Thursday, 14 November 2013

Vaude Hogan

Yeah, yeah, I know. Reviewing old kit... however, this one is worth it, and there is a current incarnation to get out and buy.

I've had this tent for a long time.
I remember using it for the first time in anger on my Silver D of E award, so that must have been about 1995 or 6 or so, so it's pretty old.

The main reason for buying it was because I was intrigued by the picture in the Cotswold catalogue. The tent appeared to have an exo-skeleton, and hung from it. It was a 2 man tent, weighted about 2.5kg so I convinced my sister that it would be a great tent and we should buy it.
This was very much like the original image that intrigued me. A tent with an Exo-skeleton? Cool
We did, and I've certainly had the lions share of use since then.

It has been re-proofed, re-seam sealed and re-proofed again, and still it carries on going. Until August in Switzerland, when I picked it up by the centre pole, and it snapped in 2 places on 2 seperate poles. A week before I was due to use it on my ML assessment.
On the upside, at least it went bang on a campsite and not somewhere on a mountain while I was being assessed.
So. Why am I raving about this tent? What makes it good?

It pitches in about 2 mins flat. I timed myself once a couple of years ago and could get it from in its bag to getting in a fully erect tent in 1:56. I don't think I could do that now, but it really doesn't take long.

The pole is an up in 1 type thing, it attaches to the base in 3 places, and then the bungee cord goes over and attaches back onto the tent, creating the 'exo-skeleton' look, pegs at the sides, back and one on the front of the porch, and its up- inner and outer at the same time.
2 guy ropes on either side can be used, but aren't really necessary unless it's crazy windy.
There is enough space for 1 to live very comfortably, and 2 to live relatively comfortably, if you are neat.

I've used it for trekking, car camping and multiple day expeditions, it has seen me through storms where 3/4 of the other tents in the campsite have been blown away (hellloo Llanberis pass), its been used for incognito wild camping, and has had its share of frigid nights in the Peak district with frost on the inside of the inner....

I'm about 5'9 and of relatively slight build, but the guy I've shared this with most often is about 6'2 and built quite a bit larger than me. I wouldn't say its been massively roomy, but we managed to not completely destroy the tent by sleeping in it at the same time.

The Hogan doesn't seem to be around anymore, though the ultralight and Argon versions can still be found in various places.
The closest thing to the tent I originally bought is the Vaude Mark 2, which boasts a slightly bigger vestibule, tensioners which can actually be re-tensioned while INSIDE the tent (which is pretty cool), a wider section at
the "foot" end of the tent, which would have been the main improvement I would have suggested to the
Yup. Thats properly broke
original Hogan, it is 4 season, and weighs in at a pretty excellent 3kg.
Ok. not quite the 2.4 that I originally thought my Hogan was specced in at, but close enough to its actual 2.6kg to not really worry too much about it.

Would I buy another one?
If I was in the same place in 1995/6 then I would say yes, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt. Currently, if I wanted a tent that was to do exactly the same as the Hogan, the answer, again, would be definitely. The
only reason I am not going out and splashing the cash as I type this is because my list of needs has changed - in terms of the weight I am willing to carry, and in terms of the space I need.

As geekery goes, I am actually about to sit down and make a spreadsheet of all the tents that may or may not work, and then attempt to get hold of as many of them as I can to see which one best suits my needs... it may take a while, but we'll have to see how it works.

In the meantime, take it as read that the Vaude Hogan, now the Vaude Mark 2, is a fantastic bit of kit. If you need a decent, bombproof 4 season, 2 man tent that can be put up in a gale and lasts for a ridiculously long time, look no further. This is the one.


Oh- and just as a bit of an update, I sent the pole off to Vaude UK, and they replaced the 2 sections of snapped pole for £15 each. However, they ALSO said that there is a fair amount of corrosion on a few of the other sections, so just watch out when pitching it in the future... Well, its going to my sister next, so she might need to be careful....


2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I took have this tent, and it was still going strong till this morning..! I was putting it up with my 4year old and snapped pole. Would be grateful if you could let me know how you got the replacement poles from Vaude Uk.

    Thanks
    Stuart

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Stuart,
    I emailed sales@vaude-uk.com
    There was a bloke there called Colin who dealt with thr problem. No idea if he is still there or if the email is still current.
    Let me know if you have any problems and I'll see what else i can dig up.

    ReplyDelete