Vango Force Ten Mk4 ST
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The Force Ten Mark 4 Standard is a classic - people have been using previous versions of this tent since the seventies. The Mk 4 is designed for use in all seasons and can be erected easily (inner or flysheet first depending on the weather). This Standard (ST) version features a cotton flysheet, pvc ground sheet and a huge porch. This is not a tent designed to be thrown away after a couple of years - due to it's old school make-up, every part of the Force Ten Mk4 can and should be repaired when the time comes. There's no reason why this tent shouldn't last 10-15 years.
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Vango Force Ten Mk4 ST Reviews
Reviewed by Andrew Davies (Lancashire) on 2006-01-08:
General comments: I first used a force ten as a scout many years ago, whan they were all the rage (among scouts anyway). Nowdays I use mine on every occasion other than back packing (these thing aren't the lightest). Looking at them you wouldnt think it but these are remarkably strong tents, mine has stood up to years of abuse from me and the weather. I'm not sure i've ever used it in force ten gales but some nights can't have been far off and it's never fallen on me.
Pros: A classic.
Cons: You may have to take the occasional snigger.
|This review has 4 comment(s):|
mr richard oliver responded : yes i wa thinking of having one but opted for a six berth stuart lloyd force 10 no longer made;does any one know about these ? i think they were a company from dudley! good review cheers! (2007-12-27)
alastair responded : Brilliant tent. I've had my mark3 since 1976. Survived a few gales in the outer hebrides. Bomb proof. (2009-06-16)
Jenna responded : We (well mom and dad) have a 4 berth Stuart Lloyd, its 28 years old and despite a few repairs due to its age has never, ever let us down. Its just come back from a week in North Wales soaking wet and in need of re-pitching but still love it!
The company that made them has indeed closed. Two of the ladies that made the tents then set up in Kingswinford, just outside of Dudley to repair tents. However last year I believe at the age of 70 they both decided to call it a day and retire. Coincidentally one of these ladies was on Shell Island the same time as us last week and drove past, pulled over and had to come have a looksey as you don't see Stuart Lloyds around much. We think it is one she actually made as if you have the original bag there will be initials on the label of the seamstress who made it. (2010-06-14)
richard responded : thanks we have now spoken about these great tents and any one else who has one is someone who knows what quality means! (2010-06-22)
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Reviewed by Pete Skene (Scotland) on 2006-02-05:
General comments: These Force Ten tents are a classic for a reason. I use these with the scouts and they are ideal for that - they can take the abuse of a petulant 10 yr old! The great thing about them is they just keep on going - it's possible to actually build one from the spares that you can buy. The groundsheets are the strongest I have ever seen. The size of the Mark 4 Standard is great - we've had three blokes in there quite happily. The porch is big enough to store your gear and there is a large bell at the end of the inner for more gear. These Force 10 tents weigh an absolute ton so they are really for car camping but for that purpose they are great.
Pros: You can buy extensions for the porch which are great for car camping wth lots of gear.
Cons: The A-pieces for the poles aren't the strongest and we ended up replacing them with the red ones you can buy from Blacks for a couple of quid. Ridge tents dont give the greatest internal room, but the tent has a large enough floor plan. The larger Force Tens do have a large side profile so make sure the tail is into the wind otherwise it can be a noisy night.
Reviewed by Allan Inness (Nottingham) on 2006-04-19:
General comments: I have had several force 10's over the 30 yrs of owning them. Being used nearly every week they certainly stand up to the test of the weather. They are rugged and reliable, and I have even been in a few force-10 storms, without ever it falling down or being damaged. I even had one flooded out under 6 feet of water, and it was still standing without damage when the water receeded. If kept well they last for years and years.Comment on this review...
Pros: Easy to erect, even in the worst weather conditions. Last forever. Never seen one fall down that was put up correctly.
Cons: Slightly heavy to backpack with, but this is more than made up for with the knowledge of a warm and safe nights sleep.
Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-04-20:
General comments: I inherited my parents Force Ten Mk4 tent in 1996. They initially purchased it at vast expense in 1976. Already heavily used for 20 years, I used this tent alongside a Terra Nova Quasar until 2001. It is an extremely comfortable, breathable tent which is pleasant to be in and spacious. It also has that I’m camping smell! My wife and kids actually prefer it to the Quasar as they are light sleepers and the heavy cotton doesn’t rustle like Nylon tents. Eventually the lugs started to fail on the outer which were easily replaced, then a zip broke and finally the groundsheet tore around some of the lugs. It could have been repaired but a close friend with the same tent in a similar situation suggested we combine the best of both tents into one for his younger kids. My flysheet lives on with his inner and an amalgamation of poles and pegs. I was once camping in Glen Nevis on the big campsite in atrocious weather and awoke to a badly swamped campsite and lots of flattened tents and miserable people. My twenty four year old tent had seen off some new North Face mountain tents. They are simply awesome….. just don’t backpack them when wet.
Pros: lasts almost for two generations
Cons: Heavy, can rot if you don't dry it
|This review has 1 comment(s):|
David Newbert, Sheffield responded : I don;t think i can add any more about this piece of kit thats already been said before. My parents bought it it for me in 1976, and its been to all 4 points of the compass in the british isles and NEVER let me down. Being made of cotton means you NEVER suffer any form of condensation.Thre,s loads of space for 2 with the mk4. It may be heavier than the new tents around but MY GOD its good in bad weather. I,ve been the subject of a few jokes in the past,because it looks ( old style) but i was the only one laughing 8yrs ago in Scotland when 80mph gusts flattened 12 other tents around us. A tent has to be able to perform 3 vital roles, KEEP YOU TOTALLY DRY, KEEP YOU WARM, TO WITHSTAND GALE FORCE WINDS AND DRIVING RAIN. Well this baby does it with ease. If its was good enough for CHRIS BONNINGTON and EVEREST and SEVERAL others, then its good enough for me, ENOUGH SAID. (2008-03-16)
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Reviewed by Gary Morris (Gloucestershire) on 2009-08-05:
General comments: Just got back from a wet and windy week in North Wales, my 30 year old CNX Mk 4 took everything the weather could throw at it and still remained warm and dry. Comment on this review...
Pros: stays up in anything
Cons: nylon flysheet rattles a bit in strong winds and can keep you awake
Reviewed by Dave (Sheffield) on 2009-10-22:
General comments: You guys should update this page, I just bought one. Used them before, excellent tents, very strong. Comment on this review...
Nigh on Bombproof
Reviewed by tim (stockport) on 2009-10-28:
General comments: I have been using these tents since 1970 with the scouts. my present one is 15 years old. absolutely bomb proof. only ever had one collapse and that was in the langdales when 8 inch of snow fell in one night and snapped the ridge. Had numerous nylon tents and none last. This beauty goes on and onComment on this review...
Pros: later models had a aluminium sleeve over the centre joint on the ridge to prevent snapping see above. the only tent I would trust all year round,. Indestuctable groundsheet. The best i've ever seen
Cons: with the std grounsheet too heavy to backpack unless shared around. better for car use
Reviewed by R. Murray (Scotland) on 2009-11-16:
General comments: Great tents even if a bit heavy. Much better than some of these more modern tents. My current Mk3 will out live me no doubt!Comment on this review...
Pros: Scottish Highland's weather proof. If it can handle the Cairngorm plateau in January it can handle just about anything.
Cons: Heavy weight. Still worth it though.
Reviewed by PAUL GRIFFIN (BURY) on 2010-07-09:
General comments: Used Force 10s for over 35 years, never ever got wet or had it collapse,went to a bike rally & got up to find a storm in the night had caused dozens of modern tents around us to collapse & be abandoned.Nylon tents tend to slacken & condensate in wet weather touch your head aganst the inside it will get wet through, cotton tents tighten up and do not sag, my orange vango is also much brighter inside letting the light in. i have tried several modern nylon tents they do not come close in performance & comfort, force tens are very quick & simple to erect, also in a busy campsite you can always spot yours amidst all
the others.Comment on this review...
Pros: Durable,weatherproof ,stable, easy erect,repairable.
Cons: A bit heavy.
Reviewed by John Bell (Bryn Mawr) on 2010-07-09:
General comments: Had a Force 10 years ago- got one of the new versions after years of annoyance with more modern tents.
Yes, they are heavy, and not as spacious as some other tents- but are very simple to pitch and can be pitched fly or inner first- can usually have my mk4 ready for habitation while others are still finding out what pole fits in what sleeve
Just wish that they would make the Mk 2 CN again---Comment on this review...
Pros: Bombproof- excellent for open canoe camping
Cons: Heavy for solo use
Reviewed by Jon McGuinness (Mansfield Notts) on 2011-01-06:
General comments: I first used one of these on a school expedition in 1987, and fell in love with the thing!
The tent can be pitched inner or outer first. The "A" frame is put up first in all cases. Then simply hang the inner tent from the frame & peg out, or spread the outer over the frame and peg out, which ever you want to pitch first.
Once erected, the tent is really strong, but for best results (as with any tent) pitch the doors away from the wind direction.
I usually use my Force 10 in Derbyshire, on the Peaks. The tent has had some gale force wind and rain thrown at it over 20 odd years, and it still provides excellent service. It's very quiet compared to nylon tents, due to being heavy cotton. No problems with condensation in the mornings either, the cotton is fully breathable.
Only bad side (if you can call it bad) is my Mk3 is too small fot two adults and kit. I bought the tent when I was single, which is a great size for one. My next purchase will be a Mk5 which is big enough for 3/4 adults and kit.
Just ensure you maintain the Force 10 correctly. Mine has faded to a very light orange colour (this is normal with age), but regular re-proofing means the fly sheet is just as good as new. Don't store wet or in a damp place! As with any tent, it will rot!
Last bit of advice....always carry a couple of spare "A" frame apex pieces. They are easily lost, and after 20/30 years of use, the can become brittle.Comment on this review...
Pros: Really easy to pitch....inner or outer first
Strong.....will take just about any weather condition
Will out-last ANY nylon tent (if maintained and stored correctly)
ALL parts are replaceable
Cons: Quite expensive to buy.........but worth every penny!!!
Quite heavy, especially when wet
Reviewed by Dave Farrow (Nottingham) on 2011-06-05:
General comments: Noticed on a recent trip to a camping shop that the Force 10 mk3 is still available, my old one lasted through years of abuse in the 80's and 90's and now has a lovely pale orange/white patine to it. I recently took it up to the Lakes on a rainy easter recently and it still performed admirably. Only problem I've ever had is a broken plastic apex (I got 2 spares off ebay which I always carry). I'm very tempted to get another while I still can for my solo car camping trips.Comment on this review...
Pros: Simplicity, dependability ruggedness, and waking up dry in the morning whatever the weather to a sunny orange glow inside a quiet non rustling tent.
Cons: Weight mainly but not a great issue if you're not backpacking it, lack of allround headroom compared to more modern tents.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Abbott (Norfolk) on 2011-08-09:
General comments: We have a 6ft.x8ft. 'Walker' ridge tent with orange cotton fly, bright yellow cotton inner with attached brown ground sheet. 2 poles and ajoining ridge with loop for inner. Guy ropes (2) and strong elastic loops for the metal pegs. Cotton divider inside which can be rolled up. Has anyone heard of this brand? I think we used Vango's for Duke of Ed in the 70's and this tent performs very well too in gales and torrential downpours. Always jolly to wake up in, never mind the weather outside. Can't bear those new nylon snapping tets in their gloomy colours and with dripping seams, although dayglo guys are a good idea at dusk! Want 'A' frame to fit like a Vango. Any ideas?Comment on this review...
Pros: Can be erected by one person - have to be nimble but set up the rigging and can be hauled into place and be ready to sleep in in 15mins especially if the husband is sent off to make tea and doesn't 'help'.
Cons: Quite heavy - so bunged in the car and off we go or camp in the garden over the summer.
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