There are quite a lot of bushwalkers in Australia, the terrain and weather are a bit different from other countries, and Australia is a long way from all other major gear making countries (with the notable exception of New Zealand). What all this means is that Australia does have its own gear culture and quite a few local gear manufacturers. Basically, traditional Australian gear is made rugged, to cope with our bush and our weather. I can have a nice hot day with a hailstorm in the afternoon.

Unfortunately the Australian gear culture seems to be frozen in a time warp these days, with a strong focus on heavy canvas packs being a well-known example. The local shops are terrified of returns, and simply won't stock modern UL (or even light-weight) gear. (The American idea of buying two with the intent of returning one would be regarded with horror and rejection here by the retailers.) This makes it hard for local manufacturers to move into the light-weight space. However, one company - One Planet, has been cautiously testing the water - spurred on in part by the author nagging away at the company owner, who he has known for years.

In addition to making bushwalking gear, One Planet also makes gear for adventure organisations (eg schools), government departments (eg Post Office workers), and for the Australian and New Zealand Antarctic research organisations. The latter is rather impressive: the tents and outerwear have to withstand full-on Antarctic weather. But that gear is not UL!

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  • One Planet Shadow Pack

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