Well, I waited patiently for Ron to make a solo mid for maybe 2 years, and now he’s gone and made two. I’ve been comparing the relative performance characteristics, in a (very) off-the-cuff way. Paralysis by analysis, anyone?
- 14.9 oz in Silnylon; 13.5 oz in Spinntex; 10.5 oz in Spectralite.
- Not much overhead coverage in heavy rain with the door open for ventilation & views.
- Steeper walls shed snow and condensation better.
- Slightly smaller footprint.
- Slightly quicker / easier pitch (6 tieouts and symmetrical footprint).
- More interior height (54”) when pitched flush to ground.
- Lashing two trekking poles together eliminates need for adjustable poles.
- Top vent (questionable functionality due to its small size).
- 16 oz in Silnylon; no weights listed for Spinntex & Spectralite/Cuben
- More overhead coverage in rain with the “door” raised.
- Lower-angle walls shed wind slightly better, but condensation can not run down sides as easily.
- Slightly larger footprint.
- Slightly more complex / slower pitch (10 tieouts and asymmetrical footprint).
- Slightly more versatile pitch, and the entrance can be re-oriented in any direction.
- Less interior height (36”) when pitched flush to ground.
- Best used with adjustable trekking pole if ground-flush pitch is desired.
- No top vent (pro or con depending on your take).
Neither shelter accommodates a very sitting-friendly bug nest, relative to duo-size catenary tarps. The TrailStar seems cramped height-wise (36”), but of course it can be pitched higher. The DuoMid looks slightly cramped depth-wise (5 ft) - I would have preferred 5.5’ or even more. This would allow more rain coverage behind the pole, so the door could be left open more often (similar to the Akto, which is perfect in this regard). This would also make the DuoMid a more viable winter shelter, so that you’re not constantly smearing your down parka all over condensation-soaked walls. Even as is, the DuoMid looks clearly better suited to moderate snow loads, and the TrailStar better for prolonged rain.
The TrailStar seems better for occasional 2-person use. The “Duo” in DuoMid is questionable, IMO, since opening the door exposes the entire front half to rain.
Any additional thoughts? Am I way off base anywhere?
(Edit: weights added)