Vaude is synonymous with quality products and the Taurus range of tents are one of their leading product brands. Hard wearing with a solid Curved “A” Reinforced Ridge construction, the Taurus 1 has been designed as a backpacking tent. Weighing in at a little under 2.5 kg the Taurus 1 can be used in four season environments if the camper is experienced enough. Despite being called the Taurus 1, it is a 2 man tent.
With an RRP of £200 (August 2011) the Taurus 1 is actually targeted towards people getting their first tent and for people who want to buy a solid piece of kit from an esteemed manufacturer. It is testimony to its design that is a favourite with backpackers, hikers and campers of all levels the world over. Having not had an opportunity to pitch or use a Vaude tent before. I was given this opportunity as the closest member of the CheapTents team to Vaude’s target customers.
The Taurus 1… is a solid and no nonsense beastie… a seriously good tent!
After removing the tent from its “snug” stuffsack my first thought was, “there are only two poles so it should be easy to put up”. Everyone I had spoken to had said this; indeed Vaude themselves market the tent as offering “foolproof” construction (obviously they haven’t heard of me!). I was therefore unprepared for the wrestle and constant references to the instructions which I went through as I tried to pitch the tent for the first time. In the end I felt they called it Taurus because all I could see in front of my eyes was a red mist, true it was clouded by the haze of steam emanating from my ears!
Joking aside, I did find the Taurus 1 difficult to put up but only on the first occasion, the poles are incredibly strong and need great pressure to tension. For an inexperience camper or those unaccustomed to Vaude tents they may be unwilling to pressure the poles too much for fear of snapping them: I certainly was which is why I had some issues on my first attempt at putting up the Taurus 1. I was also thrown by the clever system used where by the pole is inserted into its fixings which are only open at one end. Upon examination I incorrectly thought that they couldn’t possibly hold and I then looked for non existent fixings. Oh and I also misread the instructions, which never helps! Although in my defence the ones attached to the stuff sack could be a lot clearer. In itself this is a lesson: we should always trial pitch our tents before ever using the tent in a real situation!
I did find the Taurus 1 difficult to put up, but only on the first occasion.
Now before I raise all hell with Taurus fans worldwide. Let me say that having pitched the Taurus for the first time and having worked out how to pitch it, it is an easy tent to pitch. Vaude have cleverly designed it so one person can pitch the tent without having to keep going from pole end to pole end. As I eluded to previously, the poles attach to the tent through sleeves which only have one opening. The closed end is securely closed and is used as a brace to tension. This simple idea does mean the tent can be erected from almost one position. An excellent tip is to use the red finger loops which are attached to the fly when connecting the poles to the tent, something which I didn’t do on my first go.
Vaude Build Quality
I found that you do need a fair degree of strength to put the correct tension on the poles, which in its own way leaves me as a consumer really comfortable as it adds to the feeling of the Taurus 1′s build quality. Here is a tent that correctly pitched in an experienced user’s hand will lap up 4 season weather conditions. When pitched correctly the Taurus 1 is extremely stable and has the additional benefit of two small poles sewn into the tent outer which improves the stability towards the foot.
Clever Vaude Thinking
The Taurus 1 comes with its fly sheet attached to the tent inner which can be easily detached for fly only pitching. This handy outer/inner arrangement, further enhances the Taurus 1′s reputation as the entire tent can be placed on the ground two poles inserted and away you go! The same for can be said when striking camp, take the poles out and the inner and fly can be rolled together ready for the next overnight stop.
Another great idea from Vaude is they supply a short section of replacement pole. In the unlikely event you have an accident whilst out, you can carry out a speedy repair and get on with enjoying yourself.
The footprint is bigger than for example The North Face Tadpole 2DL which was reviewed previously, although due to the Tadpole’s steeper sides and the Taurus’s tapering design the Taurus in my opinion does feel smaller although there is plenty of room in the tent near to the door to sit in comfort and watch the world go by. Like most backpacking tents in its class the Taurus 1 sleeps two but for any extended break it is in my opinion best to be used as single person tent. There is plenty of room for my 6ft 2inch frame to stretch out although with a second person and sleeping bags there isn’t a lot of room due to the mummy design at the tent’s foot.
Inside the Taurus 1
The inner tent has a two layer mesh door which in conjunction with the excellent multi zip outer door can be used to ventilate the tent or allow additional light in to the tent. Although there is no rear vent which may not have any effect, it is a feature I prefer in tents. The inner tent can be a little dark, I presume this is due to the thickness of the fabrics as the tent is rated, depending on user, for 3-4 season use. Vaude have a brilliant simple solution to this issue as they have included a hanging cord which enables the user to hang a light or even an aerial to get a radio reception. The inner tent also contains two pockets either side of the door to store small items. Furthermore, the porch is high enough to cook inside in wet weather and the handy construction of the tent creates an overhang which further shields you from the rain.
The Taurus 1 is well named, like a bull, it is a solid and no nonsense beastie. Its shape does remind me of the bull when about to charge with its high overhanging porch sweeping gracefully down the spine of the tent to the ground.
Over the top imagery apart, the Taurus 1 is a seriously good tent for beginners and experienced campers alike. It is strongly built and offers enough room for two to spend a few days together. The flysheet and outer tent being attached makes it easy to pitch and strike camp, for fly only pitching they are easily separated with some clips. The porch is big enough to store a rucksack or cook in. The Taurus 1 is also a well priced, balancing price and quality. My only gripe is that I would prefer the inner tent to have a rear open/close vent as at this moment the only vent is through the door.