User Review: ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3
Price Paid: $131
I've been needing a replacement for my 12+ yr old Sierra Designs Alpha tent. It has served me well but it's starting to deteriorate from 300+ days in the sun, rain, sleet, and Mt Washington wind. Plus it pushes 9 lbs.
I positively require 2 things from my shelter:
- 1 is to protect me from the harsher elements
- 2 is keep the bugs and snakes off of me.
Beyond those needs I have some other features I would like to see taking into consideration weight and cost. I'm a firm believer that 3 means 2 when talking about capacity of a tent. The only way a 2 person is comfortable for 2 people is when the weather is so good you don't need a tent. Stuck in the rain for a couple days and that damn tent is unbearable.
That being said I need a 3 person tent. I like a tent with 2 doors so nobody needs to get crawled over in the night. Finally if I can find all that less than 6 lbs. I'm doing alright. Now is where the money comes into play. I initially researched tents from MHW, Marmot, TNF, or SD tent. They all offered in one form or another a tent that was eligible but none were exceptional for the cost.
One company caught my eye with their Chaos 3 tent was ALPS. New to me. I was skeptical but was impressed with the features and cost of the tent and decided to check one out. For $131 delivered I got a 41 sq ft double door with vestis at 5 lbs 15 oz.
Inside the box was a brown sack containing the tent, fly, poles and a small pouch with 8 nice aluminum stakes 4 guy lines and a repair kit. Minus the sacks 2 stakes and 2 guy lines the weight comes to 5 lbs 13 oz. I set the tent up in my living room without instructions in less than 2 minutes.
The tent was very spacious. Four people could sit Indian style and play cribbage in this tent comfortably it is similar in design to a hubba hubba. Straight walls gear loft and 4 nice sized stash pockets two which you could stuff the mesh doors into.
I could see the cost reflected in the craftsmanship. The stitching isn't the straightest nor the panels perfect. Still though only a problem when your looking under a microscope all in all I was not disappointed. Until I put the fly on. The fly buckles to the tent and my fly was missing a buckle the webbing was intact though. An easy fix just cord on another buckle.
I called ALPS to see if they would send me the buckle. They did. Attached to a whole new fly! Never had a company stand behind their gear like that before. Simply amazing. So far so good. But does the tent perform?
Still having snow in my yard I didn't want to set it up outside yet plus I still didn't have a ground cloth. The nice thing about this tent is it's 7'6" x 5'6" so a 5 x 7 tarp is just the right size. $2.50 and 4 pieces of shockcord and I have a perfect footprint. The sun is out the snow is gone I can go outside and play.
It has been raining here in Vermont for 10 days straight and I have had this Chaos 3 tent set up loaded with gear for half if them. It is very dry inside the fly has vents you can open and close to keep down condensation. It does need guying on its short ends as it us a little susceptible on very windy days due to it's weight saving one pole design.
Longevity is really the only test this tent has yet to pass. Craftsmanship a bit lacking doesn't compromise the integrity of this tent one bit. This tent gets 5 stars for value and 4 stars for initial quality.
Very happy with this tent. I will review it this fall on how it is holding up.