Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alps Mountaineering 1.5 Man Lightweight Backpacking Tent Review

If you do backpacking, it's not just important to have the right gear. With carrying all of your gear, weight is a key component as well. So you want each piece of gear to be as lightweight as possible. Alps Mountaineering makes a great lightweight tent in their Mystique 1.5 man tent.

Features and Specs:
  • Lightweight 2 Pole Design with 7000 Series Aluminum Poles
  • 75D 185T Polyester Fly resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Factory Sealed Fly & Floor Seams give best weather protection
  • 75D 185T Poly Taffeta Floor with 3000mm coating
  • Extra Large #8 Zippers on Door and Vestibule
  • Easy Entry & Great Ventilation with 2 Mesh Doors
  • Weatherproof Fly provides a Vestibule over each Door
  • Fly Vent can be kept open or closed, depending upon the weather
  • Includes 7075 Aluminum Stakes, Guy Ropes, & Mesh Storage Pocket
  • Base Size: 4' x 8'
  • Center Height: 3'
  • Vestibule Depth: 20"
  • Tent Area: 25 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule Area: 13 sq. ft.
  • Tent and Fly Weight: 3 lb. 14 oz.
  • Total Weight: 4 lb. 3 oz.
  • Packed Size: 5.5 " x 18"
  • Pole Diameter: 8.5 mm
  • Use Rating: 3 Season
  • Sleeps: One plus gear

The Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.5 man tent came in their traditional color printed box. Which had photos of the tent as well as specs. Opening up the box showed the tent rolled up, with the rain fly, and bags for the stakes along with the repair kit, and the bag with the poles. The quality of materials used appeared very good, as well as the fit and finish.  The floor was fully seam sealed, as was the rain fly.

One other added accessory that Alps sent was the floor saver. Each Alps tent comes with a repair kit, in case you get a small hole in the floor or side of your tent. Yet it is still a great idea to get the floor saver, which is lightweight ground cloth that is cut to size for your particular tent. It will help to extend the lifespan of your tent.

The Alps Mountaineering is a fairly slim almost mummy style tent. There are two aluminum poles that go from side to side, to raise up the tent. Based on this design, which was the only part of the design I didn't like, the tent is not free standing. That means in order to lift up the tent, it needs to be staked at all four corners. Even though it is just a 1.5 man size, it still has a door on each side for convenience. Inside there are two mesh pockets. All of the floor seams are sealed. The rain fly when attached also creates 2 vestibules (one on each side) to cover your gear.

Setting up the tent was very easy! The strong and lightweight aluminum poles attach inside the grommets on the floor of the tent on each side. Attach the plastic clips to the poles, and stake the four corners. That's about as easy as it is. One person can have it set up in just a few minutes.  Attaching the rain fly is also very easy. In Alps fashion, there are four clips, one on each corner of the tent, that the rain fly snaps into. Then stake each side to bring out the vestibule, and you're done. There are additional locations for stakes, but unless you are in foul weather, they aren't necessarily needed.

As a Scoutmaster, I love this design. The 1.5 man size is perfect for me and a little gear. The two vestibules are big enough for the rest of my gear. It's what I would call a win, win, win situation: it is quick to set up, lightweight design, and is well made.  And it is so quick to set up, it does not require much time away from where it should be: my scouts.

The Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.5 is a great lightweight tent that is perfect for backpacking. With it's design, it is not just lightweight, but it is easy to set up as well. And like all other Alps Mountaineering products I have come across, they are well made as well. Alps Mountaineering is a company I have learned to be give a good value for your buck. If you have not owned one of their products, that is a lesson you would be happy to learn for yourself. Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Alps Mountaineering has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at