Are you tired of small tents with space enough only to put your sleeping pads on the floor? In this Vango Capri 400 XL Tent review you can read about a giant which offers 143 ft² (13.25 m²) for 4 people in its 3 rooms. In addition to this, you also have a porch. Please keep reading.
Key features & benefits
- Huge area.
- Air beam technology.
- Dark rest tent.
- PVC windows.
- 2 entry doors.
- 2 inner doors.
- 3 rooms.
- Large porch.
What type tent is this
The Vango Capri 400XL is a tunnel-type large family camping tent which has no less than 3 separate rooms. So you have two sleeping rooms each for two people, and a huge living area.
The tent is also inflatable, with air beams instead of classic poles. In fact, only the front porch pole is a classic fiberglass, the remaining 4 are air beams which you inflate with the pump included in the package. Note that such air beams behave well in a windy situation because of the flexibility of the structure. It does not fight the wind, it bends but it bounces back quickly. You have numerous guylines and some extras, more below, to make the structure very stable.
This tent must be staked to the ground, it is not-freestanding, so bear this in mind when you choose your camping spot, you cannot pitch it on concrete and rock, on the sand, or on a frozen ground.
I already mentioned the dark rest above, so this is a tent with what they call ‘lights out’ design. This means that the inner tent’s fabric is a dark material to reduce the morning light and glare, so you can sleep longer, and also take a nap during the day. Such tents are also known as dark rest tents or dark room tents. So this is an extra benefit with this tent, that adds to its livability.
Who is it for
Capacity-wise, the tent is formally for 4 people. But see the inner floor area – you have 143 ft² (13.25 m²), which makes 36 ft² (3.3 m²) per person. Note, you also have a porch that gives another 29 ft² (2.65 m²) of the partially protected area. See what you get with this tent:
As you realize, they did not use the backpacking principle to define the tent’s capacity. This is a generous space which is indeed necessary for a car camping and family camping. The living room is with a fully sewn-in floor, fully protected and enclosed, so nothing prevents you to use it for sleeping as well. So the actual capacity may be far bigger, and I can tell you this is quite the opposite with most of the camping tents on the market.
Seasons-wise, you will see below about its impressive waterproof rating, so this tent is for any weather conditions in a 3-season use.
Weight-wise, well this is less impressive, you have 44.3 lb (20.1 kg). So you will use it only at places with a motorized access, this is not something to carry around.
Climate-wise, you should know that there is no mesh here, you have an external shell and the inner tent. So this tent is more suited for a cooler and wet area; in a sunny environment it may become warm inside.
Overview of features
You have already seen that the tent has 3 separate units inside, plus a porch. The living room has 7.3 m² (79 ft²) and the rest is in the two rooms separated by a divider. This divider is with toggles so it is removable when you do not need it.
Note also that the inner sleeping area is a tent within the tent, attached from inside, so it is completely removable. This inner tent has its own bathtub-style waterproof floor.
But the shell tent is also with its own sewn-in waterproof floor, so you effectively have two layers on the ground. The porch is deep enough to keep chairs and table underneath it, so you can use it for cooking.
The fabric and waterproof rating
You have an impressive waterproof rating here, no less than 4000 mm for the upper tent body. If you are not familiar, compare this with an ordinary umbrella which is around 400 mm. The shell fabric is 70D polyester.
The floor is a polyethylene piece and its waterproof rating is 10000 mm, I guess you need no comments here.
The inner tent fabric is a breathable polyester but its floor is the same polyethylene material. The two inner doors are part mesh for added ventilation, you will need it in a warmer climate.
The doors and windows
There are two doors, the main is under the porch, and you have a side door as well. The good thing is that the main door is a double layer, it has both mesh and the panel. The bad is that the side door only has a panel, so it is almost useless as it doesn’t provide protection against mosquitoes.
The windows are a solid material, so you have them 4 and all are with clear and translucent PVC. Two windows are on the sides of the tent and two are under the porch, on the sides of the main door.
You have blinds from inside for privacy and to reduce glare, and this holds for all of them. Note that these blinds are with toggles and not with zippers; this is not so great because you cannot raise them and fix at just any height, there are only a couple of different spots/heights with toggles where you can fix them, i.e., in the middle and on the top. But they do the job for sure.
There are several vents here, the first one is above the main door, so it is deep under the porch and fully protected and you can keep it open all the time. Of course, the main front door is also with large mesh and it is deep under the porch so you have lots of air circulation from this side.
A few large floor vents are also in the living area and in the sleeping zone, see one of them in the picture below, so ventilation should work fine in any weather conditions.
Attachment loops are available on the beams, for a lantern or anything similar. You have an electric cable port, and there are attachment elements along the beams to pass the cable to the highest points on the beams.
There are a few small pockets on the sides in every sleeping room.
Here you also have Vango’s TBS system on the beams, those are tension bands which are attached on the sides, and you click them to the highest point of the beam, see the picture above. This considerably increases the lateral stability of the tent and it behaves nicely in the wind. When you do not need them, you simply detach them and put into wall pockets.
Pitching the tent
This is an easy job, and all can be done in 10 minutes. You have the pump included, this is a Double Action pump so inflating the beams is fast. Note that the inner tent is preattached, so when you raise the shell tent, all is set up and ready to use. Please see this video, this man is setting the tent up alone:
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Impressive waterproof rating.
- Incredible area per person.
- Dark rest design.
- Good packed size.
- Very useful porch.
- No mesh on the side door.
The waterproof rating is as impressive as its area per person, but the situation with the weight is just the opposite. But this is a tool for car camping so the weight is of a secondary importance; I would say that the packed size matters more.
The price & rating
As of the moment of writing this text, the Amazon price for this tent is $250. I think this is more than fair for such a tent. See how I rate it:
My rating breakdown of the Vango Capri 400XL tent
Addition – March 2019, the tent is now with the price tag $523 so the price rating above does not hold any longer. I leave this to you to decide if it is worth it or not. Note that this is still cheaper than what you have on the EU market for this tent. Thanks to Joseph who pointed out the change, see the comment below.
- Type: tunnel tent, non-freestanding, car camping tent.
- Capacity: 4 people.
- Weight: 44.3 lb (20.1 kg).
- Dimensions: 19.68 x 8.69 ft (236 x 104 in; 600 x 265 cm).
- Inner floor area: 143 ft² (13.25 m²).
- Area per person: 36 ft² (3.3 m²).
- Porch area: 29 ft² (2.65 m²).
- Peak height: 80.7 in (205 cm).
- Packed size: 27.56 x 16.14 x 14.57 in (70 x 41 x 37 cm).
- Pitching time: 10 minutes.
- Oversized carry bag makes it easy to pack the tent.
Vango Capri 400 XL Tent vs Competitors
In the table below I give this Capri 400 tent side by side with two other tents. All are for car camping but as you realize the features are very different. The purpose of it is to show you some other options and to make an informed choice.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor area, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
Payable Every Month
28 x 16 x 15
(70 x 41 x 37)
air beams + fiberglass
Payable Every Year
27 x 9
(69 x 23)
Payable Every Year
33 x 24 x 19
(85 x 61 x 48)
So, in the summary of this Vango Capri 400 XL Tent review, I would stress its generous floor area which you will not find in many tents on the market. You realize how different this all is from the usual camping tents where manufacturers measure their tent’s capacity by the number of sleeping pads that they can squeeze on the tent’s floor. The concept you have here is completely different, the actual sleeping area is quite small, but the living room is huge and it adds to the comfort of such a structure.
The PVC windows, the 80.7 inches (205 cm) height, and the large front porch only add to this feeling of livability. So if you need a reliable car camping tent for a full weather protection for couples or for parents with 1 – 2 kids, this is the tent to consider. I have added it in my list of 4 person car camping tents.
If you still need something different, please check my page with tents and shelters, you have them there in all sizes up to 4 – 5 people. You might want to see also this Crua Tri 3 insulated tent, or this new tent on the market in the cabin style, the Eureka Desert Canyon 4 tent. Check also this Vango 350 with two rooms, and this Coleman Oak Canyon 4 with 3 rooms and blackout design. But if you need something for more than 6 people, please check here, you will find giant camping tents of up to 20 people.
Thank you for reading, please use the comment box below in the case of questions or comments. Have a nice day.