Updated February 7th, 2021.
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The Lanshan 2 is changing the way hikers look at lightweight gear. Traditionally, ultralight tents were made in Europe or the USA and cost an absolute fortune. However, the Lanshan 2 tent has entered the market on AliExpress and being manufactured in China, has completely moved the goalposts.
Selling for around $100USD, instead of the $600USD you would expect for a traditional ultralight tent, the Lanshan 2 has exploded onto the market. This low price tag and its reliable reputation has drawn in long-distance hikers and weekend backpackers alike.
But I was sceptical. Would a $100USD lightweight tent actually be any good?
I needed a cheap, high-quality, lightweight tent for trekking in South America. So before committing to flying the Lanshan 2 across the Atlantic, I decided to test it out in the UK!
Lightweight Tent Review – The Lanshan 2
Searching for my Lanshan 2 on AliExpress was more fun than expected. I toyed with the idea of buying a footprint (an extra groundsheet) to protect the base of the tent from twigs or stones and couldn’t decide on the right colour option. I ended up settling on the white tent because it was the least offensive in stock but would later discover, a dark colour would’ve been more suitable!
For just over $100USD, I had picked up a tent weighing just over a kilo, that was simple to erect and really looked the part. I didn’t actually buy the footprint, after learning you can make your own for much cheaper!
It’s worth noting that the tent I bought was the standard Lanshan 2, not the Pro version. It was sold under the 3F UL Gear branding. The tent is also sold on AliExpress and Amazon under the Flames Creed or Meir brands. In this case, it’s exactly the same tent just with a different name attached.
Disclaimer: I purchased the 3F UL Gear Lanshan 2 Tent with my own money. The review was written after months of testing, involving hundreds of miles of hiking and many nights under canvas. It was not sent to 3F UL Gear prior to being published. None of our reviews are ever edited to keep a brand happy!
Lanshan 2 At A Glance:
- Interior Dimensions: 210cm x 110cm
- Footprint: 250cm x 240cm
- Height: 100cm – 125cm (depending on set up)
- Weight: 1.1kg
- Stakes Included: Yes – similar to MSR Mini Groundhogs
- Price Range: $100-$200USD
- Colours Available: White, Brown, Green, Yellow, Black
The Lanshan 2 is a two-person, non-freestanding, double-wall tent, relying on two hiking poles rather than tent poles. By utilising hiking poles and being constructed of lightweight materials, the Lanshan 2 is incredibly light and durable for a tent in this price range.
The price is constantly in flux but if you can’t find the Lanshan 2 for less than $150USD, wait a few days and check back on AliExpress. Sales and offers are only ever a few days away!
The Lanshan 1 tent is also available from 3F UL Gear, as well as the other brands. This single occupancy tent is smaller, lighter and only requires one trekking pole to erect but there is much less room inside.
An In-Depth Look at the Lanshan 2 from 3F UL Gear
I’ve used my Lanshan 2 on multiple trips, both solo and with a camping buddy. It has handled with 45mph winds, driving rain, epic storms and swelteringly hot nights. Not once has the Lanshan 2 failed me but it’s certainly sent a few learning opportunities my way over the last year.
Lanshan 2 Size and Weight
It was the overall size and weight that drew me to the Lanshan 2 (as well as the price – obviously). At just over a kilogram for a two-person tent, this is one of the lightest, most packable, budget-friendly tents money can buy.
There’s ample room for two people and you can easily get two wide sleeping mats side by side. If you’ve got a lot of gear and don’t want to sleep with it under your feet, you’ll need to utilise the vestibules (porch areas) to store it overnight. In bad weather, it can be tricky to keep gear stored in the vestibules dry but it’s not impossible. For solo campers, the Lanshan 2 provides ample space to sleep like a starfish and keep all your gear in with you.
Lanshan 2 Design
Made from a combination of thin 15D silnylon and slightly more robust 20D silnylon on the base, the Lanshan 2 is light and waterproof, although perhaps not the most durable of tents. Stylistically, it’s in the same family as the Zpacks Duplex. Two hiking poles are used to give structure and shape to the pseudo-pyramid. Once pitched, it has a door either side giving easy access for two campers!
The tent is available in a range of colours but a word of advice, if you are planning on wild camping and need to keep a low profile, DO NOT pick the white option. I made this mistake and found the whole tent essentially glows in the dark!
The inner tent supplied with the Lanshan 2 is typically a three-season version, mainly consisting of bug netting. There’s a warmer, more protective four-season option available to buy separately. If you’re camping in summer or super concerned with weight savings, the inner tent can be removed, saving around 400 grams and leaving the rainfly to act as a tarp.
Pitching The Lanshan 2
The Lanshan 2 follows the same design principles as a tent like Gossamer Gear’s ‘The Two’ or the aforementioned Zpacks ‘Duplex’. Peg out the four corners using the supplied cross-shaped pegs, before setting your trekking poles to 120cm. Insert your poles into the reinforced pad, located inside the top of the door, and peg the guy line out to keep the pole in place. Repeat this for both poles then adjust the corner pegs accordingly.
Due to the groundsheet being so thin, it’s recommended that you use a footprint to protect the bottom of your tent. You can buy a specific groundsheet from AliExpress or get a length of plastic sheeting and cut your own – it’s much cheaper and lighter! The best options for making your own are Tyvek or Polycroif you can find it!
As the Lanshan 2 isn’t a freestanding tent, if you can’t get the stakes to bite properly, or otherwise cannot peg out any corner or guy lines, you’ll have a tough time pitching the tent. It relies on the tension created from all parts working seamlessly together to remain standing. Although this sounds complicated, it’s pretty easy when you get the hang of it. I’ve managed to get it down to a five-minute job, even in rough weather.
Pitching Tip: After half an hour of pitching, you may find you need to tighten the corners and guy lines again. Silnylon stretches a little after being pitched but this is normal.
Lanshan 2 Ease of Use
Before taking your new tent out for a spin, ensure you’ve added seam sealer and UV protection to the fabrics. Although the seams are reportedly already sealed, the guy line attachment points on the exterior walls are not. At the very least, make sure you seal these! Over time, exposure to the sun can cause silnylon fabric to become brittle so use a UV treatment spray to help prolong the life of your tent.
In good conditions, the Lanshan 2 only takes six pegs to stake out, which makes setting up a doddle. In bad weather, you can use up to ten pegs to ensure your tent is as secure as possible. Pitching is a learning curve but it doesn’t take too long before you’re a Lanshan pitching pro!
On very still nights or when camped near water, a lot of condensation can build up inside the tent. There’s not a huge amount you can do about this except try to camp away from water sources and try to find somewhere with a breeze. The condensation isn’t the worst I’ve experienced while camping but is not ideal.
Packing the tent down is even easier than setting it up. The lightweight compression bag that’s included is great for squashing the tent down to its smallest possible size but I found it a bit of a chore, especially on cold mornings after a wet night. I quickly gave up using the compression bag, instead opting for a 10-litre stuff sack which makes breaking camp much quicker!
Lanshan 2 vs Lanshan 2 Pro
Without diving into the topic too deep, the Lanshan 2 and the Lanshan 2 Pro look very similar but there are a few key differences.
The biggest difference in terms of usability is the single skin design of the Pro. The interior bug net is now built into the tent and not removable. This results in less material being required and offers a decent weight saving. Even with the slightly thicker outer skin, 20D as opposed to 15D, the Lanshan 2 Pro is close to 200g lighter than the standard model.
As well as weighing less, the Lanshan 2 Pro is about 20cm longer and 10cm wider. This may not sound like a lot but it can make a big difference, especially if you are often sharing the tent with another person or carry a butt load of gear.
Setting up the two tents is virtually exactly the same.
Final Thoughts On The Lanshan 2
Is the Lanshan 2 THE BEST lightweight tent on the market? Far from it.
Could you find a better lightweight tent for less or even the same money? Not in my opinion.
The Lanshan 2 packs down really small, is simple to use, weighs just a smidge over a kilo and easily sleeps two people. Mine has suffered through multiple hikes and aside from all the leaf litter inside, is only showing minor signs of use.
For just over a hundred dollars, the Lansan 2 is an incredible tent which is well worth the money. Sure, it’s not the tent to take into the mountains during winter but as a three-season option for the standard backpacker, it really excels. I wouldn’t hesitate in buying another Lanshan 2 in the future.