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Thread: Vaude Invenio UL 2P tent review

  1. #1

    Default Vaude Invenio UL 2P tent review

    Rewind 5 years and I spent a remarkable week in Poland with my friend Chris paddling and wild camping down the River Obra in Poland (http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...re-on-the-Obra). As canoeists, walkers, cyclists and even leisure campers, some of the things that made our trips so memorable (the unsung heroes if you like) are the pieces of equipment we took with us. In Poland for example, I took my trusted Vaude Taurus 1 tent. I've owned it for almost 10 years it has NEVER let me down and if I'm honest I don't even remember using it.....and that's the point really. Good equipment allows us to focus on the things we all love doing best and in my case that is canoeing and camping. Poor quality or badly designed equipment inevitably takes our focus from the things we love doing and leaves us with memories of frustration and disappointment. As a result, many of us form close relationships or bonds with equipment we use, recall your first car or current canoe or even your favourite paddle and you know what I mean. They become emotive. So fast forward 5 years and I was going back to Poland to do a similar trip and this time, like a raconteur lothario, I was taking a new squeeze. Gone was the trusted partner of 10 years, the Vaude Taurus 1, I had upgraded to a slinky younger model, the Vaude Invenio Ultralight 2, http://www.vaude.com/en-GB/Products/...-2P-green.html. Not only was doing the dirty on my old flame, I was also asked to write about the experience. . . . . . .



    First things first I believe in straight talking when it comes to equipment and am happy share my views, good and bad, on the features of any equipment I review. Secondly, I am unashamedly a Vaude fan. Like I said, 10 years of faultless service from my old tent has brought me to that conclusion. Vaude are a quality German manufacturer well known for innovative design, a proven track record in mountaineering equipment production and an ethical company with strong links to environmental sustainability all of which resounded with me back then as it does today.

    So time to dish the dirt on my new squeeze

    What did I like?

    Improved ground sheet.

    If I had one criticism of my old Vaude was in very wet conditions the ground sheet could become damp. No such problems with the Invenio. Vaude have clearly address this issue as the new groundsheet is bombproof

    Pitching speed.

    Due to the single spoke and hub design of the poles, I was amazed how quickly this tent went up. I regularly pitched the tent at the same speed as a one man tent with a much simpler design. Excellent

    Pole and hub design.

    Not only does the feature speed up pitching time the hubs themselves are well designed and incredibly easy to clip into the fly and detach also.



    Pegs.

    Y beam alloys pegs. Very light, incredibly strong, no sign of bending even on stony ground. That said, for £400+, I would have liked a spare!



    Guy lines and retainers.

    Vaude guy lines are unlike others I have seen. The guy lines themselves appear to be made of a very firm, almost wire - like material that give you the confidence that if used in anger are great. Because the guy lines behave very like wire, when wrapped around the guy tensioner they don't untangle or get in the way when first unpacking the tent.

    Ventilation.

    I have used the tent in hot conditions where the excellent ventilation was a god send. Firstly the 4 way zips on both vestibules offer the first level of ventilation. Secondly, mesh panels unzip at the top of the inner door to reveal a no seem mesh to let more air in and provide fantastic external visibility when inside the tent.



    Thirdly, the roof of the inner tent contains two ceiling panels that retract using a sliding toggle to reveal more no seem mesh. Only tent I have seen this feature on. Loved it



    Lastly velcroed ventilation slots in the tent roof provide further ventilation or can be closed as suits conditions. In combination, all of these features make the ventilation on this tent first class.



    Storage space, liveability and practicality.

    This tent is a dream when it comes to practicality. There are large storage pockets on all 4 inner tent walls providing loads of storage space where you need it. A central guy line run down the centre of the inner for hanging clothes, head torches, glasses etc.



    The two retractable ceiling panels double up as further storage space in the roof of the tent too. The no see-um panels throughout the tent inner offer excellent visibility to outside the tent and in conjunction with the 4 way zipped doors all great external visibility when inside the tent. Lastly the design of the tent itself make every inch of the tent work for the inhabitants. The steep walls partnered with the hub design means there is no "dead" space that can't be used. Four adults could comfortably sit cross legged inside the tent to play a game of cards on a rainy day without stooping or crouching to avoid a curved tent wall.

    Two huge vestibules with four-way flysheet zipped doors. The vestibules on this tent just add to the already amazing practicality. Personally I use one vestibule to store my rucksack, cooking equipment etc. allowing me one clear entrance to enter and exit the tent. 2 entrances also provide options for entry and exit dependant on wind conditions also. The four way zip s further provide options for set up or ventilation or external visibility



    What I would change?

    Price . At £480 this is not a cheap tent, however, if you shop around this is available from £330 and in my opinion at £480 it would be too expensive but at the £300 mark reasonable for the quality of the tent. Don't get me wrong, I like the tent and the cost per use, if compared against 10 year of faithful service that my Taurus delivered, will represent good value for money but when I looked up the price, there was definitely a sharp intake of breath.

    Pack size. Despite being an Ultralight tent, the pack size is too big. This is particularly disappointing because it could be easily resolved. The flysheet with attached inner pack down to a very reasonable size but the problem lies with the poles. The poles are pre connected using a hub and spoke design which is both easy to assemble and speeds up pitching time considerably. My frustration comes as a result of the size of the pole sections. When folded down, the tent bag will only be as small as the longest pole section and in the case of the Invenio this is too long in my view. Shorten the section length and pack size fails to be an issue. I ended up removing the tent pole from the tent bag to give me more flexibility when packing.



    Lack of pegging points for inner tent / door. The tent has two huge vestibules so with the flysheet doors open you have access the inner tent door to the sleeping compartment. When opening the inner door, you are required to use 2 hands. Using one hand, the zip always snagged due to lack tension on the inner tent floor. I would hold the bottom of the inner tent towards the ground and it would open. If Vaude were to simply attach a pegging point at the bottom centre of the inner to provide more tension to the inner, you would be able to open the inner doors with 1 hand. Sounds a small thing but when using the tent for longer periods and taking equipment like sleeping bags, roll mats etc. in to the tent you have to put them down to open the tent.



    In summary

    My week away with my new flame was wonderful and undoubtedly the trip was enhanced by the use of the Invenio. So I come to the inevitable comparison with the Taurus 1 and there really is only one winner - The Invenio. This left me in the unenviable position of holding the always awkward " It's not you, its me" discussion with my Taurus. The thing is when I was 10 years younger I wanted something different and that something was the Taurus. The reality is I love that tent but I have moved on. Over time we all look for something with a bit more refinement, quality, stature - someone to take home to meet the folks if you like, and that is the Invenio. I had 10 years out of the Taurus but the ultimate compliment I could give the Invenio is I could see myself with the Invenio even longer. There simply isn't a scenario in which I think the tent will struggle. Itís a good looking tent, easy to set up, materials are high quality, hard wearing and sustainably produced. Furthermore, its hugely comfortable, flexible and practical so by the end of my holiday the thing that I remembered was the trip not the kit.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  2. #2
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    Default

    What a great review, I use a Vaude Terraquattro 3P and cannot fault that either.

  3. #3
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    Andy was at my house to post this review as he was having computer problems. The thing I found funniest was something he missed from the review. Inside the tent it is put together in an entirely non symmetrical way with different shaped panels. So if you are a bit OCD you might have a slightly restless night as you try and line yourself up centrally or in line with a seam That's the sort of thing that could drive me crazy
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  4. #4
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    Really like the look of those, thanks for the informative review.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  5. #5
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    good review, thanks!
    i had a vaude tent (actually still have it somewhere...), the very first version of the mark 2 which was one of the first models with the exterior poles. it performed very well, and when after about 15 years one of the pole segments broke in a wild storm they sent me a replacement without any hesitation. indeed, a good company. i suppose some of the cost goes towards covering this kind of service and commitment.

  6. #6
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    Default Another Owner

    OK, so fast forward 6 months, and I've only gone and bought one. As with Chaffinch, not for the full price (Now well over £500!!!), that's for sure, but it was still quite a pricey tent (£370ish).

    I can't really add much to the excellent review above, after just one night's use.

    I bought it because I like a freestanding tent, with a "porch on each side" configuration, but there aren't that many and they can be heavy. At 2.6kg this isn't really heavy, but will clearly stand up to far stronger winds than my little light Luxe Habitat.


    Observations so far:

    • Very simple to put up and really quick.
    • Internal space is OK, as there is lots of headroom, though with 2 adults inside all your gear would be in the porches or hanging in pockets.
    • It was mentioned that the pole sections could be shorter to help packsize, but I don't think it matters in reality, and the more sections there are in a pole, the less it actually flexes actually, as each joint can't flex and is put under greater strain.
    • Ventilation is excellent, and the multiple ways to have the door openings arranged will be a real boon.
    • Would have been nice to have a couple of spare pegs, and for the pegs to have little strings already through the end holes as on my Luxe at half the price of this.
    • The quality is excellent, with high end fabrics throughout, and lots of well thought out details.
    • I've always liked the VauDe elastic suspension system, but now I've used it for real I'm even more impressed.
    • Pegged and guyed, the tent is clearly going to be at least as wind-resistant as my Vango Halo which it is effectively replacing, at a kilo less in weight.




    Here are a few images to add to Chaffinch's.




































    So far, very pleased! Its slightly unusual, so probably not to everyone's taste, and perhaps a little smaller inside for two than some, but for me its perfect and should make a great expedition tent for Easter trips and similar UK adventures. The mesh-inner Luxe will be my lightweight summer option, though there's only half a kg in it....
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  7. #7
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    Nice looking tent Mal, but as I don't need another tent at the moment, what I really want to know about is your camp bed. Haven't seen one like it before and it looks far more comfortable than the inflatable thing I use.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MultiMark View Post
    Nice looking tent Mal, but as I don't need another tent at the moment, what I really want to know about is your camp bed. Haven't seen one like it before and it looks far more comfortable than the inflatable thing I use.
    Thermarest campbed, kindly donated as a prize for a photo comp on this very site. I'll be reviewing once used a few moew times, but in summary, comfy, compact and enormously expensive!
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Thermarest campbed, kindly donated as a prize for a photo comp on this very site. I'll be reviewing once used a few moew times, but in summary, comfy, compact and enormously expensive!
    Good grief, just seen the price! Oh well, on the wish list it will stay for a while :-(
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

  10. #10
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    Loving the look of this tent just seen it on AS adventures for £301 bargin.
    Same as me Multi.................... looking at Mals camp bed......................... also just seen the bl**dy price!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lets see what funds I have in the bank..............................not enough................. oh well wish list it is then
    "I am easily satisfied with the very best" Sir Winston Churchill, He once owned an Apache too!

  11. #11

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    Hi !

    I am also interested about the Vaude Invenio .. but i would like to know one thing, important for my future choice.

    Could you tell me please if the inner tent can to be removable ? that means is it possible to use the fysheet as a tarp ? (without the inner tent) or to have this option to separate the inner tent of the flysheet for packaging.

    Best regards

    Thiefaine
    Last edited by thiefaine; 12th-February-2017 at 04:02 PM.

  12. #12
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    Hi

    You can detach the inner from the outer and carry flysheet and inner separately if desired.

    However, I don't think you could easily pitch the outer on its own, as it needs the floor of the inner to help form the shape by keeping the tension between the corners/poles. You could probably hold the poles in position just with pegs, but I don't think it would be as strong as usual.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Hi

    You can detach the inner from the outer and carry flysheet and inner separately if desired.

    However, I don't think you could easily pitch the outer on its own, as it needs the floor of the inner to help form the shape by keeping the tension between the corners/poles. You could probably hold the poles in position just with pegs, but I don't think it would be as strong as usual.

    Thanks to your reply.

    Maybe it will be more easy if i use a footprint ..

    As well, is there enough space between the inner tent and the outer ? the flysheet do not touch the inner when it rain or it's windy ?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thiefaine View Post
    Thanks to your reply.

    Maybe it will be more easy if i use a footprint ..

    As well, is there enough space between the inner tent and the outer ? the flysheet do not touch the inner when it rain or it's windy ?
    I haven't owned it long enough to have tested it properly, having only used it once in cold but calm conditions, but there does seem to be good separation.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  15. #15

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    Could you confirm me please, if poles section are from DAC featherlite ?

    As well, do you know why this tent is not from the 4 season family ? it is a 3 season tent but when i read the chosen material, it seems to be strong ..

  16. #16
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    It is not a 4 season tent, as it is not designed to take the weight of heavy snowfall, and as it is not fully geodesic, the strongest of winds will cause flexing even with the guys. I think the main part would be fine in almost any normal gale, but the porches would blow inwards at extreme levels (e.g 60-70mph+). I doubt this would cause failure, but it would mean that the tent would move about. If you are wanting a true 4 season tent, this isn't it, but it would be better than many 3 season I think.

    I think they're DAC poles, but the tent is not where I am for the next few weeks so not sure which version. They are high quality with a good tight fit between sections.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  17. #17

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    Thanks again Mal Grey !

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