Author: Jerrod Lile
Hilleberg is proud to introduce the new three-person Allak 3. Impressively strong, remarkably light, and fully freestanding (including two integrated vestibules), the Allak 3 can be pitched anywhere in most any conditions. The Allak 3 features 40.9 square feet of inner tent area and will easily accommodate three people and their gear. It is also an excellent choice for two people who want more room or have more gear.
With a minimum weight of 7 lbs. 1 oz., the Allak 3 features Hilleberg’s Kerlon 1200 outer tent fabric, which is very lightweight, yet also boasts a minimum tear strength of 26 lbs. Its three high-strength aluminum DAC 9 mm poles cross each other in three places, providing a sturdy structure, and the easy-to-use pole system combines short pole sleeves with clips for quick and easy pitching.
As with all Hilleberg tents, the linked inner and outer tents allow quick and easy simultaneous pitching in any weather, ensuring the inner tent always stays dry. As with all Hilleberg all-season tents, the outer tent walls extend to the ground and the mesh areas are backed with adjustable fabric panels. The standard inner tent can be replaced with the optional Allak 3 Mesh Inner Tent, which can also be used on its own.
For more information, go to www.hilleberg.com
Product Review from Jerrod Lile, Huntin’ Fool CEO and Hunt Advisor
- Minimum Weight: 7 lbs. 1 oz.
- Packed Weight: 8 lbs. 3 oz.
- Outer tent fabric: Kerlon 1200
- Poles (9 mm): 3" x 159.8"
- Pegs: 14 V-Peg
“I have a knack for stuffing more people and gear into tents than they are rated for. I can think of two trips that illustrate my ability to truly evaluate a tent’s carrying capacity. One occurred during a freak October snowstorm in Montana where we sandwiched six people into one tent to preserve all of our body heat as temps plummeted way below anything we were prepared for. The smells coming from that tent still haunt me. The second was a three-day scouting trip where we squeezed my wife, our two boys, two dogs, and myself into a tent that was optimistically rated as a three-man. When it comes to size ratings on tents and the ability of the tent-mates to access and use the space, I’ve definitely had my share of experience.
It was that experience that caught my eye when I saw the soon to be released Allak 3 from Hilleberg. I really like three-man tents for car camping trips, hunts where I plan to utilize a tent for a basecamp, and backpacking trips with a friend or two where the weight can be shared across several backs. The comfort and space of a good three-man tent is a welcome relief in poor weather and for the longer nights as fall fades into winter. I’ve camped in a lot of tents in this category over the years, and the floor plan, vestibules, and overall layout are the most important factors to consider when purchasing one. The Allak 3 looked like a perfect fit from a layout point of view, and with Hilleberg’s well-deserved reputation for building tents that last a lifetime, I wanted one bad. I knew it would be a perfect shelter for my wife’s Montana mountain goat hunt.
Fortunately, I was able to acquire a sample, and before I knew it, my wife, a cameraman, and I were headed into mountain goat country to a location that would leave us perched in a saddle above 9,000 feet and hopefully staring eye-to-eye with some white billy goats on a daily basis. My wife and the cameraman had never met prior to the trip, so once again, I was about to test the close quarters of a tent. The fact that we had seen a sow grizzly with two cubs the first evening probably helped because my wife’s outlook changed from being hesitant to share a tent with a stranger in the backcountry to emphatically declaring that she was sleeping in the middle! As I suspected, I found attention to detail everywhere I looked on this tent and was very glad that we had the privilege of taking the Allak 3 on one of her maiden voyages.
Anyone familiar with mountain goats knows that finding a flat spot to pitch a tent is half the battle. The destination I had chosen required about 2,500 feet of elevation gain over a four-mile stretch. The last 1,000 vertical feet involved an off-trail scramble through downfall and rock gardens that frequently required the use of all fours to make it up the hill. The words my wife used to describe this part of the hike in are not fit for print. Given those conditions, weight and bulk were serious considerations. At about 8 pounds, the Allak 3 is not the lightest or smallest tent in this space, but I knew that a comfortable basecamp that would handle any type of weather we could encounter would be worth every ounce.
When it came time to load our packs, there were a couple of options for sharing the weight of this tent. The Allak 3 is comprised of an inner tent and an outer tent. They are relatively easy to separate, and if you choose to separate them, the weight of the tent could be shared in almost equal thirds with one person carrying the inner tent, one carrying the outer tent, and the third party carrying the poles and stakes. In our case, I left the inner and outer tents attached and carried them while our cameraman carried the poles and stakes. I ditched the stuff sack for the tent and stuffed all of the loose fabric in the bottom of my pack, a tactic that I prefer for larger tents. By loading my pack this way, I didn’t notice any difference in packing this tent versus a much smaller and lighter tent that would not have been near as comfortable for our six-day backpacking trip.
I never recommend backpacking miles into the backcountry with a tent you’ve never set up, especially when it’s a prototype that won’t be released for six months. However, that’s exactly what I did. Not surprisingly, I was a little nervous as we laid the tent out on the ground to pitch it. Fortunately, all three of the included poles are the same length and they are color coded for their corresponding pole sleeves. As a result, set up was so intuitive that we had the tent up in less than 10 minutes without consulting the instruction manual. The included Y-pegs were perfect for the rocky soil we had to pitch the tent in, and as I suspected, they were up to the test of us beating most of them into position with a rock. When the tent was set, we felt like we had a basecamp that would survive anything Mother Nature might throw at it over the next week. That is a good feeling to have, especially if you’ve ever returned to your tent to find it rolled up in a ball a hundred yards down the hill like I have.
The Allak 3 has a large door and a large vestibule on each side of the tent, which makes it feel way larger than it is. On nice days, we rolled the vestibule doors open on each side for ventilation during a few much needed naps. Every night, all of our gear was easily stored in the vestibules so that we had the peace of mind of knowing that everything would be dry for the morning hunt. The interior of the tent was very adequate for three people to sleep comfortably without feeling like we had to spoon each other to make it through the night. I definitely feel like this tent lives up to the three-man rating, unlike some other tents I’ve used in the past.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Hilleberg categorizes their tents as Black Label, Red Label, Yellow Label, and Blue Label for the spectrum of conditions they are designed for. Black Label tents are designed for mountaineering and surviving in the absolute harshest conditions in the world. Red Label tents are lighter weight than Black Label but are still designed for all season use. Yellow Label tents are designed to be the lightest tents in the Hilleberg family and are rated as three season. Finally, Blue Label tents are specialty shelters designed for very specific purposes.
The Allak 3 is a Red Label tent that utilizes lightweight shell fabric on a bomb-proof chassis. If you live in a Hilleberg tent for several days, it becomes clear why they simply call themselves ‘The Tentmakers.’ The zippers for the vestibules feature large pull-tabs with holes in the ends of them that are big enough to use a trekking pole to close and open the zipper. This is a really nice feature when the vestibule has a lot of condensation on the inside of it and you’d be forced to get your back and arms wet trying to open or close it. Also, like many of their tents, the Allak 3 is designed with rain gutters that direct water away from critical access areas of the tent, drastically improving the quality of life for campers in miserable weather. Additional features that I liked were dual guy lines, ideally located vents, adequate internal gear storage pockets, and a lot of headroom when we were sitting upright in the tent.
My favorite feature of all was how quiet the tent was even in high winds. We were sleeping in grizzly country and saw a total of eight different black and grizzly bears on our trip. Too much noise from the tent at night keeps me awake wondering if something is prowling through camp. In spite of some very windy nights, I slept like a baby in a tent that is built to take a beating from the wind without so much as a wiggle!
The Allak 3 will hands down be my go-to for future three-man trips. I believe that Hilleberg perfectly straddled the line between weight and comfort on this tent, and the layout was as good as it can get for two to three campers sharing a tent.”