Hey folks. This week on the blog we’re taking a look at the Naturehike Opalus, a roomy tent for 2-4 people. Naturehike seems to have an ever-expanding range of tents these days, and they keep impressing with the quality and innovation of their designs. So we’re excited to take a look at the Opalus, which is one of their newer offerings. It looks like it has the potential to be a game-changer for bike-packing in particular. But we’ll come on to that later!
You can find this tent on Naturehike official store
When it comes to space, go hard or go home. That certainly seems to be the philosophy behind the Opalus! For a lightweight tent, it really maximizes the internal space. It features an enclosed vestibule that’s almost as big as the sleeping compartment.
The Opalus is double-skinned, and with 2 external entrances – which should allow some good airflow through the vestibule area. The inner compartment has only 1 entrance, and the whole tent has a pretty low roof.
There are a variety of different options to choose from, with the tent being suitable for between 2-4 people depending on the configuration. The basic design of the tent is the same between all the different size versions. You just get bigger or smaller living compartments and vestibule areas, depending on which version you choose.
There are two colors to choose from with the Naturehike Opalus, but the difference between them comes down to more than just looks. The orange version is made of a 210T Polyester material. The green version is made from Nylon, with a 20D count for the 3-man version and a 40D for the 4-man.
The orange version’s 210T Polyester has a hydrostatic head rating of 3000mm. That’s certainly very capable and should keep you dry in all but the very wettest conditions. The green Nylon version has a slightly better hydrostatic head rating of 4000mm.
Size & Weight
Since there are so many configurations to choose from, the weight is going to come down to which version you want. But it ranges from around 2.7kg to around 3.8 kg, depending on the configuration.
When pitched, the 2-man Opalus is 400cm x 150cm. The 3-man is 420cm x 210cm, and the 4-man version of the tent is 465cm x 270cm. All these measurements are taken from the longest and widest parts of the tent, but the tent does taper at the front and back.
The pack size for the Opalus was hard to find, and we could only get this info for the 3-man version – but it comes in at 18.5cm x 60cm. Not exactly a small pack size but this is a whole lot of tent. And split between 3 people, that’s not too bad.
The Naturehike Opalus pitches with 3 central poles – 2 in the living compartment and 1 that goes through the vestibule. Pitching is pretty simple – with the outer tent laid flat you slide and secure your hooped poles in place. Then peg down one end of the tent, and walk out the other, standing it upright in order to peg down the other side. Then it’s just a case of guy ropes, clips, and adjustments. There’s a full step-by-step included below.
Space & Storage
So let’s talk about the space in this thing! First of all, I love the fact that as you go up in sizes with this tent, it’s not only the living space that increases but also the length and width of the vestibule. I find this is actually a detail that’s often overlooked with other tents.
If you’re traveling with other people, you’re not just going to want more sleeping space between you. You’re going to be carrying more gear. You need more space to cook, more space to store stuff, just… more space. Although you’d be hard-pressed to stand up in this thing, being able to sprawl out into such a generous, covered vestibule is a real plus point.
In the intro, I talked about the Opalus’s potential when it comes to bikepacking. This is an area where I think this tent is a game-changer. Because – with a bit of gear-storage efficiency – the vestibule on the Opalus should easily be big enough to fully cover and enclose 2 smaller folding bicycles. If not perhaps even larger road bikes.
I’d be very intrigued to see how well this tent holds up on a bicycle tour as both the main living space and bike shelter. For the price and the weight, I can’t say I’ve seen many more attractive options out there.
Wallet & Weight Impact
So, how does this compare to other western-brand equivalents when it comes to weight and price? The most obviously similar design I could find out there was the ‘Wild Country Hoolie 2‘ by UK brand Go Outdoors. We’re assuming that the quality here would be roughly equal between the two tents – as we’ve been thoroughly impressed by the workmanship on every Naturehike tent we’ve seen to date.
Although the weights of these two tents are roughly equivalent, the Naturehike Opalus came in at around half the price of the Hoolie. So mega Thrifty Points there!
Naturehike Opalus: The Verdict
The Naturehike Opalus is a very capable tent, and while the weight may be a little higher than some ultralight purists are used to, this tent is designed to be shared with friends. Shared sleeping space, shared cooking space – and a shared pack weight too. Split between 2 or 3, you may find that you don’t mind the weight. Especially not when you get a whole lot of living space in return.
When it comes to bike touring/bikepacking, I can see this tent coming into its own. Having an enclosed vestibule to put a bike away in for the night is of huge value. In fact, if you’re going on a long bikepacking trip, then having adequate vestibule space is probably near the top of your tent priorities. The fact the Opalus offers this at a bargain price, and minimal weight, should make it a serious option to consider.