On a recent trip to the Lakes, James – member of staff at our Taunton Shop – took Force 10’s new mountain specific tent for a trial run. Here’s what he made of it:
- Lightweight & sturdy
- Geodesic design with 4 pole construction
- Premium quality siliconised nylon flysheet
- Two large porches – space for your gear
- Good ventilation
- Lots of storage pockets
- Easy to pitch
The Force 10 Mtn 2 is awesome. It’s a serious tent for the user who appreciates carefully designed and beautifully constructed outdoor gear.
There are many ‘standard’ features of the Mtn 2. It’s a classic two person geodesic tent with a four pole construction. Its three and a half kilos and constructed from ripstop nylon and alloy poles. What’s not so standard is the way in which F10 have gone about the process!
Firstly the colour coded lightweight alloy poles used are made by Yunan Aluminium Company. The development and research that goes into the Yunan UL poles is mind boggling. Long and short of it, the Yunan Poles are light, very strong and faultlessly crafted. F10 have used the Yunan UL poles in the Axial Hub System, a rotating hub which connects the diagonal corner to corner poles and which F10 claim adds further strength.
The flysheet is siliconised 30D ripstop nylon with taped seams with a 3000mm hydrostatic head; more than adequate for the harshest weather. The nylon flysheet feels very smooth, almost silky. Nylon is used on premium tents as it’s stronger and has better resistance to abrasion, fungi and even mildew and is naturally UV resistant. The siliconised finish on the nylon fabric is another premium treatment. Silicon is hydrophobic and has incredible water repelling properties. The silicon finish also increases the nylons tear strength. The nylon is coated with PU on the inside to allow for factory taping.
The inner tent has a PU coated 70D ripstop nylon bathtub groundsheet. A 5000mm hydrostatic head keeps even the most saturated ground at bay. We particularly like the depth of the bathtub.
The flysheet is clipped to the base of the inner tent using buckles. At first I was somewhat dubious; however in practise this is very simple and effective. F10 claim the Woojin Lion Buckles are designed specifically for use whilst wearing winter gloves. All credit to F10 as the buckles can be connected and released whilst wearing mittens. The fly then tensions as normal against the buckles.
The Mtn 2 features two large porches. Each porch can accommodate two packs easily and there is plenty of space for boots, stoves and bottles. F10 have used new ‘expedition’ doors on the flysheet. Basically there are lots of zips, all which run smoothly. What this does mean is that you can arrange access to the tent based on weather conditions, including exiting the tent through the top half of the doors as a result of snow build up. It also means you can increase ventilation by opening the top half of the door without worrying about wind and water entrance thanks to the big ‘scoops’ covering the top of the door; all clever stuff which works superbly in practise.
Whilst on the subject of ventilation I should probably mention that during the night we suffered from no condensation. Vango have being very thoughtful towards the design of ventilation as they’ve also included two inner tent roof vents, complete with mesh backing. The inner tent doors are the usual two part construction with the ability to have just a mesh door or a solid nylon door. On the subject of doors; the inner tent has circular doors rather that the traditional D shape, I couldn’t comment on the practical difference, but it looks awesome!
Pockets! Someone at F10 has a thing for pockets. There are lots… but not unnecessary. There are four ‘normal’ storage pockets in each corner of the tent. Instead of having elastic hoops to retain the inner doors they’ve added pockets you can stuff the door into. Genius! Simple and effective. Oh and there are four pockets on the roof of the tent, and hoops to clip in gear lofts or cord if you prefer! Someone has definitely thought about the pocket set up.
So in practice. It pitches very quickly, its very stable due to its geodesic structure. It’s spacious; a comfortable two person tent but if you were friendly it would sleep three – its light at three and a half kilos and there are lots of pitching options. It has a serious spec in terms of materials used and it’s made by a leading manufacturer with a proven heritage of making good kit.
I only have one small gripe; the pegs. The tent comes with standard alloy pin pegs. They’re perfectly serviceable but on personally I like something with a little more holding power.
Conclusion. A serious tent in a very competitive market, the quality and spec of tent for the price is very impressive. Well worth a consideration if you’re looking for that ‘bombproof’ tent for backpacking in the mountains.