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The HiLight of your trek.

Go light with the Black Diamond HiLight Tent when you trek the Appalachian Trail. This three-season tent is more than comfy for one person and can accommodate a second if your buddy wants to bag a few peaks with you.

  • Freestanding, single-wall design saves weight by eliminating the need for a separate canopy and fly; ideal for trekking and climbing applications
  • Breathable, abrasion-resistant, and highly packable NanoShield fabric features a Silicone NanoCell coating to protect against rain, snow, and wind
  • Covered vents help prevent condensation from building up in your shelter; just position a vent in the direction of the prevailing winds for more circulation
  • Three internal DAC Featherlite poles provide freestanding structure without a back-breaking weight penalty
  • Two internal mesh pockets help keep your kit organized at night
  • Optional footprint and vestibule sold separately

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Black Diamond HiLight Tent: 2-Person 4-Season

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Here's what others have to say...

2 5

Not worth the money...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This tent wets out whenever I have encountered more than drizzle. It isn't durable which is to be expected, nor is it easy to set up. It does handle the wind ok. I spoke with a BD Rep and he says "not for use places like Chamonix..." But how about high & dry Montana? Or any other high desert for that matter when the cloudbursts last all of 5 mins? I found this tent to be one of my worst purchases because it wets out at the hint of dew or drizzle - and for a high price tag. I would highly recommend looking elsewhere (maybe the MH?) unless you have a very specific alpine purpose in mind and an unlimited checkbook.

4 5

Good looking and functional

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This tent looks really nice in nature, blends in to the light green grass. It is very easy to put up, with only three poles (two Xed, and one short pole for the middle top). I used this for easy camping, it did not rain and there was little wind, so I don't know how it would hold up to rough conditions. It has zipper vents on both sides for the air to circulate. And it's really light and fits well into the two small bags that come with it.

It is snug for two people especially if you like to spread your legs at all. And my partner is 5'8, wouldn't suggest it if you are much taller than that.

4 5


  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the previous version of this tent (it was yellow not green) and I have used it for years. I really considered it an ideal tent for 1 or 2 people: super lightweight and always did me right in the rain. Can zip the windows closed to keep the heat in late in the season.

Well, I was headed to Montana a couple weeks ago, and I was worried the old BD was not going to stand up to a true downpour, so I ordered this to replace it.

It might be lighter, but not by much. Don't get me wrong, it is really light. It seems well made. But there are two bummers:
1) it is really small for 2 tapers slightly on one end, which means it only holds a tiny amount of gear (before you could have your shoes and extra clothes and not have your bag over the top of them. I'm 6'0" and my head and feet are both up against the tent walls.
2) The door used to be a full-mesh panel with a full fabric layer on another zipper. Now the door is fabric with a little window at the top. It was nice to be able to leave the fabric open in the summer and look out at the sunrise.

It worked fine on my 8-day trip and held out a rain shower, but it's just not my favorite tent any more.

5 5

Best Fast and Light Tent

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This tent is so easy to set up, minimal hardware, it doesn't weigh 9 lbs like my Exped rated 4 season tent, and no fly to mess with and is a true stand alone tent which most other tents cannot claim. I do recommend this tent as a "Solo" tent only, or for an emergency shelter for 2 people.

I took this tent to Glacier Peak with me and we had cold temps and sustained 35 Mph winds, guyed it out on the 4 corners and it did great and didn't flap around as much as I thought it would and had zero condensation issues on the glacial moraine, meadows or forest floor. Try to remember that when you pitch a tent you will get condensation on wet, soaked ground or on "thawing" (above 0 Degrees C) snowfields, there is not a tent made that will not get condensation (in the storm fly) in humid and above freezing temps unless it is on dry ground or on solid rock.

I do recommend getting and using a footprint with this tent, the floor tub is very thin. I have the Vestibule and Gear Loft and Pocket Pal and have had no issues with compatibility. The Pocket Pal and Loft have helped me dry out clothing and keep the tub floor clear and have come in very handy. As for the Vestibule I recommend getting it as for a place to cook your meals and stow gear when the weather is not the greatest, I always have mine with me just for such situations and it doesn't add much more weight (1.5 lbs) to the backpack.

As for seam sealing, yeah a PITA but how many of you have had taped seams leak after only a years worth of use. I much rather seam seal my tent knowing it was done right the first time and I don't have to worry about it 6 months down the trail.

Again, this tent has been a big positive for me and that's after using and owning both an Exped Tent and a Tarp Tent.

Best Fast and Light Tent
2 5

Try Another Tent

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

As much as I would like to recommend the BD Hilight, I just can't do it. The tent itself is great, it's just the fact that every single accessory I've ordered doesn't work with the tent, including key components such as the footprint and the vestibule. It's all about the full experience and not necessarily a singular product.

If I had paid a reasonable price for everything it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but the fact that the vestibule itself was the price of my separate Bivy sack makes the cost harder to swallow.

Go with an established European brand and save yourself the hassle and still get the same quality if not a better fabric.

Responded on

Everything works fine with my HiLight. If you have an older version of it, that maybe why nothing is compatible with your tent.

Responded on

i have had my hilight for 6 yrs (yellow) the vestibule fits well i have had no problems with the tent in rain wind or snow. it is a one person one dog tent

2 5

Love/Hate this Tent

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Tent was used:
6 Nights on the High Sierra Trail (HST) in Sequoia National Park from the Giant Forest to Mt. Whitney in early/middle September 2013. Weather ranged from stormy and windy to dry.
1 Night in a storm in Lassen National Park in early October
1 Night in north central Oregon in early October

-Great size for me. I'm 5'7" and the length is perfect.
-I love the large entry door
-This is the easiest and fastest tent i've ever broken down.
-Amazingly Compact and very light when packed
-Seam sealer included

-Condensation Condensation Condensation
-Pole seats in corners
-usually a footprint allows you to properly guage where to set stakes, this footprint didn't doesn't do that.
-require you to seam seal the tent

I really wanted to like this tent, the size and setup is almost perfect (would be perfect is the screen on the door was the same size as the door and not just a window at the top). The problem for me was condensation. 7 of the 8 nights i used the tent there was condensation, including a couple of dry cold night. It really didn't matter if i kept the windows open or closed nothing seemed to work. In the morning my sleeping bag was damp anywhere it touched the tent. Setup is kind of a bear as well, and is made much easier if you stake the tent down first and then insert the poles. The poles are supposed to be inserted into a button on each of the four corners of the tent, but often times its hard to keep the poles seated while trying to insert them into the opposite button, there has to be a better way. After some use the tent stretched a little and this became slightly easier. The second time i setup the tent the pole slipped out and poked a hole through the bottom of the tent. I didn't have any leaking issue, and I did seam seal the tent. In the end the condensation was too much and as pricy as this tent is I returned it. Hope this helps

Love/Hate this Tent
Responded on

Grain Of Salt
Please take this review with a grain of salt.
This tent is a single wall tent, condensation is going to happen. I have the MSR Fast Stash and it has two gaping mesh panels at either end of the tent, plus half a mesh door, and still more mesh along the top boarder just under the overhang and I still got condensation. Welcome to owning a single wall. I just recently purchased this Winter Alpine Assault tent, and I have no delusions of it's intended purpose and I can't wait for the seams to dry so I can attack some hills.

Lastly, please note what appears to be a Thermarest Z-lite sleeping pad he's using in the tent with yellow side up. This should be a clue as to the trustworthiness of this post.

2 5

green Nano Shield fabric

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In a heavy sustained downpour this fabric is a total failure.

Responded on

I would go a bit further and comment that during sustained drizzle this fabric is a total failure.

5 5

Nice lightweight tent

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When you are debating to bring a tent or not bring one, this is a good one. Not necessarily an emergency shelter but a tent that can make your night a lot more enjoyable. A squeeze even for those just under 6', but can fit two skinny kids comfortably and packs to almost nalgene size. Condensation is an issue, but the top vents do help a bit, and the whole tent can be shaken out pretty easily. Fabric seems fragile but I haven't ripped it yet so that may just be looks. Also a decent gear cover when you want to sleep under the stars.

The general description of this tent says...

The general description of this tent says "Black Diamond HiLight Tent: 2-Person 3-Season". The Tech Specs say "Season:4-season". Which is it? 3 season of 4 season?

Responded on

Black Diamond lists it as a 4-season tent. It is meant for light and fast assaults on alpine objectives.

Responded on

I'd call it a winter 3 tent: Not awesome for hot summer days, but great for light stuff fall/spring/winter or in winter conditions up high in summer. Not for comfortable backpacking or car camping

Responded on

It is more 3 season minus the rain. Not enough ventilation for summer.

Nice and Compact

Nice and Compact

The BD HiLight tent body, vestibule, and BD footprint in a small sized sea to summit compression sack. A 1 liter nalgene for size comparison

5 5

BD Highlight

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Love the tent, it is light taut and roomy, I use it solo. I have used the tent in the rain (NC mtns) and have had no unusual problems (I have the green fabric version) with water. I like the large side door entry, this is so much easier to use (as I get older it is more difficult to squat and reach out to the zipperpull at the end of a vestibule). Bought aftermarket carbon fiber poles which reduced weight even more (and work better). My new favorite tent!

5 5

Light and Water Resistant!

This isn't your average tent, it has the NanoShield so you don't need to pack a fly or have added weight when backpacking. This is the perfect sized tent for 1 Adult Male to be conformable in or 2 Adults tightly without much extra room. This packs down very small and is prefect for that tent to always carry at the bottom of your pack! Very easy 3 pole setup, SOLID TENT!

4 5

Great for certain applications

Fully seam-sealed, this tent is light and packable and ideal for certain conditions: it should be cold and dry to prevent excessive condensation (like many single-wall tents), and you should be friends with your tent-mate, since it is tight in there!

In warm / wet -- condensation becomes a serious issue and you will get wet inside.

Pluses -- Light, simple, packable
Minuses -- condensation, the need to seam seal the whole tent at home (takes 1-2 hours and some care), the vestibule which is overly complex and really a pain to attach.

Responded on

Hi Josh,

Is this a review of the new model or the old yellow model?

I just purchased this tent. I was wondering...

I just purchased this tent. I was wondering if anyone who uses it typically uses with the groundcloth or without one.

Responded on

This is personal preference but I always use a footprint or ground cloth. Some people shaving ounces will go without one.

Responded on

I use a big piece of polycro as a groundcloth, technically thinner than the floor itself. You don't really need the one they sell.

Responded on

just some painters plastic. doubles as a tarp if the rain gets real bad

How tight of a squeeze is it for someone...

How tight of a squeeze is it for someone that is 6'2? Am I kidding myself since it's only 82" long?

Responded on

Hey Justin, if you are 6'2 that means you are 74" tall. You should have 8" of space to spare. It's going to be a tight squeeze for two people.

Responded on

Mitch, thanks. I understand that it gives me 8" to spare, but add the length of a long sleeping bag I wonder if I am going to be rubbing the walls on both ends. I wonder if anyone over 6' uses or has used the Hilight, FirstLight, or I-Tent, and their experiences with their tent.

Responded on

Justin, I have laid in this tent with the regular sized thermarest neo air (20x72x2.5 inches). Both the thermarest and myself were touching the ends and I'm about 6'3. It would be a great tent, but no dice for you or I.

Responded on

for sure too small. eldorado is the tent for you..

1. So even though it's a "3 season", there...

1. So even though it's a "3 season", there is no rain tarp? (is it waterproof?)

From the pictures, it looks like its just a 'one piece'.

2. Also, do you set it up from the inside?

3. Is it a "3 season" or "4 season". On their website, it says "4 season".


Best Answer Responded on

Ths is a four season tent, Backcountry is wrong on thier listing.

This tent is completely water-proof, you do not need a rain fly.

Responded on

Hayden is right.

Black Diamond seems to vascilate on calling the HiLight a 3 or 4 season tent. I've seen it listed both ways on their site. I use mine as a 4 season tent, and I believe it's strong enough for some mountain use, but I have no illusions about it being as tough as a true mountaineering tent.

The tent is constructed of breathable, water resistant fabric, meaning it's all but waterproof. Mine has never leaked, and no fly is required.

Responded on

its 3 season- everything but hot summer. And yes, it does set up from the inside. Quick and easy to set up and you stay pretty dry when doing so in the rain...

5 5


I have the Yellow version for three years. It is a one person plus gear unit.
I have the carbon poles so it is about 2 1/2 pounds.
Mine has been pitched about 30 times and it is holding up well. A couple of air holes fixed with seam grip.
No more bivys....this is deluxe for one. Don't need vestibule.
My pack weight is 12 pounds (plus food and water) and I am totally equipped. Couldn't do it without this tent.

Responded on

Hi Mike,

Do you have fibraplex poles or another brand? Are the poles still going well?

HiLight pitch

Not my video, and it's done with the older model, but the new, green tent will pitch the same way. This demonstrates a more traditional, on-the-ground pitch, but I prefer inserting the poles while standing. Final adjustment of the Velcro pole tabs can be done after staking the body, but before staking the guy lines. I secure the lower Velcro tabs while inserting the poles to help keep the poles in the snap pockets.

Thanks to sierra14ers for the video.