Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->Equipment.-->Tents.-->Helsport Fjellheimen Camp 3

The Helsport Fjellheimen Camp 3.

The Helsport Fjellheimen Camp 3 on a sunny damp morning
The Helsport Fjellheimen Camp 3 on a sunny damp morning in Norway in 2008. See below for a few more pictures.


3 pole tunnel tent with vestibule, not freestanding. Poles of unequal length. One entrance at the side. Lightweight nylon outer tent, inner tent fine fabric. Inner tent door mesh and fabric. Weight approx 3.1kg. Pitch system, outer tent first.

Why did we choose this tent?

We bought the Vaude Monolith Ultralight as we wanted a tent with as much space as the Citadel but with lower weight and a small pack volume. When the Vaude tent proved to not be up to the job we quickly decided to choose one of the Helsport range. We'd looked at these a couple of times and found them to have a good weight to accomodation ratio with some nice design details. Plus we reasoned that a tent designed in Norway might well work well in Norway (our preferred holiday destination). More importantly it was possible to pitch the outer tent first and clip in the inner later.

The most interesting models that Zwerfkei had were the Fjellheimen Camp range. The 'Camp' denotes a vestibule with a single side entrance instead of a traditional front entrance. The question was which version did we want. In the end we went for the larger Fjellheimen Camp 3 tent as it was only 300g more than the noticeably smaller two person version. What was really interesting was the very short pole length and pack volume. Not only would the Fjellheimen Camp 3 fit in a rear pannier, it fitted in a front pannier. As we were planning on leaving our rack packs at home in 2008 and using just four panniers, any reduction in the amount of space our gear took up was welcome.

This Helsport tent, like the Monolith Ultralight, is made from lightweight nylon instead of polyester. We discovered that this made the tent react differently to temperature changes and moisture. If you set the tent up tight when it is cold it tightens up as it warms up. This was contrary to our expectations but we quickly learned to set up the tent a bit slack.

There are a number of advantages:

  • As much space as the Citadel for around a half kilo less weight.
  • Plenty of room for bike bags and panniers. It can swallow up eight panniers, two rack packs and bar bags.
  • The tent is sufficiently high to allow sitting upright in half of the outer tent and cooking in the tent in inclement weather.
  • Quick to put up and can stand up happily with just 5 pegs.
  • The outer tent goes up first (great in wet weather ensures that the inner tent does not get wet).
  • The side door has a sort of eyebrow which stops water dribbling down your neck as you get in and out of the tent.
  • Large inner tent with enough space to allow two people to sit upright.
  • Good groundsheet. Whilst not as thick as the Citadel you can use the tent without an footprint. We tend to use a footprint anyway
  • It will stand up to fierce winds and gales when all pegs and guy ropes are attached.
  • Very short pole sections and a tiny pack volume allow the tent to fit in an Ortlieb Front Roller Classic pannier.
  • Well thought out details like rounded ends to pole sections and easy to use pole tensioning straps make the Fjellhiemen Camp 3 easier to put up that the Citadel.
  • The rear vent can be opened and closed from inside the inner tent.
  • There are a few disadvantages;

  • Only one entrance.
  • The way lightweight nylon behaves as it heats up means you have to be careful how you pitch the tent. If you plan to leave it up during the day in full sunshine then loosen off guy ropes etc before you leave.
  • Ventilation is not as good as it could be. The main vents are below the highest point. If there is no breeze you get condensation. Unlike the Citadel and like the Moonshadow Duo you can zip the door down from the top which helps.
  • Very expensive here in the Netherlands. It is actually a lot cheaper to buy it in Norway.
  • Conclusion:

    A robust three season tent that is light enough to take cycle touring. For two people there is plenty of space and the tent keep you dry and warm in unpleasant weather. The main advantages over the Macpac Citadel are the tiny pack volume and light weight. It is a little less convenient in use because it only has one door but we managed fine during our Norway 2008 trip. The eyebrow on the side door means you don't need a wing in bad weather. Well thought out details make the high price a bit easier to swallow and the tent easier to put up. We like this tent.

    A few pictures of a Helsport Fjellheimen Camp 3 tent. Click on the thumbnails to view the gallery.

    Side view of the tent the only entrance. Front of the tent, showing guy ropes.
    The ventilation flap at the back. When cold, the nylon slackens noticeably.
    Looking into the inner tent. Looking towards the vestibule and entrance.