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Hilleberg Akto Review

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Matt, 0/0/00 User Rating:  N/A
"Hilleberg Akto is one of the many tent models Hilleberg manufacture. It is a solo tent which weighs 3.1 pounds and it is the best tent I have ever owned! There is a lot of room for me, my gear and even room for cooking in the vestibule. The pole is, like on all their models, on the outer-tent, which makes pitching extremely fast and easy and the inner tent stays dry at all times.
I do recommend this awesome one person tent and all other models from Hilleberg!"


Tony Friend, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I have had this tent for Five years now, and I adore it. It is still like new, still totally waterproof and still shrugs off gale force winds. It is light, goes up and down rapidly, and with ease, even with cold wet hands. There is plenty of room to sit up, with a closed porch that allows plenty of room for a pack and to cook under cover if needed. Its only real failing is that it struggles a bit in heavy snow."


John, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"Excellent one person tent with lots of room, easy to pitch, but suffers very badly from condensation. There is a modification, standard on new tents, which I am about to try and which will hopefully improve this problem. Sorry, till I've tried the modification, only a 4."


woebegone, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"Product information:
Manufacturer: Hilleberg the tentmaker
Model: Akto
Year manufactured: 2000
Web site: www.hilleberg.com
Manufacturers listed weight: 3lb., 13oz / 1.36kg
Delivered weight: 3lb., 13oz / 1.36kg
Price: $340.00 MSRP
Occupancy: 1+ Gear
Color options: Green or red
Poles: 1-115.4” / 293cm. X 8.8mm aluminum 5 section pole w/bag, extra pole section & repair sleeve
Stakes: 10- 7” / 17.5cm aluminum V-shaped w/stake bag
interior tent: length: 86.5” / 220cm, height: 35.5” / 90cm, end width: 25” / 63.5cm, center width: 40” / 101.5cm
exterior tent: length: 93” / 236cm, height: 38” / 96.5cm, end width: 29” / 73.5cm, center width: 86” / 218.5cm
packed: 21” / 53cm X 8” / 20cm.

Field conditions:
I tested the Akto for 158 consecutive nights during my 2001 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Elevations varied from 200’ / 60m near the Hudson River in New York, to nearly 5,000’ / 1500m in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/ Tennessee, and in The White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. The weather varied wildly over the six-month test. Cold & fog in Georgia, Sub freezing and 6” / 15cm of snow in the smokys, heat, humidity, violent thunderstorms, driving rain, high winds, and hoards of mosquitoes in Virginia. This little tent performed admirably throughout!

About the tent:
This is a single pole “exoskeletal” (multi-pitch?) design, meaning that the tent structure is in the flysheet rather than the interior tent body. This means that the whole tent can be pitched at the same time enabling you to keep the interior dry when erecting the tent in the rain.
The 18.3sq.ft. / 1.7sq. m. interior is made of lightweight 1.1oz ripstop nylon and is water repellent and breathable and is so tightly woven that you can carry water in it. Droplets of condensation that drip from underside of the roof bead up and roll right off. The inner tent attaches to the flysheet with elasticized toggles and rings. Any section of the interior can therefore be unbuttoned and shoved into a corner to provide bare floor space (and a bit more headroom) for going through your gear, taking off wet rain gear or muddy boots, or for cooking (be very careful). The 3.5oz floor is multiple polyurethane coated and seamless. It extends to 4“ / 10cm. above the ground. The interior door is on the long side of the tent and opens about two thirds of the tent. Two single slider zippers, one along the floor and one along the roofline access it. The door can be rolled and secured out of the way with a loop & toggle. It has a small, closable triangular no-see-um netting window. The fabric is a very pleasant bright yellow. Two clothesline loops and a gear pocket round out the interior features. The interior tent can be set up by itself with the addition of two separate pole holders (available separately).
The exterior tent is made of Kerlon 1500, a 2.3 oz silicon treated ripstop nylon with a 33psi tear strenth....Strong!! This material absorbs no moisture, water droplets will shake right off. So far the fabric has held up well but the tent bag of the same material shows abrasion. Both ends of the flysheet are outward sloping to avoid entry of rain and are made of tightly woven mesh and include a rainbow shaped double slider zippered opening. These zippers are difficult to operate from inside the interior tent, especially at the foot end! To my surprise I have experienced no problem with moisture blowing in through the mesh ends. The flysheet extends all the way to the ground. This helps to keep out flying insects, bouncing raindrops and spindrift snow, but in my opinion compromises ventalation. I’d like to see the rainfly edges raised somewhat. The four corners of the tent have 14“ / 35.5cm long, removable plastic stays running from the ground to the corner guy outs, to retain the shape, but require that you roll the tent rather than stuff it. I’ve been experimenting with other more flexible materials but so far have not come up with a workable alternative. I prerfer to stuff and compress a shelter whenever possible to reduce packed volume and for more control in high winds. Without the stays the tent compresses to a 6’ / 15cm ball, easily fitting into most exterior pack pockets (pole packed separately). The tent exterior has six double V guy-out lines, two at each end (required), and one on each side along the pole sleeve for added stability in the wind. All guy lines come already attached to the tent and include a nifty tension adjuster . Each guy-out stake then puts tension on the fabric at two points. Once all staked out the tent is very taut and experinced very little flapping in the wind. I never seam sealed the tent at all and would only get a single drop of water through the threads at the loop & toggle used to hold the exterior door open. A few drops of Sil-net has permanently solved that little problem. Should you wish to seam seal this tent please note that you will need both a silicon sealer and a polyurethane sealer as the pole sleeve is made of PU coated fabric and neither sealer will work well on the other fabric. The exterior door is a double slider zipper along the pole sleeve. The outer tent fits snugly agaist the ground, virtualy excluding the weather and most flying insects but also restricting ventalation somewhat. Condensation was only a minor problem when using both interior and exterior due to the water repellency of the inner tent, but more of a problem when using the outer tent alone. Leaving the outer door partly open helps alot of course. I also used a full coverage Tyvek ground sheet which excludes moisture from the ground in the vestibule area. The 8.8 square foot / 0.82 square meter vestibule is large enough for your backpack and boots and still has room enough to cook in. (again, please be very careful when doing this.)
The single, five section, shock-corded aluminum pole is 115.4“ / 293cm long and collapses down to 19.5“ / 49.5cm An extra pole section and a repair sleeve come with the tent. Ten 7“ / 17.8cm., V-shaped aluminum stakes are included, but I found them uncomfortable to press into hard ground with the palm of my hand. I replaced them with simple 6“ x 1/16“ / 15cm X 1.6mm titanium skewers. My titanium skewers are slightly heavier than stock!

I really love the fact that I can set up my tent in under two minutes in the driving rain and not soak the interior. I don’t understand why major manufacturers don’t adopt this design. While advertised as an all conditions tent, I don’t think I’d like to have to wait out a long storm in one because of the small size. Also I’m not sure the single pole and unsupported fabric could handle heavy snowfall. The interior, while large enough to comfortably sleep in, is rather short on headroom, my head just brushes the top, and one can only sit up in the center of the tent. The ability to retract the inner tent helps a lot. Two can fit in the exterior tent in they’re very friendly or in an emergency.
I do wish I could stuff the tent into a sack rather than rolling it up. This would make it more controlable in high winds as I could stake one end to the ground while most of the tent was still safely in the bag. As it is, the tent must be fully spread on the ground before I can start staking it out. After two years of use the tent still looks nearly brand new although the pole is getting a bit mis-shapened. The slick fabric sheds dirt well and since it will not absorb water it dries very rapidly.
At $340.00 this is hardly a cheap tent, but in this case you’re getting what you paid for. I’d recomend this shelter to long distance hikers doing the Pacific Crest Trail or anyone going alone into unpredictable conditions. I’m already planning on buying a larger Hilleberg for winter camping.

The 2002 Hilleberg Akto is now made of even lighter Kerlon 1000ä, 1.35oz. ripstop and they have added a small eyelid vent over the door, addressing the condensation problem somewhat.

(C)2002 Michael Doughty
Reprint freely"


Kevin, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I pitched it in rain pouring so hard I couldn't even see, then crawled into a nice, dry tent (after taking off my rain gear in the vestibule). No condensation problems yet either. Just wish it was cheaper, but then that's what tax refunds are for.

I love my Akto."


Jay Russell, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I've had an Akto for about three years and I think it is excellent. I can pitch it in next to no time, it is very stable and roomy enough.
My only compaints would be 1. It could do with a touch more headroom, I am 6'2" and I can only just sit up straight in the middle. 2. Condensation is a problem. I think the redesigned fly might cover this but I have no experience of the updated model."


Alex Lockwood, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"Tent positives:
- Very lightweight for a 4 season tent, probably the lightest doubled-wall 4 season solo around
- Exceptional amount of room for a solo, inner tent can be opened out for all the room of a 2 person inside the outer tent
- Outer tent pitches covering the inner tent, no more bailing water out of the inner tent because it has sat exposed to the rain while pitching
- Takes no time to pitch
- Wind and weather stability is excellent, I have not tested this, but has been said to have been nearly expedition standard.
- In light to fresh breezes, tent hardly even moves, nice and quiet inside.
- Very warm

I have no real complaints about this tent, but some things that others may consider problems are

- Not freestanding, need spots to anchor guylines even in calm weather. This rarely presents a problem with finding a tent site however, I have anchored the guys in all sorts of funny places.

- Condensation often has to be wiped off in the morning after use, but this is rarely more than a damp layer, and I would rather the warmth of a non-mesh inner tent."


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