Sunday, 3 September 2006


Back when I started backpacking a tent weighing 2.5kg was considered lightweight.

My first backpacking tent was a Litchfield Viper2; this tent was a 2-person ridge tent with an A-pole system and weighed 3kg.

I only ever used this tent once on a backpacking weekend on the South Downs.

On this trip I saw two tents that work shape my backpacking for the next few years.

The first was the Hilleberg Nallo2 and the other was the Phoenix Phreeranger.

Phoenix Phreeranger

This tent only weighed 1.8kg and in the early 80's was state of the art. It was a 2-skin design and pitched outer first with the inner being hung inside. Between the inner and outer there was plenty of room for cooking and storing equipment, the inner had a kind of 'V' shape to it and this also gave room the store gear inside.

I used this tent in the Lake District, Wales, the Peaks and most of Southern England over the next 10 years or so. I finaly stopped using it when the PU coating on the flysheet had total disappeared.

By now Phoenix had been bought out by another company and the tent wasn't being made anymore, so it was time to look for another make of tent.

Also by now, I had children so I was looking to get something cheap. Big Mistake!!!

The first of many cheap tents was the Coleman Cobra2. This was a 2-person tent weighing 2.3kg and the inner was made with mesh, which was fine in the Summer but not in the Winter. Once in the Peaks and once on the South Downs I froze, my wotsits off.

Coleman Cobra2

The next tent bought was the Vango micro 100. This was another tent that pitched outer first. The biggest problem with is one was that, there wasn't enough room in the porch to cook without the flysheet being left open and then wasn't a great deal of room in the inner, but it did weigh only 1.6 kg.

Vango Micro 100

My next tent was the Hilleberg Nallo2. This is probably the best 2-person tent made.

There is plenty of room for gear in the porch area and if used solo it like a palace.

It does have some drawback though; because it pitches outer first, you can leave the inner attached but this makes it a big bulk to go in the pack and if the flysheet is wet, it tends to make the inner wet too.

Although the tent only weighs 2kg which is great for a 2-person tent, the flysheet is bulky too. I`ve never had any problems in windy conditions other than it can be a bit noisy. It's also the best winter tent.

Hilleberg Nallo2

The final tent (for now) is the Terra Nova Solar. This goes back to the single pole design but inner pitching first and weighs in at 1.95kg

There is plenty of room inside the tent and also in the porch area. One of the bestest things I like about this tent is the large door opening. I mainly use this in the summer and it's nice to have the door door early in the morning and watch the sun come up.

Terra Nova Solar

There are plenty of new lightweight tents on the market and probably more to come, but its not just about having the lightest tent, its also being comfortable within that tent.

1 comment:

  1. Another man with a collection of tents. Last count I had 3, and 3 more to loan if I needed to

    .....oh, got to stop now..... just seen another one to add to the set