NEW Gram Counter Gear LiteHouse Solo Tent

Picture courtesy of Gram-Counter Gear

Another small company has appeared on the outdoors scene of late – Gram Counter Gear. They’ve developed a sub-kilo single skin tent for backpackers made of silicon coated nylon – groundsheet hydrostatic head of 3000mm and flysheet 2000mm. – of which I shall be testing very soon.

In the meantime here’s some words from Gram Counter Gear – you maybe familiar as to whom they are party with:



Ultralight Outdoor Gear – New Brand
Specialist outdoor retailer ‘Ultralight Outdoor Gear’ would like to announce a new Outdoor Brand called ‘Gram-counter Gear’.
 Gear produced under this brand name will be aimed at those people who are moving enthusiastically into lightweight backpacking and looking for something that bridges the gap between the traditional gear they are currently using and the extreme end of the ultralight world.


We currently have one product: the LiteHouse SOLO, a single skin, single person backpacking shelter that is pitched using one or two trekking poles. It is insect proof and at 850g, is all you’ll need for lightweight but comfortable three season wilderness travel.
Copyright – Mark Richardson
Copyright – Mark Richardson
Copyright – Mark Richardson
We have the two person version (the LiteHouse TWIN) approaching production, which is a spacious single skin offset ridge tent.
Full details and photos of the LiteHouse SOLO can be found at the brands website www.gram-countergear.co.uk , it retails at £140. 
We think the tents offer something different to that currently available and are offered at a very good price. New products due soon and in development will also be different to the current offerings:
(i)                  A lounger for backpackers that weighs less that 100g!
(ii)                4” Titanium pegs – for many applications the ubiquitous 6” pegs are not required – get these they’re lighter
(iii)               Lightweight upright poles, for tents and tarps – a range of sizes


Interesting, eh? Good to see, too.

Some good ideas and intentions – and the tent is a very good price for a lightweight tent. True, the hydrostatic head isn’t too high – but it’ll keep the rain out. It just means in the long term you’ll have to be mindful of any ultraviolet light degradation of the fly and ensure it’s well proofed. And A frame tents are a proven design, too.

I’m looking forward to trying it out just before the winter season kicks in!

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks nice for summer use but using that in October i'd have MRT on standby with my SH 600.
    Laser comps are going for £140 – £160 atm, roughly same weight too, i know what i'd rather be in. !

    Sorry for the negativity, it's not giving me a hard on.

    Twigs.

    Like

  2. terrybnd says:

    Aye, it's ideal for 2/3 season use but for those on a budget it's an ideal introduction to lightweight camping.

    I'll be fine using this at this time of year – thats not a problem

    BTW, where have you seen Laser Comps at that price? As in available now.

    Like

  3. Ukmase says:

    I visited ultralightweight outdoors a few months ago and got a sneak peak at the tent which had just come back from production.

    I looks a great tent and well made, a very good price compared the other overpriced sub kilo tents.

    Like

  4. terrybnd says:

    @ukmase – I agree. From recent trips, it's not too cold per se to be trying the tent out. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for the info there mate

    Like

  5. Very interesting solo tent. Great price in comparison to some, including my kilo Power Lizard £300. I guess , no real benefit to me personally as I have 2 skin tent for 2 people ( OK myself and my son) for a kilo – but if I was starting from scratch could be a real contender. Await your comments with interest
    Mark

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Field and Trek Terry, had them for £140 3 weeks or so back.

    Twigs.

    Like

  7. GeoffC says:

    I really can't understand why there is any interest in single-skins here, except those who mess about with gear for the sake of it (ok, maybe a quick overnighter). What's the point?. The LC is only a little heavier even with decent pegs and even that can get very damp inside on occasion.
    Speaking of pegs, 4g?. Do they always make damned sure they backpack in areas with loads of good solid ground?. Six of my ten pegs are 7″ 14g and even they are not really enough on some pitches, I could have done with 12″-ers in some parts of Wales and the Pennines.

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  8. terrybnd says:

    @Twigs – yeah, I was aware of F&T's offer but that's it. Where now? Not even ebay as the LC for that low a price.

    @GeoffC – The LC may well be comparable but the point of the LiteHouse Solo is if you can't afford a Laser Comp, this tent is worth a look for the money. It's made quite clear in their article above. There appears to be plenty of ventilation so condensation shouldn't be too much of a problem – but of course it's not ideal in colder climes.

    I like the thinking behind it – though not a first – I'm looking forward to trying it out.

    Like

  9. Mac E says:

    I've looked at the Litehouse Solo since Phil Turner 1st mentioned it back in March but to be honest I don't see it offering a significant advantage over the Golite Shangri-La 1 combined with the inner mesh tent. Sure the Shangr-La + mesh inner is more expensive but is vastly more versatile for very little weight increase, use something like the Titanium Goat bivvy with the Shangri-La fly only and it works out lighter.

    I'd like to see a head to head comparison.

    Like

  10. Martin Rye says:

    Reminds me of the single skin tent Hamish Brown used on his Munro walk. Hang on a minute he used a single skin tent for months in the Highlands. So it can work. Phil Turner had a bit on this a while back as well. Be interested to see what you both make of it. I wont get one as I have single skin shelters and they are a lot lighter. But good luck to Mark for what he is seeking to do.

    Like

  11. owdbum289 says:

    looks nice, plenty of room in it, but I don't use poles, so I ain't going to carry them just for the tent. There are tents available for around the same weight complete with poles.
    Just my 0.02 worth.

    Like

  12. terrybnd says:

    @ Mac E – I hear what you are saying but have you not noticed the mesh inner is built in on the Litehouse Solo? Either way, I'm eager to give it a try.

    @ Martin Rye – well, they can work of course, single-skin tents. My mate used the Vango Ultralite on our recent coast to coast walk. The only real problem he had with it was not having a sheltered porch. He missed that for when the weather wasn't ideal for cooking outside etc.

    @owdbum289 – I use poles depending on the terrain, to be honest. You can get poles for this tent apparently. We'll see. I'll be using my trekking poles either way and see how it goes.

    Like

  13. Wurz says:

    Looks a lot like the Tarptent Contrail to me. Good luck to em, nice to see a Brit company making something like this.

    BTW the Power Lizard was £200 at Uttings last weekend with a time limited discount code.

    Like

  14. Mac E says:

    Hi Terry, yes I know, it's more like a Tartpent (Contrail) but it doesn't have a bathtub floor and isn't much lighter than the Shangri-La 1 with the inner mesh tent included.

    Using the inner tent on the Shangri-La the weights come in at 850g for the Litehouse Solo and 904g for the Shangri-La but the Shangri-La c/w mesh inner is effectively a 2 skin which pretty much negates the need to use a cover for your sleeping bag to prevent it from getting wet from condensation.

    Use the Shangri-La with something like the Ti Goat Ptarmigan and you're looking at a total weight of around 650g.

    I like ULOG and it's great to see a UK company producing lightweight gear but in the end it has to be competitive. It may well be a better shelter than the Shangri-La 1 which is why I'd like to see a head to head.

    Like

  15. Paul says:

    Terra nova voyager superlite + side is its amazing down side is it should be seam sealed as my video willo show enjoy

    Like

  16. Phil says:

    I mentioned a bit about this shelter back in March, and it generated a bit of discussion (mostly positive) : here.

    I'll be taking this out over the weekend for a first look – I've been sent the Grip Clips set – added as an option after some of the comments on my original blog post – so I'm looking forward to seeing how the shelter copes with a bit of weather.

    You've nicely summed up the target market for this product – it's intended as a 'first step' for those looking to lighten their load without having to contemplate bivvy bags and tarps; it's at a price point that enables the inexperienced to dip a toe in the water before blowing hundreds of pounds on a cuben fibre tarp to find that they hate it.

    I'm looking forward to your review – it'll be great to have a contrast to the upcoming TGO and Trail reviews.

    Like

  17. terrybnd says:

    Hi Phil

    Mine arrived today – and I must admit I was taken aback by the size of it! It's much bigger than it looks in the photo's. I'm really pleased with it.

    I do have some misgivings but only putting the tent into use will answer those.

    I'm that impressed, I'll be taking my video camera out with me to show folks what it's like.

    Thanks

    Like

  18. Maz says:

    I like Mark and ULOG a lot and Lord knows I've spent a bit of money with them but this does not grab me. Good to see someone giving it a go, though.

    Like

  19. terrybnd says:

    Hi Maz,

    Well, I'm always open to new ideas and products and though this is not entirely original – I'm only too happy to give it a go.

    First impressions are very good as it happens. Better than I imagined.

    We'll see how it performs.

    Like

  20. kevin Lim says:

    I like that good looking style and design of tent.

    Like

  21. stevie coles says:

    how would this tent fare, with someone at about 6'2 in height?.

    Like

  22. terrybnd says:

    @stevie coles – You'd just about fit in it. Just. I'm 5'11″ and there's a few inches spare. Hope that helps.

    Like

  23. Uncle Beesly says:

    Is this tarp-tent going to be adjustable? By that I mean is it going to be possible to lower the front porch/pole in stormy weather & improve its wind resistance? That is something I value about tarps & bivvies.

    Like

  24. terrybnd says:

    @Uncle Beesly – You can lower the front end of the tent, yes. But not a great deal. It's not a tarp. but it can feel like you're under one at times.

    The wind resistance of this shelter is 'fair'. It'll stand in a reasonable hoolie, but it can flap a fair bit and consequently any condensation formed splatters all over you.

    It's a good intro tent to lightweight backpacking for those on a budget – if you have the money there's better to be had in my opinion.

    Hope that helps

    Like

  25. Uncle Beesly says:

    Ok thanks, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on better tents!

    Like

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