VauDe Power Lizard Lightweight Tent
VauDe Power Lizard Review
Before starting on the review I have to say that I love the name. Power Lizard! Tents seem to have a long history of cool names. Perhaps it's a factor of them having fairly long life-spans and resulting in some great memories that manufacturers put some effort into naming them.
Over the years I've put up, carried and slept in a fairly large number of tents, but this is both the lightest and smallest that sleeps more than one person. It weighs in at just under 1Kg. That's actually lighter than a couple of our 1 person bivvy bags. It packs down to a pretty reasonable size and was our tent of choice alongside two bivv bags for some family (of four) wild camping in the South of France this summer.
On putting the tent up for the first time it is clear how VauDe have managed to make it weigh so little. The materials themselves are very, very light. The fabric of both the inner and the outer feels like silk, whilst the poles are about the diameter of a pencil and the pegs more like teeny meat skewers.
Putting it up wasn't immediately straightforward, but it was by no means difficult. There's a single long pole that arches across the tent to form the porch on one side. This clips into a reinforced eyelet at each end, but instead of having to be threaded through a sleeve of material, is fixed to the tent by a series of seven plastic clips. Each clip has a locking mechanism to stop them coming off or from sliding up or down the pole. It's important to get the clips in the right place before locking them - this is easily done by starting from one end and sliding each clip as far along the pole as the material allows. Once that's in place there are two short poles only around 40cm in length. One of these is fitted at each end of the tent by way of a short (5cm long) sleeve at the top, and a reinforced eyelet at the bottom. Each pole is then tensioned into an upright position by way of a two way guyline. There's a certain amount of tensioning needed between the two poles to get the thing pitched properly. The main arched pole is then naturally held in place by the tension between the two guy'd end poles. The tent is designed for bad weather so there are then a number of additional guy lines available to give the main pole some stability. Once you're satisfied with the external pitching there are a couple of neat little features inside. Firstly there's a narrow webbing strap that runs between the two end points of the arched pole. This not only stops the pole from being over or arched, but also provides a sliding anchor point for the edge of the inner tent. Open up the single zip in the porch and it's a simple matter to slide a plastic locking buckle along the strap to pull the inner tent taut and put it in its correct position. The inner tent is hung from the outer by means of a series of plastic rings and toggles as is usual in most tents. There's one final tensioning trick provided by means of an internal guy line that runs along the length of the arched pole through a series of loops. This guy line can be pulled tight and locked to stop virtually any lateral movement along the length of the pole. All in all it's a very robust tent and moves very little in wind.
Size wise there is space for two adults to sleep side by side, with a generous area at the foot end for kit - it's actually 2.3m long. I am 1.95m and usually sleep with one side of any tent pressed against my face, but ironically this little thing has more length than an of my others, with a clear 35cm for kit. There's a cute little hanging line in the roof of the inner to dry damp gear on. The inner has some large mesh sections, of a small enough gauge to stop midges getting in, which allows for plenty of breathing. I'd have liked to see a few more pockets available for storage of stuff overnight, but that's a minor complaint. The porch is big enough to store a little kit in, and to cook in if necessary (with the door open).
In use so far it has proved very good indeed. Very little wind movement, and it keeps the rain out whilst remaining breathable. Am loving it so far. Not only is it light, neat, and practical, it's already seen us on some great adventures so is feeding the memory banks nicely. Perfect for mountain marathons, trekking, and any other activity that requires moving fast and light, but be warned, the materials, which although highly rated, taped and sealed, are not going to last as long as something three or four times its weight so use it wisely if you get one.
Vital Statistics: It retails at £400. It weighs 1050g and has a pack size of 35cm by 14cm.