There are many different types of tents, with some designed for car camping only, others light enough for backpacking excursions, and some so hardy they practically laugh in the face of intense mountain conditions. Between us, our team of outdoors writers has put a wide range of tents to the test, and our new main squeeze, and the winner of our T3 Awards 2019 top tent is the beautiful Vango Utopia Air TC 500.
A true home-from-home outdoors, the Utopia Air TC 500 offers a multitude of features to enhance your living comfort. This luxury tent is ideal for couples and small families/groups who are car camping, and offers premium levels of comfort and weather protection, plus ample space to spread out in.
It’s not unusual to feel some level of anxiety when erecting a new tent, especially in front of a packed campsite, but what we love about the 5-person Utopia Air is how easy it is to pitch. Thanks to its pole-less inflatable Airbeam design, you can erect it without any head-scratching. Vango has even included a pump.
The other thing that puts some people off camping is sharing cramped living quarters. You don’t have to worry about that here either… Pre-angled beams create more internal space than standard curves, so there’s room for two Queen-sized bedrooms and a comfy living space.
Vango's SkyTrack II system is also present, so you can hang up wash bags and lanterns, freeing up floorspace. Pelmet Pockets are another place to tidy away gear.
The Utopia Air also sports one of Vango’s newest fabric technologies: Sentinel Signature TC. This mix of cotton and polyester enhances climate control within the tent, making it healthier to live in during longer camping holidays.
And if the weather takes a turn for the worse, webbing storm anchors and a TBS II Tension Band System help the tent remain stable in high winds, while a covered front door provides a cosy porch for you to relax in while listening to the lashing rain. In short, the Vango Utopia Air TC 500 is a deserved winner and a tent to treasure.
Full shortlist: Terra Nova Laser Compact 2, Vango Utopia Air TC 500 (2019), Coleman Blackout 4 Festival Dome Tent, Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Platinum, Snugpak Journey Solo
Check out more of this year's award winners on our main T3 Awards 2019 page.