Back in last September last year I planned my Aviemore to Blair Atholl route 2 walk. I was going to use my new SoloMid shelter, but needed some midge protection.
Having used the standard Mountain Laurel Design mesh bug inners, I thought they could be better and make more use of the internal space, along with offering more in terms of performance when in camp. Also the design could have more space than a MLD version.
Fortunately in the UK Sean at OookWorks offers custom bespoke inners for single skin shelters.
I contacted him and we looked at the maximium use of space, along with my needs in terms of shelter use. I wanted: light, maximum use of the internal space, height and the mesh not to touch my face - unlike the mesh inner that I had used from Mountain Laurel Designs.
Sean agreed that there was scope for better use of the length of the shelter, to give more space and keep the mesh off my face while sleeping.
He had ideas and suggested a full opening door and a new material he was looking to use for the bathtub floor called Chikara. I was persuaded and Sean got to work. Time-wise it was tight, but Sean always has one rush job factored into his work and thus juggled lead times. I was very appreciative of this flexibility.
My inner arrived. I put it on the scales and it tipped in at 309g with an 11g stuff sack. I was impressed at the attention to detail Sean puts into his work. He had put a velcro strap to ensure the mesh could be held tight to the inverted V of the trekking poles holding up the shelter.
The tie points on the SoloMid allowed Sean to add shock cord attachments to hold the mesh away from my face more and give support to the inner.
To attach the top apex there is a loop and Sean had another attachment on a shock cord and plastic hook. I have removed that now and just use the loop to hook it into the SoloMid's top apex clip.
To peg the base out Sean had put some loops on each corner and at the mid points. On the rear ones he had put an adjustable setup using a linelock; I cut these off. This was before Sean started using the small carbon rods he now builds in to give shape to the bathtub floor. But once the inner is tight at the top and the mid point ties tightened up the bathtub sits well off the ground. So now the total weight is 285g and 11g for the stuff sack.
Having used this so far in Scotland and the Dales I am very pleased with it. It keeps the bugs off and the mesh allows good air flow.
The space is good and the separation from the outer is good. Not once has the inner touched the outer fly of the SoloMid.
The door opens right out. I like this inner a lot. If I were to get one now it would be lighter. The mesh is a 40gsm in weight and oookWorks uses 25gsm now. Chikara is a 42gsm PU material that has done well so far and I would not hesitate to use it again.
I think with the reduction of weight in the mesh used I would go for a cuben material mid level insertion to fend off drafts more, and mesh above that. But anticipate the weight to be still the same.
Right now OookWorks offers a custom service. Make use of this if you're looking for something to fill that kit need that others can't fill.