Gossamer Gear, ‘The One’ (2016)

Gossamer Gear, The One (2016)

Greetings Adventurers!

It is not very often that we get a new tent on the market that is worth talking about.

Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks that Gossamer Gear was bring back ‘The One”, which I think most folks that have been in the hiking world for any length of time should remember… it was one of the original ultra light solo shelters from a cottage maker that really had a major market impact – it was highly loved by many, and there are a fair number of shelters on the market right now that are based on The One design!

I had my doubts about the rumors, and I am so very glad to hear that I was wrong.

The One is back!

It is not just back, but it is back in style. In true form. And, with some serious kick to it.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the new version is the fabric is it made from. This fabric not only gives it a bit of a sticker/price shock, but it is a fabric worth watching, and keeping a very close eye on. I know many people are going to see the price tag and think DCF (*cough* cuben fiber *cough*) and such as it is. From my perspective, my thinking, I welcome a new non-DCF-fabric onto the market that potentially has a higher performance factor than all we have had to deal with over the last few years. If it means a slightly higher price tag, so be it. Anybody remember when (D)CF was still a new thing and everybody saw the price tag and said to themselves “no way in hell am I paying that“, yet, how many of us have ended up buying a DCF shelter… or three, or four… oh hell, ok, over a dozen at this point for me. Anyway, yes, I really am looking forward to how this new fabric performs. To say I want to get one of these and put it to the test here in the Redwood rainforest of Northern California, is to put it lightly… this tent is going on my to-buy list!

Specs & Such:

I just know everybody is going to be comparing The One to the ZPacks Solplex, so I will just use specs from it in doing any comparison comments below – and really, these are the two shelters probably the closest in comparison to each other. You could maybe throw in the TarpTent Rainbow into a type of three-way-comparison, but I am just not sure the Rainbow falls into the same design aspects, ok, really, it does not at all /shrugs/

The livable space of the tent is pretty good for the fully enclosed solo single side-door shelter market.

The inner specs out at 83″ in length (7 inches shorter than the Solpex)
And the inner width is 30″ in width (identical to the Solplex)
The inner max height is 48″ (identical to the Solplex)

The total pack weight of The One is 572 grams (20.17 ounces), which places it only 133 grams (4.69 ounces) heavier than the Solplex at 439 grams (15.5 ounces) – which is not bad considering it is $100 dollars less expensive than the Solplex.

When I put the numbers into my ‘Lightest Fully Enclosed Shelters‘ list it works out to a Cost per Gram of $0.79 and a Cost per Ounce of $22.31 for The One, and compare that to a CpG of $1.29 and CpO of $36.64 for the Solplex.

So even with the price point of this new fabric Gossamer Gear is using, it seems to me that the numbers here are pretty impressive for The One – from livable space, weight, and the cpg/o price points!

Final Thoughts:

There are currently some huge mileage hikers using the Solplex, I have used it myself, and I expect that within the next year we are going to see this new The One start working its way into the packs of some of these big mileage hikers. Not only because a number of them are Gossamer Gear ambassadors, but because there is some real love within the long distance community for Gossamer Gear – not to mention the lure of getting a chance to use The One again is going to have a huge driving force.

Anyway, to wrap this up… yes, I am very much looking forward to seeing how The One is accepted within the long distance community, as well as the weekender community. The aspects of having a new fabric within the cottage shelter market is also something that warrants some excitement. While I think the price point might push it out of the weekenders and tour bikers, that is not to say it does not, nor cannot. I fret that it faces this same challenge that the Solplex faces… it is a rather expensive “solo” shelter.

But do I want one… uhh, heck yeah!

Where To Buy:

You can purchase the new 2016 The One directly from the Gossamer Gear website:


+John Abela

Disclaimer: I use to be an ambassador with Gossamer Gear, in fact they were my first one, but when I hit a lower base pack weight limit I departed from them (my choice) as I was no longer using any of their products.


12 thoughts on “Gossamer Gear, ‘The One’ (2016)

  1. I first saw this tent on a GG blog post, At One with the Weminuche, written by Glen Van Peski. It came out on July 29, 2016. I really like it and so began to put a spreadsheet together with it’s two other competitors: the Solplex and the TarpTent Notch.

    To me, there are two specs (plus $$) that are pretty important: total pack weight and packed size. Here’s what I found (weights below INCLUDE guy lines and stakes – the Notch comes with stakes in the price whereas the other two do not so keep that in mind):

    The One – 22.1 oz, 6″ X 9″ – $450
    Solplex – 18.1 oz, 6″ x 12″ – $555
    Notch – 27 oz, 16″ x 3.5″ – $285

    There is basically 5 oz between each of the three options and so if you don’t long trail and need to spend less, there’s not a huge weight hit. But even if you don’t spend lots of time on the trail, packed size is applicable to everyone. The One definitely wins this category, and so along with being lighter than the Notch, that really helps it to justify a higher price.

    I haven’t decided which of the three yet, but I think the One is a solid choice and will be waiting myself to see how it is received and how it fares in the field.

    John, I do hope you’ll get One to test and provide us one of your extraordinarily good write-ups to let us all know how it stacks up.

    1. Hey Warren,

      I would not have included the Notch, with it being a double wall, double door shelter, but I can understand the desire to put it onto the same spreadsheet.

      If I were going with another Solplex, I would without hesitation get it in camo, so it would take the weight up closer to The One, and even more expensive.

      But, my days of spending $500 bucks (or thereabout) on shelters has probably come to an end, so not sure The One is something I will be buying. It would be neat to give a try though.

  2. BTW, I do realize that the Notch is a double wall shelter. It just fits in the scope of a solo shelter that would work for me and I think many others. I also did consider the newer shelter from Big Sky International, the Wisp. But it has very sloping walls and I already have a tent that is hard to enter and a little to closed in (30+ year old North Face solo shelter with two half-moon aluminum poles). These three have room and you can site up in them and store a few things inside as well.

    1. I have never used anything from Big Sky International. I have said it a bazillion times and will keep saying it… until they can figure out how to make a website that actually makes sense… is clear about product specs… I am just not going to buy anything from them. It hurts my eyes and my brain when I dare venture over there. So not even familiar with their product lineup. Think I have heard of the “wisp” you mention, but know nothing about it.

      Regarding the Notch… it is an economical way to get into a double wall two door fully enclosed shelter, if you have need for a double wall tent.

  3. I really like how Gossamer Gear is trying to innovate. I’m too new to the ultralight scene to remember the original “The One” shelter, so this definitely seems like a new tent to the market. They have a vestibule + awning design instead of a dual vestibule and dual entry design. I don’t see why dual entry is needed with a solo shelter, and the awning increases ventilation and reduces weight. They also developed a new fabric, which is exciting.

    I’m not a solo hiker, so this won’t apply to me. My uncle, who is planning on completing the triple crown (He’s completed the AT), mentioned to me that he is thinking about changing shelters, and he likes his Gossamer Gear pack, so I think I might recommend this or their new Spinn tarp to him.

    I wanted to ask you what you think of the claimed hydrostatic head of at least 1200 mm. Do you think we can trust that Gossamer Gear did their research in selecting a fabric that is adequately waterproof for most conditions? Should we wait to hear about some real world tests to hear how the fabric performs?

    1. >>> Do you think we can trust that Gossamer Gear did their research in selecting a fabric that is adequately waterproof for most conditions? Should we wait to hear about some real world tests to hear how the fabric performs?

      Hey Greg,

      Determining such things is stupidly simple to do these days. There is very little reason for a bunch of different people to perform this test and see if everybody agrees. At the last PCT Kickoff that I was at I saw at least four or five of them. Nothing special these days.

      Whether those numbers came from the fabric manufacturer or from GG, seems mostly inconsequential. Not like we are talking about WPB fabric for garments where other factors have to be taken into account.

      All shelter fabric needs to do is be able to handle people laying on it and not have water seep through. People have been using tents with 1200mm for well over two decades.

      Good to hear your uncle has enjoyed his GG backpack. It has been many years since I have used a GG backpack. Know a few guys, and ladies, that really like the new generation of GG backpacks.

      1. Hey John, thanks for the input.

        It helps to hear from someone like you who has the experience to know if something in the industry has worked for so many years, It’s funny how there are so many different opinions on what hydrostatic head is “required” for shelters, or for rain jackets for that matter. I guess it makes sense because because there are many varying opinions on how to do things in my professional career as an engineer…
        I will definitely be recommending he check out the new Gossamer shelters along with ZPacks, MLD, and SMD for his CDT hike in a couple years.

        My uncle and I independently chose the same pack, the Mariposa, from Gossamer Gear last year, and we both really like it. My uncle has far more miles on it than I do after completing the AT, though. I’m thinking at some point trying a frameless pack for short, warm weather trips, perhaps something along the line of the MLD Burn that you showed in that Facebook video you made a couple months ago.

    2. SilPoly, has been available to consumers for a while now. In fact RipstopByTheRoll sells it. That’s essentially what this fabric is, and from all the reviews I have read, and all the user experiences on FB’s Barefoot’s gear talk it’s pretty reliable.

      1. Hey Ricky,

        I think until Gossamer Gear is ready to explain exactly what their “custom” fabric is, it makes it hard to compare it to anything else, even if/when it is a slight variation of SilPoly (or possibly SilPolyPro ??).

        GvP commented on my facebook post (here), “1200 mm is the minimum spec, it tests higher. As far as we are aware there is only one major manufacturer” {using the same fabric}.

        Like what others are saying elsewhere, this should be some pretty sweet fabric, as I threw out there in my own post above, but I think we just have to stand by and wait for either GG, or third party fabric testers, to share with the public exactly what this is… but perhaps even more important… for folks to get out there using it and put it into real on-the-trail use and that will of course be the real test/feedback we all are wanting, eh!!

        1. Good point m John. It is going to be good as new fabrics come into play that compare favourably to D.F . It will continue to make available better and better gear at competitive prices. I don’t mind paying g a premium for good kit but the sooner it becomes into mainstream prices will drop to the benefit of all who love the outdoors. On an aside – after the TGO Scotland chalet get and seeing dozens of light and ultralight I am convinced that a door closure needs to be a zippered one. I am sending a note to that effect to Joe Z. As I think the duplex would benefit from that. The distance from peak to bottom is long enough that the flapping is a problem even with little clips.

  4. Great to see this. I am using the duplex from Zpacks and like the comparison. I think the one thing that mabe an advantage is the door zips. Of course i cannot buy a new tent every year so it will have to wait for a bit. Having the stand alone capability of the Zpacks is a big plus for me so I am curious if you can stand alone the One? As always thanks John.

    1. Hey Dara,

      Yeah, the J style vs rainbow doors is always an interesting one. Do we save a bit of weight in exchange for a slightly less convenient/large of entry/exit.

      I would not categorize the Duplex in the same category as The One or the Solplex, but there is no doubt that the Duplex is one amazing shelter. My only complaint (and it is an unfair one) is the pack volume size of the Duplex. It really is a large volume tent when it comes time to fit into my smaller packs.

      I too am looking forward to reports from other hikers on how The One performs in really wet conditions. No need to question the fabric or design of the tent by themselves… but when put together, in wet conditions, it always comes down to fabric (does it seep) and design (wind flow and angles) to deal with condensation. Given this design has been well proven for a couple of decades, I do not think there is anything to really worry about with this shelter.

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