Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Outfitter Tent Review

If you like to spend time outdoors then you probably have gone through your share of gear.  And after all, some of the best ways to use your electronics gear is to take it outdoors. After all, you won't capture that beautiful sunset in your living room. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” When it comes to outdoor gear, design and quality usually means longer life and more comfort away from home. One such company that fits that mold is Alps Mountaineering. Up for review today is their Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3, in their Outfitter Series.

Features and specs:


  • Free Standing 3 Pole Design with 7000 Series Aluminum Poles
  • Easy Assembly with Pole Clips that quickly snap over the tent poles
  • 75D 185T Polyester Fly resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Factory Sealed Fly & Floor Seams gives best weather protection
  • 210D 110T Nylon Oxford Floor with 1500mm Coating
  • Extra Large #10 Zippers on Doors and Vestibules
  • Easy entry with 2 Doors (both with zippered mesh windows)
  • 2 Vestibules for gear storage and extra weather protection
  • Weatherproof Fly Buckles On for maximum adjustability and protection
  • Multiple Fly Vents increase ventilation


Base Size: 6'8 x 8'
Center Height: 4'2
Vestibule Depth: 36"
Tent Area: 48 sq. ft.
Vestibule Area: 36 sq. ft.
Tent & Fly Weight: 8 lb. 1 oz.
Total Weight: 8 lb. 12 oz.
Packed Size: 8" x 24"
Pole Diameter: 8.5 mm
Color: Tan/Green/Tan
Style: Three-pole Free Standing
Use Rating: 3 Season
Sleeps: Three

The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Outfitter came shipped in a standard box. Opening the box yielded the tent’s carrying bag with everything stored within, a well protected tent body, rain fly, a loft, poles, stakes and their corresponding bags.  The outside of the bag showed pictures of the tent along with the instructions sewn into the bag. The tent fabric was made of a very good quality nylon. Being the Outfitter Series, they use a much larger, more durable zipper with a more durable nylon floor. The quality of materials was excellent as was the quality of the construction. Stitching was tight, the seams were sealed, it was put together very well. It was obvious that this is a premium product. I really liked the small lightweight yet strong aluminum poles, made out of 7005 series aluminum.

Having reviewed Alps Mountaineering products before, including their Extreme 2 Backpacking Tent, it was only natural to jump at the opportunity to review their Extreme 3 Outfitter tent from the Outfitter Series. The Extreme 2 Series tent was a similar, premium product with a focus on lightweight for backpacking, while the Outfitter Series is designed more for the long haul. Not that the Extreme 2 Backpacking Tent won’t last years of use, it’s just a little more delicate. Being a Scoutmaster and seeing the abuse and the demands that a tent can receive with a lot of use, the Outfitter Series just used some of the features such as larger zippers that just are more capable of handling that abuse. Yet while the floor is a bit more durable than the Extreme 2, one thing that I would have liked to have seen used is an even more durable tent floor with a more solid nylon material, like on nylon tarps. Other than that, this tent was truly amazing.

Setting up the tent was very simple. It was basically a matter of pulling out the ground cover (a separate accessory, yet highly recommended to reduce ware on the tent floor) and unpacking the tent body, poles, stakes and rain cover. Once unpacked, setting up the tent was as easy as assembling the poles, attaching them to the grommets, hooking them to the body and snapping the rain fly (if needed) into place. The three pole design is extremely sturdy, so much so that I’m a bit surprised that it wasn’t classified as a four season tent. When I reviewed the Extreme 2 tent, it was taken on a winter campout and in the morning, I awoke to an additional 3 inches of snow that had fallen during the night and it didn’t even flinch! Once set up it is freestanding and unless you are in a strong windstorm you don’t even need to necessarily sorry about staking it down. The same goes for the rain fly. Unless you are in a rainstorm, with a good amount of wind, you don’t really need to stake it down either. Staking down the rain fly would give you a lot more room in both of the side vestibules, but if there is no wind, the snaps at each of the four corners that secure it to the body of the tent will easily hold it into place. I also liked the included loft. Hooking it up to the inside top of the tent was as easy as attaching the hooks at each corner. And it made for a great spot to hang your personal items such as: keys, wallet, flashlight or all. It was actually quite large and could hold several items.

The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 used the typical tent size rating.  While it is classified as a three man tent, and it could fit three men, but only if they didn’t need any person space.  I’m more comfortable using it as a two man tent and then we can bring in some gear as well.

In the end, the Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 tent is an ideal tent for just about any situation. It’s well designed, very well put together with high quality materials to give years of use. The Aluminum poles are light-weight and very easy to use. And I love the color coded ends for the tabs sew into the body of the tent, matching the ends of the tent poles, making it just that much easier to set up. And the snaps for the rain fly is just a continuation in the Alps Mountaineering simplicity of setup. If you do any camping at all, I highly recommend the Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Outfitter Tent. With an MSRP of $320, I can think of a few big name tents that I would choose the Alps Mountaineering over. Base on their design, features, quality and performance The Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Outfitter has earned our Editor’s Choice award. For more info and complete specs check out their website at