Decathlon Quickhiker Ultralight 4: Our New, Cheap Tent

For years now, our trusty tent for bike touring and camping has been Hilleberg’s Nallo 3GT but this summer we retired our Nallo 3GT in favour of something bigger: the Decathlon Quickhiker Ultralight 4 tent.

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Why the switch? The Nallo 3GT was simply too small for our growing family. We needed more space for the extra trailer and gear we’re carrying around. We also wanted a roomier porch, where mum and dad could hang out on rainy or cold evenings while Luke snoozed in the sleeping compartment.

Deciding that we wanted a new tent was easy. Figuring out which tent to buy proved a bit trickier.

We generally believe that investing in high-quality gear pays off, so at the start of our hunt we looked at reasonably expensive tents (eg. the Nallo 4GT, the Safir tipi tent and the MSR Papa Hubba). Ultimately, however, we decided that these tents were too expensive for what we needed.

Unlike in the past, we are not currently planning any long-distance, extreme bike trips. We don’t plan to take this tent through rain, snow, hail and sleet.

Instead, we’re aiming mainly at spring and summer touring through Europe, with perhaps a trip to South Korea or Japan next year. If the weather gets really bad, we’ll take a hotel and that means our tent doesn’t have to live up to expedition-quality standards.

The Quickhiker Ultralight 4 met all of our needs:

  • Affordable. It costs €269.95 in Europe.
  • Lightweight. The tent weighs 3.9kg (not including the groundsheet). That’s just 300g more than Hilleberg’s Nallo 4GT (which would have been a logical upgrade for us from the 3GT).
  • Roomy. It’s 15cm higher than the Nallo 3GT and nearly a meter wider.
  • Guaranteed. It comes with a 2-year guarantee.

So far, we’ve used it about 20 times. Are we pleased? Absolutely.

The space inside is as valuable as gold for our growing family. We can sit up easily anywhere in the tent (in our Hilleberg, we could only sit straight up in the middle of the tent) and we can fit our 3 sleeping mats side by side without being squeezed up against the walls of the tent.

There’s even room left over for toys, clothes and random treasures like sticks which Luke regularly picks up, and plenty of gear pockets to keep things organised inside the tent.

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The large back, mesh window of the tent is another favourite of ours. Since we’re doing more summer camping now, the nights can be warm and with this tent you can open up the back of the tent entirely for excellent airflow.

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Of course, as you’d expect with a relatively cheap tent, this one isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s missing a few thoughtful details that made our Hilleberg such a delight to camp in. The two main problems we have with the tent are:

  • No tensioners on the pole sleeves. This makes setting up the tent a bit of a struggle. It’s a tight fit to get the poles into the sleeves and seated in the grommets. We find it easiest to lay the tent on the ground, put the poles in while the tent is flat and then stake it out and erect it. Over the winter, we may try to add our own tensioners.
  • Door to the sleeping compartment can’t be totally closed off. Once inside the porch, there’s a second door that leads to the sleeping compartment. The top half of this door is made of mesh, so on cooler nights it’s impossible to entirely seal yourself in (in order to keep the temperature higher). That’s one reason why this is not a good 3-season tent.

Overall, however, we’re very pleased. When you consider the price, this tent is good value and perfectly suitable for summer bike tours. If you want a family tent without blowing the budget, we’d recommend this one.

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Comments

  1. guido
    30th October 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Hi ,
    what kind of polesare used in the tent.
    Is it fiber or a alloy pole.

    With a simple pole docter you can do some repairs when on the move.

    We are with just the three of use and use a Helsport fjellheimen camp 4 ( 3100 grams)
    As it is a 4 persons tent we got enough space with the three of us..

    happy tenting,

    regards Guido

  2. Jeroen
    2nd November 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    Nice tent! And very cheap! The low price would make me question the quality, but two years guarantee is pretty good. I like it that you can open the back of the tent. I’d miss an extra door on the front side, though.

    Can the poles be detached from the tent itself? The video’s on the website (http://www.decathlon.co.uk/quickhiker-ultralight-4-man-hiking-tent-grey-id_8243148.html) show them as always attached to the tent. Wouldn’t that be cumbersome in some situations? (e.g. you might want to pack the poles in a different place than the tent)

    How much does the footprint cost? I can’t find it on the decathlon.nl site…

    We’re looking for a similar solution for our family. Our two oldest kids now have their own tent, and we need something with enough room in the sleeping tent for ourselves and our youngest, and with a porch where we can sit in with the five of us during bad weather. Our current tent (a much to heavy but very comfortably large Robens Double Dreamer) is starting to break down, and we want something lighter (and thus smaller). We have our eyes on the Nigor Oriole 3 (http://www.nigor.eu/oriole-3.html), which is higher and deeper than the Hilleberg Nallo 4GT, somewhat cheaper, but seemingly of a similar quality. The Nigor is the largest tent in this category that we could find (apart from the Vango Omega 350 (http://www.vango.co.uk/gb/3-person-tent/23-omega-350.html), which is over 5 kg in weight), but we hadn’t seen this tent yet.

    • friedel
      3rd November 2014 at 8:23 am #

      The poles can definitely be removed! In fact, that was one of the first things we did because we didn’t think it was an advantage to have them attached. From memory, I think the footprint is about 30 euros. I will take a look at the Nigor range; hadn’t heard of them before so thanks for sharing!

  3. skids
    24th November 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Great to see an in depth review of this tent, as I’ve been considering it for a while. It looks to me from the pictures as if you also have the footprint that goes with this tent. My question is this – we have 4 kids (currently age 6 to 12) – how feasible would it be to use this as a 6 person tent – kids in the main sleeping compartment, my wife and I in the porch. It would mainly be summer use, a bit of cycle touring, a bit of wild camping. I assume the porch is big enough for 2 to sleep, but can you see there being much of a problem with condensation dripping on us in the porch? – would prefer not to have the extra weight of bivy bags. The lightest proper 6 person tent I can find is the Wild Country Hoolie 6, but that’s almost double the weight of this tent.

    • friedel
      27th November 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      I guess you could make it work but you’re not going to have any protection from mosquitos in the porch and it will be draftier. If you have cool, rainy weather I don’t think it would be very comfortable to sleep in the porch. And you won’t have any room for luggage. That will have to be all on the bikes overnight, I’d say.

    • friedel
      27th November 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      I guess you could make it work but you’re not going to have any protection from mosquitos in the porch and it will be draftier. If you have cool, rainy weather I don’t think it would be very comfortable to sleep in the porch. And you won’t have any room for luggage. That will have to be all (or mostly) on the bikes overnight.

  4. Dpak
    1st September 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    hi thank you for the review. I am wondering if this would work for my 2 adults ( mum & dad) , 2 kids 12/15yrs) …4 persons with 2 at 5’8″ and other two at 5’2″

    Or should I go for 2x 3 man vango banshee tents ?

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