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The Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT: A well-designed expedition shelter
Posted on: September 11, 2017
I became acquainted with Hilleberg tents several years ago while guiding on Denali with The American Alpine Institute. I was psyched for the recent opportunity to try the Nammatj 2 GT because we used a similar tent in 2012 that I found to be a functional design for snowy environments.
Although the tents provided on our Denali expedition were a bit heavier, with more pockets and large double-vestibules, the smaller, lighter-weight Nammatj 2 GT performed great for me and my husband, Lance, on our ski tour into an alpine basin near our home in Carbondale, Colorado. The 8-pound tent felt relatively light when split between our two packs and my previous experience reminded me that the weight was worth it.
We arrived in Upper Lost Man basin (ca. 12,300') to whipping gusts. The fly of the tent comes pre-attached, so it is one less thing to deal with. The poles are a touch difficult to insert into the sleeves in wind (there are three), but this tube-shaped tent was really easy to finish putting up once the poles were inserted. The tent is built to use snow stakes, as well as to put snow on the fabric and stake-out points, so we were quickly able to retreat from the wind once the tent was firmly in place. Given my prior experience with Hilleberg tents, it took us about 10 minutes to set the tent up, but it comes with very easy-to-follow directions.
The author and her husband with the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT on a backcountry ski trip in Colorado. [Photo] Mary Harlan
Mary Harlan dozes in the Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT with the door open to the roomy vestibule. [Photo] Lance Torre
A few hours later, when the wind died down, we dug out the cold-hole under the front vestibule. The vestibule is large enough to have a 3-by-3-foot cold-hole dug under it, and a tension strap in the vestibule acts as a divider for a space beyond the hole to cook. It is truly an expedition shelter, built ergonomically for heavy wind and snow, and for living in for multiple days. It felt roomy for a two-person shelter, and sturdy for the weight.
The few things missing were more mesh pockets on both sides of the interior, and a bit more ventilation, albeit the condensation on the interior of the tent was virtually not an issue in June, given the less-than-freezing evening temps. All in all, the tent was easy to put up, live in, and tear down. It was spacious and yet lightweight, easy to cook in, and seemed to "breathe" well. I was pleased with this tent and I am inspired to make more trips into the mountains this upcoming winter.
Mary Harlan, once a full-time AMGA-trained rock, ice, snow, and ski guide, is now a full-time firefighter/EMT in Breckenridge, Colorado. She lives with her husband and son in Carbondale, Colorado, and occasionally still cameos as a guide. Last year she was featured in a short film by Savannah Cummins titled "A Linear Life."
Looking inside the Nammatj 2 GT. [Photo] Lance Torre
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