pitched together without a great deal of difficulty. If it’s raining, this is a HUGE advantage.
Pitching is relatively easy, but this is where the design does have a slight flaw. The single pole is a great idea, and conceptually I really like it. In practice, it’s a little difficult to get the pole PERFECTLY aligned with the centre of the tent. It isn’t a massive problem but it does add a little bit of complexity. I definitely recommend that you pitch this tent in your garden a couple of times to practice. It takes a bit of messing around to get everything nice and tight and it’s better to learn the nuances on a calm day in a controlled environment, rather than on a dark, cold, wet, and windy moor.
Vango claim that the tent pitch time is 8-mins and I think that is fair. It usually takes me (alone) around five minutes to pitch and then another 3-4 mins to walk around and do adjustments and make sure that everything is really taught. Obviously, in bad weather, it takes longer.
The small external dimensions mentioned earlier come at a price. The internal area is 220cm long (roughly 7ft) which is good, but the width is just 100cm, and that’s narrow. The design means that it’s very reminiscent of old ridge tents. I’m 6ft, 200lbs and my shoulders are approximately 50cm wide. I have sufficient room around my head and feet, but there isn’t much space around my shoulders. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t exactly roomy either. There’s enough room left over to bring some equipment into the tent and place to either side, but if you’re any bigger than me, I think that this would be a little too snug.
Ergonomically, the Blade 100 is well designed. There are two small pockets along the side of the inner tent (next to the head) and they’re large enough to store essential items such as phone, flashlight, notebook, glasses etc. The zips all flow smoothly and it’s reasonably easy to get in and out of the tent. It has two doors on the flysheet, one on each side, which is great for ventilation. I haven’t had any problems with condensation despite the fact that it’s quite a warm tent.
The groundsheet, like all groundsheets in modern tents, looks (and feels) incredibly thin. But, with a 6,000mm hydrostatic head, it’s perfectly waterproof. It’s a DEEP bathtub design and all of the times that I’ve used the tent I’ve never had any problem with water coming in from the ground. But, if you’re going to be camping on rough ground with an abundance of stones or sticks, I strongly recommend that you get the (relatively inexpensive) footprint. The footprint also extends out into the porch area, which means that anything that you place there is kept off the ground.
All of the seams are completely viable. No stretched stitching. No tears. It really is a strong tent. In terms of storm resistance … very good. It has a 5000mm hydrostatic head, which should be good enough for everything but the most extreme bad weather. The only issue is that the design means that it MUST be pitched pointing into the wind. If the wind changes direction and you find that it’s blowing against the side of the tent, it can start to move around a lot!
In my opinion, the Vango Blade range of tents are reasonable. They're lightweight, durable, reasonably roomy, relatively easy to pitch, storm proof and have a reasonable pack size. The design is clever, but I have to mark it down for its ability to cope with windy conditions, which is poor. Overall, I prefer the Zenith 100 to the Blade 100.