Lightweight, easy to carry, roomy when pitched and suitable for practically any weather conditions, the Hilleberg Akto is an excellent all-year all-rounder – as long as you’re willing to pay the premium price tag.
Small pack size
Suitable in all seasons
Pricey for casual users
Prone to condensation in summer
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Hilleberg Akto: first impressions
Hilleberg has long been one of the premium tent brands on the market, and the Hilleberg Akto lives up to the reputation, easily earning a place in our best four-season tents buying guide. Although it has been around for over 20 years now, without doubt it remains one of the very best four-season tents available today.
• List price: $635 (US) / £679.99 (UK)
• Style: Tunnel
• Weight: 1.7kg / 3lb 11oz
• Waterproofing: HH 5000mm
• Vestibules: 1
• Pack size: 13cm x 43cm / 5in x 17in
• Compatibility: Sleeps one comfortably or two at a push and is suitable for adventures in practically any weather or climate conditions worldwide
Hailing from Sweden, Hilleberg have been manufacturing some of the highest-quality shelters for over 40 years and are behind some of the most innovative developments in the space, including being the first to commercially manufacture tents with connected inners and outers (for simultaneous pitching) as well as pioneering the introduction of silicone coated flysheets for better waterproofing back in 1975.
With the Hilleberg Akto, this history of innovation and quality is tangible. Everything has been consciously designed, all the way down to the large zipper tags that have been optimized for use when wearing hiking gloves. It has been crafted in order to be a true all-rounder, a tent that you can use in any conditions, while being small and packable enough that you can take it on practically any adventure with you, be that trekking, mountaineering and bikepacking, or even on expeditions to the North or South Poles.
Featuring a one-pole tunnel design, the tent is a doddle to erect and can be done so with just a few pegs. When done correctly and on level ground, the flysheet sits snugly against the ground to keep any snowdrifts at bay in wintery conditions. The Akto has a host of smart ventilation ports to control condensation and optimize airflow. The tent also features a roomy vestibule, perfect for storing all kinds of kit, and it offers more than enough space inside the sleeping compartment for one person and gear.
Hilleberg Akto: in the wild
My favorite thing about the Akto is simply the confidence it instills, wherever you pitch it. Seriously, this thing just oozes quality: everything from the stitching to the zips has been precisely considered, and there’s not a single feature on this tent that feels unnecessary or poorly designed.
For a true four-season tent, the Akto also packs down to an impressively small size: you can easily store it in any daypack, and if you leave out the groundsheet, pole repair kit and only bring with you the exact number of tent pegs needed to pitch, you can get the trail weight down to an impressive 1.3 kg / 2 lb 13 oz – amazing for a tent that can be reliably used anywhere and in all conditions.
If you want to take things one step further, the inner is also entirely optional on the Akto. Leaving this at home massively reduces pack size and drops the packed weight of the tent even further, though you’ll be sacrificing a little bit of the comfort afforded by the Akto in the process.
To erect the tent, it’s simply a matter of sliding the aluminum pole through the center sleeve and then pegging out the corners. For optimal performance in windy conditions, Hilleberg advises you pitch it head-on into the wind. Doing so keeps the tent as strong as possible, and reduces the amount the flysheet will flap around in the night.
Inside the tent, there is more than enough room for one person and kit. In fact, combined with the vestibule space, you can even squeeze two people into tent in an emergency, although you’d be in for a fairly snug night. The sleeping compartment is also high enough for most people to sit up in (I’m 177 cm / 5ft 10in and can sit up comfortably in this thing without my head touching the inner).
Because the flysheet extends all the way to the ground, however, the Akto can be prone to condensation in the summer months. In order to maximize ventilation, you can open the port at the head end of the tent and open the door underneath the storm flap to allow for some airflow without any rain or snow coming into the tent itself. In my experience, even though this does a good job at mitigating condensation buildup through the night, the Akto is still prone to more condensation than many three-season tents, such as the Big Agnes Flycreek UL or the MSR Hubba Hubba.
Despite the lightweight materials used, the Hilleberg Akto is incredibly durable considering its pack size and weight. Naturally, you’re still going to want to be careful where you pitch this thing, especially if you’re using it without the groundsheet. If you treat it appropriately, though, you’ll easily get years of use out of the Akto – as you will with any of Hilleberg’s tents – and you’ll have a single solution for a lifetime of camping, regardless of the weather, climate or activity.
Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent his childhood walking uphill. As he got older, the hills got bigger, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with wild camping, long-distance hiking, bikepacking and fastpacking. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular micro-adventures in nearby Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as well as frequent trips to the Alps and beyond. You can follow his adventures over on komoot, or visit www.craigtaylor.co for more info.