User Review: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1.0
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $80
Great tent at an excellent price.
- Easy setup
- Free standing design
- Uses two sleeves instead of all hooks
- Pole ends come off every time I take it down
I had been using a cheap dome tent for a few years as a one man tent on scout outings. When it became apparent I would be going on a full week backpacking trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I decided it was time to upgrade to a high quality tent. I decided I wanted a tent that would stand on its own without stakes. Since I will probably not be using it frequently, price was a major consideration.
I chose the Alps Zephyr 1.0 based on price. I found it on ebay, with a footprint, for under $100. I found it was a terrific upgrade from my old tent.
The tent came with a patch kit, stake, footprint, pole and tent bags. I left the footprint and pole bags along with the patch kit at home primarily to keep from losing them, since their combined weight was negligible.
I first set the tent up in the basement and found it easy to set up. This was equally true in the field, where the camp sites always seemed to be very rocky and on the sides of hills.
I found the tent easy to set up. I could set it up in under 10 minutes after some practice. The hardest part was threading the poles through the sleeves. The pole ends fit through grommets on the tent floor and footprint. I found at least 1 pole end came out of a pole every time I took the poles out of the grommets. It then took a couple of minutes to get the ends back into the poles because the knots in the shock chords need to be carefully threaded back into the poles.
On the trip, we had one full night of rain. Fortunately, we made camp before the rain started and did not strike camp until after it had stopped, so I never had to try setting it up or taking it down in the rain. We also had several evening showers. The tent stayed dry during the storm, except for one point where the rein fly was not pulled away from the tent sufficiently. This was a combination of not checking the tent carefully after it was set up and very rocky terrain that prevented staking the rainfly where it should have been. It was bone dry the rest of the time. This was really great because the old dome tent always took on water in a storm.
Since the ground was wet all the time, the footprint was always wet and the rainfly was frequently wet. I found, if I was careful, I could fold the footprint over the tent and put the wet side of the rainfly against the wet side of the floor, keeping the dry parts all together. Then the whole thing could be rolled around the poles and stakes and easily fit into the tent bag. Then the whole thing could be slipped out of the bag and unrolled without ever having water near the inside of the tent.
There was sufficient room for me in the tent with the equipment I normally keep with me. There wasn't enough room under the vestibule for my backpack, although I think I could have squeezed the backpack in if I had really tried to.