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Hilleberg Akto

in Shelters - Double Wall Tents

Average Rating
4.78 / 5 (9 reviews)

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Bruce Tolley
( btolley )

San Francisco Bay Area
Hilleberg Akto on 04/20/2006 21:02:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Hilleberg Akto is a relatively lightweight, one-person, double-walled hoop tent weighing in at a minimum 2 lbs. 14 oz., packed 3 lbs. 5 oz. (manuf claimed weights). I bought this tent for solo hikes in the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons. So far I have used it three times in the Santa Cruz coastal mountains and once in the Sierras over Presidents' Day weekend at 8,000 ft. The tent kept rain and a two small snow storms out successfully. While I would not take it to the mountains expecting a big dump, with 6 to 12 inches of soft slow snowfall, I was able to knock the snow off. The vestibule is spacious (18.3 sq ft). The internal tent is large enough (18.3 sq. ft.) that at 6' 2", I can move around easily and avoid rubbing off condensation onto my down bag.

Being a hoop tent, it is rather tricky to stake out, the one pole needs to be inserted with extra special care into its sleeve, and the two lower vents cannot be accessed from inside the inner tent. The highest point is 36 inches, so you can sit up in the middle of the tent. The door could use a two way zipper to allow more venting though the chimney vent in the top of the vestibule. I would also like it to pack up smaller and have reflective guyouts and lines. According to the Hilleberg web site, this last issue has been addressed in the 2006 models.
After some more nights at 10,000 feet in the Sierras and at lower but more humid elevations in the Santa Cruz mountains, I have some suggestions for improvement:
--Door zipper of the inner tent needs to be a two way zipper to enable venting at the top of the door. The current design of two separate one-way zippers allows venting only at the bottom of the door.
-- Zip open door on outer tent (or rainfly) needs a better fastener, one that can really hold the door open. Current loop and hook design fails repeatedly.
-- Better venting at the top of the tent for nights when the humidity is high. The tent has two large cold air intakes at each bottom end. All the moist air ends up travelling slowly and condensing at the top of the vestible. If the vestible vent were larger or a second vent built into the top of the tent, more moist air could be vented to the outside.

Edited by btolley on 08/25/2007 14:12:30 MDT.

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Larry Cameron
( lacameron )
excellent on 04/24/2006 21:08:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have the 2005 model and I changed the pole out for the carbon pole and switched
the guy lines out with Air Core Pro. When
I was camping out in February I did not have any problems with the tent collapsing because of heavy snow which was mentioned in the review by Backpacking Lite. I used two poles like Hilleberg recomends, the original and the carbon one.

James Pitts
( jjpitts )

Midwest US
Awesome tent on 01/06/2007 18:08:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I use this tent for first-night camping near my car. I have a CF pole and lightweight stakes. It is a very warm tent and very well designed. I real winner. I have no real complaints and have only had success with it.

peter vacco
( )

no. california
a fine tent. but ... on 08/17/2007 22:15:04 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

all that you will read about how wonderful akto is seems to be true. also true is that for it to be habitable in all but the chillyest weather, it Desperately Needs a window in the door. the unna is in the same situation. one can, with some planning, fit a nice window into the unna/akto door. it's a pain in the shorts, but it can be/has been done, and the effect is quite dramatic. there are some tricks necessary to get your door into the very light fabric using only the displaced fabric of the zipper width, and still not have it unravel, or be ugly, and allow replacement of the window mesh. hopefully more info by xmas at my soon to be published site.
peter v.

Gary Dunckel
( Zia-Grill-Guy )

Unique and high quality solo tent on 11/28/2007 09:08:00 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I agree that the Akto is a very strong and high quality 4-season solo tent. But I must add an anecdote to illustrate the what I feel is the tent's main weakness. In early October of '06 we were expecting Boulder's first snow of the season. With a predicted low of maybe 28 degrees, this promised to be one of our classic wet shoulder season dumps, and they thought we'd get maybe 3-4" of snow after a few hours of light rain. It would be a good night to test my Akto in moderate heavy snow conditions.

I pitched the tent in the back yard, and I crawled into my bag around 10 PM while a light cold drizzle was going on. At midnight, I woke up with cold nylon in my face. The 3" of wet cement snow was too heavy for the tent, and it sagged terribly, mainly at the head and foot. I got up and went out to clear the snow off everything, and I re-tensioned all the guy lines to get my tight pitch back. After another 2 hours, more snow (3") had accumulated and I was kissing nylon again. Again, I got up and cleared the snow. No need to re-tighten the guy lines the second time, as the tent was quite taut. Back to my bag for a few winks. This time I slept through for 4 hours, but when I woke up it was a near disaster. Another 6" of wet, heavy snow had all but collapsed the tent. The single pole remained intact, and all the guy lines were secure, but the head and foot ends of the Akto were nearly squashed down to ground level. I had a hell of a time finding the zipper to get out of the tent. So--the Akto doesn't work at all in that unique "a foot of wet, heavy snow" situation.

But one doesn't encounter those conditions very often. In my mind, the Akto performs superbly in all other types of weather. It withstands wind well, and large amounts of rain too. It is a warm tent that is a joy to use in 10-15 F. I expect that it would shed blowing cold, dry snow with ease (but beware the heavy, wet stuff!)

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Martin Rye
( rye1966 )

Used for three years and no longer on 12/09/2007 16:59:43 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I used an Akto for three years. Great tent though strong wind does blow the sides in. Not one for tall people like me at 6ft 2. You won’t be able to sit up and the sloping sides get annoying after a few rainy nights. I sold mine in the end and got a Terra Nova Laser, its lighter and has more head height and room. I changed the guide rope layout to one similar to the Akto and it’s as stable. The Akto is good if your short but there are better choices out their like the Laser, or Laser competition from Terra Nova. The Akto needs to loss weight and have more head room along with more condensation control to bring up to date.

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Robert Taylor
( Robtay )
Akto on 05/23/2008 12:32:28 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I brought an akto after reading about 100 reviews online praising it, and mostly i agree. The problem is im not suited to feeling cramped up, something i get with all 1 man tents, i tried another from mountain hardware and exactly the same. The camping part of the trip is a lot of the fun for me, and feeling squashed isnt what its about. Im still giving the akto 5 stars becuase it deserves them, think twice if your above 6 foot, try to test one first, i use mine mainly on weekenders, anything longer and i find it hard to reccomend, though it might just be me. Consider the Unna instead, no vestibule but large inside. Saying that a lot of people on here are crazy and camp on mountain tops using bivy bags or use tarps made from super market carrier bags in which case the akto is a palace.


got use to the space inside and how to utalise it more after getting caught in stormy weather in scotland that lasted 4 days !!!. Even though i gave it 5 before i now think of it even more highly. By lying with your head at the entrance part with the inner open it feels like and is a lot more space, with the door unzipped a bit you get a window. Still not an insane amount of space but this tent kept me dry and i never felt like it would fail. *****(*)

Edited by Robtay on 10/12/2008 08:33:59 MDT.

gwen maka
( gwenmaka )
the best tent i've had on 03/14/2009 07:39:45 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

i've had this tent for 6 years. it has had very heavy use in a wide variety of conditions. i camped in New Zealand for 3 months with hurricane and monsoon conditions. on one occasion i was trapped in it for 4 days in extreme wind and driving rain. only by the 4th day was it getting a bit clammy inside. i've used it in heavy snow in bolivia, in heavy rain in scotland. it has never once let me down. the quality is supreme and it is a pleasure to use and very easy to erect.

Matthew Swierkowski
( Berserker )

Akto on 03/02/2010 10:50:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have used this tent many nights over the last few years. It has been my main inclement weather/winter tent, so it typically sees the worst weather I go out in. Well, let’s get right into this.

The Akto packs up fairly small, but packing is a little annoying due to the 4 struts (2 on either end of the tent). It’s not a big deal though. I like to just lay the tent out, fold it lengthwise up such that it’s about the width of a strut, and then just roll it up like that around the 2 struts on the end I start the roll at. Setting it up isn’t too bad once one has done it a few times, but can be a little difficult the first time. I would highly recommend setting it up in the yard a couple of times before the first use in the field. One thing that is really nice about the inherent design of the tent is that the since the inner is attached to the outer one can throw it down in pouring rain, and set it up without getting the inner tent wet.

According to Hilleberg the Akto does not require seam sealing as the seams are sealed by way of how they are sewn. I can attest that they do not leak as I have not tried to seal the seams, and have never noticed any leakage. To be honest I am not sure how one would even seal the seams as the pole sleeve appears to be a different type of material than the Kerlon outer tent that it’s sewn into.

The Akto is quite stable in wind pitched with the minimal 8 stakes, and could likely handle substantial wind with the extra 2 guy lines (attached to the pole sleeve) staked out. I have never been in wind strong enough to test the limits of the Akto. The most wind I think it has seen has been 40 mph gusts, and it sloughed those off like they were nothing. Snow loading is a different story in that the flat ends on the Akto tend to allow snow to accumulate causing the tent to sag in. In heavy snow it is recommended that it be periodically knocked off.

Living space is not luxurious, but is ample. I am 6’-5”, and have no issues with the space inside the inner tent. I will note that I cannot sit upright without hitting the ceiling. The inner can be disconnected from the outer at this point though allowing for a little more head room if desired. I also find that sometimes the inner ceiling at the end sags onto my face when I am on thick sleeping pads. The head room and tent hitting ones face might be a deal breaker for some, but I don’t care. I also use bivies, so it’s a spacious shelter compared to that.

The vestibule is one of the main selling points of this tent in my opinion. It’s huge, and allows for storage of lots of gear. It also makes a nice buffer area so that entering the tent in rain can be done without getting everything the tent wet.

Condensation in this tent is a normal thing that must be dealt with. Typically condensation stays fairly minimal on the inside of the inner tent. I have noticed that when the temperature is below freezing that is usually when the condensation becomes more widespread on the inside of the inner tent. About the worst I have seen amounts to a thin film that can be easily wiped off with a towel.

In conclusion, I have found the Akto to be a great 4 season tent especially in the SE where we don’t normally deal with large amounts of snow.

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