On the beach, around your campsite pitch, or in the garden, when you want a little privacy and shelter with the minimum of fuss, you can’t beat putting up a windbreak. But which one will you buy?

The latest windbreaks for sale in Britain have much more in common with lightweight tents than with the old-style colourful striped windbreaks of the past. They’re now being made by all the big name brands in the world of camping accessories, and some of them are brilliant products to buy.

In fact you can still buy those cheap and colourful windbreaks, for around £15 each, but why would you want to? Instead, for just a few pounds more, you could have strong, lightweight windbreaks with tent pegs, fit-together-poles and guy ropes. The latest and best windbreaks pack down into small carrybags, making them far more convenient for caravan holidays, picnics and barbecues than the bulky old wooden-pole affairs. 

We’ve tested a selection of windbreaks to see how each of them performed. We looked for stability and strength, size and noted the quality of construction and materials. We found ourselves disappointed with any windbreaks that had gaps at the base, because we know how many people buy windbreaks in order to keep pets in a secure space on the campsite.

In this review we’re looking at the 5 Pole Windbreak from Vango, the well known Scottish company with an excellent track record for providing high quality camping gear, tents, awnings, rucksacks, sleeping bags and all manner of outdoor equipment. There are many Vango stockists around Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

For comparison, you can read our Quest Windshield Pro review, the Coleman Windshield XL review, and our verdicts on the Kampa Deluxe, Olpro Picket Fence Windbreak and Gelert Breeze Blocker online. We tested 14 windbreaks in total, and the full results are printed in the July issue of Practical Caravan.  

The Vango 5 Pole Windbreak was very nearly the winner of the test, but Vango’s 5.8m length doesn’t compete well with the Coleman Windshield XL’s 7.5m, especially when the Coleman costs around £15 less. Whereas Coleman opted for plastic poles, this Vango 5 Pole Windbreak relies on tough steel. They don’t absorb the force in the same way, but the tough 4000mm hydrostatic head polyester flysheet in attractive horizontal stripes of ‘Herbal green’, grey and light green, never looks particularly stressed. Vango’s name for the flysheet fabric is ‘ProTex 4,000HH polyester embossed’ and it certainly looks great. 

Thanks to Vango’s Diamond Clear plastic windows, you can enjoy great views, minus the breeze. The window is at eye-level when you’re seated. This windbreak weighs 4.57kg and packs down small into its carrybag, 67cm x 16cm x 14cm for convenience. If you want to, you can clip it to your awning poles for extra stability, or you can buy two of them and clip them together to make a fence or small enclosure around your caravan.