First Look Gear Review
Street Price: $1,595 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros: Bomber, very comfortable, fast to pitch, super tough.
Cons: Not as strong as the SlingFin Hardshell
Best Uses: Mountaineering and basecamping.
The Saitaris is our favorite four person winter tent for basecamping or long expeditions in nasty weather. When compared to the competition from Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, and the like, the Saitaris is the shining star: it uses much better fabrics, pitches faster and easier, has much better ventilation, and is likely much tougher. For details on its fabrics and materials read the Hilleberg Tarra Review.
The Saitaris' primary competitor is the SlingFin Hardshell, which is slightly less spacious but stronger, 2 lb. lighter, and costs $300- $500 more depending on pole type. We haven't used both tents for long enough to have a conclusive recommendation for when to use one tent or the other. Our preliminary suggestion is to opt for the Saitaris if comfort is more important than Herculean strength (the Saitaris' vestibule is much larger than the HardShell's but the HardShell is perhaps the strongest 4 person tent in the world). In short, choose the HardShell if your primary application is high altitude mountaineering and the Saitaris if want to do that plus a bunch of basecamping in more forgiving environments. Both tents are world-class.
Several people used the Saitaris, Hilleberg Jannu, and Mountain Hardwear Hoopster for a ski expedition in Greenland. Here's their brief report:
"[Of all the tents used] The Saitaris blew us away the most. It is relatively light (for being a four person expedition tent), unbelievably spacious, and so quick to pitch thanks to its design that enables the user to keep the fly attached to the body. We would tag team that tent and get it up in less than five minutes and that's with burying snow stakes for all of those guy lines even! It has such a thoughtful design; from the efficient use of vestibule space to the clever guy line arrangement to the red of its fabric (the warm color makes it seem nice out even in the middle of a blizzard!)
Check out the photos below.
Other Versions and Accessories
If you're looking for a two person tent, the Hilleberg Anjan 2, $600, is our highest rated backpacking tent and, though it isn't ultralight, it's stronger, more durable, and more comfortable than the majority of the 23 other backpacking tents we've tested.
If you are looking for something smaller, the Hilleberg Nammatj 2, $810, is arguably the single most versatile tent 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: AMAZING. The Nammatj 2 wins the Editor's Choice Award.
The Hilleberg Jannu, $885, is the panacea for worst-conditions mountaineering and alpine climbing. Due to its fast setup, bombproof storm protection and low weight (6 lb. 1 oz.), the Jannu is our highest rated self-supporting dome tent. We highly recommend it for high altitude alpine climbing and mountaineering. The Jannu wins the Top Pick Award.
Hilleberg Saitaris Footprint.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 18, 2013
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