I’m sure a lot of people know about Alpkit, they’re a UK based direct to customer supplier. Cutting out the middle man helps keep the costs down for us the consumers. Up until recently they were online only but over the last year three shops have been opened in England.
Last year Alpkit introduced their new 1 person tent. The Alpkit Soloist. A budget friendly lightweight backpacking tent.
Total weight: 1200g (excluding footprint)
Outer: 20D Silicone coated Ripstop Polyester with PU backer. (HH: 3000mm)
Inner: 20D Nylon Breathable Ripstop, D33 mesh. Floor is 20D Ripstop Polyester PU (HH: 5000 mm)
The Soloist is aimed at the long distance solo hiker, its lightweight (trail weight can be as low as 800g in certain setups) packs small and is big enough to be a temporary home for however long you’re on the trail. There is room to sit up in the tent and there is a small porch area for muddy boots.
Setting up the tent is a breeze, it is an inner pitch first tent, but, if you have the optional footprint it can be pitched outer first. You can pitch just the footprint and outer and leave the inner at home, or you can pitch just the inner if you’re in a warmer climate and want a good view of the sky at night.
I took this tent around the Tour Du Mont Blanc in July 2019 and overall I was very pleased with it. It was quick and easy to erect, and easy enough to put away. Condensation was only an issue on 2 days, but then every other tent had issues those days as well. The Soloist get sufficient airflow through by having a vent just above the door and having a decent amount of clearance around the bottom of the tent too.
There were some negatives, but only minor ones. The porch is small, you can fit your boots and a few bits or your bag, I couldn’t fit both (I was using a large 70l bag for the trip). If the weather is bad you will not be able to cook in the porch, to do that you would need to prop the door open with your walking poles or a stick and risk rain getting in. The other minor annoyance was the door itself, in the evening when relaxing trying to look out and enjoy the view he door had a habit of falling down from being tucked up as there’s no little loop you can use to secure the door up. You have to try stuffing it between the inner and outer and between the pole.
Alpkit offer a 3 year Alpine Bond with the Soloist. On their website the say “If one of our products does not meet your expectations upon delivery, or if during its lifetime does not live up to the demands placed upon it, please return it to us for repair, replacement or refund. If the problem is our fault then we will do this to your satisfaction. If it’s your fault then we will help out the best we can.“
Overall this is a very impressive tent from Alpkit, its survived everything I’ve thrown at it. From backpacking around the Alps to very heavy wind and rain in Wales over winter. If you are looking at getting a quality product have a look at their website for current availability and prices.