Asta Gear X-Mid 2 Knockoff
Oct 25, 2023 at 10:43 am #3791790
For the past few days the people over on trek-lite.com have been discussing the new Asta Gear Yun Chuan 2, which is a copy of the X-Mid 2 and made with 15D silnylon. I’m surprised it took them this long to bring one to market. At the price I’d probably just spend a bit more and get the genuine article, however I’ll bet the quality isn’t bad. Maybe a little lighter with the 15D material. It’s also 56% the price of the X-Mid 2 so for those on a very tight budget perhaps it might be a good choice. https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805951911803.html?gatewayAdapt=ita2usa4itemAdaptOct 25, 2023 at 12:01 pm #3791802Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
@markwethLocale: Western Montana
In general, I really loathe these knockoffs. Not for any quality issues necessarily (although those do seem to exist), but because the manufacturers do nothing to support the backpacking community. I understand that financial barriers to backpacking exist, but the used gear market and sales at places like REI can make the gear comparably affordable to these knockoffs without the same degree of ethical compromise (in my opinion).Oct 25, 2023 at 4:33 pm #3791825
I’m also a bit surprised it took this long. Obviously I’m hardly neutral but I don’t think their knockoff is particularly attractive. On an unrelated note, we lowered the price of the X-Mid 2 today (due to material pricing improvements) from $300 to $280 making this tent not that much less expensive. It looks to be about $180 USD but probably paying for shipping (we have free shipping) so maybe $200 vs $280 all in. Almost certainly you’re getting what you pay for. I expect quite a bit lower quality, the nylon expanding/sagging when wet is not going to do well for a larger trekking pole tent like this, I doubt there is much of a warranty, and there are quite a few areas where they appear to not entirely understand the geometry and how things work.
For example, the X-Mid 2 floor has little struts at the corners where the lines connect equally to the top and bottom so as to stabilize the strut so it stands up to add space and by putting tension on the top of the strut it pulls down on the floor (so it floats less). Whereas on this Asta version they kept the struts but didn’t seem to understand how they work so the connection is skewed towards the bottom of the strut which defeats the point of the strut and it’s not really doing anything.
It definitely is an attempt to 100% copy though. Even their diagrams to show the tents specs are copying the style of my diagrams.Oct 26, 2023 at 9:38 am #3791899Nicholas PBPL Member
@ioLocale: Acadia National Park
Dan they are pretty shameless about it too as they even reference your name/company in the description .Nov 13, 2023 at 4:39 am #3793001
Here’s a YT video that provides a comprehensive look of the Asta Gear Yun Chuan 2. The bathtub floor looks very low and I’d be afraid in a major deluge.
Exorbitant duties and taxes buyers in the UK and EU have to pay on tents imported from the US makes the X-mid a lot more expensive for them (than what Americans pay). That’s why many would opt for the X-Mid copy instead of the real thing. Price is about 1/2 for Europeans. Reviewer Backcountry UK says he paid 138 pounds delivered!Nov 14, 2023 at 11:51 am #3793101
The duties and taxes aren’t anything specific to USA tents but are just high taxes that apply to all tents. The UK and EU have a 12% tariff on almost all tents and 20% VAT that even applies on top of the tariff, so you end up about around 35% tax. People in Europe are frustrated to see that when they import a tent but it’s the same for tents bought locally – the difference is mostly that the taxes are hidden in a higher price instead of charged separately. If we imported our tents to Europe they’d only get more expensive because the same taxes would be there plus markup from the distributor/retailer.
For these cheaper tents, the VAT of 20% still applies but it’s less tax since the tent is cheaper and they do avoid the 12% import tariff because it doesn’t get enforced on tents under $150. Certainly is less expensive. I think the real thing is really good value because we don’t have much markup on them and you’re getting a lot of tent for the price paid, but certainly some will only have the budget for this.Nov 14, 2023 at 12:37 pm #3793102
Oh I see, I was confused because a couple of months ago an Italian started a thread here on BPL about his Lanshan 2 tent seam failure and he stated that he didn’t have to pay any import taxes or Vat when he bought the tent from 3F UL Gear, not sure how he got past it.Nov 14, 2023 at 12:52 pm #3793103jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
“it’s not near as easy to set up as the Durston…but once up, the shape is suspiciously similar.”
The easy set up of the Durston is one of its big selling points. If one pro-rates the extra $100.00 spent on a Durston over, say one week long trek…let’s see, that’s an extra $12.00 roughly over the week relative to the knock off…and then realizes the ease of set up will continue for another hundred nights or so, maybe more…and the difference in price was paid off in the first week…well, I know which tent I’d prefer for this reason alone. The ‘savings’ evaporate quickly but the more difficult set up is for the life of the knock off.Nov 14, 2023 at 9:25 pm #3793116
The 3F UL tents are usually sold on Alixpress which used to falsify the values to avoid taxes, but the UK/Europe cracked down on that so now Alixpress does charge the 20% VAT. It’s possible that 3F UL still falsifies the value when someone buys from their website but they are supposed to declare the true value when they ship it to someone in the UK/Europe and then it would be taxed upon arrival. They do legitimately get around the 12% import tariff on tents though (that is baked into the price for tents sold in Europe) because packages under $150 are exempt. Technically I could mail the fly and inner as two packages so both are under $150 but the double shipping cost would offset the savings.Nov 14, 2023 at 9:58 pm #3793119
I was going to say that Aliexpress would never do anything unethical to skirt European tax laws but Forum Guidelines clearly state that sarcasm isn’t allowed.
I got some laughs watching this Briton’s take on the Asta Gear copy.Nov 18, 2023 at 6:30 pm #3793378Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Blimey! I have a pair of shoes labeled “Dunham,” and they are the best casual leather street shoes I’ve ever owned; especially for feet that have been subjected to years of wear and tear hiking. But I looked at the label under the tongue and it says, “Made in China.” Maybe, as mentioned on the above video, the shoes were made in China, but for an American or Euro company. It happens in a free market. My point is that not all products made in Asia are second rate.
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