Gear Review: Vango Banshee 200 Tent & Venom 300 Sleeping Bag

The Vango Banshee 200 tent - a lightweight and great value backpacking tent




Review: Vango Banshee 200 tent


As you know I like to keep my reviews short and to the point so you can make up your minds quickly, and here is my succinct review of the Banshee 200, backpacker 2 person tent.

Pros:

  • At 2.35kg the tent is quite light - maybe not the lightest out there but for the price it’s superb
  • It’s a small pack size as you can see below (47 x 15cm) - and the oversized stuff sack with compression straps make for easy packing
  • Assembly is quick (For the 1st pitching - you need to pitch the outer fly sheet first very quickly by using the 2 poles and pegging out (useful if it’s raining to keep your kit dry) then clip in the inner tent - no more than 8 mins to pitch in total if pitching outer tent and attaching inner tent. Subsequent pitching can be done all in one making for a pitching time of no more than 4mins!
  • The tent has dual entry either side - useful for when 2 people do use the tent
  • A small porch space is useful for boots and other small items - but there is no groundsheet in the porch and it’s not suitable for large backpacks - so these would have to be stored inside the tent.
  • There is adequate space to lie down (I’m 6ft) - and it's also possible to sit up and not touch the inner tent
  • Despite being a tunnel design and not geodesic it faces strong winds quite well
  • It's able to stand up to heavy rain with little condensation


At 2.35kg and a pack size  of 45cm x 15cm - the Banshee 200 is ideal for backpacking

Cons:

  • It’s classed as a two person - but I would only use it on my own if carrying my big backpack. If there are no big backpacks - then 2 can fit in. If you want a 2 person tent with more space to also store your luggage then consider the Banshee 300 model.
  • If weight really is an issue - then substantially more expensive options would have to be considered


My Verdict: 

  • It's a really great value tent for backpacking/cycling/biking and wild camping
  • Cheaply priced and a good weight/size
  • Can be pitched very quickly - and even quicker if both outer and inner tents pitched together 
  • Ideal for the solo camper with kit
  • If you are budget conscious and just getting into backpacking then this is the tent for you - I can see why it’s on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Recommended Kit list

You can see the small porch here - where you can store boots, stove and small backpacks

Tips: 

  • There is only enough pegs supplied to pitch - so buy a few spare pegs incase you bend or lose some! (especially important for longer treks)
  • After pitching for the first time - if you are in a rush to take down the tent - then leave the inner tent attached - which will let you take it down very quickly - just be careful with any dampness so make sure tent it dried out at the first opportunity. Subsequent pitchings can be done with outer and inner tent pitched in one go
  • After a few months or so of use - consider reproofing the groundsheet to avoid dampness coming in if pitching on wet ground

Price & buying:







Useful videos:

Before making a purchase - here are a couple of useful short videos to watch - the first is from Vango - the second is an independent review and quite a useful watch




Vango Venom 300 - sleeping bag


As well as testing the Banshee 200 - I have also been testing out the Vango Venom 300 sleeping bag, and below is my succinct review:

Pros:

  • 700 fill down core for good warmth at a light weight
  • Small pack size of 29cm x 14.0cm
  • Weight 900g (give or take a few grams)
  • 2- 3 season
  • Comfort temp 5˚C. 
  • A 60% top / 40% bottom fill ratio means you need to turn yourself within the bag rather than turn over and take the bag with you. I’m 6ft and weigh 13 stone - and found that I could turn over easily within the bag - if you are packing a bit more timber it may be a bit of a struggle!
  • Likewise for the zip - it doesn’t go the full length of the bag - but that wasn’t an issue for me - again if you are on the larger side it may be a little awkward.


On this pic you can really see the small pack size and resulting low weight of 800g

Cons:

  • On some websites an extreme of -15˚C is given for this bag - but I wouldn’t want to test that out!
  • If the temps are in the range of 5-20˚C then you’ll be fine

As you can see here the zip does not run the full length of the bag - and whilst a little awkward - it doesn't pose and issues for me.

Verdict:


  • I wouldn’t want to test this beyond 5c and it won’t out perform more expensive down bags of a similar weight - but it’s great compared to synthetic fills of a similar weight.
  • As ever with Vango products - it’s very well priced and is ideal for the budget conscious wanting a light-weight down filled bag.


Price & buying:





Tips:

  • Try to keep the bag dry - and it will serve you well.
  • You might want to consider purchasing an inner bag to add an extra layer of warmth

Useful videos:

Before making a purchase - here is a useful video to watch on the Venom 300 from Vango :




I hope you have found those 2 reviews useful! If you have any questions - just post a comment and I'll try and answer. 

Blog Post by Stuart Hodgson, 'The Hiking Photographer'


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