The F10 Helium 100 has won ‘Best Value’ awards from Trail in the past, but the 2012 version is even better. The tent is based around a single precurved transverse pole that slips through a sleeve in the outer, to create a side entry tunnel. There’s an additional vertical pole at each end to add extra headroom. There are now additional internal mesh vents, which are protected by a small canopy at each end, and these should improve airflow and reduce condensation. The inner and outer fabrics are also brighter than last year, so it feels a little less gloomy inside. The headroom is still slightly low at each end, but you can sit up under the main pole. The porch is ideal for stashing a rucksack while leaving good access and space to cook. There’s a Tension Band System (TBS) too – which is a pair of internal guy lines that help stabilise the main pole. These do get in the way a little, but they can also be removed if not needed. The Force Ten Helium 100 weighs just 1205g; however if that is still too heavy check out the Helium Carbon 100, which has carbon fibre poles and comes in at just 946g – but it will cost you £400.
Flysheet material Protex silicone-coated nylon ripstop
Inner material nylon ripstop
Groundsheet material PU-coated nylon
Internal dimensions (length x width x height) 210x95x90cm
Packed size 40x11cm
The Force Ten Helium 100 is a superb solo backpacking tent that is even better this year and still well-priced – indeed, it won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award – although a little more headroom would be nice.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2012