The correct hiking tent for the Berg?!

09 Nov 2021 14:29 #77298 by Bush
I’m losing my mind trying to find the right tent.I wanted to buy the MSR Hubba Hubba or the Sea to Summit Telos TR2. But I just don’t feel they will withstand those Berg winds when the time comes.I was looking at those two from a weight and comfort point of view. But there’s no point in that of it collapsing on you in the night.Those are pricy tents. But the idea was a one-off purchase that would buy the best product and last a lifetime.And now I can’t decide. Looking at Vango now as an alternative.

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09 Nov 2021 15:40 - 09 Nov 2021 15:42 #77299 by grae22
I tend to take a different approach - start off with a reasonable budget option and then upgrade when necessary.

I've been using two Kway Nerolites (a two and three man) in the Berg for ~6 years now. They've seen plenty of wind and torrential rain without much issue - I was lazy and didn't velcro the fly to the pole intersections once at Giant's, during the night the wind started gusting properly and eventually bent one of the poles... but, we only noticed the next morning and it was easy to straighten (I should probably reinforce it with fiberglass tape or something, tho).

I used to think I'd probably upgrade, but at this point I don't have any reason to.

If you know you're going to be out there every weekend and will be expeditioning in more extreme environments then, sure, go for something more high-end. If you just need a hiking tent a couple of times a year for the Berg then I'd probably look at something like the First Ascent Lunar.
Last edit: 09 Nov 2021 15:42 by grae22.

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10 Nov 2021 07:57 #77300 by BergAttie
Most bomb proof in SA is the Sunseeker and later CADAC Isodome (3man)  or Isotech (2 ma) tents. But these are old and not in production andy more. Tough to get hold off in decent condition - if you get one - jump at it. They are not as light as newer tents but they are bombproof. You can upgrade to carbon poles which shaves off about 15% of the tenst weight from aluminium poles.

Closest international equivalent is a Hilleberg saivo ( but at $1675 not an affordable SA option.

From the locally available tents I would but the First Ascent Eclipse. Close to the Isodome design with better weight. Had one in our group recently and I was impressed enough to think that should my supply of Isodomes dry up I woudl go that route.

I own an MSR Huba-huba. Great little tent but when the wind goes shit your up the creek with no paddle. Camped with another MSR tent in the group a while back - brand new and the thing got destroyed in a heavy wind. MSR tents are vey good - for indoor camping.
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10 Nov 2021 13:39 #77301 by Riaang

I know the feeling!!! I've tried various overnighting methods, and here's how I do it and my views (others may differ).

I prefer sleeping in caves to tents. More space, more cozy, better atmosphere and definitely better at handling a gear explosion :-) However, caves aren't always available and your overnight spot is fixed. For this reason I started using bivvies. You can literally fit them nearly anywhere - even in a footpath! They are great in winter, but once it gets cold you tend to go to bed earlier unless you have decent warm gear for spending time outside. Bivvies in caves are my no.1 preferred option, because not all caves offer great wind protection (or protection from driving rain). My bivvy has an event upper so breathability is usually not a problem. However, outside in rain they are miserable, so I rarely take them on summer hikes. I do have a lightweight tarp and have used that numerous times in the Berg - this gives you a bit of protection above the bivvy, mainly around your head. Since my tarp is a 3m x 3m I often wonder if it will withstand strong berg winds. It has once, pulled the tentpegs on us and didn't fly away because I fastened it to my backpack. But this event still lingers in my mind...

Recently I purchased a Vango 4 man storm shelter. This has a number of uses, but my thinking is to use it as a mini tent if it starts to rain, so we can cook and do stuff inside, and when it comes time to sleep we can put our sleeping bags inside our bivvies (our = me and my wife) and not get wet. Then, while still in the storm shelter we simply need to lie backward and we should have ample protection from any rain falling on our upper bodies and getting things wet. Granted, it may not be the most comfortable night, but we'll be out of the rain and wind.

The main reason for the bivvy approach is adaptability and weight. Bivvy = 500g, storm shelter = 610g, with the combined weight being less than half of my Hilleberg Nallo 3. I really like the Nallo 3 and it is absolutely bombproof, but at 2.6kg excl pegs it is still much heavier than the bivvy setup. Also, it is only 220cm tall, my bivvy is 250cm and at 1,97m tall I just simply don't fit properly into any tent.

I also have a Vango tent, can't remember the name of it but it's a 2 man tent. In reality it's really a spacious 1 man tent, so I've never used it in the berg. However, I've lent it out twice to people that joined us on Berg hikes and they were fine in some heavy winds. Vango tents are made in the UK and can withstand their weather, so it should perform pretty well in the Berg. I bought the Nallo 3 as my final tent for the berg. It should outlast me and can cope with any type of berg weather - day in and day out. I didn't want to be in a situation with my wife where our tent got destroyed in bad berg weather. You could take the approach of going for a cheaper tent and hoping it will survive the onslaught from the wind, but it will probably give up the ghost some time or another. It could be 10 years from now, but when it breaks you will be in for a bit of a rough night. As long as you are aware of this fact and are prepared for the possibility of your tent being destroyed, it should be fine. I would probably take this approach if I hiked alone, but I purchased the Nallo 3 when my wife and I were still relatively new Berg hikers and I didn't want to scare her away from the berg. She likes to bivvy these days, so my approach today would be different from when I first started hiking in the berg.

At the end of the day you need to buy whatever shelter meets your needs. Typically bomb-proof isn't the lightest or cheapest, so you need to prioritize what is most important to you. Bivvies is sort of the middle ground for me and suits my hiking style particularly well. However, when I know I'm in for a torrential downpour or heavy snow and there's no caves around, I pack my heavy but reliable Hilleberg.

Whichever option you go for - check the weather and plan so that you have options if things go south.

Enjoy the mountains!!!
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14 Nov 2021 20:10 - 14 Nov 2021 20:12 #77307 by wildingo
If you want strength, and you hike with trekking poles, a trekking pole tent is a great, lightweight option.  It removes the need to carry tent poles that can be up to 30% of a tent's overall weight.

A relatively inexpensive, trekking pole tent option--to your $450 for the Hubba Hubba--is Dan Durston's, $300 Xmid 2p.

They are sold on, and its seems they have a shipment dropping (sorry) in January.

Last edit: 14 Nov 2021 20:12 by wildingo. Reason: date correction
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22 Nov 2021 10:09 #77320 by MarkT
I have an MLD DuoMid, and used it in the berg in high winds, it held up really well. Check the video of some people showing off this tent: 

Pyramid tents are a great choice for bad weather, I recommend them!
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22 Nov 2021 15:44 #77321 by mike_crom
I've been very happy with our Forclaz MT500 tent on Berg escarpment hikes. 

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