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Gossamer Gear Whisper Review


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Gossamer Gear Whisper Review

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
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  • #3789322
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: Gossamer Gear Whisper Review

    The Gossamer Gear Whisper is a 1-person, 2-pole, floorless full-perimeter shelter made with Dyneema Composite Fabrics. It includes an attached noseeum mesh netting skirt, is pitched with 7 stakes, and weighs 9.8 oz (280 g).

    #3789344
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Thanks for an interesting review!

    #3789345
    Justin H
    BPL Member

    @justinoutdoors

    But what about the Tensor Extreme I saw sneaking around in the tent?

    #3789346
    Zack L
    BPL Member

    @zloomis

    Ryan, would you consider doing an in-depth review including video of you Locus Gear Khufu? That is a shelter I would enjoy this level of detail for.

    #3789815
    Bryan Bihlmaier
    BPL Member

    @bryanb

    Locale: Wasatch Mountains

    Your video review highlighted one of my big peeves about a lot of ultralight tents: non-adjustable tie-out cords! Who designs a tent assuming that there will never be a rock in the ground where you need to insert a stake for proper tension (amount and direction)?!? It seems so silly to me to save a few grams per tie-out to sacrifice a good setup. And in some soils (particularly in forests), when you remove a stake it disturbs the surrounding soil enough that you can’t get a secure stake placement anywhere near the first one. So small adjustments don’t work well.

    For the Whisper it looks like you don’t need a lot of adjustability on the corner cords so you could get by with a taughtline or truckers hitch. But those limit the range of length adjustment to between half the length and the full length of the tie-out (and you may have to use your own cord because the adjustable knots will take up some length). On some tents I’ve owned that inexplicably came with fixed-length tie-out cords, I’ve been able to attach a Line-Loc to webbing loops at the corners for more adjustment.  But the Big Agnes tents I’ve owned have really aggravated me that use a “Jake’s Foot” with buckle in the corners. There is only a small tubular hinge through which you can pass a cord. I was able to tie a Line-Loc pull to the corners but it’s pretty crude and limits how close to the corners you can stake down the tent – not ideal in high wind situations. (I think Nemo’s light tents have the same issue).

    This is usually not a problem with apex and other guylines because they are so long, an adjustable-length loop (hitch or traditional tensioner) still gives enough adjustment length. But please tent and tarp designers, give us adjustable tie-outs so we don’t have to hack our own!

    #3789816
    Bryan Bihlmaier
    BPL Member

    @bryanb

    Locale: Wasatch Mountains

    Excellent video Ryan – it really demonstrates well this style of shelter and the Whisper in particular. Very helpful for someone considering this style of shaped tarp, especially since you can almost never “try before you buy”.

    I would like to see you try to set up that PolyCryo ground sheet with any kind of breeze blowing though. That usually drives me crazy 😁.

    #3789828
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Bryan, you can use a couple stakes in the corners of the polycro sheet to keep things in place. Mostly, I do not carry the stakes, but, whittle a few out of sticks. Often, all it takes is breaking the stick as needed. You can add a piece of duct tape, to both sides, if the corners get badly torn up. I get a couple years out of a single piece of poly, hate to add it to the dump until it is WELL used.
    Choose a rather stiff, half inch diameter stick, with a branch or two. Break/cut the center 4-5″ ABOVE the joint. Break/cut the branch(s) off.

    #3789892
    Richard Ostheimer
    BPL Member

    @rickostheimerbpl

    Great review.  I think you hit the best use scenario nail on the head.  Seems like a lighter (dyneema vs. sil-nylon), more generous netting fringe than the SMD Wild Oasis that I used on the CDT.  Another plus of this design is the ability to use ones ground sheet for an under-the-stars camp while having the ability to quickly pitch the tent atop ones setup if a stray shower develops overnight as happened to me on a few occasions.

    #3789920
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I was skeptical but the review made me think that this is a pretty darn good tent. I hate bugs and dirt and wet so a floorless tent isn’t something I would normally consider. However this review has me almost convinced for its light weight worthiness. However:

    –I don’t like tents with the pole inside next to my sleeping body (altho this may be a false objection that one night spent in one would remove.)

    –since one has to bring along a floor–even if it’s polycryo–wouldn’t a built in floor be worth the expense of another 3 ounces to simplify and improve performance? and make the entire tent more storm and bug worthy? Or anyway easier to work with at the end of a long day?

    –My very old Hexamid solo had a fully enclosed netting floor with a clip-in dcf (?) floor on top of that. This was a bad design, as the netting would would weigh a ton if it got wet. A dedicated floor to that shelter, that eliminated the need for extensive netting, eventually proved to be a better idea. I’m going to assume that this new GG tent will also suffer from rain adding weight in the netting. so the carry weight will balloon up to over a pound after a drenching rain.

    So for me, bearing an additional five or six ounces for a fully enclosed tent with a floor and pole outside of the living area still seems worth it.

    But: under 10 ounces for a well ventilated, storm worthy tent that’s easy to set up is very tempting!

    edit: as it happens I do use GG trekking poles. For others, having to rely in a lucky sized rock nearby to set up my tent just adds to the anxiety of using an essential pole structure situated right next to me as I sleep. a rock seems potentially unstable as a surface for my tent pole.

     

    #3789944
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Southern Indiana

    Nice thorough review.

    The biggest plus I see to the Whisper is the amount of bug protected headroom and space you get for the weight, probably hard to match. Canopy reminds me of the Big Sky Wisp but the Whisper is more thought out with 3 backside panels instead of 2 and an extra stake out point on the back as well.

    The Whisper looks to be more of a Western US warm season tent. I have used a Solo Hexamid for years and when the full netting bottom freezes to the ground it’s a major bummer. And I wouldn’t want to get caught out in a major blow with the Whisper either. Without a removable bathtub floor you’ll likely suffer shipwreck. Laying the polycro up to the windward side with hard blowing rain coming toward you won’t keep you dry in the real world. Also like the old SMD Wild Oasis the tent canopy must be fully closed for bug protection. No thanks, that’s the deal breaker.

    I’m surprised with the Whisper being such a true cutting-edge DCF shelter that much lighter carbon poles aren’t offered from GG instead of the heavy aluminum. For foot end pole I’d just order 2 of the .296″ Easton carbon pole sections from Questoutfitters and cut them down to size ($10 for both) https://www.questoutfitters.com/Tent_Poles_CF_3.9.htm#3.9_Carbon_Fiber_Poles_&_Parts. You’d also need end caps and 1/16″ shock cord. Pole would weigh 0.6 oz. And for the main pole I’d get 3 of the .446 Easton Syclone Max carbon pole sections and cut them down to make a 51.2 inch pole and that would weigh 2.7 oz ($15 for all 3). https://www.questoutfitters.com/Tent_Poles_Syclone_Max.htm#SYCLONE_Max_Poles

    #3789945
    David Hartley
    BPL Member

    @dhartley

    Locale: Western NY

    Like Richard said, looks very similar in concept to SMD Wild Oasis and their newer and slightly larger Deschutes Plus, but DCF vs silnylon. I used the wild oasis as my solo shelter for many years, and have been using the Deschutes Plus now for maybe 3-4 years when solo. I use it with a 3.5 oz DCF bathtub floor from Zpacks clipped into the corners.

    @jscott – I have never noticed the netting picking up significant water weight – although both of my SMD shelters were silnylon and that did of course pick up some water weight. It does accumulate forest duff and mud but you can just shake that off. I think SMD did make a DCF version of the regular Deschutes (no netting) at some point. As far as the pole next to you while sleeping – I don’t recall having ever collapsed my shelter, but I am definitely aware of it.

    Although I use them because of the 360 degree weather protection in a relatively light weight package, the biggest concern I have with shelters of this type is the sloping ends at the head and foot. I am 5’11-ish (might be closer to 5′ 10″ at this point – seem to be slowly shrinking) and I with an X-lite mattress and a 20 degree down bag I have to be pretty careful moving around inside, and dealing with rain requires some contortions getting in and out without soaking everything.

    But all that being said – I still use this type of shelter because I think it still wins the solo shelter trade study for me, and the weight for the Whisper is pretty compelling for 360 degree coverage. Maybe the 2nd pole helps with some of the headroom/space issues vs the single pole.

     

    #3789948
    David Hartley
    BPL Member

    @dhartley

    Locale: Western NY

    Took another look – offset design and 2nd pole does seem to address some of the head/foot space issues but the design seems pretty narrow side-to-side. I would want to see one set up before I spent $500 on it – and I see it is a limited issue with only 100 available so I guess I will stick with my Deschutes Plus.

    #3790235
    Scott Nelson
    BPL Member

    @nlsscott

    Locale: Southern California and Sierras

    I’m excited by this tent and have purchased one.  I like that it will protect a taller person with less contact with the canopy.  I had a Hexamid at one point and felt only partially protected from rain.

    After watching Ryan’s video about how a tensioned cord from the tent apex can increase the tent strength, I’m wondering if a small loop could be sewn to the high point and staked out.  Which direction would be most helpful? In line with the zipper?

    It would also be easy to sew on a tie out point to the perimeter.  I’m thinking of adding one to the large back panel about midway to the foot end.  This tie out could help stabilize that panel, but I’ll have to not over-tighten it and distort the panel.

    I stuck on a small loop inside the peak to hang a headlamp from.

    Where I hike in Southern California, this tent can be used most of the year for short trips where you know good weather is predicted.

    Scott

    #3790239
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    I was playing with the layout here at home, and it seems a rather severe lean on the center pole is possible. This would change the pole height, of course, likely around ~150cm. And, you will need 3-4 longer stakes for the back side & door zipper. This should bring it out and increase the interior living space with only a small weight penalty (4 longer stakes vs 4 standard stakes.)

     

    #3790245
    William Chilton
    BPL Member

    @williamc3

    Locale: Antakya

    I’m thinking of adding one to the large back panel about midway to the foot end.  This tie out could help stabilize that panel, but I’ll have to not over-tighten it and distort the panel.

    The problem with this is that if wind blows strongly on to the panel, it will distort it even if you’ve been careful not to over-tighten it as the panel tries to deflect.

    #3790417
    Robert Spencer
    BPL Member

    @bspencer

    Locale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah

    I love that GG came out with something relatively new and I see a use for this where mostly good weather is in the forecast.

    My concern is the durability of the zipper which rests in the dirt at all times. My old Zpacks Hexamid zipper suffered prematurely because try as I might, the door always flopped onto the ground.

    For those who picked one up, make sure the contents inside the Whisper don’t inadvertently press the perimeter netting beyond the canopy edge during rain. A sewn-in floor with less play seems to minimize the chances of this happening.

    #3794273
    todd
    BPL Member

    @funnymo

    Locale: SE USA

    I want one!   If someone doesn’t like theirs, please hit me up.

    Ryan, I really appreciate this review.  Really showed so many useful tidbits about this shelter – helped confirm why I want one :) .

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