Winter 2011, six years ago now, saw the release of this shelter by One Planet. I had one last snow camp with the massive old Olympus and another with a new but condensation-prone one-person 3-season model before the Goondie was released for sale. So this review is about the first release model. I would have purchased one of the first out the shop, and the cost then was about A$350. Exchange rates (made in China) have since worsened, upgrades have been made and the current version is about A$560. However, with its available fly and inner options, it may be the only 1-person tent you need. It is easy to set up and tough, with good local support from the maker.
At the end of September 2011, I deployed it on the remaining High Plains snow in a solo snowshoe trip to Roper hut. I have now used it twice on 5-night summer sojourns around the Main Range, a wet 2-night trip to Mt Feathertop including a leech-infested site at Dibbins Hut, an overcast 3-night ski tour of a southern circuit of the High Plains in early July 2013 getting down to -7 degrees overnight, a dry trip to the Crinoline, a misty trip to Macalister Springs and Crosscut Saw, a 1-night snow camp on Mt Stirling, three 3-night winter trips to Mt Stirling (the first having a 40cm dump of snow) and a torrential night of biblical proportions on Mt Buffalo. This shelter has performed well in clear sky, cold, snow and heavy rain.
|Evening at a camp with a view, Mt Stirling.|
|Snow bench site at Mt Stirling, poised for a summit bid.|
This variant has an orange 30D polyester/PU fly (510g), 15D nylon inner (655g) with a 210T 100 denier nylon PU bathtub floor, 3 X 9.1mm DAC Featherlite NSL alloy poles (494g), 2 "Mega" pegs for the vestibules, 4 Aluminium alloy hook pegs (130g) and 6 supplied guys with toggles. The floor is tough and usually I don't use a groundsheet. There are 4 guy pockets on the fly corners. 2 guys can attach to the vestibules to allow the vestibules to be partially rolled up. Weight came to 1789g after I seam sealed the fly and floor. Seam sealing protects stitching from UV and water and protects the adhesive on the seam sealing tapes from water penetration. The floor is transected by a taped seam.
|Light snowfall in the Victorian Alps. About to decamp for the summit.|
I also added 2 alloy hook pegs and a small Aluminium pole repair sleeve. The alloy pegs are a bit soft but they work-harden with a bit of hammering when straightening. You can save a few grams weight with more expensive and tougher Titanium pegs. The 2013 catalogue mentions "unbendable tri-cornered alloy pegs" have replaced the 4 alloy hook pegs. You can use 10 pegs for maximum stability - the 4 guys, the 2 vestibules and the 4 corners. A minimum of 2 pegs is required by the vestibules. For snow camping I use 6 snow pegs (about 330g after drilling out).
|Goondie 1 30D Mt Feathertop|
There is a vent over the vestibule door. A guy can be attached to a partly rolled-up vestibule giving better ventilation. I attached 2 supplied spare guys to the inner ceiling as overnight sock drying lines.
The green 15D Sil/Nylon fly comes in 110g lighter at 400g. This brings the weight down to 1680g, but this has less UV resistance.
|An overcast Pretty Valley snow camp|
Considering the Goondie as part of a strategic transformative upgrade, I have reduced the weight of tent, pack, sleeping bag, pad and stove carry by over 4kg from what I was carrying in the 1990's and gained improved function in that transition.
|After-snow-season camp at Roper Hut, 2011|
- Self supporting (technically, the vestibules need pegging out). The guys are not needed to setup the tent and, depending on the site and wind, I usually don't use them.
- It has a tough floor, so it saves the weight of a groundsheet.
- Guy cord pockets on fly keep things tidy.
- Condensation is a non-issue. Vent over the door vestibule.
- Good headroom lying down (at either end). I find it hard to tell which is the wider end.
- Occupies a small footprint.
- Semi-geodesic design and crossed poles = stability in poor conditions.
- 2 vestibules. More than enough storage space for pack and gear.
- Inner access port to opposite vestibule. Useful in wet.
- Can sit up and dress in inner tent.
- Sheds rain and wind well.
- Solid interior is warmer than a mesh inner.
- Inner-only setup for hot, dry, camps (recommend purchase of mesh inner)
- You can add a small fly tarp verandah/annex using 2 trekking poles.
- Fly with bathtub groundsheet (Fast and light" mode) setup is now available.
- Highly visible safety colour orange (or sil/nylon green).
- Robust construction
- Weighs a bit more than trekking pole shelters.
- Some may find it cramped in width, although I have seen a trip report of 2 sharing this tent(!)
The fly doesn't extend close to the ground, as you can see in many of the photos. I could probably improve the pitch and tighten down an inch or two and also some of the sites fell away a bit (like at Weston hut). This design feature is good for ventilation and does much to explain the low condensation levels. I understand the vestibules of the updated fly extend further and 10cm has been added to the vestibule panels but not the ends.
The inner-first setup is a deal-breaker for many. I have set it up in driving rain and found very little water got in the solid inner during the set up, and any that did was easily mopped up. The inner-first setup concern is often overrated, but may have greater relevance for those users in really wet areas. Setup takes about 5 minutes.
|Victorian High Country Camp after 10cm snowfall. Goondie snow shedding capability is shown.|
I usually take a small snow shovel for these trips as it helps to sculpt the bed shape and a foot trench near the door to stop kicking snow in, which helps with putting boots on and getting out and also it collects cold air away from the inner.
You can also build wind breaks with snow walls or an igloo (it took me 4 sweaty hours on Mt St Phillack). When expecting heavy snowfalls I dig a small trench around to collect the fall-off and delay its build-up on the walls. The tent has coped easily with a 30cm overnight dump.
|Goondie 1 with the lighter 15D Sil/Nylon fly.|
A solid inner will increase the air temp several degrees but it may be a bit more humid too. Hoar frost from breath will collect on the inside of the inner in cold conditions, but this is easily wiped off with a paper dish cloth.
|The Goondie pitched in a cramped site. Long Hill.|
This tent copped a biblical deluge on Mt Buffalo without a drop leaking in.
The Goondie 2 30D comes in at 2120g (1000-1200mm wide, 2 doors, so will just fit two mats) and should be considered for base camping, solo snow trips or when becoming tent-bound by bad weather is likely. The 15D fly brings weight down to 1960g. Big enough for two but not cavernous. Note: It's 15cm narrower but 10cm longer than the early 1990's version of the Macpac Olympus, which also has massive vestibules at each end ideal for snow use. The Olympus is also integral pitch.
The poles, pegs and guys for the Goondie 1 and Goondie 2 are the same.
|Mt Townsend. Sil/nylon tarps are ineffective for cooling and shade and are quickly degraded by UV. Tyvek HomeWrap makes a better shade.|
I did have a failure of the inner door zip top attachment to the solid inner. The zip end was only lightly stitched to the inner seam. One Planet repaired it with re-inforcement and stitching, and supplied a couple of extra guys as a sweetener, all without charge. One Planet has since added re-inforcement on the upper zip end on subsequent manufacture.
If you have an early model Goondie, then I recommend you check this top zip attachment point. It is easy to hand sew on a few stitches between the zip tape and the inner seam and add a small safety pin across the zip tape to stop the slider from forcing itself off the end of the zip. One Planet say to make sure the zip is fully open when entering or exiting the tent.
|Zip attachment problem|
One Planet seem to make ongoing alterations to the design without notification.
|A cold camp 4pm July, Pretty Valley. A much gloomier view the next morning.|
|A cold Ryder yards morning. This site is surrounded by frost hollow.|
|4am, -7 degrees. I put on nearly all spare clothing, the inner was coated in hoar-frost.|
The floor is tough - reassuring when rivulets run underneath. The fly does not protest and flap loudly in wind like pyramid or double pole designs do. You can pick it up and move it quickly if the wind shifts or you find you have camped in a run-off zone.
|North Rams Head. The Goondie can hold its own with many tents when it comes to wind.|
I am giving it 4 stars rating **** Highly Recommended.
|Mt Twynam camp after a noisy buffeting wind overnight.|
- Mesh addition on the small vestibule port. (Update: Done ?)
- It might benefit with extra guy attachment points at the top of the vestibules for those windy pitches.
|New Fitzgerald Hut. I am pitched at the entrance to the front door of the original hut.|
An update of the Goondie now supports fly-first pitching using a special groundsheet and a plastic crossover point pole connector.
|Sunrise after a quiet night at Wallace Hut|
|High camp on the treeline in the Victorian Alps|
|A rare winter sunset displays between leaden sky and earth below in the Victorian Alps|
I bought the Goondie with my own funds and I have no relationship with One Planet.
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