Questions and answers
1. How do I choose a tent?
Looking through our homepage will help you choose the right tent for you. In general, tunnel tents are always lighter than dome or tunnel/dome combo tents. We choose the lightest possible fabric on all our tents; it’s poles and zippers that make a tent heavier. Therefore, tent weight differences are more often based on the number of entrances, vestibules and poles, rather than on whether they sleep two or three people.
2. Do I need a footprint?
Made of the best available material, our tent floors do the job. Although not absolutely necessary, a footprint can be quite useful, as it protects the tent floor from damage and prolongs its lifespan. However, be careful that you don’t get sand between your footprint and the tent floor as this can lead to greater abrasion.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a footprint is protection from moisture in the ground, thus minimising condensation and protecting your equipment from dampness. If you know your trip will involve wet or marshy areas, or large temperature variations between day and night, we recommend you use a footprint.
3. Why don’t you tape the seams on all your tents?
On our PRO and X-TREM series tents we use silicone-coated (on both sides!) fabrics to obtain the highest tear strength possible. These fabrics are vastly superior to ordinary polyurethane-coated fabrics, but the silicone coating limits the adhesion that’s required for good taping (it’s possible to tape, but it doesn’t work well at cold temperatures, i.e. below -20C). Therefore, in order to be able to use these high quality fabrics, we’ve deliberately chosen not to tape the seams. Instead, we use a special polyester thread with cotton spun around it. When this thread gets wet it expands and automatically seals the seam against leakage. Under first use you might see small drops of water on the inside of the tent seams – this is normal, and occurs only for a short period as the cotton expands.
4. What does ”3-season tent” mean?
By 3-season we mean a tent that is primarily designed for use in spring, summer and autumn. Although 3-season tents can work during winter as well, for longer winter trips we recommend you opt for an X-TREM series tent. X-TREM tents are fitted with storm flaps and additional guy lines, so you can secure your tent properly in wintery conditions. If you’re going to use your 3-season tent for winter trips, just remember it’s important to dig the tent into the snow and/or build a snow wall on the windward side of your tent, for protection.
5. Why is there a seam on the floor of my tent?
We’re limited by the width in which tent floor fabric is available, so our larger tents always have a seam. In theory we could make tents with an inner width of 130 cm without any seams in the groundsheet, but there wouldn’t be enough fabric to go up the sides, and we’d have to put seams in the corners. We’ve chosen to put a seam in the groundsheet so that we can create a proper tub floor in all our tents.
6. Why are there storm/snow flaps on your X-TREM series tents, do I really need them?
Yes! Any genuine winter or expedition tent should have them, and they should be part of the tent design so you don’t have to think about adding them at a later stage. For a tent to work well in winter conditions with driving snow and strong winds, having the outer “seal” at ground level is a must. As their sides reach the ground, our PRO-series tents work well in the winter as you can dig the tent into the snow. Without snow/storm flaps you still need to prevent wind entering the tent and trying to lift your tent, pulling on the pegs.
To stabilize a tent in winter conditions, nothing beats storm/snow flaps. They effectively anchor your tent, and prevent drifting snow from getting into the tent. To really secure your tent in the winter it’s also essential to use snow pegs. When you’ve used a tent in bad winter weather with snow/storm flaps, you’ll never want to be without them again.
7. Why is the mesh so fine on the mosquito netting?
Summer in Norway means mosquitos and small black flies, not good companions to share your tent with! The fine mesh we use on mosquito netting ensures that nothing gets through. We also only use grey-coloured netting, enabling you to better enjoy your views.
8. Can I use a stove inside my tent?
You need to be extremely cautious when using a stove or burner inside a tent. If the weather turns rough, you might decide to prepare and cook your food inside the tent: with care, this can be done. In our larger tents, and the camp versions of the smaller ones, a stove can be operated in reasonable safety. Be careful with pressurised or multi-fuel stoves, as these can flare up during priming (or shortly thereafter). Stoves burning methylated spirits also have a habit of flaring, when you take off the saucepan. With these stoves the flame is difficult to control and therefore a little risky. We recommend that, when possible, you keep the stove outside, both for safety reasons and to keep interior condensation to a minimum.
9. How do I take care of and store my tent when I’m at home?
It’s important to make sure that your tent is properly dry before packing it away. It dries best and fastest by hanging in a dry place, for example spread out over a couple of chairs. Before packing away, we recommend cleaning your tent, including the poles and pegs, especially if you’ve been using your tent close to seawater. It’s also a good chance to check for damage, and to see if any parts need repair or replacement. The best way to store a tent is to hang it in a cool and dry place.
10. I’ve had my tent for a while now and wonder if I can/need to re-proof the fabric?
The tent fabrics we use are coated inside and out, and are waterproof. Years of use in the sun, snow, and wind may lead to some reduced water repellency on the outside, but this does not affect the waterproofness. Unfortunately, fabrics that are very old and/or extremely worn can’t easily be “revived” to their original state. An impregnating treatment, however, may help the outer flysheet fabric to repel rainwater. Contact your local outdoor store for more info on suitable treatments for your tent. Alternatively, a worn tent floor and/or inner tent can be replaced. Take it to your retailer and they’ll send it on to us.
11. Do you service and repair tents?
Of course we do. Long-lasting products have less environmental impact, so we like to keep our products “alive” as long as possible. Repairs are done by us at our headquarters in Norway, for the lowest price possible. We can also replace groundsheets, add storm/snow flaps, make an extra entrance etc. Talk to your local outdoor store and they can pass the tent on to us.
12. Is it safe to light an open fire in a “lavvu“?
Yes it is, if you’re careful and make the fire as small as possible. The flame retardant fabric in the lavvus is effective, but is designed more to prevent the lavvu from catching alight, rather than for lighting an open fire. It’s always better to use either an oven or a burner; we recommend an oven, for minimal smoke and a much nicer tent experience. However, if you want to get ”back to nature” and make a camp fire, go ahead – but take care!