This is an article I wrote nearly six years ago, after a number of years looking for a high quality tent, which would withstand the demands of an number of different environments. We settled on the Mountain Equipment Hielo 2, a choice we have not regretted for a moment.
Its not that often in Jersey that there are temperatures low enough to test out your cold weather equipment. Last night temperatures drop to -4.5 ° which is very unusual for Britain’s south sea island.
We have just purchased a new tent for our summer trip to Greenland so it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss camping last night.We decided upon the Mountain Equipment Hielo 2 as there was some amazing offers, price wise, and it seemed ideal for what we were planning to do. We hadn’t had the opportunity to put the tent up before but even in the dark we had it pitched in under 5 minutes. Perhaps the cold acted as extra incentive. Once we were in the tent it was surprising how spacious and stable it was.
The four poles threaded quickly through the sleeves. This was in complete contrast to the previous tent I owned, which was virtually impossible to put up on your own. I used it in Greenland and then abandoned it after a Greek gale when the poles broke and parts of the flysheet ripped. I don’t want to disclose the name of the manufacturer of that particular model of tent as I had experienced years of great camping in other models of tents made by this well known tent company. I think I just selected a poor model.
There were immediately obvious a number of small things which showed attention to detail. Luminous zipper pulls, ventilation in the roof which could be closed, two reasonably sized porches, ideal for paddling kit, the continuous pole sleeves for easier pitching, mesh storage pockets etc.
So one night in a garden in St Brelade isn’t a thorough test but the next time we use it will be in Scotland in April and I feel certain that it will meet all the demands placed on it, before we head to the Arctic in July.
The above was written six years ago and in the intervening years my opinion of the tent has only improved. It has withstood winds, which have flattened virtually every other tent being used by others in the group. Poles breaking and fabric ripping whilst our tent remained stable. In the deserts of Baja we did need to upgrade the pegs, into much larger varieties, but so did everybody else.
The groundsheet proved to be resilient, but after a few years we did buy a footprint to put underneath, which is sensible anyway. We did end up with a scorpion caught between the two groundsheets, but fortunately neither of us rolled over onto it. I suppose that’s just a hazard of desert camping.
There are 6 mesh storage compartments, two either side in the walls and one at each end in the roof. The roof ones are great for storing hats, gloves, socks etc. Those things you need but which have a habit of disappearing inside tents. The ones in the walls can store all the other small items.
There is a large entrance at each making it easy to store kit but also to get in and out of the tent relatively easy.
After 6 years of relatively heavy use, looking through my kayaking logbook, I have identified at least 150 nights since 2012 when I have used the tent for camping from my kayak. There are other occasions that include camping from the car, which is pushing my total nights in the tent towards 200. In terms of value for money, it has been an excellent investment. The conditions it has handled along the give you confidence that it will survive most weather conditions that you will encounter.
In addition to all this, the tent looks virtually brand new, the only thing we have had to do any maintenance on is the pole bag! We are looking forward to many more comfortable, dry nights in our Mountain Equipment Hielo 2.