Thursday, 5 April 2012

Hilleberg Akto

Yesterday we called in at one of the big camping shops in Heilbronn. I'd wanted to see a Hilleberg Akto when I was looking for my new lightweight tent recently. All the reviews I'd read rated it highly. It's large enough to fit one person comfortably and someone my height can easily sit up in it. The porch area is large which is great for cooking or storing a backpack or muddy boots. It has a single pole and can be erected inner and outer simultaneously in less than five minutes. It's made of a very thin lighweight material that is also extremely weather resistant meaning it should stand up to quite ferocious storms. 

When I decided to buy the Vango Helium 100 instead there were two things that swung me: the price and the weight. At around #400 it's really expensive - in the shop yesterday it was priced at just under €500. As they are made by a small company and don't change much from year to year they are not like other tents which can easily be picked up for half price or less at the end of each season. The plus side to this (the man in the shop explained) is that you can always buy spare parts if the need arises. Even if you have one of the earliest tents from circa 1971 you can still get parts. The other downside to the Akto however, is the weight. Although it's sold as a lightweight tent it weighs in a 1.6kg. A few years ago this would have been considered extremely lightweight, but not anymore. My new Vango is around 1.2kg and the Laser Comp is lighter still. They are both reputed to be as sturdy in bad weather. 

The man in the shop was extremely helpful and although he knew I wasn't about to buy one he still erected one for me so I could have a proper look. It was even better than I'd expected. The single pole erection is similar to the Vango. It felt really spacious when I sat inside and I was impressed by the porch size. I really like the idea of having one but I wouldn't use it for walking with because of the weight and my other Vango is fine for when I'm travelling with the car and don't need to worry about the weight.If I did happen to have a spare 400 quid though, it would be a nice luxury addition to my growing collection of outdoor sleeping options.

Below is a picture of an Akto from the Hilleberg website.