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Hilleberg Nammatj 2 Review

Four Season Tent

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Price:   $765 List | $765.00 online  —  Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good but not the best in high winds, very comfortable, lightweight, highly versatile, extremely durable, pitches quickly from outside, 3 color options.
Cons:  Not as strong as dome tents (not as good for base camping), only two pockets.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Hilleberg


The Hilleberg Nammatj is one of the more versatile tents we have ever tested. It's strong enough to cross polar regions and scale tall peaks, yet it is also light enough (5.5 lb.) to join you on summer backpacking trips and comfortable enough to live out of for extended periods in campgrounds. If we were to have one two-person tent for everything we would choose the Nammatj. In short: its AMAZING.

Check out our Four Season Tent Review to see how this tent compares to the 23 other models tested. Also consider a floorless tent—our testers' favorite type of shelter for 99 percent of fast and light trips—found in our Ultralight Tent Review.

RELATED: Our complete review of four season tents

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor

Last Updated:
November 1, 2014

Performance Comparison

There are four different versions of this tent. We tested the Nammatj 2, described below, as well as the Nammatj 3 GT, which is slightly larger and has an extended vestibule. See the bottom of this page for a discussion of the different versions.

Ease of Setup

All Hilleberg double wall tents pitch from the outside first. Their inner tents are suspended from the pole structure and outer tent. This design is faster to set up than most double wall tents that pitch inner tent first. It also helps to keep the inner tent drier.

The Nammatj has two poles that insert into reinforced sleeves. Slide them in, secure each with an adjustable strap, then stake the front into the wind, then the rear, then the other tie-outs. After a bit of practice one person can have the tent pitched in less than two minutes. In calm conditions it's possible to pitch the tent with only the four corner points, which is extremely quick. The Nammatj is also reasonably easy to pitch in high winds by yourself. The pole sleeves and quick-adjust guy lines make the Nammatj dramatically faster to set up than two-person dome tents such as the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 and North Face Mountain 25. However, the tent is not easy to pitch in very rocky terrain or on rock slabs, locations where self-supporting or freestanding dome tents go up faster and easier. See the video at the bottom of this page for pitching instructions.

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The Nammatj 3 pitches from the outside with two poles. The tent has 30 sq. ft. of interior space and 13 sq. ft. of vestibule space.


Tunnel tents offer the ultimate blend of comfort and strength. The Nammatj has steep walls and a spacious interior; it is more comfortable than dome tents that have low angle walls. For example, the Nammatj is much more comfortable than the company's Jannu, which has only a small area in which to sit up. The critical difference here is the Nammatj's flat roof and relatively steep side walls, which dramatically increase interior volume and make the tent less claustrophobic.

The Nammatj vestibule is more spacious than that on many other tents that weigh a similar amount. For example, although the vestibule floor area is the same as the Hilleberg Jannu, the Nammatj vestibule has more volume, making it much better for gear storage and cooking.

Ventilation is another key factor that influences comfort. Here, too, the Nammatj does very well. Both ends of the tent have a massive vent that ties out with three self-equalizing guylines. Each vent can be opened fully or closed with either mesh bug netting or a solid nylon fabric. These options allow you to adjust airflow according to what's going on outside. For example, you can close the windward end (Hilleberg recommends that this be the front of the tent) and leave the leeward vent open. The rear of the inner tent also has a vent that can be opened fully (to reach out and adjust the outside vent) or closed with either bug netting or a solid nylon fabric. Overall, the Nammatj has superb ventilation. It is dramatically better than the vast majority of the tents tested, and virtually every other tent from other brands.

Partially due to the ventilation, cooking in the Nammatj vestibule is more pleasant and likely safer than in many other lightweight two-person tents because the vent is right above the stove. You can exhaust carbon monoxide even in foul weather without opening the door. Bonus: moisture vapor from cooking also escapes, thereby reducing condensation.

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The Nammatj's four ground level guy points and the self-equalizing vent guyline make this product capable of withstanding severe winds. The vents can be opened fully, closed with mesh netting, or closed with solid nylon.
Although our testers find the Nammatj to be highly comfortable the tent is not a palace like huge dome tents or larger tunnel tents like Hileberg's Keron. The Nammatj only has one pocket on each side wall, unlike dome tents for base camping that may have eight or more pockets. This reinforces the fact that the Nammatj is a mobile tent that aims to balance weight, strength and comfort rather than provide all the comforts of home (and weigh so much the tent must be carried by a porter or yak).

If you want more space, consider one of the other versions of this tent, discussed below.

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Lots of space for sitting up and stretching inside the Nammatj 3 (which is 4" taller than the Nammatj 2). Note the clothes line for hanging things.

Weather Resistance

The Nammtj uses 10.2 mm DAC Featherlite NSL Green poles, arguably the best aluminum poles found in any mountaineering tent we've tested. If you think the world might end you can add another set of poles, sold separately, to the tent — just insert them into the oversized pole sleeves. But, we've never done this with any of the nine Hilleberg tents we've tested and would only recommend it for extended base camping.

The Nammatj's low profile, aerodynamic design slices through wind like a hot knife cuts into butter. Our testers used the tent on Mt. Rainer, Washington; Denali (Mt. Mckinley, Alaska); base camping in the Mohave desert (where there are often high winds and blowing sand), and for scores of trips across the United States and Canada. Tunnel tents are often the best choice for polar expeditions where high winds whip unrestricted across miles of ice and snow. Felicity Aston, a UK-based explorer, chose the Nammatj for her epic 59-day solo journey across Antarctica; she became the first woman to ski across that continent alone.

The Nammatj's fabric is a super strong silicone coated nylon that breaks at 40 pounds!! (That's up to five times stronger than many backpacking tent fabrics and roughly twice as strong as the average fabric in the winter tents we've tested.) Result: if the fabric gets punctured it is less likely to tear.

All Hilleberg All-Season tents have walls and vestibules that extend all the way to the ground. Such is not the case with many other winter tents from other brands. The extended length serves to reduce spindrift and splashback; the tent is much more weather resistant as a result. The only fly setup we've tested that is more weather resistant is found on the SlingFin HardShell, a four person expedition basecamp tent with a snow skirt that can be extended out from the tent or clipped tight underneath the tent.

Although the Nammatj excels for the vast majority of winter conditions it does have two limitations that could be potential drawbacks for some people.

(1) The tunnel design is not as resistant to snow loading as dome tents that have a web of intersecting poles. Our testers reach for tunnel tents for the vast majority of winter trips because they balance weight, strength, and comfort well. However, for extended winter base camping or alpine climbing dome tents performs better. In fact, dome tents are often mandatory if you plan to leave the tent unattended for an extended period of time in foul weather (such as in an alpine/glacial basecamp). Then, the static strength of a dome makes the tent more likely to stay intact while you launch off on a multi-day summit bid and aren't near the tent to remove snow from it or check on the tieouts.

(2) Alpine climbing demands a tent that is as light and compact as possible. The Nammatj is too big, too heavy, and its tunnel design would be a nightmare to pitch on a small ledge. We find that tiny tents perform best when you need to chop a tent platform with an ice axe or perch on a ledge.

Although these potential drawbacks can be significant we feel they do not exceed the benefits of low weight, comfort, and versatility. Our Nammatj models have proven themselves on a host of North American mountaineering classics. If you are looking to move beyond Rainer and the West Buttress of Denali to technical, harder high altitude climbs you'll likely want a double wall dome tent (like the Hilleberg Jannu or superlight freestanding single wall tent (like the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2). But for most applications the Nammatj performs very very well.

For further testimony to the many benefits of tunnels tents and their capabilities in extreme conditions see Roger Caffin's fantastic "Tunnel Tent Tutorial and State of the Market Report" article on BackpackingLight.com.

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Although the Nammatj is does not have the ultimate static strength, like dome tents do, we find that it performs very well in demanding conditions such as here on Denali.


Hilleberg has been building tunnel tents for more than 40 years. The Nammatj is part of their "Black Label" line, which hosts their toughest tents. All of the tent's materials and features are super burly. The top-tier silnylon is both very resistant to tearing and also highly resistant to hydrolysis (the chemical breakup of the coating). Many companies such as Mountain Hardwear, North Face, etc. use a silicone coating on the outside of the fabric and a polyurethane (PU) coating on the inside. This cuts cost because PU is cheaper — although PU formulations vary widely — and because it allows the tent to be seam sealed in a factory. Hilleberg tents use top-tier materials and a construction technique that eliminates the need for seam sealing, thereby saving weight. The combination of the poles and fabrics makes for a bomber setup.

Many other small features also contribute to durability. For example, a flat piece of webbing lies across the vestibule opening and serves to keep the vestibule in the proper shape and reduce tension from the zipper. The ends of the pole sleeves are reinforced with a super durable material and, unlike on most other tents, the ground level adjustments are made of metal, not plastic. Hilleberg even adds small metal rings to the ground level tieouts so vibrations from high winds don't wear out the webbing loops, which are already very tough.

Just how durable is the Nammtj?
That's hard to estimate. Despite extensive use for more than two years our models have not experienced any significant problems. (Someone stepped on the side wall with crampons once, but that was a quick patch with Nylon Repair Tape. We have heard from mountaineering guide services and NOLS instructors that the first point to break on the Nammatj (and Keron) is usually the seam above the center toggle that connects the outer and inner tents. Supposedly, the stitching fails there before anywhere else.

A brief note on the tent's fantastic stuff sacks:
The large one for the tent is made of a very durable fabric and has a multi-loop handle that runs the length of the bag. The handle makes the tent easy to carry and also provides attachment points if you want to fill the bag with rocks, sand, or snow and use it as an anchor point. The loops can also be used to strap the tent to things such as a yak, the roof of a vehicle or to a duffel bag that's attached to something else. The pole stuff sack has a hidden interior pouch that holds an extra section of pole and a large diameter splint. The hidden pouch is subtle and well designed. No other tent manufacturer includes an extra section of pole, nor does any other tent hide it so effectively.

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The Nammatj 2 at Automated Geophysical Observatory 1, Antarctica. This product is popular among scientists and support personnel in field camps throughout Antarctica.


All Hilleberg tents have removable inner tents that are suspend from the outer tent. You can pitch the outer tent by itself to save weight any time of the year. This is a critical feature missing on many winter tents from other companies. We like to use just the outer tent for summer backpacking trips and shorter winter trips where saving weight is a top priority. Because the Nammatj's walls and vestibule extend all the way to the ground, the tent is remarkably effective at resisting flying insects. We find that separate bug protection is rarely needed. For this floorless setup Polycro plastic is our preferred groundsheet because it's cheap (~$10) and lightweight (only 4 oz. for a two-person size). You can buy polycro from Gossamer Gear and elsewhere.

Big mountain guide services use outer tents of the extended vestibule versions of the Nammatj and its larger sibling, the Keron, for cook and group tents: they dig deep into the snow so clients can sit down on benches. This is a much lighter alternative to colossal dome-shaped group tents and it's a popular technique used on many high altitude peaks across the globe. Although the tent does not have a colossal vestibule you can do the same with the Nammatj 2.

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Inside the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 without the inner tent. Going floorless saves 30.9 oz. for three-season backpacking or fast and light winter travel. The walls seals fairly well with the ground and even minimizes the amount of flying insects from entering. The fly-and-poles only setup is possible with nearly all Hilleberg designs.
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The Nammatj 2 is a palace for six kids. Shown without the inner tent.

Weight/Packed Size

The above praise for the tent's livability, weather resistance, durability, and adaptability become much more impressive when you consider that the tent weighs only 5.5 lb.!

The Nammatj 2's inner tent, outer tent, poles, and guylines weigh only 5 lb. 7 oz.

Each component weighs:
Inner tent: 30.9 oz.
Outer tent with guylines: 41.4 oz.
2 Poles: 15.1 oz.
Pole stuff sack + extra pole section: 2.0 oz.
18 stakes + stake sack: 8.9 oz.
Stuff sack: 3.1 oz.

The Nammatj is extremely light when compared to other double wall winter tents. For example, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 weighs four pounds more. Although these tents aren't technically in the same category (the Trango has greater static strength for base camping) they are often used in the exact same conditions on the same big mountains. Saving four pounds is tremendous!

Options for reducing weight
There are several ways to further reduce the weight of the Nammatj. The most significant one is to use only the outer tent for a savings of 30.9 oz. This is an excellent option for fast and light travel in any season or to use the tent as a group hangout shelter (just clip the inner tent back in when you want to sleep).

The next most significant way to reduce weight is to upgrade the stakes. The Nammatj comes with 18 DAC Y stakes, which are moderate quality, heavy all-purpose stakes. Upgrading to 12 Ruta Locua 9" Carbon Stakes saves 5.5 oz., provides more holding power than the stock stakes, and are more durable than the stock stakes. Our tests show that the stock Y stakes bend relatively easily, especially in the compact, rocky soil typically found in alpine camps. Pointy tubular stakes like those from Ruta Locura or 8" Easton Nano Nail stakes offer the best performance for use in bare ground. In winter we like to use ice axes, snow pickets, skis, crampons, snowshoes, poles, and other things for stakes. Dedicated snow stake, such as the Hilleberg Snow and Sand Peg, are essential if you run out of other things to use as stakes or are base camping.


Hilleberg does not use reflective cords on their zipper pulls because they find that the small and difficult to grab metal tabs they use are more durable in the long-term (because cords can be pulled at different angles and may derail the zipper sliders). Similarly, they also choose not to use reflective cord for the tieouts because they claim that none are as durable as the proprietary cord used on their tents, and also because they find that reflective cord can cut through guyline attachments easier (such as a loop of cord used to extend a line). Durability!

Forget the Footprint
Unless you are base camping for months at a time on sharp knives we feel there is no need for a footprint for the Nammatj or any other tent. The majority of the 24 winter tents tested use 70 denier fabrics for the floor. These are much more durable than backpacking tent floors, most of which use 15 to 30 denier fabrics. The Nammatj goes above and beyond by using a 100 denier fabric!!

If you want a footprint for base camping and car camping consider cutting your own from Tyvek Home Wrap, available at hardware stores for around $10. Tyvek is likely more puncture resistant and much cheaper than Hilleberg's optional $70 footprint, which also covers the vestibule floor – a feature that we do not find useful on a tent with one vestibule. The weight of the tent and your sleeping bag hold Tyvek in place.

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Tyvek "Home Wrap" is our favorite footprint for car camping and basecamping because it's waterproof, highly puncture resistant, and exceptionally durable. We prefer clear polycro plastic groundsheets for weight conscious applications.

Three Color Options!!

The tent is available in three colors: red, green or sand. We have experience with all colors and prefer the red for winter use (easier for people, planes and helicopters to spot the tent), green for primarily three-season use and bike tours (it's stealthy and harder to be seen), and sand for desert dwellers or military applications.

Best Application

Everything from car camping and backpacking to mountaineering and polar expeditions.


The Nammatj 2 retails for $735. This is a phenomenal value for a tent that can do just about everything. Seriously, it is an absolute screaming deal. A lot of the other "world's best" two-person tents cost $800 to $1400. For a more convincing illustration of the Nammatj's value see our Price Versus Value Chart.


The Nammtj is the most versatile tent we've tested and we recommend it to anyone that wants comfort, low weight, and high performance in heinous conditions. However, its tunnel design requires that you be inside or near the tent to remove snow from it and it's too large to fit on tiny bivy ledges. However, the Nammatj is our top choice for every winter activity except alpine climbing and extended basecamps in exposed terrain.

Other Versions

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Hilleberg Nammatj 3
  • Cost- $785 ($50 more than the Nammatj 2)
  • Weight- 7lbs 4oz (11oz more than the Nammatj 2)
  • 4" higher peak design than the Nammatj 2
  • 6 sq. ft more interior floor space, 4 sq. ft. more vestibule space

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Hilleberg Anjan 2
  • Cost- $630.00 ($105 less than the Nammatj)
  • Weight- 3lbs 15oz (2lbs 10oz less than the Nammatj)
  • 3 season tent
  • Dome design
  • Editors' Choice winner

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Hilleberg Jannu
  • Cost- $925.00 ($190 more than the Nammatj)
  • Weight- 6lbs 13oz (4oz more than the Nammatj)
  • All season construction
  • Dome design

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Hilleberg Tarra
  • Cost- $1,045.00 ($310 more than the Nammatj)
  • Weight- 9lbs 4oz (2lbs 11oz more than the Nammatj)
  • Strongest done tent design
  • Best use for harsh, demanding conditions

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The Nammatj 3 GT has 30 sq ft of vestibule space!! Note the large door. The vestibule extends from the middle pole to the right pole. Sleep with your feet to the left. Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California.


Ian Nicholson, Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: May 26, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

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Average Customer Rating:   
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67% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 25%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Jun 30, 2015 - 12:05am
GearMonger · Backpacker · Fort Collins CO
I purchased the Nammajt 3GT about a year and a half ago and used it dozens of times. I bought the larger version of this tent with the extended vestibule simply because i don't mind carrying extra weight. I view it as a training opportunity. I also backpack with multiple friends and dogs, so its nice to have the extra space. It has surpassed my expectations in every regard. I have camped in wind speeds that I can only estimate at 80-100 mph as there were no official records for the specific locations I camped. This tent has beautiful design. Instead of the fabric whipping and flopping in very very high gusts, it flutters and vibrates allowing me to sleep. I have used other tents that can stand in outrageous winds, but none that did so while allowing me to sleep soundly.

To put it simply, this tent has flawless design. Every detail is exquisite and robust. I had a larger camping companion slip and fall on ice into the tent and snap one pole section completely in two by landing squarely on the tent. The jagged edges of the broken pole section had no chance of cutting the fabric of the pole sleeves. I used the included pole repair kit to patch the pole and the tent was restored to 100% functionality. The journey was able to continue without a hitch. This beast is quite simply undefeatable in my experience.

One word of advice on the zippers: They are plenty tough, but do hold some tension with the tunnel tent design, especially on the GT model. It is important to relieve tension across the zipper while zipping up the tent or the zipper may de-rail and fail. Also, cleaning the zipper every once in a while and applying a very light coating of lubricant is advised for smooth operation.

Another thought on weight: my tent is about 8.5 lbs. That is quite heavy for a backpacking tent, but I have a portable fortress when I am carrying it. The conditions that his tent has withstood would have crumpled other light backpacking tents like a paper cup. Hilleberg states that the Nammatj 2 weighs 6 lbs 9 oz packed. I feel that this may be a more reasonable estimate of weight than the outdoor gear lab site because it includes the weight of 18 stakes. From my experience, this tent performs WAY better when fully staked as instructed by the manufacturer. Granted you will only need that additional strength in the most extreme of conditions, such as camped on a high elevation ridge above tree line in the middle of winter in Nothern Colorado. Fully staked, this tent offers me a sense of comfort that I probably shouldn't even have, in conditions I probably shouldn't be camped in. You will not regret owning this tent. Its just not really that light.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Nov 27, 2014 - 08:16am
MN · Climber · Sweden
The review article covers most if it - it´s the best tent ever, period!

Hiking - it´s great for two. Minimal weight/maximum space/person.
For extended base camp use - It's a one person luxury dream.

Got my first Nammatj 1987 - used it for 21 years 4season/"everywhere" in the worst conditions. Pitched as a base camp tent, it never failed.
Finally UV had taken its due toll on my trusty compainon, so I bought the 2 GT (extended) version in 2008. This was a mistake. The weight ratio advantage lost + extra pole and length hassle makes it less perfect (it stores a lot of gear, camping with my kids, though).

So, what did I learn from this?
You can't beat perfect.
The original classic Nammatj 2 benefits are:
Massive bomb proof trustworthiness /space/ low weight ratio.
Versatility, versatility, versatility.
It fits (allmost) everywhere, save the smallest ledges.
Above all, Ease of use / pitching in "killer" conditions.
There is no better tent if you are alone in a winter storm. It will save your life one day. (It sure beats digging a snow hole)

Any cons?
Well, yes. One single situation: As it needs a minimum of four pegs (do use more - the vents need the stretch, and it adds a lot more support), for kayaking trips I choose my Hilleberg Staika dome instead (just as bomb proof), since I like to camp on small islands - flat rock slabs with zero soil / vegetation to hold a tent-peg. Staika is not as light and comfortable, though, so I do not carry it around when hiking.

Some good advice:
If you expect crosswinds (on any mountain, who doesn´t) dont forget the sidewall support guylines - it's use it or loose it!

If you need to go lighter, and accept less space, but still want Hilleberg quality: go for the Unna. I've used it - it's a really great tent - I like it a lot - fits on the smallest ledges. Super fast easy pitch - no pegs needed (it's main advantage). But it's small, and lacks a proper vestibule.
All that said - I personally still want my old Nammatj back…

Don't complain - camp in the rain (in a Nammatj 2, that is)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 26, 2016 - 04:34am
Spanafrican · Backpacker · Howick
Bombproof in High Winds? Here's my review on the Nammatj 3 GT:

For years, I've been a big fan of Hilleberg. I own 3 of their tents: Nammajt 3GT, Akto and Altai. I'm a guide in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, which are renown for their high winds. In the past I had 3 tents flattened down so I decided that in the future I would only buy the best tents available. That's how I got to know about Hilleberg. My first Hilleberg tent was the Nammatj 3 GT, july 2011. As it hardly snows in the Drakensberg, this tent seemed to be the best option.

I've been very happy with it until recently, when it failed its first big test.

The story is that on a recent trip, in the morning of the last day of a 5-day trip (fortunately it was the last day), when we were about to break camp, my Nammatj 3 GT was flattened down by gusty winds.

As a result, pole 1 was bent in one section, pole 2 was bent in one section and broken in another section and went through the pole sleeve, pole 3 was bent in one section, a broken in 2 other sections (see pictures attached) and went through the pole sleeve. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had been raving so much about this tent. I had never missed an opportunity to tell everyone, including the clients who had rented it for this trip, that this tent was one of the best ones in the market, that was used by expeditions to Antarctica, and that was basically indestructible on any windy conditions. So, to see the tent collapsing like this was a huge disappointment. To make it worse there were 4 other South African-made tents, which had been brought by my clients, which withstood the conditions without any problems. They weren't even dome tents.

Please note that I always personally set-up all of my tents in the mountains as I know how important this is. In the case of the Nammatj 3 GT, all 20 anchor places were used, including the 8 guy ropes, with pegs put down completely into the ground at 45 degrees against the tent, just exactly the way the instructions recommend. So the incident was definitely not due to bad anchoring. The Winds came in strong gusts and laterally so maybe these tents is not that strong laterally. I always try to set up the tent along the wind line, in this case in line with the valley but winds came from both sides of the valley.

The poles are pre-curved 10mm DAC Featherlite NSL poles, which are supposed to be one of the lightest and strongest in the market. Maybe they are but not in a tunnel tent with lateral gusty winds.

I contacted Hilleberg to let them know. They were as surprised as I was and they had no explanation for the failure.

They have agreed to replace the poles at no cost. They really care about their costumers. That I appreciate but the problem is that I don't trust this tent anymore.

Here are the pictures:
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Bent and broken Nammatj 3 GT poles. Notice like the 3 poles are bent along the same area
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Close-up the area showing bent sections on the 3 poles, 1 broken section in the middle pole, and 2 broken section on the bottom pole
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close-up of the broken section in the middle pole
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Area of the bottom poles showing the 2 broken sections
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close-up of the right hand side section of the bottom pole
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close-up of the left hand side section of the bottom pole

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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How to Choose the Best 4 Season Tent - Click for details
 How to Choose the Best 4 Season Tent

by Chris McNamara, Ian Nicholson, and Max Neale