More great service from Vango

photo (1200 x 900)

In the course of making my vent modification to my Force Ten Nitro Lite 200, I discovered that I had lost my repair kit that was supplied with the tent. While this is not a disaster, I do like to carry some kind of repair kit. The F10 kit has some swatches of material and a pole sleeve. The flysheet patch is adhesive, which is particularly useful against the eventuality of a mishap. I always try to carry a pole sleeve in case of a pole failure. It means a pole failure need not be terminal.

Anyway, having realised I’d lost the supplied repair kit, I contacted Vango. Without hesitation, they tracked down a spare repair kit and sent it to me the next day. Not only that, they included some spare guy lines. Now that’s what I call customer service. This is not the first time that Vango have come to the rescue, so hats off to them for excellent customer service.

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16 thoughts on “More great service from Vango”

  1. I had a problem a year or so ago with a Vango Icarus 500 family tent. The fibreglass poles began splitting at the ends and some sections eventually fractured down the full length.

    I spoke to Vango who arranged for a new set to be sent – from Germany for some reason – and they managed to get all the way to my local outdoor store before they disappeared. As it had taken so long to source the origina poles, Vango sent me a number of pole replacement kits which I was easily able to restring, with some duct tape around each end to prevent splitting.

    So +1 for Vango – they did their best to help and made sure I wasn’t left with a useless tent due to pole failure (unlike my caravan awning maker Sunncamp, who refused to replace a couple of broken poles when my awning failed to stand up to a moderate hailstone shower: shame on you, Sunncamp).

  2. I agree, they’re really tops. Now, Robin, given you’ve got their ear, no doubt because of your reviews, couldn’t you push them to do a one-person version of the Nitro Lite? They used to do the Nitro 100 and it was a brilliant little tent. A Nitro Lite 100 would probably weigh something like 1.2kg and possibly even more solid than the 2 person version. I think they’d have a nice market for it! The vent issue is a tricky one for them to fix. They would have to add a window at the back of the inner to open and close the vent cover from the inside, like, say, on the Hilleberg Nammatjs. That would add some weight. A velcro closure from the outside would still not be ideal (typically, you’ll get foul weather hitting you at night!).

    1. Somehow I missed the Nitro 100. Their designers are aware of the issues that I’ve raised. The new range will be out soon, so we’ll see what happens. Terry Abraham is close to Vango and has made similar observations.

      They do seem to be proactive and helpful with customers. I’d like to meet them to talk through some ideas. I’m thinking of sending them a spec for a strong winter Nitro variant to see what they think. I suspect they feel the Helium covers the lighter end of the market. Over the past couple of years, they’ve really stepped up to the plate in tent design. I’m looking forward to further developments.

  3. You’re right, they probably wouldn’t want a Nitro 100 to eat up into Helium territory (I don’t think they had Helium like tents when the Nitro 100 was originally developed, but I may be wrong). And yet a Nitro 100 Lite would still have a role to play. It would be heavier than the single-pole Heliums, but be more wind resistant and better at snow-loading.
    Can’t wait to see their new range!
    Specs for a winter Nitro? Now, that would be interesting! I was considering the Nitro 200 Lite plus for winter. The longer porch can be quite useful in winter. But it’s 390cm long and if you need to dig a snow platform, that’s a lot of work! Pity the Argon 200 is inner first. And still not sure why they don’t do the fly all the way to the ground, with tensioners allowing it to be raised in summer.

    1. I didn’t consider the Helium as it doesn’t look as stable as I’d like. For that weight I’d rather use my cuben Duomid. The Argon looks good but inner first pitching doesn’t appeal to me. I’d better pull my finger out and send an email to Vango 🙂

  4. Indeed Robin, I can confirm they do pay attention to your suggestions and thoughts on here 😉 I spoke with them about you at a meeting some weeks ago (backing me up on some of my own thoughts actually ha!) and on a recent shoot I was working on with them.

    The feedback is appreciated, I know that much. They thrive on it. The team have worked hard since I’ve known them on improving products, image etc as well as new ones. One new tent is a finalist in a huge outdoor trade show this week. Alas, as ever I’m bound by professional agreements not to reveal anything. Nature of the beast, I’m afraid.

    But I know they took your points on board seriously regarding the Nitro Lite 200. It’s been a bestseller for them in fact. Sold out until new stock comes in! Whether they do make some amendments I don’t know. I don’t work for them of course. I just do some work for them freelance.

    What I can say is, it’s been nice to see them taking everything on board with enthusiasm (believe me that’s rare with alot of outdoor co’s) and take pride in their customer service. In that respect I’ve been very fortunate to have done some work with them. A pleasure in fact. Simply because they’re like-minded people. Though they do joke about me and my eagerness to visit local pubs and microbreweries when working 😉 Ha ha.

    1. Thanks, Terry. Good to know feedback is appreciated. It’s really up to Vango whether they incorporate any suggestions. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if they don’t, after all, it is their business. I think they’ve really reinvigorated their tent range over the past couple of years. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for next year. I’m sure they’ve got some good stuff.

    2. Terry, forgive me, but I really don’t get this “trade secrets” thingie. I remember you did the same thing on your blog re some new TN tents a while ago, and still no word about what new models they have. And today Chris Townsend too was mentioning new tents from F10 at the Stoneleigh Park show but in his pictures they’re not showing up. So we know there are new tents coming up but we don’t know what sorts of tents they’re gonna be. My point is: either you say what tents they are or you say nothing (and by ‘you’ I mean, F10). If people looking for tents know that Force Ten have new tents coming, they won’t buy any tent in case the new model is what they’re looking for and has some better features. If they need a tent right away, they may well buy a non-F10 tent, thinking: hey, I’m not going to buy a F10 tent when their new models are coming up and the old model may drop in price. So, they are hurting their sales anyway as far as people who follow blogs are concerned. The Nitro series are all out of stock anyway, so it’s not as if they need to first clear old stock. I really don’t get it why they do it. They’re hurting their sales in other ways too. Suppose the new tents are now what I’m looking for now. If I knew that, I might be buying one of their tents right now because the new models won’t do anything for me anyway. Because of the uncertainty instead, I wait and don’t buy anything, and by the time they announce their new models, the season will be over and next year I may buy a tent from a competitor because the new ones are what I need anyway. So I really don’t get it. It’s worse than all the hype about the new iPhone or something like that. At least with the iPhone one knows it’s another phone coming. With a tent, one wonders: is that a winter tent, a 1 person tent, a pitch in one tent and so on. In short, I think it’s just daft and I find it extremely annoying. End of rant. I hope they do stop playing this kind of game.

      1. Chris Townsend has just posted a picture by Terry, and it’s an F10 tent. Looks like a new model, a Quasar-like tent! Maybe the mystery is solved… Still, one wants to know: what’s the weight like, does it pitch all in one??

      2. And today (Wednesday), Chris announced that the Stoneleigh Park Outdoor show has given an award to the Force Ten Mountain Tent. So we know a little more now… So, it is possibly the one in Terry’s picture on Chris’ previous post, perhaps a beefed up Argon, hopefully pitching outer first and around the 2kg mark? All will be revealed hopefully before winter…?

      3. Aye, the wait is killin’ me, Robin! The Vortex 200 lite is a 4-pole tent, and it’s quite long (two porches, almost 4 metres long I think). The new tent looks just like the Argon, semi-geodesic, so only 3 poles, and one porch only by the look of it. Fabric looks sturdier than the Argon. It’s probably still inner first (the fly seems to be resting on the poles). The cut of the porch looks a bit too high for proper winter though. I still think the ideal 1-person winter tent would be like a mini Ultra Quasar, 4 poles crossing in the middle, very little unsupported fabric. Strong groundsheet and very light fabric on the inner, and tiny zips on the inner (what’s the point of overengineered zips on the inner? I never get why Hilleberg do these mammoths zips on the inner. It’s not as if they are under much tension, are they). With the F10 hybrid carbon poles, it shouldn’t come to much above 2kg. The TN Quasar Ultralite is 2.2kg and it’s definitely a 2-person tent.
        The problem for us quasi-UL backpackers is that winter tents are for the most part 2-person tents. The Soulo and the Unna being notable exceptions.
        Och well, soon all will be revealed!

      4. Cracked the secret, Robin! Link to the specs below. It is actually a 4 pole tent, really like a Quasar, two vestibules and all and it weighs 3.2kg! I thought it looked like a Quasar from the picture, but I’m not quite getting what’s the significance of doing a Quasar clone. It is actually a kind of mid-range Vortex, between the one you have (4.5kg) and the Lite version (2.7). It seems to have some nifty features but the specs at least do not seem earth-shattering (buckles to be used wearing winter gloves, it says. Aye, I’d love to see that work when they are the buckles are all iced up in the morn…). Anyway, way too heavy for solo use. Still waiting for the perfect solo winter tent, aren’t we.

        http://www.outdoortradeshow.com/pdf/Force%2010%20MTN%20Tent.pdf

      5. Thanks. Looks a nice tent, but not that innovative. I’ll stick to my Vortex 200 for base camp. It’s about the closest you can get to a nuclear air raid shelter in a tent 🙂

  5. always had good customer service from Vango and we have owned a fair few of their tents in our time 🙂

    Its nice to see a big (tent) company innovating, producing a huge range of tents for all tastes and yet still maintaining good customer relations.

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