ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 2 Review
Cons: Performance suffers in higher winds, less headroom, heavy, small doors
Manufacturer: ALPS Mountaineering
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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