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Force Ten Arête 2 Tent | Review

A high-spec offering from a brand with some proper tent making heritage

Why We Chose The Force Ten Arête 2 Tent: Easy to pitch, reliable, good quality materials.

The first Force Ten tent arrived way back in 1967, it was a bright orange ridge tent design able to withstand, as its name suggests, some of the most extreme weather conditions. It was a hit, and has since come to be regarded as a cult classic, with most campers over the age of 35 likely to be able to recall a memorable night under the glare of that orange canvas.

Today, Force Ten is a subsidiary brand to Scotland-based Vango, that company well-known by any person who’s ever undertaken the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Don’t take this the wrong way, but Force Ten seems to be their outlet for flexing their muscles a little bit; their way of showing what kind of higher spec designs they can come up with without looking like they’re moving away from their usual market – those looking for good enough quality, but without the high price.

“It was able to withstand, as its name suggests, some of the most extreme weather conditions.”

The Force Ten range today includes backpacks and down sleeping bags, plus a number of tents including this two-person option called the Arête.

It’s an interesting free-standing design (albeit one that’s been seen before) that involves a single pole that forms a spine across the tent and forks the front end to prop itself up.

The inner pitches first and the flysheet is thrown over it, then clipped on and pegged down. Some may see the inner pitch first design as a drawback when camping in the moist climate of the UK as it will leave the inner mesh fabric exposed when the tent is erected. The flipside is that on hot and dry nights it can be slept in without the flysheet while still protecting the occupants from insects.

A single pole that forms a spine across the tent and then forks at the front end to prop itself up. Photo: Chris Johnson
The flysheet is made from a 20 denier nylon that’s siliconised on the outside for abrasion resistance. Photo: Chris Johnson
The big vent at the back of the tent that has a wired peak that allows volume adjustment or the potential to close it up completely. Photo: Chris Johnson

The Arête certainly uses some quality materials, particularly the flysheet which is made from a 20 denier nylon that’s siliconised on the outside for abrasion and water resistance and then waterproofed (to 5,000mm) by a PU coating on the inside. There’s quality in the poles as well which are made from a lightweight and robust alloy that’s manufactured through an acid-free process which is said to be much less damaging than conventional methods.

It has a good space-to-weight ratio for two people, especially when you consider that the 1350g weight can be split into the two packs that are supplied with the main sack, and there’s decent porch space for storing gear and cooking in.

Useful design features include the reflectors on the guyline attachments, the inner storage pockets and hanger hook, plus the big vent at the back of the tent that has a wired peak that allows volume adjustment or the potential to close it up completely.

Also worth noting is the stuff sack which has a funnel opening across its length (as opposed to at the top). This makes for quick and easy stuffing. Once it’s all in there are compression straps for minimising the overall packed size.

Good news for the stealth campers is that the Arête doesn’t come in bright orange like the original Force Ten, but in a much subtler green that blends in with a typical UK hillside.

Outdoors Magic editor Will Renwick used the Force Ten Arête during a wild camp on the slopes of Aran Fawddwy and was impressed…

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“I had to put this up in some pretty strong winds in Snowdonia and was glad that it turned out to be quick, easy and very intuitive. I was a little worried about how it would hold up but it seemed to deflect the wind well. You definitely want to make sure it’s facing with it’s back end to it though.

“I was impressed by the materials – they’re of a much higher spec than you’d find on Vango tents. And that space-to-weight is excellent in my opinion. It’s a roomy two-person design but I’ve been more than happy to carry this on solo missions on a number of occasions and have enjoyed the luxurious space. Porch space as well, is fine for two people, huge for one. All-in-all, a great tent.”

There’s decent porch space for storing gear and cooking in. Photo: Chris Johnson
The inner pitches first and the flysheet is thrown over it, clipped on and then pegged down. Photo: Chris Johnson

Force Ten Arête 2 Tent

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