I am off on a quick weekend walk and wildcamp tomorrow but before I do, I thought I would just do a quick post to introduce a relative newcomer on the UL manufacturing scene.
Oookworks are a Cumbria based cottage industry manufacturer of bespoke lightweight gear. Yes, that’s in the UK! Not a huge amount of homegrown UL manufacturers exist in this country but I am pleased to see this particular one starting to gain both custom and recognition for the quality and innovation of products that they offer. The main fare that they offer is made to measure tent inners to help lighten the load or improve the layout of the interior. They also do other services such as repairs but are fairly open to enquiries as to what is the art of the possible
The head of manufacturing at Oookworks, Sean Clayton, was kind enough to send me a sample stuff bag made from Spinnaker material FOC. Having inspected it, I have to say that it is a fine piece of sewing and is just that little bit different to similar items out there. It weighs in at 8g including toggle closure and is waterproof (I have tested it by running it under the tap and no leakage was observed to get into the inner). That shows how good the sewing is.
As you can see the quality is excellent and judging by the comments of people who have purchased full sized tent inners off Sean, his attention to detail is top notch. Obviously I cant quote prices on here for the services Sean offers but I can tell you that he is very reasonable especially when you consider that his work is tailored to your requirements. The other thing with Oookworks is that Sean recognises that UL gear that works well in the US doesnt necessarily work over in the UK and Northern Europe, in particular. Thats not to say that US UL gear cant work in the UK, its the fact that Sean has a wealth of outdoor experience on this side of the pond and is able to advise customers accordingly so that they get the best out of their gear.
I am currently getting Sean to measure up and quote me for a bespoke lightweight inner for my Hilleberg Unna tent. Early indications are that with the right materials I could potentially reduce the weight of the tent by 300g or so. I am also looking to reduce the inner depth as I have found that there is probably too much space within my tent! I will let you know if and when I get around to commissioning this inner!
Sean is a very approachable chap and if you contact him to see what you want and what is possible he will give you an honest appraisal. I am very pleased that Oookworks is an up and coming UK UL outdoor gear manufacturer as we have all too few here and I for one wish him every success…
Oh and I will be taking the stuff sack out with me this weekend as it will be put to good use…
They look like they can make good kit and deliver unlike team IO. I have something I want made and after reading Robins comments on them and now yours I am confident to contact them soon.
I can vouch for Sean’s meticulous approach to making gear. He really does like to delight his customers and takes real pride in his work.
He also makes a very good fruit wine! 😀
Dave, certainly worth bearing in mind for the future. I will be really interested in your inner for the Unna.
just got the quote back from Sean for 3 different floor options, Sinylon, PU and cuben
decisions decisions! 🙂
As a fellow Unna user, interested to learn what the costs & specs are for the three different inners…? Are you going full mesh?
Not that I have a clue how to sew, I am contemplating making an inner mesh one out of 1.26oz cuben and nano-seeum.
It doesn’t have to be spot on in terms of matching what Hilleberg makes, but basically a UL bug bivy that can hang easily enough with room to read and sit up. it could also work as well under a cat tarp like the MLD duo grace, etc.
I asked Sean for an inner approx 65cm wide and 210cm long with enough head room to sit up
I think the weights quoted were approx:
250g cuben floor
310g sinylon floor
340g PU floor
I am tempted by the PU floor as its tough and still nearly half the weight of the Hilleberg inner
Costs? Full mesh, partial mesh?
the quote/sizing etc was done without seeing my tent in the flesh. What normally happens is that you agree what you want, you get an indicative price and then send your tent for a “fitting”. After that final design, cost and sizing is confirmed.
Having said that, my quote was for full nano-seeum netting with bathtub floor and a few specific items
I cant quote exact costs as that really does depend on the design and if I say a price here it may not reflect the price for someone elses inner. If you look on the website it quotes £120 for a ripstop inner for an SL3 and £100 for a mesh inner for an SL3. This should give you an idea of cost. Cuben fibre is quite expensive and so amount used really does dictate cost involved. My quote for a full nano-seeum mesh inner was in the same ballpark as the prices above
Costs really do depend on complexity, final design etc might change a little bit (but not hugely) and I was specific with some features I wanted. You would have to contact Sean directly for a quote for your particular tent.
Dont forget that this is to have a bespoke inner for your exact tent 🙂
Hope this helps