Review: Naturehike Hiby Tent


The Naturehike Hiby is a fairly lightweight and versatile 2- to 3-person, 4-season tent. It offers a bombproof structure and a large vestibule, but this is not a tent for tall people.

Key Information

Price (at time of writing): R4399
Weight: 2900g (including the groundsheet and stuff bag)
Waterproof rating: Flysheet: 4000mm; Floor: 4000mm
Fabric: Flysheet and floor: 20D Silicone coated nylon
Structure: 3 poles with 4 intersections; freestanding
Poles: 7001 Aluminium


The tent pitches fly-first, with the poles running the full length of the tent structure through external sleeves on the flysheet.

This full-length pole structure has two major benefits:

  • By tensioning the entire flysheet through the pole structure, including the vestibule, no part of the flysheet is reliant on pegs for its structural integrity. Usually, if a vestibule isn’t pegged down properly, it flaps around in the wind – with the Hiby, that tension is created by the poles. The poles are perfectly sized, leaving no slack – this results in impressive tension in the flysheet, which really inspires confidence in heavy weather.
  • The second benefit of having the vestibule as part of the pole structure is that is creates an arc in the flysheet over the vestibule, adding loads of extra space. This tent has the biggest, most liveable vestibule of any semi-geodesic hiking tent I’ve seen.
A 105L and 75L backpack inside the vestibule and still more than enough space to cook and get in and out of the tent.

The fact that the tent pitches fly-first also means you can pitch it in the rain without the inner getting wet – this is a major bonus for summer hiking in the Drakensberg. The inner is attached to the flysheet with toggles, which are easily removed, meaning the tent can also be used without the inner, as a quick shelter from the rain over lunchtime, or a lightweight camping option.

It is essentially a single-entry tent, but the vestibule opens on either side, allowing for some flexibility in the wind, or opening up entirely in warmer conditions.

The vestibule zippers can be opened from the top, allowing for sheltered cooking while maintaining ventilation.

What’s in the Bag

The Hiby comes fully equipped with pegs, poles and guy ropes, as well as a groundsheet, which will add years of extra durability to the tent floor. All the elements are supplied in a neat stuff sack.


Weighing in at 2900g, the Hiby is attractively light, even as a 2-person tent, which is most likely what it will be used for due to its dimensions, but more on that later.

Ease of Pitching

One of the few potentially negative aspects of this tent – pitching the Hiby is definitely a two-person job. Because the poles run the full length of the tent, they are extra-long. This, combined with the fact that they run through sleeves, makes it difficult to pitch on one’s own. I wouldn’t recommend the Hiby if you’re planning on using it is a 1-person tent.

Fortunately, the pitching time is negated by the fact that it pitches fly-first, so the inner won’t be getting wet during setup.

Inside the Tent

The inner tent walls are fabric up to about half-way and then mesh in the roof. The fabric portion does a great job at keeping drafts out and heat in, while the mesh roof allows for sufficient ventilation.

Storage is limited to 3 triangular pouches – one in the back and two in the front. However, when used as a 2-person tent, there is a fair amount of floor space left for a few bits and pieces inside the tent, but this shouldn’t ever be an issue because of the huge vestibule.

You could potentially squeeze three small people in there, but it’s going to be tight…

The Hiby is marketed as a 2- to 3-person tent. However, the dimensions of the tent floor limits it to three very small people. Practically, it’s more of a 2-person tent and even then, it has some limitations. I’m 1.86m tall and I was quite comfortable in the Hiby, but my head and feet were just starting to touch the ends of the tent, so anyone taller will start to feel a bit cramped when lying stretched out.

In contrast to the slightly limiting length, the tent is actually quite tall, allowing one to sit up comfortably – another important factor when trapped in your tent during bad weather.


All three air vents strategically point toward the back of the tent, allowing for maximum airflow when the tent is pitched with the vestibule facing away from the wind.

With two people sharing the tent, we experienced minimal condensation inside the flysheet, with none of it intruding into the inner tent.

Weather Resistance

While testing this tent, I only experienced medium winds and light rain. However, judging by the design and construction of the Hiby, and having used other, less sturdy Naturehike tents in hectic weather, I would gladly put money on this tent being able to handle 80km/h winds quite comfortably. The Hiby has 9 ground points, 6 guy lines and 3 poles that cross 4 times – it’s not going anywhere!

Pitched correctly, the elliptical shape of the tent further reduces wind resistance, allowing it to handle a lot more wind than most dome-style tents.


If you’re shorter than 1.86m, this tent is fantastic for 4-season use with a very liveable vestibule to comfortably sit out bad weather, or to open up on summer evenings. Fairly lightweight, bombproof and versatile.

This tent was provided by Naturehike for review purposes and can be purchase from their online store.

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About Arno van der Heever 54 Articles
Co-founder of Hiking South Africa, Arno loves the outdoors and finds joy in sharing it with others. He is a qualified mountain guide, a keen rock climber and has a "thing" for technical footwear and backpacks.


  1. Thanks Ian!

    If you’re shorter than 1.86, the Hiby is way more “liveable”. It is a fair bit wider than the Helio, so more room to turn when sleeping and it’s taller, so you can comfortably sit up – I feel slightly cramped in the Helio. It’s also awkward getting in and out of the Helio and if you have two packs under the Helio’s vestibule, there’s not much room for anyhing else, unlike the Hiby, which feels like you have a second room attached to your tent.

    That being said, the Helio is cheaper, lighter and WAY easier to pitch and in very extreme situations, I would trust the Helio’s Polyester flysheet more than the Hiby’s Silnylon. Also, you can comfortably use the Helio as a 1-person tent (if you don’t mind carrying the whole tent), whereas pitching the Hiby alone is a schlep.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Hi Arno

    You partially answered my question above, but was just interested to hear how easy it is to pitch the Hiby? I have heard it is a bit of a nightmare to pitch with the very long cross-poles. This is likely a crucial piece of information for people interested in the tent.

    • Hi Gerhard, as mentioned in the review, pitching the Hiby is basically it’s only negative element (other than being a bit short) and can be a bit of a phaf if you’re trying to pitch it on your own, but I wouldn’t say it’s a “nightmare” – it just takes slightly longer than other tents. However, if you have another pair of hands, it really isn’t that bad. You forget all about the extra setup time when the weather comes in hard and you’re safe, dry and comfortable inside a solid tent 😉

      • Hi Arno

        Would you take this over the Vango Halo 300? I’m a big fan of the Fly sheet first set up and have been looking at the Halo for a while.

        The Nature Hike seems light and cheaper too


        • The Halo 300 is a true 3-person tent, so if you’d like to use it for more than 2 people, then the Halo is an easy choice.
          As mentioned in the review, the length of the Hiby’s sleeping area is an important factor to consider – if you’re taller than 1.86m, it’s not going to be comfortable.
          Both are a bit fiddly to pitch, with the Hiby being the trickier of the two, so no real winner there.
          Other than that, the Hiby is great. I think it’ll handle stronger winds than the Halo. It is also lighter and cheaper.
          However, if you want to compare apples with apples, check out the Vango Helvellyn 200 or 300.

  3. Great review Arno – I’m new to the site and think it’s an awesome resource. Question regarding the Hiby. I’m looking at a 2-3 person tent (so tight for three, roomy for two) and am tossing up between the First Ascent Peak and the Hiby. I have read your reviews on both multiple times now…pitched against each other, which is the better bet (primary use year round high Berg Escarpment for two, secondary use lower Berg for three pre-teens).


    • Thanks Emil! How tall are you? If less than 1.86, I’d say go for the Hiby. It’s more expensive, but more than 1kg lighter with a much better vestibule for cooking out of the rain.

      Both the Hiby and the Peak are a tight squeeze for 3 people, so it’s even on that front. However, with the Peak, the middle person will need to climb over someone to get out, seeing as the entrances are on the sides, as opposed to top and bottom.

      The Peak might be marginally more abrasion resistant due to the use of polyester vs nylon, but I don’t think that’ll be an issue.

      Both tents are built to withstand heavy winds, but the fact that the Hiby pitches fly-first is handy in the rain.

      In the end it comes down to space. The Peak is definitely more roomy. 3 people can comfortably sit in the Peak – that’s not the case with the Hiby. It’s a tough one…

      If it was me and I was buying for my wife and I, I’d pick the Hiby. If I were buying a tent to use with buddies, I’d probably going with the Peak for extra space… But then there’s the First Ascent Eclipse to consider too…hahaha! Sorry, don’t know if I’ve helped, or just added to the confusion.

      • Thanks Arno. That does help a bit…I think. Discounted the Eclipse as the waterhead was the lowest of the three (plus I still have a serviceable KWay Annapurna when a bigger tent is needed…but it’s heavy to haul when hiking with the kids) – hence why I’m looking for a 2/3 tent (2 adults or 3 pre-teens). Looks like it might be the Hiby then based on weight, although I was concerned about durability, but you mention it’s not really a deciding factor between the two (more background…the tent is effectively to be an upgrade/replacement of a KWay Neolite – the original design).

        Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate the feedback…and the site is awesome. Glad to have stumbled onto it

  4. Heads up: theres one of these (a White one) in the Fish River Canyon, all packaged up, slept in once (sandy terrain, and slept on-top of once (sandy Terrain) then packed away and left on the Canyon side, somewhere after the Walls of Jericho! on the East side of the mountain,, before the Granite Slab

    Free to anyone who finds it – the Couple carrying it (three man version ultralight) decided it was too heavy and unnecessary

    • Why did I read your comment earlier. I hiked there in June. But I don’t hike the Fish with a tent. But a free tent would make the awesome hike more awesome.

  5. Thanks for review Arno. Would you recommend this tent for two people sharing doing a number of stages on Rim of Africa?

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