/ 2p tent advice

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L Silviop 12 Aug 2019

Hello everybody,

I'm just coming back from a wonderful hike in Iceland with my girlfriend. I spent a whole week walking (and some days waiting for better weather) and camping near the huts that are along the hike.

Long story short, we took my tent (an MSR elixir 2), and I was quite confident that it would have been strong enough for the Icelandic summer. Actually I was wrong.

We experienced a day of very stormy weather (rain and very strong wind, gusting over 40 mph) that the tent couldn't withstand.

Now I'm looking for a good upgrade of my tent.

For the last experience I understand that my future tent should be:

  • self-standing, because sometimes it could be difficult to properly pitch the tent in rugged areas;
  • geodetic or semi-geodetic, in order to better withstand strong winds;
  • exoskeletal pole structure, to pitch the tent without expose the inner tent to the rain;
  • 3+ or 4 season tent, to endure harder weather conditions;
  • 2 persons, for me and my girlfriend;

I know that there should be a trade off, so I accept that it can weight more than a light backpacking tent and that it could suffer condensation issues in warm weather.

Eventually, I'm used to camping with hammock and tarp, if needed, at low elevations and during warm seasons (at least were there are trees!), so I'm going to use the tent at higher altitudes, and usually in colder seasons.

I didn't mention that I hope to spend not more than 400£

There are lots of tents, and every day I'm searching for something I found something better, or at least different. As far as I found now the most promising tents are:

  • Hilleberg. They made amazing tents! Ok, they are far over-budget, but let's dream!
  • Terra Nova Southern Cross 2: 4 season, self-standing, 2.3 kg! I find it at less than 460£, so I can hope for future discount (black Friday?). I'm quite afraid of the customer service, that it is said to be not so good.
  • Vaude invenio UL 2p: 3 season, seams quite sturdy and heavy. It cost less than 420£.
  • Vango torridon 200: 3 seaso, sturdy and weight (more than 3 kg!). Cheaper than the others, I found it at 150£.

I'm feeling quite confused for now. Please let me know of any idea/suggestion/feedback, and sorry for my poor English, I'm an Italian hiker and spelunker

Thanks!

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TobyA 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

Good luck, it's a complicated one!

What happened to your Elixir? Did the poles actually break?

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L Silviop 12 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

It didn't breaks but it was flattened by the strong wind. A couple of pole sections get slightly twisted, so we packed up everything and asked for a shelter in the hut. The wardens aren't so helpful and we had to pay for the night, but it was the only way to save the tent, because the wind got worse during the night. Some other guys get some serious damages to their tents. It is quite a problem when you are days by walk from the civilization!

This is the main reason for my question. I mean, I think that the Elixir is a good tent, roomy and comfortable, but when it gets severe weather I don't think it is the right one.

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whenry 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

We've just bought a Salewa Sierra Leone III. Only used it once so far, but it seems sturdy - the two man version got good reviews here a while ago.

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Solaris 12 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

Sorry to hear about this. Iceland can be a harsh and very hostile place, even in summer, but it sounds like you haven't been put off, so that's great.

As to your question: I'd pull out the stops and invest in a Hilleberg, such as a Nallo 2 with added guys, and maybe replace the poles with stronger ones of the same length from a Black Series tent. (You'll be able to discover the correct length from their website.) Although the initial outlay is great, they will last longer than a cheaper tent, if well looked after.

Macpac Olympus or Minaret might be worth considering - and closer to your budget - but I've had quality issues recently, so they may not be as good as they used to be.

3 or 4 seasons? Definitely 4 for Iceland in summer. I'd also carry pegs that are suitable for sand / gravel - eg MSR Cyclone.

I've not found free-standing necessary in Iceland but I can see that in some situations they might be advantageous. On the other hand, you'll add weight. A well-pitched, well-designed tunnel tent can be better than a geodesic one. (Compare the Hilleberg Black Range, its strongest tents: quite a few of them are tunnel designs.) I've used a Macpac Olympus, a Nallo 2 and an Akto without trouble in Iceland.

HTH, and congratulations on your English!



 

Post edited at 23:41
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cb294 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

There was a thread recently about Zajo tents. They are cheaper one to one copies of the Hilleberg tents. Their top model (Lofoten?) costs 300ish  Euros and is a copy of the Hilleberg Tarra which is absolutely bomb proof but will cost around 1400 Euros. 

Actually, for Iceland I would go for the cheaper model, at least if you want to camp in volcanic regions: A friend had his brand new Hilleberg ripped to shreds, not by the wind as such but by razor sharp volcanic ash and pumice that sand blasted the tent and cut the outer fabric!

CB

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DaveHK 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:>

> Macpac Olympus or Minaret might be worth considering - and closer to your budget - but I've had quality issues recently, so they may not be as good as they used to be.

In my experience the Minaret is too small for extended use by two people. Its a good tent otherwise but I grew to hate ours for that reason over a 3 week bike tour.

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Solaris 13 Aug 2019
In reply to cb294:

> There was a thread recently about Zajo tents. They are cheaper one to one copies of the Hilleberg tents.

Missed that discussion, but what does "one to one" mean? Do they use the same fabric, DAC poles, the same rolled seams, the same attention to detail, etc?

A lot of the cost in any good quality tent is hidden, but in a storm would you rather know that your tent cost *only* (!) £300 and be hoping that it's strong enough, or would you rather be hoping that it's strong enough, knowing that it's well made, out of top quality materials, and that the same model has survived Antarctica in winter?

FWIW, the Iceland Search and Rescue organization uses Hilleberg tents.

And I won't ask about the workers' conditions in the factories where the tents are made...

Post edited at 09:00
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cb294 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

No, just that every single of the models seems to e a direct copy of one of the Hilleberg designs. Have a look at their web site, it is screamingly obvious.

I have not seen any of their tents in real life yet, but the quality of their outdoor clothing is good, not merely Decathlon level.

Also, I own three Hilleberg tents (two Kerons and one Tarra), so I don't need lecturing about their quality, but I would not necessarily take one of these to Iceland if I knew I was camping in certain volcanic areas. For example, for the classic Landmannarlaugur trail I would e.g. take a Vaude tent that is easily strong enough but cost a third.

CB 

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L Silviop 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

thanks for your advice. Hilleberg tents are amazing, but they have scaring prices! As cb294 says if for any accident the tent gets damage, it will be truly a tragedy. I think this is the main issue with Hilleberg tents.

For what concerns tunnel-shaped tents, I know there are lighter and very robust  products, but I'm just worried about two facts:

I experienced some wild camping in abandoned marble quarries, that are quite commons in Tuscany mountains (near home). The good side is that usually there are good spots to pitch your tent partially protected from wind, almost always there is a smooth and flat floor, and so. On the other side it is almost impossible to actually pitch the poles in the ground, unless having a good hammer drill. I have friends that had really hard times trying to pitch their tunnel tents!

The other concern is related to the tent's geometry. I know that a good tunnel, if properly pitched, facing the wind, can face even stronger guts than a dome. On the contrary, if wind changes direction I'm afraid it could suffer more the wind pressure on the sides. Frankly speaking, I don't have any proof of that but I'm quite confident of this dynamic.

Based on this considerations I think I'm still preferring self-standing.

Other thing I'm thinking about is that the Hillber prices are almost the same for all of their tents: Cheaper models cost almost 800£, but if you want to make it more resistant you have to buy a second set of poles, and I think that is almost mandatory to buy a footprint to preserve the tent's floor fabric. In the end a red label tent  can cost more than a black one (e.g. staika-allak). Isn't it unfair?

In reply to cb294:

Thanks! I just look at the tents and they actually seems so similar to Hilleberg ones! The drawback is that they don't properly declare components specs, and I suspect they use far cheaper materials.

In the end I reconsider my list of possible tents:

  • Hilleberg Staika. It is really over my budget, so I don't think I'll buy it in the near future, but who knows. I think it is the best of the list;
  • Hilleberg Nallo 2. The only tunnel. Ok, I'm not so sure about this one, but it is light,  seems sturdy (especially if you double the poles/buy 10mm ones), and it is (slightly) cheaper than Staika;
  • Terra Nova Southern Cross 2. It is a far far cheaper tent than the previous ones, but for what it should withstand, at least in the short future, it seems it could suffice. It is really light, 4 season, self standing, with outstanding water-resistance specs. Drawback could be the components, that are not properly specified , so I'm not so confident on the quality. Other concerning is the customer service that seems to be not so good;
  • Helsport Reinsfjell pro. Scandi brand. It has lots of good reviews, and it should be possible to buy 9.6mm DAC poles to strengthener the structure. It seems it has very good components, basing on their description, and it is roomy enough.

Do anyone has any experience with this (or similar) tents? I hope the last two can be not too worse than the first two (it is a difficult comparison, I know). In the end I'm not planning any expedition/winter glacier/extreme activities, so I think I'll be ok even with a more affordable (but still sturdy enough) tent.

I didn't mentioned that with my elixir 2 we were so plenty of space that we usually put our backpacks inside the tent (near the foot) and we have some lateral space too. My girlfriend is tiny, and I usually sleep on a side, so even if I'm not properly small (5'10") any of the considered tent is VERY roomy for me.

Thank you all for the help!

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cb294 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I would not worry about tunnel tents and rock. Yes, a free standing construction may be more practical on, say, a paddling tour in the Swedish skerries, where the only flat ground you find can be pure rock, but I have often pitched tunnels on rocky ground by simply tying some short loops made of old climbing cord to the peg loops, which you can then wrap around a rock that you then lay on top of the cord.

Luckily, camp sites where you cannot sink your pegs normally offer plenty of rocks. So, if I go camping in regions where that may be an issue the extra loops simply stay on for the trip.

The most unusual place I have ever pitched a tunnel tent was on the rear deck of the Bellingham to Skagway ferry. Most people had dome tents, but I simply used tape to stick my peg loops to the metal deck!

IMO there is no need for doubling poles on the Nallo, unless you go to the Alps or Arctic in Winter. 

One thing that I would always look out for is the option to pitch the tent outer first or even better, outer and inner together. 

I would also avoid tents like the TN one that have branched pole structures. Impossible to fix in the field if one of the junctions breaks.

CB

edit: Don't know that specific tent, but I have slept in a Helsport tunnel tent that had good but not quite Hilleberg quality.

Post edited at 12:07
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Stefan Jacobsen 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I have used these tents on the Greenland Ice Sheet for shorter and longer trips

Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, 3 and 4. They are easy to pitch and stable in very high winds. More than 4 kg for the smallest one is the price you pay.

Hilleberg Nallo 2. Pros: Low weight. Easy to pitch and stable in high winds even without double poling / 10 mm poling. I would consider 10 mm though. Cons: A bit small two persons for prolonged use and the foot end is wedgy so it touches the sleeping bag.

Terra Nova Quasar and Super Quasar.  Pros: Spacious for two. Stable once pitched and can withstand heavy snow loads. Cons: The mesh pole-tunnels are a nuisance when windy making them difficult to pitch without bending the poles.

I have had a Terra Nova Ultra Quasar for 20+ years. It has the same pros and cons as the others. But the age tells a tale of its own. It now enjoys its life after retirement from the mountains as a fair weather camping tent.

I have a newish Crux Assault which I have used on the Greenland ice sheet too. Pros: 2 kg light. Wind worthy once pitched and can withstand heavy snow loads. No problems with condensation despite being single wall. Cons: Small for two for longer trips. Narrow, can not accommodate wide sleeping mats. Pole-tunnels => you have to be careful when pitching. Not mesh though so not as much of a nuisance. I have pitched it single handed in a foehn wind without bending the poles.

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Gordon Stainforth 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I've often mentioned mentioned Quechua tents here before, but no one else ever does. I have two now: a very big 4-person pop-up tent, and a much small 3-p tent. They do a number of 2-p versions, some of which will stand up to Force 8 winds. Well designed, well made and very good value. Obtainable through Decathlon:

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-359132-2-man-tents#product_8386006

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DaveHK 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

> Hilleberg Nallo 2.  Cons: A bit small two persons for prolonged use and the foot end is wedgy so it touches the sleeping bag.

This depends a lot on how big you are. I'm 5'8" and my wife is 5'5" and we find it plenty roomy. There aren't that many tents out there sold as 2 person that have more room than the Nallo 2 at least in terms of width and sit up height.

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Stefan Jacobsen 13 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Just my 0.05 DKK

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TobyA 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

Now I want to know how you get to spend so much time on the Greenland ice sheet?! I've been to Greenland, once and a long time ago, we used a Wild Country (as was then, now TN) Hyperspace and it was great. Somehow me and two lads got that and kept our hands on it whilst everyone else was getting heavyweight versions (!!!) of Vango Force Tens (I think they were called Arctic Conquests - anyone remember the brand or tent? I have a feel they were F10s with valances and a different badge but could have been a totally different make).

We camped on glaciers a fair amount, but never got in far enough to see the ice sheet proper.

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Solaris 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

> The other concern is related to the tent's geometry. I know that a good tunnel, if properly pitched, facing the wind, can face even stronger guts than a dome. On the contrary, if wind changes direction I'm afraid it could suffer more the wind pressure on the sides. Frankly speaking, I don't have any proof of that but I'm quite confident of this dynamic.

I asked the Hilleberg people about how directionally sensitive the Akto is before I went on my trip this summer. They understood my concerns and were very reassuring: end on is ideal but side on would be OK. On the one occasion when I did have ca. 40-50 mph winds (I was being strongly buffeted standing, and walking effort was roughly doubled), my tent was rock solid even though it was side on to the wind. The tent walls barely moved. (It's important to pitch the tent really taut.) A key thing with the Hilleberg designs (of Red and Black label, at least) is, I think, that the fly comes right down to the ground so the wind doesn't get inside it.

> Based on this considerations I think I'm still preferring self-standing.

What cb294 makes good sense to me, though in Iceland, heavy rocks aren't always available, and the amount of pumice gravel needed to fill a bag to hold tent down would be huge!

> Other thing I'm thinking about is that the Hillber prices are almost the same for all of their tents: Cheaper models cost almost 800£, but if you want to make it more resistant you have to buy a second set of poles, and I think that is almost mandatory to buy a footprint to preserve the tent's floor fabric. In the end a red label tent  can cost more than a black one (e.g. staika-allak). Isn't it unfair?

I haven't checked the prices, but I paid about £55 for my 10mm pole for my Akto. I think that a reinforced red would still be cheaper than a comparable black, but I haven't checked. Footprint: Yes, pretty much essential in Iceland: even tiny bits of obsidian can be extremely sharp.

Another thing about Hillebergs is the unseeable factor of UV resistance, and that's one reason I gave up on Terra Nova.

Post edited at 18:03
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Solaris 13 Aug 2019
In reply to cb294:

OK. Just had a look at the Zajo website, and specifically their Akto copy. (Apologies for the long post, but it might help someone else.)

Some immediate differences to my eye: The outer on the Zajo is made of several pieces of material, whereas the Akto is one piece - no seams, so stronger and less likely to leak. The groundsheet has taped seams; how long til the taping lifts off? The zip pulls look more difficult to use with gloved hands. The side guy attachments look potentially weaker, and don't look like they are designed to accommodate additional guy ropes. The fabric and finish around the "end" guys looks less robust and possibly less likely to keep rain out. Zajo add weight by not having highly breathable, water-resistant material on the inside of the "end" vents. The finish around the outer door zip looks less robust. The pole cup doesn't appear to be designed for double-poling. The inner entrance is smaller.

From their websites: It's 2300 grams vs 1700 for the Akto; they are more or less exactly the same dimensions. The "tent uses Yunan alloy poles", not DAC. "Sealed seams" - not sure what this means, but tape sealed seams are less waterproof than rolled seams. Outer: "30D ripstop 100% nylon siliconised outside and PU coated inside" - I'm not sure about the Hilleberg details, but they use a much more complex proofing technology that, iirc, involves silicon proofing of individual threads in addition to the overall fabric on both sides (which is why they can't use taped seams). Groundsheet 30 denier vs 70 for Akto.

So I don't think I'd say that the Zajo is a one to one copy of the Akto, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

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DaveHK 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

It was the weight that got me. 2.3kg for a 1 person tent. TBH the Akto is pretty heavy for a 1 person tent these days (despite what it says on their website) but I could understand why someone would choose it for the quality and longevity. At 600g more and not even close to the quality that Zajo thing looks like a really poor choice.

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Stefan Jacobsen 13 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Now I want to know how you get to spend so much time on the Greenland ice sheet?!

Nice of you to ask Based in Kangerlussuaq I worked 1.5 years as an adventure guide for tourists wanting to experience the inland ice for shorter stays under expedition like conditions. Bitterly cold in March and surprisingly warm in July. Since then I have had the opportunity to help a certain television company filming the on inland ice. Amazing what climbing and mountaineering lead to.

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L Silviop 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

Tanks for the advice! I think you're convincing me. I mean, Hillebergs are really expensive, but if they last longer then other tents probably you can spare money in the long run.

Unfortunately for what concerns the unfair (IMHO) label prices I double checked them, and it's as I said:

Nallo 2 (784£) + 305×9 pole (48£) + 260×9 pole (42£) + footprint (86£) = 960£

Nammatj 2 (860£) + footprint (90£) = 950£

Assuming that a black label is strong enough and don't requires double poles.

In the end it seems that I could take a bombproof black label tent sparing 10£ (that means that they cost the same for this price range) at the cost of 600g (quite less indeed, considering that we should add the second pole set to the Nallo).

Also, in order to spare some money, I was thinking that it should be possible to DIY the footprint. There are lots of bigger and cheaper footprints, that can be cropped and adapted. I noticed that the footprints tends to wears quite fast. A cheaper one can be replaced more often,  better preserving the tent floor. Decathlon sells a polyamide footprints for less than 20£. I think it is terrible, but it should do the job!

In this case the Nammatj with an horrible footprint will cost 880£. It's the double of my budget!

Do you know if there are discounts on Hilleberg tents? I didn't find anything, but maybe I can find a retailer  that can do some 5-10%, maybe during the Black Friday, or so?

For what concern the robustness of the tunnels I think that both you and cb294 convinced me (pitching tent with tape??? what an imagination!). Also I find this video, made by Hilleberg. It seems they have lots of attention for their customers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eFAyKMz314

For what concerns alternatives to Hilleberg I noticed that Robens has some tents that resemble almost perfectly Hilleberg ones. (take a look at ruben voyager - nallo, starlight - akto, verdin - nallo gt). It seems that they have good components (not as good as Hilleberg, but at least decent). Verdin weight 1.85 kg, they say that it endure a 170 km/h winds and you can find it at less than 400£.  It seems promising, isn't it?

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Solaris 14 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Agree.

Although I was pretty sure I was going to buy an Akto, I looked at a Nordisk before doing so. It was quite a bit lighter, but the website made a feature of its being able to withstand 50 mph winds!

During a recent, relatively mild storm at Landmannalaugar, whilst all sorts of tents, including some made by well-known manufacturers, were giving anxiety to their inhabitants, my eye was particularly caught by a Macpac Microlight that was handling things with aplomb.

 

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MischaHY 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

> I didn't mention that I hope to spend not more than 400£

Nope. Not unless you go second hand and get a good deal. 

> Hilleberg. They made amazing tents! Ok, they are far over-budget, but let's dream!

Yep. Jannu 2. https://hilleberg.com/eng/tent/red-label-tents/jannu/ 

Absolutely bombproof but still reasonably light (2.8-3KG). 

Alternatively the Nallo 2 is lighter but not so good in snow: 

https://hilleberg.com/eng/tent/red-label-tents/nallo-2/

My honest advice would be to stick with your Elixir and save money for a tent you know you can trust. For the moment if strong winds are coming, retreat to the treeline or find a hollow in which to pitch your tent, or some other natural windblock. 

The nice thing about a Hilleberg is that although you invest a lot, you can expect a 20 year usage and the aftersales is top notch. 

If you're really desperate for a lower price then look at the Exped Venus Extreme which can be had for around £670 for the 2-man version. I wouldn't rate it as good as the Jannu but it's pretty bomber and a decent weight. Exped again have excellent aftersales. 

Post edited at 10:33
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andrew549 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I think I got a discount with cotswolds when I bought my Akto through them and have occasionally seen The Climbers Shop discount them slightly.  

It can be worth looking out for them second hand, I got one last year that even after a new set of poles and some repairs was still considerably cheaper than buying it new.

It can be worth contacting hilleberg for some advice on what they recommend tent wise for your planned trips as I've had some good advice from them before.

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TobyA 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

> Tanks for the advice! I think you're convincing me. I mean, Hillebergs are really expensive, but if they last longer then other tents probably you can spare money in the long run.

> Unfortunately for what concerns the unfair (IMHO) label prices I double checked them, and it's as I said:

> Nallo 2 (784£) + 305×9 pole (48£) + 260×9 pole (42£) + footprint (86£) = 960£

> Nammatj 2 (860£) + footprint (90£) = 950£

I don't really think that's "unfair" is it? The Nallo isn't designed to be as winter ready at the Nammatj, so it costs a bit less. By adding stuff you can make it stronger, but that's not how most people would use it.

I've never owned a Hilleberg tent, but I've slept in other people's - I lived in Finland for a long time and they were quite common there. My impression is that plenty of people use the red label tents in Nordic winter conditions without issues.

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PeterM 14 Aug 2019

Had a quick read through of the thread - no one seems to have mentioned Nordisk. The Oppland Si 2p is basically a Nallo2 GT. Tough groundsheet. Not geo or semi-geo...but ggreat space and value for money. Not used mine in extreme weather, but cinfident it would survive intact.

https://nordisk.co.uk//oppland-2-si/forest-green/p/78?ccode=true

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cb294 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

Hilleberg are notorious for not offering discounts (or, if you are more charitable, not quoting fantasy RRPs for their tents to start with). However, I bought two of my three Hilleberg tents as demo tents at the canoe/camping fairs organized by Globetrotter, a large German outdoor chain. They are usually around Easter (depending on the branch), and you get discounts of around 30% from the various tent makers. 

The drawback of course is that the specific model you are after is not necessarily available on that day. In 2018 I wanted to buy a light one to two person tent (separate children's tent for a two week Sarek trip), but Hilleberg had only the GT versions on display so we ended up buying a Fjällräven tunnel.

CB

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mark burley 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

Simond Makalu 3P from Decathlon meets some of your needs but weighs 5.2 kg I can’t vouch for its durability £250. 

2p version poles look wrong to me. 

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mark burley 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I still cry about the day I sold a new condition MH Trango 2 on here for sub £150 in the lovely grey and green American spec’. I’m going to take some comfort it must have had better use than sitting in my “tent store”  but not much, god I loved that tent. 

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d_b 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

> As to your question: I'd pull out the stops and invest in a Hilleberg, such as a Nallo 2 with added guys, and maybe replace the poles with stronger ones of the same length from a Black Series tent. (You'll be able to discover the correct length from their website.) Although the initial outlay is great, they will last longer than a cheaper tent, if well looked after.

I would add that the hilleberg tents are designed to allow you to double up the poles in bad weather. All the sleeves, plastic end things etc. are big enough for 2.

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Solaris 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

> Tanks for the advice! I think you're convincing me. I mean, Hillebergs are really expensive, but if they last longer then other tents probably you can spare money in the long run.

It's your decision, but I'm pleased if I've helped. There are other decent tents around but Hillebergs have a reputation for a reason.

As I am sure you know, tent longevity depends on how and where it's used, and on what it's made of. Hilleberg do seem to make more UV resistant tents than many manufacturers, but I've found that using one near the equator, in the alps and/or at high altitude, causes the fabric to degrade significantly more quickly.

Using a cheap tent for car camping is a good way of saving wear and tear on your mountain tent, though of course, there is an initial outlay.

As for making Hillebergs stronger, adding guys helps and is far cheaper than double-poling.

> Do you know if there are discounts on Hilleberg tents?

I've been told by a Hilleberg sales-person that they don't discount them (and penalise vendors who do) so as to maintain brand value. However, some vendors will supply free footprints - which means about 10% discount overall. Taunton Leisure are running that offer at the moment, I think.

Great music, isn't it. Should have a vocal line and be entered for the Eurovision!

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Solaris 14 Aug 2019
In reply to d_b:

Yes, I considered double-poling, so I rang Hilleberg to get advice about strengthening my Akto. They suggested that additional guys on the pole guy points (not on the ends) and a 10mm pole would be better (yes) than double-poling. Lighter, too.

That was Akto specific advice but given the strength of the Black Series, which uses 10mm poles, presumably it'd apply to other Red Series, too.

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d_b 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

Interesting. They used to advertise it as a feature in their brochures. When I got my akto it was something they actively promoted.

Never did it of course as it laughed off force 9 winds anyway.

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Solaris 14 Aug 2019
In reply to d_b:

Yes, I agree. Glad to hear about your Akto.

I asked about the risk of strengthening one bit of the tent only to put extra stress on others. They didn't think this'd be an issue.

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Siward 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

Phoenix Phortress. 

Alas, it is obsolete, unobtainable (I'm keeping mine!) and 5kg. However, it is also indestructible. 

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L Silviop 15 Aug 2019

Ok, let me do a recap.
I had a bad stormy night with my MSR Elixir2 tent in Iceland, and it didn't properly withstand the strong gusts.
I was thinking about a new stronger 3 seasons self-standing tent.
You recommended me a 4-seasons tent, because of the increasing robustness. The drawback is the increasing weight, but I prefer to carry an heavier backpack rather risk to find myself with a broken tent in a storm, days far from the civilization.
You also suggested me a tunnel tent, because they are as sturdy as a self-standing tent but they are far lighter.
Finally, you destroyed my budget suggesting me a Hilleberg, because of the outstanding quality of their products. I'm still considering it, because their tents are really expensive, but I think they should worth the money, especially in the long run.
As far as I know, if I buy an Hilleberg, I'll go for a Nammatj 2, because it cost almost the same as "reinforced" Nallo, and even if it's slightly heavier it should also be sturdier.
I'm quite tempted by this tent, but it is very expensive, and I'm not planning any Antarctica/Himalaya exped, so I'm afraid it may be excessive for me.
I'm looking for not so worse tents. I think that my requirements should be: tunnel, 4 season, very sturdy, good quality tent. Better said: similar to Nammatj 2.
I found a couple of tents that seems quite good:

  • Robens Verdin: It is like a Nallo 2 GT. Very (too?) light (1.820kg), good quality but very thin fabrics and poles (20D siliconised polyester, 40D nylon for the floor, yunan 8.6 alloy poles), roomy enough for me and my gf (but 10 cm lower than Nammatj), and they claim it was tested up to 100mph winds (???). Found it slightly more than 400£.
  • Wild Country Blizzard: It is like a 3-poles Nallo. Lightweight (2.2kg), good quality but thin components (30D PU-siliconized nylon, polyester floor, and superflex 8.5 alloy poles). Quite roomy but 10 cm lower than Nammatj. Seems quite sturdy. Found it at 200£.
  • Lightwave hyper t20: Similar to Nallo. Light (2.02kg), very good components (nylon 6.6! 30D/40D, DAC 9.35 alu poles), very roomy (even too large). Didn't find it less than 500£.

I'm quite split in two between the Nammatj and a more affordable tant that might be good enough for my needings

@Solaris:

> tent longevity depends on how and where it's used, and on what it's made of. Hilleberg do seem to make more UV resistant tents than many manufacturers, but I've found that using one near the equator, in the alps and/or at high altitude, causes the fabric to degrade significantly more quickly.

> Using a cheap tent for car camping is a good way of saving wear and tear on your mountain tent, though of course, there is an initial outlay.

Yes I know. We have an old dome tent, and I'm planning to buy an hammock+tarp for warm season (where there are trees!)

edit: As I already said I'll definitely use a DIY footprint in order to preserve the tent floor fabric, whatever the final decision will be.

Post edited at 12:11
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Stefan Jacobsen 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

My Crux Assault tent has the same 8.6 mm Yunan poles as the Robens Verdin. My take is that a perfectly pitched tent with thin poles is more storm worthy than a poor pitched tents with fat poles. And if you don't expect the perfect storm, a lighter tent would be a good choice as long as the geometry doesn't allow for the wind.

I rarely use ground sheets because of the extra faff and weight. Maybe on volcanic rocks, but I have never had the opportunity.

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Solaris 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

You're probably familiar with Outdoor Gear Lab's reviews (slightly slanted to a readership for whom snow loading could be a critical factor), but if not, the pages in the link below are very useful, and also very informative about fabric proofing methods and other fine points of tent design. There's also a good suggestion for cut price but robust footprint material

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-4-season-tent?specs=n&n=0&sort_field=#compare

They rate the Nammatj very highly.

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cb294 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Solaris:

Excellent link, thanks!

CB

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Dan Jaeggi 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

I've got both a Lightwave T10 Trail and G20 Trek, would really recommend both ranges and they come under your £400 budget. From memory, compared to the Ultra/Hyper you save money, add a bit of weight but these are also slightly stronger than the Ultra/Hyper equivalents. Tunnel vs Geodesic, tricky one... I've used both in strong winds without a issue and have a lot of confidence in both. The tunnel is perfectly effective but you need to peg it/tension it properly, and this takes a bit of time to get right if the ground is tricky; the geodesic is more foolproof when it comes to pitching. Bottom line, i'd pick either very happily for your usage. Pros for both is that they're relatively very spacious (you can fit 2 people in the t10 but it's cosy, the G20 is very comfortable for 2 with a nice porch area); well thought out design (e.g. the ventilation), excellent construction and high spec materials throughout, good support (e.g. replacement poles). Carol, the Lightwave/Crux owner/designer is helpful if you need advice.

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DaveHK 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Dan Jaeggi:

> I've got both a Lightwave T10 Trail and G20 Trek,

I had a G20 Trek and it was hands down the worst tent I've ever had. It was impossible to get it pitched right and by the end of a three week bike tour it was falling apart and leaking like a sieve.

It was also very difficult to get in touch with Lightwave about the issues. Fortunately the retailer refunded me with no quibbles.

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L Silviop 19 Aug 2019

Hey! I'm still here debating between a couple of choices.

The Hillos are wonderful tents, but they cost so much, and they weight quite a lot. Also ,as I said, I'm worried that I could regret buying it, because I don't think I'm going to use it so much (and so hard) to justify the cost.

On the other hand I'm searching on the net more info about robens verdin. If it is true what they say, it is a 2 person tent with huge porch that weights only 1.8 kg, that can withstands 100mph winds, and it costs 370£. The fact is that it was released in 2019, and I didn't found any review/test yet, so I'm quite worried about any kind of side problem that can occur with this tent. Do any of you has a Robens?

It seems to be a good compromise, because it should withstand terrible weathers, has lots of space for any equipment, it fits my original budget, and because of the weight it should be good both for backpacking and bike-packing.

I don't know if it's me or if choosing the right tent is actually so hard...

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salad fingers 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Silviop:

To add to the confusion, I plumped for the Fjallraven Abisko Lite 2 earlier this year. I didn't know much about it before buying but it seemed to tick all of my boxes and I got it at a great price from Trekkit. It's turned out to be, hands down, the best tent I've ever owned and proven itself on some grim, windy, wet mountains this summer. Pitches outer first and unbelievably quickly. Fjallraven also seems like a decent company in terms of sustainability etc.

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Andypeak 19 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

I think you must have got unlucky. You are the only person I've ever heard give Lightwave tents a bad review and when I contacted them the director of the company personally called me back within 20min of me leaving a message. I can't imagine the director of any other company calling you.

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DaveHK 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Andypeak:

If you dig around a bit you can find negative reviews. I'm not saying all their tents are bad, that's clearly not the case but there's enough negative comment to give concern. I posted about this on here before and a few others reported similar experiences.

I was told that the director is pretty much the only full time worker which explains why the director called you. If he happens to be away it can be very difficult to get any response from them.

Your experience is obviously different from mine but I certainly wouldn't buy another tent from them based on the quality and service I got.

Post edited at 19:30
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Solaris 23:21 Mon
In reply to Silviop:

I don't know where you are based, but the Climbers Shop in Ambleside has some staff who are very knowledgeable about tents.

Also, presumably you've tried the search function on here...

Oh, and if this is the tent you are looking at, I'd buy it quick smart because the Robens website has it for £625...https://www.robens.de/en-gb/shop/outdoor-tents/verdin

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cb294 11:35 Tue
In reply to salad fingers:

That is the tent I was referring to above. A bit smaller than the Nallo, though. I intend to use it for solo trips where I can take my backpack inside and cook in the porch. 

CB

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L Silviop 12:18 Tue
In reply to Solaris:

> I don't know where you are based, but the Climbers Shop in Ambleside has some staff who are very knowledgeable about tents.

I know, in northern England are many big outdoor stores with good quality stuff, but I'm based in Kent, so they are quite far.

> Also, presumably you've tried the search function on here...

Yes I had checked it, but it doesn't seems that so many people have a robens (or at least they don't want to talk about that)

> Oh, and if this is the tent you are looking at, I'd buy it quick smart because the Robens website has it for £625...https://www.robens.de/en-gb/shop/outdoor-tents/verdin

I think so. I spot it on outdooraction (I hope I can tell retailer names, if it isn't please tell me and I'll edit this message), and I'm tempted to buy it very soon.

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L Silviop 13:06 Tue
In reply to salad fingers:

find that also exists a Abisko shape 2 (with increased porch), with the same shape of the verdin.

I gave it a look, and it seems it has something better and something worse than the robens:

1-  geometry: 10 cm higher and larger. It has more inner space, and should be more comfortable (95 cm in the highest point vs 85 for the verdin, 130 vs 120cm wide in the head zone), but I guess it is also more vulnerable in high winds.

2- longer orch. It seems good, but the verdin's is 130 cm long, and the Abisko is 40 cm longer! What should I put in a 170 cm long porch? I can actually sleep there! I'm wondering if it is the outdoor version of the "go sleep on the couch" thing. Never marry a finnish woman!

3- flysheet materials: they are different (ripstop-double syliconized polyester for robens, double-syliconized polyurethane for Fjall. Same thickness), and water column of the Fjall is slightly better (3000 vs 2000), but I gess it is not a great difference.

4- poles. Both have alloy poles. Fjall are 9.0 DAC poles, that I suppose are better than 8.6 Yunan poles of the Rob.

5- I think that the poles socket of the Fjall is better. It has two (is it possible to doubling the poles?) plastic socket, jointed to the tent with an adjustable band. Robens has only an hole that fits the end of the pole, so you actually can't adjust the tension of the system. On the other hand the packed size of the robens is 6 cm loner than the Fjall, so I guess that the pole sections are longer, so there are less junction. This should be better.

6- weight. Robens tent weight 0.5 kg less then Fyall (1.820 vs 2.320 kg).

7- Cost Robens cost less (370£ vs 460£).

It should be mention that Fjallraven tent is declared to be a 4 seasons tent. Robens do not declare how many seasons is graded their tent. On the other hand they declare that the verdin withstand crazy wind (100mph!)

Yes I think you add confusion, because it seems a very good tent, but in the end I think I'more inclined to buy the Robens

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In reply to DaveHK:

I have had similar experience to Dave with a Crux rucksack (same company, I think) that needed repairing / replacing. It eventually did get replaced, but not without a load of hassle needed from me and a long time without the sack.

That said, I have a Lightwave 1-2 man tent which has done me fine. Its well made, still waterproof after 15 years and I'm still happy to use it. Its certainly not the lightest thing around, especially as is fairly old now and things have moved on, but I would say it is pretty decent quality and was a good price at the time. Would I buy another Lightwave tent? Possibly.

I also have a Terra Nova 3 man tunnel tent. It is somewhere between poor and OK in quality and did have to go back to the shop for a repair early on (less than 2 years old and only single figures in terms of days usage). This was due to a manufacturing fault on the both inner and fly doors where they hadn't left enough seam allowance and the fabric had pulled away from the zip. I don't think I was treated fairly by either Terra Nova or supported by the shop that I bought it from. In fact the response from TN was really quite rude and insulting. Would I buy another TN tent. Nope, not a chance... I'd pay twice the price and buy the Hilleberg version. And I've also leaned away from using the well known shop in the peak district also. I won't touch anything from Wild Country either I'm afraid.

Post edited at 13:40
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Solaris 19:28 Tue
In reply to Silviop:

OK, but maybe a phone call to the Ambleside branch and ask to speak to a tent specialist...? They have a really good mail order service (in my experience).

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