ALPS Mountaineering Company and Products Review

ALPS Mountaineering was founded by Dennis Brune in 1993. Brune had previously worked for outdoors company Kelty, but left it to start his own venture. When ALPS was first founded, its intentions were clear: to produce and distribute outdoors gear of high quality, without slapping it with a very high price tag. Now, obviously, ALPS is a business, and businesses are out there to make money. That is a simple fact. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as charging a fair price for gear, and that is where ALPS managed to find its niche and stand out.

For over 20 years, ALPS Mountaineering has been expanding its business, and gathering more loyal customers. It is true that you get what you pay for, but nowhere does it say that high quality items must cost a lot more. The fact of the matter is that if ALPS’s merchandise wasn’t any good, it wouldn’t have survived for over two decades, no matter how much they charged for tents or sleeping bags. Read on to learn more about great Alps products here in our ALPS Mountaineering Company and Products Review!

1ALPS Mountaineering Company Products Overview

Nowadays, the company manufactures lots of items under several labels: ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS OutdoorZ, Browning Camping (part of the Browning Arms Company), and Cedar Ridge (their budget-friendly line). They also have to deal with stiff tent competition from a number of competitors including Big Agnes, Coleman, REI Kingdom, and Ozark Trail.

Let’s take a quick glance at some of the stuff they sell.

  • Tents – Lightweight tents, backpacking tents, camping tents, outfitter tents, and awnings.
    Best seller: Lynx 1-person tent.
  • Pads – Air pads, self-inflating air pads, and foam mats (similar to Thermarest).
    Best seller: Lightweight Series self-inflating air pad.
  • Furniture – Chairs, tables, stools, stadium seats, and cots.
    Best seller: King Kong chair.
  • Bags – Mummy bags, lightweight mummy bags, lightweight bags, camping bags, outfitter sleeping bags, sleeping bag liners, stuff sacks, and pillows.
    Best seller: Crescent Lake Mummy bag.
  • Packs – Day packs, internal frame packs, external frame packs.
    Best seller: Outdoor Commander Freighter bag.

Clothing (including rain wear), lighting solutions, trek poles, and air beds are also sold by the company. The following is a more in-depth review of several tents which ALPS offers. It includes their best-selling Lynx 1 tent.

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent Review

1This is a freestanding, single-person tent, designed for a quick and easy setup, and a dry camping experience. Here are some of the Lynx 1 specs:

  • Base size – 7.6 X 2.8 feet.
  • Tent area – 20 square feet.
  • Vestibule area – 10 square feet.
  • Max height – 3 feet.
  • Weight – 4 lbs and 4 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of 7000 series aluminum.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Polyester fly.
  • Polyester taffeta floor.
  • Extra large zippers (door and vestibule).
  • Half mesh walls for ventilation.
  • Mesh storage pockets.
  • 7075 aluminum stakes.

This is one of ALPS’ bestselling products. It is perfect for the solo camper who is looking for some rest and relaxation. Designed to keep you dry in the midst of mild to heavy rain, this tent’s polyester and polyester taffeta fabrics are perfect for those times when you need a single person getaway camp. It won’t take a ton of abuse – it is not a storm-resistant tent – but it can take a fair amount of it. ALPS certainly thought this one out, not unlike other ALPS products, and you can tell from the material and build of it that it is made to last.
Assembly and disassembly is easy. For the price you are paying, it is a quality tent. It performs wonderfully, but is not built for winter. MSRP: $119.99.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Tent Review

1This is a freestanding, three-season, 2-person tent. As usual, this 2-person tent is enough for one person, plus some gear. You could squeeze two people into there, sure, but it would be a tight fit. The tent comes packed in two separate pouches. One contains the tent and fly, while the other holds the stakes and poles. Here are some specs on the Zephyr 2:

  • Base size – 4.10 X 7.4 feet.
  • Tent area – 31 square feet.
  • Vestibule area – 17 square feet.
  • Max height – 3.2 feet.
  • Weight – 5 lbs and 4 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of 7000-series aluminum.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Polyester fly.
  • Polyester taffeta coated floor.
  • Extra large zippers (door and vestibule).
  • Mesh walls for ventilation.
  • Aluminum stakes.

Setting up the tent is easy enough, with the pole clip system. And let’s face it – after a long day outside, all you want to do is get into that tent, crawl into your sleeping bag, and get some sweet rest as the sounds of nature help you drift off to sleep. With that in mind, ALPS have created the pole clip system which lets you set up this tent with ease.

This is not a tent for cold, cold nights. When they say 3-season, they mean it. This is a great tent for hotter evenings, when you want to be sheltered and well-ventilated. The mesh walls provide all of the airflow you need, and it is a fun tent for one person. Less fun for two, since it can feel a little cramped. But, I suppose if you are literally going in there to sleep (rather than hang out, read a book, and store gear), it can sleep two pretty comfortably, depending on how rowdy they get in their sleep! Again – 3-season tent. This tent may not take too kindly to rainstorms and high wind speeds. Use your stakes, and take care out there. MSRP: $219.99.

ALPS Mountaineering Mermac 2 Tent Review

1Another 2-person tent option, this time in the Mermac series, which is a freestanding, 2-pole design. Great for a couple of campers with some gear. The tent has two doors, so you won’t be climbing over each other to get out. It has two windows for better ventilation, and mesh storage pockets for gear. Some specs on the Mermac 2:

  • Base size – 5 X 7.6 feet.
  • Tent area – 38 square feet.
  • Max height – 4 feet.
  • Weight – 6 lbs 2 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of fiberglass with aluminum connectors.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Coated polyester fly.
  • Coated polyester taffeta floor.
  • Extra large zippers.
  • Mesh walls for ventilation.
  • 7000-series aluminum stakes.

Like other ALPS tents, this one also comes with the easy setup pole clip system. It doesn’t get too stuffy, offers plenty of airflow, but the bottom is relatively thin (1500 mm coating), so make sure you have enough support. Comes with a small awning. This is a 2-person tent which fits two people more comfortably than other 2-person tents I have seen, so I have to give it credit for that. Although, just like any 2-person tent, it will probably fit a single camper and mattress much better.

For the price you are paying, which is relatively cheap, you get one heck of a getaway, which – if treated properly – is guaranteed to last a long while. MSRP: $99.99.

ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 2 Tent Review

1This is one of the more expensive 2-person tents in the ALPS lineup, and possibly in the 2-person department altogether. Definitely more expensive when compared with the Mermac series 2-person tent. The question is: is the price worth it? Do I get better value for my money? I have to say that the answer is yes. You can see where your extra money went with this tent. It is solid, durable, reliable, and is made of thicker and more resilient materials. Nevertheless, it may be too expensive, but you happen to find it on sale or something – go for it! Here are some of its specs:

  • Base size – 4.8 X 7.2 feet.
  • Tent area – 33 square feet
  • Vestibule – 29” (depth).
  • Max height – 3.5 feet.
  • Weight – 5 lbs 7 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of 7000-series aluminum.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Coated polyester fly.
  • Coated polyester taffeta floor (3000mm coating).
  • Mesh walls for ventilation.
  • 7075 aluminum stakes.

Two mesh doors, two vestibules, both with extra large zippers. Mesh roof vents, full cover fly with extra guy lines for improved stabilization during bad weather. It is a 3-season tent, so winter is not an option, but when it gets hotter or colder, this tent will be able to handle it. Whether you are a single backpacker or a couple looking to get away from it all, this tent will probably fit your needs. As with other ALPS tents, the pole clip system makes setting this tent up very easy and user-friendly. MSRP: $259.99.

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2 Tent Review

1This 2-person, freestanding, dome-style Lynx tent is very similar to other ALPS 2-person tents. It has more mesh than some other models, actually, but is a straightforward tent. Nothing more or less.

Some specs on the Lynx 2:

  • Base size – 5 X 7.6 feet.
  • Tent area – 37 square feet.
  • Vestibule – 32” (depth).
  • Max height – 3.10 feet.
  • Weight – 5 lbs 4 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of 7000-series aluminum.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Coated polyester fly.
  • Coated polyester taffeta floor (2000mm coating).
  • Mesh walls for ventilation.
  • 6061 aluminum stakes.

Two doors, two windows, two vestibules, half mesh walls. This tent also uses ALPS’ quick set up pole clip system, and has extra large zippers on the doors and vestibules. Fits a single camper very comfortably, or two campers with sleeping bags. MSRP: $159.99.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3 Tent Review

1Another one of ALPS’ bestseller tents, the Zephyr 3 is a freestanding, 2-pole design, meant for 3 people. All mesh walls, aluminum poles, two doors, and two vestibules. Lots of room, security, and ventilation. Meant for 3-season use.

Some of the Zephyr 3’s specs:

  • Base size – 6.2 X 7.5 feet.
  • Tent area – 40 square feet.
  • Vestibule – 28” (depth).
  • Max height – 3.5 feet.
  • Weight – 5 lbs 10 oz.
  • Poles – 2, made of 7000-series aluminum.
  • Pole diameter – 8.5mm.
  • Coated polyester fly.
  • Coated polyester taffeta floor (2000mm coating).
  • 6061 aluminum stakes.

The design is ultra lightweight, and when you backpack, you know that every ounce counts. The ability to store gear becomes even more of a must-have factor, when you are talking about three people sleeping in the tent. You know what they say – three’s a crowd.

Ventilation on this tent is excellent, so in my opinion this makes it much more of a spring/summer tent than autumn. Not that this tent’s fly cannot handle it, it is just my own opinion. It means you need to keep your eyes on the sky, and act quickly should rain start to fall, lest your tent get soaked. The floor’s coating is 2000 millimeter, which should keep you dry and stop water from entering through the bottom. MSRP: $249.99.

Conclusion

ALPS is a great company, and their tents and gear come in a variety of prices. There are many options throughout their entire catalog, and they are not afraid of providing better materials while asking for a higher price. Camping gear is essential, and there are some things that you do not skimp on. The quality of your equipment will determine, in many ways, the success of your trip. Note: If you're interested in equipment like hammocks or water filters or backpacks, we've got that covered as well.

ALPS has been manufacturing and distributing high quality tents and gear for almost 25 years. They know their customers, they know the outdoors, and they are working hard to continue and provide backpackers, car campers, bike campers, and outdoor enthusiasts with everything they need to have the best experience there is.

The company holds a “common sense” policy as far as warranty goes, and is responsible for manufacturing defects and poor workmanship. Regular wear and tear are not covered, but used and damaged products which are under warranty may be. It is on a case-by-case basis, and getting in touch with ALPS is fairly easy. So, to sum up, ALPS is a viable and worthy option for anyone who has been bitten by the outdoor bug. Get out there, have fun, stay safe, and – for the love of Mother Nature – clean up after yourselves, huh?

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