Nature Calls Backpacking

Setting up a Tent in the Snow feat. the Hilleberg Nallo 3

​I took out one of my favorite tents, the Hilleberg Nallo 3, to do some demonstrations of setting up a tent in the snow.  Snow camping can be a lot of fun, but the set up can be stressful.  Know what techniques to use and you will soon figure out the beauty that can be had with winter camping.

THE NALLO 3’S salient characteristic may be its light weight, but it is still fully able to handle all season, all weather adventures. This explains why this tent is the first choice of those needing the lightest weight tent that still offers all-season, all weather functionality. This includes wilderness photographers, professional climbers, hunters, and other adventurers who have to carry large amounts of gear, as well as long distance hikers, who want to get more out of carrying less. Two-person teams love having quite a bit of extra interior and storage space without any real weight penalty.

Minimum Weight  2.2 kg/4 lbs 14 oz
Packed Weight  2.6 kg/5 lbs 12 oz
Outer tent fabric Kerlon 1200
Poles (9 mm)  1 x 328, 1 x 285 cm  1 x 129.1, 1 x 112.2 in
Pegs  16 V-Peg

IN THE MID-1980S, Bo Hilleberg set out to design a two pole, double wall, one-person tent that was spacious and had a very low weight. He found he couldn’t get the weight he wanted with a design he liked. But during the process, he realized he could create a very lightweight, all-season two-person tent, with the same amount of space as the very popular Nammatj, which had been introduced a few years earlier.

“There was a demand at that time for a lighter, two-person tent,” recalls Bo, “especially by those users who did not need the strength of the Nammatj.” And so the Nallo was born (along with the germ of the idea that would become the Akto some years later). Introduced in 1987, the Nallo used the same diameter poles and the same Kerlon 1500 outer tent fabric (with its remarkable 15 kg/33 lb tear strength) as did the Nammatj at that time. It was also roughly the same shape, but with a center entrance and integrated vent hood in the single vestibule for weight savings. “The Nallo was one of our biggest successes,” recalls Bo. “It won quite a few prizes in its first year.”

By 1990, the Nallo had become the “Nallo 2,” as it was joined in the line by the Nallo 3. Both were enthusiastically received, and in 1995, when the European Outdoor Award was given for the very first time, the Nallo was named best overall outdoor product.

Despite all this success, Bo knew he could improve on the Nallo concept. In 2002, he completely redesigned all the Nallo models with a shorter back pole and a longer front one, while retaining the front entrance vestibule. More importantly, we had developed a new, lighter weight Kerlon 1000 fabric, with a 10 kg/22 lb tear strength, which was conceived specifically for the Nallo tents. Together, the new design and new fabric both saved weight and created more sitting height up front.

The same year, we also introduced both the 4-person Nallo 4, and 2-, 3-, and 4-person GT models, featuring our extended vestibule construction. All of the redesigned Nallo models were a great success, and the GT versions were so popular that that demand outpaced production.

The Nallo redesign was the first time we made tents lighter through materials, and the Nallo models were the first tents – indeed, the keystone tents – in what would become our Red Label line. But improvements did not stop. In 2003, we introduced improved Kerlon fabrics: Kerlon 1800 (18 kg/40 lb tear strength) replaced Kerlon 1500, and Kerlon 1200, (12 kg/26 lb tear strength) replaced the Kerlon 1000 of the time. We added an additional, interior vent in to all Nallo models in 2005, and in 2006, we reconfigured the Nallo GT model’s extended vestibules with a more adjustable vent and two entrances. We also added a short zipper to the back wall of the outer tent on all Nallo and Nallo GT models, which provided even more venting options.

Today, the Nallo and Nallo GT models remain some of our most popular, and with good reason: they are strong and roomy yet quite light, and they offer true all-season function. They have been used all over the world, in all seasons, by cyclists, climbers, ski mountaineers, trekkers and backpackers. The Nallo and Nallo GT tents also became the inspiration for the very light Anjan and Anjan GT models, “founding members” of our three-season Yellow Label line.

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