By Jasmine Stephens, Family Editor
A quick google of the new Vango Euphoria 600 tent and I knew it would be quality. A trusted brand, a premium polycotton flysheet and Vango’s Airbeam technology replacing the more traditional poles. This is a tent that means business. When you’re looking to buy a top of the range six-berth tent, you expect every aspect to be spot-on and Vango have clearly taken their time to make sure every detail exudes quality; an extra-thick heavy duty groundsheet, zip-up cotton curtains, dark ‘lights out’ cotton inners, an attached porch, two side doors, storm straps, fly-screen mesh on every entrance, a huge living area, Velcro-ed tags to keep guy ropes tidy. It goes on and on.
Dare I say I was slightly anxious as I set off with my family for our first camping trip since our three children were born. Not only was I concerned I hadn’t brought anywhere near enough wine to deal with a weekend in a confined space with 3 children under the age of 7, I feared the Euphoria couldn’t possibly live up to my exceedingly high expectations.
As we arrived in North Yorkshire, the sun was shining, the setting was extraordinarily beautiful and the welcome was warm at the packed campsite. We were shown to our spot and set out the first test; pitching the Euphoria in front of other people. With young children in tow, speed of pitching is essential. You just can’t afford to be tied up for hours with poles, pegs and guys. This is where Vango’s Airbeam technology comes into its own; you simply peg the four corners out, inflate each beam with the supplied pump and the tent is up. It took my husband just 15 minutes to get the tent to this point, which meant the kids and I could then set upon kitting out the interior while he finished off pegging and guying out. We were sat outside with a drink within 40 minutes and our neighbours were visibly disappointed.
As the sun went down on a stunning evening, the temperature dropped and it started to feel a bit nippy. Don’t forget, this is Yorkshire we’re talking about, so I was prepared for this eventuality and had got myself a Vango Starwalker sleeping bag. This bag has zips for your arms and a detachable foot section, which makes it wearable. We sat outside and enjoyed watching the stars appear while I stayed toasty warm and when it was time for bed I was very smug as my husband got into his cold sleeping bag, where mine was pre-warmed.
Now what you need when you’re taking a tent out to review is some suitably challenging conditions and the weather gods clearly take their responsibilities very seriously. The next morning the winds had picked up and by mid-afternoon we were experiencing 50mph gales with even stronger gusts. When I went to the campsite office to get an updated weather report, the manager said they’d never known winds like it and I have to admit the conditions were so bad I was scared. The Euphoria was solid as a rock.
I had expected the Airbeam tech to improve speed and ease of pitching, but I had totally underestimated just how strong and stable this would make the tent. We made sure all the guys were secure and retreated into the tent to clip in the Vango Tension Bands to further stabilise the tent. The amazing thing was that once inside you could almost convince yourself that the winds had dropped. Not only was the movement of the tent minimal, the polycotton was so thick, there was virtually no noise from the flysheet.
We had come away with friends and the Euphoria was the obvious choice to sit out the storm. This was the point that we were very grateful that the space it affords. We had 6 adults and 7 children under the age of 7 all sitting and playing in the living area and it still felt roomy and dry with no condensation at all.
Fortunately, the winds had died down by the next morning and as I took a quick walk around the campsite I was filled with respect for the Euphoria. All around was carnage; shredded tents, broken poles, tree branches and general detritus littered the now half-empty site. Many tents hadn’t survived, but as we struck camp we found that the only damage the Euphoria had sustained was one slightly strained peg.
This is a tent of tip-top quality; the fabric, the stitching, the beams, the guys, the pegs and indeed the design mean it is as strong as an ox and as well as giving you an utterly luxurious feel to your camping experience, it gives you confidence that it can handle anything that the weather throws at it. Vango have promised a lot with the Euphoria, but somehow they’ve still managed to over-deliver on expectations.