Selecting the Vango tent was a long process for me, as I am really interested into this stuff. I consider myself as an experienced camper, I went on pleasure camping trips since I was a toddler. Later I served in the army and gained some rough outdoor expierence with Biwak and sleeping in the woods.
Now that I have little kids by myselg I went on a camping trip through Sweden with car and caravan last year. Well, that was nice, but it was not that outdoor feeling. Also, car plus caravan makes a long vehicle, so we could not park in many of the small villages we came through. Further it was not much fun to drive over gravel roads or narrow mountain passes. So we wanted to add a family tent to our equipment.
We prefer travelling around over a stationary vacation at a campsite. This year our family vacation will be a 3 week roundtrip through Norway in August. We will visit the Fjell areas, Fjords.
Well, best way to travel around excessively is a compact RV. Unfortunately we are lacking the funds for a nice RV, so we decided to go for a car + tent holiday instead.
So we needed a tent, and our requirements were:
- 2 adults / 2 little kids
- Big headroom and living space
- Storm and Rain Proof
- Weight not relevant
Well, not the easist scenario. We considered a lot of tents, and found that the Vango Calisto 400 meets nearly all of our requirements.
Must sleep 2 adults and 2 little kids
Yes, it does. Sleeping Space is not huge, but we get 4 self-inflating mats inside and slept well. The Vango claims to have a „Lights Out“ inner tent. Well, lights out is definitely exaggerated, but it is a bit darker than an usual tent.
Good headroom and living space to allow eating a meal together inside the tent apsis during rainy weather
Yes, given. We managed to set up a small table and 4 camping chairs inside the tent and had a comfortable breakfast during a rain shower.
Rugged enough to withstand the rough northern weather, especially strong winds at the norwegian coast, heavy rain in the mountains and around the arctic circle
We decided to go for the Vango Calisto, as it comes with steel poles. The construction is very strong and we think it will withstand very strong winds. It was quite easy to set up for us, we needed around 40 minutes when we pitched it the first time. Second time we made it in 25 minutes including all tent pegs, inner tent and putting the mats inside. Got a storm and heavy rain in the first short trip to the Vosges, France and the tent did well. No water in the sleeping area, beside the usual condense water. There was a lot of condense water on the inside of the ceiling. So a bit water came in, but nothing too annoying. It was just like, when you touch the inner side of the ceiling, you had wet hands and some drops fell down. We can live with that very well. At least it is camping and not living in a hotel 😉
Weight not so important, as we go by car
Well, yes, it is heavy as hell. 20 kg, 40 lbs is a word. We stow it behind the driver seat in our van, and it is just about to fit there. So there is definitely a down in handling but we knew that when we bought it. Not recommended, if you drive a smaller car.
Cheap, budget was only 300 EUR for tent
It is a bargain. You get good quality for your money. Everything worked as expected, many details are well done, it is a storm-proof, strong tent. We paid 260 €, and still consider that as a steal related to the other tents we found below 300 €. We are pretty pleased with our purchase and look forward using it during our Norway vacation starting in the next weeks. If you search for a tent to use in the mediterran region only, you probably won’t need to go for the Alu- or Steel Poles in this tent, and you have a lot other tents to choose from.
But for our requirements in regard of space and rough weater conditions it is the best compromise for that budget.
Link to Vango Calisto 600, which is a bit bigger.
We would have taken probably this one, if our kids had been bigger than they actually are 🙂