Vango Icarus 500 Tent Reviews

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Vango Icarus 500 Tent
★★★☆☆
3.0
48.0% of users recommend this
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  • Easy to erect?

  • Durability

  • Comfort

  • Value For Money

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Latest Reviews

“Not for windy weather”

★★★☆☆

written by AlanDunnett on 24/08/2022

Purchased for two adults and two terrier dogs for summer trips. All seasoned campers in both caravans and tents. It's easy enough for two adults to erect but ensure that the TBS straps are unclipped before trying to attach the poles onto the pins. It is roomy enough for up to four adults. The main area is light and roomy. The TBS system works reasonably well in side winds except there isn't one at the rear of the tent, this is the same pole that broke both guy rings and had a major split down the pole. The tent ground sheet lets the wind under the tent, lifting the contents. After one night in 25mph winds a guy rope broke and the poles bent to their limits. The second night through wind gusts of 35- 40 mph the TBS system works reasonably well except there isn't one at the rear of the tent, this is the same pole that broke both guy rings and had a major split down the pole. We also had a guy ring break and the beginnings of the splitting on the centre pole. Duct tape around the splits and additional guy ropes tied to the car roof bars saved the tent until the storm passed a couple of hours later but it would not have stayed up without that intervention Both bedroom doors use a single zip which makes opening difficult without disturbing someone. The side entrance door has a single zip starting at the bottom left and ending top left, meaning the doorway is either closed or wide open. A duel zipper on all these doors would be better. The front opening only has zips either side but do not close across the bottom. They are difficult to open from the inside. The tent did seem to be watertight, but we didn’t have much rain in the storm. This tent may survive a light storm or two, but it won't last many holidays in Scotland or windy parts of the UK.

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“Highly recommended ”

★★★★☆

written by leSchofield176 on 27/08/2020

We have two Vango icarus 500 tents and have had no issues what so ever. They are easy to erect and offer sizeable living and sleeping spaces. Having I countered heavy storms the tents remain sturdy and waterproof. In good weather opening the entrances and side screens leaves the tent open and cool. In addition the insect screen on the main entrance is a godsend on hot summer nights to allow for ventilation. We have encountered no damages over 5 years usage. We highly recommend this tent for it usage and overall value for money. You pay for what you get and what you get is quality, security and comfort.

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“Poor quality”

★☆☆☆☆

written by Jiminotent on 03/07/2017

Used this tent about 10 times and it has been erected for about 10 weeks. The one pole has snapped. The biggest issue was that tent canvas tears. It is so thin . Very disappointed and I will never buy another one again. I found it waterproof and sizeable but the tears were so great that I had to use gaffer tape.

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Kestrel1947's Response to Jiminotent's Review

Written on: 11/08/2017

I fully understand the issues you mention. We have 2 of the Icarus tents in our scout group and they have been used for 9 days. The canvas near the inner zip has split in the same place on both tents, and as they are out of warranty we cannot do anything. Unless you want to pay for the repair service!
Not a happy scout group

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“Don't buy this tent”

★☆☆☆☆

written by Felix107 on 25/06/2017

I have been camping regularly with many different tents for about 25 years. This is the worst quality tent I've ever had. I have only used if 3 times and already 2 poles have snapped and a zip has broken. I spoke to someone else with the same tent on the campsite... guess what -- their pole had snapped and a zip was broken! I won't buy vango again.

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“Icarus5oo . poor zips”

★★☆☆☆

written by Oldshep06 on 11/09/2014

A good winter tent, poor vents, get a bit of sunshine and your cooking.The zips are poor,1 zip for the whole door is not enough, as for the fly sheet zip its a pain. always catching on the main door.if you open the main door during rain the floor gets wet because of the shear angle of the door. i found on a morning i was having to give the tent a shake(to get the damp drops inside and out) to fall. Beware of the middle pole its weak.the whole tent gets a 4 out of 10 from me.

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“Icarus 500 - Great Tent”

★★★★☆

written by on 04/09/2012

Having camped in Ireland over a very rainy summer on 4 occassions with my son I have to take my hat off to Vango. The Icarus is a great tent and looks good. You wont break any poles if you put your tent up properly and are not heavy handed with it. If you really have to bend the poles too much and are breaking poles, the poles are not positioned correctly when you push then through the tent material that holds them. They sometimes snag on the material which means the poles will have to be bent way over their limits to fit into the pins on the ground sheet. You can feel the tension in the poles if this happens and you know its going to break. If you use your hands and massage the poles nice and evenly along the material, no problems. If the guy ropes are staked out correctly also, the poles are very adequate and wont break when up. This advice applies to all tents. We camped one night through driving rain and wind and no problems. Next morning found a few drops of water in the corner which i reackon was blown through the air vent. I have total confidence in it after that. It passed the test as far as i am concerned. Funny thing the campsite owner asked us the next day how we survived because someone else on site with a new caravan had a very bad leak after the bad conditions. That made my day. Things i like are - its up for the bad weather, the blue colour scheme, the lights out bedroom area, orange ropes and toggles can be seen easily, quality of all the fittings and straps from base to pegs, the strap tension system inside seems to help keep it steady in bad wind, easy to put up, not too big packing it away in car and overall great value for money. To improve it I would like a some kind of porch so rain does not spill in from the roof when the door is unzipped. Thats the only bad thing i can say about it.

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Ri28's Comment

Written on: 05/08/2014

I will get this tent. I have looked at it for a while now and it seems to be great for the price. I agree about the water coming in when um
Nzipping the door as I had the smaller vango tent and the same happened. Otherwise it was good in rain and sun and easy to deal with. Thanks for your honest review as it has helped me decide.

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Underthestars1's Comment

Written on: 06/08/2014

Forgot about that review.... I'm still camping away with that tent and its still going strong and looks still very good. Have had no breakeages or any problems with it. I returned from a recent weekend camp and hung it out to dry when I got home as it was raining when packing it up and noticed the flooring around the door way was showing a tiny bit of ware which is to be expected so have started to throw a bit of camping carpet i have around that area inside when setting up to protect it but its still waterproof and should get another 2 years out of her easy. Thats four years of camping by about 5 trips a year so you cant go wrong there. As my son is getting bigger (teenager) I hope he still comes along as I think i am the bigger kid when it comes to camping trips.. anyway good luck with your purchase...

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“Terrible”

★★☆☆☆

written by 955i on 02/09/2012

I bought my 2011 tent in 2012 and made a good saving. However, no saving was worth a tent that is about as waterproof as the proverbial sieve. The tent leaks in a number of places and it appears that a number of the seams are to blame. I initially bought the tent due to the previous Vango good reputation but it appears that they are living of past glories. Vango really need to get their quality control sorted as the internet is awash with people complaining of leaking tents. Remember, these are not budget supermarket tents with a 1500HH but are supposed to be good quality items with a 3000HH. I really cannot recommend this tent to anyone at any price and will be returning mine for a refund.

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“vango 500 icarus the ultimate review”

★★★★☆

written by on 07/08/2011

the tent is ok,its not a world changer but its a cheap-ish tent and have lived out of it for a week a couple of times and its still good to go.thats it nothing more to add!.

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“Buy With Caution: Late Spring to Early Autumn Tent Only”

★★☆☆☆

written by gilesstow on 22/06/2011

"These tents are designed for use in late spring to early autumn in what is widely regarded as fair weather seasons" "we consider poles to be the consumable part of the tent" These are both direct quotes from my e-mail correspondence with Vango after two (out of 3) poles split lengthwise during the last weekend of MAY. My tent was 10 months old at the time and had been used for around 10 nights. I suspect the issue is wind rather than time of year, but I have used revious tents in much windier conditions and not had a pole split, ever. It is a lovely, spacious tent, easy to erect. Just note this issue with the poles. Vango's own product description does not highlight these facts.

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“This is almost a great tent but it's just not quite up...”

★★★☆☆

written by on 09/04/2011

This is almost a great tent but it's just not quite up to the job. I've had a number of poll breaks and although lashing a walking pole to the broken section and there after carrying spars has got us though Vango really should upgrade the poll system to something a bit tougher.

For the price I can't complain and this tent did successfully introduce my reluctant girlfriend to try camping. However for the 2011 session she wants to buy a more expensive model with alloy polls. Just goes to show that the cheapest is not always the best value in the long run.

A great shame for a company with a heritage of some fantastic mountaineering tents

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“bought this tent thinking it would be the buy of the...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by on 04/04/2011

bought this tent thinking it would be the buy of the century , however first outing , pole snapped putting it up and pole snapped taking it down!!! contacted vango no response not even to acknowledge the e-mail, got the poles replaced , next trip out omg the wind flattened it and gues what pole snapped, bought replacement pole, third trip out and in perfect weather pole snapped putting it up , by this time i knew better and had folowed and downloaded ever snippet on this tent , still no response from the company , bought a new tent for the 2011 season with steel poles and i might add it isnt a vango

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“We bought this tent last year and have thoughly...”

★★★★★

written by on 28/02/2011

We bought this tent last year and have thoughly enjoyed using it.
It is easy to pitch, spacious and you can extras such as the footprint, carpets and canopy.

One pitch system means that it errecting in bad weather you can be in a dry within 10-15 mins.

Canopy is excellent for extra seating space and cooking in our great British weather. However is named a sun canopy and i wouldnt recommend it in very high winds or in an exposed location ( make sure its facing away from the wind!

Correct pitching is essential to avoid broken poles, internal tension lines and external guy ropes must be tightened and in line with seams. The door must be pitched away from the wind direction.

I think you would push to fit 5 well built people in it but comfortable for the weekend for 4 or longer for a couple.

A great tent overall and i believe a best seller last year!

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“We loved using our new tent this summer, but on the...”

★★★☆☆

written by on 30/10/2010

We loved using our new tent this summer, but on the second trip one of the sections of poles split. The company have refused to replace them. I will shell out for a new set from their spare parts website, but have doubts about how durable the tent itself is if the poles can split on a second use. It seems to be a problem other people have suffered from (judging by reviews I saw as I searched for a spare parts stockist) so I have not recommended the tent to friends.

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“I love my tent!!!!!! this poor tent has been through...”

★★★★★

written by on 23/10/2010

I love my tent!!!!!! this poor tent has been through so much with us and only had for 2 years, it has been through gale force winds, torrential rain, hale stones, snow!!!! and we have not had 1 leak or break or tear it has been amazing!!! one weekend my mum and dad were away in a caravan and the weather was so bad they were worrying about hale coming through the roof but yet we had no problems in the tent. The one bad point would be the flap under the front door, somethimes it can get a little drafty, but we have now added the canopy and it seems to help with that. All in all a GREAT tent and when we eventually upgrade we will never waste our time with anything other than Vango.

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“Our Icarus 500 we thought was great to start with, but...”

★★☆☆☆

written by on 16/09/2010

Our Icarus 500 we thought was great to start with, but on our last outing all 3 poles snapped when we were trying to errect it. I had to tape them up with Insulation tape which works quite well on a tempory basis. I am just wondering is it me, or is this happening to others, with the same tent?

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“thought this was going to be the perfect tent for my...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by luckyal on 15/06/2010

thought this was going to be the perfect tent for my outings with the kids but had two tent poles break in two outings , never again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“An excellant tent for the small family...we were 2...”

★★★★☆

written by on 14/06/2010

An excellant tent for the small family...we were 2 adults and one child of 4yrs
I pitched the tent on my own for the first time with relative ease.
Once up it`s very roomy with loads of storage pockets, is bright and airy with bags of room.
I would recomend buying the matching sun canopy at the same time and you`ve got a very large tent for under £200.
I`d rate this tent very highly and we will easily be able to spend a week away with it.

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“Although we have a large tent for longer camping...”

★★★★★

written by on 23/05/2010

Although we have a large tent for longer camping holidays, we wanted something that was light and easy to put up for shorter stays.

The Vango Icarus 500 fits the bill perfectly. It is a tunnel tent with only three poles, has a sewn in groundsheet and bedrooms already fitted so you really can pitch the lot in one. Its really easy and with a little practice ( and not too strong winds) it can be pitched in about ten mins.

Inside, the living space is a reasonable size and feels light and airy. There is a door to the side with no see um mesh and obviously one to the front which for some reason doesn't have mesh ( unless this has been improved since we bought ours in 2009?)

There are plenty of air vents throughout the tent. I feel the heat really badly and I think this is the best ventilated tent we have owned.

The bedroom area can be divided into two rooms or used as one big room. We usually use one side for us and the other for the camping loo at night and general storage.

I think you would be hard pushed to get five adults in this tent but I image it would probably be OK for very small families or luxurious and roomy for a couple as we use it.

I agree with the niggle mentioned by other reviewers; It is a pain that the door is not fixable at the bottom. We sorted this by sticking velcro on which has done the trick.

We have used this tent in very wet weather and windy weather and had no major problems but it did blow about a bit!

I would recommend purchasing the awning as it does give you a lot more space and somewhere to leave muddy boots and muddy dogs to avoid mucking up the main living area. It retails for about £50.00 which I thought was pretty reasonable.

All in all this is my favourite tent we have ever purchased and a really pretty shade of blue too!


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“We have found the Icarus 500 very easy to put up - two...”

★★★★☆

written by on 05/10/2009

We have found the Icarus 500 very easy to put up - two of us manage it in about 10-15 minutes. It has also stood up to some fairly testing weather condition - 24 hours of constant gales and an all night rain storm - with no damage whatsoever. There are a couple of things which could be better designed - it would be good to have a front window and some means of securing the bottom edge of the front flap to the ground or groundsheet to prevent drafts blowing in but overall the design is well-thought out.

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“The Vango Icarus 500 tent is an easy to erect,...”

★★☆☆☆

written by on 02/09/2009

The Vango Icarus 500 tent is an easy to erect, spacious tent, with great adaptable living space. Unfortunately, when we used it in moderately high winds, the whole back end kept collapsing inwards resulting in a pole breaking! There is no central guy rope at the top of the pole arch to prevent this from happening, and there was nothing we could do except pack up. We were very disappointed that a company with Vango's experiance would produce a tent with this fault. We have complained to Vango, and await their response.

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