A groundsheet is an important part of the tent as it provides the barrier between yourself in the tent and the cold ground below. Groundsheets can be both breathable and non-breathable and used for a number of reasons.
Vango groundsheets are both breathable and non-breathable, you can find both available. They are however recommended for awnings over being used for tents. It is suggested to use carpets to help insulate the tent over breathable groundsheets as they can add warmth and comfort.
In this article we are going to be talking about what breathable groundsheets are, what makes them different from other groundsheets and if Vango groundsheets are breathable.
Are Vango Groundsheets Breathable?
There are generally two types of groundsheet, breathable and non-breathable. Tents either have sewn-in groundsheets, which is more common, or they have zip in groundsheets, or no groundsheet at all.
For tents with no groundsheet sewn in, separate groundsheets are available. Almost all sewn-in and zip-on groundsheets are non-breathable. Usually only the groundsheets you but separately are breathable.
Vango does sell breathable groundsheets but they are recommended for awnings. You can also use them for your tents if you need to but they are mostly marketed as fitted carpets. These can provide plenty of insulation and comfort.
Breathable groundsheets are softer to the feel and allow the grass to breathe through them. It helps the grass to live longer and healthier than it would with a simple non breathable tarp.
When you pack up your tent, after a week or more of stay, the grass will have turned yellow or brown under non-breathable groundsheets. It causes problems for the caretakers and kills the plants, making it difficult for them to grow back.
Vango groundsheets are fairly limited and if you get a tent from them, it’s almost certain that it’ll be a non-breathable type. This can present a problem for people that love Vango tents but also want to be considerate when pitching their tent for extended periods.
Having a replaceable groundsheet can bring a lot of benefits which included extending the lifespan of your tent. It is easier and cheaper to buy a new groundsheet than it is to buy a new tent. The groundsheet will protect the bottom of the tent from insects, thorns in the grass and abrasions when the tent is on hard ground.
It can also prevent water to stop it seeping into the tent in case of heavy rainfall. It is also easier to clean a groundsheet separately from tent rather than having to clean the entire tent. A breathable groundsheet will also help protect grass from heavy traffic and lack of sunlight.
As we’ve mentioned, the biggest benefit of breathable groundsheets is their ability to keep grass alive. With most Vango groundsheets not being breathable, this can mean you constantly needing to shift your tent around during your stay if you wanted to be considerate. If you’re only staying for a few days then you won’t need to do this.
Can I Change The Vango Groundsheets To Breathable Groundsheets?
If your tent has a groundsheet sewn into the tent, then you cannot change it for a breathable groundsheet. Breathable groundsheets cannot be sewn into the tent. If you are using a tent which does not have a groundsheet sewn in, then you can change your separate unbreathable groundsheet into a breathable version.
If your tent already has a sewn in groundsheet than it is pointless to put a breathable groundsheet under it. Any benefit from the breathable groundsheet will be nullified by the non-breathable groundsheet already on the tent.
Despite the nullification of the benefit of breathable groundsheet, many camping areas and parks are now demanding that a breathable groundsheet be put under tents, even if they have a groundsheet sewn in, for extra protection for the grass.
There are a few major differences between independent and sewn-in groundsheet. A sewn in groundsheets keep the insides of the tent dry, keep the draft away and also keep the insects away.
A separate groundsheet can allow draft to come inside through the openings at the ends. They would also allow bugs and other insects to slip though. Mud and water can also come in through the openings.
Even sewn-in groundsheets can leak over time. They can be made lighter and less durable to keep the weight of the tent light. Using the tent without careful cleaning on the floor can cause abrasions and damage to the tent floor. If there are holes in the ground sheet, then they can be repaired, but that is only for minor damages or holes.
If there is greater damage, then you would need a new tent. To avoid such a scenario, it is better to get a separate groundsheet for extra padding.
For a tent with a sewn in groundsheet, when the tent is pitched, one side of the groundsheet constantly gets dirty and on folding the tent, can cause damage to the fabric of the tent. It needs extra care and airing off properly.
In these scenarios, depending on your choice, it would be better to get a separate groundsheet and a tent with a sewn in groundsheet. The separate groundsheet would protect the tent and provide extra padding to the floor. The sewn in groundsheet would make the tent cozy, draft less and dry.
For the separate groundsheet, you can either go for breathable or non-breathable, depending on your budget and the demands of your camping area.
If you have bought a new breathable groundsheet, or even just as a footprint, then you can change your groundsheet using the following steps:
- Make sure that the size of the groundsheet is the same as your tent.
If the size is not the same, then buying the extra groundsheet is useless.
- Choose the spot, making sure there are no rocks of thorns.
It is better to choose a dry area with shelter.
- Spread the groundsheet.
Make it flat and taut as you peg it so that there are no air packets.
It will also prevent water from seeping in.
If the ground is wet, the groundsheet will provide you with a dry area to pitch your tent around.
- With the groundsheet in place, you will know exactly where to pitch the corners of your tent and where the flaps of the tent will be.
All you need to do now, pitch your poles peg your tent without much hassle.