Hillenberg Atko tent^

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Graham T
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Hillenberg Atko tent^

Post by Graham T » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:40 pm

I am looking into getting a tent suitable for kayak trips, and wonder if any one out there has the Atko and can recomend it. Other suggestions for a quality tent which is small, light, quick and easy to put up for one person welcome. I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 but think this may be a little large/heavy for one and take longer than i'd like to erect on a daily basis

ian johnston
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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by ian johnston » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:42 pm

Terra Nova Voyager. I've used one for years and it's never let me down. That and the Akto are neck and neck the best around IMO.

Ian

Graeme Seggie
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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graeme Seggie » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:52 pm

I have an Akto and really like it. I've used it on one paddle weekend (as well as others hiking) so far and it was tested pretty severely by the winds and rain on that occasion.

It packs small (and light though that's not so important in a kayak) and pegs out to give quite a solid structure though on a sandy beach this would not be the case I suspect and some other 'pegs' or system would have to be employed as the tent is held up by the pegging having just one pole.

The only downside I find is the limited size of the vestibule which restricts how much gear you can store but this might not be an issue as most wet gear can be stowed in the kayak probably as it wouldn't be likely to dry overnight in the tent anyway.

Reading reviews before I bought mine, I had concerns about reported issues with condensation but have never had this problem myself, there are vents at either end and one at the top by the door too so maybe they work well if aimed in to the wind.

Graeme

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:28 pm

Wow that was quick thanks for the informative replies both of you I will have a look at the Terra Nova as well thanks Ian

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by RichardCree » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:50 am

The Akto is great piece of kit, also worth a look is the terra nova laser lite, which i now use instead, as strong in the wind and has more space, which is great if a forced extended stay is required.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:25 am

Hi Richard thanks for the reply. I have done a search on the laser light, and presume the carbon pegs make it sound lighter but are dumped by most people I have read about. On balance how tough do you think it is as a tent in it's own right and compared to the Atko. I have not discounted your comment about having a bit more space which all other things being equal is nice nor that it is less £

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Owen » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:27 am

Another similar tent is the Macpac Micro lite. I've had mine since 1994, it's been used for about a dozen mountain marathons and loads of backpacking and kayaking trips. What I most like about the macpac tents is their groundsheets, really bombproof and long lasting unlike far to many tents on the market.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Colin C » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:00 pm

The Atko is a fantastic tent which I use when walking, I also own a Terra Nova Quaser and always take that on a sea trip,even when on my own, space in the boat is not an issue, but if you are stuck in the tent for a couple of days you will be glad you took a bigger tent.If stormbound it will be blowing a gale, so again the strongest tent with the most space wins hands down. If you are very tight for space than you could do a lot worse than the Hilleberg. My Atko has a footprint which will extend its life, and the quality is outstanding. There are lots of good quality tents out there, but my advice would be to take a bigger tent than a one person tent, you will be glad you did, after you are stuck in it for two days, and the porch is full of wet waterproofs and you need to cook your dinner.

Colin

Graham T
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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:37 pm

Well I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 which is built for high winds and four season use but not so small and light. I guess what I need to do is work out all the kit I would need to take for say 10 days and see how it fits, in the kayak. Weight isn't perhaps too much of an issue as i'm not so heavy myself, but space is an "I don't know" factor yet.
Also I thought a tent which is quicker to erect and strike would be a bonus.
There has been a lot of good input here but as allways until seen in person or used in person it is rather a case of they all look good and come recomended with individual pluses and minuses. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:28 pm

From my mountaineering days I have an older Laser Competition which though not as light as current models is superbly light and as heavy as I wanted to backpack with into a high corrie or summit plateau. However, I found that it was quite tricky to rig well especially if wind was expected, Ideally you need a perfectly level site with soft but firm ground so you can get the pegs in just the right place. In heavy rain mine leaked at the seams and damp came through the ground sheet, I mostly had to erect it on top of a foam roll sleeping mat to protect the groundsheet from punctures and also to try to keep water away from the groundsheet. It was great where weight was at a premium but even though I am just 5'8(and a half)" I found it a bit small. I only used it on one sea kayaking camping trip when we were storm bound for three days.

I have never used an Akto myself but a friend has one and it does not leak it also seems easier (in his hands) to rig than my Laser. I was very impressed by the Hilleberg quality materials and workmanship so on my return from the above trip I bought a Hilleberg Nallo 3GT with footprint.

Image
Being a tunnel it is really quick to erect. I really like the space but it is still compact enough when packed to go camping in my Nordkapp LV. Complete with bags and full size footprint it weighs 3.4kg. It has stood up to substantial wind and rain. I like it because if its wet you can take the inner down from inside and put it in a separate bag while still dry. Also, with the inner tent down it makes a huge space to have a group meeting which can be good for morale when storm bound either for route planning, card games, pre/post prandial drinks etc.

It was very expensive but I have never regretted buying it.

Douglas

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:44 pm

I was lucky enough to import my tent for around £200 with footprint. It has plenty of space and could sleep two, should be very weather proof including high winds and at 4kg perhaps not too heavy. I will play around with it a bit seeing how packable it is in the kayak using just a round hatch, and take it from there. I can see how the tent, thermarest, sleeping bag can take up a large amount of the available space. Lucky I dont drink beer !

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by gnarlydog » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:12 am

uksailor, so you did get the Akto?
I have a Nallo2 and it's the best tent I have, period.
Way superior to my Macpacs (Olympus and Minaret) and the various REI tents.
Unfortunately the Hilleberg tents are abit hot for my Australian environment and I prefer something a bit more ventilated for kayak camping.
You say 4Kg for your tent? wow, that does not sound right... it should be way less than 2Kg...
For your windy and wet weather the Hilleberg are the best tents money can buy.
While I could get free tents from some manufacturers (used to work at REI in USA) I went and purchased a Hilleberg at full pop.
These days I buy from the USA website and get it shipped by forward shipping; much cheaper than buying in Europe.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:42 am

Hi gnarlydog sorry for not making it clear, "my tent" is the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 that I already have. This will explain to you the space/weight thing. My concerns were size, weight, and time taken to put it up /take it down after a long day or for an early start. I bought it at a time I was hoping to get a friend into the sport as well, and the need to provide everything for her to be able to paddle, including a two man/woman tent. I would only be thinking of supplementing it now with a tent better suited for one person alone, which can be lighter, smaller, and quicker to use. Several tents mentioned look good and research is suggesting the cheaper laser light would also be a good choice. if I had to buy right this moment unseen it would be the Atko. I suspect Owen will have mede a good recommendation as well, but it is not so easy without seeing one in person, and eventualy it is a case of "pays yer money" .
The Trango I bought during a sale, and will serve fine for on holiday in the UK when I am camped in one spot for a week, so no regrets about buying it, and no panic yet about one of the others although I do have my eye out now for the right opportunity to come along.
Glad you like yours so much and another point scored for the Hillenberg

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by RichardCree » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:21 am

Hi the carbon pegs are fine in everything except sand, i usually carry some sand anchors, the laser is as tough as anything else made of the same, i am not the most careful person when it comes to kit and mine is still going strong.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:14 pm

Atko V Laser light = "15 all" next serve

Big Ade
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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Big Ade » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:33 pm

uksailor wrote:Atko V Laser light = "15 all" next serve
Slightly late into this thread, but why are you so keen to change tents?
I use a VauDe MK3 Extra long for my Kayaking trips, its bombproof but at around the same weight as your Trango 2, I'm guessing it to be a similar pack size.
Hence, and please don't take this the wrong way, but have you used it for a week away yet and found it wanting or too space hungry?
When getting a new kayak, I always spend several hours on the lawn doing pack/repack drills until I can pack the boat in minutes with everything balanced and easily located when arriving on the beach.
Sometimes that means making my own custom dry bags, custom squeezy bags, and perhaps spiltting the tent up, seperate dry bags for each size 12 boot, etc.
But not having a shed, its part of the fun. No really, prep, prep, prep, prep, prep, perform, as they say.

My equation would be Akito Vs Laser Vs Lots of Diesel to take me paddling.

Best of luck finding your perfect tent. It often takes years and £1000s ;-))

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:01 pm

Hi Ade thanks for that. I haven't even slept in it yet but did put it up in my front room and was pleased by the space etc. However as I have also not yet done my first camp trip out of a kayak it seems as though those who are experienced in this pursuit use somewhat of a small light approach, and as I have gone from expecting to look after two people to look just myself, it seems worth consideration.
I did say in one of my posts above I would play around with it a bit and see how much space I have left after packing those items which are essential in my view. I have bought various sizes of dry bag including compression jobs and the Lomo tapered type (takes my sleeping bag)
I am asking and thinking about this now so that if a trip comes up to do I am prepared rather than get away only to find none of it works for me.
I do think if on my own a smaller lighter tent which requires less time and effort to use could be a big plus. For now I am going to get some time with my current tent.
Nobody says which size kayak they use or what size hatches and perhaps that doesn't matter................not sure
For me the biggest thing will probably be a check list to know what I have, which bag it is in, and where the bag is stowed. Experience no doubt then tells you how to order your stowage so you don;t have to completely unpack in the rain in the dark for your head torch or water proof jacket.................why was I planning to go camping......oh yes I think it will be fun.........just joking !

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Jim
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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:51 pm

OK I'll bite.

I use a sea king (5.5m long) with tiny 17cm round hatches.
My current tent is a Vango Spirit 200+ (some problems noted - looks about the same size as Douglas' Nallo so that may be a better option). I can't remember the specified weight, mine will be over due to the number of repairs.
It should go in the hatch all packed together, but I tend to pack the poles separately so I can a) do it carefully, b) squash the tent up more. The carbon poles from my thermarest seat usually go in with the tent poles, my thermarest takes a bit of wriggling to get through the hatch, which makes me think I could just get the tent in with poles if I wanted.

Tent choice for kayaking, I would say depends on the trip, comfort requirement and goals to an extent.

I used to take a bivi bag. It was far from ideal when going for a week, it's actually not that light and provides no space for sitting about to cook, or to weather a storm, or read the pilot etc. I started using a tarp with it, but then I was using even more space to camp than people with much bigger tents, and it was still awkward getting in and out in a storm.
For weekend trips in fine weather, where you only need to use the tent for one night and there is a good chance it will be nice enough to cook outside, a small lightweight tent is ideal.
For mega trips where every ounce and every square centimetre is at a premium, a small lightweight tent is ideal.
For slightly longer trips or trips at times of the year when bad weather is to be expected at some point, I think it is well worth taking a bigger heavier tent with an extended porch that can be used for cooking, hosting a small party (sitting still drinking beer and discussing the forecast), laying the maps and/or charts out and so on. That's why I am using the spirit 200+, it is not exceptionally heavy but has a decadent front porch almost equal in size to the sleeping compartment. It's a tunnel tent so it pitches very quickly - thread 3 poles and insert 4 pegs and it is basically up, the rest of the pegs and guys improve stability, but if it's raining you can leave them until after you get your kit into the dry. Also the inner can be left hooked in so the tent pitches in one operation - saves time and I reckon can save some wear and tear on the inner based on some of the antics required to hook inners up on previous tents.

Really, for the majority of kayaking the weight of the tent is not critical, but obviously lighter is nicer and anyone who is spending extra on lightweight construction will feel an idiot taking anything exceptionally heavy.

Obviously I am talking about light-heavy in the context of modern small nylon tents with alloy or composite poles, not all the way up to steel poles and heavyweight canvas - I would suggest that an original force 10 is really only a consideration if you are deliberately setting out to camp in gales. I should probably get one ;-)

Jim

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:05 pm

Jim wrote "I should get one" ROFALOL

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Owen » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:12 pm

My kayak's an Anas Acuta with an eight inch hatch up front and a ten inch hatch in the back. I generally use the macpac for short two-three nights but I haven't done any longer trips with this boat yet. My old kayak only had the eight inch hatches but was a much bigger boat. For week plus trips I used a Vaude Hogan, for the extra space. Prior to that I used a Wintergear Blizard (for-runner to the wildcountry quasar). Packing the poles seperately helps as does splitting the inner and outer.
For other gear using lots of smaller dry bags is better than one big bag. My sleeping bag is a Rab 300 down bag, I then add a snugpac fleece sleeping bag liner much easier to pack than one very big bag. I generally only take two sets of clothing one wet one dry, I never mix then up. I wouldn't take any more on longer trips, I just pack some travel wash. Most of the rest of the space is for food.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Big Ade » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Most sea kayaks will have 2 big rucksacks worth of space in them.
I think you'll be ok with a bit of practice packing.
If you do want to spend money, a non Stick Trangia has lasted me since the 1980s. Gas converted in the naugties.
Mine is a Capella 173, (3 compartments) was a Skerray Excell (two compartments so the back could be a sprog hatch), was a Sea King, was a Dawn Treader, was a few NordKapps, was a Fjord (owned that one twice).
Each has a different way it likes/needs to be packed.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:33 pm

You know what I just worked it out pack the Anas and any kit left over put it into the Greenlander i've got a spare tow rope !
Although i've not done it yet I understand the minimal take on cloths and some carefull selection. To use merino wool for base layers and at night if cold enough (no smelly gear), also to break things down into smaller packs which leaves less dead space etc.
I have been wondering but it is off thread rather how much water you carry and how you carry it. I know it is to a large extent dependant on the weather and how easy a refill is likely to be, but is a few camelbacks or some sort of flexible camping container? Now i'm off topic if weight/space is getting tight do you carry freeze dried food or does the extra water needed to rehydrate it negate any advantage.
I have looked at the tent thing again with a different eye and the Nalo 2 ? Douglas has looks the snizz to me for plenty of space both to sleep and for gear storage/cooking in, combine with light weight.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Owen » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:36 pm

How many kayak's do you have?

As for water, I'm away for three days and I'll be taking the inner out of a wine bag full of water. I just stuff in behind my seat.

Freeze dry, to quote Crocodile Dundee "You can live off it but it tastes like s**t". I'm never sure which is best to eat the packet or its contents.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:54 pm

Ha Ha I haven't eaten any freeze dried but when i try some it will be the contents first time out not the packet.
Number of kayaks just enough (4)
Thanks for the tip about the wine inners that doesn't sound like much for 3 days do you drink beer as well ?

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Owen » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:23 pm

No I don't tend to take beer, I'm more of a tea drinker. Some take that amber muck the locals rav about, can't think why. I've just spent four months hauling the stuff around in bulk, you very quickly get sick of that smell.

One water bag should last a couple of nights but up the west coast re-filling it isn't a problem.

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by downunder » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:35 pm

For a tough water solution you could try these. Mine doesn't have the tubing and has lasted 2 years now with no sign of wear and tear.
Water Storage

Cheers

Bill

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by MikeB » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:44 pm

Big Ade wrote:I use a VauDe MK3 Extra long for my Kayaking trips, its bombproof but at around the same weight as your Trango 2, I'm guessing it to be a similar pack size.
Might you mean a MkII Long? I'll sound a note of caution about some the latest Vaudes, having had an extremely bad experience with a 2008 MkII Long, and I expect the same will be true of all the latest models. Vaude have added a lot of mesh panels, at the bottom of the fly to provide better ventilation. This, together with raising the fly a bit, has resulted in the thing providing such excellent ventilation that it's like being in a wind tunnel in any sort of a blow.

The poles on mine also suffered constant breakage and when Vaude replaced the entire set, it proved incapable of withstanding a low end 6 and collapsed, bending the poles.

Before the 2008 model, I had a late 90's MkII which was superb, much more stable and never gave any trouble. A friend has a late model MkII, one of the last ones before they turned it into a collander, and it's fine too. It uses notably different poles to the latest version.

I got a Vaude Power Atreus to replace the MkII which, while not giving any trouble with poles so far, has required a lot of work to get the seams waterproof (siliconised nylon, so they aren't taped) and the design really needs a bit more thought as water will drip off the door opening and into the inner if the door is open when its raining. It is however a very big and solid tent - probably too big for your planned purposes.

See the Reviews page for full details.

A shame really - I held Vaude tent designs in high regard.

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Now water and food

Post by Jim » Sat May 01, 2010 1:27 am

As a non wine drinker I don't use a wine bag, I did recently buy a folding water carrier from Asda for not much with the intention of trying it over Easter, but since we didn't do much paddling between gales I ended up sticking to my large collection of plastic bottles. Lucozade bottles in particular seem to be quite tough and their conical top makes them ideal for driving into odd spaces as wedges. I tend to drink a lot so carry a lot, but rarely have I actually been unable to replenish my water supplies. If I am a little short I will use sea water for cooking (preferably not for dried stuff which is quite salty anyway) and usually wash up in sea water, unless I have loads more fresh than I am likely to use. See how you get on with a camelback and buoyancy aid before committing all your water to camelbacks, I don't find it very good. That reminds me, platypus bottles have no way of attaching them so they wash off of deck. I lost one in Loch Dunvegan last year and found it at Camasunary this year, I must remember to see if it's covered by the lifetime warranty... :-)

Food - everyone has preferences. Fresh food will last a few days (the boat is like fridge when afloat) but is bulky. Tins are quite heavy but usually better than dried - do try the tins in advance though, some turn out to be bloody awful. One advantage of tins is that they can take a right old hammering and go back in the cupboard for another trip. Do peel the labels off and write on the tins though, damp labels make a mess. Fully dried stuff is feasible, I often use supermarket cheap savoury rice to go with a tin of something to make a half decent meal, and of course if you are in dire straits the rice is all you actually need to survive. I tend to take dried stuff to eat towards the end of a trip and as 'extra' (often more dramatically called 'emergency') rations - it is much lighter so you feel less annoyed about carrying it round and bringing it home than you do with tins or half a bag of spuds. Basically pretty much anything is feasible. Things like Pizza or meringue clearly aren't going to survive packing, bread is another item that doesn't pack, some folk use hard rolls, others use crackers (always with squirty cheese?), I tend to favour tortillas but avoid unpacking and repacking too often or they do start to disintegrate. Using tortillas means I can take a bit of mince to make burritos early in the trip (or fajitas if you take chicken) and use the same packet for lunch. I have friends who roll half a pig's worth bacon into a big cylinder so they can peel rashers off for breakfast (or adding to evening meals) throughout the duration of the trip. I find it easier to take porridge, sultanas and/or brown sugar add some variety, and if you mix powdered milk into it, you will never know it was powdered (I understand it is less successful in tea which I take black and coffee which I don't take at all unless severely hypothermic).

Beer is my achilles heel. About the only time I really drink beer these days is when I'm away kayaking (or racing) and it is my tipple of choice. Others extol the virtues of whisky (which I also like) but I find it leaves me with a very small drink that I can't have many of, so I prefer to lug the weight of some beer around. At home or work I pretty much always have a drink on the go, tea or squash (the latter by the pint), after a day in the boat where I can only drink so much I need to spend the evening filling up with some kind of fluid ;-)

Honestly, unless you are a big fan of gadgets (like me) and end up with a large collection of things that should be useful but actually you almost never use (like me), you will find on your first few trips that the boat swallows everything you need without trouble. I can't think of anyone (perhaps myself) who on their first overnight trip didn't have space left because they weren't sure how much they could take and thus packed sensibly. For me a major difference is which sleeping bag I take (which depends on the season) - If I have to take my cold weather bag it completely fills a lomo tapered drybag, which is just too wide at the top to fit through my hatch, which means I have to finish packing inside the boat where I can't squash it up as well, and struggle to get the roll top closed. If I only need my summer bag, as long as I don't do the compression straps too tight, it drops through the hatch and disappears - the difference is probably about a crate of beer, not to mention half an hour of grazed knuckles and ripe language.

Jim

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Graham T » Sat May 01, 2010 7:50 am

Hi one and all and thank you very much for the input.
I wrote a long reply but lost it with a poor internet connection so for now a simple thank you the responses have been very informative and hepfull

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Re: Hillenberg Atko tent

Post by Mark R » Sat May 01, 2010 8:04 am

Image

This Trango 3.1 is the tent my wife and I use for extended trips - at face value, it's ideal as it has huge comfort space for living, cooking and lounging and even (she gets really excited about this) internal shelving. Carrying this monster in a sea kayak is no problem.

However - every single pole broke, repeatedly, in Orkney last summer. We've had them replaced, but ... we have still to see whether the new poles will fail so spectacularly.
Mark Rainsley
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