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MLD Duomid or Trailstar
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Luke Moffat
(alaska_lanche) - MLife
MLD Duomid or Trailstar on 05/09/2010 03:06:05 MDT Print View

Already have a MLD Supermid with Duomid inner tent on order with Ron. Looking at replacing my GoLite Shangri-La 2 (older version) with something a little lighter and more usable space.

The purpose of this shelter will mainly be in my daypack for long dayhikes away from camp in case that would give us (my wife and I) the option to get out of the elements for lunch or a nap or something of that nature if we desired. Or even an emergency shelter to spend the night weathering out an unexpected storm. Which between the two is the most wind worthy??

I like the ease of setup of the duomid, but the trailstars extra pitching options is appealing as well.

Thanks for any insight on this.

Edited by alaska_lanche on 05/09/2010 03:07:50 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
MLD Duomid or Trailstar on 05/09/2010 16:19:11 MDT Print View

It seems like it would depend on where you are going. From everything I've read (mostly here or on MLD's site), the DuoMid is the more wind-shedding design. However, as an emergency / "extra" shelter, the Trailstar is lighter (though only 1 oz), simpler (w/o any zippers) and cheaper (155.00 to 205.00 for the sil Duo).

Below or at treeline, I like the Trailstar.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: MLD Duomid or Trailstar on 05/09/2010 16:29:48 MDT Print View

Colin Ibbotson did a review of the Trailstar, calling it the most storm-worthy shelter he'd ever used or seen, even compared to the Duomid.

Edited by butuki on 05/09/2010 20:57:42 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Trailstar on 05/09/2010 17:27:00 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/29/2014 12:14:29 MDT.

Stuart Allie

Locale: Australia
Re: Trailstar on 05/09/2010 18:51:06 MDT Print View

Actually, what Colin said was this:

"This is the lightest, largest, most storm-proof sub 1kg shelter I have ever used or seen, and quite possibly on the planet. Stability is so good that I cannot think of any other shelter even at up to three times its weight that could match it. At a cost of only £112 including p&p this is just an absolute bargain for the UK environment."

The complete review is worth a read. Here's the link: Trailstar-review

Edited by stuart.allie on 05/09/2010 18:54:01 MDT.

Luke Moffat
(alaska_lanche) - MLife
Above treeline on 05/09/2010 20:01:48 MDT Print View

Thanks, yeah this will be used above treeline almost exclusively as treeline here in AK is only at around 2,000' and there where I enjoy most of my backpacking.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Trailstar on 05/09/2010 20:54:04 MDT Print View

That's ridiculous. I suspect it will depend on what he determines as 'storm.'

Colin Ibbotson is someone to take very seriously. He really knows what he is doing and what he is talking about. A great portion of his walking is done in Scotland, where storms, cold, and wetness are a real worry. The conditions in the Highlands are very similar to the 2,000' treeline that you mention, Luke.

Edited by butuki on 05/09/2010 20:55:51 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Trailstar on 05/09/2010 21:59:28 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/29/2014 12:15:23 MDT.

Stuart Allie

Locale: Australia
Re: Trailstar on 05/09/2010 22:24:00 MDT Print View

David, I really suggest you read Colin's review. Here's another quote.

"I know some will be interested in how the TrailStar compares to the popular backpacking tents, and as I’ve owned Terra Nova Laserlites, Hilleberg Aktos and Terra Nova Voyagers over the years I feel qualified to comment. Easily, a properly pitched TrailStar is in a different league to all of those tents, and yes—that includes the Challenge favourite, the Hilleberg Akto. This is a shelter in which you can sit out the worst storm, with complete confidence that it will still be in one piece come the morning. Better still, you will wake up refreshed, having had a decent night’s sleep. "

It's just one person's opinion of course, but Colin is very experienced.

Steven, I don't know how you got the impression that the DuoMid handles wind better than the Trailstar. Snow, sure, but not wind. Everything I've read (here and in the product pages at MLD) suggests the opposite.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Trailstar on 05/09/2010 22:38:53 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/29/2014 12:16:00 MDT.

Stuart Allie

Locale: Australia
Re: Trailstar on 05/09/2010 23:10:32 MDT Print View


Fair enough. I just thought from your "Akto" response that maybe you hadn't read the review in full. No offense intended - I value your opinion too :)

The DuoMid vs Trailstar is, I think, a really interesting question. Steeper sides on the DuoMid certainly mean better snow handling as you say. But they will catch more wind too, so the question becomes: do the side-panel tieouts on the DuoMid compensate for the steeper sides (when it comes to handling wind)? I don't know the answer to that.

Possibly the differences between the two shelters are much less than the similarities and so the choice really might just come down to which one appeals more.


Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
MLD Duomid or Trailstar on 05/09/2010 23:26:38 MDT Print View

Very interesting review from Colin. As other have said I would take his opinion seriously. He has used an Akto, and the TS and has seen Duomids in action. Of course everyone has their different opinions, but I wouldn't simply dismiss what he says. Colin is however a big fan of tarps all round. In fact his home designed and made version looks superb.

As to which one to chose - the TS would give you more space as two person shelter. The Doumid is cozy for two, but certainly OK for an emergency. I am sure both would work well.

Luke Moffat
(alaska_lanche) - MLife
Thanks guys on 05/10/2010 00:06:02 MDT Print View

Yeah I have seen some youtube action of the trailstar in some heavy looking wind and it did alright. The more pitching options of the trailstar appeals to me as well. Just the fact that I already have teh supermid, with the duomid inner bug tent makes me kind of want to get the duomid simply because I could use the inner duomid bug tent in conjunction with either the supermid or the duomid.

I guess these are both great shelters, and I am kinda spliting hairs, but I am enjoying hearing all sides of the story. If it helps this shelter will not be used in winter, I already have a hilleberg dedicated for winter camping here in AK so this is simple a 3 season emergency shelter type of deal.

Which is easier to setup in a hurry???

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Thanks guys on 05/10/2010 01:52:13 MDT Print View

Luke, for your purposes, I would probably lean towards the Trailstar. If I were going to be spending extended time in the shelter, I would probably prefer the Duomid because of the Vent and zipper. The Trailstar, under most conditions should be roomier and since you are mostly using it for short term use, the tarp options are really appealing.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Thanks guys on 05/10/2010 05:19:49 MDT Print View

I just bought the Trailstar. I had been going back and forth between this and a few other tarp shelters, including the Duomid. I haven't received it yet, but the various pitch options were a selling point to me. I have a Tarptent DR, and I LOVE the porch option. The Trailstar can mimic this much better than the Duomid.

I also am looking forward to a simple, no frills shelter. We'll see if it fits the bill!

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Trailstar +1 on 05/10/2010 07:00:05 MDT Print View

I'd also say take the Trailstar, if I would buy any shelter it would be that one. Saw it pitched next to a DuoMid and the Trailstar was faster pitched and more windproof than the DuoMid.

Kind sad to see these kind of comments against Colin, I find that very ignorant and not the tone which is usually used here. Colin is currently walking the Arizona Trail, btw, and is at the moment above Flagstaff =)

Phil Turner
Duomid/Trailstar on 05/10/2010 07:47:56 MDT Print View

I've got and used both shelters in a selection of Scottish weather (often with Colin actually), and very simplistically I'd suggest that the DuoMid handles wind well, and the steeper sides will tolerate snow loads better than the Trailstar. The Trailstar can be pitched very very low to the ground very quickly and thus sheds wind particularly well. The shallower sides will of course not tolerate snow loads as well as a steeper-sided pyramid shelter.

The beauty of the Trailstar, as Hendrik suggests, is the pitching time, in foul weather you can stretch the Trailstar over your gear and peg out, before getting under cover and erecting the centre pole (a collapsable pole helps here). Further adjustments can be made from inside if necessary. It's also cavernous, even when tight to the ground. Colin likes to take his inflated packraft into the shelter next to him (but the other side of the pole), but this probably isn't the place to discuss Colin's inflatable tendancies.

The weakness is the entrance door - if you keep one side raised to form a doorway (by no means essential) you don't want this facing into the wind, but again it's no big hassle to either collapse the doorway or relocate to an alternative side. It's symmetrical after all. On one windy night I collapsed the centre pole to the extent that I had to slither in on my stomach (all in the interests of experimentation of course, it was a touch unnecessary) and it was incredible how the wind flowed over the shelter.

I find that the DuoMid takes a touch longer to pitch as it's quite important to peg out the first 4 points as square as possible to get a taut pitch, plus the extra complication of a zip. That's not to say it's a long process, just a bit longer than the Trailstar!

There's a little bit about both shelters on my blog at: including a recent trip to Finland where both a DuoMid and a Trailstar were used on an initially breezy evening (DuoMid pitched 'end-on' to the wind, Trailstar with opening on opposite end). I've also posted a YouTube video showing how a 'less-than-taut' DuoMid pitch can be a bit mobile in a decent breeze in Scotland. You'll have to do a search for that, can't access the link right now.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Thanks Phil on 05/10/2010 08:22:09 MDT Print View

Thanks Phil,

I always thought of the Duomid as being a great shelter for when 4 season weather with heavy snow is a possibility and the TraiStar for when wind, rain or sand is more of an issue.

3 season use in Scotland is a good example.

Some areas where I've seen tents fail, the Trailstar would probably shine, would be in flat deserts or plains, exposed coastlines in a gale,...
It is nice to be able to pitch low in these areas when needed and very high when ventilation and shade is the goal.

The Trailstar would pitch better than the Duomid and most any tent in odd situations. I'm thinking areas with uneven ground, narrow clearings or any area where there is limited options.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
trailstar on 05/10/2010 09:16:56 MDT Print View

First, I really like my Trailstar. Easy to use, versitile, and fun! It can be pitched so many ways.

Second, given that the OP is looking for a lunch shelter, I'd get the TS. A high pitch would make it very nice for cooking out of the rain.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
MLD Duomid or Trailstar on 05/10/2010 09:19:36 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/29/2014 12:19:27 MDT.