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Hilleberg Anjan 2 Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Backpacking Tents

  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: February 9, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $595 - $685 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Exceptionally spacious, durable, and weather resistant for its weight; top-tier materials; pitches easily from the outside; spectra guylines with camming adjusters; removable inner tent; reflective points.
Cons:  58 ounces can be heavy for backpacking, moderate quality stakes.
Best Uses:  3+ season backpacking and camping.
User Rating:     
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  • 5
 (3.3 of 5) based on 4 reviews
Recommendations:  67% of reviewers (2/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Hilleberg
Review by: Max Neale ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 9, 2014  
Overview
The Hilleberg Anjan 2's versatility, durability, adaptability, and weather resistance are unmatched for its 3.6 lb. weight. Top-tier materials, poles, and a time-tested tunnel design quickly made the Anjan an all-star choice among our testers, and in the end it earned our Editors' Choice Award. If we were to have a single tent for all three-season trips, including backpacking, car camping, bicycle touring, kayaking, and more, the Anjan would be it. So far our testers have used the tent from Maine to Washington State and on bike trips down Mexico's Baja Peninsula and through India and Nepal.

See how the Anjan compares to the 23 other tents tested in our Backpacking Tent Review. For cutting edge, ultralight backpacking tents see our Ultralight Tent Review.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

After 40 years of making some of the best winter tents on the planet, Hilleberg jumped into the three-season market, creating a gigantic splash, with the Anjan and Rogen. Both tents blow the competition out of the water. The Anjan 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.

Performance Comparison
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Hilleberg Anjan 2 utilizes a classic tunnel design. Two poles insert fast and easily into sleeves from the outside and guy out with with quick adjust self equalizing spectra guylines.
Credit: Max Neale
Weather Resistance
The Anjan is the three-season version of Hilleberg's Nallo. We give the Anjan 10 out of 10 points for its weather resistance because it offers superb protection from all of the elements. It's a three-season tent with many features found on four-season tents. Key points like the vestibule zippers are reinforced and the tent's bathtub floor comes up higher than most others to protect from splashback and spindrift. Similarly, the inner tent is made primarily of a solid nylon fabric that blocks blowing sand and snow, and better sheds condensation that drips from the roof – a significant advantage over most backpacking tents that have mesh inner tent walls. The videos at the bottom of this page shows the possible setup configurations and Hilleberg’s preferred method for pitching in high winds.

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In dusty, windy areas like in eastern Washington State, shown here, the Hilleberg Anjan's mostly solid nylon interior walls and high bathtub floor helps to block blowing sand. The Anjan is more comfortable and warmer than tents with all mesh walls.
Credit: Parrish Bergquist
Materials
Hilleberg uses Kerlon 1000 for the waterproof rain fly on this tent and the company's Rogen. This fabric is a silicone impregnated ripstop nylon that's impressively strong for a three-season fabric; its warp break strength is 22 lb/in. (For comparison purposes, the 15D polyurethane/silicone coated nylon used on the Brooks Range Foray breaks at 7 lb/in, the SilNylon used on Mountain Laurel Designs tarp shelters breaks at 15 lb/in.) Thus, the Anjan employs the strongest fabric used on any backpacking tent we've tested. This means that the fabric is less likely to be punctured and, if it is punctured, it's less likely to tear – both good things. The Rogen's floor is also likely to be the most durable of any backpacking tent tested. Furthermore, its poles are the best available: 9mm DAC Featherlite NSL Green.

Pole Design
The Anjan uses a time tested tunnel design that provides the ultimate blend of strength, comfort, and low weight. It's somewhat surprising, or perhaps disappointing, that the radical integrated hub pole designs of the last decade still can't beat the good old tunnel tent design. After testing three Hilleberg winter tunnel tents we've been nothing but impressed with the company's designs, construction, and attention to detail. The Anjan's design is very simple: two poles insert through sleeves, and tension from guy lines that hold the tent upright. The tent pitches from the outside, which is both faster and better than tents that pitch the inner tent first because it keeps the inner tent drier during rain. This is a critical feature that separates the wheat from the chaff. One person can easily pitch the Anjan in the cold and windy darkness with gloves on. Result: you're happier because you can get in faster.

Adaptability
When backpacking in colder conditions or without insects our testers often use a floorless tarp because it weighs less than a tent with a fixed floor and walls. The Anjan and the company's Rogen are the only three-season tents we've tested that can be pitched as a floorless tarp shelter. Unhook the inner tent (takes about two minutes) and leave it at home, to save 21 ounces! For numerous reasons discussed in our backpacking tent buying advice we believe this design is far superior to "fast-pitching" (see the photo below). One reason is it allows you to quickly create a floorless covered space, which we find useful when entering the tent soaking wet from walking in the rain all day. Unhook the first portion and roll it back to create an area to hang out, dry off, and perhaps make dinner. Just clip it back in when you want a floor and bug protection. The Anjan's adaptable design is yet another critical feature that gives it an edge over the competition.

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The Hilleberg Rogen and Anjan (left) are the only tents that pitch in a floorless configuration, which increases versatility and reduces weight, and is much stronger, lighter, and more weather resistant than "fast pitching" (right).
Credit: OutdoorGearLab and MSR
Livability
Click to enlarge
Credit: Max Neale
The Anjan's tunnel design creates a shocking amount of space for its weight. The inner tent has a 38-inch peak height, which allows two six-foot-tall people to sit up by the door. The inner tent slopes from the front to the rear, where it is 30 inches tall. This design allows two people to get in and out easily and provides enough space for moving around in the tent without feeling claustrophobic. The interior floor is 51 inches wide at the foot door, 41 inches at the rear, and is 86 inches long. The Anjan is not as spacious as tents with two side doors but, among other positive benefits, it's significantly more comfortable than tents that weigh one pound less. The bright yellow interior walls add cheer. They also prevent you from seeing rain and wind hit the outer tent, which provides more of a homely indoor feeling.

The Anjan's 14 sq. ft. vestibule is the largest of all single door tents we've tested. In comparison, many front entrance tents in the 35-45 ounce range have 6 sq. ft. vestibules that are more of a gesture than they are functional. While living out of the tent in campgrounds our testers have fit two 60-liter backpacks, two 30-liter backpacks, and shoes inside the vestibule — there's a lot of space! The Anjan is luxurious compared to ultralight tents and shelters. This a significant advantage because it makes it more comfortable for car camping or basecamping. Like all Hilliberg tunnel tents, it has an adjustable clothesline.

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The Hilleberg Anjan 2's 14 sq/ ft. vestibule with a 90 liter North Face Base Camp duffel bag. This is the largest vestibule found on any single door tent tested. Also note the two interior side pockets.
Credit: Max Neale

Weight and Packed Size
The Anjan weighs 62.5 ounces, or 3 pounds 14.5 ounces, total.
Outer tent: 23.2 oz.
Inner tent: 21 oz.
Poles: 11 oz.
Stakes with stake stuff sack: 4.1 oz.
Stuff sack with extra pole section and pole splint: 1.5 oz.

Consider an ultralight tent that pitches with trekking poles for the fastest and lightest adventures.

Durability
The Anjan ties with Hilleberg's Rogen for being the most durable tent we've tested. Here, too, it blows the competition away. Tents that weigh one pound less are significantly less durable. For example, the Anjan uses metal rings on the four corner guypoints to reduce wear on its already burly webbing loops. It uses strong plastic and metal hardware for friction adjustments and connection points, and its floor fabric is significantly more durable than the fly fabric. (Most "ultralight" tents use the same material for the floor and the fly.) All in all, the Anjan is a tent that's built to last. Yet Hilleberg also realizes that sh#t happens; they include an extra pole section and a pole sleeve for repairs, a unique and excellent feature that saves you from having to buy them.

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Hilleberg Anjan features: metal friction adjustments and metal stake rings increase strength and durability (left) and the red toggle (right) relieves stress on the vestibule zipper. No other tents come close to matching Hilleberg durability.
Credit: Max Neale
Colors
Like all Hilleberg tents, the Anjan is available in two colors. Choose from bright red or stealthy green. Though we tested the Anjan in red, our testers prefer green for three-season trips because its stealthier and congruent with Leave No Trace principles. Red looks better in photos, but green can increase your safety when traveling near urban areas, especially in foreign countries.

Limitations
Hilleberg's 40 years of experience building four-season tents for arctic and mountaineering expeditions is immediately apparent in the Anjan's design. By most standards, the tent is overbuilt for three-season conditions. This is a good thing. Of all the 23 backpacking tents we've tested this is the only one that has no significant drawbacks. It represents what we believe to be the ultimate balance between weight, comfort, strength, and durability. Like all other tents tested in this category, people over 6 feet tall will find that the toe of a lofted sleeping bag brushes against the inside (and sometimes wet) rear inner wall of the tent. This is common with all backpacking tents and is more problematic, i.e. wetter, with lighter tents that shave off the bottom ends of the outer tent, such as on the Nemo Losi and Obi. Staking out the Anjan's center rear guy loop can help to reduce splashback on the inner tent wall and help to keep the bottom of a sleeping bag drier if you're taller than six feet.

Hilleberg omits a waterproof cover for the Anjan and Rogen's vestibule zipper. Despite numerous serious rain events, none of our testers have found that water enters the vestibule much more than it would normally-- sometimes small droplets seem through the zipper. The vestibule design is such that a very small amount of water falls on the zipper area, and water from other areas runs down the center of the vestibule, far away from the zipper. Thus, though we would prefer a waterproof flap over the zipper, we don't believe tent's omission of this feature is a significant drawback.

The tent has four reflective points: two on the front pole sleeve and two on the back or the rear pole sleeve. Adding to more to each pole sleeve would make the tent more visible at night.

The stakes included with the Anjan are arguably the tent’s greatest drawback. Both the Anjan and Rogen ship with "Tri-pegs," or triangular "shepherd's hooks," that are relatively heavy, have low holding power, and are harder to use when compared to the other top stakes we've used. For example, the top of the stake has a small surface area, which makes it harder to push into the ground with your shoe. There's no hole to add a loop of cord, which would make it easier to pull the stake out and help to prevent you from losing it. The stake's small diameter provides less holding power than larger tubular or Y-shaped stakes. We’ve believe that the included stakes are only suitable for use in compact soil, so our testers carry different stakes. Good stakes are very important; in our experience testing tents we've found that most damage results from a staking problem. Hilleberg could address the Anjan's weakest point (its stakes) by including a lighter and stronger stake shown on the right side of the photo below.

Click to enlarge
Tent stakes,: MSR Cyclone (35g),Toughstake (33g), MSR Snowstake (22g), DAC Y (14g), Easton Nano Nail (9g), DAC V (11g), MSR Mini Groundhog (9g), Hilleberg Tri-peg (8g), Vargo 6.5 Titanium (8g), MSR Carbon Core (5.5g), Easton Full Metal Jacket (5.5g).
Credit: Max Neale
Best Applications
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Roll back the front or rear of the Ajan to increase ventilation in good weather.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab
Many other backpacking tents and ultralight shelters are designed for a very specific end use. The Anjan is just the opposite; its strength lies not in its ability to excel at one specific activity, but rather in its capacity to perform at a high level for just about every activity. If we were to have one tent for all types of three-season activities, from car camping to backpacking, climbing, bike touring, and kayaking, the Anjan would be our top choice. Comparing the Anjan to all types of tents and ultralight shelters, from 14 lb. expedition mountaineering dome tents to 5 oz. ultralight cuben fiber tarps — every type of tent on the planet — we believe the Anjan 2's best application is bicycle touring. Bicycle touring is an activity where you aren't already carrying poles that can support a tent and where the additional weight that comes with the Anjan's added comfort and durability has less of an impact on your body's performance and comfort than it does when the tent is on your back. That being said, the Anjan performs very well for lots of other activities, including backpacking.

Value
At $570 the Anjan 2 is very good value. That's right, even though it's very expensive it's a very good value. In comparison, many other "ultralight" three-season tents, such as the $500 Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum and the $440 Terra Nova Solar Photon 2, cost nearly as much but are weaker, less livable, less weather resistant, and much less durable. We plot tent scores and prices in a Price versus Value Chart, that illustrates how much bang each tent delivers per buck.

Conclusion
The Anjan 2 earned our Editors' Choice award, due to it strong performance on multiple metrics, and competitive price. While there are less expensive tents, we consider the $570 price a good value for the quality of tent provided. If we were to recommend just one tent to friends and family, it would be this one. Whether your interests include backpacking alone, or combined with other uses like car camping, bike touring, or kayaking, the Anjan is one tent that can cover your needs through all three seasons.

Click to enlarge
Credit: OutdoorGearLab

Other Versions and Accessories
The Anjan is also available in a three-person model that weighs eight ounces more and adds 6.5 square feet of interior space. Extended vestibule, or "GT," models add a third pole and more than double the vestibule area. In general, we've found that extended vestibules provide more comfort and more strength than two-door tents with two vestibules. A footprint might be useful if you plan to use the tent for lots of car or basecamping, or travel through areas where punctures are possible (like the desert), but we believe footprints are generally unnecessary for backpacking. Make your own out of 2 mil plastic, found online or at the local hardware store for less than $5, and use the weight of your sleeping pad and bag, or body, to hold in it place.

Videos


Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 9, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.3)

67% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 25%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (2)
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 6, 2013 - 01:05pm
Rick Horwat · Backpacker · Pittsburgh Pa
Max, I am the individual that wrote the "alarmist" reaction/review linked by Andersah.

A few things…

First and foremost you state "No vestibule keeps its contents dry in heavy rain."

I am not sure how many tents you have actually used/owned nor am I aware of the conditions in which you have utilized your shelters but my Hille Soulo(for instance) which I also reviewed has absolutely zero problems keeping my gear dry in the vesti regardless of how hard the rain is coming down.

Here is the review if you are curious:
http://www.trailspace.com/gear/hilleberg/soulo/#review25287

Secondly, as I mentioned in the review the outer on the Anjan is elevated 5"+ off of the ground. Now while this would most certainly help in regards to ventilation(chimney effect)it also makes the inner of this model more susceptible to being exposed to the elements.

My fix as stated in the review is quite simple. Drop the outer give or take another 2". It won't make much of a difference in ventilation being there really isn't a true top vent on this model(which I wish there was) so in regards to the "chimney effect…"

…well there really isn't one. Unless of course you consider the extra Kerlon 1000 material at the top of the outer(vesti) entry point/zipper a vent which is pretty much useless when the rain is coming down in buckets.

My BA Copper Spur 1 offered much more protection from the splashing effect generated by heavy rain being the fly hugs closer to the ground. Also the BA CS1 incorporates a top vent into it's design.

Have you ever noticed that many(most) tent manufacturers incorporate a top vent into their design? There is a reason for this and the reason is quite simple.

In very humid conditions this setup maximizes interior airflow inside the shelter creating what one refers to as the chimney effect.

In turn this increase of airflow cuts down on interior condensation dramatically.

Keep in mind the average human produces around one pint of water throughout the course of an evening not considering the amount of moisture caused by humidity.

That moisture needs to go somewhere.

Up & out is much better than up & in.

In regards to the vesti zipper and the lack of a protective flap. A lil hook & loop and some Kerlon 1000 would be a great thing and the weight increase would be very minimal.

If the vesti does not provide protection from rain, etc. then please tell me what is the point of having one in the 1st place? Even my old Eureka! tent had a protective covering on the vesti zipper and I have not experienced the water ingress issues with any other tent I have ever owned that I did with the Anjan

Keep in mind that I have been tromping around the hills(mostly solo) in all seasons for over 30yrs now so there are quite a few tents out there that I have used.

Bottom line is this. For $570(usd) one should not experience the issues that can happen with this tent under the right conditions that produced the results that I experienced.

My suggestion to you is to take the tent out on a bald or a slab, pitch the tent, and get caught in a 24hr washout.

One of those storms that causes you to have a zero day on trail.

If you do you may find that the lack of performance in regards to the elevated outer design, and zippers are something that one should not experience in a high priced, premium tent.

As far as seam sealing the tent…

Well I thought the sole reason Hille utilized cooling jets in the stitching process of the tent was to alleviate the need for this.

My Soulo, Akto, etc never leaked and it has been in some pretty hairy weather.

Btw, nice review here on the Tarra.

I have one…

As well as a few other Hilleberg's.

Oh and btw, I have a question for ya.

If a tent outer(which is the protective layer) goes all the way to the ground how is splashing rain a problem as you state in your following comment?

"splashback (rain bouncing off the ground and hitting the inner tent wall) is a problem with every tent in heavy rain. Even models with outer tents that go all the way to the ground, like Hilleberg All Season models (Nammatjfor example)."

Huh? Errrr, ummm, uhhh… WHAT?

I find this to be odd(not too mention theoretically impossible) being if the outer goes all the way to the ground as you state then the inner would not be exposed.

If the rain is bouncing(I know what ya mean btdt) then the only part of the tent for it to bounce into would be the outer.

So how is this a problem?

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Mar 8, 2013 - 12:26pm
 
Max Neale · Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab
Reply to Andersah: splashback (rain bouncing off the ground and hitting the inner tent wall) is a problem with every tent in heavy rain. Even models with outer tents that go all the way to the ground, like Hilleberg All Season models (Nammatjfor example). Selecting a campsite with soft, absorbent ground is the best way to mitigate this problem. Compared to other three-season tents the Anajn does very well at protecting against splashback; the waterproof walls extend farther up than most other tents and the solid nylon walls are more water resistant than the mesh walls that most other three-season tents use. Your observation is correct- the inner tent walls do get wet, however, they get less wet than most (or all?) other three-season tents we've tested. Regarding your concern about the vestibule zipper, I agree that the benefits of adding adding a waterproof flap would likely exceed the minor weight penalty, but we haven't found that a enough water enters through the zipper to be noteworthy. I disagree with the conclusions in the review you mention. A few potential extra drops of water in the vestibule will not be a significant issue for most people. No vestibule keeps its contents perfectly dry in heavy rain. Tents are not weatherproof, climate controlled houses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Mar 7, 2013 - 01:05pm
Andersah · Hiker · Stockholm, sweden
I bought a Anjan 3 as soon as they become avalible in shops in Stockholm.
After using it with wife and friends on holidays and a scoutcamp in France i do like it with one but.
In heavy rain splash wets the inner tent just above the floor ending on the sides. So things laying along the outer edges of inner tent get wet.

And the zipper do leak.

Both problems extensivly described at http://www.trailspace.com/gear/hilleberg/anjan-2/

In a mail to customer service I asked if they mitigated those problems. They answered "We dont se any modifications we could do to Anjan" and "theres nothing to do to the zipper and use McNet Seam-Grip at the corners".

I didnt expect having to improve such a expensive tent myself (also used a Tarptent Double Rainbow many years but Henry really expect you to seamseal yourself)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 27, 2013 - 08:31pm
Erich · Camper
I have the Nammatj 3 and recently went on a 2-month trip throughout Patagonia. I agree Hilleberg makes a sturdy tent. With 16 stake points it is very sturdy. It would be nice to have a vent up top. That said, the design of the outer tent being a couple inches off the inner tent really reduces condensation. I first tried the Tarptent and found it to be flimsy in comparison. If you can throw down the cash I would definitely check this company out.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Hilleberg Anjan
Credit: Hilleberg
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