The Vango Banshee Pro 200 consists of a robust flysheet, with a ripstop weave and a high-performing hydrostatic head waterproof rating of 5,000mm; a breathable polyester inner and a strong, thick and reliable 70-denier groundsheet; and pre-angled alloy poles that are both light and strong. The Vango Banshee Pro 200 is a great tent at an unbelievable price. Ah, the Vango Banshee, a classic, extremely popular tent that seems to polarise opinion. It’s a classic, popular tent – and rightfully so. Nordisk’s Telemark 2.2 is a durable, weatherproof and incredibly lightweight two-person tent. The Telemark 2.2 does have a spacious interior for one person, but it is on the cramped side for two, with not too much space for moving around or organising yourselves. Since they tend to have a large front pocket, the main compartment, two shoulder straps and a grab handle, mini backpacks can be stuffed with enough things to be used for yoga as much as for a beach holiday. There are two doors, one for each camper, as well as two porches, although one is smaller than the other. It’s low weight, has a small leather backpack purse packed size but it offers space and liveability and the overall reliability that you want from a three-season backpacking tent is there too.
Features we love about the Telemark 2.2 include: the four small corner poles which seem to provide greater structure and height to the tent at the foot and head ends (as opposed to using one single centred pole at the end like Terra Nova and Hilleberg); the ease of pitching; the toughness of the flysheet and inner, despite how thin and lightweight they are; its ability to stand up to adverse weather during our tests out in the Highlands; and the magnetic quick-snap door closure is neat. An excellent quality of materials have been used alongside simple but effective design features – like the ‘Quick Stash’ door keeper, colour coded clips on the corners of the flysheet, and the hole at the bottom of the internal gear organising pocket that allows you to thread through the wire of a phone charger. But, that aside, the Banshee is a bona fide bargain, providing a robust, quality shelter for a fraction of the price of others on the market. Loved, even adored, by many; ridiculed by others, camping snobs who – from the porches of their £700 tents – label the Banshee a heavy, simplistic tent for beginners only. Big Agnes have started to bring their well thought-out and fully featured tents to our side of the pond.
Selected for the Outdoor 100 2019/20 – check out our full Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 review. This, the Copper Spur HV UL2 is very similar to that of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX in that it’s inner pitched first yet can be used freestanding and without the fly when conditions are more favourable. Inner pitched first tents can be a little troublesome in moist conditions as it’s hard to put them up without getting the inner mesh wet, so you could say that’s the main drawback to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. Inside space is a little limited, as with other tents on test here, so the Banshee should perhaps be considered a roomy one-person tent or a rather cosy one -person tent. Like similar tents from rivals Terra Nova and Hilleberg, the Telemark 2 uses a well-established design known for providing space and stability at low weight, with a single hoop central pole with shorter poles at each end. The brand works with licenses for other major brands like Disney, Marvel, “Star Wars,” and “Harry Potter” to create colorful, fandom-inspired mini backpacks, wallets, and crossbody bags.
In an attempt to ease my scheduling woes, I decided to pick up a pair of Apple AirTags to stick in my kids’ backpacks, as they are too young for iPhones of their own. In the main pocket, I have most of the clothes I packed: a T-shirt, a wool undershirt, a short-sleeved linen button-down, a pair of khaki shorts, a swimsuit, and a baseball cap. The bag’s attractive main compartment features a fleece-lined laptop sleeve that can accommodate systems of up to 15 inches. We were somewhat nervy about threading the main pole through its sleeve, as it caught a few times and felt like you could rip the thin outer if you weren’t careful, but if you’re careful that shouldn’t be a problem. Usefully, there are high nylon panels on the lower half of the inner tent’s walls to give you a bit of privacy when you’re using the tent like this. There is all the usual stuff too – adjustable guy ropes, mesh for breathability, and inner pockets for expedition ‘admin’. Other features worth noting include the mesh storage pockets at each end of the sleeping compartment, reflective guylines, large vents at each end, pouches for stuffing away the inner’s doors, and a front-loading stuff sack with webbing straps that makes packing the whole thing away quick and easy.