The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alpine tour 2 tent. GeerTop/Hillman. Model JT16010

Ever since i owned a Vaude Odyssee Winter 2 tent i have regretted selling it. For stability and wind resistance it has been 2nd to non in the order of tents i have owned. It did go to a very good home so from that respect i have no problems.

Our current 2 man tent is the Kuiu and it's an almost perfect tent. The problem it has and i have written about it numerous times here on the blog is the door design. The noisy flapping in strong windy conditions has now become a must fix or this tent will end up being only a low level summer tent which would be an absolute shame.
Deep down i have this feeling that this tent was never field tested in Alaska where it was supposed to have been designed for or the testers didn't test it enough.
I think i have found a fix for it and i have made more mods to it but the shine has gone off it for us.

Looking around at other tents and knowing how the Vaude coped with mountainous windy conditions i had that shape of tent in mind.
My instinct told me to look at the following tents.

  1. Terra Nova Voyager
  2. Snugpack Scorpion 2.
  3. Vaude Terra 
  4. Vango Mirage
  5. Lightwave G15 or T20
All similarly designed tents, similar weights but dissimilar prices.  I decided that i fancied the Voyager. Decision Made.
Then i saw a few Fjallraven tents and wondered if the Abisko Lite 2 would be a better choice as its not too dissimilar to the excellent Hilleberg Nallo.
I spent the next few days emailing Fjallraven with multiple questions and in the end decided that although its a superb tent it wasn't the one for above tree line in a gale. So it was out with that idea.

Back to plan A.

I went to the next stage and started reading reviews, watching youtube videos and reading numerous forums about the above tents. From there i discounted the Lightwave, the Vango and the Vaude Terra.
The Snugpack was much cheaper £200, about half the price of the Voyager's £380, but the voyager was 1/2 kilo lighter. Was the extra money worth the weight difference when the tent was divided by 2 people.
I decided it wasn't. So the Snugpack Scorpion 2 won the day.

Or did it!

Well no.
I almost clicked the spend button when on the Amazon page at the bottom, a row of similar products appeared "that you might be interested in" and within those photographs was this similar looking tent to the Voyager. I had never heard of it, called the GeerTop Tour 2.
I checked out as much as i could and then bought it. £134.00, great service from the supplier, delivered in 4 days. One site in the US was selling it for $419.00
It was available in red, not dissimilar to Hilleberg red and also yellow. I didn't want yellow as it attracts too many insects.

Package size 16cm dia x 42cm long, weight 2.3kg. but both can be reduced.

Un-bagged and packed very well.
GeerTop Tour 2 Inner.

GeerTop Tour 2 fly
First Impressions.

  1. Cheap price £134.00 and delivery free.
  2. Excellent delivery service.
  3. Well packed and presented.
  4. Ripstop fly fabric.
  5. Strong groundsheet
  6. No faulty stitching
  7. Strong webbing
  8. Seams taped sealed.
  9. Not top quality guy lines and adjusters
  10. One way door zip on outer. 
  11. Good quality, lightweight pegs.
Impressive start and now to erect it.

  1. 3 poles, 2 same size, 1 shorter front pole with central angle.
  2. Easy slide mesh sleeves for all 3 poles.
  3. Poles locate into brass ring fittings at the ground.
  4. Simple to erect, there's nothing to confuse.
  5. Plastic clips, (std industry quality) joining the inner to the poles.
  6. 3 tie points where the poles cross over each other.
  7. Fly locates at each pegging point with a snap connector and grosgrain adjustment to tension the fly.
  8. 1 front and 1 rear air vent. Closable.
  9. Inner door with choice of solid or mesh closure. 
  10. 2 pockets for small gear
  11. Light clip.

I was pleased with it and looking around it at ways to get it even better, i decided that the guy lines would be too flexible for above tree line and also the aluminium guy tensioners just wouldn't hack it. I changed these to 2mm dyneema cord and tensioned them with ClamCleat locks.

The pegs supplied would have coped adequately but i had some lighter and stronger pegs already in my collection and so changed them.
I added a couple of clips to hold the poles where they crossed each other but that was about it.
The tent bag could be reduced in size and weight, especially sharing it between 2 people.
Nothing else needed doing.

Just to be on the safe side i decided to seam seal all the seams on the outside of the fly. This would add some extra strength and seal any sewing holes.

Tent Specification as supplied.

Fly - Ripstop nylon 20 denier 360T 8000mm waterproof Silicon coated, seam taped.
Inner - 210T breathable polyester with high density fine nylon mesh. (Midge proof)
Groundsheet - 210T PU waterproof coated, 8000mm taped seams.

Poles. Aviation Aluminium 7071 T6, 8.5mm diameter. Gold Anodised.
Pegs as supplied. Dur-aluminium 7075 T6. V shaped. 10grams each.

So who are GeerTop?
It seems that they are middlemen based in Hong kong and have warehouses in numerous cities around the world. Hence how the delivery was so quick, it came from GeerTop UK.
The name on the tent itself is Hillman and i'm pretty sure the tent was made in Korea or Vietnam * see update below. where lots of the well known tent brands in UK and USA are made.
Its difficult to pin point exactly as this tent is branded differently by numerous companies in numerous countries.
All i can say is that this tent looks good value for money. I cannot pinpoint anything on it that gives me the impression that it won't be just as good as the TN Voyager or the Snugpack Scorpion.

Here is a link to the website where i must admit i quite like the GeerTop 1 man tent with the inner but i have 2 good 1 man tents so thats a no no. Honest.
Update. It is made in China, Now found the manufacturer's site HERE and HERE


Dawn said...

Mmmhhh, looks interesting Alan! The design looks very similar to other tents on the market.Now you will have to take it on a few backpacking trips and report back. What I am finding is more and more stuff is made in China. Thus I am a bit wary of buying equipment these days. Mind, if you buy stuff from the States you stand a chance of being hammered by custom duties and such. Looks as if you did well.

AlanR said...

Hi Dawn.
My USA marketed Kuiu tent was made in Vietnam as are MSR tents. Japanese textiles are being used all over Asia. I used to be a little worried about buying from the Far East but not any more. Who designs what I'm not sure. It's difficult to get to the bottom of. Marketing folk have a habit of bending the truth.
So far I have no regrets buying this tent and can't wait to prove it one way or the other.

Al said...

Alan....I'm sorry but I must complain about the above post....
Its clearly designed to part me and my wallet with its meagre contents :-)
Thanks for sharing I'm very interested...oh dear!
Cheers Alistair

AlanR said...

I suppose it's better than telling me you just bought a voyager. Ha

Unknown said...

nice post

Unknown said...

I am in search of a two-person tent in preparation for my upcoming trip with my fiancée. The Alpine tour 2 tent will certainly fit my budget and meet my expectations. I also found more tent options here:

AlanR said...

Thank you.

AlanR said...

I will take a look. Thanks

Unknown said...

Hi AlanR,

I am official contact from GeerTop. I saw your article today though it’s been for a while since 2017. Due to there are some mistake contents of GeerTop so i decide to leave a comment to clarify.

First of all, this is not the tent of GeerTop,it's just a similar one of other brand's. We didn't have GeerTop tour 2 tent. You can see the logo on the tent, Hillman.

I still confuse one thing is that you said you bought it from GeerTop UK,but we didn't sell this tent,so i think we can discuss about this issue.

Finally, the factory of the link is not our factory, just would like to let you know, many factories in China will use GeerTop pictures and post on their website, but it's not ours.

Due to the mistake comment will confuse the customers, so i think it's better to make a modification. How do you think about this?

Looking forward to your reply.

AlanR said...

Thanks. I will look into it more. It was delivered by GearTop uk even if it says Hillman on the tent.

AlanR said...

Hi Unknown.
I just want to clear this up once and for all. This tent was ordered from GeerTop uk. It was delivered by GearTop uk. It was ordered through Amazon and sold by GearTop uk.
Here are the details.
Ordered on 14 April 2017 GearTop uk Order # 203-8924579-1313113

Why it has a Hillman on it I have no idea. That’s what was delivered to me. If you want to send me another one I will accept it.

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Trenthamwalker said...

Appreciate that this is an older post about the Hillman tent.However,have noticed quite a few sellers on E Bay selling a tent which looks very similar for the very low price of £24.19.Some even give you the opportunity to submit best offer price so you could possibly get it for a couple of quid cheaper.Just google 2 man Hillman tent on E bay page and it should bring up the tents.
Not sure how good the tent is but with Alloy poles it seems a bit of a bargain.

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