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overnight ultralight bushwalking shelters and equipment

see also:

  • I don't sell any of these nor do I receive any remuneration if you buy them, and I have not personally reviewed all of them, they are listed here to give you perspective
  • don't get caught in the trap that you must have the most minimalistic ultralight gear - comfort and safety are critical considerations as well!


  • IF you can get your weight to ultralight levels, a frameless pack MAY be a possibility and further save weight
    • BUT heavier loads > 9kg weight will be uncomfortable in a frameless pack
  • overnight walkers should not carry more than:
    • 25% of body weight if female
    • 1/3rd of body weight if male (eg. around 20-25kg max, preferably 14-18kg)
  • one should carry 2L water per person per day and 3L if hot weather although most hikers carry 1-1.5L as well as water sterilisation gear IF they know that water WILL be available to collect during the hike.
  • one set of dry clothes is sufficient along with wet weather gear, good shoes, map, EPIRB, shelter, sleeping mat, etc.
  • preferably, the backpack design and packing should distribute the weight 80% to hips and 20% to shoulders - too much on the shoulders and you will have sore shoulders, sore neck and back, and tend to walk bent over which is not how we are designed
  • the hip belt thus becomes a key factor in comfort:
    • it needs to efficiently transfer weight to the hips to take it off the shoulders
    • they should not sag in the lumbar region causing it to slide off and this generally requires a horizontal metal lumbar plate
    • the hip belt should fit snuggly over the top of your pelvis - should be well padded with dual adjustments on each side
    • to maintain an upright gait with a heavy load, the centre of gravity should be high and close to the body (heavier gear such as water should be high and central rather than on outside bottom pockets) - load lifting compression straps can aid with this and a rigid structure is then needed to transfer this load to the hips
  • examples of ultralight back packs:
  • how to load a backpack:


  • a hiking shelter needs to protect you from adverse conditions yet be light enough for you to carry - be aware that some ultralight options are only good for fair weather!
    • for alpine severe conditions, a compromised shelter could be fatal - get a high tech 4 season alpine hiking tent which can cope with snow and strong winds but will necessarily be heavy such as:
      • Mont Supercell tunnel tent 2797g 2P ~$AU1000
      • Mont Dragonfly 2650g 2P tent ~$AU1000 - this is a spacious, rare all year round capable tent except for the warmest of nights (most 4 season tents are just winter only as they have poor ventilation options)
      • for those on alpine expeditions (outside of Australia), and even stronger tent may be warranted such as:
    • for most other hiking, in general, a two door freestanding tent is easier to set up, allows you to sit up, gives more room and is more versatile as it can be moved around to find the best site, you can get away with minimal pegging on calm nights if the ground is not amenable to pegs while the dual doors offer great ventilation options on warmer nights while giving better access options, especially if wind direction changes overnight.
      • unfortunately, the lightest tent that addresses all the above will be 900g and very expensive as it uses DCF cuben fibre material, but it will cope with snow and severe winds (but won't be as warm as a 4 season alpine tent) - Zpacks Free Zip 2P tent 896g w/o pegs and $US899
      • given the price, hikers will generally compromise and may accept cheaper shelters which are either:
        • non-free-standing:
          • tarp shelters with a bivy
            • if weight is critically important, for average height hikers, the ZPacks Plex Solo Classic at 413g and $US599 is a great option while for taller hikers over 6', the Zpacks Altaplex classic at 467g and $669 is a great option BUT these do have a trekking pole in the middle of the door and the rainbow door falls to the ground, and they are still very expensive, so many opt for the cheaper, more spacious, and heavier Six Moons Lunar Solo which is silpoly, better doors and weighs 795g but you will need to seam seal it yourself
          • two door trekking pole ultralight hiking tents providing much greater versatility than single door tents
            • if weight is critically important for a solo hiker needing two doors, the Durston X-Mid Pro 1 with DCF floor at 440g and ~$AU980 looks like it will be a great option but if you can't afford that, then consider the cheaper, silpoly solid version Durston X-Mid 1 solid at 825g and ~$AU400 (or the mesh version which is a little lighter and better for warmer nights)
            • for two hikers, the Durston X-Mid Pro 2+ at 545g and ~$AU1200 is a great option or the cheaper, silpoly solid version Durston X-Mid 2 solid 1035g but only ~$AU460 (or the mesh version which is a little lighter and better for warmer nights)
          • ultralight semi-freestanding tents (need at least 1-2 pegs to hold its shape) such as:
            • the Nemo Hornet Osmo Elite - but the compromise is that it seems it may not do well in adverse conditions
        • heavier free standing tents:
          • see the many options below
    • NB. all hiking tents need to be treated with care - it is easy to compromise their waterproofing by punctures, etc
    • NB. consider avoiding silnylon as it absorbs water and becomes heavy and takes longer to dry out than silpoly, Osmo or DCF
    • NB. if you are hiking as a couple, you can share the weight of gear HOWEVER, if doing very long thru hikes, you will probably want SEPARATE tents for a variety of reasons!
  • fly and floor material:
    • nylon is weighted by the Denier scale with the lightest tent fabrics being 10D while a tent floor might be made of 70D
    • waterproofing is rated according to head of hydrostatic pressure in mm that it can resist
      • many ultralight tents are rated at only 1200mm
    • polyurethane coated nylon (PU nylon)
      • cheaper, heavier option and as PU coating is generally applied to the interior surface to protect it from UV and abrasion, it is hydrophilic and becomes waterlogged and takes longer to dry out so you end up carrying a heavy wet tent and you need to ensure it is completely dry before storage. Wet, humid environments such as the tropics will quickly hydrolyse the PU causing it to degrade, become sticky and peel off.
      • some also have an external Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating (eg. MSR Hubba Hubba' Durashield PU/silicone)
      • some add polyether to reduce hydrolysis “PeU nylon” (eg. Nemo)
      • flooring can be made of double-sided PU nylon for extra waterproofing as UV resistance is not an issue (unless fly is not in place to protect it from the sun)
    • silicone nylon (silnylon)
      • lighter, more slippery,more UV and temperature stable, and stronger than PU and unlike PU it becomes embedded in the nylon not just coating it, and being hydrophobic, it rapidly sheds water by shaking it rather than the water being absorbed but these too eventually break down with UV exposure if left in the sun for very long periods. It does stretch when it gets wet and thus guy lines will need to be re-tightened, and it can sag in rain.
      • it is slippery so:
        • snow slides off it easily in winter conditions
        • silnylon seams can't be taped
        • one can't easily tape things to silnylon with duct tape and thus some flys are made with silnylon or outer surface and PU on inner surface, but these are heavier and less durable than double sided silnylon
    • SuprSil is double sided silnylon and same weight as silnylon, but 2x more waterproof and has 50% stronger tear strength than generic silnylon although is very slippery and attracts dirt which is not so easy to remove.
      • in heavy rain, you may also need a groundsheet to reduce moisture seeping through the SuprSil or silnylon floor and wetting your sleeping bag
    • Kerlon
      • made for Hilleberg tents, it is silnylon with both sides coated with 3 layers of 100% silicone for more waterproofing and tear strength. Kerlon 1000 is 20D nylon and 2000mm waterproof.
    • cuben fibre or non-woven Dyneema (NWD)
      • very expensive (~4x cost of silnylon), but is lighter (half the weight of silnylon), much stronger and UV resistant, more translucent, more vulnerable to abrasion and puncture but are easier to repair than nylon and doesn't stretch which can make it harder to pitch. It is not as slippery as silnylon but this makes it not quite as good for snow conditions. It is also less resistant to high temperatures so don't cook inside the tent.
  • most one or two person hikers will be best served by a good 1.3-1.5kg 2 person tent that is easy to set up and gives good room and more livable than a 1 person tent, plus better storm proofing than an extreme ultralight setup.
  • be aware that during the night while you sleep, native mice can eat through a tent tub floor, through a cuben fibre stuff sack and through a zip lock plastic bag to access food that their sensitive noses have detected! Consider using Loksak Opsak waterproof bag to reduce this temptation as they are designed to block any odors
    • many hang their food on a tree well away from the tent in the hope that this will reduce the risk of a predator such as a bear investigating their tent - fortunately we do not have bears in Australia, but goannas, rats, dingoes, etc can be troublesome and wombats can destroy your tent if they smell food or deodorants, etc inside the tent!

poncho emergency shelters

  • can also act as very large “ponchos” for groups to huddle under in the rain
  • Sea to Summit Ultra-sil tarp/poncho for one person 230g 1.45 x 2.65m tarp $A135
  • Gatewood Cape Shelter ($A249) - can also be used with Six Moon mesh bug tent


  • the main advantage of a bivy is compact size and ultralightweight (but some are actually heavier than some tents!)
  • the next advantage is that they allow you to set up in places where you couldn't set up a tent
  • it can add up to 5-7degC to your sleep system which can be great in winter
  • best for dry, arid areas with cold nights or as an emergency shelter
  • there are many cons:
    • not great in the rain - you need a tarp otherwise the inside is going to get wet as you get in and out
    • they are too hot on warm summer nights and you will get sweaty
    • they are essentially single wall tents and so condensation can be a major problem no matter what season and you are highly likely to wake up damp - for multi-day hikes, you will then have to dry it out each day as well as your sleeping bag
    • if you fully zip up to keep out bugs, you will create more condensation with your breathing
    • very confined - you have to get changed lying down in a tight space
    • there is no room for your gear
  • protection level:
    • full protection bivy
      • heavier Gortex material for more waterproofing or similar material plus insect proof mesh
      • 850-1000g
      • this concept is extended further with swags which are much heavier again as they tend to be made of canvas
    • partial protection bivy:
      • heavier Gortex material for more waterproofing but no mesh to keep out bugs
      • 850-1000g
    • limited protection bivy:
      • ultra-lightweight, splashproof nylon shell only thus need to use with a tarp
      • 250-350g
  • structure level:
    • structured
      • usually have a metal wire to create some space around your head end to hold the material away from your face
    • un-structured
      • no support frame
  • most you have to crawl into from the end, some have a side zipper like a sleeping bag

tarp as shelter

  • light, compact, versatile - as long as you know how to pitch them
  • can also use a ground sheet to reduce risk of water (even if using an enclosed tarp tent)
  • tarps require use of mosquito nets or a bivvy to keep you from the bugs, but in the desert can be used primarily as a windbreak without a bug net
  • flat tarps in A-frame pitch takes longer than with catenary cut tarp
  • in storm mode, flat tarps only provide 3 sided protection which can be more problematic compared to pyramidal tarps
  • Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp
    • 2.5m x 2.5m 280g cuben fibre $US340
    • 16 LineLocs are spaced around the perimeter of the tarp, and five guy out points are located in the middle
  • Sea to Summit Escapist 15D
    • 15D Sil/PU coated Ultra-Sil® Nano fabric
    • eight Hypalon tie-out points will each hold the tip of a trekking pole
    • medium 2 x 2.6m 270g
    • large 3 x 3m 350g
  • Wilderness Equipment's Overhang Shelter
    • engineered tarp 30 denier high-tenacity nylon 66 fabric with a silicone elastomer coating on BOTH sides
    • 3m guy lines supplied on corners, 2m on sides - strong reflective fleck, with sliding cleat adjusters
    • Tear drop guy cord pockets
    • small 2 x 2.95m 550g
    • medium 3 x 2.95m 700g
    • large 4.5 x 2.95m 1060g

300-400g 1 person trekking pole single wall tent

  • examples:
    • Big Sky Wisp tent - available in 300g-600g designs although the 300g version is $US300 more expensive as it uses lighter, stronger, more UV resistant, Let-It-Por Cuben fibre fabric
      • not recommended for high humidity areas as poor ventilation
    • Sea to Summit Specialist Solo tent
      • 625g with poles, 445g when used with trekking poles; packs to 25x10cm
      • Duo version for 2 people, 846g and 663g w/o poles;
      • not easy to set up
      • at 433g, 100g lighter than the Zpacks Duplex but much less room, similar packability, only 1 entrance, more condensation risk and more difficult to pitch

500-600g cuben fibre trekking pole dual wall 2 person mesh tent

500g Cuben Fibre tarp tent

540g 360deg tarp/poncho and 1 person bug tent

580g cuben fibre 1 person dual wall tent

  • Terra Nova laser ultra 1 tent ($A1199)
    • tunnel style tent but with single side door - double-ended outer zip lets the steam out and stops the cold coming in
    • packs very small and light (576g) - dimensions are the same as the Laser Photon 1
    • fly and floor is 3000mm waterhead “Ultra” fabric
    • canopy is nearly all yellow nylon (presumably 10D) except for half mesh door and the small mesh vents at each end
    • Scandium Alloy main central curved pole with carbon fibre short end poles
    • ventilation is via the half-mesh inner door and the adjustable end panels
    • optional but included 58g pole covers can hep improve weathersealing the pole section
    • comes with very thin titanium pegs but most will want to use their own pegs for the 13 stake out points
    • not freestanding but much more UV resistant and waterproof than other ultralight tents not made from cuben fibre and apparently less wind noise
    • vestibule is quite small though - backpack will need to lie on its side to fit
      • 490g, poles now clipped on rather than thread through tunnel as with original version and placed to the head in (similar to a swag-style) and not as high as the Photon 1

600-1400g trekking pole tents

600-800g semi-freestanding tents

  • these require at least 2 pegs for stability
  • TheCatal Wind Anchor
    • coming in 2024
    • 5000mm WH silnylon single door, single central hooped pole, wind resistant design to snuggly fit 2 people but fabric will be close to your face
    • 650g and packs to 28x10x10cm; can also be used as a hammock with guy ropes to each side of the centre pole hoop

750-850g freestanding tent incl. bug tent and tub floor

    • SuprSil version with carbon fibre poles comes in at 730g
    • can leave fly off and use as bug tent
    • single vestibule and vent, easy to set up and provides full 360deg 3 season protection
    • Soul 2P version available for same weight but need to get the expensive Let-It-Por cuben fibre version otherwise it will be 1-1.1kg for SuprSil version
  • Terra Nova Laser photon 1
    • 852g with the .55 oz/sqyd 15000mm Dyneema® Composite Fabric material fly and floor is made from 1.0 oz/sqyd 20000mm Dyneema® Composite Fabric. Carbon fibre poles;
    • $US849 discontinued - replaced by the Free Zip 2P tent

850-900g 1P silnylon freestanding tents

800-1200g semi-freestanding tents

  • these tents come with Y-shaped pole framework with compact inner spaces and need two of the corners of the inner tent to be guyed out hence not fully freestanding
  • they are NOT great in the wind and the bathtub floors may let water in when water is pooled under the tent as the waterhead rating for the floor is a bit low
    • released in 2022, but now these tents are on voluntary recall as of Feb 2024
    • seems there were lots of issues with condensation, zips breaking and rain entry from using the door
    • uses their new 1200mm WH Osmo ripstop poly-nylon PFAS-free recycled fabric with “4x better water repellent and 3x less stretch when wet than nylon fabrics”
    • DAC Featherlite® NFL poles
    • only one zipper on the door zip - unzips from the bottom
    • fly sheet is cut away at head end which means wind chill can be a problem
    • best for fair weather use only if you want ultralight, less chilling and more storm-proof, perhaps go for a Durston X-Mid trek pole tents instead
    • 1P version:
      • min weight 657g; packed weight 812g; packs to 48x10x5cm; 1 door; enough space for your backpack at the head end;
      • 221×102/81x98cm height; floor area 2sqm; No-See-Um white mesh inner; vestibule: 0.6 sq m
    • 2P version:
      • min weight 779g; packed weight 935g; packs to 48x10x5cm; 2 doors;
      • 216 x 128/107cm height; floor area 2.5sqm; No-See-Um white mesh inner; vestibules: 0.6 sq m + 0.6 sq m
      • even for a solo hiker, the 2P version offers MUCH more versatility and amenity than the 1P version, especially important when its raining or you need more ventilation thanks to the second door and vestibule.
    • 1.02kg; fly but doesn't cover tent fully;
    • uses their new 1200mm WH Osmo ripstop poly-nylon PFAS-free recycled fabric with 4x better water repellency and 3x less stretch when wet than nylon fabrics (floor is 1500mm WH)
    • inner tent is 15D nylon/No-See-Um mesh
    • fly sheet is cut away at head end which means wind chill can be a problem
    • DAC Featherlite® NFL poles
    • 1P version:
    • 2P version:
      • min weight 948g; packed weight 1140g; packs to 32 x 19 x 8.5cm; 2 doors;
      • 215 x 103/106x98cm height; floor area 2.2sqm; No-See-Um white mesh inner; vestibules: 0.7 sq m + 0.7 sq m
    • 1.08kg; semi-freestanding; 10D fly but doesn't cover tent fully; 10D canopy with white mesh om sides for privacy and black mesh on top for stargazing; 15D 1200mm floor so not great in the wet!;
    • 98cm high; 2.6sq.m floor; narrow spreaders means sides slant in substantially making headspace much less than most other tents; 8.7mm DAC poles with single hub; smallish D door but zips much better than the Tiger Wall;
  • Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2:
    • 1.13kg; semi-freestanding; 2 door; compact tent head height only 99cm less and narrower at foot end;
    • fly and floor are rated to 1200mm waterhead; orange mesh; large centrally opening door but requires opening 2 zips in different directions; more difficult to set up than Nemo Hornet but more spacious; zips get snagged easily in fly;

800-1000g freestanding storm proof tents

  • Zpacks Free Zip 2P freestanding tent
    • if you need a very versatile 2P tent under 1kg which can be set up in almost any site (even without pegging if it is a calm night) and can tolerate relatively strong winds and keep you protected from the rain, then this is your tent - but it is expensive!
    • unique dual cross-pole system
    • DCF cuben fibre single wall tent - so you will need to manage condensation, especially if two are camping in it on a stormy night - bring a small towel
    • 2 large mesh doors provide great ventilation on warmer nights
    • internal size: 218x112x109cm high; wide enough to fit two 50cm wide mats; two 33cm deep vestibules;
    • external size: 234x175x109cm high with ridgeline width 122cm
    • 896g excl. pegs (up to 10 stakes can be used but are not included); packs to 30x15cm;

1.1kg 1 person freestanding tent

  • these generally have their own carbon fibre or aluminium rod frames - either internal or external (exo-skeleton design)
    • external frame designs allow setting up the outer shell first then completing the inner shell under the outer shell and out of the rain, and vice versa for taking them down - very handy indeed.
        • double wall: SuprSil outer wall, nylon mesh inner wall with 2 doors/vestibules; 17“ poles
        • bug mesh or breathable fabric inner options
        • 2.3 x 0.75 (0.6 and 0.92m ends) x 0.99m plus vestibules
        • see Rev 2P below
      • MSR Hubba

1-1.5kg 1 person semi-freestanding bivy tents "hiking swags"

  • these are popular in the UK where wind is an issue and lower profile more stealth set ups are favored by many
  • the head and foot frames do provide some semi-freestanding structure but these do need to be pegged out at least at each end to ensure the frames remain upright
  • unlike a basic bivy, but similar to most swags, these offer better ventilation once pegged out at each end thanks to rain-protected head and foot meshed air vents
  • Geertop Plume Bivy 2 Camo Tent
    • 1.13/1.25kg crossed poles at head end + loop foot pole - all 8.5mm aluminium; needs to have each end guyed out if you want through ventilation;
    • 210T PU5000MM Polyester upper; 240T PU10000MM Polyester floor;
    • vents at each end plus 2/3rds of length mesh/fabric dual layered door; 230×75-60x60cm; packs to 44x12cm although a tight fit in the supplied bag;
    • if rain or strong winds are forecast probably best used with a tarp
  • Geertop 1P Camouflage Bivy tent
    • much taller than the above and inner part is mostly mesh consisting of 2 side mesh doors and a central ceiling fabric but unlike the Plume Bivy, it is dual wall as it also has a fly that can be pit over it if rain or cold wind is forecast and will have much less condensation issues compared to the single wall Plume Bivy or other single wall bivvies.
    • 210T PU5000mm polyester fabric fly; 210T polyester fabric, PU2500mm floor; 8.5mm aluminium poles; similar to swags, it has rain protected vents at head and foot ends when pegged out.
    • internal 213x101x91 (head end max height)cm;
    • 1.5kg; packs to 43x11x11cm;
  • Mountain Designs Burrow Bivy Tent Treetop
  • Alton Walkabout Swag
    • 20,000mm waterhead 4gsm Nanopore triple layer windproof but breathable fabric at 20,000g/m2/24hrs breathability and no DWR coatings needed
    • NoSeeUm micromesh, YKK zippers;
    • ripstop nylon footprint
    • 2x 7.9mm aluminium poles - can be used without poles if you tie out these to elevated attachment points such as a ridge line
    • 2x 2m Dyneema guy lines
    • 10x alumiunium pegs
    • NO sleeping mat included
    • head end allows space for up to a 60L backpack as well as a large sleeping mat
    • 261 X 102 X 53.7cm; allows ~20cm space between face and mesh however when lying on side hips will contact mesh.
    • weight: swag only 925g without groundsheet, poles or pegs (poles add 180g); packed weight 1.47kg packs to 35x15x15cm

1-1.8kg 2 person freestanding tents

  • for the minimally extra weight, a 2P tent is more livable for a single hiker and worth considering instead of a 1P tent
  • these generally have their own carbon fibre or aluminium rod frames - either internal or external
  • dual door designs are better for two people as they don't have to climb over each other to exit
  • most have a insect proof inner mesh (some have optional breathable wall instead of mesh for cooler conditions)
  • some allow pitching with just the fly (eg. Rev2P, MSR Hubba Hubba NX)
  • most in this weight range have thin materials and need to be treated with care
  • generally avoid a footprint as is extra weight - better to carefully choose the camp site
  • the ones below are all relatively easy to pitch
  • external frame designs allow rapidly setting up without inner tent getting wet in the rain
      • double wall: SuprSil outer wall, nylon mesh inner wall; 17” poles; 4 pegs minimum +/- 4 storm guys
      • 2.25 x 1.25 (1.2 and 1.35m ends) x 1.07m plus vestibules +/- optional porch style
      • bug mesh or breathable fabric inner options
      • packed size 6“x19”
      • can pitch the fly by itself if the corners are pegged down and then lay out a groundsheet and later attach the inner tent via the buckles
      • great design although the SuprSil is very slippery and it attracts dirt
  • internal frame, fly over the top of the frame design which allows fly to be removed on warm, dry nights:
    • Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Platinum:
      • 1.19kg; 1200mm waterhead fly and floor;
    • Nemo Dragonfly 2P Osmo:
      • single front door design but same poles as Rev2P apparently
      • 1.4kg in 40D PU fly or 1.16kg in SuprSil fly and UL poles, or 724g for cuben fibre expensive option
      • dual door design, optional porch design
      • 1.67kg with porch in 40D PU (162g less if buy SuprSil nylon option)
    • Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
      • a favorite amongst reviewers but can't be used as fly alone
      • 1.5kg, 6“x18” packed size, dual door design, 11 guy points, 20D silnylon fly with 1200mm PU coating
        • upper half is mesh, lower half is nylon
        • NEW awning-style vestibules with double-zippers
        • NEW 3-D bin ‘mezzanine’ at the foot provides elevated storage
        • NEW proprietary tent corner construction with unique TipLok Tent Buckle
        • NEW proprietary ultralight nylon double rip-stop, mixed denier fabric
        • NEW pre-bent span pole with 4-way high-volume hub design
        • 1.22kg (1.42kg packed to 50x15cm)
    • MSR Hubba Hubba NX
      • a favorite amongst reviewers
      • 1.6kg, 6“x18” packed size, dual door design, 8 guy points, 20D silnylon fly with 1200mm PU coating
      • a favorite amongst reviewers
      • front door/tunnel design
      • 1.6kg, 4“x17” packed size, 17 guy points, 2000mm Kerlon 1000 20D silnylon fly, 20D nylon solid inner (not mesh), 5000mm double 50D PU floor
      • more durable than the above tents and better for colder alpine conditions as more weather resistant but a touch heavier and for 300g more you can buy the GT version and get almost double the space thanks to a big vestibule

2 man 1.8-2.2kg 3 season options

  • Mont Moondance 2 tent
    • freestanding, dual vestibule
    • 9.6mm DAC Featherlite NSL main pole and 9mm DAC Featherlite NSL ridgepole
    • tub floor 40 denier Nylon with 25,000mm waterhead PU laminate, 20D silPU 2000mm fly, 20D canopy;
    • Internally Accessed Roof Vent & Door Vents
    • can pitch with just fly and the optional footprint
    • option to buy white mesh inner or full nylon inner
    • 1.87kg
    • $AU829
    • similar to MSR Hubba Hubba NX
    • Unique one piece frame design with 3 way hubs and rotating ridge pole
    • Internal access to vents which are at each end
    • Yunan 7001-T6 8.5mm poles
    • fly: 68D/210T Seam sealed Rip Stop Polyester PU coated with 2000 mm waterhead rating
    • floor: 210T Seam sealed nylon taffeta PU coated floor with 4000 mm waterhead rating
    • inner is mostly 185T 40D Breathable Polyester taffeta with No-See-Um Bug black mesh doorways, central ceiling and end vents giving excellent ventilation but not great for star gazing
    • 210 cm L x 135 W x 112 H cm + 70 cm vestibule each side (packed: 48 cm L x 16 cm)
    • 2.2kg with included footprint
    • can be set up with just fly, poles and footprint
    • $AU449

heavier tents


  • there are many factors that affect your warmth and comfort in a sleeping bag:
    • use a good insulating mat, so your body heat isn't drawn into the cold ground you are sleeping on
    • your tent or shelter
    • gender and metabolism, your daily calorie intake, clothing
    • sleeping bag liner
    • use of the hood
    • sleeping bag characteristics
  • people generally do not sleep as well on the 1st night in a new environment as the brain is designed to half stay awake (the left hemisphere stays on night watch during the deepest sleep phase to alert the sleeper to potential danger) 1)

sleeping bag

  • factor in weight, compressed volume, durability and breathability of the outer shell and comfort rating
  • Synthetic filled bags are cheaper than their down equivalents and perform better when wet. However, down models have a superior warmth to weight ratio, as well as being lighter, more compressible and more durable.
  • consider a quilt instead of a mummy bag as they are often up to 20-30% lighter, less restricting and more versatile
    • make sure you pick one that isn’t too narrow, has a warm neck collar and a good attachment system as they need several straps to secure it around a sleeping pad to improve warmth, and issues with side sleeping, etc, hence a quilt is not just a sleeping bag opened up!
    • you may need to wear a beanie to keep your head warm
    • consider taking a 2nd quilt which is larger with higher down content to layer over the top of your lighter quilt and provide winter warmth - combining a -1C and a 10C quilt can get you down to minus 12C when used on an insulated mat - see also layered sleep systems
    • Sea To Summit Ember EB1 quilt = 415g, 2.1L for regular size, 750+ loft, 15D outer, rated to 4degC comfort
    • Sea To Summit Ember II quilt = 560g, 3L for regular size, 750+ loft, 15D outer, rated to 2degC comfort
    • Sea To Summit Ember III quilt = 747g, 4.2L for regular size, 750+ loft, 15D outer, rated to minus 4degC comfort
    • 600g, very versatile and compact (2L compressed) for temperatures 30degC down to 2degC
    • opens to a duvet and can open foot end as needed
    • 850+ Loft Eastern European Goose Down with WATERPROOF Ultra Dry Down which retains over 60% more loft and absorbs 30% less moisture, and dry out 60% faster when compared with untreated down
    • 2D NanoShell providing the lightest most breathable water resistant shell
    • the MC III adds 110g and $100 but allows temperatures down to -2degC
  • Mont Zero SL
    • 437g, mummy style, comfort down to 2degc, DWR 800+ loft, compresses to 1L, 7D mini ripstop nylon, 1/4 length zip, $AU489
  • Mont Prolite 250
    • 538g, comfort down to 2degc, DWR 850+ loft, 15D nylon, 90cm zip, downless base, $AU489
  • Mont Helium 300
    • 640g, comfort down to -1degc, DWR 800+ loft, 15D Pertex, full length zip, $AU499
  • Mont Helium 450
    • 800g, comfort down to -7degc, DWR 800+ loft, 15D Pertex, full length zip, $AU599
  • Rab Neutrino 400
    • 820g, mummy style, comfort down to -4degc $AU679 (Pertex endurance shell extra 80g and adds 2deg warmth)


  • bivouac sack to keep you a little warmer, and safe from the bugs if sleeping under a tarp
  • the more waterproof it is, the more condensation you are likely to get, the lighter ones may be best if used under a tarp
  • need to sleep on your side else the mesh gets in your face
  • if raining and no tarp shelter, sleep with opening underneath
    • only 210g, 200cm x 76cm, Waterproof and breathable with taped seams, comes with insect mesh, but costs $AU220
    • tapers quite sharply to the foot and isn’t wide enough for a sleeping mat and not great for tall people
    • packs down to 21x6cm!
  • Terra Nova survival bivy
    • 340g, 215x74cm, no insect mesh, Waterproof and breathable with taped seams, packs down to 21x11cm $AU99
  • RAB Ascent Bivvy
    • 650g, 235cm x 70cm x 30cm H, insect mesh, $AU449
  • Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy
    • 650g, 214 x 64, 3 layer GORE-TEX, insect mesh, $AU449
  • Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy Sack
    • 4 season hooped style, 214 x 66 x 50, 890g, 3 layer GORE-TEX, insect mesh, $AU529
  • RAB Ridge Raider Bivvy
    • similar to RAB Ascent but adds a single hooped pole, bathtub floor, 6 stakes and weighs 1033g but packs to 30cm x 16cm
    • $AU575
  • Black Diamond Bipod Ultralight Bivy Tent
    • 4 seasons, 975g, 234cm long x 76cm wide at shoulders x 51cm high at head,insect mesh, 10,000mm waterhead rating
    • ~$AU650

mattress and moisture protector

fire and cooking

  • animal proof food storage bag (eg. Ursack)
  • waterproof fire lighting
  • stove
  • cooking gear
    • hiking stoves:
      • BRS Outdoor BRS-3000T Ultralight Burner, or,
      • Soto OD-1RX Windmaster gas stove
    • Toaks Titanium 750ml Pot is a favorite for many long hikers (the smaller and larger versions are not as versatile)

USB power

  • NB. turn phone off or at least put in airplane mode to reduce power consumption with poor reception
  • USB power pack - by far the BEST weight, reliability and cost solution for multi-day hiking easily beating solar power or electricity generators for personal use on multi-day hikes
  • if you are going off grid for LONG periods then consider:

waste management

  • trowel to dig holes for toilets (at 50m away from water ways to avoid contamination by giardia, etc)
  • rubbish bags to bring your rubbish back home - leave no trace

example of minimalistic 7-day 40L backpack gear for Overland Trail

  • ultralight tent or bivvie bag (for emergency use - there are huts along the trail)
  • ultralight sleeping bag
  • Silk liner
  • Sea to summit sleeping mat ultralite
  • 2 x sock liners (eg. injini brand)
  • 2 x pairs walking socks
  • 2 x thermal tops (one for walking one for sleeping)
  • 2 x thermal pants (same as above)
  • 1 x shorts, 1 x Tshirt
  • Rain pants, coat
  • Fleece jacket
  • Thinner jacket (mostly worn at night)
  • Beanie, neck warmer, gloves
  • Head torch
  • Bowl, spoon, cup
  • X 3 underwear
  • 36L waterproof bag liner
  • 4L dry bag (used as compression bag for food)
  • gas, gaiters, pot, stove, EPIRB, map, compass, first aid, +/- battery power pack for iPhone
  • 2 x bottles of water: 1 x 1.5 L strapped to side of my bag and carry a 750ml bottle by hand (assumes there is ready supply of fresh potable water en route as is generally the case on the Overland Trail, but most recommend you take and use water purifier tablets (buy from Chemist Warehouse), Steripen or a filter for around the Labyrinth and on the Du Cane traverse, because the water sources are marginal and not fast-flowing up that high)

Minimalistic food: Breakfast: 7 x quick oats (one per day) Bag of powdered milk Greens powder

Lunch/snack: Wraps (x2 per day) Muesli bar (1 per day) Baby food (1 per day) Small block of cheese (enough to last all week) protein powder to drink at end of daily hike

Dinner: 7 x pack cous cous/instant rice ( enough for one per day 2 x Dehydrated peas packets (about 2 servings per pack) 7 x instant soup for snack before dinner Chocolate

another very ultralight outfit used by Matthew Maag

Superior wilderness designs 35L backpack Water bottles Carbon fiber tent pole and stakes. Peanut butter jar for soaking. Misc stuff in jar like toothbrush etc. Frogg Toggs. Montane primino thermals. Montbell plasma 1000 jacket. Down booties Rab gloves. Spare socks. Zpacks hexamid and polycryo groundsheet. Zpacks 20f bag. 1/8 inch sleeping pad.

Fanny pack includes: Spoon. Water filter. 10000 mah battery.

Clothes worn plus shoes and knife (carried on person) NOTE he doesn't take cooking gear and just eats Picnic bars and peanut butter for maximum calories per weight, although not much protein there

other examples

australia/bushwalk_ultralight_overnight.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/23 22:28 by gary1

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