Help choosing a tent

8:13 p.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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I recently retired from the marine corps and have decided to take up backpacking/ mountaineering. I live on the east coast (20min from harpers ferry wv) and most of my back packing will be done between Vermont and Tennessee with occasional visits to Yellowstone, Tetons, Denali, etc. I have a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 which is ok for ideal weather but terrible in heavy rain, or snow. I am looking for a tent that could withstand all of my needs. I am extremely impressed with Hillebergs tents in which I have narrowed down between the Kaitum2, Jannu, and Nallo (but open to other suggestions). Can a four season tent be comfortable in the summer too? My wife will be going out with me occasionally also which is why a 2p is a must. I would appreciate all the help in figuring what tent will suit me the best before ditching out the money for one.. Thanks in advance, Rick

8:36 p.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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I do not have a Jannu and it was introduced after I had bought my Saivo, but, if I were to choose just one "do it all" tent for anywhere I can think of, it would be my first choice.

I prefer a free-standing dome tent over any other style for several reasons and the Jannu is the best of the lighter domes. If, you do buy one, get a "footprint" and maybe a spare plus some extra pole parts and rigging lines and I also like to have-and do- a Hille "20" tarp to cook under.

Lotsa bux, no question, but, this tent is worth the price and WILL keep you and your lady safe,comfy and happy whenever you use it.

9:36 p.m. on April 18, 2012 (EDT)
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+1. Typically you get what you pay for, unless you're over-paying for yuppie junk.

1:04 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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How big is the Jannu packed? (meaning how much space will it take in my atmos65 pack) a picture would be greatly appreciated

10:33 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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I have the kaitum 3 and it is a fabulous tent. Very roomy and the two vestibule design is super for storage. The wife and I used it in January for a quick overnight and I packed it in my 60 liter Gregory. Hilleberg stuff sacks are quite large and the tents are bulky but I used a couple of nylon straps to compress it down some. I still had room in my pack for a few things but since we share the load it wasn't a concern to me. I could justify carrying that tent because once we set it up, there was so much room for us to actually be comfortable and we didn't feel cramped. I would have no issues sitting through several hours or even days of bad weather if the tent is roomy. Many two person backpacking tents, while being lightweight, don't really give you enough room to sprawl out. I figure if tipi can lug around a Keron just for himself, I can lug around the kaitum for the wife and I. Her major gripe with backpacking tents in general is the confined space and she is only 5 feet tall. I've never actually measured the size of the tent once it is in the stuff sack but it does fit in my pack with some room to spare (poles and stakes included). I can't give any info on the jannu but I think think kaitum 2 would be very manageable for you.

10:44 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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The Kaitum is definitely an object of lust for me :)

11:21 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Widowmaker, CONGRATULATIONS on retiring from active duty!  I have several marines who I consider good friends.  I am told that there are no former marines, jus non-active ones.  THANK YOU for dedicating such a large portion of your life to duty, honor, country and standing between us and those out there who would harm us.  We sleep peacefully at night knowing that Warriors such as yourself stand ready to do violence on our behalf!


I'm not trying to put off your questions but you might search some previous posts, your questions have pretty much been discussed in a lot of previous posts.



11:44 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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get a 3 person. As your wife would probably appreciate any extra room, consciously or not and alone in the snow or rain storm with all your gear inside you too will be purrring

11:51 a.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Widowmaker3v, welcome to Trailspace. I also 2nd Sage's thoughts. Great to have you around for the fun.

Happy hiking-Rick

12:11 p.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Most of my backpacking will be solo which is why a 3 person is out the question. Would the Jannu or Kaitum be too heavy or bulky to carry on solo trips? Does anyone use there Hille as a primary tent in all weather (even 100 degree weather) I'm new to all this so excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject

12:35 p.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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I have owned the Akto in the past and currently the Soulo. I haven't had the opportunity to play with the Soulo in warm weather as of yet but I would think that in hot stuffy weather it would be quite warm in comparison to my BA Copper Spur 1 due to the fact that the outter on the Hille extends completely to the the ground.

Unless ya have the main entry open to some extent there is no type of chimney effect present to circulate air.

I am pretty hooked on their domes and the Jannu is on my radar. I personally wouldn't have a problem humping the Jannu. Then again I'm a packmule when it comes to pack weight for my week+ solo jaunts.

Hille does make mesh inners for 12 different models as follows:

Akto, Nallo (2, 3, & 4), Nammatj(2 & 3), Allak, Soulo, Unna, Rogen, Anjan (2 & 3.)

Now while I do believe that these mesh inners will make a difference I am curious as to how much of a difference due to the design of the outter tent.

As an example I notice a 15-20 degree difference inside the Soulo as compared to outside temps on my winter trips.

One could always just pitch the inner alone(standard or mesh) combined with the optional pole holders and a tarp for milder weather trips.

1:49 p.m. on April 19, 2012 (EDT)
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If it were me, and I lived in your part of the country, I'd consider the new Anjan. It is a "3+" season tent, lightweight with very good ventilation. I owned a Jannu, and sold it because I roasted in it during a Campout in Oregon in June. A great winter mountaineering tent, but certainly not for 100 degree temps.

Nallos are good tents, but get warm in warmer humid temps, in my experience.

The Anjan, with it's two pole hoop design, is very lightweight but strong. The outer tent can be adjusted depending on rain/snow conditions.

I have owned the Kaitum as well, and it is a wonderful choice with lots of space, two vestibules, good ventilation, very storm-worthy, but heavier than the Anjan.

DISCLAIMER- I am a Hilleberg retailer, but also a user.

12:37 a.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Okay I'm going to throw an idea out since you said you were open to other suggestions.  I'm going to guess that you won't be taking your wife on the trips that really need a Hilleberg, so if you wanted to get a lighter solo tent you could.

My suggestion for a wife friendly tent that is tougher than your fly creek is an Alps Mountaineering Chaos 3.  I have one.  It's not a Hilleberg but it's not a wimp either.  Specs: 75 denier cloth (vs 20 for the Fly Creek), 9.5mm aluminum poles, 1500mm coating on the fly, 2000mm on the floor, big #8 zippers, factory sealed seams.  It has vertical sides, huge gear pockets on each end and the gear loft is included. It's only a few ounces more than the Jannu, but it's 9 inches wider and has 2 vestibules. If you get the optional footprint you can set it up fly first if it's raining or just go fast fly.

8:29 p.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I am a big fan of Mountain Hardwear.  I just got back from Allegheny National Park on Sunday night after enduring 2 nights of 30 degree nights and heavy rain and some snow.  I didn't get a drop of water in my tent and having the vestibule was great to keep my muddy boots out of the tent, but still be able to keep them dry along with a few other things.  I have the Viperine 2 which is discontinued, but it is easy to setup because it has a tent stake design where they are all interconnected as 1.  

I would recommend checking the dimensions of any tent you consider buying as my tent is listed as a 2 man tent, but really only sleeps 1 especially if you have gear you are storing in the tent.

8:50 a.m. on April 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I have 2 four season tents that work well in the summer. These are older tents but might give you an idea of what to look for. First is the Walrus Tunnel Vision. Single skin. Side vents that zipper shut. And vents at the foot and above the door.



vent over the door


Side vent shut


side vent open


side vent rolled up

vent at the foot of the tent



The next is a SW Litepath. 2 skin. with screening at the top.





Understand that these tents are old but the designs are for 4 season use. Both have excellent air flow for both summer and winter use. Hope this helps.


10:56 a.m. on April 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Widowmaker3v,  I will have to side somewhat with ocalacamper on this one, will your wife be travelling with you in the winter trips? The Hilleberg tents retain more heat than a 3 season tent, you will be able to use them in early spring but when temperatures go up you will be sorry, specially with the body heat of two people in a limited space.  It's very hard (if not impossible) to find a do it all tent that will make you happy in all weathers.  The tents you are looking at are in the $700+ range, with that kind of budget you could buy a solo winter tent and a two person 3 season tent.  In that case you wont have to haul 7 lbs of tent on a solo winter trip, but rather something in the 3-4lbs range, a two person 3 season tent will be around 4-6 lbs, don't forget that some 3 season tents can withstand small snow loads, it's not like they will fall apart when the first snowflake lands in your tent! Another thing to consider, you are looking tents with only one entrance and with the exception of the Kaitum 2, only one vestibule, a tent with two entrances and two vestibules are much more comfortable for 2 people, it also gives you the advantage of partially opening one side in the rain to let some air in depending on where the rain is coming from.  Another advantage is that you will have two backpacks outside (plus misc items), and each person will be partially blocking the only door, if one of you needs to use a tree there will be plenty of commotion inside the tent. 
I've had several tents, and so have most people in this forum, each one gives you different experiences and help you buy the next. Currently I have a Hilleberg Allak and am ordering a Tarptent Stratospire 2, think of some scenarios you might encounter and see if the tent will make you comfortable in them, for example, do you really want to spend two summer days inside a Nallo with high moisture and nonstop rain without being able to open the vestibule? 

11:38 a.m. on April 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree with Max. Two doors. Two vestibules is a must for 2 people. Plus the best thing to do is buy 2 tents. 

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