Review: Zastrugi Vaquita 1-person tent

Pros: roomy and versatile. Cons: highly visible colour
A bright orange 1-person tent is pitched up on grass
A bright orange 1-person tent is pitched up on grass

Review: Zastrugi Vaquita 1-person tent

Cycle magazine's technical editor Richard Hallett reviews this lightweight expedition tent

Zastrugi Vaquita 1-person tent £499.99 

‘Luxurious’ may be a relative concept when cycle camping, but if it implies lightweight and yet spacious one-person accommodation with decent poor weather performance and attention to small details, then it’s one that can be applied to Zastrugi’s Vaquita expedition tent.

At under 1.8kg all-in, the Vaquita has a versatile design permitting the use of the mesh inner tent by itself in the right weather conditions. The outer tent or flysheet, used on its own, makes a roomy and effective shelter weighing little more than some bivouac tarps. Furthermore, the tent comes with an additional waterproof ‘footprint’ groundsheet that can be used as a lighter alternative to the inner tent or employed as a super-light tarp in its own right.

Styled on the classic tunnel format, with a central hoop and tension strap to support the centre, the tent has a pair of support struts at one end and, oddly, a U-shaped pole at the other. This, like the central pole, is collapsible; the aluminium sections are conveniently held together by an inner elastic cord. The resulting bundles are 400mm or less in length.


A bright orange 1-person tent is pitched on grass, the door is unzipped
The roomy Vaquita 1-person tent

The shaped tips of both poles clip into aluminium eyelets stitched into the straps and fabric, with all aluminium parts finished to a high standard.

While the central pole is easily installed, the end hoop is a struggle to fit, leaving the enclosing pocket’s fabric worryingly taut. Reflective 1.8mm cord is used for the various guy lines. The inner tent is clipped to the inside at various points and, if used alone, requires the central pole only.

The outer’s hexagonal plan leaves a big gap to the inner tent’s opening side, creating a spacious ‘vestibule’ big enough to stash luggage without impeding access. The zip-closed flap can be secured with a pair of toggles. Various vents, pockets, openings and even an internal drying line complete a capable specification.

I left the inner tent behind on a recent tour, only saving some 320g since the groundsheet weighs 160g. Quick to pitch and take down, the Vaquita’s outer tent provided impressively roomy shelter for just 1.3kg, including poles and aluminium pegs.

Verdict

With lots of space, excellent detailing and a versatile layout, the Vaquita is an impressive one-person tent eminently suitable for cycle camping.

Other options

Hilleberg Akto £610

Well proven, durable tunnel-style one-person tent with roomy vestibule. Weight: 1.7kg.

Decathlon Forclaz Trek 900 1-person £129.99

Semi-freestanding dome tent with separate inner and flysheet. Weight: 1.3kg.

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