/ Alpkit Tents

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Ben Watts - on 23 Aug 2013
Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of the fairly newish alpkit tents? I'm looking for a two person tent for all seasons and was originally drawn to either a Terra Nova Quasar or the Mountain Hardware Trango 2.

I've been increasingly looking at the Alpkit Kangri as an alternative as spec and sizing wise it seems very similar but is less than half the price.

https://www.alpkit.com/tents

Any opinions - both good and bad will be appreciated.

Many thanks,

Ben
sleavesley on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts: why not hire one from them and if you like it buy it, they knock the hire price off the new tent. If you dont then at least you know.
Antigua - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:

Spent a long weekend in one last year and from what I can remember its half the price because its half the spec.
Ben Watts - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Antigua:

Thanks for the heads up about being able to hire one sleavesley.

Antigua, are you able to elaborate please? Thanks
Antigua - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:

I'm not an expert on the tent and only spent a long weekend with it but was interested when I realised that I'd be sharing a Kangri tent.

First observation was that it seemed quite weighty for what it was but the biggest issue I had was there was no ventilation between the inner and outer. It was without a shadow of a doubt the biggest condensation trap I've ever slept in. I was woken one morning by drips of water falling on my face (have pictures somewhere) I'm not sure now old it was but the poles looked more curved that I would have expected and getting some of the pole sections to connect to each other needed a bit of (careful) twisting and pushing to get them locked in.

On the plus side it looked well made. I'd definitely go for the hire option as the tent will have been well used.
thomaspomfrett on 23 Aug 2013
I've had my Kangri since April 2012 and have spent a lot of time in it. So far, no problems at all and I really love it. I've never spent time in a quasar so can't accurately compare but I was camped next to a couple in Chamonix this year and struggled to see 200 difference between the two.
AndrewHuddart - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:

I had a week in a Heksa recently and, other than the door zips being tight, it was awesome and far less pricey than anything else that big and that strong.
SidharthaDongre - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:

The Kangri is pretty great IMHO. Just got back from a wet week in the Lakes. If you vent the tent properly, (inner and outer zipper configurations will allow this), you will not get condensation problems! The tent stood up extremely well in a windy, 12+ hour rain onslaught in Seatoller, no water ingress into the inner, or vestibules at all, and it was really raining, enough so that people in bad pitches were vacated by the management for fear of being washed away! There was slight flapping of the flysheet on an exposed wild camp however, the ground was considerably uneven and there were no elevated features to guy off.

I have had problems with the poles, twice. It appears that we received one pole with a whole additional section which bent unreasonably over time. This initial pole was replaced free of charge, only for me to notice that it was a section longer when the replacement pole bent. This is not a problem with the tent itself, and Alpkit have taken the whole tent in for a full service, clean etc...

All in all, I've been extremely satisfied with my Kangri, and Alpkit have gone beyond their responsibilities with any problems I've had.
sleavesley on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts: the macpac Olympus is reduced to 350 at the outdoor shop online - five season tent and slightly lighter
Antigua - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to sleavesley:

speaking as a general consumer thats the other point its important to compare the actual price offered rather than the RRP.

Was surprised to note that Snow & Rock are offering 20% off all purchases with a BMC card.
Alex Ekins - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:
I used the larger Alpkit Zhota in the USA for two months, I thought it was very well made. I have written about it here - http://alexekins.co.uk/alpkit-zhota/

I think the comment saying 'half the price because its half the spec' is unfair.
Ben Watts - on 24 Aug 2013
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Thank you for all your replies

Alex, I particulaly enjoyed your blog.
claverhouse - on 25 Aug 2013
In reply to Antigua: The Kangri is essentially the same design as the Terra Nova Quasar ( I'm too polite to say " a copy of" ! ) and therefore has to be judged against that tent. The Kangri is in fact a fair bit lighter than the Quasar and at 300 is an absolute bargain - mine even more so as I got it in Alpkit's sale last year for 200. I have found it to be a rock solid tent with all the features of its more expensive cousin.
Alex Ekins - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts:
Thanks Ben!
dutybooty - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts: One thing with these I can't get my brain around, is if its raining/snowing when you put it up, then the inner gets soaked, these no way to avoid this?
AndrewHuddart - on 27 Aug 2013
In reply to dutybooty:

The inner is usually exposed for <2minutes, it's treated with water resistant stuff and once you get into it, it warms up and dries off.

I've had years of camping in 'inner-first' tents and have never had a problem putting them up in the rain.
SidharthaDongre - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to dutybooty:

Yeah, the inner is water resistant so doesn't wet out, and is very breathable, so once you're in, if wet, any beaded water evaporates pretty quickly.
galpinos - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to dutybooty:
> (In reply to Ben Watts) One thing with these I can't get my brain around, is if its raining/snowing when you put it up, then the inner gets soaked, these no way to avoid this?

As the previous two posters have said, it's not an issue. Having had a pitch inner first tents for the last ten years, pitching it in the rain on a regular basis (this is the UK after all), it's never been a problem.
ben b - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to sleavesley: The Olympus (new one) has a minor issue with the front vestibule peg points - could do with an additional one to stop the door flapping when unzipped. The rear vestibule is too small to be of much use, and the three pole design means somewhat less stable than a geodesic when in cross winds (or heavy snow I guess although I haven't had it out in those conditions yet).

The poles can only be put in from one side of the tent - I could see this could be an issue on really cramped pitches although it hasn't been for me so far.

Otherwise a good solid 4 season tent without being too heavy to readily carry.

b
Alpnick - on 28 Aug 2013

In reply to everyone

If there is anymore feedback on why anyone might feel it's half the tent for half the spec. We really need to hear it. The tents will see a revamp at some point so all feedback, especially bad will help make them even better next time

The Wintergear Sapphire was a great tent and the first of these 4 pole geodesic designs but it's inspiration (as far as i have read) came from the earlier geodesic designs being used in the states. I cant think of many new tents that haven't been inspired something else. So although it similar to the Quasar we didn't set out to copy the design, we just had the basic 4 poles as a starting point and then designed our tent round this basic geometry.
What we did do is go through am exhaustive process of refining the design. Porches, storage, construction, materials.

I'm very happy with our tents, but like a lot of the gear we use it's and emotive and personal thing. We can't please everyone, but we do listen. I'm reading this forum and thinking we have done a pretty good job. Some issues to improve, but there are well priced and well built. The only thing we have been caught out by is the level of discounting with tents and assume that like waterproofs that no body pays full price for them. This does have implications, mostly not to order so many of them so you have to discount them at the end of the year.

The hire scheme works really well, probably about of half of people hiring ending up buying, but we had a lot of people go for a Heksa in Winter. When you split it up between four (cost and weight) then it's much, much nicer then two little tents.


Cheers

Nick

galpinos - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Alpnick:

I'd love to see an Alpkit version of the BD Megamid/light.........
SidharthaDongre - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Alpnick:

Hey Nick, maybe a couple of minor/irrelevant things:

As the door zips can get pretty far away when closed, instead of having two sets of zips, perhaps you could have openable portholes in the vestibules, (hook & loop?), and maybe use some midge-net to back it, so as to aid venting? Also, maybe a couple of dividers in one/some of the internal pockets, so as to be able to fit bottles of beer in without them sliding down when someone moves!
Alpnick - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to SidharthaDongre:

Beer bottles in sidepockets will mean that the mesh gets strained, I always put beer bottles in a shoe, usually in a porch so I can't spill it inside the tent.

The door zips have lots on configuration, I almost always use the zip doors so that there is a gap at the top and I zip this down and step out of the tent. This is the best way to avoid condensation and be able to zip the door shut when inside the tent. In almost all weathers I very rarely seal everything up. Even on tarps you get condensation so vents are not the whole solution.

Cheers

Nick




SidharthaDongre - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Alpnick:

I agree that there are plenty of zip configurations, and the one you mention works well, as long as you zip down the innermost mesh zip also, and is the one I tend to use also, though this doesn't work so well when you have an expedition size pack in the vestibule, as it means you end up standing on the lower part of the door when trying to exit. It wasn't really an issue with condensation I was trying to address, it was more a way to reconcile the need to vent whilst keeping the door zipped closed, (which gives rise to the two-way zip), and the desire to not stand on the lower door, as this naturally will lead to damage. These things however, aren't a problem with a smaller pack in the vestibule.
dutybooty - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Watts: Well, 3 people have told me inner first is fine.

So I've bought it. At that price for a mountain tent, its worth a punt is it not?
SidharthaDongre - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to dutybooty:

I think it's probably one of the best tents at that price.
TMM - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Alpnick:

Hi Nick,

What happened to the Delta? It looks like an interesting combination of Phreeranger meets Phreebooter.

Will you be bringing the modified tent into range in the foreseeable future? There seem to be many people looking for an updated Phreeranger out there without the expense of an Akto.
Alpnick - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to TMM:

To be honest, we where all caught by the Delta, we bought a lot of them. They weren't quite right so we did the only thing we know and just told people what we thought was wrong with them and why we couldn't charge full price. I thought it might take 3 to 4 years to clear, based on last summers sales, and this year the stuff has flown out and we sold way more than we have forecast.

I'd hope to revisit the lightweight tent arena, but it's not a priority at the moment.

Cheers

Nick

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