First test

Vaude’s new In­ve­nio 2-per­son tent

Trail (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Max­i­mum liv­ing space and min­i­mum weight is the bat­tle­field of choos­ing a back­pack­ing tent, and this choice be­comes even more chal­leng­ing when price tags are con­sid­ered. So the ques­tion shifts to how much space do you re­ally need and how much weight can you tol­er­ate for the cash you have avail­able? If your bud­get is more flex­i­ble, or even open-ended, then there are some tents new to mar­ket that of­fer a re­mark­able space to weight ra­tio, such as the Vaude In­ve­nio SUL 2P.

De­signed specif­i­cally for weight-watch­ing back­pack­ers who also want lots of liv­ing space, the Vaude In­ve­nio SUL 2P tips the scales at just 1863g, has two en­trances and two porches, plus steep walls to the in­ner to al­low plenty of liv­ing space for two campers.

Like many Vaude prod­ucts, this tent also car­ries the Green Shape label, mean­ing that its ma­te­ri­als are en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly. Also, as Vaude is a mem­ber of the Fair Wear Foun­da­tion, the prod­uct is man­u­fac­tured un­der fair work­ing con­di­tions that are con­tin­u­ally as­sessed.

To save weight, the In­ve­nio SUL 2P is made of thin­ner ma­te­ri­als, so the fly­sheet is a 20 de­nier rip­stop ny­lon with sil­i­cone coat­ing, the in­ner is a 15 de­nier rip­stop ny­lon and the ground­sheet is a 30 de­nier rip­stop ny­lon with a PU coat­ing. The poles are metal al­loy and are shock­corded to­gether to form a spi­der-like frame from which the in­ner is sus­pended. The pole ends lo­cate into small metal eye­lets at the four cor­ners of the in­ner, and I found th­ese did not lo­cate quite se­curely enough when pitch­ing in the wind, with one end pop­ping out as I went to lo­cate the op­po­site end into its own eye­let. This was a small nig­gle but some­thing I would like im­proved for a tent with this price tag.

Once the pole ends are lo­cated and the in­ner is clipped to the poles, the struc­ture is very sta­ble and it’s then easy to throw the fly­sheet over the top and com­plete the pitch. You get four guy­lines but the tent is se­cure with­out them, so th­ese are only needed for windier con­di­tions.

It is no­tice­able that the fly does not reach

the ground and this will im­prove airflow, but it does in­crease po­ten­tial for rain to blow in – par­tic­u­larly un­der the fly­sheet into the porch. Also, of course, this is an in­ner-first pitched de­sign, so the in­ner gets wet if pitched dur­ing rain. So while this tent does keep you dry when camp­ing in rain, some oth­ers are even bet­ter for stormier and wet­ter weather.

Liv­ing space is stun­ning for two campers, with two porches and two en­trances on each side of the tent, so each per­son has their own space. There is room in each porch for a cou­ple of ruck­sacks and, due to the high sides of the in­ner, two peo­ple can eas­ily sit up and un­pack gear or change clothes. With this amount of space, sit­ting out a storm or hun­ker­ing down af­ter a wet day is a pleasure rather a chore, mak­ing this great for reg­u­lar users.

The outer doors get dou­ble zip pullers so you can open the door from the top, either for more airflow or just to take in the view. But you can also fully open the whole side of the tent so you have full ex­po­sure to the out­doors, which is su­perb in fine weather – and Vaude call this a ‘panoramic’ en­trance which, I think, is a fit­ting ti­tle.

So, over­all, this is clearly a spa­cious and sta­ble tent and with its weight of 1863g it’s very light­weight for its liv­ing space. The price tag is a strug­gle to live with, though, on first ap­pear­ances. But if we com­pare this tent to oth­ers with a sim­i­lar amount of space and weight, then it is less jaw-drop­ping and ac­tu­ally equates favourably with the com­pe­ti­tion. So we may all want lots of liv­ing space and min­i­mal weight, but it will be our bank bal­ance rather than tech­nol­ogy that dic­tates if that dream is achiev­able.

En­trances and porches on both sides en­hance the liv­ing space.

Lad­der-lock ad­just­ment at peg­ging and pole ends..

Outer doors open from the top or bot­tom.

Far left: the in­ner is sus­pended from pole clips.

Left: guy­lines en­hance sta­bil­ity if needed.

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