Long term review: VauDe Hogan XT – The final word

I bought my VauDe Hogan XT for cycle touring. However, for a long list of reasons which don’t really merit further mention here, the Hogan has become my go-to shelter and the one I have used most over the last couple of years or so. It’s too heavy for backpacking, although manageable for two when slimmed down for the trail, but is perfect for trips on the bike and for chucking in the car for a dirty weekend.


Basic stats

Measured weight complete: 8lbs 2oz. 7.2lbs trimmed down
Packed dimensions: 55cm by 25cms (at a push)

In the bag

Polyamid flysheet
Inner
Alloy pole ‘exoskeleton’
Pegs
Four guys lines with runners
Tent stuff sac
Pole bag
Peg bag
Pole sleeve

The pitch

The Hogan remains very easy to pitch, even in wind and rain on the fellside or at exposed campsites. It can be pitched outer first or all in one (the inner clips in), my preference for notoriously wet UK conditions.

Simply lay the flysheet out on the floor and secure the far corner with a peg. Fit the shock-corded pole structure together and align over the top of the flysheet. Locate the flysheet pins in the ‘grommets’ at the corners and erect the structure, taking care that the poles are properly secure as they can ‘whip out‘.

Once the structure is in place, simply clip the external cords over the poles. These are elasticated save for the one running along the ‘spine’, or ‘dorsal fin’ if you prefer (!).

Now the tent has taken shape and you have an almost complete freestanding structure. All that remains it to peg out the front and sides and make use of the guys if the weather is poor.

To give it a largely arbitrary pitching time metric, it takes less than five minutes. However, more important is that it is easy to do if you been hiking or biking all day.

Stability

The VauDe ‘exoskelton’ is a well proven idea that the German firm has employed it on several tents. It works extremely well. In ‘high’ winds it is, naturally, better to pitch the tent ‘nose to the wind’. However, in use, the Hogan has stood up to some seemingly heavy sideways gusts.

With guy ropes attached, the structure is rigid but the elastic cords allow the structure yield a little if conditions are  foul. Overall, the system has proved effective, my only gripe would be the lack of a full set of guy lines for all guying points on the tent.

Water resistence

The VauDe has a ‘Polyamid’ silicone flysheet and consequently does not have taped seams. When I bought the tent I committed a schoolboy error and sealed with normal sealant. This has subsequently peeled off but has left a residue in the seam holes.

I should have used SilNet. However, the tent has never leaked despite my Heath Robinson efforts.

The bathtub floor did feel a little flimsy when I bought the Hogan, but, again, this has not let me down. I don’t use a footprint, but choose my pitch with care.

Venting

The Hogan has a main side door with bug netting and a front door which doubles as a vent. There’s a vent at the rear, too, with a corresponding mesh panel on the tent inner. If positioned correctly into the breeze, and with vents open, condensation is well controlled in the Hogan XT. The size of the tent helps too, of course, but things will get clammy if conditions are challenging.

Liveability

As mentioned, the Hogan is a long tent. In common with my Hilleberg Akto, the inner dimensions are generous and there’s plenty of room for me as a six foot sixer. It can get a bit ‘sociable’ when sharing the tent with someone else, though this is more than compensated for by the huge porch which is great for storing equipment and bikes.

It’s a comfortable arrangement for and extended camping trip.

Problems

After using this tent for an extended period in a range of conditions, I have only one gripe. The shock cords in the pole structure are threaded rather tightly and the cord has a nasty habit of snapping which makes the tent difficult to use. It’s a pretty straightforward job to rethread them (and I carry spare shock cord at all times) but it’s a pain nonetheless. In really cold conditions, this shock cord can slacken, too, which can also make things difficult.

A note on cost

I was fortunate in that I sourced my Hogan XT through a friend and received a staff discount. On the web, you can currently pick one up for around £400. This seems steep to me and I’m not sure I would pay this kind of money now. Worth shopping around or waiting for the sales.

Conclusion

Pros

Excellent, strong, stable tent for cycle touring and extended trips. Long inner and excellent porch.

Cons

Shock cords poles need to be handled with care, heavy for backpacking (for two), expensive.

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9 thoughts on “Long term review: VauDe Hogan XT – The final word

  1. I have cycle toured in Europe forsome 14 years and have had my “XT” since 2009 and am still usiong it in 2014. I tour with a trailer behind my bike and carry all my effects on that except for one rear pannier with spares,, tools and a wet weather top. My XT has seen me through severe rain storms and very high winds. and as a solo tourer camping for several weeks at a time I enjoy the spaciousness of the XT. The “porch is a huge asset for storage but also in those very very wet miserable days where i have room to move around and cook in the dry!!!!! And on tour it has been erected and packed up nearly daily for 4 to 6 weeks at a time — so it has to take some
    The tent fabric — innner and outer is still in near pristine condition. I normally pitch “as one” but have on occasions taken down the inner separately when i had to move and it was tippling. But I frequently havestruck camp with heavy dew and condensation knowing the when erected that evening it would dry out in minutes!
    However my own experience is the the exoskeleton has broken 3 times in excatly the same place – right at the central transverse crossingpoint right on the Rereinforced crossing junction. Tghe first time it happened in the middle of thenight but was just repairable by the “repair sleeve” 9 and lorts of insulatio=ng tape but the next 2ce were right on theinsertion point where the tranxverse rod slots into the crfoss! First repair was done free by vaude Uk second done a low cost in Berlin on Karl marx Strasse and the third I replaced the whole assembly with a new one.
    The best thing to doto over winter the pole assembly is to give it a good wash and then dry it outside on a warm day and then before packing away for the off season I spray all the “ends” with a drying/anti rusting inhibitor like WD40 and put it ini its own sack (but not in the rolled up tent ) till the next year
    it is an excellent cycle camping tent but one last caution. i hve camped all over Europe and have had excellent camping experiences BUT beware that this tent when erected is, by design, under tension and does not lke being put under stress — eg — haphard football kicking in particular and large campings with holidaymakers woth rampant children ( and adults ) i have has 3 different tents damaged badly with guys ripped off and dogs ripping the tent fabric andhave learned to be very very careful in siting when I am passing through a “holiday area”. which I why i travel well out of “the season”
    But i do like the Vaude Hogan XT — bl**dy good tent!

  2. Hi! What is your experience with no tapped seams? Do they leak? Do you suggest to apply the SILNET or leave it breathe. Thank you. Jan

  3. I recently managed to buy the Vaude Hogan XT in preparation for a 12+ month cycle tour through South America. After setting it up I have some serious reservations about its weight & the risk of the poles & shock cord failing. Dealing with a broken tent in the middle of a Patagonian wind/rain-snow storm is not my idea of a good time (been there before, I know what the weather can do). We cycled for 3 months in Iceland & the UK using a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 tent (just over 1kg, meant for one person). While a bit cozy, it did the job. Upgraded to the Hogan for more space to hang out during storm days. The poles on the Hogan really worry me because they take so much force to bend into position. Sounds like they have failed for others. None of my previous tents ever broke a pole, even when the Big Agness was lying flat on our faces during an Icelandic squall. But those poles had oodles of give compared to the Hogan. Are my fears unfounded?

    1. Given your experiences, I think you have answered your question already. I don’t think the poles require any more force to slot into place than other tents I’ve used (Hilleberg, Vango, North Face). The structure then yields nicely in the face of strong winds if pitched correctly. The only failure I’ve had is in Iceland and that was easily fixed. The tent was also flat on my face in a storm with the fix in place with no problems. However, if the seeds of doubt have been planted (as they appear to have been) I would opt for something else. Your trip sounds fantastic… may I wish you all the best.

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