Mesh Tent 1 & Tarp 5
||210 lb (90.7 kg)
in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have
backpacked in all seasons and conditions the Northwest has to
offer. I prefer trips on
rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously
strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me.
I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not
including consumables, to under 30 lb (14 kg).
|Mesh Tent 1: $210 USD
Tarp 5 : $160 USD
Dimensions (verified by tester):
|Mesh Tent 1:
Length 210 cm/83 in
Width front 120 cm/47 in
Width rear 70 cm/28 in
Lenght 5: 3.15 m 10.2 ft
Width 2.15 m 7.1 ft
Listed: 410 g/15 oz
Tent - 391 g/13.87 oz
Sack 21 g / 0.74 oz
Total – 412g / 14.61 oz
Listed: 320 g/11.3 oz
Measured: 313 g / 11 oz
HILLEBERG MESH TENT 1 is designed to provide the minimalist solo
trekker an open air sleeping experience without the discomfort of bugs
and other pests. The tent consists of a very lightweight woven net
A-frame style shelter with a sewn in waterproof floor. It includes
attached ridgelines but no poles or stakes. Users supply their own
supports (trekking poles, sticks, trees, etc). The shelter was designed
to work with with the Tarp 5 tarp shelter but can be used alone as well.
TARP 5 is Helleberg’s smallest and lightest tarp. Named for its 5 sq
foot area (0.5 sq m), it also has 5 sides. It is intended to provide
minimalist shelter for a single person with some additional room for
gear. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other shelters, and
their Mesh Tent 1 was designed to be a complement to this tarp to
create a complete minimalist shelter. This tarp is made from the
lightest tent material Hilleberg uses, “Kerlon 1000”, and includes 2mm
(3/32 in) guy lines (no poles or other hardware).
June 5 2018
this test I received both the Mesh Tent 1 as well as the Tarp 5 for a
complete minimalist one-person shelter system. When the product arrived
I was immediately impressed and surprised by how light and thin the
material of the tarp is. It is kind of hard to believe anything this
thin and light could be also be strong and waterproof. The tarp comes
stuffed into its integrated stuff sack that during use functions as a
gear pocket. Each corner of the tarp and about the center of each side
has a metal ring (titanium I think) attached by a strip of material,
each ring has a (2mm / 5/64th inch) guy line (with plastic tensioner)
for a total of 8 anchor points. A nice detail is that the front and
back anchor rings are attached to the tarp with red material while the
rest use black. This it to make it easier to position the tarp for
The Mesh Tent is also absurdly light. There are fabric
anchor loops sewn to each corner and a double zipper for the opening.
Attached to the ridge ends of the tent there are ring/guylines of the
same materials and configuration as on the tarp. I am impressed with
how soft and strong the mesh fabric feels, as well how finely woven it
is. I know of no insects that are small enough to get through this
mesh. This tent is clearly constructed of top quality materials. The
door in the front of the tent includes a double zipper as well as a
loop/toggle to allow me to secure the tent door out of the way.
detail that I really appreciate is the stuff sacks. The integrated
stuff sack for the tarp is large enough to easily pack the tarp, while
small enough to make a small tight package once packed. The stuff sack
for the tent is large enough to easily pack away the tent while still
having room for the tarp and my 10 stakes without having to force it
in. This is a very nice detail.
note the manufacturers web site includes lots of information on the
products, materials, as well as photos and videos on how to setup and
use their product. I watched the videos on the Mesh Tent 1 and Tarp 5
(more than once) prior to receiving the product.
I examined both
items and found all the materials and stitching to be of top quality
with no flaws or imperfections that I could find. I also verified the
measurements were per the manufacturers specifications.
grabbed the trekking poles I am currently testing (see my review of the
Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon trekking poles), some tent stakes, and
set the system up in my yard. Two things were immediately obvious.
First, this requires some skill and practice to set up effectively.
Second, anchor points (*) (preferably 10, but a minimum of 6) are
critical to the correct setup and use. I set it up and took it down a
few times. Getting the anchors in the correct locations is going to
take me a bit of practice as well as some trial and error. Once set up
I found the system to have a reasonable amount of room. At one point my
dog joined me in the tent and decide it was play time. This meant her
on her back with claws thrashing about. To my horror she clawed at the
mesh walls of the tent, but to my delight, her claws simply slipped
along the material with out causing any damage whatsoever.
As can be seen from the photo my favorite hiking partner Meg has already claimed her spot.
As there are multiple options for anchoring the system including tent
stakes, trees, rocks, sticks, etc. I will use generic terms like
"anchor" or "anchor point" in this report unless I am describing
something specific to a type of anchor.
Room for Improvement:
- Stupid light shelter system
|August 23 2018
- 2 nights backpacking (with my dog) – Bumping Lake, Central Washington Cascades, elevation 3400' (1000 m), calm warm weather
nights backpacking (solo) – Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Central
Washington Cascades, moderate to light wind, temps ranging from warm
during the day to cool at night
Before going on
my first real outing with this tent I got some additional practice
setting it up with different configurations (tarp pegged down low for
bad weather, up high for air flow, etc). While this was nice it turned
out to be unnecessary. Despite the seeming complexity, I have found the
system to be surprisingly easy to set up, and more secure (despite some
of the ground conditions) than I had anticipated.
outing was a short trip (~3 miles [5 km] to where I camped) with my dog. We
found an awesome spot by the lake where we spent two nights. The flying
bugs were few, only coming out around dusk/dawn, but the place was
totally overrun with ants. We found ant mounds that were enormous, some
chest high! The ground was a mix of dirt and rocks so I had difficulty
in setting stakes. I ended up using a small tree trunk as the foot
anchor and had to supplement a couple of stakes with large rocks to
prevent them from coming loose. There was no wind to speak of.
camped about 3 miles (5 km) from the trailhead the first night, and 4
miles (6.5 km) further the second. When starting out I was quite
concerned about finding suitable locations to pitch this shelter. There
was still a LOT of snow on the trail and many of the exposed areas were
mostly mud. I did end up finding suitable locations. Setting up the
first night there were gusty winds which made me glad for the
manufacturer's recommendation to stake down at least one corner of the
tarp when laying it out. It is so light that it could have easily blown
away. The ground was mostly dirt and pine duff making it quite easy to
plant my stakes but that made me worry if they simply pull out again. This
concern was unwarranted as once set up, even when there were gusts of
wind the shelter remained secure. I set it up with the tarp low on the
windward side just in case I got rain, and high on the leeward side for
ventilation. The second night was calm but the ground conditions were
really is not much room in the shelter, but then again there seems to
be plenty. Confusing? Let me explain. I am unable to sit up inside the
tent and getting in/out requires some crawling. Also moving around to
do basic tasks such as organizing my gear, changing my cloths, etc, the
space in the shelter is quite cramped for me. However when it comes to
sleeping I find the shelter to have plenty of room for me, some of my
gear and even my dog. I place some basic gear that I want handy down
near the foot of the tent and my boots and other gear outside under the
tarp flaps, leaving plenty of room for my dog to sleep next to me.
mentioned I found setting it up and taking it down far less complicated
than I anticipated. I have found it easy to estimate the initial
placement of the stakes and poles, and by adjusting the guy lines I have not had to move the poles.
Getting the system taut without putting too much stress on the stakes
was also easier than I anticipated. Taking the system down and packing
is amazingly simple with plenty of room in the shelter stuff sack for
the entire kit (tarp, tent, guy-lines, and stakes).
one camp involved LOTS of ants. I appreciate the mesh and high quality
zippers resulted in not a single one of the little guys getting into my
shelter. This was well as they did end up biting my dog every time she
lay down on the ground. Same applied to the few other bugs I
I would note that I have been using a ground cloth
under the shelter made from a scrap of Tyvek house wrap material. I
have chosen to do this not because I think the shelter needs
protection, but only to extend the life of the shelter floor as much as
Likes: Lightweight & compact, easy setup/take down, no bugs
Wants: None so far
|October 23 2018|
2 nights Sand Lake Washington (Pacific Crest Trail Central
Washington) 5300' (1600m) Warm days (~75F / 24C) and cool nights (~50F / 10C), no rain or
I only managed to work in one more short backpacking
trip to one of my go-to areas in the Washington Cascades. About a 1hr
hike in, followed by 2 nights of mostly relaxing at camp and a bit of
wandering around the lake and surrounding trails.
As with the
other trips the tent was easy to set up (getting easier with each use)
and I had little trouble getting all of the stakes and guy lines
configured for a taut pitch. The guy line tensioners work surprisingly
well given that they are little more than small bits of plastic. They
make fine tuning the setup quite easy. I still really appreciate how
much room there is in the stuff sack. I can store the mesh tent, the
tarp, the stakes, and even the ground cloth I have been using with room
to spare. And I can tell you one thing I really hate is to be trying to
pack up my gear with cold stiff fingers and having to deal with stuff
sacks that are just not quite big enough. Give me a slightly over-sized
stuff sack any day.
receiving this system I have been wanting to try the tarp with my
hammock. As I have been unable to arrange a hammock trip I finally got
around to setting up my hammock in my back yard and pitched the
Hilleberg Tarp 5 over it. It FIT! In fact it fit really, really well,
and to top it off it is much lighter than the tarp I normally use and
easier to get a taut pitch. So it looks like I will be retiring my old
tarp and replacing it with this much lighter one.
for wrapping up this report I pulled out all of the components of the
system and inspected them for indications of wear or damage. Despite
some abuse from my dog's claws aside for a small stain or two from some
pine pitch, the system looks just about as good as new.
this test I had been using a hammock for most of my outings and quite
frankly was not looking forward to sleeping on the ground for this
test. However, after using this system I expect to be faced with a
difficult decision as to which sleep system I will use going forward.
This is the first tent I have encountered that is a reasonable
alternative to my hammock. And the tarp is so small and light that I
see no reason not to carry it as an emergency shelter for day trips.
Now that the test is concluded I get to speculate on future use and it
is probably no surprise that I fully intend to continue using the tent
and tarp for some trips and the tarp with my hammock for others. So
unless I need my larger two-person tent (not something I use very
often) at least part of this system will be part of all my outings.
my report. I would like to thank the folks at HILLEBERG and BackpackGearTest.org
for the opportunity to test this product.