Alps Mystique 1.5 Tent

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General dimensions:

Area:                        25 sq. ft.

Vestibule:                 13 sq. ft. (two – 6.5 sq. feet each)

Height:                    36 inches (inside peak)

Dimensions:                 48″ width, 30″ ends, 96″ long (fits MSR/Walrus Zoid 1.5 foot print)

Material: nylon, urethane coated, taped

Poles:                     2 corded 7000 series aluminum

Stakes:                   13 aluminum, twisted

Other:                      Fabric repair kit, bottle of seam sealer, cord locked bags tent, poles, and stakes, instructions (printed on tyvek) are attached to the tent bag, 3 guy lines and 3 plastic adjusters, pole repair sleeve.

Weight (measured on postal scale):

Tent:                        23.8 oz

Fly:                           23.4 oz

Sack:                       2.3 p;

Poles:                     9.7 oz

Sack:                       1.1 oz

Stakes:                   6.5 oz

Sack:                       0.4 oz

Repair Kit:                 0.3 oz

Sleeve:                    0.3 p;

Seam Sealer:                 2.3 oz

Min Weight:                 63.7 oz   (Manufacturer:   62 oz)

Total Weight:                 70.1 oz   (Manufacturer:                 67 oz)

Packed size:                 5.5″ x 18″

Manufacturer:                 Alps Mountaineering, www.alpsmountaineering.com , New Haven, MO

Price:                     $189.99

 

The tent has nylon taffeta walls, two large side mesh entrances, and a mesh section on the head side of the tent. The fly has two side vestibules which can be staked to open either on the long side or the short side. The fly also has a top vent above the head area, which can be opened for more venting (two side zippers). Inside, the tent includes two small mesh side pockets (lower than the Zoids), and one above head mesh pocket. The floor is urethane coated nylon in a bathtub configuration. The tent poles are 7000 series aluminum and look very similar to the Zoid DAC poles. The attachment of the pole tips is not the same as the Zoid, in that the Mystique uses nylon ‘pockets’ which are attached to the stake out straps. The tent attaches to the poles via clips and sleeves (top section only – clips on the sides).

The fly attaches to the tent via clips (larger than the Zoid clips). The Alps does not have a foot print, so if you want one, you can use the Zoid 1.5 (will not clip on, but is the right size). The stitching and workmanship are on par with the Zoid, and the addition of a full set of pegs and the repair kit/sleeve is welcome. I don’t know of too many companies who ship seam sealer with a taped tent, but this is nice too for future maintenance.

Inside, there is enough room for one person with gear or two amiable people. The dual vestibule allows you to store items on one side and use the other for an entrance with out having to step over everything.

The other advantage of the side entry is that you will not have to climb over the head portion of your sleeping bag, thus keeping it a lot cleaner (and drier) than with most other small tents.

Performance:

The tent has excellent ventilation, and you can adjust the fly height to provide even more ground flow. The top vent is the prominent feature (my Zoid does not have one), and it helps keep the tent fresh. The tent survived the water hose test and light rain without any leaks. The flat top surface would not do well in heavy snow, but it seems very sturdy, and I suspect it will do as well as the Zoids in light snow.

The hardware is obviously more substantial in construction (and slightly heavier in weight) than the Zoid as The Alps targets scout troops for their products. The zippers worked smoothly, no snags, and set up/take down is very quick, with 11 stakes needed for a complete setup (add 2 for the side points – many do not stake these). Like all two wall tents, setup in the rain is not good, as the mesh does let some water in (not as much as I thought it would).

With a little thought, one could rig the tent so you do most of the setup with the fly attached (I tried this, and it works – put the fly over the tent, insert the poles under the fly, stake the ends, put the guys out and stake, and you are pretty much set). The cord locks used on the storage bags are a nice touch (actually beats the nylon ribbon used on some tents).

The Zoid 1.5 footprint fits under the tent, but the clips would have to be replaced with larger ones to clip onto the fly or tent. However, since the tent poles use nylon sockets for attachment (rather than the pin in grommet of the Zoids, you cannot use the fly and footprint as a tarp/tent shelter with out modification. For me, I cut off the Zoid hardware from the footprint and use it simply as a beautiful custom ground cloth.

The wind resistance is on par with the Zoid (erect the tent with the foot into the wind for dry conditions – this allows the most aerodynamic section into the wind, and the head into the wind for wet conditions – this allows you to enter the tent from the longer side entry rather than the short top entry point, while using the short top section of the fly for wind/rain protection). With wind gusts of 50 mph, the tent did not flutter excessively, nor did it leak (I dropped the sides down for less ground flow).

My bag, pad, and dog (and her pad) fit nicely inside, with enough room for gear (including my pack). I kept the stove and cooking stuff on one side, with the other entrance clear of all items (except shoes). In the summer, I can fit my fly rod in the vestibule too (broken down). I do wish the mesh pockets were a little larger (like the Zoids). The top pocket worked well for sun glasses and wallet. I had reservations about the nylon pole pockets (seemed a little bulky, but then again, they work, the pole ends stay clean, and they don’t add much weight over brass grommets.

This tent is probably a couple of ounces more than the Zoid 1.5 (not the titanium), but since I only have the 1.0, I cannot make a direct comparison. At just under 4 pounds, the tent would work for most solo hikers (especially with a child or dog along). It is a little big for some packs, but it fits inside my Kelty Flight and leaves enough room for the rest of the gear as well.

Since The Alps targets the scouting market, the construction is more robust than that of the Zoid and similar tents. Even still, the weight is not that much more, and the materials do appear to be longer lasting. For many, the extra ounce or two might be a show-stopper, but for me, the durability gained is worth what I estimate to be about 2 ounces (not to mention the lower price).

A more extensive test will be done in the spring and summer (when the weather allows for real back country testing at 10,000 feet or more).

Summary:

For the price, this tent is hard to beat. Even at full retail, it is a good buy and if you are looking for a two wall, one/two person tent, this one will do the trick. It is worth a look if you are considering a Zoid or similar type tent.

For extensive two person use (or if you just want more room, or are a larger person), the 2.0 might be a better choice due to the larger area (32 sq. feet). The one item, which I would change, is the fly material. I prefer polyester over nylon for weight and shrinkage/stretching when wet.

 

 

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