Cottage News for 2012

Posted on 26 Dezember 2011

The year 2011 is coming to an end and 2012 is imminent. We should have a closer look at the small cottages which are very important for the ultralight hiking scene and their news for the upcoming hiking season. I tried to contact some of these cottages and have summarized their news in this article.

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Some days ago Alpacka Raft released an article on their forum where they presented their new spraydeck configuration. The new spraydeck is similar to the kayak cockpit. The paddler wears a skirt which goes with him and the spraydeck is permantly connected with the boat and can not be removed. Furthermore the cockpit has a frame of aluminium poles. These poles a secured with a waterproof zipper. Packrafting.de was kind enough to send me some photos of the new spraydeck. Thanks for that. A detailed report with some first impressions can your find here.


Photos by Packrafting.de

Terra Rosa Gear plans to release two or three designs of inner tents for use under tarps. The big difference to other UL inners is that these new ones will be bigger that people who are 190cm or taller have enough space. Furthermore it is planned to expand and to have a bigger focus on custom made gear. So if you need a custom made bivy, tarp or inner feel free and contact Terra Rosa Gear.

Black Rock Gear comes along with a new warm UL down vest made with the SevenD nylon. It is filled with 2oz of the finest 900fp goose down and has a total weight of 4oz in size M. Meanwhile there is only size M available, but the sizing chart will be updated for 2012.

Joe from ZPacks has no detailed plans for the year 2012. He has a few designs on over-mitts and bivys made with the Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber, but he does not know when or if he will list those items. A new tent design is also planned, but it is still in work.

Enlightened Equipment is back with a new homepage. Hope you all know this. But that’s not all. The RevelationX is back. There will be one version with 1.1 rip and 750fp down and a higher quality RevelationX with 20d fabric and 850fp down. Furthermore Enlightened Equipment announced new quilts for spring 2012. A new hammock quilt with new style of vent-able head hole and a short underquilt which is usable as half-bag or camp pants. A longer and wider hammock for the best comfort will also be available in spring and the UL version later in the year. Another plan is that the customer has the option to plan is own custom made quilt with any fabric and filling materials and cuts he need. Last but not least the fine Cuben products will be available only three times a year.

Tarptent has no news for 2012. The reason for this is that they released the new tents in late 2011. The Notch and the StratoSpire 1 & 2 are the new tents for the upcoming hiking season.

The new Tarptent Notch Shelter

LocusGear expanded his range and offers a tyvek bivy called Pneumy Bivy Tyvek. This is one of the first commercial available tyvek bivies. You can get it in three different sizes. It offers s short zipper and a no-see-um window to keep midges out in summer. The bivy also has a gear loop to attach it under your tarp and it weighs 287g in size M.
Furthermore the LocusGear carbon trekking poles got an update. The CP2 are now the new ones. They are extensible from 61-135cm and weigh 137 per pole. Every pole is 50g lighter than the prevous model that you finally save 100g weight.

Gossamer Gear starts with a redesigned Murmur into the new year. The new Mumur Hyperlight got a tougher look, is more comfortable and has a minimum of weight. They used a 30D silnylon for the main body and a 140D dyneema gridstop for extra stressed areas. Additionally the pack has gotten some new features. It has now an Over The Top closure instead of a roll closure, more ergonomic shoulder harness and a vertically adjustable sternum straps.

Minimalist is the  name of another new pack from Gossamer Gear. This pack is a small daypack and also made with the 140D dyneema gridstop. For the pack panel they used a special new fabric that is soft, a bit slippery, very tough. It is used also for lining shoes and for putting on Superfeet and other shoe inserts. Furthermore it also has a removable pad and a loop for hanging a water bladder. The Minimalist has a weieght of round about 12oz.

Jacks ‘R’ Better wanna introduce the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock in a single bottom ultra light version and the JRB body contouring radial baffled under quilts will see two new models in torso length that will reduce the weight over traditional full length under quilts by approximately 30%.

TrailLite Designs has some interesting projects for 2012. The Single Track is a DXG hydration pack made for trail running and mountain biking. It has an internal hydration sleeve, a hang loop, two exterior storage pockets and a removable web belt weighs 9oz and has a volume of 750ci The counterpart to this pack is the Stream Pack. This pack is similar the Single Track, but the design includes a rod sleeve on each side to store your Tenkara rods for fishing trips. A modern fishing basket and a new larger TiNet are also in planing. If you wanna follow the progress check ou the Area 51. TrailLite Designs is also cooperating with other cottages like ZPacks or GooseFeet.

Mountain Laurel Designs thinks of the women. The Exodus and Exodus FS packs will be available in a women version.For all those who think that the MLD TrailStar is too small for them, can look forward to the larger BigStar with a weight of 24oz. And for all those who think that the MLD TrailStar is too heavy, can look forward to the TrailStar in Cuben Fiber with a weight of 11oz. Furthermore the eVent Soul bivy got an update. Now it is made with the lightest 3L eVent and a 1.2oz style Cuben bottom.


Cuben TrailStar

Katabatic Gear released the Blackwelder 0°F in 2011. This quilt gets an update in next year. New to the 2012 Blackwelder will be Side Block Baffles for improved down control and all quilts will feature 900fp goose down in 2012.

Six Moon Designs announces the Feather Pack for the first quarter of 2012. This is an SUL pack and now the lightest in their range and the development took over four years. It was tested on hundreds of trail miles. The Feather Pack comes along with a weight of 11oz and has a volume of 2300-2500cu/in depending on size. Furthermore the top of the pack has a zippered pocket to store maps or some small things. The pack also offers a waterproof zipper on top for a clean look if you do not want to carry much gear. If you have some extra gear you can expand the pack by several cubic inches and close the lid via a roll top.


The Lunar Solo has been also revised. The floor was extended up to 90″ and the canopy was increased and the end walls were set vertical to get more space. Furthermore the height was extended by 3″. The get more stability in the new designed Lunar Solo the reduced the depth of the tent by 12″. Now taller hiker have enough space in this tent and the good thing is that they did not raise the weight, in spite of the modifications.
And finally the SMD Heaven will be available in Cuben Fiber in the 1st quarter of the new year.

Trail Designs has no news for the new year, but some ideas. They try to extend their current offerings as fast as possible. So stay tuned if something new on the way.

Tenkara USA finest fly fishing gear has some small things for the year 2012. One small update is the complemation of the first Tenkara booklet. Another one is that there will be no new rods. Instead of publishing new rods they improve the rods in their range. One modification is that they wanna offer an add-on handle that can shorten the Iwana 12ft to either 11ft or 10ft. This will give users a shorter rod if they want one without having to buy a brand new rod. Furthermore the fly selection got also an update. Instead of a big selection of flies in different colours and sizes they have figured out which are the most used flies and listed them in the catalog.

2011 was a busy year for Hyperlite Mountain Gear. The released their new expedition pack the “Porter” and their new “Ice Pack”. One big new for 2012 is that HMG wanna move into a larger facility. Because time was limited in 2011 they have not really a new product which can be launched at the beginning of 2012, but they are working on finalizing the first generation of the Traverse Shelter, the perfect shelter for packrafting trips and expeditions.

Fritz from Bushbuddy has also some news. A thing to begin for all who are waiting for the titanium BushBuddy. He cannot give a confirm date for introducing the titanium model. But he will discontinuing the regular model of the BushBuddy. He is working together with a craftsman in the U.S. which will make a stove identical to the regular model under his own trademark. This one should be available directly from him at the beginning of the new year. But Fritz also has a replacement for the regular BushBuddy. He offers a slightly more rugged model of the BushBuddy Ultra. The difference to the BBU (0.004″stainless steel) is, that he uses a thicker material on the outside (0.006″ stainless steel).

GooseFeet and TrailLite Designs had a great cooperation. They designed the CloudVest. The CloudVest is an wearable insulation layer that can be opened flat to use as a blanket adding warmth to aan ultralight sleeping system. It is made with Momentum 90 & 55 and filled with 900fp goose down. A lighter UL CloudVest is also available. The normal vest weighs 6.4oz and has a filling of 3oz and the UL version weighs 5oz and has a filling of 2oz.

Rota Locura wants to conquer the market with a new bivy. The Wasatch Bivy is an ultra lightweight bivy. It is made with two different SevenD ripstop. One hydrophobic on top and a silicone coated and waterproof on the bottom. Furthermore the bivy has a no-see-um hood and titanium D-ring attachment points. The Wasatch bivy comes along with a weight og 4.35oz (123g).

Warbonnet Outdoors has planned some new things for 2012, but they don’t wanna go into specifics before a product actually comes out. We will see what will come next year. I will stay in contact with Warbonnet Outdoors and keep you up to date.

Mateusz from LAUFBURSCHE is working hard in the last month. He changed his headquarter and has now bigger rooms for his nice packs and tarps. Furthermore he is working tirelessly at his new online shop and on his homepage LAUFBURSCHE-Gear. The planned start for the shop is February 2012. So stay tuned if you wanna buy the first huckePACK from the shop in the 2012 design. In the meantime you have the chance to buy the first huckePÄCKchen which is available in a shop.


Photo by LAUFBURSCHE

Sanpo from Japan produces well designed alcohol stoves. He send me a photo of a new prototype which he wanna release 2012. The stove has a height of 20mm and a width of 50mm. The main part is made with iron, can carry 1oz of fuel and weighs 15g. If you use the stove with the Sanpo CF stand you need 4 minutes and 10 seconds to boil 400ml of water. The design of this trial production can change in the next time to make it more efficient, but I did not wanna hide this interesting stove from you.

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I also contacted Northern Lites and Light Heart Gear, but they have nothing planned for 2012.

Anyway I also tried to contact Nunatak, Four Dog Stove. Lawson Outdoor Equipment, Anti Gravity Gear and Titanium Goat, but I got no reply if there are any news for 2012.
Finally I hope that I have not forgotten any interesting cottage. If there should be some interesting news, please feel free and write a comment and I will add it to the article.

UPDATE 1

Yama Mountain Gear comes along with a new Cuben Fiber tarp called Cirriform. It is a sub 7oz tarp with a front zipper at the beak. This starp ist perfect for solo hiker and harmonices perfectly with the Yama Bug Shelter 1.25. The tarp should be available in early February.
Meanwhile Yama Mountain Gear wants to leave the commerical market. It is planned to offer DIY kits with building instructions like videos.

If you are looking for a new bivy you can find one at Oware. They made the first bivy with the ‘waterproof breathable’ Cuben Fiber which Joe Valesko from ZPacks also uses for his rain jackets and his new waterproof mitts. The bivy has fully tapes seams, a waterprof zipper and has a weight of 3.5oz on the scale. That’s incredible light.


  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com Hendrik Morkel

    How original a post. Isn’t at all something you would have seen somewhere else, right?

  • http://hrxxlight.com Benjamin M.

    Oh Hendrik do you really think I could steal you some readers or something else. Do you have the privilege to write every year such an article. I tried to find it out but I could not find anything.

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com Hendrik Morkel

    Benjamin, I wrote an 2011 post “New Gear from the Cottages” – I’m certain you read it. The honourable thing to have done would drop me a message and ask if I’m cool with you doing a 2012 update (which yes, I will write despite this post here) or at least link to the post which “inspired” your post. If you “steal like an artist”/ “remix everything” (Google the phrases if you’re not familiar with them) at least mention your sources or who inspired you. It’s the honourable thing to do and goes under netiquette.

    Sent from the road.

  • http://goinglighter.blogspot.com gauperaa

    Great post Beni! Comprehensive and well-written, and in my opinion you shouldn’t need to apologize to Hendrik. Of course you should be able to write a post like that if you want to. Best wishes for the next year.

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com Hendrik Morkel

    Everyone is free to write whatever one does, sure, as long as sources/ inspirations are mentioned. As a scientist this is what I learned and adhere to, and those who don’t think/ act so are going the way of Mr. Guttenberg.

    Benjamin did a fine job, though the mocking statement and nearly 1:1 build leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

  • http://korpijaakko.wordpress.com/ Korpijaakko

    Very informative post and nice read with some interesting things.

    Regarding the discussion here: I kinda understand Hendrik’s point but for me it seems that this is not something where a) scientific referencing or b) (artistic) immaterial property rights would apply. Wouldn’t it be quite a fucked up world if the one writing first about certain topic (especially the topic being the “state of the market” in some segment) would have the exlusive rights to the topic and others were required to ask permission to contribute to the same topic? To my understanding it doesn’t work like that. Of course it’s cool to mention the source of inspiration but it’s not mandatory. Hell, I don’t mention the source of inspiration for about 90% of my posts (the source of inspiration being usually something really weird, like walking in the forest and cursing the mud sucking my shoes…)

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