From being relatively unknown in the UK a few years ago the company has become a serious rival to the likes of Terra Nova with ground breaking tents like the Telemark. While not classed as an Ultra Lightweight at 1.5kg for a 2 man tent it has obvious appeal to the sector. Following initial testing in the Peak District for this first impression we're planning on follow up tests both under winter conditions and in the semi-competitive arena of the OMM Mountain Marathon before giving a final verdict, but initial impressions have been very good!
What Nordisk say:
Roomy, easy to use and very light
Halland 2 is a very roomy 2 man tent with no compromise on comfort or function – and now it comes in a very lightweight version weighing only 1,500 grams. With the simplicity of a 2-pole tunnel construction Halland 2 LW offers easy set up and a highly functional architecture with a large inner cabin and a big vestibule for storage or cooking. The construction is outer pitched, which can be used as a stand alone and tested up to 25 m/s, offering great wind stability. Halland 2 LW comes with the latest generation ultra light weight DAC NFL poles, magnetic zipper flaps, Dyneema guy rope and Nordisk triple twister alu pegs. It comes with an integrated packsack (external packsack included too).
The Nordisk site has some good wind test videos for each of their tent products and they face the Halland LW porch into a 25m/s wind tunnel, equating to a 55mph storm force gale and it seems to cope well.
Test and review:
Nordisk make excellent lightweight tents and as their website states, simplicity is a core value in developing new products. The Halland 2 LW is a simple tunnel design and erecting this tent is easy. It is not a fully free-standing construction, but you can pitch the fly first, then attach the inner or pitch all in one making it a versatile shelter. Two colour coded poles slip through the sleeves easily, with some care needed due to the exceptionally lightweight sil-nylon flysheet fabric. Tension bands running across the tent from each pole grommet are minimised to thin dyneema, thus keeping more weight down. The tent is designed to be pitched tail end into the wind, so you peg out the rear first, then the front two points and it will stand while you shuffle the structure. It is not the fastest pitch I have done, as there is quite a lot of adjustment to cinch all the fabric down. Aluminium buckles around the flysheet make this an easy job though.
Once set out, there are six guy points to bolt it down. The guys are a decent length with four of them having double lines and once I'd tightened the flysheet it felt really solid. The sil-nylon has a good stretchy feel as you take up the tension. Lightweight tent fabric technology has really advanced in recent years and in my opinion, Nordisk have really got this right on the Halland. You'd be forgiven for worrying the tent is fragile and easily damaged due to the insubstantial feel of the nylon, but it's very strong. Once guyed out, it is also pretty quiet in wind, unlike some other lightweight fabrics I have slept under. The hydrostatic head of the flysheet is 2000mm, adequate though relatively low, but it is hard to get a high rating here with such thin fabrics.
The Halland's tunnel design is very long, at 3.65 metres. This is a consideration when trying to pitch it in a tight spot and it would benefit from a nice flat area. The porch is huge for such a lightweight tent, making kit storage a breeze and leaving the inner for just sleeping. I know many who wild camp with their dogs and this porch would be a great area for wet dogs to comfortably sleep in a bathtub bed and still have an area to cook. It is so large, I'd even try to sleep diagonally in the porch in a bivvy-bag if necessary. Cooking on all types of stoves in the porch is possible with care, due to its size and height and the venting created by the porch structure being slightly off the ground makes it feel airy and safe. The great use of a side door means kit can stay put along one side and still have access and cooking space. The door can be pitched open on a walking pole to create a sheltered area out to the side which I liked. The side access may be a consideration in orienting the tent in high winds. There are little magnets to hold the door flap closed which is a neat touch. One niggle I have is the outer door has a poorly designed, tiny clip to hold it once fully open. It was a real fiddle to get this to fasten and would be impossible in gloves or with cold hands. I have modified this with a loop of dyneema, but I feel a tent this well designed overall should have better attention to detail. The door zip is easy to snag when the porch is under tension, but you can just let off one of the buckles while you zip it up, then tighten this again.
The nylon inner is a pleasant yellow and a good size, adequate for two large mats. It is an ample length at 215cm, or 7ft. Sitting up is possible but it will be a squeeze for tall people due to the low profile of the Halland. This is a sacrifice I don't mind because it has an excellent wind-shedding profile. Other good features are the large inner door which has three way zips, full bug mesh and many configurations for you to sort your ventilation preferences. A large rear vent on the inner also provides good ventilation. Under tent ventilation occurs as the tent doesn't hug the ground completely and two large hooded vents sit at the tail and head of the tent. Being a sil-nylon tent condensation does occur relatively quickly, but was minimal in a breeze.. It remains to be tested in still and humid conditions however.
One area that really lets the Halland down are the measly inner pockets; two angled pockets are situated two-thirds down the inner and apart from their small size, they also allow items to be easily dislodged by your legs. There are loops in the ceiling to make a washing line and I think I'll elect to hang items from here in a bag. The integrated storage bag that hangs from the inner could be used to pop items in, but it does just lay on the floor. I find this a nice touch though and packing the tent away into this is easily done.
My concerns about storage are really only applicable when used as a two person shelter, because the Halland is so light for its size that it offers a large amount of liveable space for one person. Weighing 1.5kg, I'll be happy carrying this weight on any journey in the knowledge I have a large vestibule and inner to spread out all my kit. For longer distance treks there is also drying space aplenty when used solo. I've become accustomed to the luxury of carrying two man tents for trips into the fells as I like the extra space at night. The Halland has a low weight and small pack size, so I can easily fit the tent and all other kit needed for a 3 season multi-night trip into a 40l pack.
Nordisk don't classify the seasonal use for the Halland on the website, however the waterproofing and density of the floor lend it to three season use. There is a short video on their website, showing a wind test up to 55mph so it shows it can stand a storm. My opinion of how far you can push its limits are based on the overall profile of the tent. I camp through four seasons, so what I look for are snow shedding properties if a tent is to be used in anger. The scooped and aerodynamic profile at the rear of the Halland is excellent for stability in wind, but I'm unclear if the Halland could stand much snow here. I will use it in winter weather and follow up this review, so come back and visit us again in the New Year.
I really like the Halland 2 LW. It's a good looking tent with the usual Scandinavian approach to unfussy and functional design. Its 'packability' and low weight make it an attractive tent to trekkers, mountaineers or bike-packers.