The WRT has moved. If you're looking for info, entries or anything else bikepacking related try Bear Bones Bikepacking, the Bear Bones blog or the Bear Bones forum - ta.

Yea, yea, yea, but what is it?

The WRT is a 3 day and perhaps more importantly 2 night ride through and around mid Wales. You'll be expected to be self sufficient, carrying everything you need and sleeping out in or under whatever you think best. It's not elitist, entry is open to anyone who wants to try it. All the money raised by the WRT goes to the Wales Air Ambulance charity ... an organisation I hope you'll never need.

Monday, February 14, 2011

T, T, S and S Part 2 ... Two worlds meet.

The two worlds in question are those of tents and tarps. It's very easy to imagine that by allowing tents and tarps to join forces the outcome would be a technical, over complicated disaster. A Frankenstein shelter that only carries the 'bad' genes from both parents and non of the good.

However, I'm glad to say that the union of tent and tarp has managed to produce a well balanced and pleasant offspring ... this bundle of fun was christened, Go-lite Shangrila 3 ... I know, I know, it's hardly Simon or Roger is it?

The Shangrila 3 is a single skin, tipi type shelter. One of the nice things about it is its slightly modular nature. In its basic form there is no floor but you can add a clip in bath tub style ground sheet if you wish. If it's midge season then a full mesh inner can be attached which includes a floor. If you're using it solo then a 'half hex floor' is available, so you sleep in one half and the other (without ground sheet) becomes your porch. It's marketed as a 3 person shelter and yes you can sleep 3 in there but it's very cosy. With 2 it's ideal and if you're alone you'll be rattling off the walls there's so much room.

Two large vents at the top combined with the fact air can get in underneath seem to cope with the potential single skin condensation issues pretty well. Any condensation which does form on the in side tends to run down the steep sides rather than dripping on you, which is obviously a big plus. If you're tall then the space in side should be most welcome, centre height is 160cm and the internal area is 5.5 sq/m.

Pitching couldn't be any easier or quicker, simply peg down each corner (6 pegs), climb in and push the telescopic aluminium pole into it's little reinforced seat, push up and that's it, your home for the night is erected (there's a ladder lock adjuster on each pegging point to adjust tension). It's surprising just what a battering it'll take before you realise that your prayers to the wind gods have gone unheard and it falls over ... Go-lite refer to it as 4 season which must say something. I think when you consider the potential it offers then weight seems pretty reasonable, the quoted figure is 1010g, mines seems to weigh a touch more at 1100g but that is including stuff sack, etc and a full compliment of spare Ti pegs. Even my figure of 1100g doesn't seem bad when you consider it really will sleep 2, you can sit up (hey, I can nearly stand up), cook, change clothes, etc. I think for multi day trips this might be one compromise that doesn't look like its been designed by a committee. It does what it sets out to do very well.


  1. Not that lightweight though when you add in the extras which make it better suitable for Wales; the nest or just a floor section. What's the length of the collapsed pole?

  2. The pole is 12" long when packed.

    I think it's more of an alterative to a tarp when the weather takes a turn for the worse rather than an alterative to a tent. The half hex floor weighs 250g, so 1350g for floor and shelter which isn't bad given the space.

    I'd rather sit some rain out in this than a Lazer ... I can move around in this ;o)

  3. Blimey 1350g, the thing weighs almost as much as my tent, sleeping bag and mattress ;) you'll need a trailer to pack the damn thing!!!

  4. Don't worry, I've got a trailer test in mind ;o)

  5. Might be 'heavy' but split between 2-3 people its worth it...