Which type of tent is the right one for you?

Do you know your 'dome' from your 'geodesic'? Or your 'tunnel' from your 'tarp'? More to the point, do you know which type of tent would suit you best? Confused?
Allow Trail to explain...

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TUNNEL TENTS

The simple design of the classic tunnel tent provides spacious accommodation for relatively little weight and bulk. They do need to be pegged correctly, but when set up properly, they are remarkably stable in even high wind conditions: Hilleberg Keron and Nammatj models are the de facto standard for Polar expeditions.

Hilleberg Nammatj tunnel tent

Hilleberg Nammatj tunnel tent

Pros

  • Outstanding space to weight ratio
  • Quick and easy to pitch
  • Remarkably stable

Cons

  • Can be tough to pitch on rock

Best suited to...

  • Long distance walkers
  • Trekkers
  • Winter backpackers and ski tourers
Hilleberg Keron tunnel tent

Hilleberg Keron tunnel tent


Hilleberg Tarra geodesic tent

Hilleberg Tarra geodesic tent

GEODESIC TENTS

Often seen as the classic mountaineering tent, the geodesic design relies on multiple poles that cross in multiple places to produce a very stable structure, making them excellent for trips with high snow loading potential. Note that while the main tent is self-supporting, the vestibules do need to be pegged out on most models. Geodesics are a smart choice for demanding exposed terrain, especially in winter or extreme conditions.

Pros

  • Highly stable
  • Spacious
  • Self-supporting tent body

Cons

  • Relatively heavy
  • Sloping walls can limit useable space
  • Costly

Best suited to...

  • Mountaineers
  • Winter hillwalkers
  • Mountain base campers in all seasons
Hilleberg Saivo geodesic tent

Hilleberg Saivo geodesic tent


DOME TENTS

“Dome Tents” include a broad array of models. At the high end, modern dome tents, such as the Hilleberg Staika, Allak and Soulo, are easily as strong as geodesics, and offer the added benefit of fully free standing construction, with vestibule(s) integrated into the structure. These tents are well-suited to any mountain venture, from a summer ramble to a winter mountaineering assault. At the low end, dome tents offer lower prices and are often quite capable of taking on most conditions.

Hilleberg Staika dome tent

Hilleberg Staika dome tent

Pros

  • High end: Highly stable
  • High end: Excellent on rock and in other tough pitching conditions
  • High end: fully free standing construction, with integrated vestibule(s)
  • Low end: generally cheaper

Cons

  • High end: Relatively heavy
  • Low end: lower stability

Best suited to...

  • High end: All-season backpackers, hill walkers, and mountaineers
  • High end: Mountain base campers in all seasons
  • Low end: Roadside wild campers
  • Low end: festival goers
Hilleberg Soulo dome tent

Hilleberg Soulo dome tent


Field Candy By the Light of the Fire ridge tent

Field Candy By the Light of the Fire ridge tent

RIDGE TENTS

Though A-frame ridge tents were once a staple of Himalayan expeditions and Scout camps, better design and materials have made them impractical for most modern backpackers, who are better served by tunnel designs. However, some of the modern, reimagined ridge designs are a good choice for weight-driven backpackers. In addition, fun and funky tents like those from Field Candy are adding a new twist to the humble ridge design, and are great for festivals or sheltered campsites.

Pros

  • Stable when pitched sensibly
  • Can be very lightweight

Cons

  • Smaller styles claustrophobic
  • Old style A-frames heavy and walls slope

Best suited to...

  • Festivals and campsites
  • Some modern designs good for weight-oriented backpackers
Field Candy Rebel Red ridge tent

Field Candy Rebel Red ridge tent


TARPS

'Tarping’ is getting ever more popular in summer, and there’s no doubt it offers an ascetic, streamlined way to camp – with the added benefit of the ability to pitch on tent-unfriendly surfaces like ridges or boulderfields. If you’re happy regarding shelter as purely functional, enjoy. If you like being sealed away from the elements, it won’t be for you. Note that a tarp and tent combination offers great versatility: use the tarp to create an extended patio for your tent, or use it alone for shelter on breaks from the trail, or for cooking or group gathering.

Hilleberg Tarp 10 tarp shelter

Hilleberg Tarp 10 tarp shelter

Pros

  • Very light
  • Pitching variations limited only by the imagination
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Open to elements & bugs
  • Requires thoughtful pitching
  • Colder than a tent

Best suited to...

  • Superlight backpackers who love al fresco sleeping
  • Tent using backpackers and hillwalkers who want extra versatility and/or those who want or need separate covered cooking or gathering area
Hilleberg Tarp 5 tarp shelter

Hilleberg Tarp 5 tarp shelter


For more information about the full range of Hilleberg tents visit www.gb.hilleberg.com

To see all the Field Candy tent designs available go to www.fieldcandy.com