Hands-on Gear Review
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Max Neale
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Most recent review: November 27, 2013
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