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BD MegaLite... anyone used this?
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Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
BD MegaLite... anyone used this? on 02/11/2008 08:51:15 MST Print View

I've never done snow camping before and am looking at the MegaLite (to be honest, primarily for cost reasons). Has anyone used this?

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Megalight on 03/04/2008 17:53:14 MST Print View

I've slept over 100 (sometimes very rainy) nights in the Megamid (the heavier fabric version) with great success. When the 1-1/2 lb (tent canopy only) Megalight came out I snatched one up and have spent ~20 nights in it with similar, albeit lighter, results.
I tried out the GoLite Hex but found the hex shape to be much less efficient at packing bodies than the square footprint of the mids.
Megalight comes with 1 oz trekking pole connector so you can leave the tent pole at home.

0)A stick from the woods, ski pole, paddle or suspension from an overhanging tree branch will also erect the canopy.
0)One person and a fully assembled bicycle leaned against the pole will fit inside.
0)unlike my 2 vintage Megamids, the Megalight comes with a high vent which mitigates condensation. None the less, we affectionately refer to these devices as the "Sweat-a-Mid" and "Sweat-a-Lite". Staking through the 6" loops to raise the tent ~4" off the ground helps alot with condensation. I only only pin it close to the ground (on the windward side) in high winds.
0) With 1-2 people I use my 14oz GoLite Cave 1. For 3-4 the MegaLite is my go to tent. On the Tahoe Rim Trail with Aaron Sorenson and Michael Popov we packed 4 sweaty guys (two in the 6'4" range) inside. That's 6oz of tent carrying load per person.
0)For most camping I only see 3 reasons (all dubious) for a tent being double walled. 1)Better insulated - only a little bit warmer than a single walled tent and the same weight invested in sleeping bag insulation will net far greater warmth. 2)Bug protection - a headnet is vastly lighter and works fine for me. 3)Physical barrier to prohibit occupants from brushing innerside of outer canopy wet with condensate - using our brains to limit our body motions so as to not brush the walls is much lighter than dragging a fabric "fence" over mountain passes. The Mids are so large that it is usually easy to avoid the walls.
0)As much as I love this as a 3 season tent, it really comes into it's own when snow camping. Bury the lower edge to seal against spindrift blowing in. Don't worry about condensation. It will either run down the walls or freeze harmlessly on them. Dig the floor down 2' into the snow and you now have vertical walls which makes it fit 4 even more comfortably than in summer. You could add tie outs for heavy winds, but in stock form it will actually take some serious winds and still be functional.
0)Fast erecting. 4 stakes and 1 pole and you're good to go. Great for a surprise 3AM rainstorm while sleeping out under the stars.
0) Best of all: if you pile soil around the base of the pole for insulation and stack rocks from the campfire around the pole you can strip down, sprinkle water on the rocks and have a rockin' sweat lodge.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: BD MegaLite... anyone used this? on 03/04/2008 21:55:58 MST Print View

I've posted it in other places, but don't forget to check out the version. Bigger, lighter, and handmade by a cottage manufacturer to your specifications...

Victor Karpenko
(Viktor) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: BD MegaLite... anyone used this? on 03/04/2008 23:44:57 MST Print View

Yes, don't overlook Oware! I couldn't agree more with Brian, the extra room is great.

stephen jennings
(obi96) - F

Locale: Deep in the Green Mountains
mega mid on 03/11/2008 15:11:59 MDT Print View

I love this shelter. It's light, roomy, quick to set up and strong. I've been in 20 mph sustained winds and the thing was bullet proof. One recent modification I've done is to sew 15" of light weight no-seeum screening around the base. This keeps out almost all of the bugs, allows more air to circulate and lets me raise the tent so I have a kneewall effect creating more usable space at the edge.(so I can see any Yosemite bears heading my way). In the winter this also helps to hold the edges down by covering it with snow without reducing the floor space.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: mega mid on 03/11/2008 15:31:02 MDT Print View

I was planning to add mesh with velcro so that I could remove it in the winter. I was worried that it would freeze under the snow and tear when I took down the tent.

Can I ask you your source for the mesh, what stitch and thread you used to attach it, and in what winter conditions you've used it? (Also how much did it cost??)


Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
bugscreen on 03/12/2008 03:13:04 MDT Print View

I sewed a bug netting skirt onto my first Mega Mid but found that it was only mediocre at preventing bug ingress and defeated the low weight and bulk of the original concept.

stephen jennings
(obi96) - F

Locale: Deep in the Green Mountains
tent screening on 03/15/2008 07:11:58 MDT Print View

I bought four yards of 60 inch wide nanoseeum netting from This gave me four 15"x 144" strips. I am no stitch be-oche by any means, it took the most part of a Saturday (with lots of breaks) to finish. I did a straight stitch, not wanting to ruin my wifes machine (and not knowing any better) by messing with the settings. I put some velcro at the door to allow passing through without a high step to catch my foot on and re-enforced the corners with double stitching. Hope this helps.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: tent screening on 03/27/2008 14:34:23 MDT Print View

Thanks very much; I will try the Thruhiker mesh.

Did you just stitch it a single time, or did you go over it twice? (You can tell that I've never sewn anything before...)

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Mesh on 03/28/2008 07:27:53 MDT Print View

Some sort of mesh over the door at least even in winter to stop spindrift from filling your tent.

The snow can be easily brushed off but its nice to still have a view when sitting in your tent with the wind blowing.

I have not used a tarp type shelter in winter, only my BD Firstlight.

Dennis Horwitz
(dennishorwitz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Have both Betalight and Megalight - Love both! on 06/06/2009 11:08:05 MDT Print View

I have both a Betalight and Megalight. I like these Black Diamond tarp tents because they are easy to set-up. None of the finicky guyline adjustments like conventional tarp tents. Also bombproof!

I use the larger Megalight (pyramid) for not so-UL outings where we want to bring all of our gear in. For 2-3 people. Have using for 11-day backpacking in Philmont 2008 where it rained 10 of 11 days. This was an August of unusual near-monsoon rainy conditions - not just the occassional short afternoon thunderstorm.

I use the smaller Betalight for solo or 2 man outings where saving a little weight is desirable. Sets up conveniently with trekking poles.

I tend to use just Gossamer Gear Polycro ground sheet or medium weight floor cover from hardware store.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
BD Mega Light first impressions on 01/03/2010 17:35:42 MST Print View

Santa put a Black Diamond Mega Light under the tree while we were away. It is intended for our family of four with two adults and two kids (7 & 9) backpacking in California. I set it up yesterday. Here are my first impressions:

-Smaller than I expected. I thought it was going to be about 9' square, instead it's just a hair over 8'.
-Pole is very stout. It's 4 sections of carbon fiber plus an adjustable aluminum section. Also heavier than expected at 324g or 11.4 oz). I'm guessing the big rubber caps add weight over the 10 oz spec. It uses a washer that wedges at an angle on the top aluminum section of the pole. Seems to work fine except one problem- it's a bit tricky to use upside down. I like to be able to adjust the pole on my pyramid shelter while laying down in my bag, so the adjustment point needs to be at the bottom.
-Peak vent and rain flap over zipper are very well designed and constructed. This was one of the main reasons I chose the BD product.
-After being set up overnight it was still nice and tightly pitched. Weather was dry and mild though.

693g or 24.4oz Shelter in provided sack.
324g or 11.4oz Pole
138g or 4.9oz 8 pegs in provided sack
36g or 1.3oz trekking pole connector

879g or 31 oz without pole
1155g or 41oz without trekking pole connector

I've come up with a plan for a sewn-in floor with mesh condensate drains/vents around 3 sides and dual screen doors in front. More to follow.