optimist wrote:Has anyone tried out the equipment from ALPS Mountaineering?
Tons. Our old troop has purchased 15 tents (Alps Taurus-2AL and Taurus-4AL) and 12 backpacks (Red Tail). Individual scouts and scouters have bought packs, tents, sleeping bags, and cots. We've never had a complaint, and never a disappointment. For the money, you can't get better gear anywhere. The Taurus AL tents, for example, are the same layout and materials as the REI Half-Dome Plus 2, which cost almost twice as much. The Taurus 2's weigh a pound or two more than the best 2-man backpacking tents (Sierra Designs, Marmot, &c.), but cost 60-80% less. The Red Tail backpacks are perfect for 11-13 year-old boys, and include a built-in raincover (which we discovered in a little zippered compartment in the bottom of the pack).
All of this gear has gone backpacking. Several of the 2-man tents have made two trips to Philmont.
I'm a believer, and I don't own stock in the company.