So they say, but nothing could be further from the truth. On most adventures, your shelter is the one thing that will keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements. In other words, it is the thing that will keep you happy when all else fails.
Expectations flying high, we received a brand new Stetind 3 UltraLight from Norwegian Barents Outdoor for an extended test by an entire Basecamp North team.
Now, months later, it is time to gather our experience with the tent we have subjected to wind-swept Danish coasts, Norwegian mountains, and a 10-day motorcycle trip with plenty of hard rain.
To many of you, Barents Outdoor is a new entity on the outdoor manufacturing scene. To those in the know, Barents Outdoor is the continuation of a generation-long celebration of design excellence, better known as Helsport. The brand entered the scene back in 1957 with the Helliksen family at the helm. Melhus, a short drive outside the city of Trondheim, became famous for the development of Helsport world-class products. That is, until the family-owned operation was sold to Brav Norway AS (previous Swix Sport) in 2017. Three years later, Brav decided to leave an entire staff of experts behind and move the Helsport brand away from Melhus.
This is when Helsport founder Arild Helliksen´s granddaughter Nora Helliksen launched Barents Outdoor and moved into the old but familiar facilities, shouldered by a group of loyal employees.
The accomplishments of Barents Outdoor over the past three years are nothing but astounding. In addition to presenting a complete line of lightweight 3- and 4-season tents, sleeping bags and tarps, the brand has just been awarded a 7-year, 290.000.000 NOK contract with the Norwegian armed forces to deliver a range of specially designed tents.
Quality and Sustainability
Barents Outdoor marketing may sound like any other brand, attempting to score points by carefully introducing slogans to indicate a green profile. Barents, unlike many, is taking concrete measures to live up to their claims.
Not only do Barents offer one free repair on all their products, they also assist in repairing their products to last, encouraging consumers to extend the longevity of their purchase rather than replace it.
Barents also sells certified used products to limit unnecessary waste. All product hang tags are printed on recycled paper and wildflower seeds and can be planted. Barents headquarters all run on 100 percent renewable energy.
Pitching the Stetind UltraLight
The Stetind UltraLight is a free-standing dome construction, similar to Helsport Reinsfjell and Exped Orion. Pitching the tent is quick and easy with the inner tent attached to the outer to avoid exposing the interior to rain or sleet.
The three 9-mm Yunan poles run inside sleeves, making the tent extremely stable and quiet in the wind, something we appreciated during our nights on the exposed coast.
The construction includes two idential entrances with apsis to store boots, gear, and food preparation.
Air circulation is provided by large vents, held open by internal stiffeners, which prevent the vents from collapsing in wind or heavy rain. The outer tent can be lifted to provide further air circulation. It´s what Barents call their Open Air™ Ventilation System. All insect nets are no-see-um type. Nats are fresh out of luck.
The three-season tent sports plenty of anchoring points and guylines, all reinforced or double-gusseted, to withstand the nastyest weather.
First of all, we are big fans of the color choice. The rich blue color of the outer tent is simply gorgeous, and the light gray inner tent complements it well. Entering the tent, we immediately appreciate the high-quality materials and immaculate finish. The 15D Ripstop flows like liquid through our fingers. Zips and ties work well.
The tent is very spacious for two, but a bit cramped for the three this tent is made for. This is, of course, our subjective opinion. Our team is in agreement and always chooses a 3-person tent for two and a 2-person tent for one. We leave exploring the ultimate capacity for those comfortable with threesomes. The interior floor space measures 230 x 160 cm, leaving room for our Amok Fjøl XL matt and a little elbow room. Interior height is a comfortable 125 cm.
One of the reasons why the Stetind feels so roomy is the clever way the inner tent attaches to the outer tent. The apsis is 80 cm deep by 250 cm.
There are plenty of attachment points for drying lines, gear lofts, and lights. There are large pockets along the inner tent sides for storing your phone, glasses, or snack.
The pleasant color choice and attention to detail made us feel very much at home spending time inside the Barents Stetind.
All The Benefits of A Great Tent
More than the sum of its parts, a good tent provides safety and creature comfort through many years of use. Unless your adventures keep landing you on camping site lawns, you will experience all sorts of environments. Windstorms, heavy rain, freezing nights, and scorching days All of the above is within the expected, or even extreme, circumstances. Predictable or by total surprise.
High-quality tents are designed and manufactured with all this in mind, while a cheap tent made for a single fair-weather vacation is made for just that. Being surprised by bad weather can happen to anyone. Being prepared and bringing appropriate gear will make a big difference.
Our Stetind Ultralight performed well during our months of use, showing no wear or wear points.Hours of high winds were no match for the tent, and it vented excellently in high temperatures.
A combination of hard rain and wind resulted in some seeming water ingress, but nothing more than should be expected for a new tent’s first outing.
The Stetind UltraLight from Barents Outdoor has our recommendation. It is a well designed high-quality tent that will keep you a happy camper for many years. And being backed by a responsible and experienced manufacturer like Barents Outdoor, you will not go wrong.
The design provide a tent especially well suited for windy environments. It´s sleeved poles makes it quiet and extremely sturdy. The many smart details add lots to the user experience.
NOTE: At current, Barents Outdoor is markedet in Norway only, but we hope growing interest in the not too distand future will make these fine products available to us on “the outside”.
Pricing is similar to other high quality comparable tents with a very good value for money. The Stetind model is offered in a 2- or 3-person size. The larger option is also available as an expedition grade 4-seson version that looks awesome.
Basecamp North / Bibow
Total Weight: 2,8 kg (Tent: 1,8 kg / Poles: 0,78 kg / Stakes: 0,16.kg / Rep Kit: 0,04 kg)
Pack Volume: 19×50 cm
Outer tent: RipStop 15D/3.000mm water column
Inner tent: RipStop 15D, water resistance, breathing
Tent floor: RipStop 40D/5.000mm water column