Vaude Power Lizard UL

Sometimes it pays to hang back a little, a year after I first spoke about it and after some apologies to Vaude UK, in for test is Vaude’s Power Lizard UL , in the rather lovely Saffron orange.
The Power Lizard made as much an impact as was predicted, and comparing this tent to others is one of the most frequent queries I get through the contact form, so I’m glad to be able to do that now. Well, soon enough anyway.

I’ve tested Vaude before, it’s quality kit, the construction and detailing, componentry and performance are always top notch. But the porch areas are something that haven’t worked for me, too small, and after using so many side entry tents over the past few years, crawling in and out over your cooking gear loses it’s attraction. So, the Power Lizard lets me access all the positives that Vaude presents, but with some bonus extras.
I won’t pitch this until it’s on a mountain, the best first-test for a tent I can think of, but looking over it now I see that it’s well made and the packsize is pretty small when you take out the poles and pegs. Those pegs are old-school crook shaped titanium pegs which I’ll happily be using.
Pitching instructions are attached to the stuffsack which will be handy on trip #1.

So, worth the wait? We’ll see on the next overnighter.
Just a thought, how good will this look pitched on snow…

71 thoughts on “Vaude Power Lizard UL”

  1. Look forward to seeing what you have to say on this one, as it meets all my needs on paper at least!
    Low weight and pack size.
    Decent sized inner for the weight it would seem (good for the dog when the porch is full of gear, or storing gear when the dog is in the porch)
    Decent sized porch for the weight it would seem (good for when the dog is wet at the end of the day! or for gear storage once the dog is in the inner).

    Actually I wonder how many dogs will fit in here comfortably! :P

  2. Peter – I have had this tent since Feb and I find it a cracking tent. Great as a solo – luxury amount of room for the size and weight and it does allow two people to sleep comfortably ( my 14 year old son and I have done an overnight in it). I have used it on several trips. See for my last trip in it. Maybe 2 six foot chaps may find it a bit of a squeeze, but I do most of my backpacking solo. Had a bit of a problem with the side poles as the were 1.5 cm too long – I cut them down and the flysheet sat better. I am getting a replacement from the retailer as it was a known mistake- should be coming any day now.

    Overall very simple to pitch with good weight and pack size.

    Looking forward to your report on it and when I get my new one – I will look to do a review.

  3. Ant, I’ll be checking for dog compatability!

    Hi Mark, good info, nice blog too.
    I’ll be watching for that pole fault in this one.

  4. I’ve been testing this for some months – I’ve used it & the chap I hike with has used it. All my thoughts are on my blog but it’s amazing how much interest it’s gathered. It’s a great tent with some issues. I don’t like it but my friend loves it. When you consider I love my Fly Creek you can see it’s just personal preference. Lizzie really is a palace for 1 person! There are some things Vaude need to change but it’s worth looking at. I’m told a 1 person offering is to come too.

  5. I first found out about the pole length from a guest post (Maz)on blogpackinglight. I wondered why the poles were so tight to get in the pockets located in the fly sheet and that seems to be the reason. I think they should be 53 cm long (absolute length) – mine and a few others from what I gathered were 54.5cm – Have a look at the blog for further details. Also spoke to Bob at backpackinglight,he also gave me advice on a couple of mods/additions.
    Despite all of this I still think there are many benefits to the tent.


  6. Having just looked at your blog Journey Man – I now know you are Maz! Great blog and thanks for the heads up on the pole issues.


  7. Traded my TN LC for this tent. I get on very well with it ,love the extra room for pretty much no extra weight,no pole hood ,tho’ that never bothered me tbh.Like a knob i managed to bend the main pole pitching it in the parents garden (I have no garden)as they watched adoringly on :) (performance anxiety I think) I had clipped the clips on from the bottom around and it got a bit squewiff,phone call and replacement parts later I marked the dead centre of the pole and it’s been all good since, look forward to reading your review.

  8. Sorry for the possible 2 identical photos, not sure which photobucket link I need to show pics in comments…


    Thats my dog, on a snowy walk in jan getting used to her panniers, very useful as most of my kit is light enough for her to carry, and small enough to fit inside them. But of course, all her accessories soon shoot pack weight and bulk up!

  9. That’s a magic photie :o)
    You past the HTML bit to get the photie in a comment.

    I was amazed that I coild fit the Wheelie into the porch of my Lasercomp, porch space really is a bif factor on whether I get on with a tent or not.

  10. Thanks for that will remember for next time :)

    The wheelie is different to a dog though as the wheelie can carry all your gear, a dog can’t, unless it’s a St Bernard! But if it’s a St Bernard you’d need a pretty big tent!

    I’ve been tempted by the Comp,and considering it’s intended for 2 people on adventure races should in theory be big enough, but the comp is smaller than my Superlite voyager which I find a bit cramped, especially if in it for any lengh of time so the comp is out of the question

    I think I shall get a power lizard, just have to wait until I get my student loan through first.

  11. Aye, I couildn’t see me sharing a’comp with a dug, it would be too intimate!

    The Golite Eden1 would be perfect though, that or the MSR HubbaHP, both have got huge porches, bigger than the Power Lizard. Smaller inside though.

  12. Just looked at the details of them, Still convinced that the lizard is the best option for my needs, if I can I’ll try to check them out in the flesh anyway.

  13. It’s hitting a mark in the middle of all the things you need that’s difficult, nothings perfect, but there’s always a few tent have perfect bits.
    Hopefully I’ll have something usefuil to say about the Power Lizard`in a week or so.

    I’m telling you though, I want a sunset, a sunrise and a clear night or I’m not going out!

  14. “I’m telling you though, I want a sunset, a sunrise and a clear night or I’m not going out!”

    I’ll let you have one for it’s 1st outing but I want to hear how it copes in rain and wind.

  15. made up my mind, I’m getting one. But first I need to see if I have done well enough to get back into uni (as cotswold offer a 20% discount for my uni making the lizard £280 :D)

  16. cheers, I guess I made a good choice with this uni- everyone else only gets the typical 10% student discount :D

  17. another local outdoor shop offers a 15% discount but only to members of the uni walking or climbing club- hows that for excusivity :D

  18. Incidently one of the last times I was in the last mentioned shop I got a free (and freshly bought) spar sausage roll :o)

  19. Finally got to see one pitched properly.

    Inner, defently bigger than my TN superlite voyager, which is good. Porch feels small, but no doubt I’ll get used to that if I get it.

  20. Aye, not deep, but long on both sides.
    After recent experiences I’ll be glad that outer zip with be within easy reach all the time.

  21. Ant if you’re interested in a Power Lizard I’m selling mine, 1 week old, tried it out in the garden decided it’s not for me (didn’t get on with the Laser either)

    £250 posted or make me an offer.

  22. Mac, I spotted your post on OM classifieds, Have reisted posting as I wanted to see what was happening with uni first! (I still don’t know if I can carry on with my studies or not and the course starts in october – typical uni admin!)

    I’ll have a proper think and get back to you.

  23. If you’re interested get in touch, I’ll not be hard to deal with as I need the money.

    Preference is a big part of it but in my case the preference is for longidtudinal single pole designs, better headroom but the downside is less stability if the wind shifts through 90° although the Phreeranger is well guyed at the back so it’s really only a clockwise (I lie head to wind) shift you need to watch for.

    Maz thanks for the offer :-)

  24. Alright Ant! :o)

    R MacE, do you like the Macpac Microlite? I was talking about them recently and I wished I still had the sample I had a couple of years back to get another shot. MSR Hubba HP for that matter too.

  25. No problems – I have a Seedhouse sitting at home without anyone to take it out. 1.3kg is a touch heavy for a 1 person tent, but it will give you a sense of the Fly Creek as a tent. I also have a Mountain Hardwear PCT1 but 1.7kg really is NOT UL… ;-)

  26. It is an easy pitch and goes taut by itself. The layout suits me perfectly and I like the fact that BA chose to drop a couple of links from the inner to the poleset, (and changed to clips rather than those bloody annoying loops on the Seedhouse) and the change in the inner at the back of the tent, all of which makes it a bit smaller but perfect for me. It’s really good in rough, squally weather too – the aerodynamics are good pitched with the back to the wind. Not sure about cooking in the porch though…

  27. Aye, it’s not that roomy in the porch!
    First time I pitched the Fly Creek was on the west top of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan in the rain, I was inside with the stove on in five minutes: friends for life.

  28. Is the Macpac Microlight essentially the same as the Blacks Micro 1 or whatever it’s called? I looked at them and the Vango Apex 200 and the MSR Hubba but the Micro doesn’t have a short crossing pole and is a bit low and it’s too heavy, the Apex has those daft scoop/vent things that look like they’d catch a serious amount of wind and again much too heavy. The MSR as the best option but taking into account it’s inner 1st (which isn’t a major problem IMO) and the fact that it’s not significantly lighter than the Phreeranger I ruled it out too, not because of one particular thing but rather 2 in them selves minor issues.

    The Phreeranger is around 1.7 including a silny footprint as the groundsheet leaks. If I use the Phreeranger fly/footprint/ti Goat Ptarmigan only which I do fairly often it’s around 1.3 which makes the others not really worth the money for me. Thats why I tried the Power Lizard, I knew that I wasn’t keen on the transverse pole design but thought if that was my only gripe I’d put up with it as the weight savings over the Phreeranger were significant. There were a few other things about the Power Lizard that for me (I didn’t need the extra length/width) meant that at best it wasn’t any better than the Laser and while it attempted to cure some Laser issues it introduced some others.

    I’m very fussy when it comes to tents having tried a TN Voyager, TN Laser, ME Dragonfly, Saunders Spacepacker, F10 Nitro 100 and now the Power Lizard, some were purchased and sold on, some tried and returned, thankfully or I’d be bankrupt by now. I need a tent thats fast to pitch in any weather, stable, with headroom, good porch space and 1kg max, easy :-)

  29. I had the Blacks thing and the Microlite pitched three feet from each other in the garden, and I couldn’t tell you anything about them other than the colour now :o)

    The Hubba was a cracker, happy to tackle the wind from any side, but the huge porch was at the expense of a slimmed down person compartment. The winter compatability swayed me though, I really wanted to hold onto that one. Humph.

  30. Could you elaborate on winter compatability? I take it though that the one you tried wasn’t the newer HP version which is lighter but has a solid inner and lower flysheet.

  31. I was told the perfect all-season sub-kilo roomy tent would retail for £600 if it went into production. My response was that I only need one sample :o)

    The Hubba HP I had was the yellow one, I think it’s pale green this year?
    It was just a very strong shape, it presented no real weak aspect to the wind and I found that as the wind changed direction the tent stayed quite happy. It’s the only tent I’ve tried other that the Hilleberg Soulo where I’ve though “I bet if I sat on top of this it’ll take my weight”.
    I liked the components, the neatness of the construction, pretty much everything. I tested 16 one-person tents over that 3-month period and the Hubba was my joint first with my own dog-eared Lasercomp.
    But, I’ve got an MSR Skinny One on test just now and it’s terrible :o)

  32. LOL,

    I remembered seeing the yellow one on here after I’d asked. You mentioned the personal compartment being a bit small, funny I don’t mind a narrow inner as long as I have headroom to sit up comfortably without needing to sit like a statue at the apex, I’d sacrifice width for height and porch space. IMO Vaude should have made the PL just a wee bit taller, another 2″ would have made a big difference but would have added weight.

    I think thats where the PL fails in some respects, they’ve tried to outdo the Laser on every point, more space/removeable inner/no pole hood/less weight and every one of those ‘on paper’ improvements has resulted in a negative IMO, which is the better tent comes down to where you’re prepared to compromise.

    Maybe it isn’t so easy to design a tent after all,;-)

  33. Lizzie is all about little flaws though – that’s what’s so annoying. Be interesting to see if its 800g little brother, released soon, will have addressed some of the problems or is just Lizzie but smaller. Vaude, if they have any sense, will have seen the reviews on blogs about this tent. It’s the fourth most viewed post on my blog, and I’ve been directing everyone to Stayin’ Alive as well. That said, let’s not start another ‘do they listen’ discussion… ;-)

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