Why we like it: If you have to ride out a storm by yourself, this tent makes it easy.
Weather protection: After a soggy night camped on a muskeg (an alpine bog) in Tongass National Forest, our Alaskan tester proclaimed this tent infallibly weatherproof. “The Niak was virtually swimming in water when I pitched it—that’s what happens when you’re bog camping—but I still woke up dry and cozy,” he reports.
Durability: The weight and sticker-shock price are functions of strength. Hilleberg uses a strong 20-denier nylon (called Kerlon 1000) with three times the tear strength of regular nylon (18 pounds versus 4 to 6, on average). It easily shrugged off 25-mph winds, and testers thought it would last forever.
Livability: The 28-square-foot floor and 39-inch peak height are dimensions you’d find in a small two-person tent. The 86-inch length allows the tallest of travelers to stretch out, and an 8-square-foot vestibule swallows gear. However, testers felt the single door made it best for couples.
Ventilation: The fly’s bottom edge arcs upward 8 inches along the head and the foot, facilitating airflow between the tent walls and the fly and eliminating condensation even in cool, wet conditions.
Versatility: Pitch it without the fly (as shown) with a set of aftermarket pole holders ($10).