Berghaus 3.3 PRO Tent
So… How do you select a tent… which key features do you want it to include, for the type of camping you have in mind? Next, of course, is: can you afford it? *Urghhh*
Well, in this article I’ve outlined the wish list that I had when choosing a tent. More to the point, having figured out what I needed from my tent, purchased the tent that ticked the most boxes, and used it (often in the mountains) in just about every condition known to man, I have now got round to reviewing it!
Personally, I wanted a three-man tent, since as we all know, a two-man tent is actually a bit of a squash for more than one person, and so on. Therefore a three-man tent would provide me with enough accommodation space to house two of us plus our huge kit bags without destroying our sleep!
Another consideration was wind and weather. Clearly anybody who knows that their camping excursions may not always coincide with clement weather will lean towards a tent that can withstand the worst of the UK elements. Especially several hundred metres above sea level…
Thirdly, I wanted my tent to have a non-sleeping area offering decent cover. Ideally, I wanted to be able to cook in a ventilated space without a) killing myself through carbon monoxide poisoning, and b) being so contorted and cramped that I’d end up burning my quiff over the camping stove (however small or large said quiff might be!).
And pitching time. Most of us have heard of pop-up tents that you fling in the air and they land perfectly formed! Let’s face it, though, even the smallest ones don’t fold away small for backpack storage, and you’d walk along looking like a kite about to take off. I wanted something that was not only quick and easy to pitch, but also properly packable and light enough to be carried without adding significantly to pack weight.
I also wanted a waterproof double-skinned tent… Do you know what? I pretty much wanted everything. A lot of boxes to tick, and it’s not easy to find something that meets so many criteria. But I did! It was the Berghaus 3.3 Peak PRO.
Now, there are a variety of Berghaus tents, so please don’t get them confused. The Peak 3.3 PRO is the master, in my opinion! It’s not cheap, and I’ll elaborate on that in a moment, but it is awesome! I genuinely put my hand on my unpaid heart and will tell you that with all the countries Jen and I visited (Norway, Faroe Islands and Iceland overseas; the Lake District, Snowdonia, Devon, Cornwall and Scotland here in the UK) we have NEVER, in any campsite we visited, seen any tent that even comes close to ours. We even reckon that in most cases, ours was hands-down the best “in its category” so to speak. We have yet to come across another tent that would deliver everything we need and do so anywhere near as well as our Peak 3.3 PRO. We have actively searched for types and brands that may suit us better and always come up empty-handed. Other near-rivals are too small / less sturdy in the wind / too flappy / too fiddly to put up… the list goes on! The Berghaus 3.3 Peak PRO has to be the most underrated tent we have ever come across!
It weighs in at a mere 2.9 kilos (bear in mind it’s a 3-man with a cabin!) and the fabric is extremely highly rated against bad weather. The pitch time is quoted as 5 minutes, but the pair of us usually get it done in 6, despite lots of practice! There must be a flaw in our approach somewhere (LOL). The front cabin (door area) is big enough to stow equipment and bags, or even fit both of us in sitting down and leave space to safely cook a meal (admittedly the bags get shoved into the sleeping area to achieve this). The sleeping space is plentiful for two or indeed three people. Of course, very early on we bought a lightweight groundsheet, square, unfortunately, for the door area/cabin. It doesn’t fit brilliantly but has proved essential. A bespoke groundsheet for this tent is neither supplied nor available, apparently (?). Why not, Berghaus?
Jen and I have wild camped in our Berghaus 3.3 Peak PRO in a fair few countries and regions, and never been disappointed. Quite the opposite – we’ve always been delighted with our little portable home, each and every time we pitched it! In terms of design, weight, pitch time and comfort we would seek to replace it with another Berghaus 3.3 Peak PRO every time… but therein lies the problem. How long should a tent last without deteriorating, and what resolutions should the manufacturer apply if their product fails? I’ve actually had email exchanges with retailers for a month or two… which leads me to wonder whose responsibility is it if the tent fails.
Hmmm. One might argue that if a retailer won’t replace my product, it’s my fault since I didn’t keep the purchase receipt. I’ve always been rubbish at holding onto bits of paper. So, does one have rights if there is no receipt, or does the ‘exclusive’ supplier simply go into a moral crisis and deny that they sold you the product… who is at fault then? Well, that’s what happened. *Saddened*. Shame on you Millets/Blacks!
So. A Berghaus 3.3 Peak PRO is generally available at around £199 in the sales or £259 at full price. They are available exclusively at Blacks/Millets stores, although beware, said retailers might deny you ever bought it from them! I’m a cheapskate… sorry! But come on, how long should a tent in that price bracket last?
If I count up all the nights Jen and I have spent camping in our Peak 3.3 PRO in about 12 months, the total is probably nearing thirty. I do accept that it has been pitched and taken down in nearly thirty different locations, and carried in/on a Bergen between many of those locations. But at the end of the day, that’s effectively one month of camping, and our tent is showing serious signs of wear *gutted*. There are loose threads, the odd tear, the main outer zip has finally broken and the inner stitching is wearing *Hmmm*.
The colour options are very limited (only one) and yes, whilst the Peak 3.3 PRO may be primarily designed for use on mozzie-free mountain peaks, I’ve noticed that in lower areas (below 600m) the tent becomes an amazing mosquito magnet. On a recent visit to Snowdon my colleagues were visibly amazed (as was I!) at the swarms that materialised out of nowhere as I took the tent out of its compression bag. None of their tents (largely in a darker shade of green) attracted mozzies at all. So there’s my key reason not to buy a new one: that colour will be a nightmare at low levels, especially near water!
So, on deciding to replace our tent due to wear and tear, and as we remain convinced that Berghaus offers the best “livable designs” plus great wind resistance, easy pitching and low weight, we have decided to go with them again. If there was an alternative colour we would simply have re-ordered the same model (are you listening, Berghaus?). However, in the absence of such we have looked at the merits of both the Cairngorm 3-man tent (hmmm… that shape looks a little unstable, guys!) and the Grampian 3 (Ohhh… so close to perfect! Love the double door-end). But even before purchasing – tomorrow, hopefully – we already know what we’re likely to perceive as the flaws, and will offer some advice!
Berghaus – We love your tents. However, the longevity we experienced from the Peak 3.3 PRO seems very low given the initial cost, therefore please get it right. This tent was awesome while it worked. The Grampian 3 looks phenomenal and we will be replacing our existing tent tomorrow with this new (ish) model. We will buy, try, and eventually review our Grampian 3, but we think we already know the outcome! Please extend one end of the cabin from 80cm to the equivalent of the Berghaus 3.3 PRO, so that people with this model can cook and organise unhindered, under cover, during inclement weather. The net result is that I doubt we will ever buy another brand or model!
The through-system looks phenomenal… Can’t wait to try it and happy to discuss! I’ll also showcase it to my ML friends and veteran brothers… You could do worse than listen to this amigos. We will be back shortly to discuss some other Berghaus products 😉
Simon Duringer is an award-winning blogger, interviewer and author. His own books can be found on Amazon too by clicking any of the following icons…