It's got 8 pegging points and 6 guy points. You might want to
change the guys and sliders to something better than the set
supplied. Something like Clamcleat's
reflective fluorescent guylines and their Line-Lok
tent cleats, which I recommend, although it's another £15.
A pole repair section is also provided, but check you get this
as there are stories of it being missing.
Downsides? Well, Vaude clearly wanted to ensure lots of ventilation
and in truth my original tent would suffer from condensation on
the inside of the flysheet - all tents will have that - easily
fixed by leaving the door open a little at the top as the flysheet
"peak" protects from rain. This newest version has mesh
ventilation panels at the base of the fly, and the fly is raised
quite a lot off the ground. The vestibules also have mesh "windows"
The result is indeed excellent ventilation - so excellent that
it can be a bit breezy inside and the groundsheet lifts as the
wind blows through the mesh and under the fly. Rather nice in
a warm climate I imagine but rather less so in Scottish or Alpine
conditions, especially in winter. The groundsheet is only anchored
at the corners and it would help if the centre pegging point also
anchored it at the same point.
Otherwise, build quality is excellent, and the materials used
are good quality with really nice detailing such as tape tags
on the zips, pockets in the inner tent and mini fastex clips to
allow the inner to be removed fully or partially. The inner can
be used on its own - or the fly could be just used as a shelter
if needed. It's totally waterproof and never leaked, even in some
monsoon like conditions in what laughingly passed for summer here
in Scotland in 2009. Some people have had poor experiences with
the waterproofing qualities of the groundsheet, but mine was fine.
However, during the year I used it, I experienced a succession
of broken poles (perhaps a bad set?), and then it collapsed
in a F6 on Berneray at the end of July. This is meant to be a
quality, up-market tent aimed at the serious user, so that sort
of performance really is unacceptable.
In fairness, Vaude had replaced the entire original pole set
on request, sending them up to Barra for me, which was good service!
It subsequently turned out that the replacement set was intended
for the lighweight version, and the standard one at that. We cobbled
together a set to fit. I'd have thought the forces acting on the
material would be the same though, and it was fully guyed at the
That was a bit disappointing as my original Mk II (also the long
version) was totally stable in similar
conditions last year and under normal conditions barely moved,
even without it's corner guys being used. (It had such inherent
integrity that I'd quite often only pitch it using two pegs to
anchor the vestibules). The latest version really needs to be
fully guyed all the time. I'm no expert in tent design, but I
suspect the latest poles may not be up to the job. The way the
poles sit relative to the tent also seems very slightly different
between the original and the later 2008 model. The later design
seems to have the poles canted into the centre of the tent, and
maybe this gives less overall structural integrity.
Surprisingly, Vaude insist they've not had word of anything similar,
and although I've found a few reports of poles breaking (as indeed
they will occassionally on any tent) I've not come across any
other reports on the web of Mk II's collapsing as mine did. Impressively,
it did come back up, but the poles had bent quite badly. At least
they hadn't broken! I had to cut short my holiday though, as I
couldn't take the risk of being out on exposed islands with an
references significant problems with pole breakage on a Mountain
Hardwear Trango 2 and the later Vaude Hogan, Mk II and Power Atreus
models. Page 4 includes pictures of the poles from my 1998 Vaude
and those from the 2009 Power Atreus, which are similar to those
on the MkII. There is also informed comment on the relative strength
As a general point, take great care not to let the poles "ping
off" the locating pegs - that's a sure fire way to cause
stress fractures as they whip free and resonate in the junction
pieces which hold the set together. This is of course true of
any aluminium pole under tension. It's also worth taking great
care to make sure the poles are rinsed after use in a salt laden
environment such as we experience when sea kayaking - and essential
if they have had any actual exposure to salt water. They will
corrode and become brittle very quickly otherwise.
customer service is superb and they were enormously helpful
in resolving the problem amicably. I ended up with a Power
Atreus - sadly, it's not been without its problems either.
I have to say that although my original Mk II was excellent and
virtually bombproof, a view echoed by many on various websites,
I'm not convinced that it's been improved over the years if the
most recent one I had is anything to go by. If this is going to
be a serious contender as a 4 seasons / "mountain tent",
then it needs the mesh panels at the bottom of the fly removed,
the fly should come down to the ground and it needs decent poles.
In short, return it to what it used to be. If the trade-off is
a little extra weight then so be it.
A friend has a slightly earlier model which has the mesh "windows"
in the vestibles but without the mesh panels on the flysheet.
It is far superior to the one I had, and also seems to have noticably
It's better to have a reliable and robust tent than save a few
hundred grams and bear in mind that the consequence of tent failure
on a remote island or mountain is very different from the same
failure when camping beside your car. This is, after all, intended
to be a serious mountain tent intended to be used at altitude
in challenging conditions.
Perhaps the addition of all that mesh and use of light weight
poles is driven by some marketing / sales feedback about weight
comparisons and condensation, but if people are whinging about
condensation, then tell them not to cook inside and open the top
of the external doors slightly to vent the fly. How hard is that?
It's the advice that a well known Nordic tent-maker gives in their
instructions and Vaude are well up with them as regards overall
quality and reputation.
The tent was supplied by Chevin
Trek in Otley. They supplied it at a very keen price, and
handled the supply of the Power Atreus reviewed here.
Update - July 2015. On viewing the Vaude website I see that the
design seems to have reverted to the original. At least the numerous
mesh panels seem to have gone, and the flysheet appears to be
more akin to the original in that it seems to go further down
than the one pictured above. Without seeing one for real I can't
confirm whether the tent is any better as a result.
Mike Buckley, August 2009. Last revised July 2015.
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