Wednesday, 28 July 2010

New Brand from the UK

I just recieved an e-mail (newsletter) from Ultralight Outdoor gear with a bit more information about their own brand line called Gram Counter Gear As yet they only have one product, a single skin tent similar to the likes of the Tarptent Contrail. It was previewed as a prototype Here a while back and there were a few comments regarding price point and in particular the lack of a bathtub groundsheet but it looks like it's coming to the market without a bathtub groundsheet. Thats likely to be a contentious issue so I'm interested to see how it pans out.

At 850g (up 100g from the prototype) without poles or pegs it isn't groundbreakingly light, there are 2 skin tents that are just as light (poles taken into account) if you don't normally use trekking poles, at £139 which is less than the originally suggested price I think it's about right. It's available in Yellow (a strange choice as it's AFAIK the colour most attractive to insects) and the usual green.

Personally I feel that it wouldn't really suit me as I don't generally use trekking poles anymore and unless there was a sub 200g pole set it wouldn't offer much in the way of a weight saving, that said I may just try one to see how it performs. Another similar product is the Golite Shangri-La 1, the size is similar as is the weight at 904g if you include the Shangri-La nest, the Shangri-La with nest is however a 2 skin design with a bathtub floor although it's more expensive at £185.

Interestingly there's mention of forthcoming products including a poleset for those who don't use trekking poles, there's no suggested weight (or price) yet unfortunately. Another suggested product is a titanium frying pan, I'm not sure how successful that would be to be honest as titanium doesn't transfer heat very well and has a tendency to 'hot spot', something that isn't particularily desirable in a frying pan so again it'll be interesting to see how it performs.

It's good to see someone offering alternatives to the products from the US manufacturers and while there isn't much as yet to temp me personally I certainly hope the venture is successful.