Description

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...

4 5

Shrinkage

  • 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 people...it 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.

Shrinkage
5 5

Best Fast and Light Tent

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

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 have the Vestibule and Gear Loft and Pocket Pal and have had no issues with compatibility. 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.

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.

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

Pros:
-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

Cons:
-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
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.

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

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".

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/shelters/hilight-tent

thanks

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

Perfect

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.

5 5

Perfect four season, alpine, solo tent

Pros:
Light
Strong
Warm
Roomy (if not too tall)
Very quick to strike

Cons:
Expensive
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.

Perfect four season, alpine, solo tent
Responded on

BTW, anyone considering a Fibraplex Carbon Fiber Tent Pole Set might be interested in the possible size difference in HiLight poles between the 2007 model and the current model. I emailed them about the change: "I was unaware of the model change. Thanks for letting us know. I will contact Black Diamond to get more information. Our current poles should work with your 2007 tent. If there were to be any problem we would make it right." - Linas Repecka, Fibraflex

http://www.fibraplex.com/ebay/BDHiLight.htm

Hey guys im looking for a 3 season tent...

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?

Responded on

this tent pack small !!!!
but the lighthouse vestibule will not fit it