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Which Hilleberg?

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Which Hilleberg?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:07 am

Hello all, I've been bitten by the Hilleberg bug. I'm definitely going to pick myself up one of their tents. For those of you who have used or owned them, which model do you prefer, and why? I've at least narrowed it down to the kerlon 1800 fabric/ 10mm poles models. They may be more bombproof than I'll need, but I hope to get many years of use out of it. Right now I'm primarily looking at the Tarra, Staika, Nammatj GT (2 &3), and maybe the Keron 3 GT. It is going to be my backpacking, motorcycle touring, general camping tent. I know some of the models are a bit on the heavy side, but I err on the side of comfort. :D
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby Muddeer » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:29 pm

I've used Nammatj 2 GT. Like many tunnel-style tents, it is great on snow. However I would not recommend it for general backpacking or car camping. I found it difficult to set up taut on uneven or rocky grounds and, because it's not freestanding, has to be staked down; not easy to do on paved parking lots or hard-packed ground of many popular park campsites.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:00 pm

That's a good point Muddeer. The Nammatj (and the GT versions) are enticing because they have by far the best space to weight ration of any of the "bombproof" category tents. But I can see what you're saying...pitching them on hard ground would be a pain.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby Kiefer » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:30 am

Jedi5150,
I used MANY tents over the years and this season is the first I've picked up a Hillberg. I own a Tarra now and thus far, I've only used it once.
As you probably know, the Tarra IS a freestanding tent as is its 2-man counterpart, the Jannu. Ruling out years (experience) of setting up tents, my buddy and I set up my Tarra in the
dark in a talus field near Castle & Conundrum Peaks under a new moon with light flurries. Even though getting the poles to the right sleeve (only matters in terms of keeping things 'straight') took a little
thought & know-how, I didn't think it was all that difficult or cumbersome.
Once we had the tent erected with one vestible staked out (the powder snow made it tricky to stake out), the thing was indeed, bomb-proof.
If you went with the 2-man (Jannu), I imagine this process would be even easier.

I also looked at thier tunnel tents but decided on a freestanding instead. My reasoning is that one can't always count on adequete hard ground to be found, rocks, trees, roots are not always givens
and in this case, my first time, the snow proved to be too deep and sugary (fresh) to reliably/successively stake anything down. I suppose if you're using it for motorcycle trips or general tent camping...
formal campgrounds I'm assuming, you shouldn't have much to worry about. So as I think about it, that is, using it for serious backcountry trips where conditions are ambigious, a freestanding tent at least
in my opinion would be preferred...but each to their own.

A good friend of mine has the Nammatj and they used it last month when we were up climbing Pyramid Peak & scouting the Maroon Bells. I thought it was a great tent. Tons of room inside and very spacious. But it did take up a lot
of area around the tent to stake out. If one needs the tension from the guy lines due to forseeable heavy snow or 'Daytona Winds', this is great, but for general camping, it seems overkill to me. It did take them a while to set it up too. But
I have to say, I was jealous sleeping in my EV2 that they had a veritable mansion! 8)
If you get the chance, set up these tents in store if you're able to. I went to Neptune's in Boulder and looked at what they carried first then set up both the Tarra and the Jannu (at Bent Gate in Golden) before making a decision.

Hillberg is the kind of produt you buy once and keep it forever...like luggage. :P
As you know, it's a lot of serious clams to shell out (pun intended). Get as much first-hand experience before you buy. G'luck
I'll be using mine for the second time next month on a week-long (trip) attempt to the Maroon Bells and Thunder Pyramid.

If you don't buy one before late March, I can PM you about some more specifics, my opinions etc. after a second use.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:05 am

Kiefer, thanks for the great review of the Tarra. It is at the top of my list, tied the Nammatj 3GT. I'd love to see photos showing interior space if you happen to have any from your trip. Are the vestibules big enough to cook in?

I hear what you're saying about Hillebergs being a lot of cash to come up with, and wanting to do it right the first time. Luckily I have this base covered. I have an appointment in a couple weeks at their office in Seattle, and they have offered to set up 3 or 4 for me to compare. I have been very impressed so far with their customer service, and I haven't even bought the tent yet. :) I'm actually making the trip specifically to look at the Hillebergs. I know, it may sound nuts. But I've bought enough tents without comparing them first, only to sell them later, that I'm willing to put forth the effort (and cash) to do it right the first time.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby radson » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:46 pm

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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:08 pm

radson wrote:My Nammatj 3GT set up in extreme conditions.

http://hobyjackson.info/mountaineering/hilleberg-nammatj-3-gt-initial-field-report


Thanks for the link Radson, I actually came across your review last night just by way of google. I can't wait to see your Nammatj 3GT in even more difficult situations than Sydney (if that is even possible) :lol:


Twoshuzz, you make some very valid points. I might be trying too hard to have a "1 tent than does it all". What has sort of locked me into this thought process is this; I can justify spending the big $$ on a Hilleberg much easier in my mind, if it is going to be used across all my recreational activities. When I start considering a $500-1,000 dollar tent that can only really be used for backpacking/ MC touring/ car camping, then I start to wonder if I should really be spending that much on a tent.

I only go by packed wieghts, because I prefer to bring everything (or most everything) that comes with the tent, including spares and footprint. My current backpacking tent is the REI Halfdome 2, which has a packed weight of 6 lbs. So at least I have some idea of how much heavier I'd be going from there. As for why I'm looking at 2 and 3 mans, it again comes down to versatility. Quite a bit of my backpacking will be solo (if solo includes a 60 or 75 pound Belgian malinois...I usually take my female, the smaller of the two). Granted, dogs take up fairly little space when sleeping, but I've had some 1 mans that were just too small with the dog (MSR Hubba for example). The second problem is that my adventures can include up to 4 people and both dogs. I have two sub-teen daughters and my wife, who also love to hike. So the plan at this point is to get a two man and a three man. That should give enough space for family trips with 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 fur-missiles. :D

So a solo shelter really doesn't fit in with any of the plans. I could certainly take the 2 man tent on my solo BP trips and not the 3 man. So hopefully that explains the situation a little better. Believe me, I know that whatever I get probably won't be "ideal" all across the board. But that's a compromise I'm going to have to make in order to keep the expendature at a reasonable level. And to answer your final question, the truth is that more of my camping will be from a motorcycle or a car than from the backpack. I wish that weren't the case, but that is the realistic answer.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby jrisku » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:55 pm

I have a Staika, because it's freestanding and really, really fast to pitch + once pitched it's bomp broof. Spent a week in a blizzard and it was great. The first night was a bit flappy, as I didn't put the stakes in and tighten the guy lines properly (didn't anticipate the blizzard - lazy me), but once I did slept well through out rest of the stormy nights. Warmly recommended. As someone said, they're a bit on the heavy side and somewhat bulky... still best tents I've seen so far.
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby PanamintSteve » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:12 am

I'm trying to decide between Staika and Tarra.
Intended use is jeep/off-road camps, in the southwest US deserts, in very high-wind situations, for 2 adults.
--->Is there a significant sacrifice in wind sturdiness with the 3-person Staika, as compared the 2-person Tarra.<---
Hilleberg says that the Tarra is their strongest tent, but the extra room in Staika would be nice.
(For low/no-wind situations, we have an REI Base Camp 6.)
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Re: Which Hilleberg?

Postby BigMitch » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:31 pm

I rode out a 70 mph windstorm in a Staika without any worry, after I put the anchors down 2-3 feet. Heavy, but bomber and comfortable.
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