The HiLight of your trek.
- 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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Share your thoughts
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
- 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!
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!
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.
I just purchased this tent. I was wondering if anyone who uses it typically uses with the groundcloth or without one.
This is personal preference but I always use a footprint or ground cloth. Some people shaving ounces will go without one.
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.
How tight of a squeeze is it for someone that is 6'2? Am I kidding myself since it's only 82" long?
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Tent at Benson Lake, Yosemite NP.
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.
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.
Roomy (if not too tall)
Very quick to strike
Somewhat awkward pitch
Must manually seal seams (maybe)
Vestibule not included
More condensation than a double wall design
I have the previous generation, made of yellow fabric. It's essentially the same tent, but very slightly smaller. The photo is from a 2009 trip to the Yellowstone NP, Electric Peak area.
I've used my HiLight in a variety of conditions, including summer and winter in the Colorado Rockies, fall in Yellowstone, spring in Grand Canyon, and hot, humid conditions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Simply put, this is a great three pound, four season, solo solution for all but true mountain or arctic conditions. Even then, I suspect the HiLight is sturdy enough to survive where other non-mountain rated tents would fold, but I don't believe it's truly designed for serious mountain use. I'd say the HiLight is best described as a four season, alpine tent that works well in most conditions. If you want a true montaineering tent, BD's Bibler Ahwahnee Tent offers a similar configuration built to a much more rugged spec.
I'm 5' 10", 180 lbs, and with a 2.5" mattress, I have plenty of room for myself and my gear. The ends slope inward enough that mattress thickness affects actual sleeping space. The new (current) model is longer, but folks over 6' tall should check to see if the tent will work for them on their mattress. One end of the tent is slightly wider than the other. If two people squeezed in, the wider end might be a little better for two sets of shoulders. I've never tried to squeeze in a friend, but two people with two pads & bags could work if it had to. I think it would best be avoided unless you're both pretty small or very familiar. Adding the vestibule would help, but the interior of the main tent would still be cramped for two people.
Pitching a single wall tent with an interior pole design can be a challenge, but it's manageable (see my video link). I find it easiest to pitch it while standing the entire time. Without pole sleaves, it's important to keep the poles seated in their corners until finished, and I find it easier to do this standing than while flopping around on the ground. Another advantage to standing is the tent basically becomes a rain poncho if you're working in bad weather. I saw a review elsewhere that mentioned trying to use the small fabric loops as pole guides, but I think those are intended to be hang points for gear. The interior pole system makes it very easy to tuck lots of clothing up for drying. The HiLight is more difficult to pitch than the typical double wall, external pole tent, but it's not a big deal to me. The design strikes very fast, which mitigates some of the hassle of pitching it.
Sealing the seams isn't difficult, but it must be done, at least on the old model. BD used to include a tube of sealer with the tent, but I'm not sure if they still do, or if the new, green model requires manual sealing. The only time I've had any condensation to speak of was when I fell asleep without opening the vents. Fortunately, it all ran down the sides and collected in the corners, so it was easy to mop up. The new, green fabric may offer better breathability.
I mentioned that this is a warm tent, but it's still useable in hot weather. With the window flaps both open, ventilation is adequate. The advantage of being such a warm design means you may be able to pack a lighter sleeping bag than possible in a tent with some exposed mesh panels. I've seen the HiLight described as both a 3 or 4 season tent. IMO, its pole configuration makes it strong enough, and the ability to fully seal it up makes it warm enough be considered a true 4 season tent.
BD ships the tent ready to use (except possibly seam sealing), but I've enhanced my HiLight in a few ways. An XS size Sea to Summit sil-nylon compression sack can suck the tent down to a roughly 7" ball. MSR Needle Stakes are very light, rugged, and much more compact than the included BD Y stakes. MSR Blizzard Stakes work great in snow, and are likewise light and compact. I replaced the guy lines with Kelty Triptease for better strength, visibility, compactness, and lighter weight. I've been using a piece of housewrap for a footprint, but I'm ordering the BD footprint to save a little weight and bulk. I'm considering some aftermarket, carbon fiber poles to shave 6 oz, but they aren't cheap.
For me, the HiLight strikes the right balance of features at this pricepoint. I have no regrets about buying one, and I plan to use it for many years.
Hey guys im looking for a 3 season tent thats lightweight more of a 1 man tent, is the tent compatiable with a black diamond lighthouse vestibule, as i already have one,how is the packability of the tent?
this tent pack small !!!!
but the lighthouse vestibule will not fit it
These are both supposedly two man tents, but the Stoic has about twice as much total area as the Hilight. It's really a one-man tent unless you're alpine climbing or something.
Hey this looks like an awesome tent for my boyscout son. It is lightweight. the thing is he has to share it with another scout and be able to store a foot locker and/or a hiking bag in it. Is it big enough and would you recommend it for him?
Yea sure these tent would be great for him it is super light and has a big access door, and if you are concerned about space you could get the vestibule for these tent that is sold separately. http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/shelters/hilight-tent-vestibule
I would say look elsewhere. This tent would probably be fine, but there're better suited tents out there for a lot less money. Look at the REI half dome or Mountain Hardwear lightwedge. They're both about $200 cheaper and have vestibules meaning you'd save another $140 by not having to buy one for the hilight. Its also very small, he and the other kid are gonna be really cozy in this thing. Also look at the marmot limelight.
Boy Scout tent? Depends on the scout. You mentioned sharing it, and putting a foot locker inside. Both of those requirements would best be met by other tents. James Jenden gave you some good advice.
I have had this tent for a few years (I have the yellow version). It is coveted by my friends for its lightness. But, it's small. I'm 5'5" and sometimes when I'm alone in there with my pack - I wonder how anyone else ever fits. I have had some minor issues with condensation on my bag (never enough to actually get through my bag) - it's an issue when there are two of us in the tent. When there are two of us, there is room to put our packs at our feet, but it's really tight (I recommend the vestibule if you're over 5'9" or so). I've had this tent in the snow, in the desert, in the wind, in two day pounding rain storms... and I have never had any problems. It stays dry and standing like a champ.
I am 6' with a 77in long neo air thermarest. Will I be able to sleep comfortably in this tent without my bag sopping up condensation from the walls?
This tent is miniature. The neo air adds a significant amount of height, so although the tent is 82" long, the tent's length on the plane of your forehead and toes is much less, probably around 70". You'll only stay dry and away from the walls by using it alone and sleeping diagonally across the tent.
You'd probably do better with the Eldorado if you want it as a 2 man. The Firstlight might be a better pick too.
Something else to consider - these single wall tents get a lot of condensation. Much more than a double wall, unless you're in a very cold environment (but even then, you still get some). I've seen people but the foot of the bag into a backpack, or wrap it in a jacket shell or even use a big garbage bag. Not necessarily the nicest thing, but it'll work to a certain degree.
I am 5'11". Will I have enough room to sleep without head or feet hitting a wall?
Yes, it should work out great. The tent is 82in long and 5'11" totals 71 so you should have enough extra space to prevent that from happening.
If you're using a thick sleeping pad I wouldn't count on it. I'm 5'8" and with my 2.5" pad, I'm almost touching the ends of the tent, literally with about an inch to spare. This is not a large tent.
I'm 5'10", and I can just fit with my old model HiLight with a 2.5" Exped pad. The new, green model is slightly larger, so you'll probably fit, but just. I'd pitch it inside to make sure it'll work before getting it dirty.