Here at License-to-Shoot we are all about reviewing only the best of the best. We are intrigued by survival and covert gear that is built to professional-grade standards. We review only the kind of gear that makes you raise an eyebrow and go “woah” when you see it.
With these criteria in mind, it’s no wonder that we’re big fans of pretty much everything Heimplanet produces.
While you may not recognize the name, you have most likely seen a Heimplent product.
From national tourism TV commercials to Hollywood films, if a bad guy or James Bond type character needs to spend the night outdoors in a sub-freezing climate or geography they will probably end up opting for a Heimplanet tent.
Cool story bro, but why are these tents so popular with action heroes and international spies?
Well, many reasons, both aesthetic and utilitarian in nature, all of which we will outline below.
Heimplanet Tents Are Pole-less
Why do these tents look so futuristic? The answer is simple; because they are.
The canvas + pole style tent hasn’t really changed since the Wild West days where instead of plastic/composite tent poles cowboys used sticks and waxed canvas to construct their tents.
A hundred years later and most manufacturers are still making tents that fall into this old-school construction philosophy, although instead of wood they use plastic or sometimes composites like carbon-fiber, and instead of canvas they use polyester.
Heimplanet has really thought outside the box and bucked this trend by designing tents that use inflatable support pillars instead of sticks/poles to maintain structural rigidity.
Because these tents don’t require hard poles to support their weight and form, they are also much much easier to hike around with. Which leads us into our next point…
Heimplanet Tents Are Ultra Lightweight
Tent poles are constructed with the purpose of retaining the form of the entire structure in all kinds of weather conditions, from rain to snow to heavy wind.
Because of this, the plastic has to be quite rigid and dense. Joints are secured with metal joiners. This makes traditional tents quite heavy when fully rolled up and packed.
Heimplanet has ditched the traditional tent poles and thus the overall package weighs much less than a similarly sized tent constructed in a traditional manner without inflatable pillars.
As any serious adventurer or survivalist will tell you, weight is everything, after food and water of course.
Heimplanet tents have been used all over the world in wide variety of extremely remote destinations which is testament to their lightweight nature and easy portability.
For example, The Classic Cave is one of Heimplanet’s most iconic tents. It comfortably holds 2-3 people and features Heimplanet’s proprietary IFD/Geodesic design structure.
This tent when collapsed weights a mere 4.8 KG, which is less than half that of many traditional canvas/pole style tents of similar capacity.
Advanced Construction & Quality Materials
Yeah so are these tents more about “design” and “looking cool” than they are about true rugged functionality?
The answer is a resounding no sir!
Heimplanet is regularly testing their products in the field and featuring their adventures directly on their website. From rainy temperate landscapes to frozen Icelandic tundras, these tents mean serious survival business.
This is because every element of Heimplanet tents feature the highest quality construction techniques and materials.
The inflatable support beams for example are obviously the first place one may identify as a potential weakness.
This has been addressed though via a unique multi-chamber construction technique wherein if one part of an inflatable chamber has a defect or suffers damage it doesn’t cripple the entire structure.
To further secure the inflatable beams diamond grid stitching is used with adhesive to ensure seems don’t leak, stretch, or separate even under gusty conditions and over years of rugged use.
The materials continue with the philosophy of uncompromising quality first.
The airframe is made of a strong recycled material, the inner layer is made of a flexible thermoplastic polyurethane, the fly sheet is 66D 210T Ripstop with PU lamination up to a 5000 mm water column.
The ground sheet is 100% nylon tafetta 70D 210T, with PU lamination also up to a 5,000mm water column.
Cool story bro, but these are just materials and numbers.
Well, yeah, they are, and they are indicative of quality, not just flashy show points to help with sales.
How do we know? Because Heimplanet offers a full 4 year warranty on its products, which is rare in a world where users are often putting their products through literal hell in the most remote stretches of the planet earth.
Field Tested Products
Heimplanet has a digital magazien on their website where they showcase their most recent adventures with their products. This is a very fresh form of marketing, capitalizing on the mantra of “the proof is in the pudding”.
We wish more manufacturers would have fun testing their products and sharing with their users.
This unwavering belief in the truth of superior design and quality has resulted in multiple cross-product collaborations with other brand names synonymous with promoting quality goods, including a collaboration with Uncrate and thermos maker Mizu.
They also have a pretty impressive ambassador program as well. Unlike other brands who only create ambassador programs to promote their brand with fake influencers, Heimplanet has partnered with legitimate adventurists who put their products to the test on a regular basis.
You can visit their page to check out who they sponsor and the type of real-world field applications they are putting their products through.
We literally spent hours clicking through and learning about each and every ambassador as they each live adventurous lifestyles that will make even the most travelled reader green with envy.
“Fine, you’ve sold me, just show me their products already!”
Fair enough. Let’s dive right in shall we?
The Fistral (Classic & Cairo Camo)
- Ground Area: 4.2 M2 (45 Square Feet)
- Height Of Inner Tent: 112 Cm (44 Inch)
- Inner Tent Area: 2.9 M2 (31 Square Feet)
- Overall Height: 132 Cm (52 Inch)
- Pack Size: 34 X 20 X 20 Cm
The Fistral is the more affordable entry-level tent within the Heimplanet lineup. This isn’t to say it’s “entry-level” in general, in fact it blows most traditional canvas+pole tents out of the water. We only say entry-level in comparison to the rest of the superb Heimplanet lineup.
This tent is a 1-2 person tent, the number dependent upon how big the humans are and how comfortable you are sleeping close to your camping partner.
Like all Heimplanets the Fistral features a twisted inflatable air frame, two entrances and two vestibules. This is a perfect companion for a two person hiking operation.
All of the nylon is ripstop and water repellent, can be pumped up in minutes with a one-pump system (instead of inflating multiple compartments) and weighs in at just 2.5 KG.
Oh, and as with all Heimplanet tents the fiesty Fistral comes in a classic canvas and navy blue color scheme, OR it can be had in the super tactical looking Cairo Camo which is how we’d have it because it looks super badass.
The Cave (Classic & Cairo Camo)
- Ground Area: 5 M2 (54 Square Feet)
- Height Of Inner Tent: 102 Cm (40 Inch)
- Overall Height: 125 Cm (59 Inch)
- Pack Size: 40 × 32 × 23 Cm (16 X 13 X 9 Inch)
- Weight: 5.2 Kg (11.90 Lbs)
If the Fistral is too small, or just doesn’t have enough futuristic air frame tubes then the next step up would be The Cave.
The Cave is named because well, it looks kind of like a cave in it’s dome shape. Because of this dome design this tent easily holds 2-3 people.
Because The Cave is larger it has a one-pump system but the air frame support has multiple chambers for durability and safety.
From the top this futuristic tent looks like something a Mars colonist would use to settle and develop the planet after a long space mission from earth.
While we really like the Cairo Camo the dark grey canvas with white air frame really pops on the Cave and is probably the color scheme we’d go with.
The excursion ready Cave weighs in at just 4.8 KG, meaning it’s perfectly friendly for hiking, kayaking or canoeing expeditions where weight savings is of utmost importance.
The Backdoor (Classic & Cairo Camo)
- 3-Season Vs. 4 Season Inner Tent: The 3-Season Inner Tent Offers A Good Air Flow Thanks To Large Mesh Panels Whereas The 4-Season Inner Tent Is Made Completely Out Of Ripstop Nylon Fabric To Keep Winds Outside. It Also Has A 2-Layer Door With Mesh And Fabric For An Adjustable Ventilation. Both Inner Tents Are Compatible With The Same Outer Tent Making Backdoor The Perfect Choice For Adventures All Year Round.
- Airframe: Recyclable Material
- Outer Layer: Extra Stiff And Resistant Polyester
- Inner Layer: Flexible Thermoplastic Polyurethane
- Fly Sheet: 66D 210T Ripstop Polyester, Pu Coated, 5000 mm Water Column, Flame Retardant
If neither of the above options are doing it for you, or you prefer to go camping with the entire family, OR you just have a ton of photography gear you need to store in your tent, then the Backdoor is the tent for you.
This 3-season tent features Heimplanet’s air frame design and comes in a red/grey color scheme, white/grey colorway and of course, a sinister looking Cairo Camo.
Even with its larger footprint and ability to sleep 4 adults the total weight of the Backdoor is just 6kg.
The original Backdoor also features a unique Advanced Ventilation System (AVS) to make it comfortable in both hot climates or summers as well as cooler fall conditions.
If you are looking for a tent for winter weather then there is a special variant of the Backdoor that is built for all 4 seasons.
While the other 3-season tents feature one skin, the 4-season Backdoor features 2 skins which create a dead air space to help insulate the tent’s occupants.
This versatility makes the Backdoor one of the best bang-for-your-buck options as it can be used year round.
The Nias (Classic & Cairo Camo)
- Nias: a super-stable 6-person 3-season tent. Heimplanet tents inflate in less than one minute using any standard pump. The Frame, inner tent and outer tent work as a unit and only need to be assembled on the very first setup. Great for expeditions, backpacking, or car camping.
- Superior stability: The geodesic structure can withstand strong winds and is a favored design for expeditions.
- Multi-chamber safety system: Individual inflatable chambers are separated by valves. Even if part of the structure deflates, the tent will not collapse. Tent tubes are easily repaired in the field.
- Removable Cabins: Two removable 2-3-person cabins offer great flexibility to create an individual space. By removing one of the cabins, an extra space / vestibule is created that offers plenty of room for extra equipment, like bicycles.
- Access / Vestibule: Two entrances, one on each side of the tent, ensure easy access to a protected area that offers space for cooking and equipment. It also connects the two cabins, which face each other.
Now if you have a particularly large family or are going out in full fledge expedition style then the Nias is the best option for you.
This is a 4-6 person tent with a unique shape that creates a very large inner chamber which can be fully ventilated by removing various sites of the tents, making it great for activities in the day and sleeping at night.
The Nias has 7 crossing air frame tubes to support it’s larger size and has a two-cabin design inside so that multiple parties can sleep separately in privacy.
Get the Nias in Cairo Camo and impress the hell out of all your friends, although the grey/teal option is pretty dang fashionable too. We can’t decide which we like better, would have to flip a coin for sure.
So far every tent has been designed for traditional campers, with occupancy ranging from 1-6 people. But what if you have an army? What if you want a structure to hold your entire drum circle?
Welcome to the Mavericks.
The Mavericks is Heimplant’s largest tent, offering an inside max height of over 2 meters and a footprint of over 13 square meters.
This is more of an inflatable house than it is a tent. The Mavericks was even used in the Red Bull Storm Chase, one of the most extreme windsurfing competitions in the world. That alone is a testament to it’s wind-resistant design.
The Mavericks is built for large groups. It’s single large chamber helps keep heat confined to one place while it’s large ventilation windows allow maximum airflow if you desire.
The geo-dome design is truly remarkable and we have to say, in all white, this is one of the most futuristic, jaw-droppingly beautiful tents we’ve ever seen. It is straight out of a James Bond movie.
While the tents are the main attractions, there are a couple of “must-have” tenting accessories you’ll want to pick up to make the most of your Heimplanet experience. These include one of Heimplanets powerful 2-way pumps as well as a Heimplanet ground sheet.
- Double action pump will have your tent free standing in just a few strokes
- Easily cleaned and maintained if necessary
The 2-way pumps mean you can rest in between pumps and the air will not flow backwards. There are two pumps, a regular “2-way pump” and a “2-way mini pump”.
- Easily stowable pump for The Cave, Nias and Fistral tent
The regular pump is recommended for The Cave, Nias, and Backdoor models. The Mini is recommended for the Fistral (smallest inflatable option), but can be used for The Cave, Nias and Backdoor as well if you have patience or weight savings is important to you.
License To Shoot Conclusion
Overall Heimplanet is one of those companies that everyone sees in movies or in magazines and dreams of owning.
Sure, the prices aren’t the cheapest in the world but these are insanely futuristic structures that are supported by rigid air frames and don’t contain pointy poles.
If budget is an issue you should be looking at more traditional tents. If you are a hardcore camper or need to be mobile and outdoors for your profession, then investing in a Heimplanet will be well worth the money as the design, comfort and weight-savings are second to none in their class.
Whether you’re looking to impress or are just sick of threading aluminum poles these tents deserve serious consideration when shopping for your next tent.
Last update on 2019-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API