Review: 2-person Vango F10 Helium UL 2 tent
The Vango F10 Helium UL 2 tent is for two people if you don’t mind a snug fit. There is a Vango F10 Helium UL 1 tent for solo adventurers.
Features and details of the Vango F10 Helium UL 2 tent
The Helium Ultralight 2-man tent is a “hybrid tunnel design”. It is meant to be a lightweight tent for wild camping adventures.
The tent is wide enough for two people who don’t mind a snug set up. The best idea is top-to- toe sleeping. Equally, the tent is light enough for solo trips, especially if you are looking for a bit of space for your kit.
The features are extensive and include:
- All in one pitching – flysheet and inner pitch together
- Tent design to maximise inner space to weight ratio
- Protex 15.SRN Flysheet – 3000mm HH
- Lightweight poles
- Pre-angled poles to provide greater internal space than with a standard curve
- Internal guy-line system (using a lightweight dyneema cord)
- 70D ripstop nylon 6 groundsheet
- 15D nylon inner tent fabric
- Breathable ripstop inner fabric (to allow condensation to pass through)
- Fully taped seams
- Main and secondary door
- Bathtub groundsheet (waterproof, 10cm base on the inner tent with taped seams)
- O-shaped inner doors, which can be opened with one hand
- Part mesh inner door
- Flysheet door vent
- Flysheet vents with mesh
- Internal storage pockets
- Fast pack tent bag with an oversized opening for easy packing plus compression straps to control pack size
- Dyneema core guylines
- Dyneema pegging points
- Multiple reflective points
- Weight: 1.42g (can strip down closer to 1.2g)
- Pack size: 30cm by 14cm.
- Price: RRP £315 for two person and £275 for the one-person Helium UL tent. See Vango.
- Amazon sell the two person for £249; and the one-person for £209. (I receive a small commission for sales through Amazon.)
Review: 2-person Vango F10 Helium UL 2 tent
This is an easy-to-build tent with a simple but well-designed shape. You simply slot the poles together and then put them in place using narrow sleeves for the poles at one end and a sort of ball-and-socket affair at the other end. It’s a simple system and quick to do.
There is very little to this part of the construction because there are so few parts.
The whole tent, inner and outer is one piece and there are vey few poles. Next, you stand the tent up and peg it in place and sort the guy lines.
I can put up the tent myself without any hassle and while it suggests a seven-minute build, I would say it took me closer to 15 minutes the first time. After that the build will obviously get quicker because I now know my way around the tent.
The whole structure is ready to go and the design is clever. There is a reasonable head height for a small, lightweight tent and while it would be a squeeze for two people, the tent layout just about allows for that.
There is always a compromise when it comes to space and weight for wild camping or mountain marathon tents, so you can’t expect lots of space. However, there is a decent head height (sat down) and width.
I think I am more likely to use this tent for solo trips. That way I can sleep more comfortably and have my kit inside the tent with me.
You might be tempted to buy the one-person tent to shave in more weight from the overall tent, but at 1.4g, this two-person tent is actually a good option for one person.
There are plenty of great design features, such as the main and secondary doors, which are essential if two people are snugly squeezed into the tent.
Like most small tents it is not so easy to get in and out of the tent due to the height and size. Thankfully the doors a big enough to make it fairly easy if you are pretty flexible. This is no different to other tents of this type and I usually always end up with wet knees from the damp ground and a bit if a jiggle to get inside the tent.
The pre-angled poles help to create more internal space than with a standard curve and the internal guy line system gives the tent a good shape despite the fact there are very few poles.
The bathtub groundsheet – basically a groundsheet with edges that rise up around the base – is excellent and is especially useful in countries like Scotland that have frequent rain.
I can’t tell you if this tent is long lasting and durable because I have not used it for years but it looks to be Vango’s usual good quality. The tent is lightweight but the components appear to be well made and constructed from quality materials.
I wonder if the pole sleeves will wear with use, although I like that it’s possible to repair these with a needle and thread should you have to.
The tent backs into a roomy bag that is comprised to make it smaller with straps. This compression style system is a good idea because it means you can easily bundle the tent into the bag and then compress the pack size afterwards.
Many people will shed the bag for a lightweight backpacking trip or a bikepacking trip in any case. Carrying the tent parts separately makes it easier to pack and it means two people can share the weight.
Many lightweight tents are very pricey. You and to pay more for less because to design a lightweight tent requires more expensive and technical components (that’s the theory anyway). The Vango F10 Helium UL 1 & 2 are not cheap but they do have a more reasonable price tag than many other brands. I would say these are worth a look if you are heading off for. lightweight camping trip, whether on foot or by bike.