Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Which One.............................

For a long time now I have known I need to lighten my load a bit more. I own the Berghaus C71 and have taken this on winter wild camps.  It is massive, heavy very strong and for me does the job brilliantly when it comes to carrying the BIG load on a one night trip.

In June my good lady got me the the Osprey Exos 46 which I used the last two trips, this is a great back pack. It is really light and still carries a fair bit of gear. The only criticism I have of the bag is that you cannot ‘stuff’ your gear in, doing this will cause a support bar to pop out and weaken the pack. The pack will not take a bulk load. Hence the reason for deciding the next shelter.

I currently use the Vango Spectre 200. I got this 18 months ago and has been with me for all my trips. Most of them in pouring rain. It did the job well. On one occasion i was stupid enough to pitch on smooth moss and woke up in the middle of the night in a small pond, all my gear and I were dry! For one night trips this tent is awesome and looks after you really well, worth every penny which was £70.  It compresses down into two 5 litre dry bags which is too big for one to carry and weighs 2.5kg.

For a few months now I have been thinking of a lighter, smaller, more compact shelter. I looked at many and finally had a top three. Terra Nova Laser Competition, Terra Nova Voyager Superlight and the MLD Trailstar.

Terra Nova Laser Competition: Well rated tent by many, light, small pack size and a double walled tent. I have seen however this tent being battered in strong winds enough to snap the hooped pole. Choice number 3.

Terra Nova Voyager Superlight: A tent with good size inside, stronger, double walled and also packs down small. However weighs 1.5kg. Choice number 2.

MLD Trailstar: Every review I have read on this has been positive. A single pentagon shaped shelter which is invincible in strong winds. The downside for me is having no groundsheet sewn in. Can sleep 2, small pack size, light and has no poles of its own which needs to be carried, trekking poles do the job. Choice number 1.

I ordered the Trailstar a month ago and am looking forward to its arrival. I will need to seal the seams when it arrives and have ordered the stake set that can come with it. Pricewise this is the cheapest even with the stake set and ground sheet. In total $231 (£147) including the delivery. It should be arriving at the end of October to mid November.

I will be investing in a Bivy as I do not have one yet, lightweight no more that £100.  Any suggestions welcome. I am clueless when it comes to this department. I have had in mind the Alpkit Hunka however I have heard mixed reviews.