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There are some brands that just stick out as being premium among active outdoor enthusiasts. Some of these will be very niche that serve a small but passionate group of obsessed followers while other brands might aim for the type of incredible quality demanded for one type of outdoor adventure but which makes it versatile enough for many others.
We are firm believers that ALPS mountaineering tents fall into this second group of truly special outdoor gear.
We have dozens of different articles on tents, and for good reason. A tent is not just a tent, and there really is a difference between good tents and great ones, and while the word “premium” is just a synonym for expensive in many places, in this case it is all about quality.
The ALPS tents aren’t just known for true mountaineering adventurers, but the level of quality it takes to make tents for those conditions means these camping tents are going to be outstanding for a wide variety of camping outings.
We’ll take a look at many of the styles of tents under the ALPS brand and try to bring you a full detailed description of what each brings to the table, what the pros are, what they are designed for, and a detailed review so you can figure out which ones are best for you!
Top ALPS Mountaineering Tent Styles
- ALPS Lynx Tents
- ALPS Taurus Tents
- ALPS Zephyr Tents
- ALPS Meramac Tents
- ALPS Extreme Tents
- ALPS Aries Tents
- ALPS Tasmanian Tents
- ALPS Mystique Tents
- ALPS Chaos Tents
For many of us, the first style of ALPS Mountaineering tents that we were introduced to are the Lynx tents. There are many reasons for this. The Lynx style is one of the most popular of all the ALPS options, and they come in multiple sizes meaning you’re in good shape whether you’re looking for a 1, 2, or 4 person style of tent.
If you aren’t sure which style to go with when looking at the various ALPS Mountaineering tents, then it’s not a bad idea to go with one of the Lynx options to start.
These are all very high quality and give you an idea of what to expect before looking at another model that is more specialized to your needs, or you may find like tens of thousands of others that a good Lynx tent really is all you need!
Here is a bigger breakdown on each one of these particular models:
One-Person Lynx Tents
Pictured above, the one-person version of the ALPS Mountaineering tents are a favorite among many campers who want a sturdy and reliable one-person tent for themselves whether traveling solo or with a small group. This is a very easy to set up tent that has a two pole free standing design that is pretty much idiot-proof when it comes to setup.
While durability is often a concern when you hear about fast setup or freestanding design, that is not the case with the ALPS 1 man Lynx. The aluminum poles are sturdy, the high quality associated with the ALPS Mountaineering brand is on full display here, and if you find yourself hunkered down in the middle of rain and heavy wind, you’ll be surprised just how well the small tent holds up.
If you’re worried about storage space there is an added vestibule that gives you space to store your gear, and while this tent might not be ultralight hiking level of weight, the total weight is still a mere 4.25 lbs, making it a very lightweight option for the rest of us.
Made from durable high quality polyester, designed with large mesh areas to increase ventilation yet seal up easily with the rain fly, and the seams and rain fly are coated with heavy duty water proofing to keep you comfortable even when the weather isn’t!
A fantastic starter tent and a truly great value.
- Exceptional quality – great value for the price
- Extremely solid construction – holds up against tough weather
- Easy to assemble & disassemble
- Small tent – for larger hikers/campers might be a bit cramped
- A bit heavy for ultralight trekkers looking to trim every ounce, although still light enough for most heavy duty backpackers
Two-Person Lynx Tents
Featuring the same solid but easy to set up free-standing design that many of the most popular models of ALPS tents are known for, the two person model of the Lynx tents are built with the same mesh ventilation systems that allow for optimal air flow while the dual aluminum pole design gives a solid stability while remaining easy to set up quickly.
The heavy duty polyester used in the tent and the included rain fly not only keeps you dry but also helps resist UV damage. This tent has two vestibules, providing the extra storage space that is needed when there are two backpackers looking for that perfect off the trail site in the wild.
This is a lightweight tent that is very affordable and while it won’t compete with companies who create truly premium 2 person tents, this tent will be almost as high a value for 1/2 or even 1/3 or the price depending on what you’re comparing it to.
This is an excellent starter tent that delivers a lot of value for the money and includes strong well-designed zippers, an array of storage pockets, a gear loft, guy ropes, and a gear loft. There are even doors on both sides, a useful but unusual design decision for a smaller tent and one that pairs of campers often rave glowingly about.
Featuring a heavy duty polyester Taffeta floor with waterproof coating, the factory sealed seams offer a high level of weather protection and help you take heart knowing you have a solid buffer between you and the wind or weather.
Easy to set up and assemble, good for a variety of weather conditions, there is a lot to really like about this incredibly well built 2-man tent, complete with the classic warranty campers know to expect from the ALPS Mountaineering brands.
- High quality for a very reasonable price
- Two door design maximizes convenience
- Not the best style if you’re dealing with cold weather, even with the fly over top
Four-Person Lynx Tents
This is the largest of the Lynx line of tents from ALPS Mountaineering, and manages to create a larger space for campers with a 7’6″ by 8’6″ general size that is free standing via the classic two pole design the Lynx style is known for. The aluminum poles are solid and the simplicity of it makes setup easy.
Weighing 8 lbs, 10 oz, this is heavy if you’re going ultralight but a solid little tent package for more conventional packers or for day hikers who don’t mind the extra weight to make sure they have a really solid option when pitching up for the night.
This design has all the benefits you expect from the 1 and 2 man models, but with a little bit more room and space to boot. The same high quality polyester, solid rain fly, and two vestibules allow for plenty of additional storage space for your equipment.
There’s a reason that this design is one of the best-selling models that ALPS offers. This is well built right here in the United States, held to a very high quality control standard, the Lynx 4 man tent is an outstanding option for the money and as long as you’re not dedicated to a very narrow specialty niche like ultralight long-distance thru hiking, this is going to be an outstanding option for you or a loved one who loves the outdoors.
- Largest of the ALPS Lynx brand
- Two vestibules means plenty of storage space for the gear
- Exceptional value for the price
- Some would argue this is more of a 3 man tent
ALPS Taurus tents are a very interesting sub-brand in part because of the sheer amount of versatility that these tents offer. This doesn’t just refer to one type of tent, but ALPS Mountaineering produces Taurus tents for 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 people as well as models that are specifically aimed at backpackers, outfitters, or your conventional high quality inexpensive camp & comfort tents.
In other words, they have a model for about everyone, and one Taurus tent can be radically different in design and ideal function as opposed to another one, even before looking at size differences from 2 to 6 people.
This is why the ALPS Taurus tents are so popular among a wide array of different outdoor enthusiasts. From individuals to small families – there are a variety of tent sizes and builds that deliver different looks for different size groups and circumstances. A prime example can come from the picture to the side there.
This is a classic ALPS Mountaineering Taurus tent design, however there is also an instant cabin tent design under the Taurus style of tents that is going to look completely different and be setup for much more conventional weekend camping.
Generally speaking the 2 and 4 man options are the most popular ALPS Taurus tents that are currently produced and those are the ones that we are going to focus on.
As you would expect from any tent made by ALPS Mountaineering, these are easy to assemble and last the test of time. They’re strong, well made, and are great for a variety of camping situations.
Just some common features include:
- High quality fiberglass poles
- Polyester tent fly to protect from the sun’s UV rays and water
- Zippered windows & great ventilation
- Easy to assemble design
- Dual door design
There’s a lot to love about these tents, and there’s a reason they are so popular with outdoorsman of all backgrounds.
The Zephyr tents come in three models, appropriately named the 1, 2, and 3 based on the number of maximum occupants each one is designed for. Another one of the more popular brands of tents that is produced by ALPS Mountaineering these are free-standing tents that use the classic aluminum 2 pole design. There are two vestibules available for storage space and plenty of potential ventilation thanks to the two mesh doors as well as some mesh walls.
This model comes with a high quality polyester rain fly that can cover the mesh for solid waterproofing and shelter from the wind when need be. While the two pole system allows for easy set up, there are also aluminum stakes for additional support.
This gives the best of all worlds: plenty of air when it’s warm, perfect protection from rain and wind when it’s cold, easy setup and extra support. The vestibules come in really handy when you’re fully geared up on a climb or backpacking expedition.
The dual door system means easy access in or out of the tent from either side which is definitely convenient and will help cut down on having to scramble over one another. Add in the Poly Taffeta floor and there’s a lot to love about what the Zephyr brings to the table.
Available in from 2 to 6 people in size, although the 2-person, 4-person, and 6-person sizes are the most common, the Meramac is another fantastic style of tent from ALPS Mountaineering that has turned plenty of heads. One of the best sellers produced by ALPS, these tents are made from a high quality polyester and is a well ventilated tent that comes with a weather proof fly polyester fly and solid flexible fiberglass tent poles.
This outstanding design comes in at a very reasonable total weight, which will vary a bit not only when adding stakes, fly, tent, and fly, but also depending on the size of the tent. The 2-person tent is approximately 7 lbs, 9 0z while the full gear for the 6 person setup is 16 lbs 1 oz.
The ventilation allows for solid use in the summer even at lower elevations during warmer seasons, while the solid design with the fly means this can also be a great choice when it cools down. The dual door setup makes it a lot easier to get in and out of the tent without causing additional issues.
The standing two pole design is solid while remaining very easy to setup. The fly included with the tent is full length as opposed to the conventional three quarters length many other tents use. This means more coverage and more control. The large number of side pockets shows an understanding of the modern need for plenty of storage space while out camping.
As expected with any ALPS Mountaineering tents, the design here is outstanding and the use of truly high quality materials is a combination that makes it really work, and makes it easy to see why this is one of their best selling models!
There are many brands that have an “Extreme” line and usually you take that opinion for the two cents it is worth. However when an incredibly reliable brand of ALPS Mountaineering brand uses the word, you stop and take notice.
In this case the Extreme model of ALPS Mountaineering tents certainly does not disappoint! Designed to be a free standing set-up with three well-balanced and intersecting poles, this tent has a sturdy central design that can encourage ventilation in warm weather while a tightly secured rain fly keeps in heat and keeps out water when the weather turns.
The polyester used is extremely high quality and a two door system is just plain smart. Add in the fact that the full set up allows for two vestibules to give more room for gear storage and it’s easy to see why the Extreme brand is so popular.
The tent is relatively lightweight at 6 lbs and 8 oz and is designed to be compact, space efficient, and provide a quality shelter once set up and an easy to carry around part of your pack when it’s not. Currently the Extreme styles of tents come in 2 and 3 person styles.
Unless you are really focusing on keeping every degree of body heat in the tent during cold weather camping, we do recommend the 3-person tent over 2-person even when hiking with two people. Tents are traditionally a bit generous & optimistic when it comes to deciding how many people can realistically and comfortably fit into one of these tents.
We don’t need to play human Jenga here.
I know what you’re thinking – no Sagittarius tents? I’m shocked – shocked! Okay, not really. But tossing the stars aside when it comes to tents the Aries is a very popular series of tents from the ALPS Mountaineering brand.
These outstanding tents are made from a high quality polyester and use a lot of mesh for major air movement and ability to look at the stars during warm summer nights, and a perfect waterproof fly that buckles on snugly in order to offer full insulation and protection from the rain or cold when the weather turns.
This design means setup is both easy and fast, while maximizing the amount of interior space that is available, giving more than your conventional dome tent design. For those of you with a lot of gear, this is definitely a great feature.
There are two vestibules that can be drawn out for gear space or weather protection, and the flexible poles are made fro ma high grade aluminum that makes them light yet incredibly sturdy.
The picture of the tent without the rain fly shows the design clearly and you can get a look at how the walls are as vertical as possible in the design, but that opens up a tremendous amount of interior room.
This is yet another truly outstanding tent option from ALPS Mountaineering, these tents come in both 2-man sizes as well as 3-man sizes and provide an outstanding option that tend to be on the pricey said compared to the average two or three man tent out there, but no average tent compares with the quality that this tent brings to the table.
The ALPS Tasmanian Tents are a popular option for those campers, mountaineers, and winter campers who are a bit tall and can use those extra inches of space in the middle of the tent to create more square footage in an otherwise cramped space.
This extra bit of space is great for resting and keeping gear in the tent while also maintaining the high quality of insulation you need and expect during those cold winter months. The aluminum poles are made from high quality 7000 aluminum and exceptional 185T polyester for the rain and weather fly that gets strapped over top.
There is 21 square feet of space inside of the Tasmanian tent (small but fierce, thus well named) includes over five feet of middle height to allow easier movement even within a small tent area.
Very lightweight at just a touch over 7 lbs, this is a very lightweight tent that brings the high quality you expect from a premium build. There’s a reason that ALPS Mountaineering is a premium brand and there’s a lot about this design to like especially for those of us who still want our bit of personal space when out and about in the wild.
This is an exceptional model of tent and one that holds up in both the 2-man and 3-man sizes.
The Mystique style of tent from ALPS Mountaineering is an outstanding lightweight tent that doesn’t skimp on the quality. Featuring thin but strong & flexible high quality aluminum poles and polyester taffeta fabric, this is an excellent tent that comes in three sizes: 1.0, 1.5, & 2.0. The 1.0 model weighs a mere 3 lbs, 4 oz, while even the largest 2-person model comes in at 4 lbs, 11 oz. This includes tent, poles, aluminum tent stakes, and rain fly.
The tent can be set up for heavy ventilation for maximum comfort or the rain fly can be tightly pulled over the top to create a water, snow, and wind resistant shell. Add in the cover from harsh UV rays and you have a tent that is not only incredibly easy to set up but also provides a versatile amount of protection that every outdoor adventurer can appreciate.
The rain proof fly can also be used to create a vestibule for extra storage or appropriate weather protection based on the situation.
These are tents that are designed to be incredibly high quality while being light enough to work for even the weight conscious ultralight thru hikers and backpackers. These were even designed with long distance cyclists and motorcycle camping in mind.
These tents feature 32 square feet of area and 18 square feet of vestibule space flanked by dual doors on both sides. These are truly outstanding examples of what ALPS Mountaineering brings to the table. A limited lifetime warranty shows this is a company willing to fully back their products.
Moving away from the common two door designs the ALPS Mountaineering Chaos Tents are one-door heavily meshed options that can provide plenty of ventilation during the summer heatwaves or have the rain fly tossed on to create a warm and secure little capsule from the cold weather outside. Available in 1-man, 2-man, and 3-man sizes, these are excellent tents who nearly vertical walls and aluminum free-standing pole system create something truly unique and special.
The Chaos line of tents are actually quite the opposite of their name: they are designed to make setup and take down as quick, easy, and convenient as possible. This means it’s easy to make camp whether you have plenty of time to set up or find yourself needing to set up by lamp light.
The star gazing possible from this tent is top of the line because of the heavy mesh walls and roofing while the polyester tent fly is good for deflecting rain, snow, and even the sun’s UV rays. The zippers are extremely high quality, something you’ll notice right off the bat if you’ve ever had zipper issues with a cheap tent.
The tent is lightweight, durable, provides plenty of interior space, and is very easy to set up. This is a ton of quality in a small package. Like many tents, it’s generally good to assume that the tents are a bit small if you try to fit in the maximum number of people, especially if some of them are large, tall, or muscular as opposed to just plain average size.
These are a great option for campers, backpackers, and anyone looking for a truly reliable tent for those special adventurous camping trips.
Why Are ALPS Mountaineering Tents So Good?
The simple answer to this is because they focus on being that much better than most of the competition. While that can come off as a bit of a glib response despite being true, a more detailed answer that goes further into the same ideas. This started out not as a branch of tents for a giant company looking to mass produce, but from a small family business focusing on incredible quality from quality of design to materials used to construction.
In addition to this, I’m all about the tents that are built by companies that aren’t mass producing a thousand items, but by local companies who really know their stuff and focus on that specific niche.
ALPS Mountaineering fits this description in spades. Located in Missouri, everything here is made to the highest standards and focuses on creating exceptional gear that you can be proud of.
American made and manufactured, these are high quality tents that are designed to hold up to extreme challenges. If a tent can take on the conditions of an actual mountaineering adventure, it is going to be more than good enough for your normal weekend campout!
In other words, there’s a whole lot to love about what these tents bring to the table and there’s little question that this company knows how to do it right.
ALPS Tents FAQ
Q: Is it true ALPS tents are from a small business?
A: I suppose at this point it depends on your definition of small business, but yes, the story of ALPS Mountaineering tents starts as a very small family run operation that has continued to grow but remains based out Missouri, remains in the family, and remains incredibly focused on quality. When you’re buying an ALPS tent you are supporting a business that has started as a small family business and continues to give back to the community its based in.
Q: When was ALPS Mountaineering founded?
A: They were founded in 1993 as a small business created by outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to create a truly next level series of tents, a mission that they are succeeding wildly at based on the average ratings these tents enjoy online from happy customers.
Q: Why are ALPS Mountaineering tents a bit more expensive than many similar tents?
A: First of all, the difference actually isn’t all that bad in many cases, at least if you’re looking at reliable premium level tents. Second, you get what you pay for. You can’t use premium materials, excellent design, and top of the line reinforced construction for $10 or $20. Quality costs a bit more and for what you get, ALPS tents consistently really do offer a remarkable amount.
Q: Do they make more than tents?
A: Yes, ALPS Mountaineering makes many types of outdoor gear, and may continue to expand into even more in the future. Blankets and flashlights are notable non-tent offerings, though there’s no denying that the wide range of tent options are what this company is most known for.
Q: Is there a company guide that would help me learn more about ALPS tents directly from the company?
A: Yes, actually. If you really love diving into the details like I do (hey there is such a thing as outdoorsy-nerdy) you’ll love the ALPS Mountaineering product guide which you can find HERE as a nearly 100 page PDF.
Q: Are these the best tents made in America?
A: Best is always a subjective term, but when matched up against other similar tent types it is really hard to find any company that consistently does better than ALPS Mountaineering. They are one of the premium brands of tents for a reason and they have earned their reputation.
Q: Are these tents actually made for mountaineering?
A: These are generally extremely heavy duty tents that are designed to hold up to extreme cold and poor winter weather. Obviously the smaller the tent the better they are for keeping an individual warm as larger tents are harder to keep warm with just body heat. These are some of the best tents you can have for those extreme in the mountain conditions and they should be part of any consideration for any winter camping purchase.
Q: Are ALPS Mountaineering tents premium tents?
A: We would absolutely say so. You can always argue what the meaning of premium is but there’s no question certain tents just really stick out a step above the competition and to us any of these tents meet that qualification. Yes, you pay more, but you get a lot more for what you put out there.
Some Final Thoughts
There’s a reason some brands just stand up against others, and ALPS Mountaineering consistently means high quality, incredible construction, and just outstanding value for the money even at higher prices. While these are engineered with truly serious mountaineering expeditions in mind, the versatility, durability, and reliability of the many different tents ALPS puts out means it can be used at any time, any campsite, throughout the year.
So let’s be clear: even when we have a “con” with any particular model or sub-brand, we are absolutely nit-picking. There’s a reason that ALPS is up there with us with CORE and other really elite names in tents. They’re simply consistently some of the best and highest quality options out on the market.
Any of these will make for a truly great investment long-term for the outdoor adventurer. We’re also huge fans of their active and friendly Facebook page in addition to their awesome support of Scouts.
Check out the ALPS Mountaineering Facebook page if you’re on social media!
Great Alps Mountaineering Mystique Video Review
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