ALPS Mountaineering Acropolis 4
This is a pretty decent 4-person tent, especially for the cost. Good compromise on space versus weight versus durability versus cost.
- easy setup
- just a little delicate
We inherited an old, old 6-person Coleman tent for car camping. It had an extremely tough floor material, which was good as it came with a pair of older cots. But all good things must come to an end. Between degrading shock cord, failing waterproofing, and long-use damage to the floor tub, it was time to retire the old girl.
A decent amount of research went into finding an adequate replacement. I wanted something that wasn't quite so large to make site-use easier and transportation less of a hassle. I also wanted something with a more modern setup design, as poles-in-sleeves are always such a pain. But it had to be large enough to accomodate at least one of those old cots, as my wife's bad back is increasingly intolerant of sleeping on the ground no matter well padded. And of course, I didn't want to pay a mint.
Enter the ALPS Mountaineering Acropolis 4:
This ticks a lot of boxes. It's large enough for two cots, while leaving just enough space to maneuver around to get changed and so on. Two big vestibules, four stash pouches, and a gear loft provide plenty of storage. Sufficient stakes included for the corners, flaps, and six included guy-out ropes. Vents at the top of the flaps provide for some air flow, especially given the mass of mesh in the construction and a generous gap bewteen the fly and the ground. Lightweight but not ultralight materials.
Setup is a breeze with the now-standard pole clips—I reckon that with a little practice this could easily be put up solo, but it remains easier with two people. It comes with easy to follow instructions, but I left those at home somewhere —fortunately they weren't actually necessary. Pretty standard, stake out the corners, insert the poles at the corners, clip the clips onto the poles, voila! It's a tent.
Lots of mesh provides excellent airflow to keep things cool at night. Poles are pre-bent and fully symmetrical. The cross-pole pulls the doors out to provide nearly vertical walls and a maximum of interior volume. The ceiling peaks out at about 5 feet, which is perfectly tolerable if you are short like me.
Interestingly, those rainfly vents have mesh in them. Can't imagine it does much to keep bugs out from under the rainfly, given that the fly doesn't fit snug to the ground—maybe it's for increased tensile strength?
It was plenty windy the whole weekend, but I never felt any danger of damage to the tent. And I didn't even use the four guy-outs on the corners, only the two to pull the fly away from the non-flap sides, so there was a lot more room for safety and stability. It also never rained, so no testing of the waterproofing. Likewise, humidity was around 40% for most of the trip, so condensation was never in the cards, but with all that mesh? Probably not going to be an issue.
In this final picture, you can see the cot set up along the slightly longer axis, and just make out my sleeping bag on the shorter axis with my feet under the cot to provide maximum useable floor space. Shoes give a good idea of vestibule space.
Now about that durability. I didn't take a picture, because we were packing up to get headed home and I just wasn't thinking about it. But the cot, as you can just make out above, has feet rather than something like a full bar across the bottom. This concentrates all the weight of the cot and its occupant onto six very small contact points. I knew that it was very likely going to be a problem, but I was willing to test it and see what happened.
Well, what happened is that one of the feet, the one nearest the center of the tent, wore a small hole through both the tent floor and the footprint (sold separately). This is an easy enough fix for someone with a little experience, but it was disappointing all the same. I mean, why can't this tent be perfect? Ha ha.
In future, something like carpet scraps under the feet should do the trick. Or, you know, tough it out and sleep on the ground like a fully-abled person....
This tent is intended to be about maximum comfort for someone whose body is beginning to feel its age. Even with the addition of carpet scraps to the setup, it is still lighter and less bulky than the old Coleman.
All in all, this is decent tent and seems good value for the money. I am satisfied with this purchase, even if I am kicking myself a little for not listening to the little voice in the back of my head telling me to not chance the cot in direct contact with the floor.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
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Accessories: ALPS Mountaineering Acropolis 4 Floor Saver,
Current Retail: $299.99
Historic Range: $244.98-$299.99
Reviewers Paid: $300.00
8'6" L x 7'6" W
8 lbs 11 oz
9 lbs 10 oz
1'11" L x 7.5" D