Tested: Hilleberg Enan

The Hilleberg Enan is a lighter version of the much-loved Akto one-person tent. More akin to a sophisticated bivvy bag than something you’d choose to spend days at a time in, it is tough and weighs just 1.2kgs packed, which makes it ideal for anyone looking to man-haul their camping equipment into remote places.

Like all Hilleberg tents, the Enan is beautifully crafted; sewed and assembled by one person (who attachs a label giving their name) each stitch is made using a sophisticated sewing machine whose needle is cooled by jets of air to prevent the holes being made too big due to friction melting. It is this kind of attention to detail that justifies the relatively high price of Hilleberg tents.

The main material is Kerlon 1000, which has a 8kg/17.6lb tear strength; this might not sound like much but as you can see here, the reality is that it is plenty tough enough for even the worst weather, especially when you learn that the guylines are 2mm cord and the single pole is the same 9mm DAC NSL that is used across many other tents in the Hilleberg range.

copyright: David Miles

Both guylines and pole are a decent balance between weight and strength although because I use it in Arctic regions, I’ve bought an extra pole: all Hilleberg tents can be double-poled to increase their structural strength and ability to withstand snow-loading, and the Enan is no exception. It might be marketed as a Yellow Label tent (i.e. for three-season use only) but it can be used in all seasons and conditions with a bit of commonsense, double poles, and careful attention to securing the guylines properly to enable the tensioning to be maintained in high winds.

The inner and outer tents are linked, enabling you to pitch it as one. The outer tent doesn’t quite reach the floor, which also helps reduce condensation by promoting a good airflow, albeit at the cost of some loss of warm air. As with life, it’s swings and roundabouts…

I’ve also got the mesh inner tent, which is a straightforward replacement for the standard inner. Using a mesh inner like this helps cut down the condensation that is inevitable with a tent this small – and make no mistake, this is a very small tent; I’m 6′ 3″ tall and I’d struggle to be able to stretch out if I were another couple of inches taller. As it is, my head touches the mesh inner tent when I’m lying down, and I can’t quite sit up straight even in the middle.

copyright: Terry Abraham

Various tent peg options are available but the standard Hilleberg jobbies are fine for everything bar sand and snow. My investment in lightweight titanium pegs showed that they were a waste of money, being barely any lighter than the standard pegs and much, much weaker. Eight are required in total, and the Enan is not a freestanding tent, relying on counter-tensioning guylines to support it.

I’ve used mine extensively now and like it a lot. I don’t love it, largely because it’s so small that the slightest condensation buildup inside the tent then rubs off on my sleeping bag given the close proximity of my feet, head and shoulders to the droopy inner liner. This necessitates the use of a synthetically filled sleeping bag, which adds some bulk and weight back into the equation. But, when I need a lightweight, highly portable one-man tent, the Enan gets my vote every time.

The Hilleberg Enan costs around £640/$650.