An expensive but well-engineered tent

So let’s get the obvious issue out of the way: this tent will set you back a grand. That is an awful lot of money by anyone’s standards, but for this level of engineering it is understandable. And similar size tents from Vango and brethren Outwell are a couple of hundred pounds off this mark. And, as I’ve said before, the innovations implemented in high-end kit like this eventually filters down into the cheaper options. So… I’ve used the Vista 600 a lot over the last year for family camping and trips away with friends and have found it fantastic as a base camp shelter.

The basic structure is two inner rooms, plus a large living area. The total footprint is 409cm by 330cm. At a push it could sleep up to six, but coped with four lads comfortably. It’s also high enough to stand up in. It’s a doddle to erect –on my own it takes me less than 10 minutes, but it’s better with two. The two main poles are put up first and the outer is clipped to the poles, then the other poles add stability and space. Once the inner that makes the rooms is put up, it can be left in there. The middle can be zipped down to make one room. And there’s useful pockets on the divider.

The material is HydroTex which is a treated polycotton that offers the advantage of being cool in summer and warmer in winter (a cheaper version is made from Polyester). However it’s also very heavy – I can just about carry the tent myself. I also admit I’ve had an issue with mildew (my fault), but I nailed it with Milton Sterilising Fluid. And after one of the most violent thunderstorms I’ve ever seen, there was some ingress around the main seams. That was exceptional weather however. Other features include a sewn-in groundsheet, large windows that can be covered and mosquito netting.

This tent is expensive, but I’m convinced about Robens’ attention to detail and the space available in their tents. However I’d probably look for cheaper options in the range.