Ordos 2 Lightweight Tent - Alpkit
Lightweight tents have been around for some time. Driven by two-day mountain marathon events where pairs of competitors race in teams carrying all of their kit and food weight became paramount , with the cutting up of toothbrushes common practice to save on extra grams. The lightest of these tents now weigh under a kilo. The downside to this is that they are expensive, and tend to be on the small side for obvious reasons.
Ever the practical solution finders, Alpkit have designed a contender which is both affordable, light, and roomy. The Ordos 2 comes in at 1.3kg and costs £239. It sleeps 2, but with plenty of space for 2, as well as a sensible amount of kit. We tested it out backpacking in the French Alps. Clearly, carrying 1,3kg between two is no big deal. If you want to split the load then it consists of a single pole, a bag of pegs, an inner and an outer. If you do opt to carry it all as a single package, then the bag it lives in is long and thin and easily slides down the back of a small rucksack, or on the compression straps on the side.
Pitching is straightforward once you know the mechanisms. The inner goes up first, suspended from the single spider-like pole via a series of plastic hooks and clips. It is definitely worth acquainting yourself with the clips before you need to put up the tent on a wet and wild night. Once the inner is hung from the pole, the outer fly is thrown over the top and clipped to the corner points. The whole thing can be pitched with 6 pegs in calm conditions, but there are plenty more pegs and pegging points for poor weather. As with any tent, the flatter and more even the ground, the easier it is to pitch properly, with everything correctly tensioned. The corners have generous tape and buckle adjustment points meaning that it is easy to do. However we did find that the main ridge pole that runs the length of the tent had a tendency to move from the centre point in high wind. Curiously, despite looking alarming, this didn't really affect the internal structure of the tent too badly.
Pitching the inner first has obvious pros and cons. In bad weather it would be difficult to get the tent up without getting the inner wet. On the flip side, it means that in hot weather, or if there is a threat of bugs, but no rain, then you can pitch without the outer and go even lighter. The inner has a bathtub style groundsheet, with a mid layer of standard tent-wall material, and a noseeum bug net upper section. This makes the tent very breathable without compromising to heavily on warmth by allowing draughts in low down. On a starry night, without the outer pitched, it also gives a fine view!
Inside there are a couple of deep storage pockets as well as plenty of loops high in the roof for drying and hanging kit. The porch is generous, with a decent sized vent allowing you to cook and release steam. I liked the fact that the pegging points come with adjustable mini-guys meaning you get a lot more choice in where to peg, and can also quickly adjust things if the tension is wrongly distributed. The pegs are sturdy and lightweight , and there are enough of them! Room wise, it is spacious. The inner sleeping compartment measures 208cm by 105cm (feet) / 136cm (head), and the roof is 102cm high in the centre meaning that sitting up is actually possible!
Interestingly, when it was pitched alongside our other lightweight tent it compared very favourably in terms of condensation. The Ordos 2 was bone dry in the morning, whereas the other was most definitely not. It's hard to say whether this is simply down to the ages of the tent, or better materials and venting. Whatever the reason, unless the extra 400g is a deal breaker, the Ordos 2 will be the tent of choice in the future. Can't recommend it highly enough.
You can read more about the tent, and buy it directly from Alpkit.
Here are the vital stats:
Total weight: 1300 g
Flysheet: 400 g
Inner: 426 g
Poles: 320 g
Pegs: 92 g
Guylines: 30 g
Tent bag: 18 g
Pole bag: 8 g
Peg bag: 6 g
Packed Size: 42 x 13 x 13 cm
Outer: 100% Nylon ripstop 15D x 15D/186T x 154T PU3000 mm
Inner: Mesh: 10D polyester No-See-Um; Panels: 15D Nylon R/S
Floor: 20D Nylon R/S 3000 mm PU/Sil
Poles: DAC TH72M-6 Aluminium
Pegs: DAC TH72M-6 Aluminium J-Stake
Other: Buckles: Duraflex; Zips: YKK