These are my initial thoughts on getting the Oooknest. I have no connection with the maker.
I had been studying with interest a thread dedicated to the Golite Shangri La 3/Hex 3 on Outdoors Magic.com where the interest in this tent and specifically the development of a half nest was evolving. It was here that I learnt about the ‘Oooknest’. 15 days from briefing of my preferred specification with Sean at ‘Oookworks’ saw the arrival of the completed nest from Cumbria.
The Oooknest came with basic pitching instructions, not that they are really needed for such a simple design, but thoughtful anyway. The nest is supplied in a red ripstop Silnylon(?) storage bag. My nest specification is meant for colder weather use.
The nest was laid out on my floor and the first impressions; looks good!
Loosely rolled up in its storage bag (not compressed) the nest was about 10 inches long x 4 inches diameter. It has a similar packed size to the Golite groundsheet. It will pack up to a roll a bit bigger than a one-litre Nalgene water bottle for example. No doubt packed size and weight would be reduced with simple compression straps, a lightweight groundsheet and/or the midge net upper.
Once unfolded the nest looks well made. I was pleased with my choice of the heavy duty groundsheet of 180gsm PU coated nylon. It looks and feels suitably robust and looks smart next to the golden yellow 42gsm ripstop nylon upper material. The maker said this is specifically produced for tent inners and thinks this is the same as Hilleberg use in their tents. I’d probably have opted for a green colour but this is the only option at the moment. However the colour looks crisp against the dark green of my Golite SL3. Double stitched seams are used in the construction and look neat. The material feels to be the right compromise between weight and durability. A storage pocket is sewn inside the nest. A midge proof panel, about 12 inches high, is set on the top of the front face. The door itself has a robust zip opener. Another nice touch is there are fabric recesses for the zip pulls at the ends of the run. There is also an option on left or right-hand door. The top of the nest has a section of the heavy duty groundsheet material stitched in to support the nest. This is connected to an adjustable length of shockcord and a plastic snap clip to attach to the inner loop of the flysheet. The groundsheet is connected to the flysheet pegs via 5no. adjustable shockcords connected to webbing loops sewn to the groundsheet. There is also a centre fixing adjacent to the pole, but I didn’t need it on this occasion. Externally the sewing looks good. Internally there was a little bit of irregularity visible to the fold of the upper material where it joined the groundsheet but in no way was the double stitched seam compromised. I have no issue with this.
Laid on the floor the Oooknest looks a decent size 230cm long by 130cm at largest dimensions, reducing down to about 68cm at the ends. Stated height is 130cm. There is plenty of room midway for storage of a rucksack. The nest is certainly far larger than my various attempts of utilising a DD hammock (in ground mode) or an army camping bed mosquito net. The Oooknest weight is stated as 520g or 700g (dependent on groundsheet choice).
So after a good look; any reservations I had about my purchase were now gone.
The flysheet went up first as usual (as it was so wet on the spot I did initially utilise the Golite groundsheet to stop the grass getting churned up). I fixed 5 of the 6 shock-corded groundsheet loops to the flysheet pegs. I may add a carabiner to secure to the top of the flysheet as that may ease the process slightly. The Oooknest needs to tensioned adequately otherwise loss of internal space will occur. As the maker claims the Oooknest pitches in under a minute and can be dropped in seconds to open up the entire inner space while still acting as a groundsheet. I put in a big/wide shouldered winter sleeping bag on a full sized Thermarest mat. There was still plenty of room for my 35 litre rucksack and more space to spare alongside.
With the sleeping bag fully expanded it was comfortable for me but it may be an issue for anyone over 6 feet tall. I noted there was a good 6 inch gap between the Oooknest and the flysheet so there may be scope to make the nest 4 to 6 inches longer, although this may not be practical if the flysheet is set close to the ground during stormy weather. As expected it definitely felt warmer inside the Oooknest than my usual mesh set-up. I’ll have to wait to see what it’s like in Summer weather.
The Oooknest feels a robust match for the flysheet. I will probably make or buy a minimal/half groundsheet for wet ground. Bob at Backpacking- Light makes a suitable one.
Overall the Oooknest is well made, packs small, is quick and easy to erect, has various speciation options and fulfils my objective. It is another facet to this very versatile Golite tent.
With the addition of the Oooknest the Golite Hex/SL3 must be very close to being a genuine 4-season tent, if not already. I’m pleased.
Is it worth the £120? The RRP on a Golite mesh inner is £125 (+delivery?) so the bespoke British made Oooknest with quality specification at £120 delivered, surely is a fair price. http://oookworks.com/index.html
Thanks to Markie*Mark0 for the images.