User Review: ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120
Great tent over the years. Made Strong. Fits tall hikers and campers 6'4" easily makes a fit comfortably. Highly stable and fabulous.
- Multiple vestibules
- Fits 2-3 easily
- Easy to pitch
- Holds up with abuse
- Good for tall people
- Poles bent under heavy 80+ winds
- Condensation with 3 persons
I LOVE this tent. I went on the hunt for tents this year to replace cheaper tents I had been using from garage sales. There are things I absolutely HAD to have in my new tent.
- The tent had to have vestibules for gear.
- Two doorways, no tripping over others.
- Light weight.
- Size to fit two adults and one kiddo easily.
- Gear lofts to put my glasses and such into when I am sleeping.
- More than anything it had to have wind durability.
Last year I was dip netting on the Kenai River in Alaska. I watched as tent after tent went rolling away with the super high winds (60mph) coming in. I walked the beach as people were chasing tents and gear across the sand dunes. I noted the brands left standing through it all. Kelty, REI, ALPS, and Sierra Designs.
I bought this tent recently and took it on a road, hiking, and camping trip along the ALCAN highway and on the Alaska Ferry. In inclement weather you can duct tape the tent to the deck of the ship and camp out in a dry space. We had some pretty good winds and with the tent all fastened down with it's guide wires we did just fine inside. My daughter is 6'2" and could lay with head room to spare on the floor. I am no shrinking violet in size and we could fit with two adults and one 9-year-old.
The tent had loads of nice gear storage pockets.For my book, glasses, keys, jewelry.
While in the Yukon of Canada I was overjoyed to get away from the birds (mosquitoes) dive bombing us. I was glad to find that getting in and out f the tent was easy while swatting the bugs away. No tripping over edges, fumbling with zippers opening and closing on the wrong side.
CONS: In the morning we had condensation on the inside of the tent fly. Overnight temps were around 28 degrees. I had one vent open but did not stake out the tent at the two ends. The next night I made sure to open up the fly vents and stake out at least two ends. The condensation was only at the end of the tent where all of out heads were. In the humidity and cold I am not all that surprised. Still, halfway through the night we had the same problem, though less. I ended up opening up one of the vestibule doors to get enough ventilation.
I have yet to take it down to the wicked shore weather of the Kenai, but will give it, it's trial by fire there.
All in all. Like the tent. It fit tight with no crackle (REI 4man) or wiggles (Coleman) in the winds we did have. Overall the cost was great for what we got.
August 2013 ETA: So now it is two years later and I can give a little more about this tent. We have used it in all kinds of conditions.
This last spring in Alaska we took it on a Scout campout. The first night we got hit with freezing rain that then turned to snow. The tent was under 15 lbs of ice easily. It took on sustained winds of 60mph. Make sure to batten down all the ties for this maneuver. We used the vestibules to keep extra gear. Two of them were VERY handy to keep things dry. Still we had no wicking of water no leaks. In colder weather no condensation on the inside.
When the gust got to 80mph we had one of the few tents not collapsing. However, after all was said and done we did find that the poles that were in the leading edge of the weather got bent. There is no way I will ever be able to straighten them myself. I have yet to contact ALPS. With the conditions as they were the boys in our tent were some of the only kids kept dry.
Next came a trip to the KENAI river mouth and coast. Again 60mph winds and it didn't budge stability was rock solid. Tenting in 80+ and it got warm inside for two adults. But at 80 I wasn't surprised. Open a side for ventilation and watch the night sky.
My daughter now is 6'4" and easily fits into the tent. She can lay fully stretched and be comfortable.
The tent is holding up over much use. Kids and teenagers. It isn't babied at all and is still in great condition. I have not done a water proofing re-coat as yet. Seams are still factory original. We probably us the tent 20x throughout the seasons. Rain, Sleet, Wind, Sand, Snow...still going strong. Happily upgrading my stars on this one.