Vango Joro 450 tent review: a functional family tent made from recycled plastic

The Vango Joro 450 tent is part of the Earth Collection, and introduces Vango's Sentinel Eco fabric. We put it through it's paces – here's our review

Vango Joro 450 tent review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Vango Joro 450 is a straightforward family tunnel tent with a few clever innovations that help it stand out. The Sentinel Eco fabric, made from recycled plastic, is very effective as well being eco-friendly, and the angled poles provide extra usable interior space.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Angled poles for more usable space

  • +

    Eco-friendly construction

  • +

    Easy and intuitive in use

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bedrooms not blackout

  • -

    Lack of ventilation in bedrooms

The Vango Joro 450 tent is a 4-person poled tent that sits within Vango's 2021 Earth Collection. This range launches Vango's Sentinel Eco fabric, which is manufactured using single-use plastics, making it an eco-friendly option. But how does this innovative fabric perform in practice – and how does the Vango Joro match up against today's best tents? We reviewed it to find out.

As well as the 4-person Joro 450 (the cheapest of the range with an RRP of £490, and the one we're reviewing here), there's the much larger Joro 600XL, and both of those sizes are also available with air poles rather than traditional metal poles (browse all Joro tents here). Read on for our full Vango Joro 450 tent review.

Vango Joro 450 tent review: structure and build

The Vango Joro is a family tent, designed to offer space and comfort, rather than being lightweight and portable. To this end, Vango has added some extra volume to the carry bag, which gives a bit more flexibility if you've not folded the tent quite as neatly as you could have done. 

In design, it's pretty much your standard tunnel tent, except that Vango has used angled poles that make the inner slightly more rectangular, rather than being a full curve. This clever tweak helps maximise the usable space inside the tent (the Air versions of these tents have a similar shape). The poles are made from 'PowerFlex' fibreglass, designed to be strong and light, and Vango assures us the angled shape offers effective bracing against side winds. If it's really windy, there's also the option to add extra support via study tension bands (these can be tucked tidily away if the weather is calm).

Vango Joro 450 tent review

(Image credit: Future)
Vango Joro 450: specs

Sleeps: 4
Weight:
17.1kg
Pack size: L78.0 x H34.0 x W34.0cm
Footprint: L600 x W300cm (awning W245cm)
HH rating:
3,000mm
Fabric:
70D Recycled Polyester
UV protection:
UPF30 

The headline feature – the Sentinel Eco fabric – is a very welcome innovation. Designed to be not only eco-friendly, but also highly waterproof, durable and lightweight, it feels and performs just like any other tent fabric. It's great to see outdoor companies investing in more sustainable manufacturing options. 

The Eco fabric has a 3000mm HH rating, and there are fully factory taped seams and an external storm skirt for complete protection against whatever the weather wants to throw at you. A robust and waterproof PE groundsheet is sewn to the fly sheet to keep any draughts out as well as simplifying the putting up process. On the down side, the side door doesn't attach to the groundsheet along the bottom, which seems like an odd oversight.

Vango Joro 450 tent review: design and usability

Vango Joro 450 tent guy ropes

(Image credit: Future)

As you'd expect, it's nice and easy to put up and down – even those new to camping will figure it out pretty quickly. Vango uses a slightly different guy rope style, with a central hoop linking two ropes. We found these more intuitive to peg out and adjust than a traditional all-in-one rope.

There's a roomy interior with transparent 'window' sections – and curtains that can be easily toggled open or closed – as well as 'AirZone' ventilation panels to promote airflow though the tent and reduce condensation. The large integrated porch area, offers plenty of space for socialising or covered storage.

There's a wide front door with mesh layer you can deploy when you want to let the air in but keep the bugs out, and the groundsheet can be folded flat to the ground in the daytime to offer step-free easy access for wheelchairs and buggies – although you do have to be quite precise in your pegging out in order to get it to sit flush to the ground (note also there is a step to get into the bedrooms). For this step-free access, as well as the curtains, Vango uses toggles rather than zips. 

Vango Joro 450 tent review

(Image credit: Future)

Another side door means you can open up the tent fully on warm days. As previously mentioned, the zip doesn't run all the way around, so at the bottom you're relying on a raised floor section to keep draughts (and any local wildlife) out, which is not ideal. You can purchase king poles separately if you want to prop this fully open to create an extra canopy area.

Vango Joro 450 tent review: bedrooms

There are two 'king sized' bedrooms in this variant, separated by a toggled inner divider that can easily be removed if you'd prefer an open space. Both are nice and roomy and have sewn-in pockets to stash your essentials in. Unlike the front door, there is a step to get in and out. 

Vango calls them 'Nightfall bedrooms', which means the fabric has been designed to reduce early morning light. It works pretty well but can't hold a candle to proper blackout fabric if you're looking to block the light completely (particularly light-sensitive campers, or those with young children prone to rising with the sun, might be better opting for a full blackout option instead). 

A slight niggle is the lack of ventilation options on the bedrooms – there's no mesh layer for warm nights, and the one-way zip means you can't open the top of the door to let the air in either. This isn't that unusual for tents, but it's still worth being aware of.

Vango Joro 450 tent review

(Image credit: Future)

Vango Joro 450 tent review: verdict

Environmentally-conscious campers looking for a roomy and functional family tent should definitely check out the Vango Joro. The Sentinel Eco fabric performs exactly as you need it to, providing effective protection against the elements while also offering a more eco-friendly camping option. The design provides plenty of space to sleep and socialise, and the angled poles for extra usable space is an inspired addition. There aren't a huge number of bells and whistles, but simple touches such as the extra-wide door with optional step-free access, and mesh panels to promote airflow, are welcome. There are fancier, pricier tents around, but for family camping with an eco twist, the Vango Joro is a great choice.

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is T3's Outdoor and Wellness Editor. She writes for a variety of design and lifestyle brands, and was previously Deputy Editor at Creative Bloq.