Here we take a closer in-depth look at the Vango Montelena Air Awning. When we purchased our Adria just over a year ago we also chose the Vango Kalari 380 air awning. We had no previous experience of awnings but researched the various brands online before deciding on Vango. We wanted an air awning as they seemed a simple system and, at 30kg, the Kalari would be well within the limits of our payload.
In the thirteen months we have used the Vango we have been delighted with it. It’s withstood wind, rain, sleet and sun with not a single issue, as we cleaned, reproofed and cared for this as well (blog here).
Due to the amount of use the awning has had, almost ten full months, we decide it was time to get a new one. Once again we started to look at the new range of Vango awnings and opted for the Montelena 400.
The Montelena 400 is four metres wide and three metres in depth, slightly larger than our Kalari. What we liked was the more traditional style and the extra depth across the front of the awning. The Montelena is heavier than the Kalari at 37kg in weight. The Montelena also has the new Vango draft seal system, which Jules was keen to try out. The Montelena has lots of other features including the sky-liner, four removable panels for hot days and privacy curtains.
We took down our Kalari and Jules set to erecting the Montelena, there are three inflation points for the main structural beams which are inflated with the included pump. The Montelena inflated quickly and Jules was soon pegging it out, he did notice there were more pegging points than the Kalari but as usual he managed single hand-idly. Once up we put down the Montelena carpet, an extra at £90 and we took our seats inside.
Immediately we both noticed how much lighter and brighter the Montelena was in comparison to the Kalari and the internal space was much more useable. The shape of the Montelena and the depth gave more room for our awning furniture and Fudges bed. The four huge side windows have a fantastic panoramic view outside and this makes fantastic use of the ultra clear and upgraded diamond pro windows and we were certainly pleased with our choice.
Over a period of a week we tested out the Montelena in good and bad weather. In the sun we found the sky liner offered a nice amount of shade and warmed quickly, and gave a great insulating feel. It was useful to have all the openings to unzip and allow the fresh air in.
In a period of fairly severe wind and rain we found the Montelena was water tight and stood up to the wind, although we found it was not as sturdy as the Kalari and certainly flexed more in the wind, we feel that this could be because of the extra size and being slightly more square. We found the draught seal system was not as effective as the previous foam pads and poles that we were use to, but are much happier not having a metal pole next to the caravan. It struggled to deal with a strong side wind and was blown out of place despite being tightened, however this is a draught seal and we did experience some 40-50mph winds (Storm Miguel). The new draught skirt and wheel arch cover were a much better upgrade and worked very well at keeping out the draughts altogether.
As always it came to time to pack away the awning, Jules used his usual method and quickly had it unpegged and deflated. Once down Jules packed away the Montelena and it was done. The Montelena is a large awning at four metres long but it packed away well with Jules doing it by himself.
So what do we think, it is a very good awning for any size family. It offers great space and will withstand the weather. Its not an all year round awning, unlike we found with the Kalari, but it certainly offers good value for money at £1100 and we would recommend it. The awning also comes with everything you need to start and more. It includes the pump, pegs, hammer, hook and loop tidy clips, straps (including storm straps) and the sky-liner.
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