Black Diamond Megamid/Megalight and bug advice
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Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Black Diamond Megamid/Megalight and bug advice on 08/23/2006 00:18:02 MDT Print View

Hi guys
I am looking into getting a Black Diamond Megalight, plus Megabug, for four season, four person use. Was wondering(things Black Diamond literature does not seem to answer):
How well does the megamid take winds? Does it have many guy lines or guy points?
How many peg out points are there at the bottom?
Is it really a four person tent, or will the people on the outside get damp or have practically no real room?
Is the megalight fabric actually stronger thatn the mid, like what Black Diamond claims?
What are these tents like with snow loading?
How strong are the carbon fibre poles that come with the light? Is it better justto use the alloy pole in bad conditions?

Mates and I are thinking of using this setup in Tasmania, Australia, where conditions cold be anything from fine and sunny one minute, to a lovely summer snow blizzard the next. We need a pretty protective tent. We don't want to use tarps, and we need the full bug protection due to leaches and ticks trying to get all over you alot of the time.

Cheers,
Oysters

Jeroen Wesselman
(jeroenman) - F

Locale: Europe
Black Diamond Megamid on 08/23/2006 01:47:37 MDT Print View

Hi Adam,

I have the BD megamid and I have used it in all kind of conditions and environments but mostly in alpine settings in the mountains in all seasons. The Mid (I can't speak of the Light) is an extremely durable shelter but to make it stormproof you have to stake it out really well. It has 8 tie out points at the bottom and no guy line attachments although you could rig guylines from the loop at the top center point.
We have slept in it with four persons but it is cramped especially for the ones sleeping on the outside, with the bug inner there will be even less room.
It is reasonably stormproof but if the weather is really bad you won't have a good night sleep because it not very good at deflecting wind. I have used the alum.pole most of the time (heavy) which is extremly sturdy, i have also used it with two trekking poles linked together and that works very well. This is my first choice for winter camping because it is very easy to set up, you can use all kind of stakes and because it is floorless you can dig out trenches and sleeping platforms and so make a very roomy living area. I also have the Golite Hex with mesh inner tent which is lighter than the Mid and performs better in windy conditions but has less room and needs more stakes.
If you want an even bigger pyramid shelter look at the ones from Oware (www.owareusa.com).
Hope this helps.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Black Diamond Megamid/Megalight and bug advice on 08/23/2006 10:14:18 MDT Print View

Adam-

Some versions of this shelter come with one black 7 ¼” loop (7 ¼ B2) connected to each gross grain ribbon stake point (B1). You need two 7 ¼ loops connected to the Meg for setup flexibility. Also make up four 23 ½ gold reflective lines (23 ½ G2) for use in warm weather when you want head room but don’t keep them connected to the tent. Assuming your Mega comes with the B1 loop, add a second gold/reflective 7 ¼” loop (7 ¼ G1) to each 7 ¼ B2 loop that is, in turn, connected to the B1 stake connection points. Then use the following technique to facilitate the Mega/Bug setup: (After posting I noticed that these table didn't format with the horizontal spacing I had in it. The x for the 5'6" height option should be under B1, the x for the 5'10" height option should be under B2, the x for the 6'2" option should be under G1, and the x for the 7'3" option should be under G2.

Pole Height B1 7 1/4-B2 7 1/4 G1 23 1/2 G2 Mid Ctr Gap " Bug Gap " Four corner lengths @ 30 degree catenary slope avg
5' 6'' x 4 0 Strong wind and Meg
5' 6" x 4 0 Strong wind and Meg/Bug
5' 10" x 8 0 Med wind and Meg
5' 10" x 8 0 Med wind and Meg/Bug
5' 10" x 8 0 2-220 cm Paddles slanted
6' 2" x 12 0 Light wind and Meg
6' 2" x 12 0 Light wind and Meg/Bug
7' 3" x 25 na Paddle/pole vertical

0. Locate an 8' square flat clear area. The Mid is (86x86 = 51.4 ft2)
1. Stake out four corners of the Mid using the loops appropriate for the pole or paddle height and inline with the corner seams. Insure the buckle on the door is kept snapped.
2. Spread out the Bug inside Mid to and fasten bungees & toggles
3 .Set pole to proper height and insert into Mid / Bug
5. Add the Mid center stakes and fasten to Mid & Bug
6. Adjust Bug floor toggles if necessary (tight-storm or loose-vent)

For maximum interior room set the Meg/Bug up using the 5’ 10” loop settings. Then use two 220 cm slanted poles (paddles, skis, etc) between the Meg and Bug to provide support without using a center pole. Note that the Bug needs to be connected to the single pole or double pole frame. I use kayak paddles when paddling and I cut some downed limbs to these lengths, at my destination, if backpacking. Optionally you could carry two poles with you.

I have used a Mega / Bug in Alaska for two multi-month expeditions plus numerous shorter trips in other areas. For extremely windy weather I use, the 5’ 6” low height pitch option, supplemental guy lines, and general purpose size Grip Clips, http://www.shelter-systems.com/gripclips/index.html to dramatically improve the Mega stability. Place the Grip Clips midway up on the windward side of the Mega when needed.

With the above set up options, the answers to your questions are as follows:

How well does the Megamid take winds? At 5’6” height with supplemental guys it is bombproof

Does it have many guy lines or guy points? No guys come with the Meg. You have to make up your own as mentioned above. I use four.

Is it really a four person tent, or will the people on the outside get damp or have practically no real room? It is a four person tent only in the configuration that doesn’t use a center pole.

Is the mega light fabric actually stronger than the mid, like what Black Diamond claims?
It is stronger but it is not fire retardant. I suggest the Mid rather than the light if you are going to be cooking in it.

What are these tents like with snow loading? The roof pitch is 30 degrees which prevents any loading on the tent.

How strong are the carbon fiber poles that come with the light? Is it better just to use the alloy pole in bad conditions? The carbon fiber pole is of large diameter and consequently very strong. I use the segmented variable height aluminum pole that came with the Mid.

Edited by richard295 on 08/23/2006 10:22:33 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Black Diamond Megamid/Megalight and bug advice on 08/23/2006 17:56:07 MDT Print View

Thanks Richard for your very detailed insight into the megamids.

It took me a while to understand some of the details there, but it seems to me that if winds are bad then i should have it staked right down to the ground at minimum height, and use 4 guylines, which i can attach using grip clips.

Ive never heard of the grip clips before...thanks for that. I was thinking that I would have to modify it by sewing in some guy points, which i didnt want to do as io would likely muck it up and weaken the fabric. Plus i would void warranties.

I had a look at the oware site and they seem to have a good range aswell, although their 9x9 pyramid didnt really seem lighter than the megalight anyway once you factored in a pole. Plus it was unclear whether or not they can supply a bug inner with sewn in tub floor.

I will use the carbon fibre pole then that they supply with the megalight. We don't use trekking poles (often too scrubby-you need your hands free) so we will need the pole. Cutting tent poles is frowned upon in Australia. When I start getting into canoe/kayak touring again I will experiment with teh use of a paddle.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Where from? on 08/24/2006 02:04:53 MDT Print View

As a fellow aussie megamid user, I'm just wondering where you're buying from? Local or OS?

I'm thinking about changing to the Light, but they don't ever seem to come on sale.

Rod