Lightwave Fastpack 40 rucksack & t0 Ultra tent

In for test from UK company Lightwave are their new Fastpack 40 rucksack, and t0 Ultra tent. It’s a brand I’m unfamiliar with, and it’s been interesting going over the kit as it is very different in design and construction.

I’ve had a quick run around the block with the Fastpack 40 and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get some proper test mileage on it as the back system is totally rigid and it might be on the short side for me. I’ll play about with it and we’ll see what happens, there’s a bity of adjustment there. The layout is quite traditional, at first glance it’s essentially an old Karrimor Hot Earth with it’s clean lines. But there’s seam sealing or laminated fabric joins on most of it which make the pack pretty much waterproof. The lid pocket is the same but the double pullers don’t have a garage, and where they meet there’s a gap which will let some water in. There’s effective side compression and neat ice axe/pole hauder-oners. There’s good sized accessible mesh pockets, but bottles don’t sit in them very well at all. It’s set up for a hydration system though with an internal pocket and rubber tube exit point. The harness is interesting, having cut out sections and it’s also all low profile which I like. There’s nice touches all over and a few missed tricks, I’ll cover it in detail if I can get it to work on my back size.

The t0 Ultra is different to what I’m used to being a tunnel tent. It goes up quick and easy, the poles have colour coding, and there’s plenty room inside. The porch isn’t huge, but there’s room for cooking and all your gear fits inside with you. I like the look of it so far, there’s a lot of clever and different resolutions to regular features such as door openings, ventilation and pegging out. I’ve only had it pitched close to base so far, but I’ll get it up north shortly and report back.

One thing made me laugh out loud in the t0 Ultra. There’s a label in the pocket warning of the dangers of open flames in a tent, and the last line is “KEEP EXITS CLEAR”. I’ll move that filing cabinet away from the door exit in the morning.

17 thoughts on “Lightwave Fastpack 40 rucksack & t0 Ultra tent

  1. Is there safe room for cooking in the tent porch? I remember Chris Townsend saying ….What is a safe size for cooking depends on the stove you’ll be using….so would a Jet boil falling over or a stove flaring up be safe in that porch ? looks – small to small. Any way you need to test that Seedhouse first and we are praying for bad weather for you.

  2. Those packs have had me curious (as a possible alternative to the Haglofs LIM 45 that I still haven’t taken the plunge on)…
    but I’m not sure the plain old Crux AK series aren’t the better bet…..
    unless the hipbelt on this carries better – the Crux ones are very minimalist.
    I really like the cut-out hipbelt on my Lowe Alpine Mountain Attack 20+20 – incredibly comfortable and supportive.

    Out of interest, what tricks do you reckon they missed?

  3. There’s no pockets on the hipbelt, the wand pockets aren’t that useful and there’s a huge central panel with nothing on it except four small webbing tabs to put your own bungee cordon. A stretch mesh pocket on there would be great. There’s really nowhere to stash wet gear, like a tent outer. And you don’t want to stash wet gear inside a waterproof pack. It’s also too stiff on your back, totally rigid in fact. You don’t need it with the capacity it has.
    The sack itself is cutting edge construction, but the functionality is a dated.

    I’ll try it again though, this is why it always takes me so long to do updates…”I’ll take that out one more time, just to make sure”.

  4. Ha, you obviously need a drybag for carrying wet stuff inside a waterproof pack!! ;O)

    Lots of my packs don’t have hipbelt pockets but I usually hang a Decathlon pocket off the belt – more capacity than a typical belt pocket, sits very neatly, and no chance of snapping your compass when you tighten the belt! It works especially well on the LA pack with the cut-out belt.

  5. I use a couple of MLD pockets on pocketless packs, they work fine.
    It’s just on the Fastpack, it seems as if it should have more on-the-move accessibilty, especially given its name.

    The thing is, the harness is brilliant. And it want the rest of it too be as good so I can take advantage of it.

  6. One thing I love about the Lightwave tents is this concept of modular design. You can start out with a t0 trek and then later get an ultra outer to make it a t0 ultra, or you can get an extra pole and flysheet to make your t0 trek into a t0 trek xt (and so on). It isn’t something I’ve pursued yet, but I do like the idea of upgrading to an xt as the normal trek is quite minimal on porch space. Interested to hear your findings on this one. It really makes me want to get the tent out and head off…. instead of reading blogs when I should be working!!

  7. I liked the look of the Fastpack, when I first saw pictures of them, but from the website it seems that the 40 is a size 1 and the 50 is a size 2.

    So are Lightwave are not going to bother making sacks for tall people then?

    Always liked the look of Lightwave tents as well (nearly bought a G2 once), but I always reckon that a tunnel that pitches inner first gives you the worst of bother worlds.

  8. MLD pockets, I had been looking at them,any good?? I am even thinking about stitching them permanently to my sack, cant decide between netting pockets or water resistant pockets.. hmm….Can you get MLD to ship over here PTC?

  9. Martin/PTC, that seedhouse, hasn’t it got an all mesh inner (apart from bathtub), I was always put off by tents with all mesh inners, am I just being a wimp???

  10. All mesh is definitely cooler, it’s only really an issue in winter though.

    MLD will send to the UK no problem, takes about a week if they’ve got stock.
    There’s a few versions of this kind of thing about, over here OMM and Raidlight are the obvious contenders. NuKarrimor tried a front pouch recently but it sank without a trace.

    “Worst of both worlds” Time will tell David :o)

  11. Hey Pete, we want the review of the t0 ultra ASAP!! I’m dying to get the definitive verdict born of your wisdom and experience as to what this tent can really do.

    I’m an Akto guy myself and what I like about the t0 is the fact that you sleep with your face by the door so that in a gale you don’t get the fabric on your face as happens with transverse pole design such as the Akto and the LComp.

    The t0 seems like a good old-fashioned design that looks like a real tent should look like and may deliver the goods.

    Of the few reports I could find on the web, one complaint was about the inner and outer being difficult to pitch with enough of a gap between them.

    So I await your opinion with bated breath (well, not too much or I’ll get condensation on my Akto…)

    Ta!

  12. Was there some problem with the T0? I’m tempted by the T0 trek and looking for some good experiences to overcome the reviews be the many who seem to love the Atko. Bad experiences would also be helpful! Paul

  13. Hi Paul, I got kinda sidetracked and did a review of the XT version instead of the t0 for Trail.
    It’s a well made, high quality and spacious tent, but the tunnel design leaves it very vulnerable to the wind on an exposed pitch it’s a nightmare as the main body blows about like crazy.
    But stick it somewhere other than a ridge or a summit and you’ll get on much better.

    Akto? I really wouldn’t bother, it’s far too heavy and folk just rave about because they’ve paid for one.
    I tested 16 one man tents at the end of last year along with the t0XT and there’s loads more choices out there that I’d be happy with beyond my favourite Terra Nova Lasercomp. Here’s one of my favourites, and the rest are on there too http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/Gear-Reviews/Search-Results/Tents/MSR-Hubba-HP-2009/

    I’ll take the t0 out again and do a proper update.

  14. I’d been to this site before but not noticed the many reviews of solo tents. Not so experienced at this so I’m looking for something that is a bit bomb-proof but also light to carry on my old back. I guess most people want to forget a really bad night rather than write a review of their tent’s performance. Thanks for the useful link!

  15. Aye Paul, I’m limited in how much stuff I cover on here, but everything has been well used by the time I write it up.
    The ones on the link I tested over a three month period running into late Novemeber last year (the ones labeled Peter Macfarlane are my reviews). I was really pleased at how many were good.
    It’s a lot of money though, buying a good tent, so it’s a good idea to spend time and get it right first time if you can. You don’t always get all your money back on ebay :o)

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