Outdoor equipment - what should I get?

hello FOA

I have decided that some of the money my dearly departed gran left me is going to be spent on some things I’ve always wanted, but been too much of a tight arse scotsman (she started it) to actually buy.

so I need advice on the following:

  • swag
  • 1 person tent I can bike tour with (only had my tourer for a year…). been looking at the MSR Hubba Hiking tent, it’s the front runner at present. have also looked at Sierra Designs, curious as to why the SD is half the price of the MSR.
  • sleeping bag/liner (unlikely to be used in Antarctica & I sleep hot)
  • camping mat to fit in above tent
  • pannier bags (less important than the rest, reckon I can borrow some from somewhere)

ideally all of the above will be stocked or available locally as I would like to use it in the coming weeks. happy to pay a bit more if I can speak to someone & buy all I need at a LCS with a cash discount or somethin.

happy to pay more if it’s worth it!!


JABA- Just Ask Blakey Already

But seriously:

Sleeping mat- go to Paddy Pallin and check out Nemo airmats, those things are pron! Expensive but are available up to 3 inch thick and compress extremely small.

Tent- perhaps consider 2 person so it’s more versatile in the future/general use? Easton make some freaking light tents thanks to their carbon pole tech, worth checking out.

Rolly, I think I might have a swag left over from my time as an R.M.Williams poster boy.

Swag? The Jolly Swags are the best. Sundowner model if you’re ballin’

Also - does this means you’ve completely given up on looking for a house?

hahaha I’m hoping I’m away for a little chunk of march, so maybe more of a hiatus…

thx for the replies so far.

just to highlight, I’ll be wanting to take everything but the swag camping/touring on a bike.

Get the thicker mat! Always get the thicker mat! +1 one the two man and if it comes down to one with a good size external versible Vs one without, get the one with. MSR are great in every respect EXCEPT price. I have been thrashing my Vango for years now, still good, cheap but no comparison to MSR for weight.

I have a ‘1.5’ man, its marketed as a 2 man but. you can’t really comfortably sleep 2 people unless its your GF/BF etc.

But it means I have all my stuff - pack/4 panniers inside the tent with me which is good.

Weight wise look for something <1.75kgs for a ‘2’ person tent.

as I mentioned to you as well, can’t go past Thermarest prolite for weight/comfort/durability but try go in a shop and have a lie down.

If you wanted to buy online REI was amazing in the states and I know they have an online store. Awesome prices too

Man I have heaps of #swag I can probably hook you up.


Pretty sure JK had an MSR tent (not sure which model) when he did the Mawson trail.
Check thread for pix.

Mont Moondance tents are pretty sweet and very light. Also nice to be able to sleep without the fly over the top on warm evenings and look up at the stars.

If you’re not going to be able to choose your weather then make sure your tent has a big enough vestible for cooking if it’s raining.

I used to work in a real outdoors store a few years ago, and I know things move on quite quickly so excuse me if my input is obsolete - people please correct me where appropriate.

Tents: Mountain Hardwear and MSR make some redic light tents. MH make some single layer tents that weight sweet FA. If you want the lightest possible then check these out, however you will sacrifice some comfort with this option, as being a single layer if you brush the outer with your body or sleeping bag you will get wet from condensation.

Sleeping Bag: Australia? warmer months? Look for a ‘2 season’ bag. I would recommend a top-end synthetic as they stay warm even when wet (re aforementioned tent/cycle touring); and you can wash them. Down sleeping bags are slightly lighter but they get stinky real quick if you sweat in them, and they don’t like getting wet. I think Marmot and Mountain Hardwear make some of the best ones.

Camping Mat: I have a 3/4 Thermarest Ultralite. Is light, is fairly warm and is comfortable enough for me. You can get some good quality knock offs too these days. Check out what they have at the outlet shops on Smith St - Macpac and the 'du.

Panniers: JABA

You all good for cookers, pots etc? Go Propane/butane if you’re first-worlding. MSR rocket, or Kovea Moonraker… etc.

if you want to buy local I would recommend Equipment Bogong as a good place to start. If you know exactly what you are after I would consider buying from Moosejaw, Backcountry.com or REI as previously mentioned.

Go to crossfire.com.au, have a look at the dugout bivvy. Then call me at work and I’ll set you up.

eVent fabric is good and breathable, and super waterproof. Bivvy packs down small so great for bike packing

Big enough so you can chuck your bags in with you when you sleep


I’ve got a MSR whisperlite universal which has been really consistent and pretty fuel efficent. I picked it over the Pocket rocket because there was less hassle with the propane canisters/easier to source fuel where ever you are. It also burns really well at at low temperatures (I was in canada).

Backcountry.com can have some rad deals and I’ve bought tonnes from them before. You can grab a Ti pot set off there relativley cheap.

If you wanna a really cool tent get a Big agnes copper spur UL2,
I think it’s nice to have the option to pitch fly only and configure your shelter depending on the weather. I have a North face rock 22 and I wouldn’t recommend it for touring, maybe the tadpole version though. Got it due to staff discounts.
Six moon designs make an affordable Light weight 1 man shelter called the scout that I will probably buy for touring soon unless I get a tarptent by henry shires or buy some silnylon and sew my own tarp.

Six Moon Designs - Skyscape - Scout

If you need a budget down jacket and can’t find anything on sale I bought a Uniqlo hooded down jacket in London (to use in the arctic circle) and it’s really really good quality for the money. Has 750 fill down (i think).
I have this one

I have never used one of the hubbed-pole tents (MSR Hubba, Big Agnes Copper Spur, etc), but they do look neat, versatile and reasonably light. I think the main difference between MSR and a brand like Sierra Designs is the accessories that come with it (much better pegs for a start), as well as the ‘brand tax’. If you’re going to spend up, forget MSR and just get a Hilleberg. Expensive, but the materials used in the construction, and the design of the tents themselves, do actually justify the price. One major benefit being that you can set it up in the rain without the inner getting wet.

Possibly the best tents in the world. But expensive. And lets be honest, perhaps a total overkill for Rolly bike-camping around temperate Australia…

ok so i cant be fucked reading whats already written so sorry if this is not relevant but here’s what I have:

Poler One man tent: pretty similar to the MSR which i was thinking about buying but better price and slightly more room. Also was thinking about one of the Mont tents, which was similar to both the Hubba/Poler construction. Really stoked on the Poler, packs down small enough, normally I pack it with the poles separately and then compress the bag right down. I like that it gives you more room and headspace than your average 1 man tent with relatively little weight gain.

Mont Bell spiral down sleeping bag: Fucking awesome. soooo comfy, super light, super warm, super small pack down size and stretches out when you move around in it. not cheap though but worth it I reckon.

Thermarest Neo air mattress: Awesome, packs down very easily to the size of a drink bottle and inflates into a very comfortable sleeping mat.

All of these I bought online, which I would recommend as the local mark up on this stuff is RIDICULOUS… (ie the same thermarest was over $100 more in stores than online)

I recently rode from near Brisbane to Sydney with this gear and was so stoked on all of it. You really notice the weight/size when youre riding around so I reckon it’s worth spending decent coin on items that are light/will last/pack down small/ do their job well.

The panniers i had were just basic Ortleib or whatever ones, they were pretty much just two big waterproof sacks. If I buy any more I’d want some with a little more structure to them and also a few more internal pockets etc. for organising smaller items, nothing worse than going through both panniers to find something small on the side of the road.

Anyway, thats my 2c.

Oh campsaver.com have some real cheap stuff, but there’s quite a few brands they wont ship it to aus. But if you have a friend in the states that’s happy to get it and ship it onto you it’s well worth checking out. Esp. if you’re buying ultralight stuff, get them to pack it down and shipping from the U.S. becomes really reasonable