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A Story of Many Generations

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The Start


Going back to the start of the 20th century, Alpino’s story begins with farrier Emile Heddebaut. He bought the patent for the production of the Cuiraline oil, used to maintain leather. He created “Etablissements Heddebaut” in 1903 and moved to Chaussée de Leuze in Renaix, where Alpino’s stitching workshop is still located today. He sold custom-made saddlery.


In 1920, Etablissements Heddebaut starts producing tarpaulins for trucks and tractors.

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Fernand, Emile’s son, takes over the company.

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Camping becomes popular after the Second World War. The free spirit of the 1960s inspires the creation of a “camping” department. André Heddebaut – 3rd generation already – is up to the task. The company produces its first bungalow tents and patrol tents.

Over time, the company specialised in the production of patrol, trekking and family tents under the name Alpino.

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In 1963, Alpino participated for the first time in the Holiday Fair in Brussels and did so for 35 years.

Alpino quickly became the reference for high-quality and reliable tents, made in Belgium.


In 1980 the first edition of the Alpino guides is released. These guides contain a description of all Alpino tents but also many useful tips and tricks for campers. 6 editions would eventually be published.


Alpino tents are used during various expeditions: the Himalayas, the Sahara, the South Pole, Patagonia, the North Cape, Greenland… This allows the company to put its tents in extreme conditions and to constantly improve their technical aspects.

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In the 1970s, Alpino was the only company to win the prestigious Signe d’Or award three times.



Alpino invested a lot of time in product innovation and was constantly looking for new markets to enter. In 1988, Alpino launched a new concept: Canopy. Revolutionary folding tents that can be installed in less than a minute.

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Canopy now imports Starshade tents from the USA. Starshade tents turn every event into an unforgettable experience.

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The Future


For many years Alpino has focused on the design and production of durable, high quality tents for scouts and other youth organisations. The production of the famous Alpino patrol tents still takes place in the original Alpino workshop in Renaix.

Since 2020 Alpino is part of the World of Tents group, the mother brand of 6 strong tent labels. World Of Tents combines over a century of collective experience in the design and manufacture of scouting and disaster relief tents with some of the most exciting new brands in glamping, camping, and temporary shelters for major events.

Even today, Alpino’s designs inspire everyone in the company. Of course, we are not resting on our laurels: these legendary designs will undoubtedly be the basis for a future Alpino collection.

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