Friday, 1 July 2016

One Planet Gunyah 1v Tent Review

Purchased in early 2011, my instance appears to have been made in 2008 but hasn't had a lot of use in that time.  It is still in excellent condition so I used it on a recent 5 day jaunt around Mt Kosciuszko. I planned to spend a significant amount of time chilling out in camp in this tent and it worked a treat.

This tent design is a single longitudinal arch pole, sil-nylon fly and inner floor with side entry.  It comes with a tough 210T nylon footprint, a mesh inner and surprisingly ample headroom.  The One Planet Gunyah 1v weighs 1300g. Unfortunately, this classic tent is no longer made and production has been focused on the One Planet Goondie series.

Being a single pole design it may not be as wind-worthy as the Goondie, but this tent should be able to compete with the similar 1.4 -1.6 kg Macpac Microlight (on sale at $300). It handled 25kph gusts easily. I experienced larger gusts from the side at one site but thankfully these followed the daily weather pattern and died down to nothing by about 6pm.
High camp evening. In still, dry conditions I leave the fly door open.
Vestibule space is just wide enough for a pack, boots and cookware. There is easily room for boots inside.  There is also a bit of useful room at the door zip end for a small Trangia stove kit and water bladders.

The original pegs had an interesting curved profile but were a bit short and I replaced them with two 8" Y pegs, 4 alloy hooks and 3 Titanium hooks.

Fly 15D Sil/PU Nylon and tent inner 392g each.
The tent inner floor is 20D Sil/PU Nylon, so a footprint might be needed.
Pole, alloy 227g
Footprint, 210T nylon, 200g
Pegs 90g

Dimensions of inner, 275 X 101cm, make an elongated hexagonal floor. That is long for a 1 person tent and just wide enough to lie down with hands under head.  121cm in height. That is plenty of head room and about 20cm higher than many other tents.  The fly is 140cm wide at ground making a modest vestibule space.

Victorian high camp morning
The quality of the Sil/Nylon fly fabric and tent inner mesh impressed me.

The Gunyah 1v was taken on a 3 day base camp in November 2012 to the Victorian high country.  Only 1 light shower was experienced and the steep sides shed water well.  The tent performed superbly. Nice and long inside with triangular gear dump zones at head and foot. There are nice tie-backs on the inner and fly.  It has no annoying niggles. It is well ventilated with more internal room than you expect from the design. There is a wired vent at one end of the fly. This is a really nice 3 season tent that packs small and is light.

This may not be the best tent to pitch on wind-exposed sites, hard-to-peg rock shelves or timber platforms.

This tent does have a few amazing options if you have some imagination.  I have pitched the inner only for an atmospheric summer night storm, then set up a 2 X 3m 632g WE tarp in A-frame mode over the top using trekking poles (allow 120g for 6 pegs and cord). I was able to enjoy an all night spectacle of sheet lightning among awesome coloured clouds.  It may also be possible to set up the inner suspended from a ridge line using more or less fiddly cord sections and save the 227g pole weight.  

For use in a region with bright sun and high UV I have a 337g 2.6 X 1.7m rectangular MYOG Tyvek tarp that will go over the top using trekking poles. Tyvek Homewrap is brilliant at reflecting heat. So I can stay cool and away from UV and insects. This proved to make for a luxury pavilion free of bugs, heat and UV for a relaxed summertime Main Range trip with lots of afternoon chill-out camp time. Prolonged gusts over 25kmh might test it.

Gunyah 1 inner and Tyvek shade tarp at high camp site.
For windy conditions it is best to pitch longitudinally into the wind, if possible.  Often ground slope makes this difficult.

Possible design improvements: a short transverse pole, a tougher floor ( just make the floor out of 210T), a vent at each end, velcro fly attachments to pole, and a transverse guy each side.  

My Pitching Instructions:

1 Layout the groundsheet/footprint with seam tape upwards (that's why I put seam sealant on the seam to protect the stitching) and peg out at least the 4 main corners with 4 pegs.  You can optionally also peg out the 2 pole grommet end points.  Lie down on it and check the orientation with the slope is comfortable.

2 (Optional) Layout the inner, choosing which side you want the door, and peg out using the same pegs. Pop the loops over the pegs.

3 Assemble pole carefully (no snapping the sections together) and fit to groundsheet and tent inner end grommets.

4 Attach tent inner clips to the pole. The tent inner should now be erect and usable. 

5 Throw the fly over the pole, making sure to match fly door side with tent inner door side, and attach the 2 end buckles to the tent inner (or groundsheet/footprint) end buckles.  Attach the 2 rear fly corner loops to the pegs.

6 The Gunyah 1v has a vestibule so the fly extends out past the footprint. On the 2 door side corners the inner has small buckles for attaching the fly shock cord.
The fly has peg loops on the front corners but also a length of shockcord ending in a matching buckle for the inner. The idea of the shock cord is to be able to tension the fly and inner using just one peg to do it. Attach the fly corner shockcord buckles to the inner.  Now remove the inner corner peg and peg out the shockcord to tension both inner and fly.  Do for both front corners.  This system is a bit quirky and requires the groundsheet is unpegged on this side.  Needs design rethinking.

You don't have to use the shockcord: if you have 2 extra pegs just peg out the fly corners.

7 Now peg out the 2 fly end guys.  You can use the 2 end pegs placed earlier where the poles are grommeted, or use 2 additional pegs (making the total used either 6 or 8) or nearby rocks.

Good anchoring is essential, so insert pegs fully and at about 45 degrees.

I haven't pitched the Gunyah in fly-only mode in the field. The footprint is essential in this case.  It would be handy if the fly had a couple of velcro tabs to attach the pole to.

To pack up the fly, zip up the door, take hold of the wired vent and use a "fold across-ways and roll up" technique around the wire.  You can do this while standing so you don't need to grind the fly in to the ground as you do this. Rubber bands can secure the roll for stuffing in to the stuffsack.

Always dry out the tent before storage or mold will quickly degrade the fabrics. Dry out damp tents and sleeping bags at sunny lunch stops while you chill out.

High camp morning

Gunyah 2

Gunyah 2 tents are also no longer be available.  Dimensions of inner are a wider 275 X 132 cm, making an elongated hexagonal floor. (i.e 31cm wider inner than the 1v)  121cm in height.  The fly is 140cm wide at ground.  The fly has about the same footprint as the 1v but it has 2 wired vents for better air flow. That's the major differences I can see. To sum up: an extra vent and wider inner, sacrificing vestibule space.  Still one door.  It doesn't look much bigger inside compared with the 1v and may be a bit narrow for 2. So you need to be on good terms with any partner sharing this tent. However if using as a solo tent you will have more chillout room inside for reading and napping.

The heavier Gunyah 2 tent at 1500g has no vestibule since the inner has expanded to fill the space under the fly but the inner could be shifted back to make room. You could use a pack cover (more carry weight) to protect your pack outside the fly or just store your gear inside if using it solo.

The fly can be pitched low to the ground.
Note the 2 gable vents in the Gunyah 2

Tent inner (20D Sil/PU floor) is 500g, 15D Sil/PU fly is 429g.  210T footprint 242g. It appears to use the same alloy pole as the Gunyah 1v.  I am wondering if this fly is the same size as the 1v fly, or if it is slightly larger, will still fit over the Gunyah 1v pole and inner.

These may be difficult to acquire now but I say they are worth considering.  Maybe you can pick up old stock or a rarely used second-hand unit.  I have not seen any for resale, but there must be plenty out there.  I recommend you get a pole repair sleeve for these tents.  I use 10cm of 12mm aluminium tubing.

You might want to apply UV Proof or Tent and Gear SolarProof to the fly if using this tent for base camps in high UV environments.

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