User Review: Hilleberg Staika
Design: Freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 8 pounds
Price Paid: $600
What makes an initial good impression is this tent's free-standing quality and it's ability to be lifted and placed exactly where it needs to be for sleeping purposes. The 2 door vestibules are also part of the free-standing dome structure and therefore do not need to be staked out. As with nearly all Hillebergs, this tent has a suspended inner tent which is supported by the 3 poles clipped onto the outside of the silicone/Kerlon fly. Headroom is great and the interior space is perfect for one person. It is a big tent in some ways but in other ways it's total footprint is small and fits into most tent sites. The short pole sleeves and clip system is fast and strong.
The golden yellow inner tent canopy is one of my favorite things about the Hilleberg line of tents and I like the bright interiors on cloudy days like today. Another big plus is the 100 denier 3-coated floor which almost feels rubbery and you just know it'll keep out the snow and rain. WEIGHT: This one attribute(along with price)is the main reason this tent is not carried and used by more backpackers. I don't mind carrying an 8 pound tent, in my mind it is light when you look at what you're getting: A large 2 door, 2 vestibule strong 3-poled four season self-standing high tech dome tent with 36 cubic feet of living space. This tent is a well thought out piece of gear built by people who have improved it with years of evolution and next-generation additions. Unlike many tents I could mention, Hilleberg finds something that works and instead of discontinuing it, improves it.
Update: January 11, 2008
Here is a follow up report of the Hilleberg Staika after extensive use and many winter backpacking trips.
The main problem I found with this green dome 3 pole tent is the umbrella fly's attachment points. The fly connects to the tent using 6 plastic toggles which insert into 6 plastic rings, all beefy and strong. The toggle is connected to a short piece of webbing which is adjustable with a plastic ladder buckle. In warm weather this system works great, in ice-cold rain that freezes solid, this system is pitiful and nearly impossible to use.
The webbing freezes stiff so the ladder buckle won't allow adjustment, that's one problem. The other is that the webbing behind the toggle won't bend enough to let the toggle pass out of the ring. It's all one big complicated mess. And as far as I can tell, the umbrella fly must detach in order to remove the poles from their short bottom sleeves in the process of taking down the tent.
I emailed Hilleberg about this several weeks ago but have not gotten a reply. The only solution is to warm each point IN THE MOUTH to thaw enough to detach, or to use hot water in some way. I find such a problem to be ironic in a tent purported to be at home in the Arctic. I would be interested to see how the owners of other Hilleberg tents that use this system respond (Jannu/Saivo/Allak/Soulo).
Don't get me wrong, this is still a great tent and I'll continue to use it wholeheartedly as my main shelter.