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Hilleberg Nallo 3GT: Our Trusty Tent For Bike Touring


When we’re on a bike tour, there’s no place that feels more like home than our trusty tent, the Hilleberg Nallo 3GT.

Hilleberg Nallo 3GT Tent
Our tent, set up in New Zealand. At this point, it had been used over 300 times.

Here’s how it looks as we’re setting it up. As you can see in the video, it’s pretty quick to set up: about 5 minutes, or a couple minutes less if you don’t have a “little helper” to contend with!

We Love It Because…
At around $1,000 U.S. this is certainly far from the cheapest tent on the market but it is very durable. Among other things, we’ve tested it in 15+ hours of the hardest rain we’ve ever seen (we were perfectly dry), and in gale-force winds (the tent flexed gracefully with the gusts).

We love this tent so much that we’ve actually bought two of them. The first one was the tent that accompanied us for most of our 3-year world bicycle tour. When we decided to replace it, we’d used our first Nallo 3GT over 400 times. To put that in perspective, if you bought this tent today and used it as much as we did, you’d pay around $2.50 U.S. for each night of worry-free camping. Bargain!

When we replaced it (30 months into our trip), the Nallo 3GT was still functioning perfectly but the outer shell had suffered some heavy UV damage and we weren’t sure how much longer it would last. We were offered a newer model at a hefty discount so we jumped at the chance to renew our tent. Had we not been so impulsive, the old one probably would have lasted quite a bit longer. We could also have renewed our tent by simply buying a new outer tent from Hilleberg, although we didn’t know that at the time.

Our second Nallo 3GT has been used about 100 times and we expect it to last for at least as long as the first one (probably more, because we’re now more savvy about protecting our tent from UV damage by using a tarp and pitching in shady places).

Camping In A Rocky FieldYou can set this tent up with the front fully open. This is great in light rain, and on hot days (it allows for a lot of air flow).

Advantages: Here are a few of the reasons why we really like this tent…

  • Quality. This tent really does stand up to everything. We’ve tested it in heavy snow, pouring rain and fierce winds and it’s never let us down.
  • Lots of space. We have the 3-person model and it’s perfect for 2 bike tourists plus all the associated gear. We can put all our bags in the porch, and still have room to sit and read. That means we don’t feel claustrophobic, even on rainy days when we might be inside the tent for a few hours.
  • Light. At 2.7kg, this is one of the lighter 3-person and all-season tents on the market.
  • Easy to pitch. There are only 3 poles and set-up is intuitive. Not long after we bought this tent, we had to set it up in the dark. We had no problems. Hilleberg say you can pitch the tent with as few as 4 pegs. On very rocky ground, we’ve pitched it without any pegs, simply by using rocks to secure the corners and tying the guylines to nearby trees, bushes or other fixed objects.
  • Great customer service. Hilleberg have been super at answering any questions we had about the tent, and helping to troubleshoot when the zippers wore out (this was easily fixed).
  • Multiple set-up options. In addition to the ‘standard’ set up, you can completely open the front of the tent. This is really nice in the summer, or any time you want a lot of air flowing through the tent.

We currently use a Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT for cycle touring which weighs less than our Terra Nova Quasar. When we are cycletouring we are mainly using lowland campsites and thus prefer the Nallo over the Quasar as it gives us far more room for the weight carried. -Jon & Frank of the CycleTourer website

Disadvantages: Like anything, there are a few downsides to this tent…

  • Too short for tall people. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you’ll struggle to stretch out fully in this tent. Andrew is 5’11″ and his feet nearly touch the end.
  • Expensive. This is definitely not the cheapest tent on the market. It costs about $829.95. Yes, it’s going to last you a long time, but if you’re not sure how much you’ll use it, you might be better off with a less costly model. Alternatively, watch for sales. Sometimes you can get a deal on last year’s model.
  • Occasional condensation. On very cold nights in damp climates, we try to keep all the heat in by fully closing both the main entrance and the door that separates the porch and sleeping area. That does lead to some condensation. Most of the time, we’re not camping in extreme cold and so we don’t entirely seal the tent. You can leave the doors partially open (while still keeping the mosquito net panels closed) to improve airflow.
  • Sometimes too big. This is a roomy tent and you need a relatively decent amount of space to put it up. This isn’t often a problem but sometimes we have to hunt an extra few minutes for the perfect spot.
  • Groundsheet sold separately. It’s not all that unusual for tent groundsheets to be sold separately, and you can expect to fork out about ($97.95) for the official groundsheet for this tent. The footprint is almost essential, as it makes the porch usable in all weather (even when the ground is wet). Alternatively, you could just lay a small sheet of plastic down, but then that’s one more (relatively heavy) thing to carry.

Camping In A Rocky FieldEven in rocky areas, without much space and hard ground, putting this tent up is no problem.

On the whole, we feel the advantages of this tent far outweigh the disadvantages and we’d heartily recommend it for anyone planning an extended bike tour. To paraphrase a famous commercial:

Cost of a Hilleberg tent? $1,100 U.S.
Cost of the groundsheet? $100 U.S.
Cost of knowing that you can sleep through the worst storms? Priceless!

Are there other tents to consider? Of course! We’ve profiled a few options in our article about Choosing A Tent For Bike Touring.

If we didn’t have such a big budget, we might go for the MSR Hubba Hubba. It costs far less ($239.93 from REI) and you can take the rain fly off completely, for star gazing on clear nights.

This particular Hubba Hubba tent is owned by Shane, who’s currently taking it through Africa.

Shane's MSR Hubba Hubba

We also really like the look of Macpac’s Citadel Tent, and featured a small review of it in July’s bike touring newsletter.

Trevor's Tent

And if we were touring solo, instead of as a couple, we might consider the compact Hilleberg Akto. This one is owned by Stijn.

Hilleberg Akto

Want to read more reviews of the Hilleberg Nallo 3GT? See:

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8 Responses to “Hilleberg Nallo 3GT: Our Trusty Tent For Bike Touring”

  1. Doug W. says:

    Thanks for the review! We’ve been comparing tents for our trip for a long while now and keep coming back to the Nallo 3GT, for all the reasons you mentioned, even though it has shot up to $720 USD for the green one.

    Fortunately, two of the comments in your cons column are true for nearly every tent on the market: condensation when zipped up and ground sheet sold separately. Nature of the beast, I suppose.

  2. Great info. I have been using Robens tents since 2007. The latest model is Krestel 2 (only 2,3kgs) for 2 people. That model I have used for the last 24 months. Easy to set up, no need pegs. It is a circular tent. Problem with tunnel tents is that is hard to combine wind and ground level, as is only on entrance. Is the ground level makes force you to pitch it with the door in the upper hill, but you have wind coming that direction is very bad. And it happen.
    2 doors tent increase ventilation.
    And for half of the price of the Hilleberg tent I will prefer to get new tent every year or every two, instead having a morgage to buy a Hilleberg.
    Any good tent in the market (about 350 USD) will pass a 15 hours test of heavy rain. Speacilly if it is new.

  3. JaccoW says:

    The front porch of the Nallo is one sexy little detail on this tent. Too bad I am too tall for it. Fortunately there is still the Kaitum.

    @Alvaro Neil: Sure you can buy a new tent every two years for half the price, but these tenst will last you longer than that. From what I hear of customers (yes, I work at a store that sells these) most use them for 10 to 20 years before they need to replace them and almost all of them come back for a new one.
    That is not a given however. A more expensive tent may or may not last you twice as long as a cheaper tent, but it will still be a more comfortable tent because of all the little details or differences in material.

  4. Jurjan says:

    We have a Namatje 3 GT, for more or less the same reasons.
    Didn’t even know the red one was cheaper (why?) when we bought one (we just wanted to stand out a bit from the predominantly green colours of tents).

    We also bought the pole holder thingies, to make it possible to just pitch the inner (with the help of a bit of string).
    Unfortunately we haven’t tested those so far, maybe next year.

    One BIG advantage of the namatje is that I can stretch out in it (I’m 1m90 something).

    We love the porch, enough space to have all biketouristy stuff inside AND have space to enter easily.
    One thing we do miss a bit is the completely open porch option, but then again: all tents are compromises…

  5. Great tent! We bought our Nallo 3 GT about 3 years ago at a discount in the UK. We’re really happy with it and don’t want another tent. Now looking for a webshops who sells sperate poleholders.

  6. Ian says:

    I have one of these for myself lol. Awesome tents. I know you pay for the quality but you cannot beat a Hilleberg. Their customer service is simply awesome too. As stated in this review, HEAPS of room and totally bomb proof too. When mine needs replacing, I will be replacing it with another Nallo 3GT. An Atko appeals also for going ultra light but with the Nallo 3GT, you get spoilt with room / space etc etc. All round ? THE BEST 3 person tent on the market !!!

  7. Isabelle says:

    Hilleberg makes some great tents although you pay for the quality. On our bike tour, the zipper of the innner tent was faulty(probably because of all the dust Mongolia had to offer). We ask Hilleberg if they could sent out a new zip and to our surprise and luck Petra Hilleberg emailed back and said they would sent out a brand new Kaitum 3GT just for the cost of postage.She said that although it was a bit heavier it would be more reliable as the material and zip is a lot more heavy duty. Great customer service! Our previous Nallo GT was used for more that 500 nights in all kind of conditions, it’s well worth the money( less than 2 euros a night). It it the best space to weight ratio we have come across in a tent. The vestibule is great to store the panniers and for cooking when it’s raining.

    Alvaro also have a good point,buying a cheaper good tent like the Helsport Romsdalshorn or Nordmarka and changing more often is a good idea.

  8. Robertjan says:

    The newly released video reveals you haven’t yet used it in hard wind + fierce rain. Some tips on the sequence of pitching a tunnel tent:

    1. Take the foot end of the tent out of the bag and peg it into the wind right away, so that the tent opening will be just about in the right place.
    2. Take out the rest of the tent and peg down the front end of the tent, so it won’t act like a flag in the wind (with the risk of damaging your tent and/or getting the inner tent wet).
    3. Assemble the poles and pitch the tent with them.
    4. Re-arrange the pegs so the outer tent is pitched tout.
    5. Attach and pitch the guidelines. Keep in mind that a wet nylon outer tent will be more loose when wet and tighten up when dry… Make sure not to rupture your tent by this.
    When taking down the tent, you best work from 5. to 1. So that when pitching the tent again in windy and wet weather, the tent doesn’t fly away. Also, keep all your stuff all the time inside a bag and either attach that to something ‘grounded’, inside a pannier or inside the tent.

    Other types of tents have different points to keep in mind. This was based on the ‘fly first’ principle and tunnel models…

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