Wandelen Appalachian Lightweight Backpacking Tent Review

The Appalachian is the first product offered by Wandelen Outdoors and it makes a good first impression offering a good balance between weight and price that will surely appeal to many.

Wandelen Appalachian Lightweight Backpacking Tent - 2 Person 3 Season Ultralight Waterproof Windproof Tent with Footprint Easy Setup Double Layer Outdoor Tent for Camping Hunting Hiking

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Very attractive weight and size for the price
  • Reasonably priced
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Single entrance
  • There are lighter options if you have the budget
  • Interior could feel cramped

Verdict

Wandelen Outdoors appear to be a new company and one we’d never heard of before. The Appalachian Ultralight Tent appears to be their only product for now. However, if this tent is an indication of things to come, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Wandelen as the Appalachian offers a great combo of low weight and small packed size at a price well below what you’d normally pay for a tent with these stats. Of course, some concessions have had to be made to achieve this, but we think that many buyers will find the trade offs acceptable.

Compare to Similar Products

Compare all tents in our review: 25 Best Small 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Analysis and Test Results

The Wandelen Appalchian tent caught our attention as it seems to strike a good balance between weight, packed size and cost. For those with bigger budgets, there are lighter options available from other, well-established manufacturers that make fewer compromises, but if you can’t or simply don’t want to spend the money on one of the higher cost alternatives, we think the Wandelen Applachian is well worth a look. Beyond this, the Appalachian offers materials usually found in much more costly tents plus a generous lifetime warranty. Some concessions have bene made to make all of this possible, but we think that many buyers will happily accept these when they consider the reasonable weight and great value price of this tent.

Performance Comparison

Comfort

The Wandelen Appalacian offers a very attractive combination of low weight at a good price, but to hit this balance, some concessions have had to be made. The tent uses an asymmetric design, so it’s lower and narrower at one end – that helps save material and weight, but it can also impact the sense of internal space. If there are two of you in the tent and you want to sit facing each other, then one person will be more cramped in than the other. This also makes sleeping top to toe more cramped for one person. The tent also only has one door (and thus one storage vestibule) at the head of the tent. This means there’ll be some contortion required to get in and out of the tent which could well disturb a sleeping partner if you need to make a late night toilet trip.

Weather Resistance

Wandelen have made use of 20 Denier Ripstop Nylon in the tent – this is a well-proven water and wind proof material and here, it has a silicone coating applied to improve its weather resistant qualities. We have no doubts that the Appalachian will keep you sheltered and dry even in extreme weather conditions.

Weight

The Wandelen Appalachian has a complete weight of 1.67kg (3lb 11oz), and it’s possible to get the weight down to even less if you omit a few components. That puts the tent in the same weight ballpark as the Near Zero Ultralight and only a few hundred grams or a few ounces heavier than the Nemo Dagger and MSR Hubba Hubba. Critically, all of these tents are also a lot more expensive than the Wandelen. This is an impressive showing from Wandelen, though as we’ve seen in the comfort section, some concessions have been made to keep the weight down.

Packed Size

The Wandelen Appalachian packs down to 39.5×11.5cm (15.5×4.5in). That’s impressive – it’s one of the smallest packed sizes in this round up. The stuff bag also opens along the long edge which makes packing everything back in that little bit easier too. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this round up, packed size is important as it can influence the size (and weight!) of the backpack you need to bring on a given hike. The small packed size of the Wandelen would also make it well suited to bikepacking.

Durability

Wandelen makes use of materials normally found in more expensive tents including 20 Denier Ripstop Nylon with a silicone coating – this is a thin and light material that still offers proven durability and weather resistance. Wandelen state that all seams are double-stitched and they make use of chunky webbing to improve durability too. On top of this, the product is backed with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Ease of Setup

The Wandelen Appalachian makes use of an asymmetric plan, so the pole assembly can only go into the tent body one way. It’s one more thing to have to think about when pitching the tent, but not a massive dealbreaker in terms of ease of setup in our opinion. The general process of pitching the Appalachian is no different to most of the other tents in this round up, and, if you have any experience with recentish tents, it shouldn’t post any surprises.

As with all tents, we strongly recommend you familiarise yourself with the process of pitching and breaking down the tent before heading out on the trail. The first time you pitch a new tent should not be at the end of a long day of hiking!

Price

At the time of writing, the Wandelen Appalachian costs £129.99 in the UK and $134.95 in the US. That’s a very attractive price and all the more impressive when you consider the product’s low weight and packed size. There are absolutely lighter options available – and indeed lighter options that make fewer concessions in terms of interior space and access – but these are also all way more expensive than the Wandelen. If price is a concern – or if you simply don’t camp enough to justify the cost of one of the more expensive tents – then this Wandelen tent could be a great choice for you.

Conclusion

At the time of writing, the Appalachian tent is the first and only product offered by Wandelen Outdoors. However, it has impressed us and strikes a good balance between weight, packed size and cost. It’s not the absolute lightest or absolute cheapest, but to us, it seems to get the balance right. Some of the other budget choices we’ve assessed have come with caveats that they are more suited for those who don’t’ plan to hike too far with their tent, but this Wandelen feels like it hits the right balance to make it suitable for longer hikes too. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly tent that doesn’t make too many compromises in terms of weight and size, this could be a great choice for you.

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