Alpkit Anounces Lightweight Tents For 2015
Alpkit is launching the new lightweight Ordos tent range this spring and it's available for pre-order for March delivery right now in both two and two/three-person versions with a bonus free footprint for early orders.
Time-served Alpkit watchers may remember the brand's first attempt at a prototype lightweight tent back in 2010. Without going into detail, that never quite made it into satisfactory production and instead, the guys produced a range of sturdy mountain tents.
Now though, things have come full circle and the Ordos 2 and Ordos 3 lightweights are set to arrive in 'early March'. The tents are two-pole designs using lightweight Nylon fabrics all round, a waterproof polyurethane-coated nylon bathtub style floor and a proofed fly-sheet.
There is a catch though, the Ordos tents are an existing design previously produced by US lightweight specialist GoLite - now defunct - and known as the Imogene UL2 and UL3. Alpkit has been working on its own unique lightweight tents, but extended lead-in times meant they made the decision to adopt the existing GoLite design for this year allowing them to sell a lightweight tent at a reasonable price.
The poles are high-spec DAC items with neat hub connections and looking at the specification, we'd say it looks like a pretty thoroughly thought-through design with No-See-Um mesh inner tent fabric for excellent ventilation, YKK zips with anti-snag strips, reflective guy points and internal loops for hanging and storage. The tents pitch inner first and need only four pegs to erect, though eight are supplied.
The Grammes On The Pan
Claimed weights are 1499g for the Ordos 3, which sleeps two to three people and just 1235g for the Ordos 2, which Alpit describes as a 'true 2-person tent' as opposed, we're guessing to a sardine can, adventure race special. Check out the specs on the Alpkit website for a weight weenie's dream breakdown of how the weight is distributed across the tent - you can save a whopping 7g by doing without your peg bag for example...
Definitely worth a look for light-packers, bike-packers and occasional mountain marathoners we reckon. Also, at between 500g and 600g per person, a viable-looking and more comfortable alternative to a bivi bag, which is a pretty attractive proposition for the damp, cold UK.
Speaking of which, you should be aware that the hydrostatic head quoted for both the PU-proofed bathtub groundsheet of just 1200mm is relatively low in UK terms - Alpkit's own mountain tents have a 10,000mm HH on the groundsheet - which means the optional footprint which sits under the groundsheet is probably going to be a good call in damp UK conditions.
The other areas we'd be aware of are the largely mesh inner, which could potentially be draughty in windy conditions and what looks like a relatively modestly-proportioned vestibule, though that's something common to many lightweight designs.
The Ordos 2 is £175 and the Ordos 3, £225 and both can be pre-ordered from the Alpkit site right now. And like we said, if you pre-order now, you'll also get a free reinforced footprint worth £30.
There's extensive information on the new tents at www.alpkit.com - Ordos 2 / Ordos 3. Going forward, Alpkit has more shelters, bivi bags and tents coming out with a UK-friendly emphasis. Watch this space.