First test: Hilleberg Anjan 3 (2012)

‘Considered quality’ is the phrase that perhaps best summarises Hilleberg. In its 40 years the Swedish tentmaker has produced a relatively small run of designs, but few have failed to become the most desirable examples of their kind. The Nallo and Akto models in particular have become classics –products effortlessly right, light and built to last for life. Designs over the past few years have diversified, with varying degrees of success – from the mighty Saitaris group tent to the oddball, single-person Suolo – but the design the brand has always excelled at is the tunnel, so any new model is always worth a look.

Based on the classic Nallo design, the new Anjan range of 2- and 3-person tents looks set to appeal to UK backpackers with a stripped-back, three-season design that retains the generous dimensions of its parent but with a reduced weight and increased packability. The keys to this are its outer fabric – a lighter-weight version of Hilleberg’s super-strong, super-thin Kerlon – and a flysheet that rises slightly higher at the base. The result is a tent that will withstand most UK conditions, with the possible exception of heavy drifts of Scottish snow. The Anjan 3 is also extremely light for a robust, true 3-person tent, weighing just 1900g all in.

Straight out of the bag, the simplicity of the Hilleberg Anjan 3 is evident. It’s all very tidy, with four converging guys in each corner and inner-and-outer-together pitching. The quality of the workmanship is outstanding, with metal clasps on the flysheet tensioners, vulcanised rubber pole stays and an ingenious guy system all adding intuitive ergonomics to the package.

The tent isn’t a fussy affair – you get a hanging line inside, plus a mesh window in the tail, and the flysheet can be rolled up to expose this if increased airflow is needed. The outer can also be pitched alone – as can the inner, by sliding the poles into the toggle cords that attach the inner to the outer when the two are used together. The door can be angled to open sideways too, which is a nifty feature for bad weather.

Size-wise, this is a big tent that can sleep three in comfort, and the roomy porch can hold a fair amount of gear. For extended periods, two would find this tent very comfy – and the sub-2kg weight means that even a solo backpacker could feasibly enjoy palatial accommodation without breaking his or her back.

The Hilleberg Anjan 3 is a strong tent, too – perhaps not to the bombproof extent of a mountaineering geodesic model, but certainly up to the rigours of most of the weather you’re likely to encounter in the UK. Sweden isn’t known for its sunshine and swaying palms – and these tents are built to endure high winds in bare, open spaces. The pegs are superb titanium efforts moulded for comfort.

Which brings us to the flysheet. Made from Kerlon 1000 fabric, strength isn’t a concern – we tried, and failed, to rip it – but the shorter reach of it round the hem of the tent may be, especially if conditions are particularly wet or you wish to camp in winter. While the tensioners on the flysheet allow one side of the tent to be raised (and therefore lowered on the other side for added protection) and the increased airflow the higher fly allows is a boon, some may still opt for the heavier Nallo to retain full four-season flexibility. Inside too, the lower edge of the door is quite close to where the tent makes groundfall but this is a minor gripe, and a matter of personal preference. A slightly more problematic gripe is the price. At £525, this is fairly modest by Hilleberg standards but it still masses more than decent tents such as the Terra Nova Voyager Superlite (£430) and the Vaude Power Ferret Ultralight (£440). However, over these rivals the Anjan 3 accommodates an extra person, weighs the same or similar and is shot through with a quality of workmanship that is difficult to resist. For that, if an outstanding 3-season tent is your endgame, it’s worth the stretch.

Price £525
Sleeps 3
Type 2-pole tunnel
Poles DAC Featherlight x 2
Pegs Hilleberg Tri Pegs x 12
Material Kerlon 1000 ripstop
Internal dimensions length 220cm (330cm inc. porch); width 160cm; height 100cm
Packed size 52x22cm
Weight 1938g
Made in Estonia
Stockists www.hilleberg.com

 

Verdict

The Hilleberg Anjan 3  is an exceptionally lightweight and roomy 3-person tent that is light enough for solo backpacking and – provided you have the cash – a superb example of Hilleberg’s peerless quality. An outstanding product.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine September 2012