Nortent Lavvo 4 tent review: spacious and strong protection against the worst weather

The Nortent Lavvo 4 is a versatile, solid and stunning shelter that excels in wet, windy and freezing conditions

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent
(Image: © Phoenix Media Services)

Advnture Verdict

A solid, comfortable and versatile tent, the Nortent Lavvo 4 is a beautiful shelter that can be used on practically any camping trip, be it a summery overnighter on a campsite or a backcountry bushcrafting trip in the deep Arctic winter.

Pros

  • +

    Incredible performance in bad weather

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    Stove compatible

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    Very strong

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    Tons of room inside

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    Very comfortable

Cons

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    Large packed size

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    Expensive

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    Can be tricky to pitch first-time

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Meet the tester

Why I Love Camping – Finally time for a brew
Craig Taylor

Craig loves nothing more than pitching up in the backcountry, preferably while taking on a long-distance thru-hike. His adventures usually take place in the hills and mountains of Wales but he occasionally gets away to his beloved Alps. As one of our expert campers, Craig revels in testing camping equipment and knows a sturdy shelter from one that will give up the ghost when conditions become challenging.

Nortent Lavvo 4: first impressions

The Nortent Lavvo 4 (available to buy direct from Nortent) is a beautiful tipi-style shelter designed by the same team that brought us the epic Gamme, the versatile Vern 1 and the unique Bivuakk. Hailing from Norway, Nortent’s shelters are designed to put up with the worst of the Scandinavian winter, coming with features that are both innovative and intuitive – all to help you survive in the coldest, windiest and harshest environments possible. And, in my opinion, the brand has consistently delivered some of the best 4-season tents on the market, with plenty more to come through 2024. 

Specifications

• List price: £873 - £1,379 (incl delivery & taxes in UK ) / $760 - $1,150 (not including delivery & taxes to US)
• Style: Tipi tent
• Weight: 3.9kg / 8.5lbs
• Height: 1.93m / 76in
• Diameter: 3.63m / 143in
• Rooms: One bedroom without inner, one bedroom and vestibule with inner
• Compatibility: 4 without inner; 2-3 with inner

In true Nortent style, the Lavvo is a four-season, four-person shelter built to beat the Scandinavian winter. It comes in a beautiful tipi-style design (check out our guide to 10 types of tent) based on the tried-and-tested form of shelter that Norway’s indigenous Sámi people called home for thousands of years. 

For added versatility, the tent also comes with a stove jack through which you can easily slide the flue of a camping stove, allowing you to comfortably sleep in this thing when the weather is substantially below zero. What’s more, with a reasonable packed size and weighing below 4 kg, the Lavvo is also surprisingly portable, especially when the load is divided among two, three or four of you. 

In the UK, the Lavvo is available from Valley and Peak for between £873 and £1,379 depending on the configuration, which puts it at the top end of most budgets for tents of this type. When bought directly from Nortent, the tent will cost you between $760 and $1,150 depending on the configuration, though this doesn’t include delivery and tax. 

So this is far from a budget shelter – something that the high-quality materials, the expert stitching and the innovative design speak for the second you open the bag. For a high price tag, you get a premium product; one that promises to keep you safe and very comfortable in the worst conditions any of us would conceivably camp in. 

Nortent Lavvo 4: in the wild

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

The Nortent Lavvo 4 as pitched in Dartmoor National Park (Image credit: Phoenix Media Services)

To test the Nortent Lavvo 4, I headed to Dartmoor National Park with a friend when the weather forecast was looking particularly grim. We were able to properly put it up against some serious rain and driving wind, pitching it and packing it away several times over a few days, and getting a feel for its performance as a long-term shelter in appalling conditions. 

As this tent is built for the arctic tundra, however, it’s worth saying that we weren’t able to test it in any snow – yet. Of course, the UK, my primary testing ground, doesn’t deliver the harsh conditions the Lavvo was designed for, so I can’t speak to its performance in brutal temperatures substantially below zero, nor can I comment on its performance in blizzard conditions. But what I can say is that based on my experiences with it to date, I’d be super confident putting this tent up against the very worst of the UK’s winter weather – and I’m looking forward to getting out in this in the snow as soon as some is forecast here. 

Pitching the Nortent Lavvo 4

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

The central support pole in the Lavvo keeps everything reliably upright, even in appalling weather (Image credit: Phoenix Media Services)

To erect the Nortent Lavvo, the process is reasonably simple, though it can be somewhat finicky on your own. It involves pegging out sections of the fly before mounting the internal aluminum (or carbon, depending on your configuration) support pole on the underside of the flysheet to give the tent its shape. 

Much like a standard trekking pole tent, you then need to play around with the peg-out points on the flysheet to get the maximum amount of tension for optimal structural integrity. Doing this on your own is a bit of a difficult process, however, and we even found it a little tricky as a twosome when we did it for the first time. For that reason, I wouldn’t use the Lavvo on my own without a little more pitching practice first. 

As the structural integrity of the Lavvo also rests on there being equal tension around the internal pole, it’s also crucial that you pitch the tent on flat ground – something we realized early on when we tried to put the Lavvo on Dartmoor’s famously uneven moorland.

To add extra tension, there are a further ten guyout points all around the fly sheet to properly glue this tent to the ground. And while you’d need to camp in unusually harsh conditions for all ten of these to be necessary, the Lavvo thankfully comes with more than enough pegs to do so, which gives you extra confidence when pitching in bad weather. 

Inside the Nortent Lavvo 4

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

With the inner mounted inside the Lavvo, there’s more than enough room for two people to sleep comfortably (Image credit: Phoenix Media Services)

While we’re on the subject of stoves, this is another aspect of the Lavvo that makes it ultra-versatile. The chimney port sits just above the gigantic main entry door and comes with velcro fastenings to seal it shut when not in use, much like on the Nortent Gamme and the Bivuakk. 

Both the inner and the Lavvo floor are cut in a way that means the space in front of the door remains open, ie, there’s no groundsheet, floor or inner here. This allows you to mount a stove directly on the ground and feed your flue up through the chimney port above. Additionally, you can use this space to allow wet gear to dry through the night without bringing any water into your inner or having to store this on the waterproof groundsheet.

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

The Lavvo when used with a stove (Image credit: Nortent)

For me, however, I’d love to see Nortent add an additional optional groundsheet to this part of the floor. It would add an extra layer of versatility to the shelter, making it an even better option for summer adventures when the weather’s warmer, drier and more forgiving. It would deliver space for at least one extra person and kit (potentially two at a push) and would allow you to make full use of the door space when not using a stove.

The Nortent Lavvo comes with one gigantic triangular entry door with smooth zips and glow-in-the-dark toggles, as well as slightly smaller door to the rear. As with the pegs, the zips and the toggles are large and easy to pull, even when wearing thick winter gloves. 

Inside the tent, there are also more than enough ventilation options. It comes with a couple of large ports around the floor and a very large port at the top of the center pole. These do a great job at optimizing ventilation and allow for minimal condensation when using this tent as a duo.

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

Lots of smart ventilation options maximize airflow inside the Lavvo 4 (Image credit: Phoenix Media Services)


One last thing to bear in mind is that the flysheet on the Lavvo needs to be seam-sealed – find out more in our how to seam seal a tent guide. As it’s constructed out of a silnylon material, the seams of the tent cannot be sealed with tape (as is the case with polyester flysheets, for example), and instead are made waterproof by applying a small amount of silicone sealer along each seam inside. 

And while this step is fully optional, we’d recommend it as, due to the thickness of the flysheet (40D), the holes created during the stitching process are comparatively bigger than those left on super-lightweight flysheets, such as those on the Vern 1 or the Bivuakk (which are both half the thickness of the Lavvo’s flysheet at 20D). Nortent supply a tube of sealant with the tents as standard, so we’d recommend you seal all seams before pitching this anywhere you’d expect any sustained rainfall.

Durability

Nortent Lavvo 4 tent

Thd kind of taut, pingy outer shell you could flick frozen peas at all day (Image credit: Phoenix Media Services)

Durability-wise, the Nortent Lavvo 4 is incredibly heavy-duty. I’d expect this tent to survive for many, many seasons, probably long outlasting me. If treated right, it will easily put up with the worst weather you could throw at it, whilst still being an incredibly comfortable place to while away long summer’s nights on a campsite somewhere. 

Overall, I love the Lavvo. It’s a beautiful tent that is incredibly comfortable, versatile and fun to use. Thanks to its reasonably small pack size (for the size and strength of the shelter), it’s also surprisingly portable if shared between two or three campers. With the option to add a stove, the Lavvo also lends itself well to bushcrafting trips or to adventures in temperatures substantially below zero degrees. 

Unfortunately, for me, however, it’s mostly overkill for the types of conditions I’ll ever face here in the UK – but were I to camp somewhere arctic, the Nortent Lavvo 4 would definitely be one of my first choices.

Craig Taylor

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.