19/09/2018 Share this review   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon



For the price, you really can’t go wrong. The Scafell is well made – suitable as a three-season tent for beginners and DoE participants, or simply backpackers on a budget.

PRICE £130
Simplicity of operation starts with the Vango Scafell 200 the moment you open the Fast Pack stuff sack, with its large side opening and drawcord closure. The tent itself is a basic two-berth Gothic Arch tunnel with front entrance. There’s also a three-berth model, the Scafell 300 (£160), and the side-entry extended porch Scafell 300+ (£190).

The two poles are exactly the same, so no colour coding required, and they push through continuous sleeves across the top of the flysheet to anchor at each end on the groundsheet. Adjustable straps and buckles ensure the pole tips don’t pop out of their ferrules once secured.

The tent pitches all in one, although the fly and inner are easily separable if you want to split the load or dry the flysheet. It’s not free-standing, so the trick is to get a couple of pegs in at the tail, then pull it all forward and peg out at the front. The main pegging points at the front and back are on adjustable straps, which makes peg placement easier on stony ground, as well as tightening up the fly once all the pegs are in. There are five guys, one on each side of the poles, and one at the tail which also serves to hold a ventilation cowl open. The guys themselves have fixed loops for the pegs, with runners pulling downwards from the fly to adjust. At this point, you might wonder where the final two pegs go, and it’s only as you unzip the flysheet door that the answer presents itself. A spacer tape at ground level across the doorway has a couple of ferrules, and the two remaining pegs have right-angled loops at the top which lay flat on the ground when pushed in all the way, so you can ensure a nice clean entrance with no trip hazard.

The flysheet door ties back to one side with a couple of loop and toggle fastenings, revealing a generously sized porch. Unzip the inner door to one side, and it stows in an adjacent pocket. At this point you’ll also notice the TBS II Tension Band System – an arrangement of webbing straps which brace the hoop and lessen the amount of movement when the wind gets up. Some models have all hoops braced – this one it’s on the front hoop only, and the straps have quick-release buckles so you can disconnect and stow them away if not required. They don’t encroach on the doorway, so you might as well leave them connected. One of the good things about the Gothic Arch hoop shape is that apart from making the tent better at shedding rain and snow, the pre-curved central section means the hoop’s ability to flex is greatly reduced. Better stability, in other words.

While more expensive tents might have a zipped panel on the inner tent door to control ventilation, this one has just a mesh panel at the top of the door. There’s also a mesh panel in the tail of the inner opposite the mesh-backed vent in the fly, so you can get a reasonable airflow through the tent. And while the flysheet door zip has just one zip puller, meaning you can’t unzip it from the top to allow extra throughflow of air, the three Velcro tabs which secure the storm flap to the side of the door are strong enough to use on their own. So you could leave the door unzipped but still attached by Velcro to leave a gap for some air.

Inside, with the inner the same height front to back, the tent feels spacious. Even where it slopes down at the tail, it’s quite steep, so both occupants can sit up comfortably without encroaching on each other. They provide a couple of mesh pockets in the inner walls – one on each side at the front – and there’s a small tape loop above the doorway for you to hang a torch or lantern.

Weight 2.5 kg
Pitching time 5 minutes
Style Gothic Arch tunnel
Size 325cm x 150cm Inner 215cm x 130cm (95cm)
Packed size 48cm x 16cm
Materials Outer Protex 70D ripstop polyester, 3,000mm Inner breathable polyester Groundsheet 70D polyester, 6,000mm Poles Powerlite 7001-T6 alloy Pegs 16 alloy