Vango TBS Equinox 350 Tent
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The Equinox 350 is extremely spacious and performs well in harsh weather conditions.
Official Vango TBS Equinox 350 Tent specification from Vango
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Vango TBS Equinox 350 Tent Reviews
Reviewed by Andy Mogg (UK) on 2006-02-28:
General comments: Simply the best tent!
I have now had the Vango TBS Equinox 350 tent for 2 years and used it in varying weather conditions.
It is very stable in windy contidions due to the tension band system (a series of cross bands that simply clip in and give the tent a bit more rigidity. It is also made from highly waterproof material so keeps you dry in downpours.
The tent is easy to erect with nice colour coded alloy poles and slots.
The inner orange tent gives a nice glow giving you that warm feeling in the winter, the tent also has a huge porch area suitable for sitting in or storing gear such as mountain bikes.
Overall its great for camping all year round and should protect you from the worst of weather.
Pros: Easy to pitch.
Tension band system is great in windy conditions.
Nice big porch area for when it rains or storing gear.
Nice big sleeping area
Handy pockets on the inner tent to store gear whist sleeping.
Cons: Oranger inner may put people off
Not the lightest of tents.
Plastic windows are a bit rubbish .. ours have started to discolour for no apaprent reason
Tension bands tend to get a bit muddy and are a pain to clean.
Reviewed by Berger (West Yorkshire) on 2006-04-21:
General comments: This is a great tent that I have used on many occasions. I find the Vango Equinox 350 very easy to erect with two people although I canít comment on putting it up on your own as I have not tried it but I think it would be tricky especially if there was a strong breeze. The poles are different colours so all you have to do is match them up to the slots on the flysheet it really is that simple. We have slept three people in the Equinox 350 and there is more than enough room thanks to the huge storage space at the front for all your equipment. It also has loads of storage pockets inside which we found to be very useful. The tent has two doors, I find this can be very helpful and this front space also comes in handy for when it rains and itís even tall enough to sit on a chair! In high winds this tent was steady as a rock thanks to the tbs this is basically bands that go across the inside of the tent to add stability. There are plenty of guy ropes and I have found that not all are needed unless it is very strong winds.
Pros: Solid tent in high winds, plenty of space for storing all your gear and two doors, easy to erect
Cons: A touch on the heavy side but when split between three itís not too bad
Reviewed by Helen (Durham) on 2007-03-13:
General comments: My boyfriend and I bought this Vango TBS Equinox 350 tent last year and used it for a 2 week camping trip in Cornwall. We shopped around quite a bit before deciding which tent to go for, but this one has done evrything we wanted and more. There's loads of space for two inside - we had two thermarest basecamp mattresses in the sleeping compartment, plus two biggish holdalls. The pockets in the inner bit area really useful for your watch, a book etc. The porch area is big enough to cook in during bad weather, or fit two people sitting in camping chairs (my boyf's head just about brushes the roof in a chair) plus storing food and other bits and pieces. The weather got pretty yuk a couple of times but we always felt secure even in the wind (there are an awful lot of guy ropes!) Thinking of taking it to Austria this year...
Also we got it for £180 in a little outdoor shop, so it's worth looking around for a good price.
Pros: Plenty of space for everything, yet doesn't feel too big; feels secure in bad weather
Cons: It's not the lightest or most compact tent when packed up, but we car camp so it didn't really matter.
Reviewed by Phil (West Midlands) on 2007-06-16:
General comments: Have been looking for a while to replace my old Wild Country Super Nova. I wanted something in a lightweight style but with space. Mostly now I car camp so weight/ packed size wasn't/ isn't an issue. However I wanted something big enough for two for a week and room for the bikes undercover
I got the 2007 model of the Vango TBS Equinox from Gaynor Sports in the lakes for 185 pounds including shipping. Most respectable. The door design has changed for 2007 along with the windows.
I went for a olive green one as i prefer tents to be darker inside. It stood up to some high winds (two other tents on the site blew down) this Whitsun in Cornwall and it persisted down most of the. I never thought I'd say it but it didn't leak a single drop all week. Plenty of storage space alongside a double quilt (in the middle) of the inner tent. Enough space to just about cook in the bell and have two people seat on the fold up full size type chairs. Great, considering the weather.
Reasonable stable considering it's size.
Pros: Pockets in the inner tents, easy to pitch,
Pocket for the door of the inner tent, nice touch
Very very good value for money I think
Cons: Plastic windows discoloured already and thats when i unpacked it before use, not really an issue tho.
TBS (Tension band system) is good BUT it works loose in an hour or so of buffeting winds. I'll be stictching mine at some point so they can't move (you could still unclip them tho)
Bit awkward to fold up
lots of guys!
Reviewed by Lynda (Stirlingshire) on 2007-07-09:
General comments: Roomy and sturdy, the Equinox 230 tent from Vango is great for family trips. We have used it to sleep 2 adults and 2 children with no problems. The porch area is big enough to store gear and cook in. The TBS system gives real strength to the tent during high winds. Highly recommended.
Pros: Very spacious as well as being strong and well constructed.
Cons: Bit on the heavy side, but worth the extra weight.
Reviewed by Andrew Hanson (Yorkshire) on 2010-06-09:
General comments: Excellent tent which we've had for at least 5 years now. Generally does two weeks at a time plus long weekends between March and October. Ours is the early model with pole sleeves inside the outer, and different doors to newer version which some people seem to find 'fiddly' (dur) but also gave it a 4 season rating.
I did see a newer version suffer a badly bent pole in Cornwall last summer but that was during a wf8 gale blowing straight off the sea. Admittedly one of our poles is now slightly kinked too but not enough to worry me at all and it has seen some fairly lairy weather between Skye, Yorkshire and Cornwall over the years. Never leaked, all stitching still good and our windows are still as clear as new.
Bomb proof, comfy tent which is nicknamed 'the cave'. Good halfway between 'sit down' and 'stand up' camping. As previously mentioned you can get two people in the porch in chairs with a card table between you or four on the floor when their tent gets flattened in a 'hooly'
Pros: Very well put together and thought out. Spacious for two, easy to put up even in fairly blowy conditions. Tough as old boots !
Cons: Dont make em like they used to !
With regards to the weight, remember the old adage 'strong , light or cheap, pick any two of the three'
Wont take much snow cos it's a tunnel tent and not 5 season
Reviewed by Stephen Read (Belfast) on 2010-08-11:
General comments: I have major concerns about the vango equinox 350 tent and vango customer service in general. In perfect weather, on my 6th outing (with a practically brand new equinox 350), the font pole randomly snapped just above the join on the 3rd or 4th pole at the side of the porch. The tent had been up for one night. When the pole snapped it punctured a small hole through the sleeve. I fixed this initial break with the single small alloy sleeve provided as part of the in-tent repair kit. Having had no previous issues with vango tents I was very surprised by this incident and wrote it off as a once off.
The next week I took the tent out on a small expedition for my holidays. Shortly after erecting the tent the second pole snapped in the middle sleeve ripping a large 12inch tear in the sleeve. Having already used the single pole repair piece provided I had to make do with a temporary duct tape fix. Shortly afterwards the third pole snapped in exactly the same way, just above a join at the rear of the tent. The tent was pretty much useless forcing me to cut my holiday short.
These breakages happened in the same fashion on all 3 poles, just above where the poles are joined. I am a very experienced camper and outdoors person and I am always extremely careful in taking care of my tents, particularly when putting them up or taking them down.
This was clearly a faulty set of poles so I returned the tent to vango via my retailer (Jacksonís Sports). Vango informed me that I had failed to put the tent up properly and that I would have to spend over £75 for a repair job to a tent that retails at almost £300. They claim I had not connected the poles together properly when erecting the tent. I consider it virtually impossible not to connect the linked poles together properly. It is simply not possible to push the poles through the sleeve if they are not connected properly! The poles were properly connected on all occasions and the tension bands were not connected, yet vango refuse to repair or replace this clearly faulty tent that broke in the same way on 3 separate occasions in mild weather. As far as I am concerned this tent is £300 down the drain
Prior to purchasing the latest equinox 350 I had nothing but praise for Vango tents. I had 10 years excellent heavy use out of my original Equinox 350 so I did not heisted to purchase this new version. After this experience and the complete lack of respect I received during several phone calls with Va
Cons: very expensive and faulty
|This review has 3 comment(s):|
Don McLeod responded : Spot on review. I totally agree and had the same experience. (2011-05-18)
steven tamworth responded : same problem May 2012 with Nevis .cause looks to be cracking around punch marks that retain inner sleeve .cut bits out and repaired_still going strong . (2013-05-24)
Stuart Morgan responded : Agree whole heartedly with this review. Have a 2010 model which I use for about six weeks each summer as a base for fishing in the north of Scotland. The tent is easy to pitch single handed onto its footprint. Loads of room. I am six foot tall and can sit in a chair in the porch area with my legs stretched out. I have never had any issues with leaks BUT... just a moderate breeze and the poles are snapping everywhere. I like Steve have made shure poles are correctly assembled but after three seasons and a bundle of broken sections I can only conclude the poles are crap. Such a pity as ther rest of the tent is really good. I am going to try binding the ends of every pole to strengthen them but if this fails I will scrap the tent and replace it with something different but not a Vango product.
Reviewed by Steve (Leicestershire) on 2010-08-25:
General comments: This is an Excellent tent, i've had mine for two years now and its seen quite a lot of use, mostly out of season and quite often in bad weather. I love the Orange sleeping area as it make you feel slightly warmer, every bit helps when the snow is falling outside.
I think this is good value for money and the tension system works well. Mine is used by just me and my wife so the 350 gives that extra bit of room, though the pourch area is big enough for two people to sit in and cook when its too wet outside.
Pros: Good value, very sturdy and waterproof
Cons: Tent pegs are not really substatial enough for very bad weather.
Reviewed by russ deacon. (england) on 2010-09-12:
General comments: tough as old boots. very usefull without inner tent as a 6 man overnight, or with inner as a 3/4 man mountain tent. nearly as robust as the terra nova quasar(old spec), but with much more useable space.good canoe tent,sod carrying it tho!!!
Pros: big... tough...roomy.
Cons: heavy mother
Reviewed by Andy Smith (Sheffield) on 2011-03-01:
General comments: I have had an equinox 450 for quite a few years and decided to get the smaller new 350 for sea kayaking trips. First thing the new version dosnt come with the porch area groundsheet which will cost an additional £45-£55 which lets face it is a complette rip off as why would you want this tent without the porch groundsheet also it is sold as a ground sheet protector which is rubbish. The ent itself to me dosnt seem as well made as the old version. The windows are bigger which is goood and there are some more useful storage pockets. The guy lines are a strange configeration and the plastic washers i think wont last very long.
Pros: Larger windows and more storage pockets
Cons: Not as well made as the old one and not having the goundsheet included is a rip off so you need to add an additional £50ish to the purchase cost
Reviewed by J Gibson (Newcastle) on 2011-04-18:
General comments: My other half and I have been using an early model 350 with internal pole sleeves for nearly 10 years now, during which time it's become an old friend. We car camp in the Alps every summer, amongst other trips, and needless to say it's seens a fair bit of rain though not much wind. The size is pretty much perfect for two, allowing a comfy sleeping area with room for bags and plenty of space to sit in the vestibule out of the weather. We've re-proofed the fly regularly and it keeps the worst alpine rain out - from above. Unfortunately the fly does not reach right to the ground so we've sometimes shipped a lot of water due to rain splashing under the fly. This and the tight internal pole sleeves are the only major shortcomings of the design - not sure if recent models are better but it's worth checking. Unfortunately in the last couple of years we've experience a number of pole breakages, with stress cracks appearing by the ferrules. One of these snapped at the apex and slashed the pole sleeve open, but fortunately not the flysheet itself. We now inspect the poles carefully after every use and swap out any sections showing cracks. We've always been careful pitching - it's possible these cracks are induced by a damp tent drying out and shrinking, The fly does sag a lot when wet, so be careful to relieve any tension before a damp tent drys out. Overall though we've had 10 years of mostly excellent service for under £200, which isn't bad at all. If it ever gets replaced with a non-Vango we'll really miss the cosy orange inner - why don't more manufacturers use this colour?
Pros: The two doors are handy and can be easily rigged with a cord and an extra pole or two into a small porch so your stove can stand safely outside the tent when it's raining; the orange inner is brilliant at imparting a cosy atmosphere; plenty of storage pockets in the inner; practical size, doesn't leak from above...
Cons: ...but does leak under the too-short fly due to splashing in very hard rainfall. After 10 years the seam tapes are peeling off; the fly is now rather faded and may have lost strength although we've not had any tears yet; pole sleeves a bit too tight and not external, Vango's support is a rubbish since they were taken over (as we found when trying to obtain replacement poles); reports that quality of recent models has bombed from previous standards, corroborate when window shopping a new tent recently and meaning we're disinclined to buy another when this one gives up; can't find anyting we like as much but with equal or better quality!
Reviewed by Don McLeod (Rowlands Gill) on 2011-05-18:
General comments: I totally agree with Stephen Read's comments above.
On the strength of our excellent, internally sleeved, 1997 Equinox 250, which has proved itself time and time again, I bought an externally sleeved Equinox 350, early 2010 for the same purpose - growing family/trips into the mountains. I also have a few other top quality mountain tents.
This 350 Equinox model is complete and utter rubbish and will fail, leaving you perhaps in a sticky situation and vulnerable if used in the mountains.
First time pitched, (on a still May 2010 evening in a very sheltered Grange Campsite in Borrowdale) one of the poles snapped at the female end as none of the male ends were actually secured/locked in place. I botched it up and was rather dissatisfied that my new mountain tent had failed in such a way. However, I took comfort in knowing that Vango would sort the problem out - I've been a mountain instructor for nearly 20yrs. and have/had faith in them.
I contacted Vango and queried if they had reports of this fault with the poles and to note mine. I was told they had not and I could buy more of the same poles from them. I pointed out that the poles were not fit for purpose and simply wanted a set of poles to match the price/use the tent was designed(?)/marketed for. I quite simply got no customer service other than they could sell me another pole, even though the tent was new! The tent is useless and I haven't used it since.
I recently saw the exact same tent as mine - external sleeved 350 Equinox - flattened with poles broken by a strong breeze at Great Moss in Eskdale.
Vango kit, Vango service is not to the quality it used to be and I will not purchase any Vango kit again. Don't touch them with a barge pole.
Pros: The old ones are excellent
Cons: Poles are not fit for purpose. You would need to buy a set of quality poles to make a decent tent. Maybe? Why not just buy a decent tent in the first place by a quality brand.
Vango customer service
|This review has 1 comment(s):
Jon responded : I have two old model TBS 350's, first new second off ebay specifically looking for the older model.
Have had a pole snap on Isle of Skye in a big storm there in 2006, in fact when we got up ours was the only tent in the Dunvegan camp site, everyone had packed up and slept in their cars or just abandoned the island, so it was a bit extreme but used the brace that came with the tent to hold the broken pole together.
After 8 years the seams have split at the poles in a few areas, the waterproof membrane has just separated at the seams, a bottle of Gelert seam seaker for a few quid gets the seams back into shape for a couple of seasons, but not a problem when the rest of the tent is built like a tank. You get plenty of water coming in once the seam goes, so I suggest you get a bottle of seam sealer and keep it packed in with the tent in case you find your seams have gone at some point.
We bought a replacement tent pole set with string, poles etc. just in case, have had to call on it once when I stumbled into a guy and dived head first into the tent, (ahem, Talisker!) so my fault, swapped out the snapped pole and all good.
If you can get a cheap old groundsheet and cut it to the bed area shape, will help save the integrity of the living area floor on unfriendly surfaces.
Unfortunately Vango is not the same company now, they just email you to take things back to the shop to get a warranty repair, with a turn around of a random month or two, just get a spare single pole repair kit and the seam sealer, nothing else goes wrong with them.
And don't buy the new ones, they are living on the reputation of the old small window models made when Vango cared about quality and did not get the cheapest bidder in china to supply. Shame but it is the same for so many makes nowadays. (2011-07-16)
Reviewed by Geoff (Somewhere) on 2016-08-08:
General comments: Poles are very weak. Early models had stronger poles but recent versions have poles that break, tearing the sleeves.