Being satisfied users of different Helsport products for more than a decade, we are extremely happy that at the end of 2015, the manufacturer (Helsport) selected us as part of their testing team.
Helsport has some of the best tents in the market for both summer and winter use. We share our experiences about the tested products below.
In summer, our favorite choice is Fjellheimen Superlight, which is comfortable for two persons including equipment for one week, easy to set up, has good sitting height for a short person and it is a safe shelter in the mountains. In the summer season, when we have to carry all equipment on our backs, weight is decisive and Fjellheimen Superlight is a really light fellow with it's 1,8 kg-s. We have used our first Fjellheimen Superlight tent for more than 100 days in the last 3 years, and it is still functioning perfectly!
Helsport has developed this tunnel tent in co-operation with Norwegian polar explorer Børge Ousland, therefore we were very curious about how the functionality of Helsport winter tents have been improved in this top model.
A couple of things we noticed already when setting up the tent. It has double set of tent poles to make the tent sturdier in stormy winds—also making sure that the wind does not blow the fly sheet and the inner tent into contact. In addition, there is a snow valance sewn to the fly sheet around the tent in one piece, which makes it easier to cover it with snow when you are alone and you can be sure it will not be released from under the snow in strong winds. The tent can be set up on snow with 31cm long tent stakes. Tent stakes (or skis) can be pushed in the snow through holes that were cut for this purpose in the snow valance. It has two ventilation holes on the ends and two on the sides. The tent is heavy (5,7kg), but weight is not an issue on winter trips when we pull the equipment on sledges.
Patagonia has a much smaller vestibule than we are used to, and this is because it is not necessary to keep all equipment in the tent—it is best to store things in the sledge. It has two side-doors, which is very useful for us photographers to have overview on both sides of the tent. The sitting height is improved, which we are very happy about. Finally we can sit and eat in the tent comfortably, and in the morning, when the tent is covered by frost (condensing moisture that turn to ice), we do not necessarily come into contact with the thick layer of frost when we sit up. And all this is already enough reason to pack the Patagonia for our next winter trips in the mountains.