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Tent: Naturehike Cloud Peak - "inspired by" Hilleberg Allak but costs ~$200 CAD

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,539
Location
Victoria, BC
I own a Hilleberg Staika and I really like it a lot. I don't think I'll ever use a 'inner pitches first' tent (i.e. almost any American tent) again after owning a Hilleberg. I also am a big fan of true self-supporting tents which don't need peg-outs to create the vestibules.
So I was curious about the Naturehike Cloud Peak 2, which is "based on the design" of the Hilleberg Allak 2 (similar to the Staika).
Here's the Cloud Peak which arrived on my doorstep yesterday at a total cost of $212 CAD. Footprint (which doesn't cover the vestibule area) is included. I'll add a few notes on the pricing and delivery in another post below.
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LIke the Allak 2 and the Staika, it's listed as a 2-person tent but it would be a bit cozy for 2.
Pitches "in one go" with the outer tent clipping to the poles, so it can be put up in the rain without the inner getting wet.
The inner can be unclipped from the outer tent and packed (dry) separately in really rainy weather.
The 'top hat' covers the mesh vents.
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Side-by-side comparison with a Hilleberg Allak shows a lot of differences - fabric weight and quality, design, etc... But there's almost a 10x price differential.
The Cloud Peak has a mesh top on the inner tent, but that's pretty common in backpacking tents. The Allak is all fabric on the inner with zip panels to expose mesh doors and roof vents.
One 'defect' of the Naturehike is that you can't leave the outer door fully open if it is raining, as the 'top hat' doesn't extend down far enough to keep rain from dripping on the inner. For years I used a tunnel tent (Stephenson) which had sloping end doors which had to be shut tight, so I don't consider that a big problem. Other workarounds: keeping the door half closed when it rains, or put a tarp over your tent, BC style. :)

Or if you can sew, make the 'top hat' more like the one on the Hilleberg.

IMG_0898.JPG
 
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About Naturehike:
It's a Chinese company that's been around for quite a while. Now they have a 'Canadian' website and they advertise items as being stocked in their Canadian warehouse. The tent I ordered on August 18 was listed as being in stock in the Canadian warehouse, so I expected it to arrive in a week or so; it actually arrived on Sept 6. On Aug 21, I received an email from Naturehike informing me that the tent was actually being delivered "from other countries instead of the local warehouse", and that I would likely have to pay brokerage charges and taxes on delivery.
And: "To express thanks for your support to Naturehike, we especially helped you apply for tax compensation. We will help you bear the tax this time. We hope you can pay the tax first, then send us the invoice after successful payment. We will refund the tax to you in the form of a refund of the order. Is that okay? Looking forward to your reply."

I duly paid the $86 CAD demanded by DHL and emailed a copy of the receipt to Naturehike. My PayPal account was credited the next day, with $86. Whether this 'favour' from Naturehike would be extended to everybody isn't clear to me. It would be best IMO to contact Naturehike for confirmation about stock availability - in Canada or China- before ordering. Also, the prices seem to vary quite a bit - I got a 'back to school' discount. :) There's also a lighter weight version of the tent that's blue. So check around for pricing - I think Naturehike has an Amazon store?
 
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Interesting, thanks for posting. The Allak 3 has been on my 'to buy' list for a while now, but every time I get the purchase urge I run the CAD to US currency converter, add applicable duty and shipping, and then I'm snapped back to reality pretty quick. The price really is mind boggling. :frown:

The Hilleberg will likely end up being my retirement gift to myself, in 1.5 years, give or take.....in the meantime, it's good to see other options.

Please keep us posted on how it's holding up after a bit of field testing!
 
Please keep us posted on how it's holding up after a bit of field testing!
:)
I haven't been camping in a while, but it is definitely on my 'ToDo' list for the fall. However, it's likely that the Hilleberg will go with me on any trip I do... at this point in my life, 'saving things for later' has fallen to the bottom of my agenda, being replaced with 'you might as well spoil yourself'... :)
So I'm going to try to convince one of my friends to do any future testing of the Naturehike. :)
Looking on YouTube, there seems to be a big group of UK campers who like to pitch their tents in the most windy conditions they can find, and some have put the Cloud Peak to the test. The lighter fabric weight, lighter poles, and less sturdy construction overall means that the Naturehike tent isn't going to last as well as the Hilleberg; that's a certainty. But as long as the waterproofing holds up, it should be fine for a lot of kayak camping (or backpacking).

This Cloud Peak was an inpulse buy, driven by the low price. I'll probably re-sell it.
I have the older Cloud Peak (with the bigger 'top hat') in the earthquake kit here.

I've done a couple of minor mods like attaching the 'top hat' to one side of the tent with shock cord knotted loops (replacing the hooks) so that it doesn't blow away, and is always in the correct orientation. The Hilleberg has a similar setup with one edge of the top hat attached with toggles; the other corners attached with snap buckles.

If any forum members in the Victoria area want to have a closer look at the tent, they would be welcome at my back yard. Just send me a message ('Start a conversation' by clicking on my user name).
 
Interesting post. I work for the Pacific Crest Trail, so see and hear a LOT about tents. :) Here's what I've learned:

Tents are a VAST ecosystem. There literally are hundreds of different brands (yes, some if not most are all probably made in the same Chinese factory, LOL) and potentially over a thousand different models within those brands. And what's interesting (and a bit amusing) is how tents have become like food—every country and every niche within the global outdoor community has "their" brands they use and recommend the most.

I don't say any of this critically—it's wonderful to have so much choice! Rather, what I've learned is that even among the very best, high-end, high-value tents that perform excellently in a wide range of conditions, there are STILL hundreds of choices. Tents aren't rocket science—their engineering is pretty transparent and there isn't much to them. Not that design doesn't matter (it does), but it's super-easy to see what the best tent companies do and copy them (or improve upon them).

I know people who swear by Hillenberg...and people who swear by Big Agnes...and people who swear by ZPacks...etc. They're all outstanding tents! :p

As an aside, if anyone is interested in seeing what the latest, most popular ultralight tents are now for people who hike thousands of miles in one trip, check out the ZPacks Duplex: https://zpacks.com/products/duplex-tent
This tent weighs 525 grams (18oz) and is well-loved by people who use it in conditions from balmy, calm summer days to raging blizzards at 10,000 feet. It uses trekking poles to pitch. And costs a whopping $700. (And thousands of PCT hikers buy them.)

I'm not suggesting this tent for sea kayaking, LOL...just using it as an example of the extreme range in the tent world. :)
 
I'm not suggesting this tent for sea kayaking, LOL...just using it as an example of the extreme range in the tent world. :)
The backpacking market is huge compared to the sea kayaker world. So, IMO :) the vast majority of tents available are not very suitable for sea kayaking, where tent weight isn't much of an issue. It's a strange combination of 'too many choices' and 'not enough choices for the type of tent I need'.
 
As an aside, if anyone is interested in seeing what the latest, most popular ultralight tents are now for people who hike thousands of miles in one trip, check out the ZPacks Duplex: https://zpacks.com/products/duplex-tent
This tent weighs 525 grams (18oz) and is well-loved by people who use it in conditions from balmy, calm summer days to raging blizzards at 10,000 feet. It uses trekking poles to pitch. And costs a whopping $700. (And thousands of PCT hikers buy them.)

I've seen plans for a sew-your-own tent of a very similar design. Not sure if all these high tech fabrics used are available to the consumer though.
 
I've seen plans for a sew-your-own tent of a very similar design. Not sure if all these high tech fabrics used are available to the consumer though.
Ripstop by the Roll has a pretty good selection. It's pretty tough to DIY a good tent on the first try. Many years ago I made a mesh inner tent for my Sierra Designs Glacier. It was 'OK' but I've mostly stuck to tarps since then. I made a 'tipi' type tarptent for cooking and eating, which has been very handy on rainy days.
cooking tarp in AK.JPG
 
Looking closer at that design, they remind me a little of Coleman (A.K.A. Tumbleweed) tents I saw at Zion. The fly doesn't come all the way down - it mostly covers the mesh components at the top and sides. So when the wind blows, it easily gets under that fly and if the tent isn't staked securely down ... (did you notice the word "tumbleweed" above). They were blowing all over South Camp while their owners were dining in town.

The "rub" is, it is great that this tent is completely self-supported - that it doesn't need additional stakes for the vestibule or to pull the fly off the inner tent walls. But, given that wind can flow under the "half-fly" and lift, the tent better be tied to something. IMHO :)
 
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The fly doesn't come all the way down - it mostly covers the mesh components at the top and sides. So when the wind blows, it easily gets under that fly and if the tent isn't staked securely down ...
Huh? The outer tent (aka 'fly) comes down to 2" off the ground. Perhaps you are referring to the 'top hat' which covers the roof vents?
But, yes, even a self-supporting tent needs to be staked down somehow - pegs, 'deadmen' in the sand, or boulders.
Here's the Cloud Peak in windy weather:

The Cloud Peak with the outer tent about 2" off the ground and the inner tent with mesh, is not a 4-season (snow camping) tent; the Hilleberg Allak is a 4-season tent. I should have made that clear. The Cloud Peak is more similar in fly coverage to the MSR Hubba tents, though it has (a lot) more solid fabric than the bathtub floor and mesh in the Hubba. And, of course, you can pitch the Cloud Peak in rain without soaking the inside of the tent. :)
 
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John, yes - absolutely. Any you are correct - I did overreact to that "top hat", probably as a result of those Colman's blowing all over the park. :oops:

In fairness, it wasn't a "gentle breeze" I believe the wind gusts were in excess of 30 mph. I would have used a hammock because the online info said it was allowable. The website left out that it wasn't possible at all campsites. It wasn't a matter of trees or not, If the only trees were on the border between two sites, you were not allowed to use them Also, the ground cover. was that "cheatgrass" that gets in your socks and shoes. We used a Tent-Cots. But even then, I kept a close eye on overhead branches (and moved my car).

tent cot.jpg

After reading a story of one person's inside passage journey, I picked up a Tee-pee tent because it was highly praised. But I'm so used to being enclosed in a tent (part of its features) that I wasn't comfortable with the idea that any critter could come up under the sides of the tee-pee. Also, the one time I tried setting it up in high wind, it was more humorous than successful. But that was because of my lack of experience. As the tee-pee style is used on a lot of expeditions, I'm sure it sheds wind forces quite well.

It was nice, for us who are watching the video, that he positioned the tent more or less in the open instead of behind those rocks. I remember the first time I positioned a shelter at the top of a bluff for a great view, only to be nearly blown off the hill when the wind came up. He also mentioned a change I made in setup. I used to keep the tarp broadside to the wind but now, if possible, I set the tarp up parallel to the wind because it presents a smaller surface area and the suspension trees add additional blockage. Can't be said too many times - check for loose overhead branches.
 
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Earlier this year I bought a now-discontinued Marmot tent called simply the "Hammer." It's a 4-season tent designed for mountaineering and has gotten good reviews (so not sure why they discontinued it except for lack of sales).

What makes this tent unique is that it's a single-wall, waterproof tent that is free-standing, but the poles are on the inside of the tent. So in a rainstorm, you crawl inside the tent (which admittedly is a bit like crawling into a nylon bag on the ground, LOL) and then put up the poles. But once you do this a couple times it's pretty quick and easy. The tent also has a vestibule.

I haven't been able to use it yet in rainy or winter conditions so can't say anything about how well it works. But I set it up in my yard a couple times and it's pretty much built like a hammer (extremely tough!). I think some of these can still be found at various places online. I bought mine mainly because Marmot was offering 50% off at one point so low cost of investment.

Marmot Hammer.png
 
a single-wall, waterproof tent that is free-standing, but the poles are on the inside of the tent.
I was considering a Bibler Bombshelter tent a while back (Bibler was bought out by North Face, which still makes a version of this tent today, I believe). The Bibler was, by most accounts, a very strong, capable 4 season tent. But reviewers commented on how you had to climb inside a (sometimes wet) sack and assemble from the inside out, and I pictured trying to do it in the dark,, and that kind of killed it for me.

Also, the idea of a single-wall waterproof design is a leap of faith too far for me, at least here on the rainy west coast.
 
"Also, the idea of a single-wall waterproof design is a leap of faith too far for me, at least here on the rainy west coast."

I kind of agree—which is why buying the Marmot is an ongoing experiment, LOL. I'm less concerned about it not keeping the rain out and more concerned with condensation on the inside...but it does have some well-designed vents which might help, we'll see.
 
But reviewers commented on how you had to climb inside a (sometimes wet) sack and assemble from the inside out, and I pictured trying to do it in the dark,, and that kind of killed it for me.
I think that Bibler tent was originally designed for high-altitude climbing, where the tent site was a narrow ledge. Better to cliimb inside rather than walkabout when it's a long drop off one side of the 'tent pad'. :) Basically one step up from a bivvy sack. And, conditions are usually pretty dry at high altitudes. "Tested on Everest" (or even in the High Sierra) doesn't mean it will perform well at sea level. :)

Mentions of single-wall tents always bring back memories of the first 'backpacking' tent we owned - an orange variant on a 'pup tent' from Cdn Tire in 1971 or 72. One or two nights in Algonquin Park convinced us a better tent needed to be on the shopping list. Sierra Designs Glacier replaced that one, and the SD wasn't cheap. I think it was about $150 USD.
Google tells me: "$150 in 1972 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1,096.98 today" So, close to the US cost of a Hilleberg. Gear was more expensive back then. :)
 
John, I love the look of the Hilleburg line of tents, but don‘t you find them a little hot and steamy for our coastal tripping season? I have an MSR Elixir, which is a fine tent, but my main complaint is that it has too little mesh. What has been your experience in the Hilleburg and Cloud Peak?

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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