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New Tent Advice

This isn’t about any program requirements, but I am looking for some advice on new tents.
I have been a scoutmaster for about a year, and it’s time to get some new tents for the boys. We have had good luck with our Eureka Timberline 4 person A-frames, but I am considering some other options. I started looking at ALPS brand tents and they look to have some good options. By the numbers it looks like an ALPS Chaos or Lynx beats the Timberline, but my main hesitation comes from not knowing if I can trust the numbers ALPS publishes. Here are my main considerations:

-ALPS Chaos claims 1500 mm coating on the rainfly vs Timberline’s 800
-ALPS claims 3000 mm coating on floor vs Timberline’s 800
-Chaos rainfly has a built-in vestibule which would need to be purchased separately for the Eureka
-The main reason I started looking at ALPS is because they have a discount for scouts which gets me the Chaos considerably cheaper (though I may be able to get a discount from Eureka if I call them)

However…
-We have had great experiences with the Eurekas and know we can trust their quality
-The A-frame shape has proven superior to more dome shaped tents on multiple campouts for resisting damage / caving in from falling branches

We also considered a Marmot Tungsten, which had solid reviews overall, but all of the negative reviews focused on the lack of wind resistance and failure of the velcro on the rainfly. So I nixed that one.

So this is really a long way to go to ask: Can I trust the claims ALPS makes about it’s tents’ water resistance? And will they have comparable durability to the Eurekas?

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I own 5 ALPS tents. They are the best tents I have ever purchased.
2 - Taurus 2
1 - Extreme 3 Outfitter
1 - Taurus 5 Outfitter
1 - Tuarus 6

When properly staked, I have never had an issue with any of my Alps tents, even in high wind.

My troop has Mermac 4 and Taurus 4. I prefer the Taurus over the Mermac because of the vestibule. We have had cases where rain blew in to Mermacs when the Scouts were trying to get in/out or did not close the window. We have not had the problem with the Taurus.

I have always received great customer service from Alps when I have needed it. I have never had an issue with their tents. Each time I had to contact Alps it was for either a lost pole or an issue with a product other than a tent.

With the Hiker Direct discount, their prices are very good. Their facebook page says they have Koda tents which are Lynx in a different color at a special price, however, when I click on the link for the Koda tents, I get a blank page. I have asked Alps if they are still available. Alps confirms the Koda tents are sold out.

I highly recommend all Alps products.

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I can’t comment on the ALPS tents, but I own a 4-person Marmot. All of our velcro/fly has been solid, but the aluminum poles are really thin-walled. Under careful (family) usage ~ 6 years, all three poles have developed a substantial permanent bow, one much worse than the others. I no longer rely on that tent any time I’m doing more than car camping, because of that bowing.

I’m not really impressed with Marmot, given that my Sierra Designs Meteor Light was still going strong after 20+ years (fabric and poles), other than having to replace the shock cords a couple of times.It was “misplaced” when taken out on a troop trip, and never made its way home. I’m still hoping that old tent is in somebody’s garage by mistake…

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The boy troop that we share a chartered org with (we are a girl troop, but not linked committees) had standardized on the Taurus 4 outfitters for Scouts and Taurus 5 for adults. The different models so that the adults get tents that have been treated a bit better. The discount is so amazing I don’t think we really could go anywhere else. If I had to do it all over again I would for sure do the outfitter models for a bit beefier setup. From a size standpoint, I would have done Taurus 2’s & 3’s or 3’s & 4’s. We sleep 1 adult to a tent and they are almost too big. So maybe 3’s and 4’s.

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ALPS with Scouting Discount or one of their sales is the way to go - we got some of their Outfitter Series that have extra thick bottoms for $88 a piece a few years ago - they retail for over $250.

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ALPS is fantastic, especially when you consider the discounts via Hiker Direct. And, not that we’ve had to use it, but the customer support response on their Hiker Direct Facebook page is top-notch.

We bought half a dozen Taurus 4’s with aluminum poles for our troop a couple of years ago. Hands down the best tents we’ve used for Scouts, who surprisingly can be pretty tough on their equipment.

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Thank you everyone for your replies! This makes my decision much easier. Our troop will be switching over to ALPS!

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We had to replace most of our tent fleet last spring following a horribly destructive windstorm. Several of us spent time researching options. Independently, we came to the same conclusion: Timberline SQ Outfitter 6. The ability to stand up in the tent plus the reinforced zippers and a bungee component to some of the guy ropes were selling points for us. Once we put them to into use, I saw the value of both ending fully opening. We were able to get a 30% BSA discount directly from Eureka.

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That 30% may make it a contender vs. Alps. Alps is so inexpensive with the Hiker Direct makes them great economically. If you get the outfitter version, you get thicker floors and better zippers. I enjoy using them over the last 1.5 years even though we purchased them only on recommendation and cost.

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Yep. ALPS with the Hiker Direct discount beats out almost everything. I don’t know anyone else selling tents with Al poles and reinforced zippers at those prices.

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Another thumbs up for ALPS and Hiker Direct. Had to replace our entire inventory of 25 year old Eureka Timberlines that had served us well. Went with the Taurus 4 AL to get the aluminum poles. They have held up well over the last 2 camping seasons including a winter outing in January with 9 inches of snow.
Make sure you get the aluminum poles.

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Just my $0.02. Our boy troop has been using the old school version of “Army style” canvas with 2 up rite wood poles & 1 wood ridge pole. I started with the troop about 30 years ago (troop is over 80 years old now) and we still have some from that long ago. It is easy to replace the wood poles (just go to a lumber store, get the wood, cut to fit.
Canvas is easy to get repaired, just reapply waterproofing every few years.
No zippers, no Velcro, just ties & ropes. Just add a “tarp for a floor”
2 youth fit fine with footlockers/backpacks (or 1 adult to a tent)
6 or 8 stakes - three or four people to erect - up in about 5-15 minutes.
Thanks for the reviews of the “other style of tents” I will have a look at ALPS brand as potential for certain scenarios (on the beach with mosquitoes).

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Our troop purchased 14 of the Taurus outfitter 4’s almost 10 years ago and they have held up to everything we’ve subjected them to. Torrential downpours, high wind and heavy snows (central Missouri), You will not regret a purchase from the Hiker Direct program.

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The Eureka lifetime warranty care is why I keep buying Eureka. My most recent purchases were Timberline SQ Outfitter 4 for leaders and Jade Canyon 6 for the youth. Jade Canyon is great for simplicity of setup. Eureka has been fantastic to talk me through replacing zipper pulls in order to rejuvenate zippers on older tents, as well as to replace de-laminating fiberglass poles on a 10 year old tent. They even worked with me to replace poles broken by wind damage. I have had good experiences with ALPS gear as well, but Eureka has been awesome with their warranty support, both for legacy personal and troop gear.

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