New 2014 Vango Banshee 200 Review
The New 2014 Vango Banshee 200 2 person tent is a brilliant option for the price conscious backpacker or landscape photographer.
Some of my kit dated back to the days of romping around Dartmoor in the Ten Tors expeditions when I was young, so this year I decided to invest in some new gear. Coming shortly will be a review of the amazing Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 sleeping bag that I also got.
2014 Vango Banshee vs Wild Country Zyphros 2
As my camera gear is only getting heavier I spent a good while comparing weights of different tents. The Wild Country Zyphros 2 had some blinding reviews but it wasn’t available anywhere at the time. I was enticed by the super low weight of 1.79kg which is great for a fairly spacious 2 man tent. The 2014 Vango Banshee 200 in comparison is 2.25kg which was the best weight to strength combo I reckon I could find for the money. To put it in to the perspective of a landscape photographer, my tripod makes a much bigger difference to my bag!
I wanted a tent that my fiancé and I could go away in for more relaxed breaks and whilst there was plenty roomy enough for me and my kit, I still think it will be a bit of a squeeze with two of us in. There certainly won’t be much room for anything other than people put it that way. On one side there is enough space in the awning for boots, stove and bits and bobs but nothing really on the other side. It is worth mentioning that the old Banshee 200 only had one door, so this is still a massive development on the old one.
Pitching the 2014 Vango Banshee 200
Vango reckon that it only takes 7 minutes to pitch it and whilst this is possible it isn’t a great pitch. My camp craft isn’t great I’ll admit but to get anything more than just a shelter you’re looking at 10-12 minutes more realistically. With that said though it is very easy, there’s just a few straps here and there to make sure you get the tent tensioned correctly.
There is a cross brace sort of system under the fly sheet that does a great job of giving tension to the whole thing and stop it moving in wind. The only real bug bear I have is the dodgy velcro straps for tying away the guide ropes as they are really fiddly to undo with gloves on.
Pitching the Banshee 200 as one
The fly sheet of the 2014 Vango Banshee 200 pitches first and the bedroom compartment is hung in place with simple but effective loop holes. This allows quick and easy pitching the second time onwards.
One thing I really like about the tent is that it is very easy to get in and out of it. The doors are great and do a good job of keeping the rain out. Recently in the Peak District the weather turned against me but with the main door facing away from the wind I had it wide open and stayed nice and dry. Being 6ft I found that sitting up space is fairly good for a tent of this size and weight.
Combined with a decent roll mat and sleeping bag I found that the tent was pretty good to live with for a long weekend. For one person, you could quite happily be holed up for a few nights without too much discomfort.
The fly sheet did a stellar job of keeping everything dry (as you’d expect) and it sits far enough away from the living compartment not to cause any issues. The Banshee 200 is a nice length and I could lie down happily without any extremities touching anything. Couple this with the size that it packs down to, 44 x 14cm, and it is dead easy to lug around strapped to my backpack.
I personally like to keep the poles and pegs separate out of the bag so that I can be sure I have them, but roll the tent tightly and you shouldn’t have too many issues packing it away in the supplied compression bag.
I’d definitely recommend this tent
As I said at the beginning for just under £100 I think this is a great tent for backpacking that stays dry and solid in some pretty rubbish weather. If I was buying it solely for two people I might look for something a bit bigger but heavier and share the weight, but for a multi-season, all purpose, well ventilated tent that is worth lugging up a mountain for a great price, why look elsewhere?