Vaude Hogan Ultralight Review – 1-2P Tent for Cycle Touring

This review was extensively rewritten in August 2012 with more photos and additional information on long-term performance over four years of real-world use.

My Vaude Hogan Ultralight 2-man tent has performed almost flawlessly for four years of regular touring use between 2007 and 2011. The design is well suited to a solo cycle tourer or a very cosy couple, especially if you’re expecting harsh weather conditions. The tent does have a couple of minor drawbacks, which I’ll come to later.

Build Quality

As you would expect for a tent at this price point, build quality is very high, and the Vaude Hogan will withstand a lot of use in a wide variety of environments.

Importantly for a cycle tourist on the move, the Hogan doesn’t seem to suffer from being packed and stored in the short-term while wet, which some other manufacturers’ ultralight tents won’t withstand. On a tour in wet weather it’s often impractical or impossible to dry out a tent every day, and you don’t want to have to worry that the flysheet coating will disintegrate.

Andy puts up his tent in Romania

The v-profile stakes are strong, but not the strongest. Make sure you plant them fully if possible, as otherwise you WILL tread on and consequently bend them in the dark and/or sleepy daze that you will inevitably find yourself in a some point. My experience with MSR’s stakes, for example, is noticeably better in terms of weight/strength ratio.

Performance

The inner tent is usable alone in warm weather, without the fly. The door is partly mesh for ventilation, but won’t compare to a full mesh inner in really hot weather.

Wild camping near the Aswan Dam, Egypt (HDR)

The construction has enough protection for sub-zero temperatures, if you ever find yourself camping in such conditions. I’ve slept in the Hogan below –30°, although I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

Snow coated camp

It is a shame that the inner tent is not fully freestanding for pitches where stakes can’t easily be used, but there are always workarounds for this.

Water resistance is, as you’d expect from a European tent, top-notch. The tent hasn’t let a drop of water in during the worst rainstorms. It’s also robust enough to be assembled mid-downpour, as the inner tent has some short-term water-resistant properties. The flysheet sheds water very well and droplets bead off very quickly with a few shakes.

In high winds, the design’s storm-proofing measures become apparent. Pitching begins by planting the single peg at the foot of the tent, which should be facing upwind. (The separate groundsheet can be attached semi-permanently to the inner tent’s stake loops by velcro.) Once the inner is hooked to the rear peg, you can peg out the remaining corners and insert the poles, onto which the inner tent then clips.

The flysheet then attaches to the inner tent at the foot by means of a plastic locking connector, stable and secure in high wind. You can then simply clip the fly into the other connectors at the head of the pitched inner tent, before pegging out the sides and the porch. This can all be done by one person – with a bit of practice of course!

Camping under the stormclouds in Mongolia

Extra measures for really heavy storms include internal velcro straps to secure the flysheet to the poles and 4 external guy-lines. It would take a hurricane to uproot the Vaude Hogan. As long as the tent is correctly oriented to the prevailing wind direction, its aerodynamic shape proves highly stable, and the downwind porch makes entering and exiting during a storm as comfortable as it’s ever going to be.

The porch also provides adjustable ventilation through a well-designed zip system which combines with the inner tent’s mesh door to provide whatever level of ventilation is appropriate for the conditions.

Size, Shape & Colour

The size is perfect for a solo cycle tourer – you have enough space for your panniers, clothes, books and yourself on the inside, and any excess baggage in the porch.

Camping in the Sinai Desert

For two people, don’t expect to get more than valuables inside the tent as well as 2 humans, unless one or both of you are particularly short! This is where the relatively small porch might be a problem if you’re paranoid about security – you’ll probably have to leave some of your luggage outside, although I do this routinely and nothing has been pinched so far. (Besides, a potential thief is probably more interested in your bike, and you won’t be getting that inside the Hogan in a hurry.)

The shape of the tent is clearly oriented towards weatherproofing rather than maximum volume and comfort, and this makes the foot end of the tent rather cramped, as opposed to symmetrical tents like the MSR Hubba, which is designed more for livability than full-on stormproofing, and is perhaps a better choice if harsh weather is not likely to be a regular feature of your cycle tour.

The complete kit’s packed weight is low, but it’s a little higher than the manufacturers make out – a touch above 2kg by my scales. For a 2-man tent, however, this is still well within the ‘ultralight’ category.

Best wild campsite ever?

If you’re doing a lot of wild camping and want to be inconspicuous, the colour of the flysheet is about as perfect as you will ever find on the market. The shade of green chosen by Vaude for the Hogan Ultralight, and others in the range, is a fantastically natural one, which really does blend in. (They also have an orange version. Don’t get that.)

Longevity

I use my gear until it’s well and truly worn out.

Camping in the snow

This being an ultralight tent, the materials simply aren’t going to be as durable in the long-term as heavier-duty tents. It’s useful to know what’s likely to break, and how to patch it up, so I include this information for that reason.

The poles snapped at the joints in the third year of use, while pitching during a storm in Mongolia. Vaude know that the ultralight aluminium poles eventually fatigue and therefore have a limited life, so they supply a repair sleeve which can splint a broken joint in an emergency. With a little Gaffa Tape, this worked very well and I was able to complete my trip.

The taped seams in the corners of the groundsheet split through age and repeated packing, and some of the flysheet’s seams started to leak. A small tube of Aquaseal can be used for repairs like this, or (again) the ever-trusty Gaffa Tape.

The zips suffered in the dusty deserts of Africa and the sliders wore out, no longer closing the coil. I fixed this in the short term by compressing the sliders gently with a pair of pliers. A bar of hand soap run along the (cleaned) coil helped to lubricate the zipper until I had the chance to return the inner tent to Vaude for a new zip to be sewn in.

By this time, the flysheet had also shrunk a little through UV exposure, making pegging the sides out quite difficult in loose ground. This was rarely an issue, as the tent is perfectly stable without the intermediate pegs along the sides. In rain, when it becomes more important to keep the fly separated from the inner, the usual trick of tying or bungeeing the stake loops to heavy objects is an easy workaround, in lieu of replacing the complete flysheet.

I retired my Hogan in its fourth year of use, as the built-in floor material had lost its waterproof qualities through sheer use. I cut a temporary new floor from a cheap plastic tarpaulin, but really it was time to replace the tent entirely, rather than extending its long list of repairs.

None of this should detract you from considering the tent – there are few ultralight tents that wouldn’t suffer similarly after this much use.

Conclusion

This would be an ideal tent for a solo tourer on a tour likely to involve challenging weather conditions, including high winds and plenty of rain. It would sleep two if needed, but with little comfort, and so I would only consider it a two-person option for shorter trips or if weight was at a real premium. If weather is less likely to be a concern, there are more livable tents on the market at a similar weight, price-point and quality. But overall this is a well-designed and very capable tent, which I was happy to call home for many years.

See Vaude’s website for full specifications. They’re not that easy to find in the UK, but Amazon* do stock the Hogan.

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25 Responses to “Vaude Hogan Ultralight Review – 1-2P Tent for Cycle Touring”

  1. Tenda Vaude Hogan UL 2p - Ceriwis - Indonesian Community

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    Reply
  2. Tomalh

    Hi,
    I ordered this tent because your review seemed to show this is a good tent, in strong weather. However, despite the fact that it can withstand the rain or the wind, it is definitely not able to handle both at the same time. this is not a tent adapted to strong weather such as rain AND wind at the same time. The cover, even extended to maximum has contact with the inner tent when the wind blows, which enable humidity to pass it and the inner tent to be wet, even very wet! On top of that the tent is very poorly made in term of size vs accessoiries, it is always strangely looking, with the corner or the tents not aligning the tubes, and of course looking messy, as we can see on your pic! I definitely recommend not to buy this tent, it is way too expensive for what you get.

    Cheers
    Thomas

    Reply
    • Tom

      Hi Thomas. Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure what version of this tent you’ve used (I have the 2007 model). I’ve used it for over four years and for hundreds of pitches and it’s always performed very well, including in thunderstorms in Outer Mongolia, duststorms in the Sahara and blizzards at -30°C in Norway. That experience forms the basis of my review, and I stand by it.

      It’s not just the tent that matters in these kinds of situations. If it hasn’t been pitched with best practices in mind, and if a bad site has been chosen, there are limits to how much protection any tent can offer in bad weather. How many nights have you slept in the tent in wet & windy conditions? If you’ve recently ordered it, I’m assuming it’s still fairly new?

      I too got wet and cold in this tent early on, because I hadn’t learned how to pitch it properly and because I chose some bad sites. Could it be possible that you simply need to work on the pitching and campsite-choosing processes before writing off the tent as badly designed?

      Reply
  3. Sean

    Thanks for the review,
    I am thinking of buying this tent but I am concerned about space. I am going on two upcoming trips – the first of which is a solo bike ride so this shall be a perfect tent, however, the second trip will involve myself and my girlfriend camping in it on a series of 2/3 nights. We are both 6ft. So my question is, will this tent be too small? Will it be manageable?
    We will be bringing two moderately sized hiking bags.

    Reply
    • Mark

      Hi Sean,
      I too have this tent (2006 model), and although i think the 2 of you will probably fit fine, it is likely you’ll have problems with your luggage. If you don’t mind leaving (most of) your luggage outside, then you should be fine.

      Reply
      • Sophie

        Don’t ever worry about tent space. I have lived for a week in a one person alpine tent with my boyfriend with two 60 l. backpacks, mats and sleeping bags. We putted our backpacks on the sides with the top opened, so the top was like a pillow.Sure, it was hell, but as long as you are comfortable sleeping on top of your boyfriend/girfriend it should be fine 🙂

        Reply
    • Justin

      Hi Sean,
      I have the 2006 model also, and I use it regularly with my wife for 2 night trips. Its cosy, and we’re both 5’10. Our feet touch, but our uper bodies have enough room over night. we can read and shift around a bit if its pouring outside without being on top of each other. As Mark says – we tend to leave out packs set up outsiode with rain covers over them and just our shoes in the vestibule. For the sheer light weight of this tent I can do with a little less space, and yes, I have to agree on the waterproofness – here in the Pacific Northwest we get rained on constantly, and it packs well wet, and shakes off quickly to dry in no time when you’re setting up the next night.

      Reply
  4. Steve

    Hi Tom,
    Great review. I am traveling to west Africa and Europe for a multi year bicycle trip at the end of the year. Days of research have narrowed down my tent choice to the following:
    Hilleberg Nammatji 2
    Vaude Hogan Ultralight
    ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tent

    The Hilleberg and the Vuade Hogan share some similarities. The Hexamid Solo is an impressive, but very different ultra light tent. I am unable to make a decision and thought with your experience you might be able to offer some advice.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I would definitely go with the Vaude.

      The Hilleberg will be great quality but it’s a very big and heavy tent for 1 person (3 to 4kg all in all). Probably good for a couple but overkill if you’re solo.

      The Z-Packs offering, in my opinion, will probably not be durable enough for several years of continuous use, especially in Africa (their site says that its life expectancy is one 2,500 mile thru-hike).

      They are likely very good tents for their designed purpose; I’m just not sure that they’re well suited to your needs.

      The Vaude Hogan Ultralight, on the other hand, is a very respectable weight (1.6kg), is just about the right size for a solo cycle traveller on the long haul (with room for 2 if needed), and I can personally vouch for its durability. As a real bonus, it is an excellent shade of green for stealth-camping (don’t get the orange one!).

      A similar alternative would be the MSR Hubba Hubba HP (the 2-man version of this slimline offering).

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Steve

        I ended up purchasing the Z-Packs twin a couple of days ago. The reviews for this tent were to good to be ignored, it is very light and there is just something special about how open the tent is, especially for an African tour. There is a question mark over durability, but if I get a full year then it costs little more than a dollar per day.

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

        Reply
        • Tom Allen

          I’d be really interested to hear how you get on. Agreed that the open-air design is perfect for many parts of Africa – I often slept under nothing but a mosquito net when I was cycling there. Safe trip!

          Reply
  5. Andy Welch

    Thats a fantastic review. I was impressed with my tent. The main issues for me was the nasty cream coloured inner tent that was prone to marking, and the poles which I had to replace a few times as they became brittle. Agreed about making sure to put the pegs fully in as they are easy to bend.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I also had to replace the poles, but only after more than 3 years’ use and hundreds of pitches. The pegs could definitely be stronger.

      Reply
  6. Bart

    I used this vaude hogan for 8 month on my bicicle trip using it 90 % of the time setting it up almost everyday. I had to replace the poles the first time after 2 month and then later around 6 month again.Overal i’m not happy with the tent. I;m amased that you used the tent for 3 years and then for then first time had to replace the poles. i did it twice in 8 month and last time the pole came through the tentseet. I thought maybe it was because of the weather but i can see that you had extremer conditions with the tent then me. i really don’t understand. i’m now looking for a new tent for my next bycicle trip. Didn’t find the right one yet. Maybe the MSR NOOK, it is over my budget but also has this small footprint that is really good. if some body has good idea for my next buy let me know!;-)

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Hi Bart. I’m equally confused as to why you had such trouble with the poles.

      What’s your budget and requirements for a tent? I’ll see if I can help out on that front…

      Reply
  7. Erik

    Hi Tom

    Thank you for your great review and story!

    Im going on a one week trip to north of sweden and looking to buy a tent.
    I’ve been looking at the Vaude tent but are a little concerned about the floor, when i read the instructions of the tent Vaude recomends a “footprint” some kind a extra floor.
    Is this really nessasary if you clean the area for sticks and stones and other things that could possible harm your floor?
    Also worried that the floor will be wet and so on..

    I shall also mention that im a newbee when it comes to tents and im in the learningphase.

    Would be very happy if you could answer these few questions for me!

    Many thanks
    Erik

    Reply
    • Jorge

      Hi Erik,

      I have a Vaude Taurus 2P and also the footprint. The idea with this item is to protect your tent floor, it is not required, but it will enhance the life of your tent. In other words, it is cheaper to change an used and old footprint than your tent or tent’s floor.

      Regards,

      Jorge

      Reply
  8. 9 ultralight backpacking tents for hiking or your bug out bag | From the Trenches World Report

    […] Tom Allen wrote up a review about this Vaude Hogan ultralight tent that you should probably read. He had it for several years and used it in several countries, bicycling for LOTS of miles. Here are a couple quotes that you may find interesting. I liked his review so much that I kept wanting to quote every paragraph but here are the highlights: […]

    Reply
  9. Beth

    Your experience with packing it wet is a major plus for me (one person, cycling mostly through France, so fairly rainy but with moderate temps), but I am hesitating between this and the Hubba Hubba NX. Any thoughts on how that one holds up to being packed wet? Thanks.

    Reply
  10. Faram Khambatta

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the review.

    Does this tent have a fabric backing panel that can be zipped shut behind the mesh ventilation panel in the top half of the door ? That would be helpful if it gets too cold. Would you have any idea if such a feature exists in the Vaude Hogan UL Argon (‘5 seasons’) model ?

    Thanks,

    Faram

    Reply
  11. Jordi Puignero

    I bought this tent in 2014 and I am very satisfied with it. I’ve been using it for trekkings in the Pyrennes of Catalonia (2500-3500m altitudes) during springs, summer and autumm (never winter). Good against rain and wind (never had a problem). In my opinion the only bad think about this tent is that it is a bit too small for two people , and there is real a lack of space at the front porch (just for the boots). The rest is perfect.

    Reply

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