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ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Review

A great budget 4 season tent; there are better tents that are lighter, stronger, or more livable, but there aren't many for this price.
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Price:  $350 List | $221.72 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Easy to set up, handles heavy snow loads well, double hooped vestibules are sweet, inexpensive
Cons:  Performance suffers in higher winds, less headroom, heavy, small doors
Manufacturer:   ALPS Mountaineering
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2019
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OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#20 of 20
  • Weight - 27% 4
  • Weather/Storm Resistance - 25% 5
  • Livability - 18% 7
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 9
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is one of the least expensive 4 season tents on the market. It performs reasonably well in actual four-season conditions and came close to winning our Best Buy Award. It will perform admirably for the majority of trips that most people will take it on, like snow camping near or below treeline or summertime mountaineering.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $221.72 at Amazon
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$990 List$449.99 at Backcountry
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$524.89 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to set up, handles heavy snow loads well, double hooped vestibules are sweet, inexpensiveBomber, great durability, compact footprint, lighter than average weight, fantastic overall balance of strength, weight, and livability, best two pole model to get rained or stormed on in, ample guy pointsStormworthy, highly resistant to snow loading, pitches quick from outside, great ventilation, multiple setup configurationsVersatile, lightweight, double wall design works far better in rain than single wall models, handles condensation well, big vestibules, easy to pitchIncluded removable vestibule, ventilation system, innovative anchor point, robust, external poles clips are quick and easy to set up
Cons Performance suffers in higher winds, less headroom, heavy, small doorsPoor ventilation, slightly tricky setup, insufficient guylines includedZippers are small and slightly harder to grab, less headroom than other modelsIsn't as strong as other 4-season models, offers a good but not excellent packed sizeHeavy, ventilation system is sweet but the canopy fabric itself is not as breathable as other models, okay internal dimensions, average price
Bottom Line A great budget 4 season tent; there are better tents that are lighter, stronger, or more livable, but there aren't many for this price.All-around uses are this model's forte, but it's still robust enough for when the weather turns gnar.Built for the worst conditions but still light and packable enough to consider for summer mountaineering.This ski and summer mountaineering focused design isn't quite burly enough for full on expedition use but is perfect for any other trip you can dream up.A solid, lightweight model that offers more versatility than a majority of other 2-pole bivy-style shelters.
Rating Categories Tasmanian 2 Black Diamond Eldorado Hilleberg Jannu MSR Access 2 Nemo Tenshi
Weight (27%)
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8
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8
Weather Storm Resistance (25%)
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9
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7
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8
Livability (18%)
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7
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6
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
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9
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9
Durability (10%)
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7
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7
Versatility (10%)
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6
Specs Tasmanian 2 Black Diamond... Hilleberg Jannu MSR Access 2 Nemo Tenshi
Minimum Weight (only tent & poles) 7 lbs 4.5 lbs 6.17 lbs 3.80 lbs 3.9 lbs (no vestibule)
Floor Dimensions (inches) 92" x 62 in. 87" x 51 in. 93" x 57 in. 84 x 50 in. 85.1 x 48.1in
Peak Height (inches) 46 in. 43 in. 40 in. 42 in. 42.6 in
Measured Weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag) 7.43 lbs 4.9 lbs 6.87 lbs 4.1 lbs 5.88 lbs
Type Double Wall Single Wall Double Wall Double Wall Single Wall
Packed Size (inches) 6.5" x 19 in. 7" x 19 in. 6" x 20 in. 18 x 6 in 16.2 x 9.1in
Floor Area (sq ft.) 34.5 sq. ft. 31 sq. ft. 34.5 sq. ft. 29 sq ft. 28.4 sq ft
Vestibule Area (sq ft.) 13 sq. ft 9 sq. ft. (optional) 13 sq. ft. 17.5 sq. ft. 10.5 sq ft
Space-Weight Ratio (inches) 0.29 in. 0.38 in. 0.31 in.
Number of Doors 2 1 1 2 1
Number of Poles 1 continuous 2 3 2 3
Pole Diameter (mm) 9mm 8 mm 9 mm 9.3 8.84 mm
Number of Pockets Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 4 Ceiling: 0 Side: 4 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 1
Pole Material Aluminum Easton Aluminum 7075-E9 DAC Featherlite NSL Green Easton Syclone aluminum DAC Featherlite
Rainfly Fabric 75D 185T polyester with 1500mm coating 3 layer ToddTex Kerlon 1200 20D nylon ripstop
Floor Fabric 75D 185T poly taffeta with 5000mm coating Unknown 70D PU coated nylon 30D nylon ripstop 40D OSMO waterproof/breathable nylon ripstop

Our Analysis and Test Results

The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is a budget-friendly option for those who can't or won't fork over the amount that 4-season tents are going for these days. While all of the other tents we tested scored higher overall than this one, we were still impressed, especially when we stopped to consider its performance and price tag.

It's not a go-anywhere-do-anything model, but remains a decent option for the types of trips most people are going to embark on. It will perform exceptionally for summertime mountaineering and most below treeline winter camping.

Performance Comparison


There are few 4-season shelters you can buy at this price that provide the level of strength  durability  and comfort as this one. This is a proper  albeit slightly heavy  4-season shelter that still offers enough functionality for most moderate 4-season adventures - with only a small performance disparity compared to more expensive models.
There are few 4-season shelters you can buy at this price that provide the level of strength, durability, and comfort as this one. This is a proper, albeit slightly heavy, 4-season shelter that still offers enough functionality for most moderate 4-season adventures - with only a small performance disparity compared to more expensive models.

Ease of Set-up


The Tasmanian 2 is straightforward to pitch. It utilizes a simple design with quick-to-assemble hubbed poles and plastic clips that hold them in place. Overall, it was one of the easier models to set up.

The Tasmanian body is pitched entirely with pole clips and uses to "hubs" (seen here in this photo) at each end  making setting up this tent quick and easy.
The Tasmanian body is pitched entirely with pole clips and uses to "hubs" (seen here in this photo) at each end, making setting up this tent quick and easy.

We appreciated this set up, as it made the body of the Tasmanian extremely quick and easy to pitch. Besides ease, this design lessened the pole's exposure to being bent or broken while being pitched, since you can clip the body from the bottom up. This is something that you can't do with pole sleeves, where the tent has the potential to become a sail before all the poles are inserted.

A huge advantage of pole clips over sleeves is the poles are much less exposed to being bent or broken while pitching the tent in the wind  as you can simply clip from the bottom up. Whereas with pole sleeves  when only one pole is inserted  the tent has the potential to become a giant sail while the poles are at their most vulnerable  prior to fully erecting the tent.
A huge advantage of pole clips over sleeves is the poles are much less exposed to being bent or broken while pitching the tent in the wind, as you can simply clip from the bottom up. Whereas with pole sleeves, when only one pole is inserted, the tent has the potential to become a giant sail while the poles are at their most vulnerable, prior to fully erecting the tent.

Weather and Storm Resistance


The Tasmanian 2 is a reasonably storm-resistant 4 season tent. It sports a unique two pole design for its structure; the first pole runs the length of the tent and "Y"s at both ends using plastic hubs. The second pole that runs width-wise across the tent adds a fair amount of structural support. It is worth noting that unlike most other models in this review, the body of the tent wasn't taut until we put the fly on and guyed and staked the tent out. The Tasmanian 2 held up to snow loading well but was not the best performer when it came to strong winds.

The Tasmanian is reasonably strong and is suitable for snow camping or summertime mountaineering objectives. Its shape handles snow loading well and depending on its orientation to the wind  it is capable of withstanding moderate winds. It isn't quite strong enough nor would it be our first choice for expeditions to more extreme alpine environments like Denali or Antarctica  where a tent breaking could create a potentially life-threatening situation.
The Tasmanian is reasonably strong and is suitable for snow camping or summertime mountaineering objectives. Its shape handles snow loading well and depending on its orientation to the wind, it is capable of withstanding moderate winds. It isn't quite strong enough nor would it be our first choice for expeditions to more extreme alpine environments like Denali or Antarctica, where a tent breaking could create a potentially life-threatening situation.

We don't recommend it for an expedition where you're likely to encounter severe weather. We'd also be reluctant to take it on early season ascents of peaks like Mt. Rainier or various climbs in the Canadian Rockies. While it's defined as a 4 season tent and it is a good value, it's one of the least stormworthy double-wall tents in our review.

Weight and Packed Size


The Tasmanian 2 weighs seven pounds for just the body of the tent, the fly, and poles; you'll find yourself with a packed weight of seven pounds seven ounces if you want to include the stakes and guylines This tent isn't super heavy for a double wall model, but it's also not particularly strong for its weight; this is where some of the Tasmanian 2's materials and construction come into play. The interior fabric is heavy and cheap feeling and the poles are basic; the pole clips aren't the lightest.

With 34.5 feet of interior floor space  this model is quite spacious. It easily fits two full-sized sleeping pads - with room to spare. It is also on the longer side and people who are 6'0" can sleep without their heads or feet touching the ends.
With 34.5 feet of interior floor space, this model is quite spacious. It easily fits two full-sized sleeping pads - with room to spare. It is also on the longer side and people who are 6'0" can sleep without their heads or feet touching the ends.

Livability and Comfort


The Tasmanian 2 sports 34.5 square feet of internal space, which is a touch above average compared to the rest of our fleet. It also features a longer length that is nice for taller users. However, while the peak height may technically be higher due to its sharply peaked design, it doesn't have as much usable headroom. For example, in the center, there is a lot of headroom, but when two people sit facing each other, say to play cards, their heads will touch the ceiling.

Adding to the livability is the two hooped vestibules  one at either end. Each was big enough to fit one pack with enough space to crawl past or two packs if you just wanted to go in and out via the other door.
Adding to the livability is the two hooped vestibules, one at either end. Each was big enough to fit one pack with enough space to crawl past or two packs if you just wanted to go in and out via the other door.

The doors are also rather small, though this isn't a massive deal. One of the biggest highlights of this tent is the twin hooped vestibules, one at each end of the tent. All of our testers commented on how much they liked the design, as the vestibules were large enough for packs and other gear, while still offering enough space to easily sneak by or to take a jacket off prior crawling into the main body of the tent.

The Tasmanian features two roof vents that can be sealed for warmth or opened from the inside to expose mesh to help with airflow and reduce condensation. They also zip completely open to access a flap on the fly  which further increases ventilation.
The Tasmanian features two roof vents that can be sealed for warmth or opened from the inside to expose mesh to help with airflow and reduce condensation. They also zip completely open to access a flap on the fly, which further increases ventilation.

Lastly, there are two dinner plate-sized mesh roof vents that can be opened both on the body, exposing mesh with zippers and on the fly. The vents on the fly can be vaulted open to maximize airflow. While this ventilation set-up wasn't as elaborate as some models, it certainly helped and was very easy to use, even from inside the tent.

This photo shows the flap on the fly that lines up with two internal mesh roof vents. We liked that this vent was vaulted with a stiffener to help it stay open to increase airflow and that it could be opened or closed from the inside.
This photo shows the flap on the fly that lines up with two internal mesh roof vents. We liked that this vent was vaulted with a stiffener to help it stay open to increase airflow and that it could be opened or closed from the inside.

Adaptability and Versatility


The Tasmanian 2 is average for adaptability and versatility. Its two doors each feature a full-sized mesh window, plus two additional smaller vents in the ceiling. This helped condensation reasonably well, enough so that we'd consider taking this tent on the occasional three-season backpacking trip.

While it's on the heavier side  it does perform well for most summertime mountaineering objectives or moderate elevation snow camping. Its double wall design makes it versatile enough to take on the occasional 3-season backpacking trip.
While it's on the heavier side, it does perform well for most summertime mountaineering objectives or moderate elevation snow camping. Its double wall design makes it versatile enough to take on the occasional 3-season backpacking trip.

The Tasmanian 2 is good for many four-seaosn applications, but not all of them. It will excel for summertime mountaineering objectives and is suitable for winter camping near and below treeline. It handles snow loading well, but just does okay in strong winds, and we'd avoid taking it anywhere where it might be exposed to these conditions. The internal fabric on the body of the tent is not particularly breathable, and has okay venting, making this tent less desirable for regular three-season camping.

The Tasmanian is good for most four-seaosn applications but not all of them. This photo shows its other vestibule with a straight-down-the-middle zip versus the large upsidedown U-shaped zippered door featured on the other side.
The Tasmanian is good for most four-seaosn applications but not all of them. This photo shows its other vestibule with a straight-down-the-middle zip versus the large upsidedown U-shaped zippered door featured on the other side.

Value


While this tent didn't score particularly high, it's an excellent value, making it one of the best 4 season tents you can buy - for the price. We looked at dozens of budget options before choosing the Tasmanian and think that it's one of the better models in its price range.

The Tasmanian remains one of the absolute best values  as few models can touch its price to performance ratio. You can certainly buy a nicer tent but you can't buy a nicer one for this price.
The Tasmanian remains one of the absolute best values, as few models can touch its price to performance ratio. You can certainly buy a nicer tent but you can't buy a nicer one for this price.

Conclusion


The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is one of the best options for the price. It only narrowly missed winning our overall Best Buy Award to the REI Arete ASL, which is two pounds lighter, marginally more wind resistant, and has better headroom. Reasons to opt for the Tasmanian include its very long internal dimensions, two doors, and two huge hooped vestibules.


Ian Nicholson