Force Ten Vortex 200 tent

Force Ten Vortex 200 Tent

Camping out in Scotland in autumn or winter? You’ll need a tent that can cope with the weather.

Strong winds, torrential rain, snow and gales. While Scotland’s outdoors can be stunningly beautiful in autumn and winter, it can also throw a range of more extreme weathers at walkers and climbers.

For outdoors fans who still enjoy the wonders of spending days out in the mountains and countryside during the chillier months, a high quality and robust tent is a must.

The Force Ten tents range, created by Vango, an acclaimed name in tents, include lightweight, alpine, classic and expedition tents. For Scotland in winter-time, the Force Ten Expedition tents range could very well be a good choice, especially if you’re planning to head high to camp.

The Expedition range of tents are “designed for the most volatile of environments”. The company have also had these tents tested by explorers and adventurers to ensure that they do what they say they will.

This Expedition range of tents includes two and three-person geodesic Vortex, two and three-person tunnel Titan and three and five-person fully geodesic Spindrift and Sentinel.

Review: Force Ten Vortex 200 tent

There is a balance to be had in terms of weight and stability for winter expedition tents. If there are two of you setting out for an adventure, then it’s possible to split the tent weight in half. So the 4.5kg weight seems reasonable.

The tent is priced at £400, which is again a reasonable price for a tent of this quality and for use in winter.

As you would expect, the Vortex 200 has a lot of high quality, winter features, such as F10 Flexlite aluminium alloy poles, which are heat-treated and hard-anodised for extra strength. They feel good and strong in the hand.

There’s also a high-density nylon groundsheet for durability when the ground is rough and cold.

The expedition grade, 40D ripstop nylon flysheet is tough and breathable, which means the tent will be useful for  UK winters, high level camping and camping further afield in even less clement conditions.

Other features that I like:

  • Colour coded and pre-angled poles (so it’s easier to put the tent up)
  • Rain gutter zip covers (nice design)
  • Snow valances on the porches (every camper will want to keep the snow out)
  • Front and rear access (helpful if there are two of your camping)
  • O-shaped inner door (good for extra room when accessing the tent)
  • Rain stop flysheet door (for obvious reasons!)
  • Gear loft and pockets for stowing kit.
  • Compression stuffsac (for ease when taking the tent down).
  • The tent packs down to 47cm x 19cm, which isn’t the smallest I’ve encountered but it’s still fine for multi-day expeditions.

The label says that it takes just 15 minutes to erect the tent and if you are familiar with the geodesic design this turns out to be true. I put the tent up in less than 15 minutes. The all-in-one build and colour coded poles really help.

The tent looks and feels very robust. Pushing it around hardly dents the surface of the material.

I also tried putting up the tent in very windy conditions (it took 17 minutes due to gusts of wind) and sat inside while the wind did its worst outside. The tent hardly flinched. When the rain came, as it often does in autumn, it simply ran off the outside of the tent.

There is enough space for sitting up in the tent and two people easily fit side by side to sleep. This isn’t a huge tent but if you want a larger tent you’ll need to carry more weight with you. The porch areas offer room for expanding during the day, although, again, this is not a tent for full-time living unless you are very cosy with your walking partner. Choose a three-person for two people if you want a larger living space.

For a mid-range price and weight, the Force Ten Vortex 200 tent is a good value and high quality buy. The geodesic design brings confidence in extreme conditions.

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