Heimplanet's latest inflatable tent creates Icelandic-grade base camp
The latest model in Heimplanet's family of highly distinctive geodesic inflatable tents is the most conspicuous yet. Inspired by the backcountry storm shelters of Iceland, the all-new Cave XL 4-Season brings an extra helping of size, storm worthiness and bright, blazing color. It's as ready to survive far-off stretches of empty, storm-ridden earth as it is your local campground.
Brainchild of photographer and Heimplanet brand ambassador Benjamin Hardman, the Cave XL 4-Season has been quite purposefully developed to withstand the harsh conditions of the land of fire and ice. Hardman worked closely with both Heimplanet and Icelandic apparel manufacturer 66°North, another company with which he had previously worked, to create the ultimate Cave, a four-season tent designed to perform in places that might experience all four seasons in a single day.
The work began by increasing the size of the Cave by 15 percent to earn that "XL" tag, in the process making the Cave XL a proper three-person tent with room for gear. Floor area grows to 5.4 square meters (58 sq ft), compared to 4.8 sq m (52 sq ft) in the standard Cave tent.
The Cave XL tent body features a dual-wall construction with a 40D breathable nylon-ripstop inner tent and 100D waterproof polyester-ripstop outer tent. The fabric of the outer tent extends all the way down to the ground to protect against windblown snow and ground moisture. The blazing orange color not only pays homage to the storm shelters of the Icelandic highlands but also makes the tent easier to find in all types of weather and light conditions, particularly the ones you find in Iceland.
Unlike hard-poled four-season tents, which can take a while to set up, the Cave XL is designed for fast, simple setup. All one needs to do is roll it out and pump up the inflatable dual-layer exo-frame, a process Heimplanet says can be completed in under a minute. A series of tent floor stake points and guy lines secure it to the ground. The crisscrossing inflatable beams provide a rugged, storm-ready structure that holds the tent fabric taut. The multi-chamber beam system inflates as a single unit but allows campers to close off critical sections to keep the tent standing in the event of a puncture or leak.
Inside, the Cave XL includes various wall storage pockets to keep gear organized, along with a ceiling pocket that serves to turn a headlamp or other outdoor light into an easy-access overhead tent light. A vestibule at the entrance works to hold boots, backpacks or other large gear.
The Cave XL weighs in at 6.2 kg (13.7 lb) and collapses down to 30-L pack size for transport. The 66°North limited edition collaboration tent retails for 990 euros, but it's currently listed as sold out on the Heimplanet's website. 66°North shows it available to order for US$1,199.