Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Oookworks UK, Inner Nests for the Golite Hex/ShangriLa 3
Oookworks Mesh Inner Nest
Although I don't use a Golite Hex/ShangriLa 3 myself they're quite popular in the UK especially with those who like to go Lightweight and/or benefit from the space/versatility that single skin shelters offer. Of course you could be forgiven for questioning why anyone would want to carry a single skin shelter that once you add the bits and pieces required to actually pitch weighs more than some 2 skin tents. It's a question I've asked myself but having used the flysheet only of my Phreeranger 2 skin tent I can see where the benefits are.
One of the main advantages is space, I've tried a TN Laser and a Vaude Power Lizard and while they're light, as little as 1.0kg in the case of the Power Lizard they don't have anywhere near the same useable space as something like the Golite ShangriLa or my Phreeranger fly for that matter.
The other thing that I suspect appeals to a lot of people is versatility, certainly thats what I like about my Phreeranger. I've used it as intended, with a footprint only and with a footprint/bivvy bag and I know that a lot of folks who use the Hex/ShangriLa 3 do the same. One further advantage of something like the ShangriLa 3 is that if you use trekking poles then you don't need to carry a dedicated tent pole.
The only issue I have with my Phreeranger set-up is that while my bivvy bag, a Titanium Goat Ptarmigan has a midge net hood it isn't quite as useable as a midge proof inner tent. Golite make a mesh inner tent which they call a 'Nest' but it's a full size (3 person) inner and heavy at 850g, they also make a footprint/groundsheet for the ShangriLa which again covers the entire floor area but at 535g it's also quite heavy.
There are quite a few people using the ShangriLa 3 as a solo shelter however so a half inner or footprint would still provide a large sleeping area but also create a very large porch/vestibule for cooking and gear storage, unfortunately Golite don't provide a half inner and that's where Oookworks come in.
What I suspect started out as an MYOG project has developed thanks to demand from those with a Hex/ShangriLa3 who either don't have the time or expertise to make their own inner tent. Sean at Oookworks makes a nicely designed nest which is available in full mesh for maximum ventilation or plain ripstop as a warmer more draftproof alternative, both available with a choice of 2 (at present) groundsheet weights. As the nests are made to order for the time being Oookworks can customise them to suit individual requirements, they also offer a repair/modification service.
Oooknest Mesh Inner, Porch Space is Massive!!
Ripstop Oooknest, Ample Sleeping Space for 1 with room for odds and ends
Quite often on UK outdoors forums you hear people lamenting the lack of a UK cottage industry so here's an opportunity to support someone who's trying to change that. Have a look at the Oookworks website and if there's anything you want to know use the Oookworks contact form, that's what it's for after all :-)