Vaude’s new Invenio 2-person tent
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.