Hilleberg Kaitum 2
Design: Three/four-season tent
Ease of Setup: Easy for one, a no brainer for two
Weight: 2.7 kilos (6 pounds)
Price Paid: US $1200!!!
Hilleberg makes the best tents I've ever used, and The Kaitum 2 is no exception. It's easy to set up, takes a beating like few others and for its weight it's huuuuuge!
I've owned quite a few tents over years, and a one thing has always annoyed me: all the wasted space in the foot end of the inner tent! If used to store any gear the inner tent gets pressed against the outer, and if there's any condensation, well, you know what I mean. The foot end of the sleeping bag will also brush up against the same slope.
Construction of tents here in Scandinavia is slightly different than in the US, where you consider the sleeping part as the tent, and then add a rain fly to it. Here we think of the rain fly as the tent, and then add an inner tent to it. This means that the fly goes all the way to the ground, and the poles are in the outer shell.
The Kauitum has three poles, that slides easily into place, the hopes are formed and with just four pegs the tent is of free standing. Then the rest of the pegs are used to make the fly taut, and since the inner tent is already attached the you're free to "move in" no matter what kind of weather you're facing. If you expect high winds, use the guy lines.
The inner tent is located in the middle of the outer, so that the end walls are straight instead of sloped, so that all the space is usable. The width of the the tent is just 6 inches narrower than my previous three person tent. In other words, you have tons of space! The vestibules, one in either end of the tent, are big enough to swallow all your gear in one end, and leaves room for cooking in the other. There are also huge vents in both vestibules, so air can flow easily through the tent without any condensation on the outer tent. The vents are adjustable of course The end walls of the inner tent can be adjusted from just mesh to completely sealed. Somewhere in between might be good, depending on the weather :)
Having two entry/exit points makes it easy to get in and out without rain blowing into the tent in case the wind turns overnight.
I have used the tent in well above the tree line pretty close to the Arctic Circle without any problems at all. Storms have come and gone, and besides the outer tent being a bit noisy, I've never felt afraid the tent might fail on me. Workmanship is as excellent as the design.
Design: four season double wall tunnel
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Price Paid: $675
I used this tent for my 3 month solo mountain bike tour of the great divide from Calgary, Canada to Columbus, New Mexico at the US Border. I slept in this tent nearly every night and used it primarily as a solo tent. Elevations used were from 3000 feet up to 10,800 feet, and temperatures ranging from the low 20's up to the 80's.
Over the course of the trip I used the Kaitum as shelter from hail, heavy wind and rain, and lots of mosquitoes. At one point I was riding with several other people, and because of a headwind we stopped far short of where we needed to get that day. I quickly threw up the tent and removed the inner section, and all five of us slept snugly out of the 45mph constant winds.
At 5.5 lbs this tent is heavy for solo use, but having the massive amount of room and enough vestibule space to store five bags plus cook is a tremendous comfort. I'm 6'4", and this tent is like a palace for me. I can sit comfortably anywhere inside of the tent, and I don't need to worry about my feet brushing up on the tent walls and getting my bag wet from condensation. Even though the tent isn't freestanding, there was never one instance where I couldn't stake it out.
If you are heading into unknown territory with possibly adverse conditions I would wholeheartedly recommend this tent. This is the third Hilleberg product I've owned (Akto, Nallo 3) and I've been extremely impressed with all of them
Design: 4-season, 2 vestibule, 3 pole tunnel,
Ease of Setup: The easiest three pole tent I've ever owned!
Weight: 5.9lb 2.7kg
Price Paid: $595
This is a tent suitable for tall people or for two who wants huge amounts of room. The vestibules are very large that can cope with packs, boots, wet gear and cooking, plus ample room to move in. In warm weather they can be completely folded back to allow outstanding airflow. I used the tent in the Australian Snowy Mountains. It handled a good blizzard with a snow load of about 40cm one night. Another occassion it easily stood the 130kph (85mph) winds (we didn't get much sleep that night!).
It is one of the easiest tents to pitch (don't fold, but stuff it in its stuff sack). In windy wet weather, pull out one end, peg it down, then slowly pull out the remainder, putting each pole in as you go. Pull the tent as taut as you can the peg down the other end. The whole job might take 2 minutes!! The poles go in the fly sleeves and the inner is already hung.