Alpkit has become known for producing excellent kit at excellent prices thanks to its business model of producing a small, select range of products that are then supplied direct to the customer via the Alpkit website. This can be frustrating if you choose to buy gear at the wrong time of year, just as stock runs out – or if you just like to compare and contrast kit by visiting shops. But if you know what you are looking for, choosing Alpkit gear can be an incredibly cost-effective route to obtaining great kit.
The latest product release from the brand is a range of three geodesic mountain tents. The Kangri featured here is the smallest in the range and is designed for 2-3 people, but there is also the 3-4 person Zhota and the 4-person Keksa. The Kangri capitalises on the tried and tested four-pole geodesic construction, epitomised by the Terra Nova Quasar. However at just £300, the Kangri is somewhat lower in price than the £520 Quasar.
Alpkit states that the Kangri weighs in at 3527g excluding pegs, so you need to add on around 300g for 20 Alpkit Candy Cane pegs, making a total weight of 3827g – a little less than the Terra Nova Quasar, which weighs 4300g. In terms of size the Kangri is slightly taller than the Quasar but each porch is slightly shorter in length, so overall there is not a lot in it, meaning the living space is similar.
I used the tent in an exposed mountain site and it was easy to pitch and very stable. With two of us in the tent there was plenty of room and we could stash all our gear in one porch leaving the other for cooking. The door design is particularly good as firstly it has a window so you can see how wet and windy it is outside and secondly it can be opened in a number of ways, which makes it ideal for using the tent in deep snow for example when you need to open the top to get out.
A nice touch is that the tent stuffsack is huge, so packing it all away even when it is wet and refusing to roll up properly is a doddle.
The Kangri has all the bells and whistles of a quality tent, and the spec is impressive too. At just £300 its going to be hard to justify paying more, unless you happen to want to buy your 4-pole geodesic just at the time Alpkit sells out of stock –
which, judging by the quality of this tent, may be sooner rather than later!
Design 4-pole geodesic
Poles DAC shock-corded alloy
Materials outer: 40D silicone-coated nylon; groundsheet: nylon; inner: nylon
Internal dimensions length 215cm; width 140cm; height 117cm
Packed size 60x19cm
Weight 3827g (includes pegs)
Made in Far East
Stockist details www.alpkit.com
Alpkit once again proves that great kit is available at great prices as long as you are prepared to buy online.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2012