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One of the most essential pieces of kit you’ll need, whether you’re an experienced or beginner hiker, is a sleeping shelter system. Some people prefer hammocks, some bivvy bags, but for a majority of us, it’s a tent. Experienced hikers will know what they prefer and what they need, but for a beginner it can be very confusing, so I will share below my recommendation for an excellent beginners tent along with some of the things to look out for when buying your own.
Most outdoors people have probably heard about Vango and it’s no surprise – the company has been around since 1966 and have become a household name for rigorously tested equipment due to competitive prices. This is one of the reasons why I opted for this brand of tent – it’s considered the go-to starter tent.
Weighing in at just under 2.2kg trail weight, the Banshee 200 Pro is towards the lighter scale of a 2-person, 3-season tent which is appealing in itself, considering weight is king on a trek.
Personally, being a 6ft 4 male, nearly all the 1-person tents are not an option for me, especially if you want any sort of breathing space, so this 2-person tent gives you that extra bit of space to spread out in if you’re a solo hiker, while also giving you the option to sleep two people with a porch on one of the door sides big enough for a large rucksack or two!
So how does it pitch?
This tent is an all-in-one pitch, meaning the inner comes attached to the outer (you can detach if required), so when you’re pitching this tent you simply roll it out, erect the poles and start slotting them into the pegs. The tent has clips which attach to both poles – the poles are mostly exposed at the outer side of the tent.
This tent is very easy to pitch but it is not freestanding, meaning it has to be poled and pegged out in order to stay up.
This does make it slightly less convenient if there is no wind, but it’s something you can live with for the bargain you’re getting. With a bit of practice, you can get it pitched by yourself in around 5-7 minutes.
I’ve had this tent out in some pretty strong wind and its held up well, so it will definitely do for most of your 3 -season camping.
How much does it cost?
Another reason why this tent is so popular is its cost – it’s quite affordable compared to other options, especially when you consider pack size and weight. I purchased mine from GoOutdoors as they frequently run deals on this tent and offer users a price match promise, plus anther 10% off on top of the price match if you find it cheaper elsewhere. So if you keep your eyes open, you can really get this item for a total steal.
Finally, there’s another version of this tent available, the older model called the Banshee 200 (not pro), the difference mainly being the Pro’s added ripstop material to the outer sheet which makes it harder to tear and easier to repair if damaged.
So, if you’re looking for a great-priced, strong, easy to pitch, highly waterproof and light tent, then this could be the option for you.