After finishing Te Araroa with the Helsport Storsylen 4 season tent we wanted something lighter, especially since we were going to Australia next, without compromising too much on durability and comfort. Already in New Zealand we had our eye on the Reinsfjell Superlight, a tent very similar to Storsylen: a freestanding dome that is quick and easy to set up, but with two entrances, two luggage compartments, and a usage range suitable from mid spring to mid autumn. This tent, too, proved its absolute reliability in the worst of Australia’s surprisingly tough south coast conditions.
Helsport Reinsfjell Superlight 2 is designed as a freestanding dome with an easy to set up 3-pole system. In case of a rocky underground the tent does not need to be pitched, and the guy lines can be used to tie the tent to available rocks/branches to keep it in place in heavy winds. Storm flaps to weigh it down and tighten the sail with rocks/branches are optional. There are two entrances on either side with two baggage compartments that provide space for two medium packs. There is not a lot of storage space inside the tent, but of course small items can be taken.
Packed dimensions: 18×40
Weight: 2kg (tent, poles, pegs)
Pole length: 1x370cm + 2x347cm
Includes reparation kit (weight: 0,15 kg)
Luggage storage room: 2
Image taken from Helsport: http://www.helsport.no/reinsfjell-superlight%5B/caption%5D
The Helsport Reinsfjell 2 is truly an amazing tent and we have absolutely loved using it. It will be our companion on many adventures to come and in many different circumstances. In the paragraphs below we will explain why based on the tents weight, durability, construction, waterproofness and comfort.
Storsylen weighs two kilos, which makes it not the absolute lightest alternative on the market in its class. However, and here I quote a Bibbulmun volunteer: “That’s a hell of a lot of tent for two kilos.” Divided over its users its weight comes down to a kilo per person, which I would say is on the lower side of the average for modern one-person tents. Neither of us has ever been bothered by its weight. The sails, the poles, the pegs: they are all constructed out of extremely light materials. We used to call it mini Storsylen, because it is so similar in setup yet everything about it seems so tiny and small in comparison.
Yet this light setup comes without too great a sacrifice in durability. Though most of the Bibbulmun is equipped with shelters (under which we put our tent for extra protection against the cold) on a few occasions on the trail we needed to camp out, and we used the tent extensively during travel afterwards too. Australia is a rather unforgiving environment for a tent: camping is done merely on gravel ground, the zippers are constantly exposed to sand and dust and the high humidity is a big challenge for ventilation (more on that later). Yet, even though we dragged it through wet dust during storms on the south coast and it was covered in dust from top to toe when we brought it home, there is not a single spot on the light fabric that shows wear and tear after 8 weeks of constant use. All the zippers are in perfect condition, too.
Helsport uses an easy set-up system on its dome tent with 3, color-coded poles that enable the tent to be set up fast if conditions require this. Built in Norway, the tent is set up from the outside first to keep the inner tent sheltered from the worst of weather. The inner tent can remain attached to make the process even quicker, or can be removed for quicker drying. On either side of the inner tent is an entrance, a luggage compartment, and a ventilation that is easy to open and close. The only thing we wondered about, but did not get to test, is whether the sleeping compartment comfortably fits two of Therm-a-Rest’s lightest air matresses, as one NeoAir X-Lite and a regular one made it appear a tight fit. In the construction we only found one downside, which is that the ventilation mesh of the inner tent cannot be closed. This makes the tent very airy, which is nice, but unfortunate on cold nights. If there would be a possibility to close this it would make Reinsfjell a great 3-season tent.
Waterproofness was one of the main reasons why we chose Reinsfjell over similar tents, such as the Big Agness Copper Spur or the MSR Hubba Hubba. These tents may weigh a few hundred grams less, however, we did not want to compromise more almost half of the waterproofness on the outer tent (Helsport’s sail has a rating of 2000mm, while the other two are merely at 1200mm). I think, again, this is a feature from having tents built with Norwegian weather in mind (the setup of the other two is the other way around too, you start by putting the inner tent up and then attach the fly to it) and if we are really going to invest in a tent we want to be sure it can last through the worst possible weather in many different circumstances. The groundsheet as well is rated over more than half of similar tents, at 3000mm, and this especially seemed like a more comfortable alternative in areas with vegetation and soil moisture/dew.
All of the above already makes it a very comfortable tent: each has their own entrance to fiddle around in and pack up in, the ease of use, etc… Because of the dome set-up the sleeping compartment is quite high and you can comfortably sit in it, making it a nice refuge to hang out in the evening or in bad weather. Lastly, if you do like us and split the sail and poles over the users the sail compresses very easily and takes up very little space in a backpack.
While the Reinsfjell Superlight is not the absolute lightest alternative in its category on the market, we found it a very enjoyable tent to have with us that offers a great compromise between weight and comfort. Its lightness does not sacrifice durability, comfort or waterproofness. It’s a great tent for any hiking or through hiking adventure that runs from late spring to early autumn in a diverse range of conditions.