Great Walks Track Tests Hilleberg's Allak 3 three-person tent.
New for 2019 from Swedish brand Hilleberg is the Allak 3, a three-person freestanding dome tent. Sitting between their Black and Yellow labels, Hilleberg’s Red Label range has a balance of weight and stability designed for general all-season use, and so is probably the most appropriate for the majority of Australian conditions.
Once pitched (in an unhurried 13 mins) I found the Allak to be probably the strongest and most stable dome tent I’ve come across outside of mountaineering trips. Its hexagonal design incorporates three solid pole crossings combined with universally durable components and six dual guy lines with attachment points for four more, ensuring that this should be a haven able to withstand any foul weather Australia can muster.
It certainly scoffed in the face of several hours of hard Victorian rain and 50 kph winds during testing, with no water ingress or noticeable buffeting. The integral pitch design, unusual in a dome tent, means the two skins can be erected together, thus protecting the inner from rain during the process. It also means the Allak is truly freestanding with no need to peg out the doors in fine conditions.
An unusual design feature is the vent cover, a separate sheet which sits atop the flysheet to protect the large roof vents. Positioned at the top of the inner tent, these vents disperse air efficiently when used on warmer nights. Interestingly, no morning condensation was present on the section of the flysheet beneath the vent cover, evidence that this part of the fabric was kept at a higher temperature by escaping warm air. While the standard model comes with a full nylon inner (including zip-down mesh door panel), a full mesh inner will also be available for summer outings and will probably be the more popular choice for Aussie adventurers.
While the 3.8 m2 interior is not as roomy as that of some models, it still appears generous due to the 110cm ceiling height. Three hikers should sleep comfortably enough inside but their backpacks, if large, might struggle to fit even using the vestibules, which at a total area of 1.6m2 are also smaller than other models on the market. Another drawback to the smaller porch space is that the outer door, during or after rain, can shed water inside the tent if not unzipped carefully.
In terms of encumbrance, although the 3.2kg load (minimum weight) is no drama when split between three hikers, prospective buyers will note the Allak as heavier than its competitors. As a trade-off against the stability and features though, it may be worthwhile.
Online price: $US 1160. For more info click here.