Vango Banshee 200 Review

The Vango Banshee Pro 200 tent is the most talked-about shelter in the wild camping community. Finding the right tent, first time, can be daunting, there are so many. There’s often something that’s not quite right, something that can ruin your night in the hills. Tested to its limit, I’ve dragged my Vango Banshee 200 tent through a hedge backwards, in the valleys and up into the mountains. Could the Banshee be the one that ticks all the boxes? Let’s see.

A Detailed Look At The Vango Banshee 200

Well, I’ve been wild camping for 30 years, and I’m going to take that experience and delve into the features and the performance of this canvas habitat not just in the field but up real mountains, and not only on Summer’s evenings but in high winds and snow.

Vango Banshee Pro 200 camping
Vango Banshee Pro 200 camping

No sunny photos in National Trust camp sites on here! Just real mountain wild camping and adventure.

My waling Banshee has been taken round the block, out in snow storms and tonight she’s out under a full blood-moon. She’s been tested to the limit and now it’s time to tell you exactly how good she is, what’s wrong with her and whether you should hand over your hard earned readies for one.


Having been made for decades, the Vango Banshee 200 is now regarded as one of the best tents for its size and price (I’ve paid as little as £50 for one). Although it’s advertised as a two-person tent, it hardly is, and we’ll see why! It’s made by Vango in Scotland who have been making tents since 1966. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards officially recommends their tents, and even Sir Alan Hinks (the only British man to have summitted all of the World’s 8000m mountains) used a Vango when climbing Everest.

How tricky is it to get up?

I honestly believe that the Banshee 200 is one of the easiest tents to pitch. After pitching a few times it should really only take 5 minutes or so.

Vango Banshee 200 Blue
Vango Banshee 200 Blue

Two pins, two poles, two pins, four more pins, 6 guys. Boom.

Vango Banshee 200 Pitching Instructions can be found below.

So, is the Vango Banshee 200 really a two man tent?

No. Unless the two ‘men’ are 12 years old, it’s not really a two-man tent. The Banshee is a good sized one but you definitely wouldn’t fit a double mattress in it OR two single mattresses.

Vango Banshee 200 Ingleborough
Vango Banshee 200 Ingleborough

The size of the Banshee is really good for hikers because we have boots and a big bag of stuff. Once I’m in the tent and have the bed sorted out I stash my bag at the bottom and empty the goodies around me at the top – food, camera, phone charger. There are two pockets either side, very handy for lifting the phone off the cold floor, your bottle so you know where to get it.

Vango Banshee 200 Pockets
Vango Banshee 200 Pockets

Inside, there are two tensioning straps which reduce movement in the long pole, increasing stability. This was introduced in 1993 and works great by the way. It is also very useful for hanging your head torch on!

If you want a tent big enough for two fully grown real people you buy the Vango Banshee 300 (see below).

Will the Banshee blow away at the first sign of a gust?

A positive no this time. The Banshee won’t blow away in wind, it has excellent strength in high winds.

What’s the secret to you NOT waking up at 2 am with the tent collapsed?

Buy proper pegs! The stakes you get with the Banshee are cheap aluminium hooks and to be fair they are fine for valley camping IF the ground isn’t full of stones, but who’s to know? Even the National Trust campsite at Great Langdale is rocky under the turf. The cheap hooks bend. Did I mention that we now sell tent pegs?

The Vango Banshee 200 Tension Band System
The Vango Banshee 200 Tension Band System

The structure of the tent is excellent, especially the Tension Band System which stops the mid pole from bending side to side in a changing wind. The design, such as where the guy lines are and how they stop movement, is also top-notch.

Vango Banshee 200 wild camping
Vango Banshee 200 wild camping

It’s all fine and dandy reading blogs about camping in Lake District campsites and seeing beautiful shiny photos in the sun. Lovely, but where this tent shines is when you take it onto a summit, go to sleep and find that a snowstorm with 40mph winds and -20c temperatures have been and gone. You slept through it!

For me, wild camping in extreme weather conditions, I need pegs that are long enough to have a great hold in the ground as on the ‘bitty’ base of Blencathra Summit but also hard enough to get there in the first place. They need to be tough enough to be hammered into a limestone plateau-like Ingleborough or in the natural cracks around slate.

Now I’ll have to write an article on tent pegs!

So do the pegs actually work?

The cheap aluminium pegs that Vango supply are crap for general wild camping BUT perfect for camping in the garden when the soil on the ground is deep enough for them to be pushed in.

Haycock Summit Wild Camp in Winter
Haycock Summit Wild Camp in Winter

You will find them fine until you start adventuring up the hills. Then it’s time to invest in anchors to suit your needs.

Will it keep me dry in a downpour?

Yes. The fly, being made from 190T Ripstop Polyester, is not the lightest material, but you need to spend £400+ to be getting that. For reference, it has a 5000mm hydrostatic head; this means that if you would have to sit 5000mm of water on the material before it penetrated, some tents in the range have 6000 but some have as little as 2000mm!

Make sure that when you get it home you hang it up to dry so that no mold grows.

Is the Banshee 200 a supermodel?

She looks pretty good to me. This photo makes it look a bit too butch to be she, hmm. Some tents do look daft; they try to make some look more aerodynamic as more people are merely buying online, testing is what matters. The Banshee looks excellent, very Hollywood Commando, and most importantly, it works great.

Vango Banshee 200
Vango Banshee 200

Maybe Vango will send me a new one to show how good the new double door system looks! I can see the sun setting now through the two open doorways.

How easy is it to take down and pack away?

Not only is this tent easy to pitch, it’s easy to pack. Lay the tent down on the ground and fold it to form a long strip about a foot wide then roll it up around your pegs. Leave the bagged poles to the side. The rolled-up tent will now be smaller than the bag, fits in nice and ANYWHERE in your ruck sack. The poles should find a pocket in your pack separate as they are long. If you roll the tent around them, as delivered, it’s too awkward to pack.

Why tent manufacturers make it so difficult to get a tent into it’s bag is beyond me. Vango have simply made a bag big enough for what it holds and then fixed a strap to that bag which not only tightens and squashes air out of the package but also acts as a carry strap. Brilliant.

If you’re tight for space in your ruck sack you can always pack the Banshee all together and strap it to the outside of your bag.

What weight is it and how does that relate to similar tents?

My Banshee 200 weighs 2.07kg, including the pegs that come with it. The newer Banshee Pro 200 is 2.39kg; this is actually on the heavy side for a one-person tent. Weigh up the pros and cons. The additional support straps will play a small part and two poles.

When I developed M.E. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) I had to reduce my pack weight dramatically if I were to continue camping high. My pack consistently weights under 5kg but going ultralight is a pricey business.

Be realistic, unless you’re going to pay this sort of money your tent will be between 1.4kg (like the Coshee which you have no space at all in) and up to about 2.5kg (cheap crap made from heavy materials). The Banshee may be on the weighty side, but it does the job that it says on its tin.

Why not try Trail?

As well as hiking tips and gear reviews every month, Trail Magazine has routes for hiking the Lakes, Peak District, Wales and Scotland.

Pretty handy if you don’t know the area or haven’t been before and great when you’re planning a wild camp in a new area you don’t know.

Is the Vango Banshee 200 the best wild camping tent?

No. The Banshee 200 is not the best wild camping tent by far. That tent has a price tag of nearly four times the Banshee. What I will say is that the Vango Banshee 200 is the best wild camping tent you can buy under £150.

Vango Banshee 200 Positive Points

  • Easy to pitch
  • Excellent size for one person
  • Great in bad weather
  • Very easy to pack up
  • Look good
  • Great price
  • British company est. 1966

Vango Banshee 200 Negative Points

  • Not lightweight
  • Not a two-man tent as Vango claim
  • Pegs not up to wild camping on rocky ground
  • Pack size is bigger than some other one-man tents

Check out Vango’s two minute overview on the Banshee …

Should I buy a Vango Banshee Pro 200?

If your budget is about £150 yes you should buy a Banshee 200 (if your budget is £80 it’s time to wake from your slumber and either pay for a decent tent or see if you can find someone who’ll part with a used one). P.S. I bought a Bandicoot II, a Coshee and something else before buying one. I wasted money, but I did gain a good bit of experience ‘learning the hard way’.

Vango Banshee 200 Lake District
Vango Banshee 200 Lake District

Buy one and use the hell out of it.

The Banshee 200 has been the recommended tent for the Duke Of Edinburgh Award for years! That’s not just down to some deal they did I’m sure.

Start in the valleys and move up as you get used to the weather and what it brings. Don’t just jump straight up to summit camping, grow into your new surroundings and you’ll thrive in them.

Vango Banshee 300

The real two-man Banshee is the 300. It’s pretty much the same tent but bigger. Weighing in at 2.75kg, it is quite a bit heavier of course but I can’t imagine you’ll be taking it high into the hills.

Banshee 300 - Camping in the garden with the kids
Banshee 300 – Camping in the garden with the kids

The Banshee 300 has the same tension system as the 200 and pockets for your bits, the groundsheet and anchoring points all reflect the make up of it’s smaller counterpart.

Vango Banshee 300 Wild Camping in the garden
Vango Banshee 300 Wild Camping in the garden

The main difference between the Banshee 200 and the larger 300 is that it fits more than one person. I’ve camped in mine with my wife plus gear and a number of times with my two boys, who are now 13 and 14. There is plenty of space for us and our gear.

Vango Banshee 200

You can buy direct from Vango for £155 (and it’s out of stock at the moment), there may be benefits to this, but I didn’t get a reply from them yet. Amazon is the cheapest place you can get one, and it’s the two-door version. Here are a few links to the Banshee 200, 300 and some accessories you might want to add.

Vango Banshee 200 Pro Tent
Vango Banshee 200 Pro Tent
buy one

Vango Banshee 300

If you’re contractually bound to take the Mrs wild camping this year or want to take one of the kids for the experience, you want a Banshee 300. There’s plenty of space for me and my two boys, who are 13 and 14!

Vango Banshee 300 tent
Vango Banshee 300 Pro Tent
buy one

Ultralight Tent Pegs

You’ll need 12 pegs. The cheap ones that come with the Banshee are only good in the garden where there are no stones. OookWorks Aluminium Tent Pegs will drive into the stony ground without bending, the Y profile and the material they’re made from make them strong AND they’re 180mm long so less likely to pull out in high wind.

Ultralight Aluminium Tent Peg Set
Ultralight Aluminium Tent Peg Set
buy some

Print out the official Vango Banshee 20 0 pitching instructions.

Wild Camping Great Mell Trailstar Vango 200 Night

Come Wild Camping

Come out with me and try the Vango Banshee 200 out or opt for the Ultralight Experience with a tarp.

more details

If you’ve learned anything useful from this blog, please drop me a comment below and subscribe to the mailing list in the footer to hear when a new blog or new OookWorks products go on the website.

Good luck.

Now, GET YOUR Wild Camping Kit SORTED…

Wild camping kit cover
Wild camping kit

Wild Camping Kit

If you’re new to wild camping, need to know you’re packing the right gear or want to reduce your pack size and weight, this is the one for you. Have a read about what I take and copy the list yourself. I never get to camp and realise I’ve forgotten anything; you CAN be this prepared.

read more

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25 thoughts on “Vango Banshee Pro 200 Review 2021 – Should I Really Buy This Tent?”

  1. Excellent review, been using the vango alpha 250, heavy and clumbersome althogh great for wood camping, off to order a Bannshee. thanks

  2. Great review! I’ve just picked up a Banshee 200 Pro at Charlie’s outdoor store for £79 ? looking forward to getting out in Snowdonia now.

  3. Was undecided on what tent to get for wild camp, bought the banshee 200 based on you’re knowledge, ticks all the boxes for me, looking for a better stove if you fancy doing a blog on that
    Cheers for info

    • LOL, stoves are on the cards John. I’ve been through a dozen! If you’re subscribed to the newsletters you’ll even get a notification. ?

      Look forward to seeing you out in your Banshee.

  4. After reading this blog, me and my partner bought a Banshee 300 which is a great size for 2 people, but still small enough and light enough to carry on long treks. We used it on the Isle of Rum in heavy rain and high winds.
    Buying tents is a minefield so Thanks so much Chris for writing this blog which guided me to buy a great tent.

  5. I was planning on getting a tent soon but when it comes to buying one and knowing what to look for, I am a complete novice. A well written, informed and detailed review. I will definitely be looking into Vango Banshee 200 Pro.

  6. So Chris, what is the best wild camping tent by far at 4 x the price? Might be worth it to my ageing legs if it’s half the weight! Thanks.

    • I don’t know how much of my back-story you have read or seen on the Wainwrights group John but ‘going ultralight’ is a passion of mine.

      There are a few blogs in the ‘to publish’ tray and if you’re subscribed you’ll see what why I’m so passionate.

      How about this: I’ll put something out in the next two weeks which will answer your question using real experience (not reading reviews online) and I’ll invite you to come along to our first ‘Mountain Leader Academy post-lockdown wild camp’ if you bring what you buy.

      How’s that?

      • Sounds good to me Chris.
        I’ve been in the Wainwrights group for quite a few years now so do know some of the back story.
        I’m a complete novice wild camper (done a load of camping on sites back in the day) but done a good bit of fell walking – on my second round of Wainwrights. About to enter a new phase of my life as I turn 65 yrs and retire in early August. I have entertained the idea of doing something completely different (I’m a medic) in retirement. The mountain leader course appealed and of course that involves some wild camping experience. I just hope I’m still fit enough!
        I hail from Bolton but left there aged 18yrs and been on Jersey for the last 33 years.

  7. hi

    i have a question on cooking in rainy conditions with this tent. does the side entrance flap allow for a pole connection to create an awning and keep the rain off?


  8. Great thorough review, huge amout of detail covering probably every base for a newby and lots of useful information for every level of wild camper, i have 3 vango including the pro 300 which i love, but feel i could enjoy the smaller form factor and pack ability of the 200 when on my own, sam18a .

  9. Great review thanks.
    My Phoenix Phreak needs replacing I think, all the taped seams blew off in a gale 2 nights ago on Haystacks. It’s a fantastic tent, light, easy to pitch (outer first which on a night like Saturday is really useful) and utterly, utterly bombproof in high winds, but I think it’s been through too many tough fights now.
    Interested in the Banshee 300 but it seems a bit weighty and I’m prepared to shell out more. What would you say are the best tents for wildcamping/backpacking at the moment?

    • Depends on your budget mostly Rob. The Banshee is great to get started but if you have £500 or so, you can go crazy and get something much lighter. How many wild camps have you done and how experienced are you in wild weather, rain, wind and snow?

  10. Over the years camped wild a couple of times each year, in conditions ranging from lovely summer but also wild autumn with high winds, never in the snow (loved your pictures of the vango in the snow!), usually maximum 2 nights away. Mainly Lakes/Snowdonia but have camped wild in the Pyrenees and Alps a couple of times. I find it tricky to get a handle on the current market for tents as there is such a profusion available!

  11. It’s a great tent for the money and arguably all most people really need.
    I never really see this mentioned, but along with the banshee 200 & 300 there is a third version – the banshee 200 pro max, which is slightly longer and taller. It’s still really a one person tent, but gives that bit of extra space for taller users. Oddly, when I bought mine it was cheaper than the regular version.

    • Yeh, thanks Dave, the prices can be all over the place. I think some suppliers get a bunch of them, sell them cheap and can’t get any more. There are websites all over the place with ‘out of stock’ on.

  12. Hi, another wild camp at Mt Keen, Scotland. I have Banshee Pro 300 was cheaper than 200 and enjoy being able to sit upright and enjoy space, not bad for a prop forward size of body. Noticed that the inner tent needs to be checked as the main red pole curved and flexed probably because it was cold and dark and it looked ok. Will check it out in garden. Always adapting trying to get pack lighter but dont want to fork out for a very expensive tent

  13. Hi, Great review. Thanks! I currently have a Walrus Swift one-man tent, which is very tough, but you can’t sit up in it, so I am thinking of getting something more spacious for longer bike trips. The tip about the titanium tent pegs was very useful, by the way.


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