Alpkit Ordos 2 backpacking tent | Tested and reviewed

How does Alpkit's promise of affordable, quality gear stack up against its new offering of the Ordos 2?

from Alpkit
RRP  £219.99
James Forrest camps using the Alpkit Ordos 2

by James Forrest |
Updated on

The Alpkit Ordos 2 is a lightweight backpacking tent for when low weight and an affordable price are a high priority. It weighs in at just 1,521g, thanks to its minimalist design and use of lightweight 15 and 20-denier fabrics, and has a very reasonably RRP of £220.

It's shape is a hybrid tunnel design, with one long ridge pole linked to a large front hoop and smaller rear cross pole via hub connectors. This semi-geodesic, wedge-like shape resists wind effectively, while both the waterproof flysheet and groundsheet have a 3,000mm hydrostatic head rating. The fly has an integrated vent to help with airflow and four guylines for stability. At the head end there is a single door and small porch.

Better still, in true Alpkit fashion, the £220 Ordos 2 compares favourably to similar tents in terms of price point. Admittedly, it’s not ridiculously cheap, but then this is a high-quality shelter and you can expect to pay around twice as much for a tent of comparative calibre from the likes of NEMO, Sea to Summit, or MSR. It’s a little less spacious inside than some, while it tips the scales a little more than the very lightest of lightweight shelters, but for this price these qualms seem positively ludicrous.

James Forrest camps using the Alpkit Ordos 2
Price: £219.99


  • Wonderfully lightweight
  • Great value
  • Small pack size
  • Wind-resistant shape
  • PFC-free


  • Tent footprint sold separately
  • Less headspace than some other tents
  • Only one vestibule

Shape, structure, pitching, and internal liveability

Alpkit Ordos 2

The Ordos 2 is a versatile little shelter and can be pitched in a number of ways, including inner-only on balmy nights or as flysheet-only when paired with the optional footprint, which is sold separately. The standard approach is to pitch inner first by pegging out the corners before attaching the pole structure, which is broadly shaped like a cross with an additional small bar towards the bottom.

The arms of the cross bend into a grand arc and are slotted into two points at the head of the tent, while the bottom is clipped into a slot at the centre of the foot end. The inner tent is clipped to the structure, creating a semi-geodesic wedge shape that’s spacious at the front and tapered towards the foot, ideal for shedding wind. The tip of the cross structure holds the door forward from the head of the tent.

Alpkit Ordos 2 main pole

There’s no bar to lift the walls upwards here, as on the Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Plus, which gives the shelter sloped, wind-shedding walls. A downside to this is that there’s not a great amount of headroom once you deviate from underneath the tent’s central spine, so don’t expect to be able to sit up in the inner alongside a buddy.

The design means you get just the one vestibule, at the head of the tent. This means you won’t be able to store quite as much wet gear in here as in many twin-vestibule tents and you lose the option of one porch for gear and one for cooking.


Alpkit Ordos 2 pitched

How well a backpacking tent can repel wet conditions is a key consideration for those who explore Britain’s often dreich (that’s Scottish for grey, rainy and miserable) uplands. The groundsheet is made from a 20-denier, silicone-coated, ripstop nylon with a polyurethane backer, boasting a hydrostatic head (HH) of 3000mm.

This is fairly decent for a 3-season shelter at this price point, though serious backpackers will value the additional protection of the optional footprint, which Alpkit sells separately (£35). The 15-denier, silicone and PU-coated ripstop nylon flysheet also has a hydrostatic head rating of 3,000mm, which is a solid rating and should repel most forms of precipitation summer and the shoulder seasons can throw at it.


Alpkit Ordos 2 inner 2

The rainfly sits slightly suspended above the ground, which provides plenty of airflow into the tent. However, this kind of coverage can be an issue in challenging conditions, where horizontal rain can breach the outer and make its way into the sanctum of the inner. Nevertheless, these kinds of conditions are relatively rare, or at least mostly avoidable.

Besides, this set-up is excellent for preventing condensation. The inner tent’s upper, rear and door are made from a 20-denier polyester No-See-Um mesh, which increases breathability further. There’s also an additional vent on the rainfly towards the front.

Wind protection

Alpkit Ordos 2 james forrest unzipping the door

When pitched with the foot end into the wind, the streamlined, semi-geodesic shape of the Ordos 2 makes it adept at shrugging off medium strength gusts. Meanwhile, its walls aren’t as near-vertical as some other ultralight backpacking shelters on the market, meaning they don’t catch the wind like a ship’s sails – not a desired quality when camping on a gully-riven mountainside. Where stability in high winds is concerned, the Ordos 2 is a good shout.

Weight, and packed size

Alpkit Ordos 2 drawstring bag

One of the standout features of the Ordos 2 is its low weight. The standard setup comes in at 1,521g, according to our scales. That’s broken down as follows: flysheet including four guylines (464g), inner (450g), hub-connected pole (452g), pole bag (10g), 13 pegs (113g), peg bag (7g) and main over-sized carry bag (25g).

All of this puts the Ordos 2 among some of the more portable two-person tents available, though there are lighter options out there. It also packs down into a 13cm x 42cm unit, which Alpkit points out is “the size of a 2L bottle” for easy transportation. For those wanting shave off a few more grams, there’s the option of purchasing the compatible footprint and combining it with the flysheet, thus doing away with the inner, which brings the total to 1,235g, according to Alpkit.


Alpkit Ordos 2

There are four side mesh storage pockets for guidebooks, power banks, lucky charms, snacks or anything else you’d want to stow above the tent floor. Overhead, there’s a hanging loop for a camping lantern or similar. The Ordos 2 is available in blue and kelp colourways, with the latter a good option for campers wanting to blend into their surroundings, thus adhering to the wild camping code. It comes supplied with a pole doctor repair sleeve, rip repair patches, one spare guyline and 13 U-shaped pegs with pull cords.


The Alpkit Ordos 2 is an impressively lightweight and well-designed tent at a sensible price – but it feels a tad cramped inside and the porch is small.

How we tested

James Forrest navigating while testing gear for LFTO

The tester for these tents was James Forrest, a prolific walker and adventurer across the UK's mountain scene and one of the UK's most high profile and experienced outdoor writers. James tested the Alpkit Ordos 2 during spring 2024, alongside several other 2 person tents.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Live For The Outdoors newsletter to get expert advice and outdoor inspiration delivered to you inbox!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us