I was keen to review the Vango Joro Air 600XL inflatable tent, a new addition to the Vango AirBeam tent range for the 2021 camping season. The Vango Joro Air 600XL is part of Vango’s Earth Collection, which it Vango’s initiative to bring a collection of AirBeam and poled tents on the market with one key theme; they are all made from recycled single use plastics.
It made me curios what the Vango Joro Air 600XL is like, because a) it comes equipped with the new Sentinel Eco fabric (we’ll look at the specs later), which is made of recycled plastic thus reducing plastic waste from the environment; and b) it comes at a really good price Winfields Outdoors.
In this review:
- Who is the Vango Joro Air 600XL is for
- Pitching, Transporting
- Size, Layout
- Weather protection
Who is the Vango Joro Air 600XL for
The Joro Air 600XL is a 6-person airbeam tent. The airbeams make pitching fast and easy, there’s plenty of living space and there are 3 separate bedrooms, albeit three small bedrooms. These make the Vango Joro Air 600XL ideal for families up to 5-6 (depending on the number and age of the kids), or it can theoretically accommodate 6 adults (thought it would be more comfortable for 3-4).
The specification and the fabrics used suggest that the Vango Joro Air 600XL does not aim the hardcore campers who spend the entire summer out and about, but could be more than sufficient for a ‘long weekend’ or a ‘couple of weeks’ every year.
Vango Air Tents 101
For those who are new to the world of inflatable tents, Vango was probably the first to come out with the idea (and design) of airbeam, that replace the ordinary fibreglass poles. The idea was, that having inflatable beams, erecting the tent would be easier; you just need to inflate the beams, no fiddling with the fibreglass poles. They are less prone to damage, deformation etc.
Especially on bigger tents, where you’d spend hours trying to fit all the pieces together, there’s a huge benefit: setting up takes 20-25 minutes including everything. The tents themselves can be inflated in 10-15 minutes. They all come with a handpump, or you can the 12V socket of your car to run any electric pump like this Kampa 12V electric pump
Joro Air 600XL transport, pitching
The Vango Joro Air 600XL comes in a relatively large bag – 80 x 46 x 46 cms – so be vary that it takes up quite a lot of bootspace. It weighs 25.5 kgs, so it is probably going to be dad who carries it.
Pitching the Vango Joro Air 600XL is quite straightforward;
If you have groundsheet protector (recommended), you start with laying that down first. Then you roll out the Vango Joro Air 600XL, and find the AirSpeed Valve.
You then remove the cap from the valve, turn it to ‘Open’ and connect the double-action pump that comes with the tent (or you can hook up an electric pump like the Kampa 12V electric pump and set the pressure to 8psi).
There are 5 pre-angled airbeams to inflate, which should not take more than 10-15 minutes. After that you peg out the tent using the high contrast peglines.
The bedrooms are pre-attached, so that’s it, the Vango Joro Air 600XL is ready to be occupied!
The fully pitched Vango Joro Air 600XL has a 705 x 380 cm footprint, which is 26.8 metres square (it may warrant a bit of an extra charge on some campsites).
There are two entrances; there is a double door with full mesh at the front through the porch area, and there is a large single door with full mesh on the side that takes you straight to the living room.
The doorsteps can be dropped for easy access – this is not just for the disabled, but if your kids are anything like my daughter who trips over anything (even on flat surface), you will welcome that there’s at least one less trip hazard.
The level door-step also makes sweeping the dirt out easier.
The living room is quite large, above average in this category. It spreads across more than 11 sqm (380 cms wide, 290 cms long).
The first thing you notice when you enter the tent is the generous headroom: the Vango Joro Air 600XL is more than 2 metres high, while the pre-angled airbeams provide almost upright sidewalls.
Two large ‘Diamond Clear’ windows allow plenty of sunlight in, together with the lightblue color of the flysheet they create an ambient atmosphere inside. It’s comfortable when it’s raining outside and you need to keep the entire family entertained, yet it can provide adequate shading when you just want to chill out.
As for keeping the fresh air breeze through the tent, there are re-designed mesh doors to allow that while keeping bugs out. One thing to be careful of is that the side door does not have a canopy, so you must keep it closed if it’s raining.
You also have additional AirZone panel around the tent, they help increase airflow into the living space. This is also essential to reducing condensation, especially when it is cold and rainy or muggy outside.
The three bedrooms open from the living room, they are situated side-by-side. They also have that drop-down doorsteps I mentioned earlier – this can be a blessing if you need easy access.
The bedrooms themselves of the Vango Joro Air 600XL are quite small, 120 cms wide each, meaning that there’s 60 cm allocated for each person.
60 cm can be enough for kids (unless they have a tendency sleep across the sleeping area and they easily occupy your 150 cm king size bed at home). Be sure to get at a few of these narrow beds or a couple of these, unless you prefer to sleep on a trekking mattress.
The good news is, that the toggled divider between the bedrooms can be easily removed, creating a master bedroom (240 cms x 210 cms) and a second bedroom. There are quite a few options to split out the sleeping area, depending on the number of people sleeping in the tent, or your storage needs.
The bedrooms use a dark shade fabric called Nightfall, so they are not proper ‘Black-Out’ bedrooms but significantly reduce the light entering the bedrooms.
There are storage pockets in every room, but there’s only one cable entry point opposite the side door.
The porch opens from the living room via a double door. It is pre-attached, and a further canopy can be attached to it (sold separately), so you can create a very large shaded area if you wish so. The porch does not have a groundsheet, so you can leave your dirty boots outside, yet, protected from the elements. Speaking of which…
The flysheet of the Vango Joro Air 600XL is made of a fabric called Sentinel Eco – as mentioned above, the Eco here means that it is made of recycled single use plastic. As for its capability to protect you from rain / sun / wind / snow, it is on the low end of the Vango fabrics. It basically has the same properties as the Sentinel Active, such as;
- 3000mm HH
- Factory Taped Seam
- 70D Recycled Polyester
- Fire Retardant
- UPF30+ – UV protection factor
If you are not sure what these mean, or how they compare with other tents, this post on Tent Fabrics may help. If you are not interested in the details, it is enough to know that it should keep the rainwater out, it is lightweight but it may be prone to damages more than other – thicker – flysheets (although those are heavier too).
It is polyester, so it dries easily, but it does not have great thermal properties: will be hot inside in the summer, and will be fresh inside on a cooler autumn morning. It is also very likely that condensation will build up on the inside wall of the flysheet in colder weather. This is something you’ll have to live with, although this ultra quiet dehumidifier or this Kampa camping heater may help a bit.
To make sure that the tent stays stationary in high winds, you have good quality high-viz guylines. These are the thin types that are not thicker than a shoelace, and the pegs are pretty standard too. Having said that, Vangos are tried and tested up to 55 mph windspeed (more on the topic in this post), but if you regularly camp in windy areas you might want to invest in these storm proof straps and pegs for a peace of mind.
There is little to no information on the thickness of the groundsheet, but it tells a lot that groundsheet protector and carpet are sold separately – and I strongly suggest to invest in at least one of them to ensure that water does not seep through a small rip on the groundsheet.
As mentioned before, there is no groundsheet under the porch area, but otherwise the groundsheet is fully sewn in.
Related post: Best Air Tents with Sewn-in Groundsheet
The Vango Joro Air 600XL also comes with an inner tension band system called TBS II, which increases the inner stability of the tent when needed.
Verdict and Joro Air 600XL alternatives
Although there are a few alternatives that may be worth considering (like the Stargrove II Air 600XL reviewed in this post), the Vango Joro Air 600XL is pretty decent and provides good value for money (RRP around £750), while being environmentally conscious at last!
Other 6-person Vango tents are reviewed in this post: Vango Air Tents for 6 (Odyssey 600, Amalfi 600, Icarus 600, Keswick 600)
Or if you don’t insist on having a Vango, I recommend checking out the 6-person section of this round-up post of the Best Air Tents in 2020 or a collection of Cheap 6-Man Inflatable Tents (Good Value for Money)
The easiest way to get a Vango Joro Air 600XL is at Winfields Outdoors.