The Vango 200 Storm Shelter is billed as a lifesaver and an essential piece of kit.
But how did it perform on the side of a mountain in sub-zero temperatures?
Surprisingly well, as I discovered in December 2022.
Watch my short video review or keep reading:
Pack Size: 18cm x 12cm
Size: 1m(h) x 1.3m(l) x 0.38m(w)
Max # of Persons: 2
Storage: Built-in stuff sack
Material: Waterproof & windproof
Setup Time: >1 min
I’ve owned the Vango 200 storm shelter for two years but have never used it, even though I’ve found myself in some pretty dodgy situations in the mountains.
In December 2022, I took the storm shelter to the side of the Tryfan mountain (918m) in North Wales (UK) to test its performance in cold weather.
I’ve often wondered how long I would last in freezing conditions with an injury and whether a storm shelter would offer any protection.
Keep reading to see how I got on with the Vango 200 Storm Shelter.
Opening Up and Getting Into The Shelter
Opening up and getting into the shelter couldn’t be easier.
It has a built-in stuff sack, and when I pulled the shelter out of it, it was just a case of placing it over my body and sitting down on the reinforced seat which isn’t really a seat – it’s just an area with some extra padding.
It took less than a minute to get into the shelter as it was very basic. There aren’t any poles or zips; it’s just a reinforced bag with a vent hole and a window on the side and a drawstring at the base, which can be tightened.
Even though the wind speed was relatively low during my test, I could feel the shelter protected me, and the only breeze was coming in via the mesh ventilation hole (see image).
I could tighten and loosen the base of the shelter via the drawstring, which allowed me to increase or decrease the airflow.
There was a build-up of condensation in the shelter, but this could be controlled by adjusting the ventilation.
The material on the Vango 200 Storm Shelter is 100% waterproof, and the taped seams offer protection from wind-driven rain, but the base of the shelter isn’t sealed, it’s held together with a drawstring, and there’s an open area in the centre of it.
Admittedly, I could tighten up the floor with just me in there, but with two people, it would have to stay open.
This isn’t a tent with a sealed floor, but rather an emergency “over the top” shelter to keep the rain, wind and cold off the body.
I rarely go out in the mountains during stormy weather, but I go often during very cold periods, so my biggest concern is frostbite.
I took a temperature reading outside of the storm shelter ( -1°c) during my test and another after 10 minutes of being inside it.
The difference was +11°c.
All of this was from my body heat that the Vango shelter trapped. I could feel the temperature instantly rise as soon as I placed it over my body so it certainly works quickly.
As you can see from the photos, the humidity level also rose but this could be eased by loosening off the drawstring.
I think a +11°c increase is a potential lifesaver, so the Vango 200 Storm Shelter passed the temperature test with flying colours.
Packing the Vango 200 Storm Shelter back into the stuff sack was a little fiddly but still only took about 2 minutes.
Given how well it’s made I can’t see any issues with it being used many times again.
Tip: When you get home, open it out so any moisture can dry off and the shelter doesn’t get mouldy.
Do I Recommend The Vango 200 Storm Shelter?
I was impressed with the Vango 200 Storm Shelter, so much so that I’ll be keeping it in my winter backpack.
It’s small enough to sit in the bottom of my bag, it’s light and easy to use.
If anyone reading this review is concerned about what might happen if they get into trouble in the mountains, I recommend this storm shelter.
Could it be improved?
Any improvements to the shelter would undoubtedly add complexity and weight to it. As a short-term, emergency product, I feel it ticks all the boxes but it is quite small and two people wouldn’t feel comfortable in there.
About Daniel Woodley
Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler