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Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Tent - Special Buy

Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Tent - Special Buy

Product Description

The Extreme 3 is a freestanding three-pole tent with an extremely strong and sturdy pole configuration. Three lightweight aircraft alloy aluminum poles set up easily with pole clips that snap in place. Polyester rainfly and nylon floor are urethane coated

Product Details

Approx. Price:
$249.99 (Click Price to View Any Changes)
Alps Mountaineering
Manufacture ID:

Reviews for Alps Mountaineering Extreme 3 Tent - Special Buy

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distinguished member(692)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/25/2010 08:48PM
The first tents I used as a lad were old canvas monsters with half-moon pole segments, walls that leaked when touched, and screens that were only a partial barrier. Moving on, I learned to love the Eureka Timberline line of tents, and have used both the two person and four person models. When I first was introduced to ALPS, I was a bit skeptical, but a great deal got me to try their Extreme 3. In almost all ways it met or exceeded my expectations.

The two best features of this tent are the rain fly design and the tent's overall wind resistance. The rain fly is great because it covers all the way to the ground and creates two vestibules (one for each door). This meant that the tent walls themselves had no chance of being pelted with moisture. The vestibules were very nice for keeping boots and packs outside of the tent itself, leaving more room for people, especially on cold and rainy days. If you use the vestibules for gear, you certainly could sleep three adults in the tent, but I found it much more comfortable as a two-person setup.

The pole setup is a little different than most of the typical dome tents on the market, as the primary poles are not pegged in opposite corners. Both ends of each primary pole get pegged on the same side of the tent, and the tertiary pole crosses over both of them. The pole structure in combination with the rain fly give this tent tremendous strength when facing strong winds. I've had more than one tent get flattened by straight line winds in Minnesota, but the Extreme 3 has taken them all in stride.

When used for two adults, the interior is roomy enough for card games and for dressing, though it's not tall enough at the center for standing. Mesh pockets are near each door, and a detachable gear loft is included.

My only disappointment with the tent is that it does not seem to have a true tub floor--a feature I've long touted as superior to any design with seams along the floor line. There is a seam along the floor, but I cannot tell if it is where two pieces of fabric were joined, or where a folded edge may have been rolled over and stitched for strength. Because the fabric on the lowest portion of the wall matches the floor, I did not notice the seam until we had the tent in use. I am happy to report, however, that the tent stayed dry, even though we did experience some significant rain. This may have more to do with the rain fly coverage and our selection of a tent pad that wasn't in a depression, but only time will tell. ALPS does boast about how they factory seal their seams, so it may just be that they're living up to the hype. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised by their wall/floor design.

Aside from my surprise regarding the floor design, there are only a few other potential drawbacks to this tent that you should keep in mind, and they all relate to the best feature: the rain fly. First, because of the way the fly is used to create dual vestibules, the tent takes up quite a bit of space (compared to a comparable Timberline or dome tent). When camping in areas where there is much buried rock, this can present a bit of a challenge as you try to stake down the fly. Second, the vestibules extend out so far that my wife and I had to crawl part of the way out of the tent just to zip the fly closed completely. On dry ground, that's not so bad, but if we had to pitch on a wet patch, it would have left us muddy. Still, it seemed like a fair exchange to get so much sheltered space for our gear. Finally, after so many years in a Timberline, I was used to having two open ends of the tent to allow me to view my surroundings. The rain fly on the Extreme 3 has two small clear windows (really small!), so a closed fly means no real viewing opportunities. If the weather is good, or if the vestibules are not being used, you can tie back the rain fly doors to provide the view. That may seem a bit nit-picky, but it just reflects my expectations. To me, I'd rather have a fly that provides full coverage at the cost of the view any day.

Tent colors were light tan on the main body with a dark green floor, and the rain fly was tan (though I'm sure colors may vary). The two guy lines for the fly were bright yellow, for improved visibility, and all of the tent stakes were red. So far, the red finish has held up nicely and, in my opinion, it makes them a little easier to see when breaking camp (or after dropping a stake or two).

I've been very pleased by the quality of the workmanship and materials on our ALPS Extreme 3 tent, and strongly recommend it. We're going to pick up another one soon for our two oldest teens, before our next Boundary Waters adventure.