Hiking tents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Okay, so I don’t know if “the Ugly” really applies, but I’m interested to hear everyone’s input on their favorite hiking tent. Which tent and why?

For instance, I’ve been using the K-Way Treklite 3 (now Nerolite 3) for a few years and I’ve been very happy with it. It has stood up to some pretty bad weather (not extreme though), it’s fairly light and sleeps 2 people very comfortably and 3 people is snug. The vestibule is great for cooking and storing your boots out of the rain.

Also, if you’ve had a particularly bad experience with a specific tent, feel free to share that too.

And, GO!


Hi Arno,

I have been using the K-WAY Basecamp 3 persons tent for 2 years now. I mostly use it for two people since we are tall and have quite big backpacks. The tent has done some intense conditions in the Drakensberg, wind, rain, mist and has always held good ! The main downside is the weight, 4,5 kg that is a bit too much for long expedition when you need to take a lot of food with. Also the condensation in tent can be a problem !

I would be very interested to have a feedback on the K-Way Kilimanjaro 2 Person Tent

I am now looking for a lighter tent, maybe MSR mutha hubba NX !



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I have been using the Marmot Limelight 2 person tent for a few years now and has been very happy with it.

The footprint comes as part of the tent which adds that little security against shrubs and cold from the bottom.

At 2.5kg’s it is also nice and lightweight but the vestibule could be a little bigger as not too much room for cooking purposes as well as storing your bags in bad weather.


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Is the Marmot Limelight 2 available in South Africa?

Over the years i’ve had many tents and my favourite, although now relegated to car-camping when I’m 100% sure no rain will fall, is the K-Way Annapurna. Harvey-proof construction, huuuuuuge vestuble and very roomy. Weighs around 5kgs but could easily pack 3 fris boertjies or 4/5 normal sized people in there. Unfortunately i used the tent on many normal camping trips and the flysheet degenerated from standing in the sun for up to two weeks at a time. So bleak they discontinued the tent; would buy one tomorrow if I could get my hands on it.
Nowadays I mostly use the First Ascent Eclipse. The pole system gives me some frustrations but once its up the tent is sturdy & lightweight. Really strong but not made for extreme cold - so that funky mix between 4-season strength but 3-season temps. Perfect for SA.
Had a K-Way Kilimanjaro but a pole snapped on its first trip. Perhaps random bad luck but it was a deal breaker. I also prefer tents that clip into the poles as opposed to pole-sleeves. Generally makes it much faster to set-up in the rain; hate it when your tent gets all wet inside while you’re trying to push a pole through a crumply sleeve :wink:
Also have a Mountain Hardwear lightweight 2-person tent. Can’t remember the name. Design wise these guys always seems a step ahead of the local manufacturers, but then they have the big design budgets…


I bought it in Korea but I am not aware of a Marmot distributor or retailer in South Africa.

With tents, you get what you pay for.
I have owned a few tents. The first one (Dome style) was a cheapie from Macro for about ~R300 purchased in 1999. After about 3 months of daily use the tent pole (fiberglass) snapped. Even at the low price it did not leak. then 2 months later it got shredded by bears in Colorado. I went to the outdoor store in Steamboat Springs and got a lekker Sierra designs Meteor Light 3 man.

What a great tent, good materials and poles held up well, the one pole bent slightly but it is not too bad and tent is still in good use by my daughter. About 2 years ago the rain fly tore slightly, prob due to UV degradation, that was after 15 years use. So a good investment. The wife, she’s a bit of a sprawler without her cupboards, so we decided to buy a larger tent. Enter the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 4, this thing is luxury, a 4 man tent for 2 peeps, sets up pretty quick and came with a footprint. About 6 side pockets for books, torches, toothbrush etc. As well as side vents for when it’s hot and perforated at top so you can stargaze when fly is off. The vestibule is large enough for 2 rucksacks.

I recommended getting another larger ground sheet (the nylon one’s that let sand thru) Make sure it’s bigger than the tent and extends in front of the entrance, this way sand stays outside. Also the base of the tent will last longer.
I have never bought a tent that came with good pegs, they all bend (usually when I am lazy and using my foot and not the mallet), Agri sell some very good thick long ones.
Bear in mind that this is all for car camping.
Lastly, I bought a pop up tent recently, just quicker when you are overnighting for 1-2 days when on my own. If it rains I’m in trouble though.
Rigging time is the time spent placing the 4 pegs in the ground, 8 if it’s windy. In time, I’d upgrade to a 3 season version, as it is very convenient.

Im thinking strongly about importing this tent from bangood. Under R1000 for a 1.3kg tent. Built in floor and seperate flysheet. You can sleep only under the mosquito net if you want.
Naturehike Single Person Tent Double Layer Sunshade Waterproof UV Sun Shelter Outdoor Camping Hiking Travel

@Pixelite, Naturehike products are now available in South Africa: https://www.naturehike.co.za/

Looks like amazing value for money!

Yeah Banggood is cheap but they take forever. Paid extra for quick shipping and still waiting form my cellphone 6-weeks later. Also beware of VAT and other import taxes; handling fees etc. Support local distributors where you can :slight_smile:

I use and enjoy the K-Way Nerolite 3 person tent.

It weights 2.8 kg but can easily be split between a group. it offers ample space for my girlfriend and myself, with a large enough vestibule to cook or store gear in.

I have also camped with it during heavy rainfall; with not a drop seeping through. Due to my experiences, I have full confidence in my tent, which I believe is the most important part of any gear you carry - it must function and you must have full faith in its capability!


The Nerolite 3 sounds great. I have the old Treklite 3 which was almost identical and it has held up really well, even in very bad weather.

I see no one has reviewed a one-man tent so I will tell you about mine. It is an E3 Eclipse and weighs 1.8 kg. The outer skin is tougher than average and it is green. My friends say it looks more like a coffin but I love it. I have used it for hiking and cycle touring for many years and I and my bike can disappear within a few metres of the side of the road if necessary.

It has been all over South Africa, Lesotho, New Zealand and Peru.

Yes it is small, and getting in and out of it requires a maneuver that Harry Houdini would be proud of but it is WARM, much warmer than a bigger tent.

It is peg intensive and I have to nail it securely to the ground before putting the poles in. This is great when it is windy.

I have pitched it in some wild and wonderful places but perhaps the most extreme was at Nevardo Chachani base camp in Peru at an altitude of 5200 m asl. I was very snug inside unlike others in bigger tents. Here’s a pic.

I love my little tent,
it keeps me warm and dry.
If I didn’t have my little tent…
then I would surely die. :wink:


Look the same as the my blackthorn

HI All,

Thanks Arno for the post. Please let me know if this is a good deal. I’m new and would like to start overnight/ Multi-day hikes?

Please let me have your thoughts.


Hi Lerato,

That combo is perfect for summer car-camping and looks like pretty good value for money, but I would be hesitant to go hiking with it. The tent poles are fibre-glass which can’t withstand much wind and might leave you in a very uncomfortable (if not dangerous) position if they were to snap when you really do need a shelter. Also, the sleeping bags won’t provide much warmth if the temperature were to drop below 10°.

There are many wonderful hutted overnight hikes all over South Africa where a tent and mattress are not necessary. With that in mind, I would recommend you invest in a good sleeping bag first. Naturehike have very competitive prices on down sleeping bags (https://www.naturehike.co.za/collections/sleeping-bags-1/products/mountain-path-down-sleeping-bag?variant=51603190407). Down bags will easily last you 10 years and keep you warm in almost any situation you might face in South Africa.

If you only plan on doing summer hikes, Cape Union Mart have a selection of synthetic bags that will keep you comfortable down to about 9° (https://www.capeunionmart.co.za/deuter-orbit-5-l).

I hope that helps.

These are also great options for summer/3-season sleeping bags:

Wow Arno - Am I glad I registered for this forum today. I decided to become a little patient and had hoped a response came tonight and I’m so glad you replied today. I almost made a big booboo and bought without insight. I cant thank you enough for this.

This is by far the BEST sleeping bag I have seen! Thank you so much for the recommendation and link… I’m so keen and ready to shop away.

2018 is my year! Bless you so much

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Hi, good to see this threat going.
I’ve been using our trusty Ferrino Stardust for 16 years. It’s at the end of it’s life now but still in regular use until I can buy a replacement.

That tent was such a good buy. I think I paid R1300 for it back in the day and it’s specced as a 4 season tent. Weighing in at 3.3kg and sleeps 3. We’ve been 4 adults inside on a storm in the Drakensberg and I’ve used it all over SA, the alps and England (in buckets of rain).

I really like the fact that it has a big vestibule. The number of nights I’ve had to cook in the tent due to hectic winds and rain outside really nailed home the importance of this feature.

Would be a sad day to retire this one.


The Ferrino tents had a great reputation. Take a look at the Vango tents for a similarly spec’d tent.