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Blizzard Survival Bag (2013)

£32.00

The Blizzard Survival Bag arrives vacuum-packed into a square the size of a thick sandwich; but don’t take it out expecting to get it back to that size again,’cos it ain’t gonna happen. For this reason, you’re far cleverer leaving it packed up until you actually need to use it, which is hopefully never. As this suggests, the Blizzard Survival ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Siltarp (2013)

£50.00

  At 230g the Rab Siltarp is a very lightweight option, but is smaller than other tarps, so really it’s best used as a solo shelter. It’s very much a minimalist design but is more in keeping with traditional tarps, being a basic rectangle of material that isn’t supplied with pegs, guy lines or poles, so you’ll have to add ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Backpacking Light Solo Tarp (2013)

£55.00

If you’re new to tarping, then the Backpacking Light Solo Tarp is a good option as it comes with a DVD that explains the art and craft of tarping, but it’s also slightly larger than other minimalist designs, so it provides a little more protection for you and your gear. There are 12 rigging points around the edge with an ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Storm Bivi (2013)

£70.00

Made of heavy-duty nylon and in the arresting colour of emergencies, the Rab Storm Bivi is designed to offer the compact protection of, say, the £190 Mountain Equipment Borealis but at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from proprietary fabric Hyperlite, which is waterproof, breathable and pretty robust with it. It won’t hit the same performance levels ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Integral Designs Siltarp 2011

£72.00

Integral Designs is one of many small US companies that produce small amounts of specialist and technical outdoor, backpacking and expedition equipment. They have several tarps of different designs, and hybrid shelters, but the Siltarp we tested is the most basic model – a classic tarp. DesignThe Integral Designs Siltarp is designed for one and is a plain rectangle of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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PHD Sleeping Bag Cover (2013)

£80.00

Not strictly designed to be used outdoors – that is, outside of a more structured shelter or at the very least a tarp – the PHD Sleeping Bag Cover will at just 165g nonetheless appeal to minimalists who are happy to save weight and tolerate a certain lack of, how shall we say, finesse. This is a quality product (everything ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Jack Wolfskin Gossamer 2009

£90.00

The Jack Wolfskin Gossamer is essentially a large hooped bivvy bag, but it has many regular tent features and some of its own that make it stand out. Pitching is straightforward with two short poles attached using the secure ring and pin system, and there are lots of guy and peg points available to get it stable. Inside there’s plenty ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Robens Trailstar 1 2010

£90.00

Short on cash? That’s no reason to stop backpacking if you spend wisely. For just £90 the Robens Trailstar 1 provides most of the features a lone backpacker is looking for.Robens is a Danish brand that produces a wide range of high-value tents. The Trailstar comes in a two-person version as well as the one-person model tested here, and it’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Helix 100 (2014)

£100.00

Tents are getting lighter, but the lightest often carry a whopping price tag. However some brands are making lightweight tents that are far more affordable – and the Helix 100 is the lightest and lowest-priced model in Vango’s new range. At £100 for a one-person tent weighing just 1573g, the Helix 100 should strongly appeal to weekend backpackers. But if ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Stratosphere (2013)

£120.00

A big turn-off when it comes to bivvy bags is the feeling of claustrophobia – understandable when many are akin to only slightly more respiration-friendly body bags. The Snugpak Stratosphere sidesteps this by featuring two poles around the head area, which make things within much airier. Not only that, but beneath the rainflap at the back is an open vent ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aztec Rapido (2013)

£120.00

The Aztec Rapido is more of a basic shelter than a conventional tent, as you get just a single-skin design with no inner and no porch. But there is lots of space inside and you get all that for just 1745g and £120, which is very appealing. There is just one main pole and so it pitches easily with this ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor X Lite X1 (2013)

£120.00

It’s the innovative configuration of the pre-assembled flexible pole set that gives the Karrimor X Lite X1 the edge. The poles are shock-corded together and to pitch the tent all that is needed is to locate the colour-coded pole ends into their matching eyelets on the webbing at the corners of the inner tent, with a final red pole clipping ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Robens Starlight 1 (2013)

£120.00

The Robens Starlight 1 pitches outer-first with one pole having to be clipped to the outside of the fly (the four corner poles are pre-fitted and just require pegging out). So pitching is very quick and easy, although on uneven ground those corner poles do end up at unusual angles. However once up the Starlight is very stable, while the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Ionosphere (2012)

£130.00

There are fewer differences today between small tents and poled bivvy bags, but the Snugpak Ionosphere sits at the tent end of the scale, thanks to its use of a two-pole design that requires that the inner is pitched first before the outer is draped over the top. Its low profile and robust design rebuff wind and rain well, but ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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GramCounterGear Litehouse Solo 2011

£140.00

The GramCounterGear Litehouse Solo is an unusual design: in effect it’s a tent/tarp hybrid as it’s single-skin and has only a partial groundsheet floor with a mesh perimeter. It pitches as one and comes with no poles, as it uses a pair of trekking poles for support. The detailed instructions look complicated, but it’s easy and quick to set up ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo (2013)

£143.00

To save weight the Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo has no inner and outer, and is just a single-skin tent with a mesh section around the lower edges to keep midges out while allowing air in to help manage condensation. There are no poles or pegs either, which is why it weighs in at just 895g, but you will need to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Nordisk Pasch Si 2000 2011

£145.00

The Nordisk Pasch Si 2000 is a roomy one-person tent, very long and wide with an average height, which is fine for sitting upright at the door end. This means plenty of room for internal gear storage, which you’ll need as the porch is quite small, but there’s still room enough in the porch for reasonably sheltered cooking and leaving ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Nordisk Svalbard PU (2013)

£150.00

The Nordisk Svalbard PU is a PU (polyurethane)-coated tent weighing 2109g. It is a tunnel that pitches inner-first with two colour-coded poles easily fitting through sleeves around the outside of the inner. The flysheet goes over top, and ladder-lock webbing adjusters make tensioning easier. The tent is very stable for a tunnel and the fly comes down reasonably close to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Wild Country Zephyros 1 2011

£150.00

The Terra Nova Laser Competition has won multiple awards for being one of the best lightweight one-person backpacking tents around. But while its weight of just 930g is appealing, its price tag of £320 is far less enticing. So Terra Nova has released the Zephyros 1 under its Wild Country brand, promising the same living space as the Laser Competition, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Force Ten Vapour 100 2009

£165.00

The Force Ten Vapour 100 is a very light tent and packs so small it disappears inside your rucksack. It’s a single-skin design with the poles fitting externally, and in rain you can throw your kit inside while you finish pitching. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, so your options for pitching are increased. There are venting options ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 2
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Coleman Exponent Falcon X1 2009

£170.00

The Coleman Exponent Falcon X1 tent weighs 1110g; very small packed size; joint second lightest in the test; simple design; one pole, one guy line; plenty of porch space. But sleeping space is very limited; good pitching is hard to achieve as it lacks tension adjustment at the foot so the outer and inner touch over a large area at ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 1
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Wild Country Zephyros 1 Lite (2013)

£180.00

Based on the hugely popular Terra Nova Laser series, the single-poled Wild Country Zephyros 1 Lite trims 300g off the standard Zephyros 1 tent, by using a high-specification ripstop nylon flysheet and groundsheet rather than polyester. There is only one main pole, but pitching was not quite as slick as some others, in part as I’d prefer an extra eyelet ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi (2013)

£190.00

A traditional style of bivvy bag made largely from Gore-Tex Starlite – hence the price – the Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi offers high levels of waterproofing and breathability in a compact package that can be washed (in pure soap) to keep its performance high. It’s pretty much even stevens on the weight and pack size stakes with the Rab Storm ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Force Ten Helium 100 2011

£190.00

The Vango Force Ten Helium 100 is a proven one-person tent design that stands up well to the worst of UK weather. The shape is good in a gale, with the internal Tension Band System that allows you to adjust exactly how the centrally positioned single pole tackles the wind. The fabrics are heavy-duty and among the most waterproof in ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Mica 12 2009

£195.00

The North Face Mica 12 tent weighs 1520g; great-looking with asymmetric lines; compression stuffsack for easy packing; colour-coded poles for easy assembly; internal pocket; inner door is mesh for ventilation. But pitching is inner-first; asymmetric design means less available space; fiddly clips are used to attach poles; small porch. The North Face – tel. (01539) 738882; www.thenorthface.com

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 2
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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