Initial thoughts: Hilleberg Enan tent

Hilleberg Enan tent wild camping Blencathra Lake District
At camp with the Hilleberg Enan on Blencathra last Thursday evening.

Not been on the blog for a while as I’ve been so busy away filming ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra’ folks. Indeed I have a very busy three months ahead juggling my usual bread and butter commissioned work along with working on the doc in the northern Lakes.

I’ll be blogging more soon but in the meantime I thought I’d share some initial thoughts on a new tent from Hilleberg I’ve been using – the Enan.

A fair few folks have been in touch showing interest in this shelter after noting my pics and what have you on Twitter and Facebook. I think it’s available on retail now. Purportedly weighing in at around the 1.1kilo mark (not had the chance to weigh it myself just yet) it’s designed for fair weather use. This is not a ‘light’ version of their Akto. Materials are not as strong and durable for example.

First of all, it’s very easy and quick to pitch. Best of it’s type I reckon. Much less fiddly than it’s competition like the Terra Nova Laser Competition (LC) or F10 Helium to name two. You can get a taut pitch with ease too – none of the overly methodical and frustrating messing about one has to do with the LC (though to be fair the Helium or even Vaude’s Power Lizard are not such a pain to erect).

The main hooped pole sleeve is excellent (even allowing a user to accommodate two poles if you wished during inclement weather) and a number of guylines in the usual places on such a design completes the pitch.

Inside you get an all mesh inner door which opens wide and can be tied back with a decent toggle (no slipping or coming loose). The mesh inner door is unlike any on the market I’ve come across too. The same material is used at the foot and head ends of the shelter as part of the main flysheet – allowing and affording good airflow during warm and humid nights.

The material reminded me of a very fine silk (a little like what’s found on the Vaude Power Lizards). I suspect that all but heavy, prolonged and wind driven rain would get through. It’s really rather water-resistant. Saying that, tucked away under the main fly at both ends of the tent you can locate and remove more of the fly to cover these vents – which I’ve yet to use. The inner tent is light and roomy for one and the vestibule is of a good size (if you’re a lightweight backpacker of course).

Hilleberg Enan wild camping Blencathra summer
Small tent, big views on Blencathra.

All in all, coupled with excellent attention to detail and a well-thought through design the Enan is most definitely a suped up version of the legendary LC. It’s much better in fact for a not very considerable weight gain!

I couldn’t possibly say at the moment if it beats the F10 Helium as that has more room inside (though a smaller vestibule) and has the advantage of a internal tension band system to keep the main pole much more stable – as does too the Power Lizards.

One thing I would like to add and something I’ll be paying close attention to in the coming months ahead is how damn noisy the Enan is in light winds. Sure enough single hooped tents can be!

Even so I was disappointed to discover how much of a bloody racket it makes in light as well as strong winds. This is despite a taut, ‘tight as a drum’ pitch but given the large areas of the fly being unsupported they will inevitably convex when mother nature is breathing about the tops.

Whereas the fabrics on the LC and Helium sound soft when rattling about in breezes the Enan sounds like stiff plastic paper snapping away and whiplashing itself! That’s my perception at least. I’m very much the sort of person who once their head hits a pillow – they’re dead to the world. Alas the Enan took great pleasure in affording me an unsettled night’s kip on Blencathra last week.

Hilleberg Enan tent Atkinson Pike lake district
View towards Penrith from the Hilleberg Enan tent.

Other than that, I really like the shelter so far and I do think it’s excellent after initial use. Of course I’ll be using it many more times yet (and perhaps some ear plugs) before making a final judgement. But so far so good despite some niggles. It’s shaping up to be a winning tent for Hilleberg I reckon.

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