The Kåta. It was invented by the Sami, an indigenous people found in northern Sweden, Norway, and Finland among other places. Back when it was first created, thousands of years ago, the conical shape was supported by a wooden frame covered with animal hides. This inherently stable design has stood the test of time, and since 1989 Tentipi have produced Kåtas by combining this design with high quality fabrics. The solution Tentipi has come up with has resulted in a versatile tent where you no longer have a trade-off between portable and spacious, or between low weight and the ability to have a heater or an open fire inside your tent.
The standout feature of the Tentipi kåtas is the fact that the construction creates a natural chimney effect where warm air rises and leaves the tent through the top vent, dragging smoke and fumes with it. The vacuum left by the warm air then drags fresh air in through the bottom. Not only does this mean that you can have a fire inside the tent to keep you warm during the winter, it also means that during hot summer days the same effect will actually work to cool your tent.
The other feature that stands out with the Tentipi Kåtas is the versatility. It is a tent that can be used for practically any purpose whether that be an expedition in extreme cold or a party in your back garden. While there are of course people whose circumstances mean that they need a specific tent developed to their exact requirements, for most users there is really no circumstance where the Tentipi couldn’t be considered a good option.
While one of the oldest, the Kåta is hardly the only type of tent available on today’s market. The evolution of tent design now means that customers can pick from dome tents, tunnel tents, ridge tents, and even pyramid tents. All these designs have their own areas of use and their own benefits and weaknesses.
The most popular tents nowadays tend to be the dome and tunnel tents. These are arguably the most storm resistant designs with the dome tents being slightly more storm resistant on the one hand but harder to put up under stormy conditions on the other. These are the tents to pick if your demands are extreme and you are running the risk of getting caught out in heavy storms. It is worth pointing out at this point that the storm resistance of these tents vary greatly depending on quality of the tent. A low quality tent is never very storm resistant, not matter what its design is.
The seasoned veteran on the tent market is the ridge tent. This is the type of tent that Åke Nordin originally thought he was creating a fabric for back in the 1960s when he instead came up with the now iconic clothing material G-1000. So it is safe to say that this design has been around for a while, though it is still a baby compared to the Kåta design of course. The reason the ridge tent has been largely replaced by dome and tunnel tents is the lack of storm resistance, with certain exceptions, and the lack of space inside. The upside is instead the fact that broken poles are easily replaced, and as any know-it-all will be quick to point out: the poles are the weakest point of any tent.
Pyramid tents was at one point seen as a valid alternative due to its low weight in relation to size. However, the fact that the low number of gussets create big square sides that in effect act as sails has convinced most people otherwise.
More successful then are the cone-shaped tents, to which the Tentipi kåtas belong. A high number of gussets, in the Tentipi models there are eight, gives the tent its conical shape. This shape means that the wind doesn’t catch it in the same way as if the sides were square, and that it is therefore a lot more storm resistant. Tentipi is not the only manufacturer of cone-shaped tents, however here at Nordic Outdoor we believe that they are the best. Bear in mind that the following factors are important to consider when comparing against other brands: the number of gussets, the height of the Kåta in relation to its width (if the tent is too tall and not wide enough storm resistance is greatly affected), and make sure that you are not only looking at the price since it is the amount of use you will get out of the tent that is important. In many cases it is actually more costly to buy something cheap than something that cost more but will last.
So, how does the Tentipi models fair in comparison to these other designs? One obstacle some hikers would bring up with the Tentipi is the weight. However, this really depends on the way you look at it. For groups the weight can be distributed among more members without difficulty. A Tentipi is also always most crowded when you are sleeping in it. During the day many more can easily fit inside, making it a great place to socialise around the fire. Especially if the rain is beating down outside.
As far as comfort go, the Tentipi range is unrivalled when it comes to both space, all of them have standing height inside, and ventilation. The fabric used for the Safir CP, Zirkon CP, and the Onyx CP models is impregnated with an agent that increases surface tension. You can tell this is the case from being able to breathe through the fabric, with some difficulty, and that the fabric carries water without it leaking through. This breathing allows damp air to exit through the tent canvas, letting the condensation out. The only downside, if you can call it that, is that it requires some maintenance.
On the other hand you have coated fabrics, characterised by a plastic or rubber feel. These types of fabrics are both lighter than traditional canvas materials and about as impregnable as a plastic bag. This is good when it raining, but less good when the condensation starts building up inside the tent.
The last point worth considering when comparing different designs is that the versatility of the Tentipi range means that you can buy one tent for all your needs, except the most extreme, instead of having to buy multiple tents. This is not something other designs can offer to the same extent.