Just in for review is VauDe's ultra-lightweight, two-person, twin-skin Power Lizard UL tent. We've haven't had time to use it properly yet, but we've just popped it up in the back yard to get an idea of what makes it tick and we thought you'd appreciate a look.
First thing, it's genuinely light – the whole package including bags, tent, pegs and poles registered just 1010 grammes on our digital balance. That's everything you need to put the tent up, no iffy 'useable weights', so that's pretty impressive.
You get eight lightweight pegs – 40 grammes including the peg bag – and three poles at 200 grammes. There's a single main pole and two stubby end poles. The rest is the inner and fly which are connected together for all in one pitching.
The fly is particularly bonkers light material, a 20 Denier, silicone-coated Polyamide rip-stop fabric with the coating on both sides for water proofing and UV resistance. The inner uses a 15 Denier fine polyester mesh and the floor is a 40D laminated Polyamide with a 10,000mm hydrostatic head. Apparently lamination is used because it's more resistant to formic acid from ants. Seams are silicoised and welded for strength.
Anyway... the tent's dead easy to pitch. Lay it out, clip the main pole in place – it sits in grommets either end – then add the two end poles, three pegs at one end, pull taut and three at the other then stick out the guy lines on the single main pole and finaly, close the locking levers on the power frame hooks which give the tent its name.
It took us a couple of minutes, no more, first time out. Once up it feels pretty stable for a lightweight tent helped by the power clip thing and an internal length of tensioned cord which also helps keep the main pole tight.
The main pole uses what VauDE calls Powerframe. It's a combination of locking clips – see images, they're hard to describe but incorporate a locking lever that holds the clip firmly onto the pole, preventing it from sliding along – and the internal cord. The company says the design increases wind stability by around 80% and also gives 40% more internal volume by allowing them to use steeper sided designs. At the same time, because poles can be lighter, it doesn't add to the overall weight of the tent.
In classic ultra-lightweight style, it's more one-and-a-half person than two, so either a roomy solo tent or a snug two person one, the the sides are indeed steep and headroom in the middle is good. It's significantly lower at either end, though the stubby poles should preven face flappage.
There's one door and a vestibule that should just about cope with cooking and minimal kit storage when needed. The mesh inner should give airy ventilation too and inside, our tent's light, bright hue meant it felt pleasingly optimistic inside even on a grey Peak afternoon. And yes, that is rain in the pictures.
So, it packs down small and light – 35x10cm says VauDe – and goes up quickly and easily. The all-in-one pitching means the inner stays dry even when you're putting it up in the rain. And once it's up it feels pretty stable, though to be fair, our back yard isn't the most extreme wilderness environment you'll find.
All that does come at a price though and that's £350, but you're paying for expensive, top spec materials and the ingenious Powerframe design. We're looking forward to seeing how it copes with UK conditions and whether the two small hidden vents at either end will be enough to prevent condensation.
Review to follow, more details at www.vaude.com.