Cycling the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Review: Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT Tent

by Bicycle Junkies
8 comments 9524 views

Our home for almost two years now. We have used the tent in heavy rain, sandy desert country and mindblowing winds. So, what do we think about the Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT tent? Does it live up to its expectations?

The Facts
Let’s start with some facts about the Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT tent. For starters, the tent is not cheap and it will set you back €1025 (Europe) or $925 (United States). What do you get for that amount of money? A 4-season tunneltent with a net weight of 3.30 kg, big enough to house 3 persons and with a large vestible. The tent has 3 equal 10mm poles and 1 entrance. Height is 105 cm and width 160 cm. The fabric used is Kerlon 1800 (40 denier ripstop nylon), which has a minimum tear strength of 18 kg/40 lbs. It’s the strongest material Hilleberg uses in its tents. The Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT is classified as ‘Black Label‘.

Testing conditions
We bought the tent especially for our big trip across the Americas. Before the Nammatj we used the lighter and smaller Hilleberg Nallo 3GT, but we wanted a bit more comfort (space), since this is our house for (at least) two years. So far, we have used the tent in very stormy conditions in Patagonia, in desert-like dry land, with heavy rainfall and in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.

Our findings
What we love about the Hilleberg tents, is that you can set up the outer tent first. The 3 equal poles slide easily through the pole sleeves. The inner tent is linked seperably to the outer tent with heavy duty loops with toggles and rings. In rainy conditions we set up the outer tent first, in this case the inner tent stays dry. Or, when taking the tent down, we take out the inner tent and pack it away dry. It takes maybe a minute or two of your time to do this and we like a dry inner tent. 🙂
Setting up the tent is easy and done in less than 5 minutes. Oh, and in warm conditions you can pitch the inner tent by itself with 4 extra pole holders.

Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT Innertent

Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT Innertent

Both the outer tent and the inner tent have a mesh screening to keep the insects out. Winds have been tough on our tent in Patagonia, at least 100km/hour. The strong 10mm poles bended deep, but didn’t snatch. We can easily say they are really strong. We also like the ripstop nylon. Unfortunately some very sharp spines have made tiny punctures in the outer tent, but we are not afraid the fabric will tear.

It’s an all season tent and in cold conditions the temperature inside the inner tent is a lot (at least 5 – 7 degrees Celsius) higher than the outside temperature. The downside of this is condensation. Even with the two vents wide open, with zero wind there is quite a lot of condensation.

Hilleberg doesn’t have taped seams, this means drops of water will come through eventually. Not a lot, but enough for us to choose to seal the seams ourselves and keep the water out. Why they choose to do this, I really don’t know…

We noticed that the strong Kerlon 1800 outer fabric reacts a lot to temperature variations. As soon as the sun comes out it shrinks, and we are talking about centimeters. This means we have to adjust the peg attachments to keep the outer tent away from the inner tent and to make it look a lot less ‘miserable’.

We also use the footprint which you can attach to the outer tent. We like it because it keeps your stuff clean, it fits perfectly and you can leave it on when packing away and it’s an extra safety for sharp objects on the ground.

According to Hilleberg it’s a 3 person tent, but I cannot imagine it will be comfortable sleeping with 3 adults in the Nammatj 3GT. Sure, it will fit, but comfortable? I’d like to say it’s more a very comfortable 2 person tent instead. The vestibule on the other hand is really spacious! Enough to put all our bicycle panniers inside and for us to sit there as well and if it’s really raining a lot, cooking inside is no problem (but not recommended of course!).

Zipper issues
When we first wrote a review (after a 7 month period of use) we had absolutely no issues yet with the zippers. But that changed… By the end of the first year of use, the zippers on the inner tent were completely worn out and we were not able to close it anymore, the inner tent kept splitting open. Hillebergs service on the other hand is very good and within two weeks we received a new inner tent. But, after another couple of months the zippers of the outer tent started te cause problems and again Hilleberg was able to help us with a new outer tent. The thing is, that the service is super, but we get the feeling they are ignoring the fact that the zippers are of lesser quality. But, there must be something wrong with the recent YKK zippers, because our other Hillebergs (Nallo and Stalon) don’t have these problems after extensive use.
At the moment we clean the zippers every other day with a clean tooth brush (advice from Hilleberg) and so far, so good!

Conclusion
A lot of tent for a lot of money, is it value for money? That is something you have to decide for yourself, because we have no idea what the value of money is to you. For us, it’s worth the money though, even with the zipper issues. It’s reliable in any weather condition and that’s what matters most to us. It’s easy to pitch, storm proof, durable and spacious. The condensation disappears with just a little wind and adjusting the peg attachments is now part of our routine. But the zippers…

Get your own Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT 3 Person Tent

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8 comments

John October 13, 2015 - 14:04

It is delightful to read this post and i get many useful point through this post. Please keep posting such kind of info.

Reply
Martijn Raap February 17, 2016 - 19:35

Interesting post! I understand that you also have a dome tent and wonder why you prefer the tunnel design for longer travels. The drawback of a tunnel is that the obvious place to store your gear is at the entrance of the inner tent, thereby also blocking the entrance. Also you are with 2 persons so ig 1 is working at the entrance the other cannot access it’s sleeping place. A dome with 2 entrances doesn’t have this issue of storing and access and seems to me evoking a more harmonious set-up. What is your opinion on this especially for the longer adventures?

Reply
Bicycle Junkies February 18, 2016 - 08:40

Thanks Martijn! The Nammatj is quite a large tent with a vestibule that can store our panniers and one person. Sure, in case of cooking, this person is blocking the entrance, but don’t really find that annoying. There are also tunnels with two entrances, but we never think of buying one (we have enough tents already!)
Our dome has 2 entrances, it’s neat and you can keep your stuff on your own side, but it lacks a large vestibule where you can cook in case it’s raining.
For our next long adventure we will bring a tunnel, the Nammatj again. The smaller Nallo is nice for short, cold trips but I prefer the extra space and Elmar doesn’t mind carrying the extra weight. 😉 Maybe it has to do with age… 😉

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Martijn February 18, 2016 - 21:31

Next long adventure? Any plans yet? Indeed the Kaitum and the heavier Kerum have 2 entrances which seem attractive. I hope a little that these tents in a 3 person size will have sufficient living space for rainy days, storage for 2 persons and cooking ability during rain… Further I think we’re about the same age but I still tend to avoid unnecessary weight.

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Bicycle Junkies April 1, 2016 - 11:18

Hi Martijn,
No plans yet, just dreams… but that’s where it all starts! 😉
Our Nammatj had enough living space for 2 persons during rainy days, the Nallo 3GT I found too small in these situations since it’s sloping. I don’t mind the weight, Elmar is carrying the tent! 🙂

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Pesi October 6, 2016 - 02:45

Hi there I had a very old Nallo 3 which lasted about 800 nights or more… Now we’re touring with a Kaitum 3. Nr. 5 YKK Zippers. Broke (inner tent first) after 2-3 months! Other people, same problem, same timeframe. The construction of this tunnel tents (newer editions) is very bad, they have ways too much pressure on the zippers. We asked for stronger Zippers. They sent us 8 YKK outer tent & 5 YKK inner tent. Asked again if we can have 8YKK zippers (same as they use in black label tents…), they were nice and sent us again a parcel – sadly only one zipper – they forgot that we have 2 entrances. Their comment about brushing zippers every day doesn’t make sense. It would destroy the fabric around. Seriously , they have to change the construction. Lucky for you that you have a blog: that’s why they sent you a complete new tent… Otherwise the materials are top notch! But the zippers are extremly important. I would not recommend Hilleberg tunnel tents anymore. Better get a cheaper tent and you will be able to buy a replacement if it breaks… Anyway: happy cycling!

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Katinka December 9, 2018 - 12:40

Hey. Thanks for this info. What is the nammatj like for pitching in sandy terrain/beaches/desert? We’re flipping between this or a free standing tent but really like the look of a nammatj

Reply
Bicycle Junkies December 9, 2018 - 15:31

Hi Katinka, we’ve camped in sandy conditions as well. It’s not self-supporting, but it still does a good job. On a next long distance adventure, I would certainly bring the Nammatj again, we just love this tent. It’s not light weight, but so comfortable.
We have tried a couple of free standing tents as well, but we returned to a tunnel tent. Now we’re done trying, we will stick to tunnel tents! 😉

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