Scandinavias's leading tent and sleeping bag manufacturer
Helsport is a Norwegian family owned and run company established in 1951. We developed our first sleeping bags already in 1954 and our first then in 1957. We launched the Worlds first tunnel tent in 1970, and since then we have set several international standards in innovation. It is with pride we can say that we received our first design award as early as 1968 and as late as in 2012.
Today we are proud to be looked upon as Scandinavia’s leading tent and sleeping bag manufacturer, and our history can tell you more about how we got here:
1951 - Helliksen Sport is founded by Arild Helliksen. This was the name of our company until 1974, when it changed into a corporation and was re-named Helsport AS.
1954 - The first self-designed sleeping bag models are created and Helsport is established as a brand with our own logo.
1957 – The first Helsport tents are developed. The boy on the left is Stein Helliksen, our CEO today.
1964 – Until the late 1960 ́s Helsport mainly had products for camping use, but that all changed in 1964 when we came in contact with Arne Næss senior who planned a Norwegian expedition to climb Tirich Mir in the Himalayas. This was the start of a total restructuring of Helsports products. For the same expedition we also developed revolutionary lightweight expedition sleeping bags.
1968 – inspired by the expedition community Helsport created one of the world’s first lightweight tents, and became the first company north of Dovre to receive the Norwegian Design Award for “Fjellteltet Nylon”. At the same time, we developed expedition jackets and pants with downfill.
1970 – A prototype of the world’s first tunnel tent is tested on an expedition in the Himalayas lead by the Norwegian climber Trond Aas!
1971 – The world’s first tunnel tent is introduced to the industry at the SPOGA tradeshow in germany. it is with great pride we can look back at having set the standard for tent development though decades with this invention.
1979 – Through innovation, we continued to set world standards developing tents, and were the first to launch a tent with large vestibule /camp solution.
1986 – Børge Ousland, Agnar Berg and Jan Ertsås decided to not only follow in Nansens footsteps from 1888, but to surpass him (at least in distance), and crossed Greenland with skis and parachutes. This expedition was Ouslands first, and the beginning of a long-lasting partnership with Helsport.
1988 - It nearly ended in disaster when Aslak Aastorp and Øyvind Vadla attempted to reach one of the worlds perhaps most inaccessible mountains, Cerro Torre, but after a dramatic snow and ice avalanche they reached the top!
1993 – At 6 AM on the morning of January 7th 1993 Erling Kagge reached 90 ° South, and was invited to the U.S. South Pole base after walking 1319 kilometers alone through 50 days. This was one of the first major Norwegian expeditions we were a part of.
1994 – On April 22nd 1994 Børge Ousland achived his goal and became the first to reach the North Pole alone and unsupported. This will forever stand as one of the greatest achievements in polar history.
1996 – The introduction of a brand new sleeping bag series based on several years of working with active users. New fit, new compression bag and new details made Alta a winner of several consumer tests, and this is one of our most popular models even today.
1996 - We participated in the world’s longest ski-expedition with Torry Larsen and Rune Gjeldnes. 2928 km unsupported for 86 days.
1996 – This was also the year we set another standard in tent development, launching the world’s first pole cup.
1996 – Our first lavvu, Tana, is launched. Several of our lavvus has since then won a variety of consumer tests.
1997 - The world’s lightest and most compact tent for 3 persons, Rondane, was launched and became an immediate success.
1999 – We introduce Svalbard 3, our flagship and multiple test winner through many years. This tent has probably followed more expedition members to the North Pole than any other tent! Since 1999 Svalbard has become a series of tents for tough winter and expedition use.
2000 - After many years of collaboration with various expeditions we introduced Arctic Super 3, a sleeping bag for use during extreme cold, down to - 55 ° C for a longer periods of time. 3 bags in 1!
2003 – Børge Ousland and Thomas Ulrich became the first to cross the trans Patagonian glacier in South America unassisted. The expedition gave us valuable feedback in terms of product development.
2004 – introducing the Fjellduk and our first backpack collection.
2005 - As Rondane in 1997, Fjellheimen became a sensation when launched in 2005. We managed to reduce the weight and at the same time increase the volume by more than 20 %. More space, less weight!
2006 – “North pole by Night” is the name of one of the toughest expeditions ever undertaken. Børge Ousland and Mike Horn set off to the North Pole during winter, the coldest time of the year and in total darkness. Once again we were able to test our tents and sleeping bags under the most extreme conditions imaginable. Thankfully they reached the North Pole safely!
2006 – Apparel once again became part of our product range, and a lot of exciting developments for sleeping bags throughout the years gave important input to our new jackets.
2009 – We join Petter Nyquist and Lars Oma Erichsrud to the top of Mount Everest.
2010 – introducing Huldreheimen, a brand new sleeping bag concept for women, based on long-term testing and research in collaboration with the research institute SINTEF and the Baffin Babe girls.
2010 – Based on the very popular Varanger lavvu, we introduce Varanger Camp, a unique new lavvu with vestibule / camp solution.
2010/2011 – Proud and humble we received the Design Award from the Norwegian Design Council two years in a row, for sleeping bags Huldreheimen and Kongsfjorden. A confirmation that we are still a leading company in product development, more than 40 years after our first award.
2011 – Weighing only 0,85 kg, Ringstind SuperLight sets a new standard for lightweight tents and becomes a test winner. Same materials and solutions are used on our launch of another breakthrough the following year: Fjellheimen SuperLight 3 Camp; a 3-person tent under 2 kilos!
2012 – Long term product development and close cooperation with Børge Ousland result in the launch of Patagonia – the ultimate expedition tent. It is the first in series of Ousland products, with new and unique features.
2012 – after years of development and in close cooperation with Børge Ousland we launch the expedition tent Patagonia. The first in a series of Ousland-products, with new and unique features.
2013 – We launch LY; a series of hiking gear that is lighter, more flexible and easier to use than ever!
2013 - Snota is an immidiate favorite among people doing several different activities; its smart solutions makes it suitable for "everything"!
2014 - Our Superlight-series are expanded with two new models, and now represents a complete series of serveral of the worlds lightest tents in its categories.