Most people go adventuring in the outdoors to be outdoors – hiking, climbing, paddling and the like – not to sit in a tent! Thus, the most important thing your tent can do is afford lightweight, utterly reliable protection when the weather turns bad and you do have to be “inside.” For our Yellow Label, 3 season tents, it might be the intense summer rain squall that drives you into your tent, or a relentless downpour on a fall day. For our all season tents, whether Black or Red Label models, it’s about those worst-case scenarios, like the sudden, severe snow storm that comes out of nowhere; the windy ridge top you get stuck on for days; or the deluge that keeps you pinned to the tiny bit of high ground your tent sits upon. With this in mind, we design and build all of our tents with strict attention to the details that will make those times the most livable!
Linked yet separable inner and outer tents are a Hilleberg hallmark. We sew heavy duty loops with toggles onto the inner tent, and place corresponding rings along the pole lines inside the outer tent. The toggles can be detached and reattached very easily, and the system not only allows you to use inner and outer tents separately, but also to customize your inner space.
We carefully select the thread we use for strength and durability, and we always use a flat fell-seam. This means that every stitch goes through four layers of fabric, ensuring both strength and water resistance. Additionally, our sewing machines employ cooling jets around the needles, preventing heat-producing friction that could enlarge the stitch holes. The end result is a very precise, very reliable seam that has remarkable durability and water resistance.
Pole sleeves are integral to almost all of our tents. We use a 100 denier high tenacity nylon. This material is easily tough enough to handle the strain of pole movement when pitching or taking down the tent. We also make the sleeves wide enough to accommodate two poles, which is a good option for the most extreme conditions. The raised profile of the sleeve makes it easy to insert the pole, and protects the seam against wear. And separate pole sleeves keep the poles off the tent fabric for extra safety.
Pole system function is tied to how the tents are used. On our tunnel tents and some of our small dome tents, we use a single-opening, continuous pole sleeve and pole tensioner system that is geared for mobile journeys or where light weight is the highest priority. On our smaller all-season dome tents, we use our short pole sleeve and clip system, where a sleeve on each side of the tent holds the pole ends, and precisely placed clips secure the tent to the poles. Larger dome models employ a combination of full sleeves, shorter sleeves and clips, and adjustable pole tensioners, a system that is designed specifically to make pitching larger dome tents simple for one person. All systems provide great strength and quick pitching, and all can accommodate double poles.
Guy lines are essential for stability in rough conditions, so we equip every tent with them. On tents with continuous pole sleeves, each guy line has two attachment points, which evenly spreads the tension load. On dome tents using our short sleeve and clip or full sleeve plus sleeve and clip systems, many attachment points are designed to be wrapped around poles or pole crossings, adding even greater strength. The cord itself is light, strong, absorbs little water, and has minimal stretch. It is a proprietary interwoven blend of polyester and Vectran, a high-performance liquid crystal polymer yarn that is, pound for pound, five times stronger than steel.
Good ventilation is crucial, so we incorporate use-specific venting systems into all of our tents. Our all-season tents, built for year ’round use, have outer tents that go to the ground for maximum weather protection, highly adjustable vents built high up in the tent, and inner tent mesh areas that can all be covered with adjustable fabric panels. Our 3-season tents, which are designed for warmer weather and snow-free use, have constant air flow, thanks to fixed inner tent mesh areas and full-time venting built into their outer tent walls.
Found on all Hilleberg tents with full or three-quarter length pole sleeves, our pole tensioners allow for optimal tension to be applied to the poles. Once the pole is seated in the plastic cup, tension is added by simply pulling the webbing strap until the bottom of the pole cup is level with the bottom of the outer tent and the back of the pole cup is tight against the tent wall. The tensioners are easy to operate – even while wearing big gloves or mittens – and their plastic cups have room for dual poles.
On our outer tent doors, we use specially designed zipper pulls that have a ring which mates with a red toggle at the base of the zipper. This system effectively locks the zipper in place, preventing any zipper creep in high winds, and is both simple and quick to engage and release.
Adjustable peg attachments allow for the utmost in pitching precision. Pegging out the adjusters when they are set to their longest position and then tightening the webbing strap adds tension and contributes to providing maximum stability.
Every tent has multiple reflective strips. These are strategically placed around the tent, high up, so that they will catch even a small amount of light. Unlike some reflective systems, ours does not require a direct “hit” with a light beam to be seen.