Winter 2011, six years ago now, saw the release of this shelter by One Planet. I had one last nostalgic snow camp with the massive old Olympus (lots of room but 3.6kg carry and hard to warm up with just one) and another using a pricey 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, which cost only about $350 with some haggling! Exchange rates (made in China) have since worsened and the current improved version is about $560. But keep in mind the versatility of this tent. With 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. Since then I have used it twice on 5 day summer sojourns around the Main Range, a wet 2 night trip to Mt Feathertop including a leech-infested site at Dibbins Hut, a cold overcast 3 day ski tour of a southern circuit of the High Plains in early July 2013 with temperatures getting down to -7 degrees overnight - but no snowfall, a dry trip to the Crinoline, a misty trip to Mac Springs and Crosscut Saw, a cold one night snow trip to Mt Stirling, another glorious 3 night winter trip to Mt Stirling where 40cm snow dumped, another 3 night post-dump winter trip to Mt Stirling 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. Same site as above.|
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 you won't usually need 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. While not necessary, I reckon 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.
I also added 2 alloy hook pegs and a small Aluminium pole repair sleeve. The alloy pegs are a bit soft and can bend, but they hammer back easily. They do 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, and the mesh inner zips have a point corner. 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 (330g).
|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 if needed. I attached the 2 supplied spare guys in to the inner ceiling as drying lines.
The green 15D Sil/Nylon fly comes in 110g lighter at 400g. This brings the weight down to 1680g, with loss of UV resistance in the fly fabric. Sil/nylon may degrade quickly with the high UV exposure in bright sun, at altitude or higher latitudes.
|Pretty Valley snow camp early morning gloom|
I have reduced the weight of my tent, pack, sleeping bag, pad and stove by over 4kg from what I was carrying in the 1990's and gained improved function in that transition.
|A just-after-snow-season camp at Roper Hut|
- 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 off the fly 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 groundsheet setup is now available.
- Highly visible safety colour orange (or 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(!)
|Weston Hut. Pots in second vestibule ready for fast breakfast access.|
Pro or Con or is it Just Me? 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 is good for ventilation and goes some way to explaining the low condensation performance. 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 during the set up, and any that did was easily mopped up. It is much the same under snowfall. The inner-first setup concern is generally overrated, but may have greater relevance for those in really wet areas. Setup takes about 5 minutes.
|Victorian High Country Camp after 10cm snowfall. Goondie snow shedding capability is shown.|
|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 and disposed of with a cloth or paper dish wipe.
|The Goondie can be pitched in cramped sites like this one on 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 shelf camp. Sil/nylon tarps are ineffective for cooling and deliver poor shade and they are quickly degraded by UV exposure. Tyvek HomeWrap makes a much better sun 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. I also then decided to re-inforce the zip attachments on my Goondie 2 as well with some additional hand stitching and a small safety pin. One Planet has since added re-inforcement on the upper zip end on subsequent manufacture and it looks like the new door zip shape have been changed to eliminate the curve.
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 in KNP|
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 very cold Ryder yards morning, and this site is surrounded by frost hollow.|
|4am, -7 degrees night at Ryder yards. I put on nearly all spare clothing this night, the inner was coated in hoar-frost but I kept toasty warm!|
A small tarp can be erected to extend the vestibule and would be useful in prolonged rain if wind is not a factor.
Condensation is close to a non-issue probably due to the vent and high displacement of the fly from the ground.
The floor is tough - reassuring when rivulets run underneath. Just go back to sleep!
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 runoff zone.
|North Rams Head camp. 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 buffeting and noisy wind overnight.|
Possible improvements including recent feedback from the designer:
- 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|
One Planet do repairs, clean and fill bags, make packs, gaiters, rain jackets and some other items at Sunshine, Melbourne, with other production (including tents) made in China. One Planet now has its own outlet in central Melbourne.
This is an awesome tent with a great range of applications.
* caveats apply
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