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Hands-on Gear Review

Hilleberg Anjan 2 Review

Hilleberg Anjan 2
Top Pick Award
Price:   $655 List | $655.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Exceptionally spacious, durable, and weather resistant for its weight, top-tier materials, pitches easily from the outside, spectra guylines with camming adjusters, removable inner tent, reflective points
Cons:  65 ounces can be heavy for backpacking, poor quality stakes, expensive
Bottom line:  A great backpacking tent that will withstand extreme weather conditions.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Hilleberg

Our Verdict

The Hilleberg Anjan 2 keeps coming back to the top of the heap each time we update our Backpacking Tent Review and this year we've given it our Top Pick Award for Weather Resistance. This is the most storm-worthy backpacking tent we tested and its versatility and durability, along with its weather resistance performance, are unmatched for its 3.6 lb. weight. Top-tier materials, poles, and a time-tested tunnel design quickly made this tent an all-star choice among our testers.

Product Update — March 2017
The Anjan 2 has been re-designed with an updated cut, reconfigured entrance, and new poles for the 2017 season! Keep reading to find out more.

If we were to have a single tent for all three-season trips, including backpacking, car camping, bicycle touring, kayaking, and more, this award winner would be it. So far our testers have used this tent from Maine to Washington State, on bike trips down Mexico's Baja Peninsula, backpacking trips in the Sierra, and through India and Nepal.

For cutting edge, ultralight backpacking tents see our Ultralight Tent Review.

Looking for More Space?
Take a look at the Anjan 2 GT. This model of Anjan tent comes with all the same great features as the Anjan 2 award winning tent, but touts a 74" vestibule for folks looking for a lightweight tent with more space. At just 10 oz. more, the GT 2 is ideal for extended bike trips, backpacking trips, or just any trip where you have some extra baggage.


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75
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Editors' Choice Award
Our favorite tent for all your backpacking needs.
73
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Top Pick Award
A great backpacking tent that will withstand extreme weather conditions.
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A great lightweight, two-door tent for backpacking trips.
69
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A great choice for all your backpacking trips for two.
68
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A great choice for all your backpacking trips for two.
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A lightweight choice for a good value.
68
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A luxury tent for a great value.
67
$449
A great tent for one or two people on lightweight backpacking and thru-hiking trips.
67
$400
A decent middle of the road backpacking tent for two.
67
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A heavy but luxurious tent for camping and short backpacking trips.
65
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A great choice for short backpacking trips, paddling trips or car camping.
60
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A great choice for lightweight backpacking trip where you'd rather save on weight than have lots of space in your tent.
54
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An inexpensive tent that will not withstand extreme weather; we recommend car camping in sheltered locations.
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An inexpensive tent that may not withstand extreme weather. We recommend car camping in sheltered locations.
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Least expensive tent tested and spacious. Ideal for short trips on a tight budget.

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Saturday
March 4, 2017

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The New Anjan 2


The Anjan 2 received a construction redesign for 2017! According to Hilleberg, their goal for this update was to make the tent even more user-friendly, which they hope to have accomplished with new poles, cut, and entrance. Keep reading for a full summary of the changes, and check out a side-by-side comparison here, with the new Anjan 2 on the left and the original on the right.
Hilleberg Anjan 2
 

Here's a summary of updates to the Anjan 2 for 2017:
  • Poles — To streamline the Anjan 2 in the likeness of their other tunnel tents, Hilleberg incorporated their continuous, single-opening pole sleeves in this update. Our testers thought that the original Anjan 2 was easy to set up once you got the hang of using a tunnel-style tent, so we're interested to see what this update means for ease of use.
  • Catenary Patterning — With a new catenary cut to the tent design, Hilleberg was hoping to give users more weather protection without compromising ventilation.
  • Outer Tent Entrance — The shape of the entrance, as seen above, has been updated for usability. Hilleberg wanted to give users more protection while simultaneously making the entrance easier to reach.

Because we haven't yet tested the new version of the Anjan 2, the rest of this review continues to reflect the original product.

Hands-On Review


After 40 years of making some of the best winter tents on the planet, Hilleberg jumped into the three-season market, creating a gigantic splash with the Anjan. Both tents blow the competition out of the water because of sturdiness. However, Hilleberg is not keeping up in the weight race and this tent is starting to become somewhat heavy when compared to its other competitors.

Hilleberg Anjan 2 exhibiting its tunnel design on a six-week bike tour down Mexico's Baja Peninsula.
Hilleberg Anjan 2 exhibiting its tunnel design on a six-week bike tour down Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

Performance Comparison


This tent scored quite well in Overall Performance, as you can see in the chart below.


Comfort


This tent's tunnel design creates a good amount of space for its weight. The inner tent has a 38-inch peak height, which will allow one six-foot person to sit up by the door at a time, or two to sit hunched side by side. The inner tent slopes from the front to the rear, where it is 30 inches tall. This design allows two people to get in and out easily and provides enough space for moving around in the tent without feeling claustrophobic.


The interior floor is 51 inches wide at the front door, 41 inches at the rear, and is 86 inches long. This contender is not as spacious as tents with two side doors but of all the front door tents we've tested, it is the most spacious by far. The bright yellow interior walls add cheer. They also prevent you from seeing rain and wind hit the outer tent, which provides more of a homey indoor feeling. If you are taller than six feet you may have the experience of your feet/sleeping bag touching the end of the tent and getting wet from condensation. This is a common problem with tents of this shape that slope toward the back.

Ruth Traxler enjoys the sunny interior of the Anjan 2 and the comfort of the REI Women's Air Rail sleeping pad.
Ruth Traxler enjoys the sunny interior of the Anjan 2 and the comfort of the REI Women's Air Rail sleeping pad.

The 14 sq. ft. vestibule is the largest of all single-door tents we've tested. In comparison, many front entrance tents like the in the 35-45 Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 ounce range have six sq. ft. vestibules that are more of a gesture than they are functional. While living out of the tent in campgrounds, our testers have fit two 60-liter backpacks, two 30-liter backpacks, and shoes inside the vestibule — there's a lot of space! This contender is luxurious compared to ultralight tents and shelters. This a significant advantage because it makes it more comfortable for car camping or basecamping. Like all Hilleberg tunnel tents, the Anjan has an adjustable clothesline.

Weather Resistance


The Anjan is the three-season version of Hilleberg's Nallo. We give it a 10 out of 10 points for its weather resistance because it offers superb protection from all of the elements. It ranked the highest in this metric of all the tents we tested.


We have spent many hours sitting out storms — it's even made it through a pelting hail storm with hail balls the size of nickels! It's a three-season tent with many features found on four-season tents.

The Anjan 2 held up well in a sudden Sierra hail storm and kept its occupants dry when the snow melted into a puddle below the tent.
The Anjan 2 held up well in a sudden Sierra hail storm and kept its occupants dry when the snow melted into a puddle below the tent.

Key points like the reinforced vestibule zippers and the tent's bathtub floor that comes up higher than most others to protect from splashback and spindrift add to this tent's weather resistance. Similarly, the inner tent is made primarily of a solid nylon fabric that blocks blowing sand and snow, and better sheds condensation that drips from the roof — a significant advantage over most backpacking tents that have mesh inner tent walls like the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. The videos at the bottom of this page shows the possible setup configurations and Hilleberg's preferred method for pitching in high winds.

The Hilleberg Anjan  Rogen and MSR Hubba Hubba NX are the only tents that pitch in a floorless configuration. This increases versatility and reduces weight - perfect for insect free areas or solo use with a water resistant bivy. Floorless is much better than "fast pitching."
The Hilleberg Anjan, Rogen and MSR Hubba Hubba NX are the only tents that pitch in a floorless configuration. This increases versatility and reduces weight - perfect for insect free areas or solo use with a water resistant bivy. Floorless is much better than "fast pitching."

Weight and Packed Size


This award winner is not the lightest tent in this review at 65 ounces, but weight savings doesn't seem to be where Hilleberg's focus is. We think the weight is well worth it for this very storm-worthy tent.


Consider an ultralight tent that pitches with trekking poles for the fastest and lightest adventures. Or if you want the absolute lightest double-wall tent and are willing to sacrifice a bit of weather resistance and durability, check out the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2.


Setup


This contender uses a time tested tunnel design that provides the ultimate blend of strength, comfort, and low weight. It's somewhat surprising, or perhaps disappointing, that the radical integrated hub pole designs of the last decade still can't beat the good old tunnel tent design. If you are not used to pitching tunnel tents, it will take you a few times to get the hang of it, but once you know what you need to do you will be able to do it quickly.


The NEMO Blaze 2p requires some time to figure out it's set up as well, but is equally straight forward eventually. The Anjan's design is very simple: two poles insert through sleeves, and tension from guy lines holds the tent upright (so it is not a free-standing tent). The tent pitches from the outside, which is both faster and better than tents that require the inner tent be pitched first because "outside first" keeps the inner tent drier during rain. One person can easily pitch the Anjan in cold and windy darkness with gloves on. Result: you're happier because you can get in faster. Other tents with separate flys like the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 and the REI Half Dome 2 Plus have flys that require a lot more tweaking.

Hilleberg Anjan 2 utilizes a classic tunnel design. Two poles insert fast and easily into sleeves from the outside and guy out with with quick adjust self equalizing spectra guylines.
Hilleberg Anjan 2 utilizes a classic tunnel design. Two poles insert fast and easily into sleeves from the outside and guy out with with quick adjust self equalizing spectra guylines.

Durability


Charlie the dog comes to investigate the rain that has dripped into the tent from the opening in the vestibule door. Luckily the Anjan 2's floor is very durable and can withstand his nails.
Charlie the dog comes to investigate the rain that has dripped into the tent from the opening in the vestibule door. Luckily the Anjan 2's floor is very durable and can withstand his nails.

The Anjan is the most durable tent we've tested. Tents that weigh one pound less are significantly less durable. For example, the Anjan uses metal rings on the four corner guypoints to reduce wear on its already burly webbing loops. It uses strong plastic and metal hardware for friction adjustments and connection points, and its floor fabric is significantly more durable than the fly fabric. (Most "ultralight" tents use the same material for the floor and the fly.) All in all, the Anjan is a tent that's built to last. Yet Hilleberg also realizes that sh#t happens; they include an extra pole section and a pole sleeve for repairs, a unique and excellent feature that saves you from having to buy them.


Hilleberg uses Kerlon 1000 for the waterproof rain fly on this tent. This fabric is a silicone impregnated ripstop nylon that's impressively strong for a three-season fabric; its warp break strength is 22 lb/in. (For comparison purposes, the 15D polyurethane/silicone coated nylon used on the MSR FreeLite and the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 breaks at 7 lb/in). As far as we can tell, Anjan employs the strongest fabric used on any backpacking tent we've tested. This means that the fabric is less likely to be punctured and, if it is punctured, it's less likely to tear — both good things. Furthermore, its poles are the best available: 9mm DAC Featherlite NSL Green.

Hilleberg Anjan features: metal friction adjustments and metal stake rings increase strength and durability (left)  and the red toggle (right) relieves stress on the vestibule zipper. No other tents come close to matching Hilleberg durability.
Hilleberg Anjan features: metal friction adjustments and metal stake rings increase strength and durability (left), and the red toggle (right) relieves stress on the vestibule zipper. No other tents come close to matching Hilleberg durability.

Colors


Like all Hilleberg's "Yellow Label" tents, the Anjan is available in two colors. Choose from bright red or stealthy green. We tested the Anjan in red and green, and our testers prefer green for three-season trips because its stealthier and congruent with Leave No Trace principles. Red looks better in photos, but green can increase your safety when traveling near urban areas, especially in foreign countries. We did find the inside of the green Anjan a bit dark feeling, but the sunny yellow inner tent helped brighten things up. We also like the light airy feel of the grey MSR Hubba Hubba NX and think grey is a relatively stealthy color for somewhere like the granite filled High Sierra.

Limitations


Hilleberg's 40 years of experience building four-season tents for arctic and mountaineering expeditions is immediately apparent in the Anjan's design. By most standards, the tent is overbuilt for three-season conditions. This is a good thing. Of all the backpacking tents we've tested this is the only one that has no significant drawbacks. It represents what we believe to be the ultimate balance between weight, comfort, strength, and durability.

Like all other tents tested in this category, people over six feet tall will find that the toe of a lofted sleeping bag brushes against the inside (and sometimes wet) rear inner wall of the tent. This is common with all backpacking tents and is more problematic, i.e. wetter, with lighter tents that shave off the bottom ends of the outer tent, such as on the Big Agnes Flycreek and the Ghost UL2. Staking out the Anjan's center rear guy loop can help to reduce splashback on the inner tent wall and help to keep the bottom of a sleeping bag drier if you're taller than six feet.

Hilleberg omits a waterproof cover for the Anjan vestibule zippers. Despite numerous serious rain events, none of our testers have found that water enters the vestibule much more than it would normally — sometimes small droplets seep through the zipper. The vestibule design is such that a very small amount of water falls on the zipper area, and water from other areas runs down the center of the vestibule, far away from the zipper. So, even though we would prefer a waterproof flap over the zipper, we don't believe the tent's omission of this feature is a significant drawback.

The tent has four reflective points: two on the front pole sleeve and two on the back or the rear pole sleeve. Adding more to each pole sleeve would make the tent more visible at night.

The stakes included with the Anjan are arguably the tent's greatest drawback. The Anjan ships with Tri-pegs, or triangular "shepherd's hooks," that are relatively heavy, have low holding power, and are harder to use when compared to the other top stakes we've used. For example, the top of the stake has a small surface area, which makes it harder to push into the ground with your shoe.

There's no hole to add a loop of cord, which would make it easier to pull the stake out and help to prevent you from losing it. The stake's small diameter provides less holding power than larger tubular or Y-shaped stakes. We've believe that the included stakes are only suitable for use in compact soil, so our testers usually carry different stakes. Good stakes are very important; in our experience testing tents we've found that most damage results from a staking problem. Hilleberg could address the Anjan's weakest point (its stakes) by including a lighter and stronger stake, like their V Pegs.

Hilleberg could address the Anjan's weakest point (its "Tri Peg" stakes) by including a lighter and stronger stake like their "V Pegs". Shown here MSR's Groundhog stakes (left) and Hilleberg's "V Pegs" and a bent "Tri Peg".
Hilleberg could address the Anjan's weakest point (its "Tri Peg" stakes) by including a lighter and stronger stake like their "V Pegs". Shown here MSR's Groundhog stakes (left) and Hilleberg's "V Pegs" and a bent "Tri Peg".

Best Application


Many other backpacking tents and ultralight shelters are designed for a very specific end use. The Anjan is just the opposite; its strength lies not in its ability to excel at one specific activity, but rather in its capacity to perform at a high level for just about every activity. If we were to have one tent for all types of three-season activities, from car camping to backpacking, climbing, bike touring, and kayaking, the Anjan would be our top choice. We might even take it on short, fast winter adventures if we're in a pinch.


When going light on a strenuous trip or when insects are gone for the season, our testers often use a floorless tarp because it weighs less than a tent with a fixed floor and walls. The Anjan and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX are the only three-season tents we've tested that can be pitched as a floorless tarp shelter, without buying a separate footprint. Unhook the inner tent (takes about two minutes) and leave it at home to save 21 ounces.

In dusty  windy areas like in eastern Washington State  shown here  the Hilleberg Anjan's mostly solid nylon interior walls and high bathtub floor helps to block blowing sand. The Anjan is more comfortable and warmer than tents with all mesh walls.
In dusty, windy areas like in eastern Washington State, shown here, the Hilleberg Anjan's mostly solid nylon interior walls and high bathtub floor helps to block blowing sand. The Anjan is more comfortable and warmer than tents with all mesh walls.

The Hilleberg Anjan (left) and the Hubba Hubba NX (right) are the only tents that pitch in a floorless configuration  which increases versatility and reduces weight  and is much stronger  lighter  and more weather resistant than "fast pitching" with a footprint.
The Hilleberg Anjan (left) and the Hubba Hubba NX (right) are the only tents that pitch in a floorless configuration, which increases versatility and reduces weight, and is much stronger, lighter, and more weather resistant than "fast pitching" with a footprint.

For numerous reasons discussed in our backpacking tent buying advice, we believe this design is far superior to "fast-pitching" with a footprint. One reason is it allows you to quickly create a floorless covered space, which we find useful when entering the tent soaking wet from walking in the rain all day. Unhook the first portion and roll it back to create an area to hang out, dry off, and perhaps make dinner. Just clip it back in when you want a floor and bug protection. We love the Anjan's adaptable design because it has so many incarnations (see video below); this is yet another critical feature that gives it an edge over the competition.

The Anjan's design allows you to use the fly as a partial shelter while keeping the inner tent out of the way. Unhook the first portion and roll it back to create an area to hang out  dry off  and perhaps make dinner. Just clip it back in when you want a floor and bug protection.
The Anjan's design allows you to use the fly as a partial shelter while keeping the inner tent out of the way. Unhook the first portion and roll it back to create an area to hang out, dry off, and perhaps make dinner. Just clip it back in when you want a floor and bug protection.

Value


This year Hilleberg has upped the price of the Anjan to $655. We think that for the right person and application, this tent is a good value. In comparison, many other "ultralight" three-season tents, such as the $500 Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum and the $450 NEMO Blaze, are less weather resistant and much less durable.

The Hilleberg Anjan on a bike trip down the Baja Peninsula  Mexico.
The Hilleberg Anjan on a bike trip down the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

Conclusion


The Anjan 2 earned our Top Pick Award due to it strong performance in extreme weather and its durability. While there are less expensive tents, we consider the $645 price a good value for the quality of tent provided. If we were to recommend just one tent to friends and family who want to stretch their tent to the limits of the seasons, it would be this one. Whether your interests include backpacking alone, or multiple activities like car camping, bike touring, or kayaking, the Anjan is one tent that can cover your needs through all three seasons.

Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: March 4, 2017
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