Vango F10 MTN 2 Takes On The Goat
In 2019 we had the delight of lending a fleet of Vango’s very special F10 MTN 2 tents to house marshals and keep runners safe until they could be extracted. Well why not do a review of these impressive 2 man temples?
Those of us of a certain age will associate the term Force 10 with heavy duty orange A frame tents that could have stood up to nuclear Armageddon. Super warm, bombproof and they even had you viewing the world in a weird shade of orange when you emerged in the morning. The MTN 2 follows on in same that hardcore vein only with a modern twist.
In a world that has become obsessed with the lightest materials and portability it’s fantastic that this tent has a substantial feel. I’d imagine our marshals would not be too happy at slogging at 6kg cotton tent to the top of Hedgehope on top of their own kit. A 3.4kg compact bag on the other hand is a bit of a joy. When strapped to the back of a quad bike life is even easier!
This tent is designed for high ground and wouldn’t be out of place at a base camp in the Himilayas. Comparable to the legendary Trango 2, the Vango has some rugged features that are built to handle tough environments. Tough plastic clips reduce that all important flysheet movement during heavy winds and combined with the geodesic design it gives essential core stability to the setup.
On Friday night prior to the race I took two F10 MTN 2 tents and a Trango 2 up to the summit of Hedgehope. These were just a couple of the nine tents we were using as essential safety tools to aid runners should there be any issues. The wind was already whistling through with gusts making it difficult to stand. It’s times like this that you can really understand the R&D that goes in to tents as ease of pitching becomes essential.
Pegged down at one end the inner is firmly fixed to the floor. The outer is stuffed back in the back and tied to the quad bike or it’ll end up on the Northumbrian coast some 15 miles away. Lightweight but strong poles are all elasticated thus slot together no problem, even when wearing robust winter gloves. Once the frame is up and clipped in place the rest of the inner can be pegged out. I wasn’t using the optional extra footprint but even in extremely wet conditions it didn’t soak through.
The silicone coated outer was grabbed and after affixing some points to the inner it is simply clipped in to place to get the basic shape and then pegged out all around. The joy of clipped in systems is the ease of use. Extend the straps, clip in and then adjust all round so that the outer fits snugly over all corners. The front and back are gently sloping and when placed directly in to the wind are a perfect brace to push away the gusts. Being the same at both ends it’s easy to cook inside as you can simply switch end if you’ve selected the windy one.
The only time I had to take the gloves off was when sticking out the guy ropes. With rough conditions only expecting to get worse it’s essential that this job is done properly. Putting a guy rope at the wrong angle completely nullifies its purpose. The ones on the tent were of good length and can be adjusted long or short to suit the conditions and allow for different pitching points – actually really helpful when it’s a rocky surface underneath.
During the event the winds reached a whopping 88mph and the F10 MTN 2 stood up to the test. Some were taken down during the night and the ease of construction meant the whole thing collapsed and was away in a matter of minutes. Combined with the winds was a torrential rain. The taped seams and hearty groundsheet held firm.
So the tents get a thumbs up for use but more importantly they get a massive high five for providing an indispensable safety tool. During the worst of the weather the tents provided a safe haven for runners who were struck down whilst the tempest raged outside. Without such hardened shelters North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team would have had to execute very swift evacuations or had more severe issues to deal with.
For all round use it would be suitable for those wanting to camp in something sturdy. For lightweight warriors it’s not for you. As a bad weather tent to guarantee a comfortable night out in rubbish conditions then it’s hard to beat. Thumbs up from Cold Brew Events.