The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is one of the least expensive 4 season tents on the market that still performs reasonably well in actual four-season conditions. It came close to winning our Best Buy Award, but narrowly lost out to the REI Arete ASL 2. While not as high-performing as some of the other models in our review, it performed fine at most things expected of a 4 season tent. It will work well for a majority of trips that most people will take it on, like snow camping near-or-below treeline or summertime mountaineering.
ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Review
Cons: Doesn't perform as well in higher winds as other double wall tents we tested, less headroom for a tent of this weight, heavier, small doors
Manufacturer: ALPS Mountaineering
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is a budget-friendly option for those who can't lay out the $800 and up that many of the higher-end 4 season tents are going for these days. While all of the other tents that we tested scored higher overall than this one, we were still impressed considering it costs only $350. While maybe not a go-anywhere-do-anything model, it remains a decent option for the types of trips most people are going to take their 4 season tents on. For example, it will work fine for summertime mountaineering and most below treeline winter camping. We do think if you are willing to spend a little more on your 4 season tent you'll get a better product, but if you're on a budget then the Tasmanian 2 is a great option for the price.
Ease of Set-up
The Tasmanian 2 was easy and quite 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 in our review.
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. A 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 taught until we put the fly on and guyed and staked the tent out. The Tasmanian 2 held up to snow loading quite well but only performed okay in moderate to strong winds and didn't handle wind as well as its closely priced competition, the REI Arete ASL 2. Its fly proved quite water resistant and kept us dry during several wet storms, and we haven't seen it wet out yet.
While a respectable 4-season tent, the Tasmanian was hardly a go-anywhere, do-anything four season shelter. 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 still a 4 season tent and a good value, it was the least stormy-worthy double wall tent in our review.
Weight and packed size
The Tasmanian 2 weighs 7 pounds even for just the body of the tent, the fly, and poles, and 7 lbs 7 oz "packed weight" with stakes and guylines, etc. 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. The poles are basic and its pole clips aren't the lightest. Overall the Tasmanian 2 isn't as heavy as The North Face Mountain 25 (8 lbs 8 ounces packed weight), but the Mountain 25 has a far more bomber design and more efficient livable space.
Livability and Comfort
The Tasmanian 2 sports 34.5 square feet of internal space. This is slightly higher-than-average among tents in our review. It also features a longer length that is nice for taller users. However, while the peak height of the Tasmanian may technically be higher than many others because of its sharply peaked design, it doesn't have as much usable headroom. For example, right 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 pretty much all-the-time.
The doors are also rather small, though this wasn't a super big deal. One of the biggest highlights of this tent are its twin hooped vestibules, one at each end of the tent. All of our testers commented on how much they liked this design an they proved 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.
Adaptability and Versatility
The Tasmanian 2 is average for adaptability and versatility among 4 season models. Its two doors each feature a full sized mesh window, plus two additional smaller vents in the ceiling. This helped condensation reasonable well, at least enough that we'd consider taking this tent on the occasional three-season backpacking trip.
The ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 is good for many four-seaosn applications but not all of them. We think it's great for summertime mountaineering objectives and its 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 there is just okay venting, making this tent less desirable for regular three-season camping.
While this tent didn't score particularly high compared to other models in our review, we do think this tent is a excellent value. At $350 it is one the very best 4 season tents you can buy for the price. We looked at dozens of budget options before choosing the Tasmanian and think that its one of the better models in its price range.
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 with better headroom. Reasons to go with the Tasmanian instead are its very long internal dimensions, two doors, and two huge hooped vestibules.
— Ian Nicholson