New tent – Vango Spectre 200

Posted by @ 2:56 pm on Tuesday 24th July, 2007.
Categories: Shiny new kit

Behold - the Vango Spectre 200. Not exactly a super-lightweight backpacking tent, but quite good for less than 63 notes delivered.

It's been pitched in the back garden for the last 6 nights, not quite camping in the wild but it's the best I can manage at the moment 🙁 Mind you, the weather's been dire during that time, 20cm of rain has fallen and there have been some tree-felling winds.

Anyway, it's quite black, but contrary to expectations it's quite bright inside, where there's plenty of room for 2 + gear.

The porch is a bit slim, but the inner can be dropped to make masses of space if it's needed.

There's quite a bit of storage space under the fly at either end, too.

I've spent one rainy night in it so far, and can report the following:

  • There was no condensation at all, so the venting must be effective;
  • There is room for 2 shortarses (like me) to sit upright in the central third of the inner;
  • It's very stable when the TBS is deployed;
  • There's hardly any wind-flap;
  • The zips on the inner (mesh door) are a faff, they need some lube;
  • The groundsheet is very slippery - maybe this will become less of a problem after a period of use.

I'll post a proper review after it's been used in anger.


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30 Responses to “New tent – Vango Spectre 200”

  1. Kev says:

    Oooo, stealthy Black! I like it. What made you go for that one, Oh Bearded One?

  2. BG! says:

    Hi Kev

    Why this colour? Black dries quicker and suits my mood (and blog).
    Why this tent? Much cheapness, easy to mod, can use fly-only.

    Actually, you've got me thinking there, Kev. I've just realised that the proportion of black and/or grey kit in my stash is increasing... Rab VR Climb jacket, L.A. Warp70 pack, Montane Featherlite smock and trousers, L.A mountain cap, Jetboil PCS, Alpkit AD700 s/bag, this tent... maybe this has some Freudian meaning?

  3. GeoffC says:

    Do you really get a reddish light inside or is that a camera effect?. It's hard to see the colour of the mesh. Anyway they say that a red light is flattering to the countenance, which would come in handy after a few days backpacking with a tent when we look like sh*t.

    ...It’s very stable when the TBS is deployed...

    Ok, I must be thick today and I've had a couple of shots of scotch, but what's TBS?.

  4. BG! says:


    The reddish light... the inner is bright orange (Jaffa) ripstop. The mesh (front wall & doorflap) is grey. As I said, it's quite bright inside - the fly fabric lets through a lot of light, despite being black.

    TBS = Tension Band System, it's used on the centre pole only in this tent (it's on both poles in other Vango tents such as the Tempest). Basically, it's a pair of removable webbing straps that form a triangle between the pole ends and the mid-point, this helps to prevent the arch-shape deforming in strong side-winds. A neat idea, but it does mean that the straps have to pass though the inner (twice each). The lighter Vango tents, such as the Spirits, have cords instead of webbing. It's explained on their website.

  5. BG! says:

    boudoir - noun, rather old use, a woman's private sitting-room or bedroom.
    ETYMOLOGY: 18c: French, literally "a place for sulking in", from "bouder", to sulk or pout.

    LOL, Duncan!

  6. Kev says:

    Ah, I see. This'll be your Dark Period then? :o) I'd never seen a black tent before tho'. At least, I don't think I have. Mine are mostly green with the exception of a rather bright F10 Ascent.

  7. Rob says:

    Where abouts did you buy this from for £63 ?
    Also, id there enough space for an expedition rucksack at each end?
    Would you reccomend...

  8. BG! says:

    Hi Rob
    I got it mail-order from Gaynors in Ambleside. It's one of the originals, I think Vango have updated the specs since I bought mine. I doubt that you'd get 2 full expo sacs in the ends, but maybe you could with the Spectre 300? FWIW, because I'm a 5'6" shortar5e, I put my 70l pack inside the inner at one end (for use as a pillow or footrest?) and I've still plenty of room when solo. Does that help?

  9. BG! says:

    Rob - if you're still about, I found a 2007 "200" for £59.95 at

  10. John says:

    Would you reccomend it for solo backpacking?

  11. CAMP FREDDIE says:

    I would say great for solo back packing- pretty light and compact and room for yourself and your gear inside if solo. I'm 6'3" and there was plenty of room to lie down. Dry during last week's thunderstorms too!

  12. John says:

    cheers mate! I'm the same height so that really helps!

  13. BG! says:

    @ John & Camp Freddie:
    I like using this tent for solo backpacking. It's not in the same league as classic lightweights such as the Akto and the LaserSiblings, but it's good for the money if you're on a tight budget. Piss-easy to pitch, too.

  14. Piotr says:

    Hi all,
    sorry for refreshing such an old post, but this website seems to be only one place in entire world where someone says something about vango spectre 200...
    I'm wondering to get one of these for backpacking with my girlfriend. Have a few questions for you guys:
    - Is it big enough for two with gear? I mean to sleep comfortable,and sit when weather is bad.
    - Is there any way to cook in entrance "vestibule" (using small gas stove)?
    - Picture on vango website says its 140cm width.What is the real size (usable sleeping area)

    I'm looking for something roomie,but light and easy to pitch. Was looking also at tempest 200,but I don't really like the front entrance and one vestibule ( I know its big,but... side entrance looks more handy for me). Spectre looks nice,very light and not to expencive.
    If anyone has any advice I'll be appreciated.


  15. BG! says:

    @Piotr - Hi Piotr! I wouldn't recommend the 200 for two adults + gear on an all-day basis - there's just enough room to sit upright in the middle, but it'd be cramped and there wouldn't be much scope for moving about. I do cook in the vestibule, but I use a Jetboil which has a fairly well-contained flame. I wouldn't chance using a stove where the flame can jet out sideways or up the sides of the pot. As for dimensions, I don't have immediate access to the tent right now, so you may have to wait a while.
    You may find that the 300 version is more suited to your needs, or you could consider a radical alternative such as the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, which is roomy and lightweight (but at a higher cost). If it helps, you'll find a good review of the smaller UL1 at

  16. Piotr says:

    Thanks for your reply.
    I'll think about spectre 300. The tent you mentioned its a little bit over my budget. I want to spend up to 150eu.
    The problem is I'll will carry it on my own back,together with the rest of gear so it needs to be max 3kg.
    Not too many choice around that price and weight.

  17. BG! says:

    Piotr - I had a trawl of the web today and found the Vango Alto 200 - 3kg trail weight, huge vestibule, good inner height, 2-person, £143.99 (approx 168eu) so only a tiny bit over-budget, but it looks like a good tent for the money. Have a look at (Dead Link removed by Admin)

  18. Piotr says:

    Yeah, I was looking for this one as well, but I don't trust to "exclusive for..." things. They also give different spec on vango website and blacks, and no opinions in the web. It could be a reason why its "exclusive" and I don't want to test it myself for nearly 200e.
    And going this direction I could buy cheaper and bigger omega 250 (which I want to buy for car trips). At last I decided to go for vango shadow 200, its on sale in Go outdoors for 50gbp (Dead Link removed by Admin) Loads of room,under 3kg,porch. I couldn't find any reviews but thing it will be good for hiking. Can't go wrong for that price,about 75e delivered its like for festival tent 🙂
    Thanks a lot for your help.

  19. Alex Nail says:

    Hi, as another poster has said this seems to be the only place on the web where I can get feedback on this tent!

    I'm a pretty big guy, 6'3" and I would like to go camping with my girlfriend. Is there enough room in this tent to sleep side to side without touching the side of the inner or is it strickly top to tail as shown on vangos website?



  20. BG! says:

    @Alex Nail - Hi Alex. I'd say that a "side-by-side" config is a no-no. It's wide enough in the middle but not where your shoulders would be. That said, you might get away with it if you were to be very close to each other, ie. sharing a bag, "spoons" position etc. etc.. 🙄

    I've just been mooching around your website, I'm really impressed with your pics 😎

  21. Piotr says:

    Originally Posted By Alex NailHi, as another poster has said this seems to be the only place on the web where I can get feedback on this tent!

    I'm a pretty big guy, 6'3" and I would like to go camping with my girlfriend. Is there enough room in this tent to sleep side to side without touching the side of the inner or is it strickly top to tail as shown on vangos website?



    Have a look at Vango Tempest or new Halo 200. The halo one is not to heavy (well 3.5kg) and very roomy, I think to get one myself.
    Spectre is a nice tent for one.

  22. Stefan says:

    @Piotr -

    Hi, am looking for at a Vango Shadow 300 myself. How does it fair in the wind? Would you recommend it?

  23. Sleeping Bag says:

    Looks like a good sturdy tent. And for that price it's worth getting for my weekend camping trips.

  24. TheShipsMast says:

    Just used the 2009 spectre for a 2 night wild camp. I am 6'7" and plenty of room inside for me and the missus to sleep side by side rather than top and tail. Each end is just about big enough to get a full sized 60 litre pack in when most of the contents are taken out. It helps that she is only 5'6" so can fit some stuff down by her feet, but it never felt cramped.

    It was a nice warm and dry weekend, but very little flapping in the wind, and the early morning mist dried very quickly from the outer skin.

    You can cook in the vestibule bit if you are careful. We have a floorstanding primus stove, and I used a walking pole to hold the side flap open to provide some shelter which seemed to work quite well. Not sure how successful that would have been in a torrential downpoor mind.

    Its a doddle to put up and take down, packs down fairly small, isn't too heavy, and the green colour blends in very well with lakeland grass so is nice and inconspicuous. Almost invisible from about 250 metres away, which I think should be mandatory for wild camping ;-).

    All in all, I think this is a fab little tent, the 2010 model with both sides opening I see as a real improvement, as it can be a pain to climb over each other for one person to get out, but nothing that isn't easily overcome.

  25. Pennine Rambler says:

    @TheShipsMast - Have recently bought a Vango Spectre 200. Yes, it's not the lightest backpacking tent but after a recent night spent on Buckden Pike it was worth every penny of the £75 (Incl P & P). The rain pounded down for 90 mins followed by really gale force winds for the rest of the night. It took it all without the slightest leak or excessive wind flap. A good buy.

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