The Gear Guys planned a backpacking trip to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our goal was to hike 2.5 miles into a backcountry campsite that overlooks the Lake of the Clouds and bring our Adventure Dog,Bear, with us. As we looked through our tent inventory while knowing we needed to have room for two 6-foot guys and a 100 pound dog, we found ourselves thinking the ALPs Mountaineering Koda 3 Tent would be too small, as well as one too heavy to hike with. So, we looked at each other and realized it was time to go tent shopping! Just like with the other tents we own, we did not want to spend too little nor get too low of quality, but we did not want to overspend as Gear Mom would have shut the operation down. On Backcountry.com we came across the ALPS Mountaineering Koda 3 Tent; a three-person tent that is designed for three seasons. With floor dimensions of 7 X 7.5 feet equaling 52sq ft of floor space, we felt the three of us should fit nicely for a weekend trip.
The following is a summary and review of the tent’s features…
The tent is packed in a nice stuff-sack that has two compression straps which could be secured to the outside of a backpack to save room for other gear on the inside of the pack.
The double-walled freestanding tent comes with two 700-series 9.5 mm aluminum poles. This is the first tent we purchased that did not come with fiberglass poles. We think we will always go with aluminum poles from here on out. We were amazed at how much lighter than the fiberglass style poles the aluminum are and they flex and bend much easier than fiberglass. We also like that the ends of the poles are notched so once you place them in the eye of the webbing, they hold in place well while you secure the opposite side. Set up was a breeze and could easily be done at night with a headlamp or in a rush before an approaching rain storm.
The tent is very fast to set up as there is no sleeve to run the poles through. They attach externally to the body of the tent with clips.
The tent comes with two large d-shaped doors with a quality zipper. We like tents with double doors so we do not have to crawl over each other getting in and out of the tent. It also makes for a cleaner tent if you can unzipp your door, sit on your sleep system and remove your boots before swinging in your feet. Along with the Adventure Dog, whomever he picks to sleep with that night, they can position him close to their door in case nature calls.
We were happy with the quality of the floornbut the quality and quantity of sealant used on the floor seams appeared to be a potential weak spot over the life of the tent. We would recommend to reseal them with your preferred seam sealer at the first sign of peeling.
The rain- fly was quick to deploy and secure. The printing on the rain-fly goes to the front of rear, so with a quick toss over the top of the tent you can begin your deployment. We were very impressed with the features of the rain-fly since it is designed to give optimal ventilation while keeping the wind driven rain out. With all the securing features built into the rain-fly, we are confident it will hold fast during strong winds.
Overall we are very happy with the design and the strength of the tent design. We would say the weak spot found would be the seam sealer method used but that will prove itself over time. With a price point of just about $100.00, and a design that is packed full of features, we feel this tent is a great value. Below is a walk around video to give a full perspective of the tent.