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  #1  
Old 26 Nov 2011
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Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!

Hi all

Just a quick note for those considering buying a Hilleberg tent: ours leaks from the corner seams. There are five seams in our "bath tub floor", one across the middle which is taped and four corner seams that are not taped. We recently camped in heavy rain and a puddle built up near the corner seam. Water then entered the tent floor through the corner stitching.

I contacted Hilleberg and their response was "we'll send you a tube of glue and you can seal it yourself". I explained that I was on a motorcycle trip around the world and it would not be easy to provide an address to send the seam sealer to. I received no response to that email. So I sent further emails. The position I now understand is this:

The Hilleberg seam taping machine can't do corners, so they don't seal them. If you want these sealed you have to do it yourself, but they will send a tube of seam sealer; if you ask.

Completely unsatisfactory for a tent costing this much money!!!!

In my experience Hilleberg's standard of customer service has also been poor.

Something to bear in mind before you spend about twice the price of any comparable tent.
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  #2  
Old 26 Nov 2011
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Surprised to hear this. I'd be irritated too. I've been buying Hillebergs in part because they don't need sealing and don't leak (plus they're high quality, ready for winter, lightweight, strong, etc.). I've also had very good customer service, but I deal with the distributor in the USA, run by the daughter. Each tent has come with a tube of seam sealer but I've never had to use it.

I'm confused about which seams leak. A "bathtub floor" would normally have no ground-level seams, i.e., in corners. That's the whole point. On a dual wall tent like the Hilleberg, above-ground seams should be covered by the fly, giving two layers of protection. Maybe I misunderstand your problem.

If it's any help, the seam sealer appeared to be high-grade silicone caulk, as you'd find in a gasket sealer or ATV sealer--I presume regular seam sealer doesn't stick to the siliconized fabric used by Hilleberg. Standard advice is to clean the seams with alcohol, then apply the seam sealer.

Hope this is helpful, and best luck to you on your trip.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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Leak is through stitching in the floor

Thanks Mark, but yes the leak is through stitching in the "bath tub" floor. There are five seams, one through the middle which is taped and four corners which are not. I contacted Hilleberg by email, and these are extracts of the replies by Mr Kenneth Westman Drake.
Kenneth Westman Drake<tentmaker@hilleberg.se> 19 October 2011 11:54 "Production wise it´s not possible to tape the corners as the machine is unable to fit in there."
"Kenneth Westman Drake
<tentmaker@hilleberg.se> 28 November 2011 16:14 Hi,

The only seam possible for us to tape on the groundsheet is the straight seam on the floor area itself. We have never used taped seams in the corners on any tent because it can´t be done properly in such a narrow space where both seams meet and tape loops are sewn in. It could be a good idea to apply McNett Seam-Grip in the corners if you feel it´s needed.

The answer to your thought if this might be a manufacturing defect is no, as it´s up to production standard."


If the photos have attached properly, one is the inside of the seam on the corner of the tent floor, the light spot is the sunshine through the hole. The other photo is the outside.

On the Hilleberg website they claim that one of their "Principles" is to make tents that meet the following criteria: "comfort – its livability, including the obvious, such as fully waterproof outer tents and floors"

It's a joke that they build a tent that leaks, that they apparently know can leak, and that they claim this meets their production standards. Really poor effort.
Attached Thumbnails
Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!-inside-seam.jpeg  

Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!-outside-seam.jpeg  

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  #4  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Thought Hilleberg were above that

Damn!!! That sucks!

I'll be traveling back through the USA soon and am looking for a replacement for my MSR hubba Hubba HP.

U'd pretty much decided on making the most of the (MUCH) lower prices in the US to invest in a Hilleberg Allak but now you've got me re-thinking...
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  #5  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Jedimaster

I wouldn't let this stop you buying a Hilleberg. I agree the tent should have come with a tube of sealant but selling tents with seams which you seal yourself is pretty common (although getting less so). Hilleberg are pretty much the best tents on the market.

Having said that, they are expensive and I'd go with something quality, but cheaper, if your use is exclusively motorcycle touring.

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  #6  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Jedimaster

I wouldn't let this stop you buying a Hilleberg. I agree the tent should have come with a tube of sealant but selling tents with seams which you seal yourself is pretty common (although getting less so). Hilleberg are pretty much the best tents on the market.

Having said that, they are expensive and I'd go with something quality, but cheaper, if your use is exclusively motorcycle touring.

I haven't encountered 'seal-it-yourself' before. It seems something of a cop-out for a tent costing so much money.

I have a few friends with Hilleberg tents and I've met plenty of other travelers with them. They all swear by them.
However, this incident just made me wonder if this is going to lead to the increasingly common product reviews that say 'the old ones were good but the new ones...'.

In Australia back in '08 I bought a used Snowgum tent (which was very good). When I went to buy a groundsheet for it the guy asked about my tent and then what colour it was. When I told him his reply was "Ah... you got the last of the good ones made in Vietnam. They're made in China now".

I'm also looking to replace my stove but many reviews (certainly Optimus and MSR) tell the same story..."The old ones (brass pumps) were good but the new ones with plastic pumps are unreliable".
It seems the drive for increased profit leads many manufacturers to change materials/design/manufacturers.

Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic regarding the Hilleberg fault mentioned, but its a LOT of money to invest in a tent so I want to be sure I'm making the right decision.

I took a look at your blog by the way and have added 'Skis Against the Atom' to my reading list. Nice one. I rode through Iran, Pakistan (where I spent 2 months) in 2006. Shame you missed it...next time eh...?

Adam
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  #7  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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It's possible also that this is just the nature of product reviews of any sort: "the old ones were great, but the new ones suck," including politicians, child-rearing practices, educational institutions, automobiles, wool blankets, and girlfriends.

In point of fact, the old brass pumps weren't very reliable either, and tents for many years came with tubes of seam sealer. Before the seam sealer, tents didn't tend to leak so much (or need groundsheets), but they did weigh twice as much, and even the expensive ones were far more prone to UV damage than, at least, the current Hillebergs.

Just saying. Of course, all the usual caveats apply, including the fact that it's hardly 6 AM at the moment, and I was working until past midnight last night. This makes me highly prone to misstatements and exaggerations.

Mark
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  #8  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Smile

I had a Hilleberg Nammatj 2 for years and years (lost count)
Never leaked, never a problem despite some horrendous weather (used in snow/hail/high winds/heat/floods where a 'river' ran under the tent for 2 days)

I looked at the Staika but did not buy because of the poor porch design.

I upgraded to a Nammatj 2 GT as I wanted the extra porch room which makes a huge difference to my comforts and just changed all the pegs.
It's exactly the same as the Nammatj 2 (living quarter wise) but with the extension of the porch and one extra pole-
Still a one entry tent.

Jedi Master ==> I highly recommend my tent - I have no connection to Hilleberg.
I did speak to them with a view to buy just the outer and an extra pole but the price they quoted me was over £200 MORE than a complete new tent! go figure.
Still, I love my Nammatj 2 GT and am grateful to Hilleberg for having designed and made it. Still top bananas if expensive bananas.

I use a tarp to keep UV at bay and it also gives me a nice dry place to put up/take down the tent away from weather so it is normally the first thing I put up.
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Last edited by Bertrand; 18 Mar 2012 at 21:24.
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  #9  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
It's possible also that this is just the nature of product reviews of any sort: "the old ones were great, but the new ones suck," including politicians, child-rearing practices, educational institutions, automobiles, wool blankets, and girlfriends.

In point of fact, the old brass pumps weren't very reliable either, and tents for many years came with tubes of seam sealer. Before the seam sealer, tents didn't tend to leak so much (or need groundsheets), but they did weigh twice as much, and even the expensive ones were far more prone to UV damage than, at least, the current Hillebergs.

Just saying. Of course, all the usual caveats apply, including the fact that it's hardly 6 AM at the moment, and I was working until past midnight last night. This makes me highly prone to misstatements and exaggerations.

Mark
Morning Mark! I was waiting for your contribution.

You want to pack that working lark in and get back on your bike!!!

UV is a very good point that's rarely mentioned. I loriginaly left home with a British made 'Lightwave' tent after reading many good reviews.Well what a POS that turned out to be. It certainly couldn't cope with the sun of New Zealand and Oz and eventually went in the bin after just 30 nights (with broken zips, a broken zips, broken poles and a fly sheet that had stretched so much in the sun that I couldn't keep it taught enough to keep it off the inner.
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  #10  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
I had a Hilleberg Nammatj 2 for years and years (lost count)
Never leaked, never a problem despite some horrendous weather (used in snow/hail/high winds/heat/floods where a 'river' ran under the tent for 2 days)

I looked at the Staika but did not buy because of the poor porch design.

I upgraded to a Nammatj 2 GT as I wanted the extra porch room which makes a huge difference to my comforts and just changed all the pegs.
It's exactly the same as the Nammatj 2 (living quarter wise) but with the extension of the porch and one extra pole-
Still a one entry tent.

Jedi Master ==> I highly recommend my tent - I have no connection to Hilleberg.
I did speak to them with a view to buy just the outer and an extra pole but the price they quoted me was over £200 MORE than a complete new tent! go figure.
Still, I love my Nammatj 2 GT and am grateful to Hilleberg for having designed and made it. Still top bananas if expensive bananas.
Good to hear from a 'long term' user/fan. I have some Aussie friends with a Staika and rave about it. After several months in Africa the floor became porous and so they contacted Hilleberg. They were offered a replacement inner FOC. The tent had had a LOT of use by that point (not just in Africa) and so Billy asked if they (Hilleberg) would be prepared to offer a deal on a new tent. Yes they said...40% discount!

That was a few years ago now. I wonder if their customer service is still that good?
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  #11  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Can't vouch for any customer service- sorry-
I only experienced the £700+ for a replacement Nammatj 2 |GT top sheet and pole ( I still don't get it...)
and I use a footprint too to reduce sharpies damage.
BTW- I have only used my repair kit on other tents! so far, never my own!
That must say something for build quality IMHO
Sorry to hear about Brian and Tanja's woes.
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  #12  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Question Tarp

Bertrand - your photos didn't open the first time I saw your post so I've only just seen them.

Does your tarp set-up keep you cooler inside in direct sunlight? Is it quieter in the rain?

How small does it pack up? Weight?

Sorry about all the questions...just curious!

Your big tank Dakar brings back some memories too!
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Old 24 Jan 2012
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Smile

Does it it keep the tent:
Cooler = yes
Quieter in the rain = much
weight = 1.75 Kgs without pegs or poles
size = without compression aka as it arrived from shop 55cm X 20 X 8cm ish- could fold it a different way/squish it down to fit cases etc.
Great tanks :0) blessed be our memories for they are the flowers of our Life's garden.




Last edited by Bertrand; 18 Mar 2012 at 21:23.
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  #14  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Bertrand

The picture of your tent next to bike looks like the HU Germany meeting site in Ober-Leibersbach - am I right ?

My tent, at the same meeting, sported warning signs in both English and German about my noisy snoring. (Only fair to let folks know in advance !)

Martin
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Old 24 Jan 2012
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Yes Martin! and enjoyed the sweet sounds of the Strimstrum Symphony now world famous !!

Last edited by Bertrand; 25 Jan 2012 at 08:41. Reason: added humour!!
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