Ringstind Superlight – best lightweight tent

Helsport Ringstind Superlight – editor’s choice in a review of small and lightweight tents by Jakt & Fiske Magazine

Summer sleeping solutions

Whether hiking in the woods or in the mountains this summer, you’ll want to carry as little as possible. Jakt & Fiske have reviewed two options for those of you who’d prefer to carry light and sleep tight: the Easton Kilo 2p is an interesting newcomer from US brand Easton Mountain Products, while Helsport’s Ringstind Light 1-2 is a familiar concept for those who remember when Helsport broke the 2kg barrier with their Stetind. The lineup here is two 2-person tents which both weigh around 1kg each. But hikers beware, you’ll need a good dose of sleeping manners and narrow sleeping mats for two grown men to sleep in these tents.

Easton uses a construction that’s unfamiliar for the Norwegian consumer; you pitch the inner tent/mosquito mesh first, and add the outer fly after, mostly just as rain protection. On the plus side you can do without the outer tent on warm summer days, but the catch is that the inside of your tent might get wet when pitching during rain. And it can get quite drafty inside on windy days.

The whole front end opens, creating good tent access. This way, you don’t have to crawl over your buddy when getting out for that late night call of nature. Easton have achieved this by stopping the center pole halfway. I’m a bit skeptical of this solution, as it results in a lot of pressure on a single point if the wind turns. Even more irritating is the narrow wedge in the foot end of the tent. There’s simply not enough space for a 1.81m tall guy with size 45 (Eur.) feet. This can be solved, rather unelegantly, by using your shoes to raise the back of the tent, but this pushes the inner tent up against the outer fly, which allows condensation and rain to pass through the fabrics and into your shoes and sleeping bag. Overall, the Easton Kilo 2p disappoints when it comes to space.

So how does Helsport’s existing concept compare? Excellent! The Ringstind Superlight (0.94kg) is 10cm smaller in all dimensions compared to its sibling the Ringstind Light (1.8kg), which does affect the level of comfort. Even so, Helsport has managed to include several nice details, like proper vents, hooks for drying wet socks, and side pockets. It can be tricky to maintain a taught outer flysheet when the wind direction shifts, but it’s better than its US competitor. With the inner tent already connected to the outer fly, one pole to thread and only 7 pegs to go in the ground, pitching a shelter for the night is a breeze.

We have one remark though: the thin pegs are incredibly light, but can be difficult to use, and don’t hold well in loose ground. Luckily, V-pegs are available as an optional extra, so you should just buy these from the get-go.