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  #16  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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New Akto is tight old has seeping

I just poured some water in the corners of my new Akto innertent and in my old Akto inner tent.

None of them look like they've been treated in any way but the new bottom corners were totally watertight and the old had some small seeping but when put under pressure some more.

In all corners there is a sewed on strap connecting the inner to the outer where the guy ropes for setting up is attached.

Could it be that the material or the thread at the corners gets stretched and thus starts leaking, because the outer is set up tight ?
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  #17  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by JediMaster View Post
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
Hi Adam,

You could be right, my knowledge of Hilleberg is not particularly current. You used to get a few tents which came with a tube of sealant for DIY seaing. There were a couple of reasons for this - one (and probably most importantly!) it was time consuming and costly to seal the tent in the factory as the sealant takes a while to dry and the tent can't be folded until it is. Secondly, the idea was that if you sealed the tent in the factory then went out and pitched it in high winds a few times then the inevitable stretching of seams would tear minute holes in the sealant making it no longer waterproof. The advice we used to give people (I worked in an outdoor shop) was to pitch your tent a few times, preferably in windy weather then seal the seams.
Admittedly, these days taping the seams is far more common than seam sealant. Although the post above says that the guy from Hilleberg stated they couldn't satisfactorily tape the seams in the corners. Coming from Hilleberg, this is probably true. Having said that, I do think they should have supplied a tube of sealant and made it clear on purchase that some seams would need sealed.

Just as an aside, while I rate Hilleberg about the best in the market, I wouldn't buy one because I'm too stingy! My personal favourite tent manufacturer is far and away the New Zealand brand Macpac. They are a great match of good price and superb quality. I've had a Macpac Microlight (1 man) for 14 years, used regularly in everything from torrential downpours in Australia to -20 snowstorms in Norway and it has never let me down. When it eventually dies I'll just buy another one and I'm trying to think of an excuse to sell my 2 man Wild Country to buy a Macpac Minaret!

Cheers,

Matt

PS- Hope you like Skis Against the Atom - it is what made me go to Norway!

PPS- Oh, if you are looking for a petrol stove check out the Coleman multifuels. The Sportster is a bit heavy but I have the smaller, lighter one which retails around £85 (can't remember the actual name of it). They are heavier and more basic than the MSR but IMHO more durable and easier to live with. Light enough for motorcycle touring. Runs a treat on unleaded (even the crap you get in Iran!)
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  #18  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Thumbs up Macpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Hi Adam,

You could be right, my knowledge of Hilleberg is not particularly current. You used to get a few tents which came with a tube of sealant for DIY seaing. There were a couple of reasons for this - one (and probably most importantly!) it was time consuming and costly to seal the tent in the factory as the sealant takes a while to dry and the tent can't be folded until it is. Secondly, the idea was that if you sealed the tent in the factory then went out and pitched it in high winds a few times then the inevitable stretching of seams would tear minute holes in the sealant making it no longer waterproof. The advice we used to give people (I worked in an outdoor shop) was to pitch your tent a few times, preferably in windy weather then seal the seams.
Admittedly, these days taping the seams is far more common than seam sealant. Although the post above says that the guy from Hilleberg stated they couldn't satisfactorily tape the seams in the corners. Coming from Hilleberg, this is probably true. Having said that, I do think they should have supplied a tube of sealant and made it clear on purchase that some seams would need sealed.

Just as an aside, while I rate Hilleberg about the best in the market, I wouldn't buy one because I'm too stingy! My personal favourite tent manufacturer is far and away the New Zealand brand Macpac. They are a great match of good price and superb quality. I've had a Macpac Microlight (1 man) for 14 years, used regularly in everything from torrential downpours in Australia to -20 snowstorms in Norway and it has never let me down. When it eventually dies I'll just buy another one and I'm trying to think of an excuse to sell my 2 man Wild Country to buy a Macpac Minaret!

Cheers,

Matt

PS- Hope you like Skis Against the Atom - it is what made me go to Norway!

PPS- Oh, if you are looking for a petrol stove check out the Coleman multifuels. The Sportster is a bit heavy but I have the smaller, lighter one which retails around £85 (can't remember the actual name of it). They are heavier and more basic than the MSR but IMHO more durable and easier to live with. Light enough for motorcycle touring. Runs a treat on unleaded (even the crap you get in Iran!)

Hi Matt,

Thanks for reminding me about Macpac, I'd forgoton to look at them. I have a Macpac Gisslade rucksack (buried in storage somewhere) and its bompproof!

Coleman stoves are what I'm using now and have used for several years. I've had a 533, Multifuel and now a 442.
Unfortunately they all suffer from the same problem - clogging(I only use gasoline). Eventually the 'generator' (brass tube) needs to be replaced but that's the part that gives the stove its characteristics. I've got from stoves that boil water in seconds but burn all your food to simmering beautifully but taking longer to boil. Unfortunately you don't know what you're getting until you've fitted it.

The Multifuel simmered best but burst into flames in Ecuador. Once extinguished I replaced the generator with the spare I was carrying but once again it burst into flames. Extinguished for a second time I replaced the pump kit only for it to burst into flames again. This time I let the f#@*r burn!!! I rode into Quito and found my current 442. 5 months later and it was in desperate need of a new generator (-12C in the Andes and no working stove is no fun!) I was gifted a new generator by some fellow English riders heading home but now have a roaring flame that burns all my food! Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!!!!

I really like the the all-in-one design but a cleanable jet would be very useful to me.

I'll take a look at Macpac now...

Cheers

Adam
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  #19  
Old 18 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster View Post
Hi Matt,

Thanks for reminding me about Macpac, I'd forgoton to look at them. I have a Macpac Gisslade rucksack (buried in storage somewhere) and its bompproof!

Coleman stoves are what I'm using now and have used for several years. I've had a 533, Multifuel and now a 442.
Unfortunately they all suffer from the same problem - clogging(I only use gasoline). Eventually the 'generator' (brass tube) needs to be replaced but that's the part that gives the stove its characteristics. I've got from stoves that boil water in seconds but burn all your food to simmering beautifully but taking longer to boil. Unfortunately you don't know what you're getting until you've fitted it.

The Multifuel simmered best but burst into flames in Ecuador. Once extinguished I replaced the generator with the spare I was carrying but once again it burst into flames. Extinguished for a second time I replaced the pump kit only for it to burst into flames again. This time I let the f#@*r burn!!! I rode into Quito and found my current 442. 5 months later and it was in desperate need of a new generator (-12C in the Andes and no working stove is no fun!) I was gifted a new generator by some fellow English riders heading home but now have a roaring flame that burns all my food! Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!!!!

I really like the the all-in-one design but a cleanable jet would be very useful to me.

I'll take a look at Macpac now...

Cheers

Adam
Mate, our Optimus Nova as fitted to out Trangia set up has all the qualities you mention. It simmers well - has a changeable jet and is rebuild able.

Let you know about the Hilleberg after a few months in NZ !!

Kinger
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  #20  
Old 25 Mar 2012
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My Nallo 3 is fab and doesn't leak, although could have more ventilation.

I quite like Shangri-La one pole designs, and I don't think they tape any seals. In fact you don't even have to buy an inner!

Shelters 3+

I wonder what response the OP expected without providing an address?
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  #21  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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Response from the Hilleberg CEO... and new leak woes

It's been a while since I first posted about my tent leak, so time for a quick update. After receiving an unsatisfactory response from the general email contact (copied into previous posts) I found the email address for Rolf Hilleberg on the Hilleberg website. It was refreshing to find that email address on their website. Even more so when he emailed me back in a short period of time to say that the untaped corners are normal, but leaking seams are not!. He claimed that Hilleberg stitching is usually so tight they get no leaks from the seams.

Unfortunately he then suggested he would come back to me with some assistance. However, after a week of not hearing from him I emailed to ask what was going on. His response was basically that as we were in Iran and going on to Pakistan they couldn't help, so he suggested "I get out my inner MacGyver" and fix the leak myself. A somewhat patronising and unhelpful contribution, or so I thought.

Even more unfortunately when we got to Australia we began using our Hilleberg XP10 tarp (€100+ !!) in some heavy rain. Previously we had not bothered to use it much. Surprise, surprise water began leaking quite copiously from the untaped seam. Pictures below. I am just about to email Mr Hilleberg with our updated woes, and will post details of his reply if/when I receive it.

I hope this thread proves useful to anyone deciding whether to pay the 'Hilleberg premium' on their new camping equipment.
Attached Thumbnails
Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!-photo-1.jpg  

Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!-photo-2.jpg  

Hilleberg Staika €800 tent that leaks!!-photo-3.jpg  

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  #22  
Old 27 Jun 2012
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Final update (hopefully)

It's been something of a long road but Hilleberg have now happily resolved our issues. They will send us some tubes of seam sealer for the leaking seams on the tarp and tent corners, as well as some tarp poles as a gesture of good will.

I have to say that we were very happy with the design features of our Staika tent, but remain a little surprised (on a tent costing so much money) that we are having to seal our corner seams ourselves. Similarly for the tarp.

Although, it has been nice to deal with a family run company where the email address of the CEO is provided on their website, and who actually responds to emails... even if all those responses have not entirely met with out expectations.

Are the products worth the extra money? Well, the tent has survived everything it's been put through on our trip from London to Sydney, and if the corner seam had been sealed from the outset it would have been pretty much perfect. The tarp, in its limited use, has also proved to be sturdy and light. If it weren't for the seam leaks I would wholeheartedly endorse both products. The leaks, once fixed, should only prove to be a minor inconvenience in otherwise great products. However, it remains surprising that: either the seams are not better sealed by the factory, or some seam sealer and an instruction sheet are not included with the tent/tarp in case the seams let in water.

If you are thinking of buying a Hilleberg tent/tarp, I would ask for the seam sealer to come with it.

Hope our experiences prove useful to others.
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  #23  
Old 28 Jun 2012
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I eMailed Hilleberg about the reports (elsewhere) of holes in the corners where the seams are not sealed. I was informed that they cannot seal the corners with the seam sealing machine.

I have not tried out my Hilleberg tents yet, but will be doing so in 2-3 weeks starting in Norway (where I don't think there will be any shortage of rain!). I bought a couple of tubes of seam sealer at my local outdoors shop in case of problems, but for that price, I think they should be providing the seam sealer, or manually sealing the seams in the corners during production.

However, I have to say that eMail responses are always prompt and efficient when I contact Hilleberg (unlike many other companies these days who think replying to eMails is unnecessary).

Grey Beard
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  #24  
Old 16 Mar 2014
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No better in 2014

Having just bought a Hilleberg Staika for £850 I found this thread and noticed that my bathtub floor corner seams were not sealed as described in post 1. So i poured in some water and guess what it can straight out through the seams - when I looked closely I could even see daylight through some stitch holes.

I sent an email to Hilleberg about it and got the reply "yes we know they leak but can send you some seam sealant to use" - I was staggered that possibly the most expensive tent in the world had such a major design fault and it had not been fixed by the manufacture. Needless to say I fired of a reply saying the same but never got a reply so I took the tent back to the shop and got my money back. While there we checked all the other Hilleberg models in the shop and they all leaked - the other makes of tent we checked all had fully taped seams and none of them leaked.

Ive since emailed the MD of the company but to dat have not had a reply - very very poor customer service
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  #25  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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Nammatj 3 is the same design - but I've never complained about the corners. I noticed this after some well over 100 nights of usage on our RTW expeditions, probably it had seen enough tension from so much time of piching and tightening it - it started a small leak from the corner one night on a heavy rain. I just put a fingertop drop of a smiple rubber glue on the next morning it and it's been holding fine since then.

I also noticed the small rope beneth the tent supporting between two arc-ends (at least on our Nammatj 3 model) needs to be tightened time-to-time closer together, since it puts stress to the same corners for the inner tent. Tightening it some 1-3cm closer together creates tiny bit steeper arc-angle, but releases much force for the inner-tent's corners. I'm guessing this was the reason our corners were stretched (with arc's tension pulling it apart) and started to leak in time, it was a very small leak but a leak and I gave it this simple fix.

Now it's well over 300 nights clocked on Nammatj 3 that we bought second-hand very cheap (don't know how many nights it was clocked before) and still going strong.

It's a testamony, since our last mid-pricerange (around €250) dome tent completey desintegrated at around 80 nights, and that's on normal wear in rather nice mild European camping conditions - zippers were gone before that, it leaked from the very top after some 30 nights and the outer shell just cracked and ripped around the arcs at around 80 nights - rain, hot/cold & UV have taken their toll. Hilleberg endured much bigger extremes climate- and condition wise and this says alot about the Hilleberg quality and for us answered the question if it's worth the premium or not. For us it proved worthwhile and in fact from this experience for me as rather cheaply thinking person (the very reason why I bought it s/h originally!) I'll probably buy a Hilleberg brand new next time.

Inner tent zipper went at around 200 nights of usage - I emailed to Hilleberg in interest to buy a new zipper from them - guess what, they sent a brand new zipper for free and just in case also outer tent zipper. Pakistani village tailor installed them for some 1USD and our old and worn Hilleberg lives happily ever after and still keeps together.

So I consider a big pro for Hilleberg is it's endurance and the fact that isn't another claimed 3-season tent like our last tent was - it's a proper expedition level 4-season tent made for extreme conditions, and surprisingly weights around two times less, let alone vastly better ventilation, roomier, much comftier (both ergonomically and psychologically - starting from color selection of the materials till the placement of details - we felt always positive and as at home in our Hilleberg). Small things often make big difference.

Anyways, there's obviously no perfect tent for everyone but I simply can't say enough good words about our trusty Hilleberg Nammatj!

Just me 2c,
Margus
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  #26  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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We also had problems with a Hilleberg tent last summer.
In Kyrgyzstan we realized, that they are even not cow-proof.

(we only realized it in the morning, good they did not walk into the tent, the holes are from the horns)
In Laos we were at least lucky as we used a groundsheet, so one night we had a strange noise, but only realized in the morning, that this were termites. Fortunatly they only made holes in the groundsheet not in the tent itself.
BTW also in Kyrgyzstan we woke up in the night and had the feeling of a waterbed. Some farmer had diverted water to irrigate his meadow.

This weekend we sealed the flysheet of a Terra Nova tent, they also don't do it (probably too expensive?)

Christian
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  #27  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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Did you at least wrote a long complaint letter to Hilleberg about their non-cow-proof tent!? At this price level a 500kg bull should be able to run over it without a scratch!

Got to love the positive attitude in people - those are the real travellers!

Safe travels,
Margus
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