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Alpkit's Viso 3 tunnel tent is designed for spacious backpacking but we reviewed it with so much more in mind.

alpkit viso 3 tent
Best for...
Two-man teams looking for extra space, or small families looking to save weight
Overall Score
Spacious porch is ideal for UK weather
A little cosy for three...

Between superlight backpacking adventures and pack-the-kitchen-sink car camping there are an enormous range of canvas-based possibilities. Alpkit have obviously pitched the Viso 3 at backpackers because it boasts a relatively light weight of 3.9kg - decent for a three person tent, but not world beating.

Frankly we'd hesitate to carry such a weight on all but the most gear-intensive backpacking missions - partly because to genuinely divide the weight between three, you need the tent to be a touch bigger. It would be super-cosy for three people, unless one was a child - and in which case their load bearing potential is minimal...

However, that's almost always the case with 3 person tents - they're better viewed as two person-plus-gear tents. And this is where the Viso 3 excels. We tested it on a chilly and rainy autumnal UK canoe trip - an adventure with very specific requirements. One being the ability to carry a relative abundance of gear in the boat; another being the necessity to store said gear at camp; and one more being a sizeable porch in which to cook in comfort if the weather lives up to expectations.

The Viso 3 was utterly perfect for these needs. OK, a canoe could carry an 18kg mega tent, but it wouldn't be so practical. The Viso 3 represents an ideal compromise on weight and comfort; the porch (with included groundsheet, should you need it) is cavernous and provides extra storage plus cooking/faffing space when needed.

The sleeping compartment is luxurious for two, cosy for three, which actually makes the Viso 3 a great option for a two-person car camping trip. The headroom is enough to comfortably sit up, and it won't fill up the boot. OK, it's not one of those polyester bungalows complete with three-piece-suite, but for anyone in need of a genuine all-rounder, this could be a contender.

The outer-first pitching means it works without the inner tent too, so fair weather backpackers have a stripped-down minimalist option.

And then there's the price. For the quality construction (including great pegs!) and thoughtful design, this tent is a good deal at £199.99 - but considering its versatility and potential to be the only tent you need, it's an absolute steal.

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