It doesn't seem like a footprint should get its own…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $112
It doesn't seem like a footprint should get its own review, but even the Hilleberg footprints are worthy of review. They are super well fitting and have features not found on any other footprint I can think of.
- Very good fit
- Semi-permanent attachment
- Covers entire area of OUTER tent, keeping even the vestibule areas covered
- Price — Hilleberg is top shelf quality, therefore pricey
The Kaitum 3 footprint is like all Hilleberg products, the very best of materials, design and manufacture. Obviously, this one is made specifically for the Kaitum 3 tent which I reviewed separately. I write to review something as seemingly mundane as a tent footprint because Hilleberg puts great thought into their product, and their footprints are no different.
Fit: All Hilleberg footprints fit their tents absolutely perfectly with just the right amount of tension on it, keeping it from wrinkling under you, yet allowing the tents floor to perfectly open. I can’t tell you how many tents I’ve had where the footprint was slightly too large, the hold down points didn’t match the tent’s pole pattern perfectly, some of the footprint stuck out slightly, or there wasn’t enough to cover certain areas of the bottom.
Not so with a Hilleberg. They are a perfect fit.
While it is not called out specifically, by Hilleberg's website, Shannon at Hilleberg US confirmed via e-mail that their footprints are made of the same material as the bottom tent material. So the material is:
70 Denier Nylon, Triple coated with polyurethane on one side, 2.65 oz.sq yd, 5000mm/49 kPa hydrostatic head pressure rated.
Like other footprints, the coated side goes up toward the tent to keep rocks and sticks from poking holes through the waterproof coating.
Area coverage: Unlike other brands, the footprint covers the entire area of the OUTER tent, not just the inner. So what you say? Trust me, this is a cool feature. Not only does it keep ground moisture from rising inside the entire tent, it allows you to slip out of the inner tent and into the vestibule, closing the inner tent before opening the outer yet still keeping yourself sitting on a dry surface.
I didn’t know how much I needed that feature before I bought a Hilleberg. More than once on a cold rainy night have I had to leave the tent and found that I could side in the vestibule while I put on my shoes in a dry spot BEFORE I opened up the vestibule’s zipper. It also keeps you from losing things in the grass in your vestibule where you store things. You don’t know how much you appreciate this feature until you have it.
Finally, semi-permanent attachment. This feature is very cool as well. Unlike most (all?) other tents, the footprint attaches to the tent assembly in a semi-permanent fashion. I call it an assembly because the inner and out tent normally travel assembled together allowing it to be set up in one step and protecting the inner tent from rain even during set-up.
The footprint attaches to the bottom of the tent assembly so it too becomes and integral part of the tent assembly. The inner, outer and footprint are literally joined together as an assembly. So the inner tent never touches the ground normally, not even during setup. Nor does the top of the footprint ever see rain, even in a rainy set-up. Of course, the footprint can be removed from the assembly for cleaning or additional drying after some hard use.
Hilleberg footprints are indeed worth a review of their very own. Now if only I can find a way to photograph how it stays attached as assembled and post it! After all, it's just a black piece of coated material, so it's not much to look at... but it is a great design.