Gear Review: Alpkit Kangri
The Kangri from up & coming brand Alpkit, is a 3.527 kg, dual-porched, 2-man, geodesic mountain tent, and as with other Alpkit products, the tent is as highly specced as possible whilst keeping the price affordable.
When pitching, the 20D ripstop nylon inner goes first. In itself, the inner has a decent degree of water resistance and through experience, this prevents it becoming soaked through in a downpour. The fly, (outer), is made from 40D, silicone-impregnated nylon with a PU coating, whilst a 70D PU-coated, (inside and out), bathtub groundsheet with fully taped seams, protects you from saturated ground, (example at link). The materials used for the fly and ground sheet have decently high hydrostatic head ratings, (10,000 mm for the groundsheet), which are easily as good as those used in tents priced a few hundred pounds higher, and in use, I’ve found the tent to be more than adequate, keeping the living & storage spaces leak and bug free, and at times, putting up with some really quite stormy weather.
n.b. Hydrostatic Head, (see general considerations in the link), is a widely used measure of waterproofing, the higher the number, the better, though values above around 1,000 may technically, be classed as waterproof.
The inner is large, light and spacious, with several handy, nylon-mesh pockets lining the both sides and the top corners. Hang tabs positioned on the inner roof allow you to affix lights or other useful kit in useful locations.
The poles are of the DAC Featherlite NSL variety, and to aid pitching, these are colour coded to match the pole sheaths on the tent inner. Due to their relatively large inter-section diameter, the poles are as strong for their low weight as they can be, and are used in many high end tents for this reason. This isn’t to say that they won’t bend under pressure however, apparently there will be natural bending of the poles that conforms to the tent’s shape over time.
The tent is is definitely robust which is inevitably reflected in the weight, with reinforcements at key stress points, large, easy-to-use buckles that attach the fly to the inner, additional clips to attach the inner to the poles, and hook & loop fasteners to attach the fly to the poles. Perhaps the latter features could be classed as unessential and removed to reduce weight, but I bought this tent for it’s strength and durability, which in my view these features only add to. As the tent is a geodesic design, it possesses an intrinsic stability that means it can be pitched free-standing, without any pegs. However, when the wind picks up, and it seems like the universe wants to blow you away, there are 24 peg points and three guy lines per side, more than adequate methinks. When pitching, once you get used to it at least, the Kangri will fly up in around 7/8 mins, maybe a little more if you’re faffing, on your own, or part of an uncoordinated pair. The tent is highly stable in use, I’ve used it comfortably in high winds and perpetual downpours, with little to no flapping or contact between the inner and outer. I also found the peg points on the porches to be pretty useful as they can be varied in relation to each other to give you slightly more room laterally when carrying expedition size packs.
This said, the porches are large enough to hold an expedition size, (85L+), pack, your boots and assorted cookware. Though if you fill it to this extent, you might find it a little difficult to get in and out, but all the same! The inner doors have two layers, one to stop the bugs and offer some privacy, and another to aid venting. Both the inner layers and the outer doors are dual-zipped, so they can be opened or closed in several configurations, (this allows you to balance both privacy and venting, thus helping to reduce exposure and condensation).
And finally, pack size. Alpkit suggest 190mm x 600mm, (diameter x length), but I suggest packing the poles and pegs together, whilst keeping them separate from the inner and outer tents. This way you can pack the tent down to about the size of a 4-season sleeping bag, (approximately 20L), and stuff the poles/pegs in your pack wherever there is space.
The Kangri seems like a great tent, slightly heavy but more than capable of handling the worst UK batterings. It shows excellent value for money, has a strong construction, and offers plenty of space & versatility. Plus Alpkit are an up-and-coming British brand, whose customer service, in my experience so far, has been second to none. Highly recommended!