In 2014, Vango invited seventeen DofE Leaders and volunteers to their Glasgow based showroom to give feedback on Vango products, including how to develop their trekking tent, rucksack, and sleeping bag collections. Those attending were from various locations across the west of Scotland. Vango wanted to hear about their experiences on DofE expeditions, get ideas on how to improve their products, and listen to positive – and negative – feedback.
In the sessions they discussed the demands that expedition tents go through and what could be done to prolong the life of a DofE tent. This also provided an opportunity for DofE Leaders to give feedback on all Vango DofE Recommended Kit directly to the product design team at Vango.
These sessions proved to be extremely worthwhile. Vango stated it was a really beneficial product review, for the comments given by the Leaders were all valid, balanced and substantiated from real life experiences.
The key issues and feedback raised by the DofE Leaders were:
- Zips can break over a long period of time
- Pegs can be prone to bending
- DofE tents experience much higher levels of usage than normal trekking tents
Vango took the comments on board and the product design team set to work on how to find an effective solution to meet the issues raised.
The Vango XD range
In 2015, Vango invited the group back to show them the new Vango XD range. The XD range takes two of Vango’s most popular DofE recommended tents, and incorporates features that were a direct result from the Leader feedback sessions. Vango have created ideal tents for youth groups and users, such as the DofE, whose requirements demand increased durability. The Vango XD trekking tent range meet the demands for robustness and high levels of usage as they are constructed with extra durable materials and components that are more resistant to wear and tear.
Key features of the XD range:
- The flysheet is a tough 75 denier polyester, and thanks to its rip-stop design, the material has increased strength and tear resistance. Should an accidental hole occur, its progress across the flysheet will be reduced, making repairs simpler and easy.
- A top specification 150 denier polyester Oxford ground sheet has been integrated and is designed to take high levels of usage, whilst providing greater resistance to ground debris.
- Thicker alloy pegs have been included making them less likely to bend in vigorous use.
- A pole first aid kit is included in all XD tents, including one emergency pole repair sleeve and one spare pole section. The emergency pole repair sleeve is designed for ‘in country repairs’. It is simply slipped over a fracture or snap on the pole to provide a quick and effective fix, until you have time to make proper repairs.
- Zip size has been increased, making these easier to use and more durable.
- Pegging points have been further reinforced.
These modifications have been incorporated into the two most popular Vango trekking tents to create the Halo XD and Tempest XD tents.
Tempest XD Tent
The Tempest XD takes the highly popular tunnel tent and modifies it with reinforced materials and components. Ideal for high volume usage, the XD model retains all the features from the original in one robust package. Available in 2-man and 3-man tent configurations.
Halo XD Tent
The ever popular Halo has been developed into an extra durable spec. This 3-man semi geodesic tent is extremely simple and quick to pitch, courtesy of all poles being the same length, which is perfect for youth groups and long expeditions.
Vango estimate XD tents will last three times longer for 20% more cost.
Kathryn Watson, Assistant Marketing Manager for Vango, says “Working so closely with the DofE, it is essential our kit is perfect for expeditions. We were aware that the tents face tough demands from DofE groups, but wanted to know more. The feedback sessions gave the product design team a really valuable first hand opportunity to hear from the Leaders themselves, which enabled us to refine the product to the right level of detail required and produce an extra durable DofE recommended tent that’s outstanding value for money.”
To find out more about the Vango XD range and to purchase, visit the Vango XD range site.