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 of space for the biggest of sleeping mats, all your gear, and maybe even a skinny friend if you’re an adventure racer. The outer and inner are attached at the front pole, so it pitches as one. However the outer skin can be rolled up completely, giving you a cool mesh cover to sleep under on hot summer nights. The groundsheet and flysheet are tough and very waterproof, which should make it reliable for extended trips into the wilds. But the porch space is almost non-existent, so cooking is awkward unless you start unpegging the floor and rolling it back. Your wet gear has to come in beside you, which is okay for a night, but on longer trips it can start to be a problem. Not being able to sit up can become annoying if you’re weathering a storm.
Design two-pole tunnel
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner 75D polyester
Flysheet PU-coated 75D polyester, 4000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet Hydrofilm 70D polyester, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 95cm; height 70cm
Packed size 45x17cm
Made in Vietnam
Stores in UK 50
Jack Wolfskin – tel. (01434) 633363; www.jack-wolfskin.com
Verdict: The Jack Wolfskin Gossamer Extra offers space and comfort for those who like to bivvy, but a bit restrictive for comfort-seekers compared to others.
Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine March 2009