Lightweight tents reviewed

Safe in a storm

Vango TBS Micro 150 The Micro is a single hoop tent equipped with Vango's Tension Band System (TBS). This makes the tent very stable when the tapes are pulled taut, working as internal guylines which hold the arching central pole in place. In strong winds they ensure the tent retains its shape, unlike standard hoops which can bend and buckle in extreme conditions. Pitching is quick and easy. The flysheet goes up first, unless you've left the inner and outer attached together in which case they can go up 'as one'. The tension bands can be adjusted from the inside, a bonus in bad weather.

The Micro is extremely spacious with a large porch for gear storage and, even with a rucksack stowed here, there's still plenty of space to cook safely, out of the wind and rain. The steep angle of the pole keeps the flysheet high of the ground, helping give more space here.

The 150 can accommodate two people snuggly but is perhaps best used as a solo tent suitable for backpackers, climbers or cyclists. If you're looking for more space, opt for the larger 250 which can accommodate two adults and a child. The headroom in the 150 is just over a metre in the centre, sufficient to sit up in comfortably. Access is by a door in one side of the porch.

The 150 weighs in at 2.2kg, slightly heavier than some of its rivals, but benefits from a more stable design than most which makes it ideal for pitching up in exposed places or bad weather. It retails at £179.99, making it good value too. For more info, visit the Vango website at

Vango TBS Equinox 200 Vango are probably best known for tent manufacture so this is expected to be of a high quality and certainly its construction materials support this. As two-person tunnel tents go, it has all the features you'd expect - a large awning for gear storage and plenty of inside pockets. I was not too keen on the guyline in the middle of the doorway but without it the inner tent and flysheet touch together. The only other downside was that the pole sleeves are very tight which can be frustrating while pitching in wet weather. But it did make for a very stable tent in heavy weather. The Equinox 200 costs £160 and weighs in at 3 kilos. Steve Page

Highpoint Rona 2/Beaver Creek 2 A basic tent using a standard dome design, this tent is ideal for those who want a tent for the occasional night out in summer conditions. We did test in heavy rain and snow and it performed well. But the sewn-in groundsheet seemed too thin and the guyline attachments didn't guarantee inner and outer wouldn't touch in higher winds. On the plus side, there is plenty of space inside to move around and, with a price tag of £55, it gave overall good value for money. Available as a three and four-person model. Steve Page