Apr 29, 2014 at 10:17 pm #1316253
I need a new lightweight pack and 1-man tent. It is for Australia – I live in Sydney so will be bushwalking in the Blue Mountains particularly, but also hopefully the Snowy Mts (and Tasmania, Northern Territory, and NZ if I'm lucky). I have approx 20 years bushwalking experience in most of these regions, but have only ever had a heavy tent and pack (MEC Tarn 2 and Macpac Glissade). I'm not keen to carry that much weight any more!!
Tent – I would like to get something fully enclosed (ie no snakes or mozzies in the tent) and preferably <1kg (35oz). My current first choice is the Tarptent Moment DW. I don't currently use trekking poles but I am considering acquiring some (but they can't be used in a lot of places I would hike). I am hoping to be have some degree of wind/storm resistance but won't take it to the Snowies in winter by myself, hence only 3-season requirements. Ideally I would like to make or buy one of Roger Caffin's tents, but I don't think this is possible yet, so I'll need something in the interim.
Pack – I would like it to have a frame, less than 1kg, tough exterior, and be a good fit for a female. The GG Mariposa looks good for weight and size, but I'm not sure it will be a good fit for a 56kg (123pound) female with short torso. Also, I don't really need outer pockets, but they seem to be a feature of every lightweight pack available. Again, my ideal pack would be to make or buy one from Roger Caffin, as I know these are hardy enough for Australian conditions. But, any other suggestions in the meantime would be appreciated!Apr 30, 2014 at 1:50 am #2097798
@karenkLocale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
Moment, Notch or SS1 from Tarptent are all good, the Moment particularly goes up super fast – Franco has a video on YouTube somewhere to demonstrate. The Moment crossing pole increases its stability in wind but also makes the total tent a little heavier. We have the SS2 and it's a great wind shedding shape that is shared by the Notch. Accessory poles are available if you don't use trekking poles.
ZPacks is innovative too – check out the Solplex. Expensive but very light and great design! I have just bought a ZPacks Duplex for our July Larapinta Trail trip, and 600g for a spacious 2P tent is pretty amazing! We need good ventilation in NNSW and it's flexible enough for that which is good. Withstood coastal winds just fine.
ZPacks again will tailor a pack and leave off external pockets – I find aggressively S shaped shoulder straps suit me. I like my HMG Windrider (dyneema pockets not mesh) and it fits my 5'1" frame fine – very comfortable, and the cuben hybrid fabric is tough enough for Oz conditions.
Hope that helps.
KKMay 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm #2098473
The TarpTent models, in particular the Moment and Notch, do seem more appropriate for me. Does anyone have any other suggestions (ie other brands)?
Also, I would prefer a fairly hardy pack as I like to walk off-track, which is why I am hesitant regarding the GG Mariposa (and definitely not keen on the cuben fibre packs). Any other brand suggestions?May 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm #2098483
@crossfox21Locale: East Oregon
My Hyperlight Mountain Gear Porter pack is hard to beat. Has a frame and weighs in less than 3 pounds. Feels great and rides greatMay 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm #2098496
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Ah – the scrub in the Bluies. Not for the lighter fabrics!
At the risk of being rather plebian, can I also suggest looking at something from the GoLite range? The blue fabrics I have examined on the GoLite packs I have tested were quite good.
CheersMay 2, 2014 at 12:23 am #2098503
I sent a reply to your PM but for anyone that wants to contact me re: Tarptent it is easier via
franco at tarptent dot com than via PMs.May 2, 2014 at 5:41 am #2098516
@oystersLocale: South Australia
The moment is a great tent. I used the original version for a 9 month cycling trip from Adelaide to Sweden. Great for 3 season conditions, will handle light snow with care, otherwise the crossing pole I'd always leave behind. It does pitch amazingly fast. The real reason for this, I think, is that it only requires two pegs and is otherwise freestanding; this makes pitching on hard ground so much easier.
If have trekking poles though, you can save a lot of weight looking elsewhere. From tarptent look at the contrail. A Scyscape X would be perfect, but pricey; shaped like a moment but with trekking poles instead (I'd dare say stronger and possibly slightly faster overall. After 9 months, in the last few days of our cycle trip, I finally broke a tent pole section (had a spare so that was ok) on my moment…just too much long term pole fatigue).
Packs; I have a feeling that the hybrid cuben packs won't be good enough for you; you'll wear them out after a while. And I have a scary feeling that sharp Australian sticks will push through that 50D face fabric all too easily and put holes through the underlying cuben between the spectra, which while not devastating to the pack integrity, could be to some gear underneath. Something with the heavier spectra grid fabrics might be the go, or the Robic fabrics like ULA or the new Six Moon Designs packs.May 2, 2014 at 8:13 am #2098551
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
If you are a recent lottery winner, Cilogear climbing packs have probably the greatest high-strength / low weight ratio on the planet. Guaranteed to shrug off Oz brush.May 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm #2098769
You asked about other brands. The Six Moon Designs offerings are also nice. Some great new packs with little feedback from users so far, but for shelters, the SMD SkyScape series is very nice. The silnylon (middle) model of this pone person shelter is 24 ounces or so. What's that, about .75 Kilos? Anyway, that's just a reply to your other brands query. For packs, Gossamer Gear's packs, like the Gorilla, and Mariposa have durable dyneema fabric, lots of features and are very comfortable. As has been mentioned, Zpacks has some very good products and service as well.May 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm #2098787
There are vast numbers of pack options but for Australian conditions avoid packs with mesh side pockets. Generally the Dyneema X fabrics should provide adequate durability with relatively low weight but remember that the much of the weight of a pack is in the harness and myriads of oversized straps, buckles and other frippery that mainstream manufacturers seem to feel is essential. If you are getting your carried weight down then the need for capacity and heavily padded harness etc disappears – a virtuous circle.
Tents – look for good ventilation especially a top vent, bathtub floor and the ability to peg the tent close to the ground in windy conditions (Tassie and Koscuiszko). Tarp Tent certainly has some good designs at very reasonable prices and Six Moons Designs is also worth a look. Deeper pockets then cuben and ZPacks offerings.
If you are not aware of it there is an Australian bushwalking forum http://www.bushwalk.com – more mainstream (read heavy gear) but with a reasonably active UL participation.May 4, 2014 at 4:51 am #2098993
Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I've done more research and I'm fairly certain I will get the Notch for a tent.
Re: Packs, does anyone have any experience with Aarn packs? They are extremely comfortable (just tried on the Mountain Magic 50), but certainly pricey. Otherwise I would probably choose Golite Quest 50 or maybe consider one of the ULA packs (also pricey). Unfortunately I can't try on any of these packs.
How tough is 210d nylon (which seems to be the material used in each of these packs)?
Thanks, Sarah.May 4, 2014 at 5:34 am #2098999
@dandruLocale: Down Under
I've just bought a Moment DW and have a Scarp1, I've also got an Aarn load Limo and a Osprey Hornet.
A common weight benchmark amongst lightweight packs in the 50 litre range, seems to be around 1 to 1.1 kg +/-. My Hornet is 800 grams but it's only good for 9kg whereas the Aarn, I can put heaps of weight in it. Female friends of mine seem to like the Aarn Featherlite Freedoms, but as you say, they are expensive.
The girl that runs the site below has been using a lightweight Macpac.
Other brands that you can test in OZ:
Exped LightningMay 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm #2099120
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I have tried out one Aarn pack. I found two problems with it: a serious misfit as the torso length seemed to be for someone over six foot tall (I'm not), and it was very narrow at the top so getting stuff in and out was a right pain. And the pack always fell over.
The guy has some good ideas, but …
PS: 210 denier nylon – tough, but it would still need some care in dry scrub.
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