Two years ago, Crua Outdoors introduced a hammock built to work as a lie-flat lounge, suspended outdoor shelter and zero-gravity camp chair. It was the Koala, and it went on to become a raging crowdfunding success, raising over US$735,000. Crua now prepares to bring its cuddly Koala back to the crowdfunding circuit. The Koala V2 features a variety of refinements, including the ability to hold two people.
The original Koala looks like a simple hammock, but it packs a few tricks and extras. The most impressive trick is an adjustable, multi-position strap system that allows users to yank the top end higher than the bottom to create a suspended lounge chair, a comfy seat for camp. It’s a simple addition, but a rather nice one, particularly for backpackers and other ultralight movers who don’t carry a separate chair and gain an integrated seat within their 2.6- to 4.6-lb (1.2- to 2-kg, depending on components carried) sleeper hammock.
Ever since launching the original Koala, Crua has been inviting feedback, identifying and executing potential improvements, and bringing over features derived from its tent lineup, all leading up to the Koala V2. Some of the basic structural-level improvements include a larger, reversible tarp for increased weather coverage, lighter aluminum carabiners to replace the steel carabiners, tougher zippers, and improved grommets for securing the spreader bars.
The biggest news of the V2 design is the availability of a two-person version. Crua hasn’t released weights or other hard specs yet, but using a two-person Koala Maxx should certainly decrease total weight as compared to using two individual Koalas, a nice option for couples who’d rather be curled up together anyway.
The Koala V2’s mesh also sees a major upgrade, now wrapping around the entire hammock instead of just covering the top. Critter protection extends right around items hanging in the side pockets, so no waking up to ants in last night’s leftover Doritos. Crua also says the mesh itself is thicker.
A handy weight-cutting feature, removable pockets let the owner choose between organizational convenience and minimal trail weight. The original Koala has seven pockets for specific things like tablets, everyday carry and snacks. While potentially useful, these pockets also add weight and may prove partially or wholly overkill for individual users, particularly those counting every last ounce. With removable pockets, owners can bring the pockets they want, drop the weight they don’t.
It will be interesting to see how the final weight shakes out after those various changes, but we’ll have to wait until the Koala V2 makes its official Indiegogo launch on Tuesday, June 9. That campaign will also bring a first look at V2 early bird pricing, but for now we can say that the original Koala retails for $129 for the basic hammock and bug mesh kit and $229 for the full shelter kit with tarp.
Source: Crua Outdoors
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