For its weight and pack-down size, the Naturehike Opalus 3 is a spacious and comfortable tent. The large porch and angled vents are brilliant for camping in foul weather, and there’s plenty of space to store your kit outside of the sleeping area.
There are, however, a few niggles to consider before going ahead with this purchase. If you want to be sure of what you are buying, read this Naturehike Opalus 3 tent review to the end.
Naturehike Opalus 3 Review
Who Is the Opalus 3 For?
This tent is perfect for 2 to 3 people on a long-distance bike tour, particularly in wet and windy climates. You can keep your bicycles in the oversized porch area, and the pack-down weight is very reasonable for all the living space provided.
We think that the Opalus 3 is too heavy for thru-hiking, so we don’t recommend that you attempt to use this tent on a long-distance walking trip.
Design, Material, & Performance
The Nature Hike Opalus 3 is a 4 season tent, so it’s designed for use in foul weather. The green version has a waterproof coating of 4000mm, while the orange version comes in at 3000mm.
This is a great starting point but, as always, you should also spray your tent with a silicone waterproofing coating before use in heavy rain.
The porch area will help prevent any rain from getting into the sleeping area as you come and go, as well as provide a large area for you to keep your kit. The porch is not completely watertight, so you should store any clothes or boots out there in dry bags to be on the safe side.
Thanks to plenty of guy lines, a low profile, and a solid frame, the Opalus 3 performs well in windy weather. The tent poles are made of 7001 space aluminum, which offers an excellent balance between weight and strength.
The Opalus 3 has been made with an anti-scratch inner mesh and rip-stop outer layer. This will help ensure that it lasts in the longer term.
However, the seams are not heat-sealed and there doesn’t appear to be any double stitching, so the life of this tent will inevitably be limited.
Overall, this is a midrange tent that should serve you well for a few wet weather trips, but you should not expect it to last for a lifetime.
The Opalus 3 is extremely comfortable for its weight and size. The sleeping area is spacious for 2 people sharing, but it would be snug for 3 people.
The large porch is what makes this tent so brilliant for long-distance cycle touring. You can bring your bikes out of the rain and keep them out of sight. This is much more secure than leaving them outside your tent whilst you are sleeping.
As the porch has 2 large doors, it can also be safely employed as a space to use your camping stove if it is raining.
Never cook or smoke inside your sleeping compartment or in a confined space where you have only one exit and where you could be exposed to dangerous fumes. If you’ve just spent the day cycling in wet weather, you will really appreciate that covered area to prepare your dinner!
The inner mesh of the Opalus 3 is completely breathable, but that doesn’t mean much once the rainfly has covered it. Thankfully, the sleeping compartment has an angled vent that you can open even when it’s raining to limit condensation.
Thanks to the covered porch area, you could also open your sleeping compartment door for extra airflow during bad weather; however, this would allow insects to enter your tent, so it might not always be a good idea.
Considering its spaciousness, the Opalus 3 packs down to a very compact size.
It weighs 6.6 pounds (2.9 kilograms), which would probably be too heavy for a thru-hiking trip, but is perfectly reasonable for a couple of people sharing the weight between bicycle panniers. It can be put up by a single person and packs down to just 23.6 by 7 inches.
What Do Users Think & Say About This Tent?
I haven’t had the opportunity to try this tent for myself, so I have scoured the internet for honest user reviews. Overall, the reports are very positive.
Users say that the Opalus 3 performs well in wet and windy weather, and that it is exceptionally lightweight for the space and comfort that it provides.
That lightness did come at a price with regard to the quality, though; some people reported small tears and broken zippers after a few uses.
With that in mind, I would not recommend using this tent with a dog, as their claws could easily rip the tent floor. It is also probably a good idea to set up the Opalus 3 with a tent footprint to make the floor less vulnerable to tearing.
Remember, your tent footprint should always be smaller than your tent; otherwise, water can gather between the layers and seep into your sleeping compartment.
What We Love About the Naturehike Opalus 3
The best thing about this tent is, without a doubt, the oversized porch area. This will protect your kit from the rain as well as prevent the theft of your bicycles if you are bike touring. We love that you can cook safely in a space sheltered from the weather.
Plus, the tent can be relied upon in the wind and rain.
What We Don’t Like
We do have some reservations about the workmanship of the Opalus 3. For the price, we feel that heat-sealed seams and double stitching should have been included.
The ventilation is also somewhat limited; we would have liked to see a second vent inside the actual sleeping area to provide more airflow without the need to open the door.
Overall, we do really like this tent, but we can’t deny that a couple of corners were cut to save costs in the manufacturing process.
Pros and Cons
- Large porch area—big enough to store bicycles
- Two large porch doors—safe to cook in
- Waterproof & Windproof
- Compact and light for its size
- Spacious for 2 people sharing
- Anti-scratch, breathable inner tent
- Ripstop outer tent and tent floor
- Angled vent in the sleeping compartment
- Strong aluminum frame
- Green version discreet if wild camping
- Heavy for hiking on foot
- Seams don’t appear to be heat-sealed
- No double stitching
- Only one vent in the sleeping area—limits airflow
If you were hoping for something lighter-weight for thru-hiking on foot, you might want to consider a trekking pole shelter like the ultralight hiking shelter by Arches.
This tent is pitched with your trekking poles, so you save loads of weight and space normally taken up by the frame. It has a fine mosquito mesh to protect you from biting insects and it weighs just 2.4 pounds.
Or if you prefer something more conventional, the 2 person Featherstone tent is an excellent choice.
This is a high-quality backpacking tent with 2 vestibules to store your kit, but you won’t have enough space to store your bicycle if you go with this option.
The Opalus 3 is a waterproof and spacious tent for a bike-touring trip. The large porch is one of its biggest selling points, and it is sure to transform the comfort of your trip.
That being said, some shortcuts were taken in the design process of this tent. The stitching and seam quality is not as good as we would hope for in a tent of this price, so you shouldn’t be surprised if it lasts you for only a handful of expeditions.
Overall, we think it’s a sensible purchase; just bear in mind that it won’t last you for a lifetime.
We hope you found this tent review of the Naturehike Opalus 3 helpful, and we wish you many happy camping adventures!
How heavy should a thru-hiking tent be?
It depends on your strength and the weight of the rest of your kit. Overall, your backpack should not weigh more than 20% of your body weight, though the lighter you can get your pack, the better.
How can I reduce condensation in my tent?
To prevent condensation, you’ll need to open a window or vent. For this reason, you should buy a tent with angled windows if you’ll be camping in foul weather. It’s also a good idea to store any wet kit in the vestibule.
Can I cook inside my tent?
It is dangerous to cook inside your tent. If your stove tips over, you could quickly start a fire and get trapped inside. There is also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. You should cook outside your tent or in a porch area with high ceilings and at least 2 open doors.
If you are interested, here are some more Naturehikes tent reviews for you to check out:
1. Naturehike Cloud Up 1 Tent Review
2. Naturehike Cloud Up 2 Tent Review
3. Naturehike Cloud Up 3 Tent Review
4. Naturehike Vik 1 Tent Review
5. Naturehike Mongar 2 Tent Review
About the author
Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.