Dabble in ultralight backpacking before you dive into it, with the stout, if imperfect, 3FUL Gear Lanshan 2 Tent.
Backpacking tents are marvels of modern tech. They’re lightweight, packable, and durable enough to withstand the tests of Mother Nature. But their advanced manufacturing processes come at a cost.
Tents from industry leaders such as Z-Packs or Hyperlite Mountain Gear regularly go for upward of $700. For hikers on a budget, this can be just as intimidating as an entire stretch of mountains.
Enter 3FUL Gear and its humble Lanshan 2 ($158) ultralight tent. In its quest for recognition, this shelter faces an uphill fight. The brand isn’t exactly a household name, and you won’t find one at your local outfitter.
But on the plus side, the tent is light, cheap, and, according to many thrifty members of the hiking community, durable enough for long stretches on the trail.
With all this in mind, I purchased a three-season version of the Lanshan 2, and tossed it into my pack for two separate backpacking trips. Here’s how it performed over several nights of shakedown.
In short: The 3FUL Gear Lanshan 2 is solid tent for budget-conscious and beginning hikers. Its packability and reasonable dimensions offer a lot to like at a relatively low cost. But be prepared to deal with some slight interior sag, a few quality-of-life quirks, and a learning curve upon initial setup.
3FUL Gear Lanshan 2 Tent: Review
As a trekking pole tent, the Lanshan 2’s trail weight comes in at a respectable 43 ounces (1,220 g). Once removed from its included stuff sack, the erected structure measures 106.3 inches across (270 cm), and approximately 145.67 inches (370 cm) from tip-to-tip of the vestibules.
The interior dimensions of its double-wall space are likewise respectable, at 86.61 inches lengthwise (220 cm) and 43.31 inches (110 cm) wide. The bathtub floor rises 4.33 inches (11 cm) from the ground.
Packed dimensions, per 3FUL’s site, are 13.7″ x 5.9″ (34 cm x 15 cm). Materials employed include 20D PU Nylon on the floor, 15D silicone and PU Nylon on the fly, and 20D Nylon mesh on the interior.
Now, this is listed as a two-person tent. And it’s true — you could cram another reasonably sized individual in there. But be sure it’s someone you really like, and know that both of you will be storing your gear in the vestibules.
3FUL also sells single-person versions, but good luck fitting anything other than your sleeping bag and pad inside. For 99% of people, I’d recommend ponying up for the doublewide.
Setup and Space
Whether from its construction or my own inexperience with trekking-pole tents, the Lanshan 2’s first few setups did indeed have a learning curve. But once I got the hang of staking it out (install stakes at opposite diagonals first) and getting the poles to stay put, the process smoothed out dramatically.
However, it’s not exactly designed for the tall. I’m only 6’1”, and my feet definitely pressed into the opposite wall. Not a huge deal, but it did result in some condensation on my sleeping gear.
Compounding this issue is the tendency of the Lanshan’s interior to sag. If not set up just right, the inner fabric will settle a bit across your head.
In fairness, the company recommends setting your trekking poles between 120 cm and 125 cm. I missed this last part until after the two camping trips, so all of my setups were simply at 120 cm.
On the plus side, the Lanshan 2 comes seam-sealed from the factory. This was a big selling point for me, as it eliminates a tedious bit of prep.
Quirks and Cut Corners
Aside from the drooping interior and just-short dimensions, my complaints with the Lanshan 2 are mostly quality-of-life nitpicks.
Take the trekking pole retention, for instance. During the initial setup, the simple loop hidden beneath pinnacle vents didn’t feel exactly natural. It’ll work, once you get the perfect angle, but I found myself messing with the pole position in order to get everything at its proper tension.
The spiral-hook retaining clip for the vestibule lines also takes some getting used to, especially if you’re groping in the dark.
Then there are the lines themselves. The material utilized here strikes me as, shall we say, not the longest-lived cordage I’ve ever seen. Still, it was flexible and easy to use, with the knots and loops holding with no real signs of slippage.
And speaking of loops, do not untie the preinstalled knot on the vestibule lines. This has been premeasured for the proper placement of the relevant stake. Nowhere in the manufacturer’s instructions does it mention this, but YouTube was kind enough to point it out before I made a mess of things.
Which brings us to the laziest part of the package: the stakes.
While they’re certainly light and functional, I have my qualms about just how well these would perform in less-friendly terrain. Plus, the simple notch cutout may not provide the best retention for the rainfly under windy conditions. However, I experienced no issues over three calm nights of occupancy.
Options and Availability
Now, you can find this tent on Amazon. That’s how I got mine, for just $144 after tax. But as with many products in this manufacturing sphere, finding the right seller can be a little tricky.
My model came from a vendor called SWHUOO, and it arrived promptly and in good condition. But while the Amazon page does list factory seam sealing, I think mine may have only been partially completed.
I experienced no leaks, but some of the places where you’d expect to find tape were curiously bare. Long story short, you’re probably better off paying the extra few bucks and buying directly through 3FUL Gear.
It should be noted that four-season models are available, along with a “Pro” edition for around $50 more. This version utilizes a stronger fabric, single-wall construction, and a slightly reduced weight. However, you’ll have to purchase the seam sealing as a separate $35 add-on (which is curiously listed under the Accessories area of their online store).
All things considered, I’ve been pleased with the performance of the Lanshan 2. Is this the best ultralight backpacking tent on the market? Heck, no.
And in the long run, I’d much rather hit the trail with something from a higher-end, specialty manufacturer. Our list of the Best Backpacking Tents is loaded with such options, one of which is almost certainly in my future.
But the Lanshan 2 is a wonderful gateway to the genre. It’s packable, serviceable, and just spacious enough to keep me comfortable over extended trips in the woods.
Whether you’re a hiker on a budget or a newcomer curious as to what the ultralight world has to offer, this tent provides an acceptable, accessible starting point.
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