The Hilleberg Allak 3 is a lightweight freestanding dome tent for four seasons and two to three persons. Read the review or watch the video!
- Weight: 3722,8 grams (Claimed 3.700 grams)
- Packsize: 25 x 56 cm
- Price: € 1295,00
The Hilleberg Allak 3 is a lightweight freestanding dome tent for four seasons and two to three persons. Hilleberg claims a weight of 3700 grams and as always I checked the weight on my scale and measured 3722,8 grams for the package including pegs, poles and stuffbag. I also checked every individual item: The inner tent weights 1178.8 grams and the outer tent 1554.4 grams. The three poles plus repair pole weight 731.8 grams and the bag with pegs (13 pieces) 163.0 grams. Last but not least: the stuff bag I weighted at 56.5 grams.
The Hilleberg Allak 3 is a Red label tent. Red label Hillebergs are intended to be used in ultimately severe weather conditions. In that respect the total weight of 3722,8 grams is very strong for a four-season dome tent for 3 persons. The low weight makes it a very suitable tent for hiking and backpacking and also in cyclingtrips or winter hikes with a snowsled the Allak 3 would do well.
The Allak comes in a stuffbag that is specious enough so you can get everything in the bag without any force. It is possible to put a small tarp or a footprint – available for the Allak 3 (€ 141,00/ 395 grams) – into the bag. The bag is very simple executed without compression straps.
Hilleberg provides a very nice manual and a repair pole with the Allak 3. What I do miss is a small repairkit and a small tube of seamsealer. The Allak 3 is top price level and I know a lot of cheaper tents that come with a repair kit. Ok, they might need it…. But also expensive tents can be damaged.
The low weight of the Hilleberg Allak 3 has everything to do with the chosen materials. The flysheet is made of Hillebergs own fabric: Kerlon 1200. Kerlon 1200 is a ripstop nylon with a thickness of 30 Denier*. To make the fabric waterproof, it is treated with three layers of silicone coating: a double one on the outside and a single coating on the inside. The outside is also coated with a UV-resistant layer.
This silicone coating has consequences: the stitches on the seams cannot be taped** – a tape of ‘plastic’ over the seam – to make it waterproof. To prevent water getting through the stitching holes, a swell yarn is used. When the yarn gets wet is swells and closes the holes. Sometimes the hole is just too big and water can go true. If this happens – accidently with a new tent, mostly after years of use – you close it with Seam seal. On the inside though; on the outside it becomes quite a messy sight. The Hilleberg was totally waterproof though and all seams and stitches are top notch!
One of the characteristics of thin siliconized nylon fabric is that it is sensitive to temperature changes. With warm weather it looks nice and tensioned and when night comes, the fabric slacks. Re-tensioning is needed. With the Kerlon 1200 this is very limited, it hardly slackens and therefore no tensioners are needed on the Allak 3. And the Kerlon fabric is probably the only nylon tent fabric that I know of that does this.
The inner tent is also made of 30 Denier ripstop nylon and has a water-repellent coating. This is handy because due to this coating condensation drops bead off the cloth easily. The floor of the inner tent is made of a 70 Denier thick nylon with a triple Polyurethane coating to make it waterproof. And to be complete: the fly has a hydrostatic head of 5000 mm water column and the groundsheet of 15,000 mm.
* 30D stands for the material thickness (D = Denier). In the world of lightweight tents, a Ripstop means that if there is a small hole or tear in the fabric, the material will not continue to rip.
** Vaude is the only tent manufacturer that produces tents with a silicon fabric that is provided with a tape.
Pegs and poles
The poles and the pegs of the Hilleberg Allak 3 are made by the Korean poles manufacturer DAC. The poles are DAC Featherlite NSL Green with a diameter of 9 mm end a section length of 43 cm. The ‘Green’ means that the poles are produced using an environmental friendlier way than is normally the case. Especially in the anodising process a lot of water is saved. DAC is also responsible for the 14 V-shaped aluminium pegs that come with the tent. The pegs perform well in many different sorts off grounds – soil, grass, and rocky surfaces with cracks. Pegs have to be sturdy. Nice detail is the wire that makes taking the pegs out of the ground very user friendly.
The Hilleberg Allak 3 is a symmetrical free standing dome and with the inner tent attached to the flysheet pitching takes about 5 minutes. Just spread out the tent and slide the poles in the pole sleeves.
The pole sleeves don’t go from one side to the other; they are only 50 cm long on both ends of the pole. This makes pitching very easy because I don’t have to use ‘force’ to push them through long sleeves. The pole sleeves are colour coded so I must be stupid to make mistakes here. With the poles in the sleeves all I need to do is clip the hooks around the poles and the solid dome construction is a fact.
What is left is to attach the rainfly – or hat – on top of the dome and the Hilleberg Allak 3 is waterproof. The hat covers the ventilation openings in the fly. This hat has very well designed gutters that direct water away from the doors. Some last remarks on pitching:
When putting the poles in to the pole sleeves, you should pay attention that the end of the pole is sliding into the reinforced pole sleeve end. If not you might damage the pole sleeve and the Hilleberg Allak 3 doesn’t end up looking well pitched.
As mentioned above: the Hilleberg Allak 3 is freestanding. To make this happen a strap is connected to the poles next to each entrance. This strap helps keeping the dome in shape. It can also be a sort of a tripwire… But after pitching it is detachable on one side.
Also be aware that the guy lines are prone to get tangled in the pole connecting hooks on the fly. Being careful in packing and unfolding helps enormously to pitch the tent quickly.
Fly solo, inner tent solo
The fly has two big doors with a two way zipper. The zipper has a super raincover. The nice thing of the Hilleberg Allak 3 is that it is possible to use the fly solo as a shelter just by taking out the inner tent. The inner tent can also be used separately. This is convenient with warm dry weather so that the tent doubles as a ‘mosquitonet’. With a little bit of DIY you can do this with the poles and some rope and tape or tie wrap. But Hilleberg also sells a Pole Holder Kit to make this a bit easier. If you want a full mesh inner tent… Yes, Hilleberg sells that one too: Allak 3 Mesh Inner Tent (€ 342,00/1100 grams). Beware: when putting the inner tent back in the fly none of the connectors are colour coded so you can do it the wrong way around. The fact that I can split the inner tent from the fly means also that I can divide the weight over two or more backpacks or panniers.
Inner tent for 3
Like with the weights, I always check if the measurements of the manufacturer are correct. Hilleberg claims an inner tent that measures 170 cm wide on the head end, 160 cm wide on the foot end and 230 cm long. My measurements are a bit smaller: 168 cm and 157 cm on the ends and 225 cm long. The height that Hilleberg states is 110 cm; I measure 113. So ‘my’ tent is a bit smaller and higher. Is this a big deal? Yes, because it is not what they promise. No, not as long as you are aware of this. I contacted Hilleberg about this and they checked my numbers. The tent I have is 0-series or production sample. Hilleberg states that the production tents are 230 cm lon. The bathtub height of the floor is 16 cm by the way. That is enough to survive a small flooding.
What remains is my feeling that a tent of 170 cm wide is pretty limited on the sleeping pads that you can use. If you want to fit three persons you can use sleeping pads of 51 cm, which is mostly a Regular. The wide or Large ones are 60+ cm wide and don’t fit. And even with 51 cm there is no space inside to put gear away. Concluding: the Hilleberg Allak 3 is in general more a large two person tent than a full 3 person tent. Only if the three of you are really close and have no problem with sleeping snug… the Allak is a 3-person tent.
Inner tent features
What I do like on the innertent is the fact that it has six small pockets and a loop in the ceiling so you can attach a light or a headlamp. But the best thing is the door construction. The Hilleberg Allak 3 has two doors on either side. One door is 120 cm long and the other is 50 cm long. The small one can be opened and rolled away to the side. I used this door with colder weather and while cooking a bit sheltered under the small awning. This door has no mesh construction. The big door opens also to the side but it has a twoway zipper so I can also open it partly from top to bottom. In this way I am still sheltered in the Hilly but I can look outside and have a wide view on the landscape. The door has a mesh inner door that rolls down totally if you need ventilation. Or if you want to look outside free from bugs. Open both doors and the panorama is mine to enjoy.
Since the Hilleberg Allak 3 is a symmetrical dome both the awnings are the same size. They are 65 cm deep and that is quite narrow but still big enough if I want to do some windfree cooking. Cooking with rain and a door open is not possible: the awning doesn’t provide enough shelter and rain will fall freely on the grass. With the door open and the inner tent door open I even get a bit of rain in the inner tent. Nice trick is to detach the innertent on the lower point on one side and fold the tent back a bit. In this way I create a quite nice sheltered cooking area.
Let me be short on this: Yes. As I mentioned above, it is a dome! But this is not 100% accurate. Real domes have poles that cross on one point in de top of the tent. The Allak 3 is in fact a geodesic design with poles crossing on three points. The dome-construction is strong, a geodesic-construction stronger. In short: it is a super windproof tent. It doesn’t matter from what side the wind is blowing. Since the fly runs all the way down to the ground, wind and rain have no chance getting underneath it. When the temperatures drop this also helps to keep the warmth in and the cold out. The tent and the groundsheet have proven to be totally waterproof. I also didn’t see any leakage on the seams.
With high winds the twelve single guy-lines – they share a peg – help. Nice about the guy-lines is that they are reflective. And there is more reflective material on the tent: on the pole sleeves and in the middle above the entrance. This has proven to be super handy: it is easy to find the entrance in the night after you go out for a, well you know what.
As mentioned earlier: the Hilleberg Allak 3 is a free-standing tent. Free-standing or self-supporting is very convenient because no pegs or guy lines are needed to keep him upright. Because of this I can lift the dome after pitching and just take it to the best horizontal spot without bumps. Put it down and get ready for the night. When there is not too much wind the use off pegs is even not necessary.
Ventilation and condensation
Since I have been testing tents – a good 15 years by now – the most questions are about ventilation and condensation. If a tent is made of a fabric that doesn’t breath: it is effected by condensation. Nothing to do about it, other then making a lot of ventilation openings. The Allak 3 has two. They are in the fly under the hat. With colder and wet weather and no wind the condensation is a lot. It is almost as wet on the inside as on the outside. With wind the condensation is moderate. After opening the doors a bit it was even less, but don’t think the Hilleberg Allak 3 is free from condensation. I tested without the footprint and they help preventing condensation.
As with most tents from Hilleberg also the Allak 3 is a very nice well-designed tent with lots of small nifty details like the gutters. In the manufacturing I could not find any flaws. The weight of 3.7 kg is super and so is the packsize. Pitching is easy. I like that it is self-supporting. It is waterproof and very wind resistant. I like the Kerlon 1200 since it is almost not affected by temperature changes. That it is possible to use the fly as a lightweight strong shelter and the inner tent solo with warmer weather is nice too. On the downside I think that the inner tent is a bit on the small side for three; it is fine for two large adults. The awnings are a bit on the narrow side and I miss a bit of rain-coverage to the inner tent. The price of the Hilleberg Allak 3 is € 1295,00 and that is pretty high but it is a bulletproof build tent for harsh conditions. I rate the Hilleberg Allak 3 at 8.9 out of 10 total.