Gear Review: Alpkit Kangri

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.

The sturdy Kangri, in bright red.
The sturdy Kangri, in bright red.

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.

Long enough to fit a Snowline and note the pockets which occur on both sides.
Long enough to fit a Snowline and note the pockets which occur on both sides.

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).

Kangri, (right), minus poles and pegs, against the ME Snowline on the left.
Kangri, (right), minus poles and pegs, against the ME Snowline on the left.

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!

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8 responses

  1. Pingback: Gear Pt. II: Thoughts on my hardware. | Altitudinal Aspirations & Assorted Ramblings

  2. Pingback: Winter Wild Camping; Thrust from Threlkeld to Thirlspot, (via several revisions). | Altitudinal Aspirations & Assorted Ramblings

  3. Glyn

    Thanks for the tip about silver poles first, contrary to the instructions. I was supposed to be heading out in it this weekend but wife and daughter are both ill so had to cancel. How did your trip go?

    02/03/2014 at 17:15

    • No problem Glyn! Alas, hopefully you can make it up another weekend, easter coming up and all? Our trip was a mixed bag really, bad weather had us cut our walking and wild camping short but what we managed and deferred to made for a good weekend away!

      02/03/2014 at 17:46

  4. GC

    Hi,

    How did you pack the Kangri down so small?

    17/02/2014 at 19:36

    • Hi there, it’s just a matter of removing the poles and pegs, (pack them together but separately from the inner and outer tent), then stuffing the outer first, then the inner, into the stuff sack. I use the adjustable webbing on the stuff sack to keep everything packed down.

      Mind you, I don’t store it like this; only unpacked and cleaned after use.

      18/02/2014 at 09:28

      • Glyn

        Hi, thanks. One other thing, I tried pitching this tent solo at the weekend (for the first time, I’ve just bought it), and had troubles. I had fed the poles in, but found them difficult to bend and clip in the second eyelet on each pole. I did eventually by ‘walking’ the poles alternately towards the eyelets but this wouldn’t really work on snow or hard ground. Got any tips? I imagine I’m just not used to a geodesic tent, or that I’m afraid of damaging the poles or something.

        Followed alpkit’s instructions as best I could.

        Once it was up, it’s to fantastic tent. It’s got everything. Windows, loads of internal hanging loops, loads of pockets, great zip configurations, two doors and vestibules, vestibules are just the right size, awesome.

        19/02/2014 at 20:41

      • Hi Glyn, I had the same problem, their online instructions are only basic at best! The poles are a little stiff by design methinks, but you have to do the grey/silver poles first! It doesn’t matter which order you thread them into the sleeves, but you must locate the lateral, grey poles into the eyelets before the gold ones.

        Aye, it’s a really well-specced and designed tent! I wouldn’t mind it being a little bit lighter, but you can’t have it all I guess. We’re off to the Lakes for some winter wild camping this weekend, so I’m looking forward to giving it a hardy workout!

        20/02/2014 at 09:23

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