The Vango Galli Air CC Low is a great piece of kit and over the period of a hot weekend this summer it proved its worth.
With permission, we erected it in front of the campsite office, and it impressed a number of passers-by! Before the more detailed stuff it is relevant to highlight three noteworthy features that from the off simply stood out.
Firstly, the speed at which the thing can be erected. The pump provided ensures that the three air poles can get to the correct PSI in under a minute and, once these are up, two people can get the structure pegged and settled in under ten minutes. The pegs are of decent quality and come in their own bag.
Secondly, we found that the engineering and quality is incredibly good indeed. The awning is tent-like and waterproof. We decided to do ‘more- than -a -splash -test’ by running a full-strength hose on the roof; where run off was exceptional. When we sprayed the awning from the sides there were no leaks or pools of water insight, even with the air vents open. The air poles are robust and sturdy providing an extraordinarily strong frame for the rest of the structure. The connections to the pump are also high-quality and come with well manufactured closure valves with thoughtfully designed little canopies to protect them and give a tidy, modern look.
Thirdly, we immediately loved the usability – in warmer weather this can certainly be used as a base to sleep and always as a very generous overflow for the camper van. We used it standalone, but for the purpose of this review we briefly attached it to the side of a friend’s VW T5 camper; the built in rail was easy to attach and the tunnel adjustment strap is a good feature ensuring a tight fit. It was easy to fit even in the dark! There is the option to attach it to the front or the back of the vehicle. It was noted by our visitor that the awning more than doubles the space of their van which in our eyes, coupled with the speed of putting it up, makes it a must have if you are staying on site, even for a couple of nights.
The Porch (or as Vango call it ‘Pre attached front canopy’) provides space without the built in groundsheet in the rest of the awning. This is especially useful for wet gear, boots and such-like, that you will not want inside the awning or indeed your camper van. This area has large, noticeably clear windows letting in plenty of light. If the internal entrance area is open, it complements the large windows inside, indeed, the amount of light means you get a bit of a gazebo feel! You can cover up the windows effectively, meaning full privacy whenever you need it. The toggles on the curtains mean this is quick and easy to do.
Another clever trick that Vango use is that their air-beams are angled rather than round. This design means significantly more roof space; indeed, we think it would be a great weather-proof festival-meeting space and a superb, if more expensive, alternative to the traditional event shelters and gazebos which are often taken to the family-friendly festival camp sites up and down the UK. When discussing this idea, we did wonder if there would be enough air for the awning not to feel too hot when sealed, however – Vango says its air zone ventilation system ensures this would is not the be case. We used the awning on extremely hot and airless days with minimal people. We also thought it would be best to lay rugs when using camping chairs inside – but that’s our choice.
The tension bands inside work well and certainly improve the overall stability and tightness of the structure. In our opinion, as seasoned campers and festival goers, we said that there is no doubt by adjusting these in windy weather that the awning would withstand some quite challenging conditions! There is no elasticity involved, simply good old fashioned and strong straps to tighten.
The connecting tunnel to the camper was easily rolled away so if you do need to leave the awning on site and there is no large flapping material to be clipped down, which we have seen on cheaper alternatives.
Putting the Galli Air away is as easy as putting it up in the first place! This is down to the oversize bag and the fact two people can roll it away in under ten minutes. We reckon more quickly than that with more practice. It’s not too heavy either and eminently stowable in your camper, car or at home.
We started our review with the highlights. Our conclusion is that the Vango Galli Air CC low does not disappoint. Our future festival and camping forays will put the awning to the long-term test through short bursts of intensive use. It feels like it will more than cope with that. Roll on next season!
- It fits in with our experience of other Vango products over the years by being well-designed and thought through.
- It has very clever features ensuring elevated levels of usability.
- It feels sturdy and durable.