Vango Winslow 400 | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Vango Winslow 400 | Review

Vango's new four-person car camper is one luxurious tent at a decent price

The Winslow 400 by Scotland-based outdoor brand Vango is a tent aimed at camping couples and small families, offering four-person sleeping and enough ‘living room’ space to hunker down in and cook up a meal when it’s chucking it down outside.

Coming in at 11.56kg, it’s not an option to travelling far on foot with, but it’s certainly ideal for car camping. I used it on a recent trip to Pembrokeshire with my girlfriend and we were both very impressed.

Pitching

I jumped in solo and blindly for the pitching without reading the instructions.

It says on the Winslow’s pack that it takes 18 minutes to pitch, and I’d say it took me about that time, even despite putting two poles in the wrong sleeves having not realised the colour coding.

The three poles slip through the corresponding sleeves, you peg down the corners and reflective guy lines (and there are plenty of these) and then hang up the inside sleeping compartment by the simple toggled loops.

The floor, which covers the whole footprint of the tent, is integrated in a bathtub style with the walls, so you don’t need to worry about laying it out. I like this, it means that when you’ve got the front door closed properly, you don’t need to worry about bugs or water creeping in.

In all, it was very easy to pitch and didn’t take much effort or time.

 

 

The Space

The main sleeping compartment has a sheet that can be hung down the middle to either create two bedrooms or an extra place to store your kit. We didn’t use this which meant we had a ridiculous amount of space for two people. Vango have marked this as a four-person, but you could easily get away with another two-people if you’re happy to be ‘cwtched up’ as we say in Wales. I’m 5’10 and had to slightly crouch in this (my 5’4 girlfriend was fine though). This compartment has two zipped doors, each with a bug-proof mesh layer. There are around eight spacious pockets in the walls of this sleeping area, plus a number of hoops above to hang lanterns.

Here’s another good thing. Vango have deliberately used a grey nylon material for the bedroom, and for the fly sheet as well actually, and this is quite effective at blocking out bright light. On the three nights we slept in this during April BST hours, I don’t think either of us were woken up by the early morning light. It’s not blackout dark by any means, but it was effective enough to think it was a dull day outside one morning when really it was a belter.

The porch area is high enough for someone of 6ft, and perhaps above, to stand up in. We managed to fit two camp chairs, a 1x1x1m table and all our bags in very comfortably. If you want more light, or more air, there are two half mesh half clear plastic windows which can be opened up by rolling back the blinds. In the evenings, you can also roll up the double zipped front-facing porch door and use just the bug mesh as closure.

Performance

There’s a big vent at the back of the tent, plus two at the front, so when you’ve got the blinds on the windows rolled up to expose the mesh, you’ve actually got bucket loads of ventilation to reduce condensation build up. We didn’t have a condensation-free trip, but it never caused any issues and we were kept dry in our sleeping bags.

As for stability in strong wind, I can’t rate the Winslow on that front just yet (I’ll see if I can update this when I do know). We slept through a breezy night with about 15mph winds and there weren’t any issues, that’s all I can say really, but I’d have confidence with this tent based on the strength of the poles and the numerous guy lines. There’s also the tension band system which can be adjusted from the inside when the wind really picks up.

 

Packing Up

That all important question: is this going to be a pain in the backside to pack away? Good news – it isn’t. I managed it quickly and easily by myself in I’d say less than 15 minutes, and it slotted straight into the fairly large bag on the first attempt and with ease.

Conclusion

Spacious for a small group and luxurious for two people, I found the Winslow to be a very comfortable and convenient tent. I’d happily use it for a seven-day trip or longer, and not necessarily just for hunkering down at one campsite, but for a bit of tour, because the minimal effort required to pitch and pack up makes the chore of moving site much easier to bear.

I’m a fan. £195 is a very decent price for this kind of tent. You see plenty of spacious car camping tents out there for much, much higher prices, and there don’t seem to any pitfalls here as far as I can see. Want bigger? Consider the Winslow 500 or even bigger Winslow 600.

 

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