Tramplite Shelter – first look

On Thursday, a parcel arrived in the post. It was my eagerly anticipated Tramplite shelter from Colin Ibbotson. Tramplite shelter sounds too ordinary, so I’ve christened it the “IbboMid”. The IbboMid is a lightweight cuben fiber double skin tent that Colin has been refining over the past year or so after his treks in New Zealand and Scandinavia.

A handful of backpackers asked Colin if he would make some shelters and fortunately for us, he agreed. This is not a commercial venture for Colin as his main focus is doing long distance walks. This year he is doing the Continental Divide Trail in the US. He’s making these tents in the fallow period over the winter.

The first lucky recipient was Andy Howell. My IbboMid is the sixth and has a couple of improvements from the first iteration. Colin reckoned it would weigh about 670g. However, when I put it on the scales it was an amazing 652g!

IMG_1135(2)It came in a neatly rolled in a cuben fiber stuff sack.

IMG_1136(2)With great excitement, I took it into the back garden to pitch it.

IMG_1137(2)It’s very easy to pitch, easier than my Duomid. I set the trekking pole to 125cm, pegged the rear two corners, inserted the trekking pole and loosely pegged the front guy. Then I pegged the front two cormners. Lastly, I pulled out the rear pegging point, pulling it tight, then tensioned the front guy. All it took then was a bit of further tensioning all round and I acheived a pretty good pitch first time.

IMG_1138(2)I used a piece of Tyvek from my Scarp as a groundsheet protector to stop the groundsheet getting muddy. The fit was pretty good. Attaching the inner was very simple. The four corners have shock cords which attach to the corner pegs. Next, there are shock cords part way up the inner on the four corners that attach to the fly. There are a further two on the rear wall. Then the apex has an adjustable shock cord with a toggle that mates with a loop at the apex of the fly.

IMG_1142(2)It was incredibly simple to get a good pitch. The inner looked pretty good too. The inner is quite spacious, measuring 255cm x 75cm. By comparison, it’s marginally narrower than the Scarp, but longer. The inner also has a horizontal zip at the rear to access a decent amount of space in the V of the rear wall of the fly. It’s certainly big enough for either a rucksack or boots and cooking gear or wet clothing.

IMG_1140(2)This picture gives an idea of the rear storage area. It also shows how taut the pitch is.

IMG_1139(2)It’s quite an aerodynamic shape and should shed wind well. With the front and rear tensioned, it feels very solid with next to no pole movement.

IMG_1143(2)The quality of the workmanship is very high. As you might imagine, I’ve added some tweaks. I’ve sewn a grosgrain loop at the apex of the inner so I can hang a torch or lantern. I’ve added some zip pulls on the zippers. I’ve also added so mini cord grips on the inner door tie backs. I find cord grips and loops easier to use than simple ties. These tweaks have added a massive 3g to the weight.

Of course, it’s impossible to make a proper judgement after one pitch in the back garden, but the IbboMid looks very promising. If it lives up to my first impressions, I can see that it will become my first choice tent. It looks to have the stormworthiness of the Scarp, but is the lightest shelter that I own. That seems like a winning combination.

Disclosure: The IbboMid was purchased with my own money and I have no relationship, financial or otherwise with Colin Ibbotson.

31 thoughts on “Tramplite Shelter – first look”

  1. I am on the waiting list, so looking forward to mine, though I have a while to wait. I gather the inner is separable from the outer, are you able to tell me the dimensions of the inner that is width, length and height? I am not sure that “ibbomid” is the right name, I immediately thought of a similar word starting with another vowel. I think the “Tramplitemid” or perhaps just the “Tramplite” as the names better describe what Colin is about.

      1. Is that 225cm from end to end in the inner? Or usuable height?
        If its end to end, that wouldnt leave more than 165cm with height of 30cm or more. That’s going to be problematic for me on top of an neoair xtherm pad with my 185cm height and size 13 feet.

        If length was enough for me this looks like a even better solution than my Locus Khufu (or a Duomid) ! A dual wall tent is more comfy for cold windy days!

  2. Cheers Robin – I’m on the year waiting list thanks to you! Will be very interesting to see if it dislodges the Scarp from your collection, as that’s some tent it has to overcome. You feel happy – based on your quick pitch – that it could be up there with the Scarp for stability?

    1. It feels very solid, so I’m fairly sure it will be at least equal to the Scarp in adverse conditions. It might be vulnerable if the wind is blowing onto the door panel, given it doesn’t extend to ground level. However my experience with the Duomid (which is similar) is that it’s not as critical as it looks. Wind speed at ground level is slowed up considerably with friction from from grass. Unless you are on an exposed ledge, it’s probably not an issue. The other consideration is that it needs firm pegging points, whereas the Scarp is more free standing, especially with crossing poles.

  3. Looks good. Not quite clear from your photos re the inner.Is it all mesh ? if so it looks quite dense. It appears to have a solid part inner at the front. Does this go all round ? Was thinking of the Zpacks Soloplex but this looks better.
    I had the impression you might be going for the Trekker tent Edge 1. It comes in at over 1.2 kgs. Was that a deciding factor ?

    1. The inner is solid but the front is half mesh/half solid. It’s a proper two skin tent, unlike the ZPacks. I like the Edge, but decided this suits me better. Virtually half the weight. If I needed a high mountain tent that is virtually free standing, the Edge would be high on my list. TBH, the Scarp or Nitro lite are good alternatives albeit a bit heavier.

  4. I would like a SilNylon version at some point Robin. I doubt people need to wait for a review. Colin designed and tested this over 1000s of miles. Its proven on the trial! – you should take it on the TGOC. Enjoy using it.

    You should see Colin’s pack designs. They look superb. I am pleased to see the innovation and thought he has put into kit development. Lets hope we see more from him.

    1. Other things being equal, I’ll be using it for the Challenge. Colin already has a silnylon prototype which he is testing. He might make it available at the end of this year. I’d love one of his packs! However, I don’t think he’ll be making them available. TBH, I reckon my ZPacks Arc Blast (old version) is going to be a bit of a winner. 404g for a 52L pack with a CF frame is pretty stunning. It feels really good, but won’t know until I’ve given it a proper test.

  5. Quick question, Robin. Re the zip in the back of the inner allowing access to the rear area: how ‘slack’ is the inner at the back where the zip is? I’m wondering whether it’s quite tight which would make getting stuff through the zip tricky (e.g. having to push / pull dirty boots through the open zip) or if the zip can be pulled apart easy enough to avoid difficulties in getting gear in or out? Hope that makes sense!

    1. It’s quite a long zip so it makes putting stuff in the rear “porch” quite easy. The back wall is only under light tension, so putting boots etc through the opening shouldn’t be a problem. I might do some more pictures.

  6. I am on the ‘ reserve list ‘. Colin says his build time is full until March 2016( He is away on his treks from April to November this year,so he
    actually does’nt have a lot of build time considering this is not a commercial venture. He is not taking any more orders at present.
    Do you mind me asking if you can give me a rough idea of the cost ?
    as he did’nt answer that question ? Also how far off the ground is the beak at door entry ? Looks over a foot at least.
    Thanks ,Robin.

  7. I’ve got hold of a 125cm long carbon fibre Ruta Locura pole, Robin. Do you think a fixed length pole would work ok with the Tramplite, or have your early fiddles with the shelter suggested it’s better to have something adjustable like a trekking pole?

      1. Thanks again, Robin. I’ll hang onto the CF pole until the Tramplite comes and give it a whirl.

  8. A link to a quick video of the shelter as an adjunct to Robin’s excellent prose.

    Tramplite Shelter:

  9. Hi Robin,

    I hope that this isn’t deemed cheeky of me but can you divulge (ballpark) how much the Tramplite comes in at. The reason I ask is I’m torn between a ZPacks tent or a Terra Nova Ultra Laser 1 or something in between. I like the Zpacks but need a twin skinned tent and am reluctant to meet TN’s eyewatering price. If you could gimme an idea of cost I’d be obliged.

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