Vango F10 Project Hydrogen Tent | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Vango F10 Project Hydrogen Tent | Review

New from Vango, ‘the lightest two skin inflatable tent in the world’. Here’s how we got on with it

Why We Chose It: First of its kind innovation, super light and packable

When the first inflatable family camping tents were unveiled, it’s fair to say there were a few sceptics of the new technology. Today, however, go to any busy campsite and you’re pretty much bound to see plenty of families with them. They’re becoming hugely popular. Why? Because they actually work very well, with the air beam tech reducing the likelihood of frustrating erecting and packing away problems and also being able to survive strong winds. OK they might not always be quite as stable as a standard tent, but at least they’ll always bounce back, whereas with tents that use standard poles, there’s always that irreversible breaking point.

Photos: Chris Johnson


However, despite the popularity of air tents, the tech has been restricted mainly to just the world of family camping. That was until last year when this, the first lightweight inflatable backpacking tent, was unveiled. 

At 700g, the Vango F10 Project Hydrogen looks like any normal backpacking tent, at first glance anyway. Look a little closer and you’ll see there’s one single air beam propping up the width of the tent. It can be inflated to a low pressure with the pump sack that comes with it, but for a sturdy and reliable pressure you’ll want to use a bike pump, or a compressed air canister.

Granted we’ve seen solo inflatable tents before, most notably from the likes of Heimplanet, but they haven’t been this light or packable. The whole thing packs down to a size not much bigger than a Pringles tube. 

Photos: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Vango F10 Project Hydrogen For?

The whole bike pump thing makes this absolutely superb for bikepackers who, if they know what’s good for them, will already be carrying a pump with them on their adventure. For backpackers, well, it’s not so great, because that extra bike pump is going to weigh far heavier than a tent pole and the pump bag doesn’t quite get this thing to the sturdiness you’d want in any rough weather.

Materials and Construction

The Vango F10 uses some impressive materials. A twin-skinned design, it uses a 7 denier, double silicon-coated ripstop flysheet (5000mm HHH), a 10 denier PU-coated ripstop nylon ground sheet and then a 7 denier mesh inner.

“The whole thing packs down to a size not much bigger than a Pringles tube.”

It features a porch that’s big enough to hold a backpack and pair of walking boots, a small vent above the zipped entrance and then a small carbon pole that props up the foot of the tent. The supplied pegs with our sample were a mix of sturdy titanium stakes, which are meant to be used for the top corners of the tent, and pin-like ones for the foot end and guylines.

Then of course, there’s the airbeam. With just a small bike bump fastened to its common Schrader valve, it’ll take less than a minute to have this pumped up to the right pressure and amazingly sturdy.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I used this in Snowdonia and was impressed by the design. It’s so easy to pitch (and pump), you can take it out of the bag and be ready to climb into it within two minutes.

“There’s a lot of headspace. It’s actually one of the taller one person tents I’ve come across actually. That does, however, mean that there’s a big surface area for the wind to catch. Still, I had this up on a rather windy (though not gale force) and wet night and it was absolutely fine.

“The sleeping space, while quite narrow, was still fine for me, with enough room to get a rectangular mat inside. I’m 5 foot 10 and didn’t find my head or feet touching either end of the tent when lying down. The porch space is big enough for a backpack and your boots but, with them in it, you’re not left with much space to cook.

“One thing I would say is that the materials are so lightweight that you really do need to treat this thing with care. I had a sample from Vango that had obviously done the rounds with other gear testers and it did look a bit worn out, with a couple of rips here and there. That’s usually the case with ultralight gear though, I guess. You’ve got to take care with it.”

 

Vango F10 Project Hydrogen

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