The selection of our tent wasn’t exactly a walk in the park to say the least. We had a few criteria that should guide us through the vast amount of tents currently on the market. We compared and discussed, compared again, but couldn’t make a definite choice as all of the tents had important downsides. They were either too small, too bulky or heavy or too complex for our needs. Until we stumbled upon the Nordisk Oppland 3 LW, an ultralight 3 person tunnel tent that seemed to tick all the boxes.
Now after more than a year of travelling and having spent 100’s of nights in the tent, we can comment on how well it stood up to our selection criteria from a real life user point of view. Here’s the criteria:
We often camp in remote areas and then this tent is our only shelter, so reliability is absolute key. The Oppland 3 LW has definitely proven to be reliable. It never stopped protecting us from the elements, whether that was rain, snow, wind, cold or some kind of wild animal sniffing around (we had lions and hippos around the tent). After more than a year it is still water tight as before. We endured heavy showers and even snow, but not a drop came through the ultra-thin fly sheet. Sure the tent looked a bit saggy under a few cms of snow, but it still performed as it should. Admittedly we had wet feet once but that was only after very heavy rains when half of the tent was in a deep puddle and one of the poles came lose. The only thing we had to fix from time to time, were the zippers. They are definitely the best brand (YKK), but zippers don’t last a lifetime in harsh conditions unfortunately. Every tent, whether that is a Chinese knock off or a premium brand like Nordisk, will eventually face the same problem. We carry a few extra sliders and started cleaning the zippers regularly, as we should have done from the start…
We took a three person tent just to be sure we had sufficient room for ourselves and our luggage. We didn’t like the idea of being cramped in a small tent night after night on a long trip like this, with our gear lying outside in the rain. But boy is this tent huge! It e-a-s-i-l-y sleeps 3 people and when comparing it to similar 3-person tents from other brands, it offers by far the largest indoor space. Its vestibule comes in very handy to store all of our stuff overnight or gives us room to cook when the weather is bad.
If you are a weight saver just like us, don’t look any further. You won’t find nowhere near the same space to weight ratio for a tent. With a weight of about 2 kilograms, this tent is ultralight and crazy compact. An ultralight bag with compression straps is included and allows for reducing the volume to a mere 13 x 48 cms. That dear reader, is extremely small for a tent this size, believe me. Throw in a footprint for your convenience (the vestibule has no ground sheet) and you’re on the road with about 2.75 kg. I don’t think any other tent does better.
4. Ease of pitching
Once you get a hold of it, pitching the tent literally takes no more than 10 minutes for 2 people. 3 poles and a minimum of 4 stakes is all it takes. The only downside might be it is not a free standing tent, so pitching it on hard terrain can be challenging at times. The aluminium stakes are short and plenty strong enough, but we do take a few extra larger sand stakes for camping on beaches or in the dunes as they will not work well on very loose surface.
…price is often a criterium. We didn’t take that into account in this review yet but it needs to be said: the Oppland 3 LW doesn’t come cheap. At the time of writing, this tent can be bought in Europe for around 900€. Compared to similar lightweight tents of other premium manufacturers, the price isn’t too steep though. And for the price you are paying, you get a top notch ultralight round the world tent that lasts a long time!