The lightest, best-ventilated, most comfort-oriented four-season, single-wall tent around.
- Freestanding single-wall design saves weight by eliminating the need for separate canopy and fly; ideal for four-season climbing and mountaineering applications
- Waterproof breathable Todd-Tex fabric sheds wet weather and breathes exceptionally well to help reduce condensation
- Taped seams prevent dripping water or morning dew from sneaking in through the fabric joints
- Poles cross inside the single-wall canopy, eliminating the need to thread sleeves and providing superior strength against the elements
- Two optional vestibules provide covered entries and room for everyone's gear (vestibules sold separately)
- Multiple stakeout loops provide secure anchoring in windy locations
- Optional footprint sold separately
- Tent based off original design from Bibler
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Share your thoughts
I got this tent about 8 years ago and have used it extensively on bike tours, climbing trips and backcountry skiing.
In my opinion the setup is simple and fast.
The todd-tex material is tough, waterproof and durable. If its fully zipped up, I can a bit of condensation, but open the door a little at the top like a vent and this ceases to be an issue.
When setting it up be careful to make sure the poles are seated properly in the corner pockets, if they end up on the floor material it'll puncture once the tent is set up and taut. One minor qualm: after about 6 years of use the pole sockets fell out (rust!?), but I patched the corners with duct tape and haven't noticed any real downside to this dirtbag modification.
Whilst the tent is reasonably lightweight- I currently use a BD firstlight if I'm heading high into the mountains where weight is more of an issue and when I'm not anticipating any precip in the form of rain.
We've had this tent for more than ten years and have suffered some of the frustrations of the other reviewers. Initially the tent was difficult to set up because of the tightness of the pole fit inside the tent. This has gotten easier to do or I've gotten use to doing it. Almost all of our pole holders have fallen off but I just contacted BD about it and they are going to fix them under warrantee. The few times I've had to cantact BD on warrantee issues, they have been prompt, and professional about getting the item fixed. The zippers are also giving us difficulty but probably will just require the slides being replaced but BD doesn't do the zippers but my local shoe repair guy does.
Overall, I'm very happy with the tent and would get another. The toddtex fabric is great and has stayed waterproof. I have had to reseal the seams (ALL the seams) several times but as long as the seal is good, the tent stays dry in prolonged rains.
This tent is a piece of cake to set up. Takes less than 2 minutes. If you can't figure it out you probably shouldn't be camping... at least unsupervised. Best tent ever, but pray you don't have to deal with Black Diamonds customer service. I bought my Ahwahnee before BD acquired Bibler. After 10 years of regular use, I had some problems with the tent. I've sent it back to BD 3 times now and they have done nothing. The last "rejection" note I got from them was actually insulting. I loved this tent, but I won't buy another one because I hate Black Diamond.
Black Diamond Ahwahnee. My home away from home. Photo taken at the Lake of the Angels in the Olympic national forest.
Do you guys expect to have this back in stock soon?
You should try live chat for questions like this.
i was saving up for this for over two years for this tent, when i finally got the courage and decided to to invest in this thing words could not describe how excited i was. Two days later i received it in the mail, i practically sprinted to my friends house to open the package. when i opened it up and laid it all out on the floor and saw this sweet looking green tent. very soon after i tried setting it up . First i was disappointed on how and were the poles were inserted on the floor of the tent, then i was disappointed about the paper thin clips inside the tent that were designed to hold the pols in place, third i was extremely disappointed when it took practically 3 grown men to get the ahwahning pole inserted. finally 35 min later i had the tent set up. iv set one one or two tents in my day and iv never have as much trouble as i did setting this thing up and it still was not 100 %. i figured that if i was in 15 degree weather and in an emergency i would have frozen to death twice before i could be able to set this thing up. not the mention that after all this disappointment and frustration when i tried to get the ahwahning pole out i broke the pole in half slicing the top of the tent and practically destroying it. by the end of all this i was practically in tears lol. im still upset about it. i really think that this tent has the design and potential to be a fantastic tent but its just to poorly flawed in to many ways. i called back country and they did not give me a hard time about returning it which was nice but if someone were to ask me if getting this tent was a good idea i would have to say NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!
I herd that this tent has had a problem with leaking water over time, and also a problem with the eyelets. have these problems been fixed ? i really want a four season tent but im having a hard time finding one thats not going to suffocate me in the summer, this tent seems like its perfect but im worried that illl have these problems. i don't want to invest that kind of money into a tent that might leek just after a few trips. if im wrong please let me know because i really like this tent but a little concerned about these few issues.
The Black Diamond Firstlight is supposed to be a great four season tent that's actually useful in both the summer and winter. It's $300, and with the NanoShield material, it's supposed to be both breathable and waterproof. The pole setup is easier, as it doesn't have a cross pole. I believe it's a slightly more budget version of the Bibler I-Tent. If you like this design, the BD Hilight is basically the same thing but with one door and NanoShield instead of ToddTex. As an added bonus, both the Hilight and Firstlight are sub three pounds.
Before heading off on a year-long cycle trip around the world, I purchased and tested a number of tents the Black Diamond Hilight, Black Diamond Skylight, Nemo Tenshi, MSR Elbow Room and MSR Hubba Hubba.
We decided to take the Black Diamond Bibler Ahwahnee, which we found to be well designed, and possibly the only true four season tent (useable in Summer) on the market.
Unfortunately for us the quality of workmanship has simply not matched up to its fantastic design.
About two weeks ago, whilst cycling across Ireland, our Black Diamond Bibler Ahwahnee tent began to let in water through the fabric. Now, even under light rain, water enters directly through all external surfaces of the Todd Tex fabric. All seams were sealed correctly and no water is penetrating these areas.
After a little research, I found that the problem with this tent has occurred for other people. (Read other reviews here)
Prior to the leaking, we also had a major recurring problem with the state of the eyelets either side of the tent that the awning pole is meant to sit in. The first time I set the tent up in the lounge room the pole was extremely difficult to get in, but I figured that it might have been intentionally made that way so that when the fabric stretched with use, the pole would fit perfectly. Well this never happened and it is still a constant struggle to put the pole in.
Now I have to use electrical tape on a recurring basis to hold in the eyelets to prevent them from completely falling out of the tabs (this has happened a few times). I tried a few different ways of making a permanent fix, like using glue, squashing the eyelets down tighter against the fabric and taking the tent to a number of different repair shops to see if they could permanently fix it, all to no avail.
I have not taken the tent to Black Diamond to see if it can be fixed properly before now because I havent been able to. Weve been cycling around the world for the last eight months, so we usually need it. It is also difficult to provide an address, particularly one for long enough to have the tent sent overseas.
Now that were in the US (and it is leaking badly which we cant live with) weve posted it with the receipt of purchase (it is still in warranty) to the Salt Lake headquarters. We are desperately hoping for a speedy resolution and return as we are due to continue our world tour through America and into South and Central America.
Our first reply from Black Diamond expressed disbelief that the tent has problems, and hinted that we have misused it in some way. Here are some quotes:
Frankly I have never heard of this fabric leaking as you are describing.
I have not known the Todd-Tex fabric to leak unless it has been damaged by mildew or contaminated with some type of oil.
Please give me as much information as you can concerning the life/use of this tent that may explain why it has started leaking.
Please understand we just dont hear this. Something unusual has to be going on.
The problems listed were not caused by misuse. When you spend a small fortune on a tent and it is the only home you have, you look after it well. We wash, with water, the tent occasionally, and always make sure it has dried before packing it up and riding each day. And according to online reports at least two other serious cases of this kind of leaking of Todd Tex fabric have been reported to Black Diamond.
For a large collection of photos of the tent in action in almost 20 countries around the world and a daily blog detailing our adventures up to this point please have a look at our website www.grandcycletour.com.
We will update this review as soon as we here back from Black Diamond.
I do not understand the design of this tent.
Its ok if you ALWAYS camp in dry conditions.
But as soon as its wet you cannot open the doors (Why do they open to the floor??) without getting wet.
Also when you open the doors in the morning the water drips in from the roof.
I bought the vestibule in the hope it would improve things... It does a little, but the hole where the pole goes in ripped out in the first week. I fixed that with ducktape.
Its not very stable.
You cannot put it up when you can't use pegs. I used to have a north face tent, that is completely worn out after much use (Im riding a bicycle around the world so camp a lot)
I really do not like this tent at all. Waste of money. Actually I think Im going to send it back.
It looks nice in pictures though.
Does the tent come with a bag for the tent poles?
I'm going to be climbing aconcagua next year and slowly accumulating some gear. A tent is my big issue. Is the BD AHWAHNEE suitable for two guys around six foot for possibly 20 windy days? i'm thinking the vestibule would be necessary for gear. any thoughts?
The Ahwahnee would definitely be suitable, but only if you got a vestibule. The tent is 7.5' long and 4.4' wide. That seems roomy, but mark it out on your floor and play camp, get a feel for how much room that actually is. The vestibule adds 13 square feet, and you can get two of them if you feel inclined.
If you are worried about the wind, the ahwahnee can take it. However, due to it's steeper walls, it can get shaky in there. I would recommend looking at the Fitzroy as well, as it is unaffected by the wind. Seriously, it doesn't move.
Lastly, get an attic. They are cheap, light, and add a lot of livability to the tent.
Tom, Todd Bibler himself has advised a few people personally that the BD Bibler Ahwahnee is not best intended for full on mountaineering- and after using the Ahwahnee for the last 8 months in almost 20 countries I would agree. However, I do think that it is the only true 4 season tent available on the market, every other so called 4 season is absolutely unbearable in summer.
As Aaron mentioned in the previous post a BD Fitzroy, or IMO a Nemo Tenshi, are much better suited to what you are doing.
How does the vestibule attach to the ahwahnee.
The vestibule has eight small C-shaped clips that hook into a smaller nylon loops located around the tent door
Write your question here...can one buy easton graphite poles for this tent
Here are two good sources for new & replacement tent poles. The first source specializes in carbon fiber which you are inquiring about:
FYI, Easton only sells to tent manufacturers directly.
I've been using Ahwahnee & the 4-person Pueblo for over 15 years and have had only great experience with both models. First off, seam seal all seams and floor, using Seam Grip. Then feel comfortable in every kind of Alaskan and NW weather. I've been secure and comfortable in all varieties of rain, sleet, snow and wind (up to 80 mph). And the venting, using the drop down door/window feature protected by the cross-pole overhang, works splendidly with zero condensation. As regards comments about poles, pole retainers and button seating, I've had zero problems! I've nearly worn my Pueblo out, only because it's seen too much UV over its 13 year life- it still hasn't failed although it has severly faded. If you've the money for the purchase, you won't regret it. Obviously any tent is subject to abuse from being stepped on or having a horse fall on it, but then to make a backcountry tent immune to those such abuses would put it outside the realm of packability and practicality! I would definately buy another or recommend them to a friend.
I purchased this tent from reviews and Biblers namesake. Within 5 minutes after opening the package and beginning the setup to see what I bought I was beginning the process of repackaging for return. There are too many fail points to believe this tent costs this much. I am a professional guide and backcountry pilot in AK and we torture our gear. Not because we want to but because the backcountry here weeds out the crap that people try to sell as dependable. This tent was born to fail if you use it like a pro. Plastic pole fasteners. Press fit button pole seats in the FLOOR. Two pole design that if one fails or bends the whole tent looses its structural integrity. Ever fall on your pack? Ever sit on it? Ever bend a tent pole? If one of these poles gets bent the Ahwahnee tent will blow over in light wind. NOT WORTH THE MONEY. Bibler had a good idea but failed to reinforce the primary pieces of a true backcountry tent. Rugged dependability is the goal in a tent this price. Buy one to depend on when the elements are trying to kill you. This tent is not that tent. Save your money and buy something that is NOT MADE IN CHINA. We looked at it at our outfitters and laughed at it. DO NOT BUY. DO NOT BUY. DO NOT BUY.
do you sell awnings ?
No, only the footprint is available for the tent through BC.com; http://www.backcountry.com/store/BLD0391/Black-Diamond-Ahwahnee-Footprint.html
You can pick up the VESTIBULE from BD directly at:
Easily the most simple and versatile tent on the market. This tent preforms well in cold snowy conditions and is unbeatable when it comes to desert camping. the tent has excellent ventilation and its single wall design allows it to be sealed to keep the sand out. easy to set up and quiet in the wind. Not one but two optional vestibules allow you to customize the tent to any trip and give you the option of saving weight when you don't need them. the fabric breaths well and is more effective at managing moisture than any other I've seen on the market. Simply put, there is nothing not to like about this tent. simple, durable, everything you need, nothing you don't.
What's the coldest anyone has been out in with this tent? Could it handle CO mountains in the winter?
It is made for 4 season camping so that would include winter in the Rockies. So you should be good to go.
Coldest for us was -10 (celsius) in the Alps