Review: VITABRI TentsBy Scott Mares | Published Apr 6, 2014
We live and race in Portland OR and in the cyclocross scene it is almost mandatory that you have a tent. Why? Because it rains here all of the time. Its called liquid sunshine. My first couple of season racing here I was quite jealous of the people that had team tents and what they got out of them. I went on to buy some EZ up tents and they kind of worked but they were really not made for the rigors of the cyclocross season and all of the weather that this sport throws at us. I contacted Vitabri to do our team tents and I am glad that I spent the money. I chose this company for a couple of reasons. The frame is not like I have seen anywhere else. When you are shopping for a tent the girth and size of the frame matters. They also used a high grade aluminum so it was lighter than most tents that you will get. Most of the others manufacturers use a cheap steel that will rust, is heavy and will break. Not only is the frame big its not square, its Hexagonal. It has 6 sides vs. just 4.
The printing on the tent that Vitabri did is really, really good. I have the only tent that has a carbon fiber print on it. The other tents that I have seen are usually one color with a one color logo printed on them. Why get a t shirt in a tent? That is why I went full color and I'm glad that I did. My tents stand out and you know who we are. So Vitabri can do just about anything on their digital printers. Why get a team tent and then look like all the other tents at the race? Go Pro with it.
Another thing that we liked was the construction of the tent. All of the tent manufacturers will use some type of water proof fabric. But its the little things that make all of the difference in the tent. Vitabri constructions use half nylon taps at the tops of the corners of the tent for tie down straps, No more tying your tent down from the inside on the supports struts making the tent weak.
Our walls went up so fast it was not even funny.. How? Well Vitabri uses large Velcro to attach them at the top. Oh wait it gets better. I got 2 10X10 tents and I got wall with zippers! That's right I can seal it right up. I can zip up the walls together to get a great and seamless connection. This will not only keep the drafts out but will also keep in the heat. The other cool wall that I got was half banner and half clear. So at a race it was raining and cold, I had that clear wall up and I could watch the race and warm up in my nice dry tent. But its not jsut me that has taken notice of the tent. Lots of people have come into and used our tent to warm up in or to just to get out of the rain and made comments on how well they are constructed.
We Didn't Like
These tents do come at a price each one of ours was about $3,000 and that makes it kind of hard to do. But if you run a club or a team then it is well worth it.
The Final Say
Cyclocross is a winter sport that requires lots of gear. Dry clothing, food, water shelter are just a few of the things that you need. Depending on where you live shelter becomes even more important. We have had these tents for a few years and they are super strong and sturdy. But don't take my word for it. Ask anyone in the PDX area. I have a open tent policy... If I have room you are welcome to stay dry in my tents. I tell you if you spend the money you will be happy when mother nature throws her worst at you. Just strap these things down with straps and us the screw stakes that we reviewed earlier and you will be watching the other tents blown away. The graphics were first quality and we have not really had any problems with these tents and everyone that see them comments on how nice they are and where did I get them. Even the man behind the Cross Crusade wanted to know.