A blog reader, Jonathan Inch, contacted me with an offer of an initial review of the Nordisk Telemark tent. It looks a very interesting tent and a real competitor for the Laser Competition. Whether it competes with the Scarp, depends on your priorities. On weight, it’s about 0.5kg lighter, but I doubt whether it is as stable and it doesn’t have the flexibility of two porches. If I didn’t have so many tents, I’d be tempted myself. Thanks to Jonathan for sharing this. Here’s his initial impressions:
My number one love in tents is my trusty Vaude Mark II Light. Brilliant exo-pole pitching system, room for me, my gear and a hot tub (what, you don’t take one wildcamping?!) and two large porches for cooking and storage. Sadly at a sniff under 3kg it isn’t ideal for lugging around the hills on an all-day walk. Vaude had already minimised the weight through lightweight pegs, cord and the like so as much as I dreamt I could make it into a 200g 3 person tent with a few mods here and there, it wasn’t going to happen.
So, after a mere 5,000 hours of research into “very light but big enough to play footie in” tents, I concluded that it was time to pack my bags, leave Utopia and buy a ticket back to reality. If I wanted a really lightweight tent, it would naturally have to be small inside. But how much space could I get for a reasonable weight?
Whilst looking at another tent I stumbled on the Nordisk Telemark 2. It had won a string of design awards and claimed to be the lightest two person tent in the world, if you bought the 880g carbon-poled version. For a saving of £150 or so, I could get the 950g version. The space seemed good – up to 135cm wide inside, and designed by a plus six-footer rather than a scrawny OMM ultralighter who’d prefer to fold themselves in half and sleep in a carrier bag. Best deal I could find online was £280 through www.elitemountainsupplies.co.uk, including a 20% BMC discount and a free “wind anchor” kit thrown in (extra cord, pegs and a couple of zip pulls).
Problem was, I’d never really heard of Nordisk and a bit of research seemed to throw up a lot of cheap family tents and low-priced sleeping mats. Hmm. Everything else seemed to indicate it was a good tent though, and a Youtube video suggested it was a piece of cake to put up. I took the plunge and got it delivered yesterday.
When I opened the box, the tent nearly floated away it was so light. With a pack size of 41cm x 12cm it was reasonably long but thin, so ideal for slipping down one side of a sack. There was a raft of swing tags attached, proclaiming awards won and tent techno facts. Inside all looked well, with a separate peg pouch on the pole bag and decent English instructions. A quick rub of the semi-slimy flysheet material, and it was off to bed ready to pitch it in the morning.
My local industrial estate was this morning’s chosen ‘campsite’. Expecting to be arrested at any moment, I found a large area of well-cut grass and tried to look like pitching a tent was a perfectly natural thing to do in an industrial estate at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. Luckily I was in my civvies (jeans and Mountain Hardwear softshell) so I was ready with a cover story involving a photoshoot for Go Outdoors. As it turned out, I had the tent up and down so quickly the estate security wouldn’t have had time to finish their sausage sandwiches and waddle down to find out what was going on even if they’d been bothered. Which generally they aren’t.
But what of the tent? As mentioned, pitching was lightning fast – a couple of minutes from unrolling to standing back and admiring. That’s partly helped by the four corner poles being in place when you unpack. There’s no need to force tiny poles into fiddly sleeves, as I found with the ends of the Vaude Power Lizard I tried. Simply peg out one end, slip the DAC pole through the middle, pull the other end until everything pops up, and peg it out. You’re good to go with the four supplied V pegs, but if you want to really nail it down you can peg down the pole ends and add an additional guy to either side of the hoop. That would be four more pegs and some cord you’d need to invest in or find in your gear supply, but I have the free wind kit so two pegs and the cord are covered already.
The inner is already attached so once your pegs are in you’re done. The inner can be detached, which could prove an advantage to me as it means I can use the outer as a quick-up lunch shelter in bad weather.
You have a couple of options with the inner configuration. If you don’t need all the internal space, the inner can be tagged back at ground level along the line of the main pole, giving you more porch space or room to cook. If, like me, you prefer to keep as much of your gear as possible inside the inner, then option two lets you slide the inner out further towards the door, increasing internal space at the cost of porch room. It’s a simple system that’s adaptable to your circumstances and preferences.
As a nod to our American cousins, Nordisk give you the option to remove three of the corner poles to make a longer tarp pole. The fly door has a special grommet the pole slips into, and with this and the supplied extra guy you can turn the fly door into a mini tarp – ideal for keeping rain out of your supper time pasta carbonara and glass of merlot. I’m not sure how likely I am to use this, and if I did I’d rather invest in an extra three pole sections so I don’t have to disassemble the corner poles to utilise the tarp. Regardless, it’s nice to have the option.
The Telemark seems to pitch pretty taut. I don’t have experience of Terra Nova binbags and the like but I know of their flappy reputation, and I expect the Telemark wouldn’t suffer from the same issue. It has a low concave profile on its longest side and doesn’t seem to have any areas where extra pegging or guys would be needed. The one-handed end adjustment pulls are excellent and really get the fly rigid. By nature I’m a worrier when it comes to tents, so I’d be using the extra guying points on the main pole as a matter of course.
Inside, the tent is very light and airy. I didn’t spend too long indoors as I thought I’d look a bit weird lying down on an industrial estate, but there’s the usual hanging point or two and at least one pocket that I spotted. When lying down, the floorspace varies from 76cm at your feet, to 135cm around chest height and recedes to 102cm above your head. There seems to be plenty of room for stowing gear to the side of you if you prefer to do so, and I’m sure two people with smallish mats could fit in fine. I don’t expect to use it as a two person tent so I’ll leave it for others to see how many body parts come into contact…
There’s a large netted vent above the door zip for ventilation, and a small magnet at the base of the fly door helps keep it shut when you batten down the hatches. And that’s pretty much it. Quality seems excellent and I can already tell this is going to be a favourite of mine: it’s very light, got ample room for me and goes up in a flash. Obviously longevity is not something I can comment on, but I heard an interview with Nordisk on backpackinglight.co.uk and they appear to be very focused on building quality technical tents now, with features requested by real users rather than beancounters.
Anyway, I hope that gives you a bit more information on the tent than I could find before buying. There’s a good Youtube video showing a rather pretty lady pitching the Telemark 2, and that gives a good insight into ease and speed of pitch. Bare in mind that the model in the clip has been superceded by a new version – almost identical but with a few mods like extra guying points, reduced stitching, etc. Sorry, I mean the model of tent – the lady model remains unmodified as far as I’m aware ;-)
If anyone has any questions or would like me to check something out on the tent itself, feel free to ask – I’m only too happy to help.
Youtube pitching video:
Details on new model plus all the tech specs
Website I bought it from (use BMC20 for 20% off):