Hilleberg Rajd Tent Review

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HILLEBERG Rajd (pronounced RIDE) Tent Review


Editor: Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
www.highdesertwildsheepguides.com
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff


BASIC DESCRIPTION:

HILLEBERG, one of the premier tent makers, recently came out with their new Rajd (prounounced “Ride”) tent for individuals preferring light weight protection similar to a tarp, but without giving up the comforts and protection of walls and a floor. Weighing in at just a mere 2 pounds 3 ounces, the Rajd is manufactured from Kerlo 1200, a strong yet extremely light fabric that establishes the foundation for this two-person tent. Always on the cutting edge of innovation the tent makers at Hilleberg had the ingenious idea to utilize your trekking poles as tent poles with the Rajd, thus eliminating end poles, thus saving more weight. The Rajd comes with guys lines and 10 pegs for stability and strength.


FACTS AND FEATURES:
The Rajd offers nice head room with a two-door design for better ventilation and convenience. However, it should be noted that this is not a two-layer tent, meaning the Rajd may be prone to condensation dependent upon the time of year you are camping. However, this factor can be accomodated for with excellent ventilation. Those hardcore backpackers who seek something more than a simple tarp for shelter should choose the Rajd for it proprietary weight saving features as well as providing the comfort of sides and a floor for additional protection from Mother Nature’s elements. With a spacious interior the Rajd is big enough to sleep two and would provide “cabin space” for one person who has been used to sleeping in bivys or solo shelters.
Constructed from Kerlon 1200, an extremely durable and super light weight fabric that Hilleberg designers use in their Ultralight tents and UL tarps, the Rajd was patterned after the first Hilleberg tent, a two-pole ridge designed Keb (which was the first commercial tent to have linked inner and outer tents).

One noticeable feature is the design of the Rajd’s innovative eaves. Once this tent is pitched the eaves protect the no-see-um mesh panels in the doors from rain and when using the Raid in warm climates, rolling half of the eaves away affords even more ventilation.

Pitching the Rajd is relatively easy. The first step is to simply peg down the floor before inserting your two trekking pole ends, branches, or the optional poles that can be purchased into the pole-end cups on either end. Make sure to set the poles upright, then anchor the guy lines from the ridge line and four corners. Please note that another good alternative is to create a ridge line support by tying guy lines to two trees. (great concept) The guy lines are constructed of a 2 mm Spectra-blend cord that Hilleberg uses on their Ultralight tents. The guy lines are all equipped with the Hilleberg non-slip line runners for secure pitching in demanding weather conditions.

You must remember with the Rajd that it is not a “true tent” and may not offer you the strength or comfort that some individuals expect in windy and poor weather conditions. The Rajd is highly weatherproof and very durable however, but it is a shelter – not a tent – and so it puts only a single layer of fabric between you and the elements. And since the floor is the same ultralight fabric as the walls, care should be exercised in choosing a site, especially on rocky ground if not using a footprint or ground cloth. A good solution is to put the foam sleeping pad (not an inflatable one, for obvious reasons) under the floor of the tent. The Rajd’s single wall design is, by nature, more prone to condensation than a double wall tent. To combat this, HILLEBERG put no-see-um mesh into the top third of the door to promote cross ventilation, and bisected the eaves over each door with a zipper, so you can roll up one or both halves for even greater air flow.

TECHNICAL FEATURES:

• 2 person capacity
• A-Frame shape
• Designed for backpacking, hunting, mountaineering
• Floor area is 25.8 sq. ft
• Body is made up of Kerlon 1200: 30 Denier High Strength Ripstop Vents and No-see-um mesh panels
• Packed size is only 6” x 11”
• Weight with shelter, guy lines and 10 pegs is 2 lbs 7 oz
• No poles included (Use trekking poles or branches)
• No vestibule
• Two door design with outstanding ventilation
• Head Height is 45.3”


STORY:

As a backpack worn hunting guide and outdoorsman I’m always searching for better ways to lighten my load without mitigating the protection I need from the inclement weather conditions. I’ve used Hilleberg tents for years and can testify to their durability, high quality and usefulness. Therefore, when they came out with the extremely lightweight Rajd I was immediately jumped on board to test this innovative Tarp/Tent out in the mountains.

Recently, in the waning days of late summer I took the opportunity to test the Rajd on some multiday backpacking trips in the high mountain deserts of southern Utah. I found the Rajd to be very effective and was impressed with the room I had on one-man solo adventures. There was ample space for my backpack and other gear inside the tent with me since there is no vestibule. If weather conditions were good two people could easily sleep inside this tent and the head-room was better than many on the one man tents that I have used.

Hilleberg’s Rajd Tent Still Standing After a Severe Wind/Rain Storm During a Recent Adventure

When using the Rajd in cooler weather you must be prepared for condensation issues since it does not have an inner and other cover. On one trip the weather was quite cold so I did spend a little time wiping off the condensation in the morning so that it didn’t drip onto my gear. To prevent this from happening it would pay to ventilate one of the doors for added breathability if the weather was not inclement.

It should be noted that on several mountain trips it rained hard and the Rajd’s waterproof Kerlon material didn’t leak at all. I was also a bit surprised at the Rajd’s strength. I found that this cleverly designed tent held up reasonably well in some very windy conditions. The secret here is to make sure you have all guy lines anchored securedly and that your ridgeline is tight and tied off to strong anchor points. The end poles you use, depending on whether they are your trekking poles, the pole kit that Hilleberg makes, branches or a tree must be solid and secure or you could have some issues in heavy wind.

After testing the Rajd I’m convinced that this quality Hilleberg shelter could be used on late season hunts for protection even during snow and windstorms. Again, in conditions such as these I would take extra precautions in pitching my tent. At a price of $365 the Rajd is a great bargain in meeting the needs of anyone searching for a lightweight tent/tarp combination.

As always, HILLEBERG THE TENTMAKER has an excellent lifetime warranty. They have been very good to address any issues that I have had. Although Hilleberg is based in Northern Sweden and have been providing high-quality tents and service in Europe for many years they now have an office in the U.S. that currently is based in Redmond, Washington, where Petra Hillenberg oversees the North American operation.


What they could do better:
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the Rajd, especially its lightweight backpacking size, quality materials and excellent durability. For what Hilleberg designed the Rajd for I have no recommendations for improvement.


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