TENTS | Camping In The Vango Beta 550 XL Alloy Tent – Review

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Vango Beta 550XL Tent

What is it?

Vango Beta 550 XL Tent RRP: £320

Stockists

Features

  • Standing height tent that sleeps up to 5
  • Vango Protex® 70 denier polyester flysheet, 3000mm HH
  • Breathable polyester inner
  • Reflective webbing and high visibility guylines
  • Lantern hanging points in the living and bedroom areas
  • Part of The Scout Association recommended kit
  • Colour coded poles for intuitive pitching
  • Diamond Clear windows to maximise light and visibility
  • Inner pockets for organising essential items
  • Lights out inner tent that reduces the amount of early morning light
  • Linked-in groundsheet which is easy to clean and can be attached or detached from the living area
  • Part mesh inner doors for improved ventilation, whilst keeping bugs out
  • Patented Vango TBS®II Tension Band System ensures tent performs in adverse condition
  • Fast pack tent bag
  • Factory taped seams
  • Vango PowerFlex® fibreglass poles

Vango Beta 550XL Tent

The verdict

Putting up the tent was very straight forward. Whilst there was only me using it on this occasion, there were two of us putting the tent up and it took us about 15 minutes. The poles are colour coded and thread through the corresponding coloured sleeve making set up intuitive, no need for any instructions.

Vango Beta 550XL TentThe poles are colour coded so set up is easy

Pitching for the first time, is a flysheet first job, as the bedroom compartment is separate and clips into place, once up though there’s really no need to unclip it. It’s worth mentioning that this tent doesn’t have a sewn-in ground sheet, instead it has what Vango call a linked-in bucket style ground sheet which can be detached for easy cleaning. Once in place there were no gaps and the generous size of the groundsheet meant I was confident that had it rained, all of my gear inside the tent would remain dry.

Updated to add: On my third camping trip we did have rain, and the tent performed really well!

Vango Beta 550XL Tent

Inside the tent the space is split into two, a porch/living area with two doors either side and a bedroom compartment. In the pictures you’ll see the bedroom compartment set up with a double airbed, though If I’d turned my bed the other way around, there would definitely have been enough space to fit another double airbed beside it.

Vango Beta 550XL TentThe sleeping compartment with my double airbed inside

Although technically a 5 person tent, as is usually the case, you’ll only fit 5 into the sleeping compartment if you are all on very narrow SIMs. There’s no way you’d fit in 5 single airbeds or camp beds. The porch/living area I thought was a great size, and whilst on this particular trip I hadn’t taken any camp furniture with me, for family campers there’s definitely enough space for everyone’s luggage and a table and 4 camp chairs and even perhaps a small storage or kitchen unit.

Living area inside the tentSpacious porch/living area

I did find it a bit unusual for a tent of this size to have just two small side doors, as I’m used to the whole front section of tents unzipping and opening up, but that said, it didn’t make the tent any less usable.

Vango BETA XL tent

This tent is recommend by the Scout Association but this is a great weekend tent for a couple or a small family. Although it was just myself on this camping trip on future trips there will be two of us sharing and the Beta 550 XL Alloy is a great size and absolutely perfect for my needs.

This is a light and spacious tent that’s great quality and ideal for weekend camping trips. I often travel using public transport, so for me there is always a bit of a trade off between size and the space inside a tent, and it’s weight and ease of transport. At just over 10kg, whilst this is by no means a tent you’d want to carry for long distances, for my needs it’s perfect.

Pros

  • I like the little pockets that allow me to zip open the bedroom compartments and tidy the doors out of the way
  • Really compact size when packed down and nice and light to carry for such a good sized tent
  • Plenty of space, enough to fit 2 double airbeds inside the bedroom compartment
  • Good height. I’m just under 6 foot so decent standing height is a must for me in tents so at 2m this tent is perfect
  • The generously sized tent bag made pack-up really easy with plenty of space for the poles, tent, ground sheet and pegs even though it was hurriedly and inexpertly put away the first time I used it
  • Excellent weight to size ratio, with plenty of room yet light enough to be carried short distances when I’m traveling on public transport
  • Good quality and great value is always a hallmark of Vango tents and the Beta 550 XL is no different

Cons

  • It’s a shame that they have opted for 2 smaller side doors, as I did miss being able to open up the front of the tent to maximise my views and to aid air circulation on very hot days
  • It’s a bit of an understated and nondescript looking tent

Vango Beta 550XL Tent

Thank you to Vango who supplied the featured product. We were not paid to write this review.

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