Helsport – from “glamping” to expedition equipment.
Yes, it has definitely been a journey, and we could have never done it alone! Our story is the result of countless moments; meetings, tough expeditions and slightly crazy ideas. All those small events that might be perceived as insignificant, but which in the end have created the Helsport we know and love today.
Our journey has taken us from producing house like tents with several rooms and high ceilings – where barbecues, swimming shorts and the famous «Hawaiian shirt» were important elements. To producing the world's first tunnel tent, sleeping bags for Arctic expeditions and equipment that can withstand some of the world's toughest weather conditions.
Since 1951, we have been producing equipment for the outdoor experiences. A lot has happened since then - but even though the product range at Helsport has changed direction, we still have the same vision. We still work to give you the best outdoor experience possible. We want you to be able to trust the equipment enough to challenge yourself, and we want you to experience everything nature has to offer. Whether that means your first night in a tent or spending a month crossing Greenland.
The year when Arild Helliksen establishes Helliksen Sport. This was the name of the company until 1974, when it was changed to Helsport AS.
We launch our first self-developed sleeping bags. It is also around this this time that Helsport is established as a brand name and gets its own logo.
The first Helsport tents are developed and it’s all about the traditional camping life. Comfort and spaciousness were important factors, some might say that we were a little ahead of our time in terms of "Glamping".
A somewhat random knock on our door was to be the turning point for Helsport. Arne Næss and Ralf Høibakk are planning a Norwegian climbing expedition to Tirich Mir in the Himalayas - and they are in need of equipment. This was the start of a big internal shift; where we changed direction towards the Helsport we know today.
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The expedition environment had great influence on our product development moving forward, and contributed to the launch of the world's first lightweight tent in 1968. This was also the year we were the first company north of Dovre to receive the Norwegian Design Award for the Nylon Mountain Tent.
The prototype of the world's first tunnel tent is tested on an expedition in the Himalayas with Norwegian climber Trond Aas in the lead!
Product development and innovation has always been at the core of Helsport and we were the first company to create tents with a large vestibule / camp solution. At the same time we were working continuously to create more lightweight products - without compromising on quality.
Ever since Helsport found its true calling, various expeditions have made their mark on our product development. In 1986, Børge Ousland, Agnar Berg and Jan Ertsaas decide not only to follow in Nansen's ski trail from 1888, but to surpass him, at least in distance, crossing Greenland with skis and parachutes. This expedition was Ousland's first, and the beginning of a long-time collaboration with Helsport, as an ambassador and product tester.
At 6 AM in the morning of January 7th, 1993, Erling Kagge reaches 90 ° south and is invited to the American South Pole base after walking 1319 kilometers alone for 50 days. One of the first really big Norwegian expeditions we have been a part of.
On April 22nd, 1994, Børge Ousland reaches his goal of becoming the first to reach the North Pole alone, without assistance. This expedition will forever be considered one of the greatest achievements of polar history. And another great test of our products.
We introduce a brand new sleeping bag series, we make the world's first pole cup for our tents, and we launch our first lavvo, Tana – which has topped a number of consumer tests since then.
This is the year we launch the world's lightest and most compact 3-person tent; Rondane. An immediate success that helped set a whole new standard within tent development.
Our flagship tent and test winner for several years; Svalbard 3, are launched. Probably the tent in the world with most overnight stays for expedition members on their way to the North Pole. This was also the start of a series of tents for tough winter use and expeditions.
Børge Ousland og Thomas Ulrich blir de første i verden til å krysse den transpatagoniske isbreen i Sør Amerika uten etterforsyninger. Nok en ekspedisjon som gir oss verdifulle tilbakemeldinger for videre produktutvikling.
North Pole by Night is the name of one of the roughest expeditions ever done. Børge Ousland and Mike Horn go to the North Pole during the winter in the coldest time of the year and in total darkness. We get to test our tents and sleeping bags again under the most extreme conditions. We were so happy when they reached the goal – and were safe!
Ever since we launched the world's most lightweight tent in 1968, we continued our quest to make the lightest products with the very best quality. With Ringstind SuperLight, a completely new standard is set for lightweight tents for the next decade.
It’s the jubilee anniversary year South Pole, and we are part of several expeditions on their way to the pole. The official anniversary expedition with Stein P. Aasheim and Vegard Ulvang is leading a path to follow in Roald Amundsen's footsteps. Aleksander Gamme conducts a return trip to the South Pole - the world's longest ski trip, alone, without supplies.
We establish Norway's first outdoor blog for girls - which quickly also becomes Norway's largest outdoor blog. A bunch of girls of different ages, with different backgrounds and different interests help us spread the joy of the outdoors to a whole new audience.
In close collaboration with Alexander Read (Mina and me), we develop a series of pink tents to support the important work of Cancer Associations.
We open our online shop in Sweden! Finally, we will share our Norwegian joy of hiking with our nearest and dearest neighbor. Also, our expedition legacy continues; at the beginning of February 2021, Vincent Colliard and Caroline Côté embark on an intense and challenging winter expedition on Svalbard where the goal is to cross Spitsbergen from north to south.