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Patrol Shelter guy line length?
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John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Patrol Shelter guy line length? on 11/01/2011 23:10:27 MDT Print View

For those of you who own Patrol Shelters, actually anyone, I need your advice in what length to cut the lines-particularly the apex and beak lines.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Patrol Shelter guy line length? on 11/02/2011 08:13:53 MDT Print View

You might want to PM BPL member Matt Edwards. He used his patrol shelter on one of his long distance hikes. Probably has it pretty dialed in.

a b
Patrol Shelter guy line lengths on 11/02/2011 09:23:14 MDT Print View

My ears were burning.. LOL!
Here are the lengths I used for guy lines on my Patrol:
Front Apex Line(topmost)=70 inches
Beak line(furthest right in picture)=56 inches
Front corner pullouts= 20 inches
Side pullouts=16 inches
Rear corner pullouts=12 inches
Rear Apex Line=40 inches

The lengths above are the entire length of each guy line.
These lengths worked for me.
The reason for the different lengths of side pullout lines from front to rear reflects the way i used the shelter. I always had the foot end tight to the ground but varied the height of the beak end to suit my ventilation requirements. in the picture below i am in a fairly tight storm pitch mode cause it was hella raining. A lot of times in light rain i would pitch the front of the patrol several inches off the ground for more air and head room. The longer front lines accomodated this and allowed me to pitch the shelter wide or narrow depending on expected wind conditions as well.
Most of the time there was a lot of leftover slack after i set up the shelter, but having the extra length allowed me to stretch out the stake placements for those times when rocks or roots were in the way.
The Patrol has line tensioners built in to all the corners.
For the stake attachements i just tied loops into the end of each guy line using a square knot and hooked the loops over the stakes.
.Mountain Laurel Designs Patrol Shelter on the AT

Edited by Ice-axe on 11/02/2011 09:34:11 MDT.

a b
More MLD Patrol Shelter Beta on 11/02/2011 14:12:24 MDT Print View

I have today off (carpet cleaning requires Saturday work so we get a random weekday) so while out for my hike I snapped some pictures of my Mountain Laurel Designs Patrol Shelter and Bear Paw Wilderness Designs Minimalist 1 bivy in action.
Yea, I pretty much always carry all my gear with me everywhere now and this was a great excuse to throw down a camp under the ridiculously sunny California skies.
.Mountain Laurel Designs Patrol Shelter in green cuben Fiber.Sitting up inside with shelter pitched high.Climbing into the Bear Paw Mesh Bivy.Inside the Bear paw bivy as if sleeping.MLD Patrol Shelter.
As you can see the Patrol shelter/Bivy combo is a specialist solution. There is just enough room to shelter me and my gear.
In these photos I have it set up pretty high off the ground. Under stormy weather I would set it up nearly on the ground to reduce rain splatter from under the outside edges.
A trick i used a few times was to place a few dead branches just under the inside edges of the tarp to intercept reflected rain. Really this was only ever neccesary during tremendously heavy rainfall.
In these photos I have substituted some modified easton aluminum tent poles for the trekking pole supports i used on the AT.
The primary purpose is for sleeping and perhaps having a snack or reading maps propped up on your elbows.
For 100 days when i covered 2,180 miles, this shelter and bivy combo was perfect and even luxurious for me during some ridiculously wet and windy conditions.
I did get some spray from under the edges at times. This was never a real issue since the mesh bivy intercepted most of it and my Apex Climashield Quilt (MLD Spirit 30 Quilt) was unfazed by what little moisture did make it through the system.
The seemingly catenary cut of the ridgeline is purely the result of the way i pitched the shelter.
even in high winds that toppled trees around me on the AT, my Patrol was stout and reliable. I was never once let down by this system.
If I have my way I will be hiking another long distance trail soon (perhaps the ADT or a redux of the PCT) and the Patrol Shelter and Minimalist bivy will absolutely be my shelter system again.

Edited by Ice-axe on 11/02/2011 14:18:31 MDT.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
pics on 11/02/2011 16:32:32 MDT Print View

Great pics Matt, thanks a ton! I'm in the market for my first high-end cuben shelter, so some questions:

1) Did you find the relatively closed-end design of the patrol shelter reducing ventilation to any great degree? Do you think the shelter would be better off with a beak on both ends, instead of the closed-off end?

2) Did you find yourself wishing for more space?

3) Can you think of advantages that a more open beaked tarp would offer?

I'm curious because I assume the more closed design yields better splash protection, and if it doesn't hinder ventilation, why do we not see more of this approach?

a b
Ventilation with Tarps on 11/02/2011 17:29:29 MDT Print View

I actually made my own prototype patrol shelter using a beak at either end before my Appalachian trail thru hike with the Patrol shelter.
I tested my prototype at the BPL Henry Coe get together last February.
The pictures are NOT from the BPL event! It was hailing and colder than heck there! I think Tony has some pictures on here of my tarp at the event.
The results of my test convinced me to get the Patrol and in cuben fiber rather than the sil-nylon of my prototype.
Here is a picture of my Prototype "Ray Way" or patrol shelter tarp.Prototype Patrol.
Prototype two beak patrol.
I sewed this out of an 8'X10' MEC flat tarp.
I concluded that having a beak at both ends left too much exposure.
On my AT thru hike I found the patrol to have plenty of ventilation even when pitched close to the ground.
In fact i would sometimes use my GoLite chrome dome trekking umbrella under the beak of my patrol as a "door" to block excess wind or when the wind changed direction.
Usually i set up my Patrol with the closed foot end towards the prevailing wind.
Well back east they have horrendous weather.
You can be awakened anytime during the night by mic ro burst winds from humongous thunderstorms.
Maybe it's because i am a sissy west coast boy, but they really do seem to have unreal weather back there.
Having a "closed" end to my shaped tarp (Patrol shelter) meant i could always count on a defensible space.
My two beaked prototype was like a wind tunnel by comparison.
As for room inside, you must remember that my values for a long distance hike were: #1 weight, #2 ventilation/protection from elements, #3 ease of setup.
I was, and am, prepared to sacrifice volume inside my shelter becuase the shelter's primary use on a long distance hike is for sleeping.
My strategy is to hike, rain or shine, from sun up to sun down. When I am not hiking i am in my quilt, under the patrol sleeping.
This is entirely different from my strategy for a back country fishing trip or a winter snowshoe trip where i might be tent bound for longer periods.
I did find i had plenty of room to keep my pack and all extra gear well under the patrol with me each night. It's not like i could have done jumping jacks under there but for the hour or so before i drifted off to sleep i would munch tortillas and read guide book pages in relative comfort using my food bag as a pillow and propped up on my elbows.
I had enough room each morning to pack everything into my pack under the Patrol, eat breakfast and slip out into the rain putting the patrol away in the mesh pocket of my pack as i hiked away.
Being able to set up the Patrol in the driving rain, crawl underneath and unload my dry bivy and quilt and crawl in for the night was amazing.
One remarkable thing about the Patrol was how little condensation it accumulates.
Either the cuben fiber itself has some intrinsic property involved or the ventilation was superior to other shelters i have used.
Even under daily rain and high humidity, my Patrol never accumulated the same amount of moisture as other shelters i have used.
I have used a Choiunard Pyramid, Gossamer Gear One, Sierra Designs Divine Light, as well as a flat tarp/poncho for hikes before.
My two thru hikes previous to the AT I used the GG One.
I loved the GG One. However the only failures i suffered were from having the floor attached to the fly where either condesation or actual rain would pool in the bathtub floor and cause difficulty.
This is why i chose a system that had a seperate fly and floor for the AT.
As for the advantage of two beaks.. i suppose it gives you a second view.
I think separating the floor from the fly is a huge first step in the right direction (for me at least).

Edited by Ice-axe on 11/02/2011 17:50:01 MDT.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Guy lines on 11/02/2011 18:24:22 MDT Print View

Doug, thanks for the clarion to Matt; it worked.

Matt, can't tell you the degree of appreciation for your help. I have a brand new cuben shelter on the shelf waiting to be set up and sealed. As you know, the written expression of your enthusiasm for this tent along with your photos that are spread around, prodded me until I just had to have it. I am keeping my Sil prototype as well.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Patrol Shelter guy line lengths on 11/02/2011 19:19:55 MDT Print View

Fantastic writeup. Thank you for posting.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 11/02/2011 20:24:23 MDT Print View

Excellent insight Matt, thanks man.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
More on the Patrol Shelter on 10/02/2012 18:09:54 MDT Print View

An old post, but worth dredging up,

My most popular shelter had always been the now discontinued GG Spinnshelter and before that, the heavier Golite Hut(now the Shangri-la).

The Patrol Shelter is also of similar design to both of these, but has advantages.

I have used many other shelters for various reasons, but always fall back to this somewhat classic design because I consider it the best compromise when it comes to weight, flexibility and weather resistance.

I also use the BearPaw Minimalist 1 as my inner for warm weather, but tend to prefer the SMD Meteor for colder weather, but only because it's slightly warmer and offers more splash protection.
If I was to chose one for a thru-hike, it would be the Minimalist 1.
I am splitting hairs here.

If I was starting over or really needed the best cutting edge gear, I'd get me the cuben Patrol Shelter.

a b
Re: More on the Patrol Shelter on 10/02/2012 19:31:10 MDT Print View

I just used mine last week in the Sierra.
.MLD Patrol at Bear Valley Lake N. Yosemite Wilderness
I did not even bring the bivy as i expected and found not even a single mosquito.

What surprised me was just how much warmth the bug bivy contributes.. i missed it this last week as it was low 40's and windy up at 10,500.
The bug mesh of the minimalist stops most of the light breezes in the night.
Ended up just pointing my Go lite chrome dome into the downcanyon breeze and used the patrol a few nights and slept much warmer.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Warmth and the bug bivy on 10/03/2012 05:32:22 MDT Print View

Yes, a bug bivy really does contribute to the warmth. I originally brought mine along during late winter because mosquitoes seem to thrive when the snow melts around these parts.
It is also my ground cloth to help protect my blow-up mattress.

You really notice the temperature drop inside the bivy when you unzip it to take a pee on cold mornings.

Definitely worth the weight to carry one year round.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 10/03/2012 05:33:16 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: More on the Patrol Shelter on 10/03/2012 07:59:03 MDT Print View

I like the looks of this shelter. How does it do in the wind, broadside? I might look at the SoloMid in high wind, exposed situations.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Wind and the Patrol shelter on 10/03/2012 08:55:36 MDT Print View

Hi David,

I have never used the Patrol, but since it is a similar type design to the Spinnshelter and Golite Shangri-la, I suspect a similar wind performance.

A friend and I were stuck on an exposed high cleared area when a tropical storm came through. The wind was so loud that we could not talk to each other without screaming at the top of our lungs.
Standing up and walking upright was hard.

The wind lasted all night. Me in my Spinnshelter, him in the Shangri-la.

Both of us faired well. The walls flexed, but amazingly nowhere near as bad as the dome shelters that others used.

We still never slept well because of the constant whipping jet engine volume noise.
Many tent poles broke and flatten tents that night, but the two of us had no issues.

The only problem that could occur is if it is not attached well to the ground. These type of shelters can get a lot of stress at the tie points so solid anchoring is mandatory.

bernie tillson
Staking Minimalist on 10/03/2012 10:04:40 MDT Print View


Do you stake the Minimalist separately or do you run lines to the tent stakes?


Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Stakes on 12/04/2012 15:58:27 MST Print View

Since Matt didn't see your request, I'll reply:

It looks like he didn't stake them down in the picture and just hung, using his sleeping pad to hold the bottom out.

With my similar Spinnshelter, I have done:

1) Hang, but not stake like in the picture.
2) Hang with 4-6" titanium shepherd hooks staked on each corner.
3) Hang and run a line from the four corners of the bivy to the 4 corner stakes on my shelter.

I think I usually prefer #2.
#1 is less stable and the mesh has more of a tendecy to sag against me, but the easiest.
#3 is more fidly, especially when I have to change my pitch in the middle of the night.
#2 Gives a more perfect pitch and is easier to setup than #3, but you have to carry four stakes or find something else to use.

I have used found sticks, but the shephard stakes pushed flush to the ground worked better because there was nothing sicking out of the ground to jab me.

You may be able to find something even lighter than the 6" titanium stakes I use, but I can't think of anything that would work as well.

bernie tillson
Stakes on 12/05/2012 07:02:13 MST Print View

Thanks for saving me trial and error time Steve. I think I'll go with #2.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
P.S. on 12/05/2012 07:10:57 MST Print View

P.S. I finally gave in and ordered a cuben Patrol Shelter. Why? because it's lighter, stronger and the color is more stealth.

I find I often have to camp in places where stealth is important and the Spinnshelter is too bright. I have tinted my Spinnshleter and it helped, but still kind of stands out and the tinting added more weight than I like.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Update on 01/15/2013 13:22:40 MST Print View

I have had my Patrol Shelter on a couple trips and wanted to mention that my lines ended up a bit longer than Ice-Axe's recommendation.

I went by the length that I have used with my Spinnshelter(similar to the Patrol) and found they were longer than Ice-Axe's recommendation.

I do think that his length was based on his many nights in his, so his advice is probably better choice for most than mine.

One of the reason why I liked the longer length is that when it's hot I tend to like the increased ventilation of a higher pitch than would be possible with the shorter lengths.

I also find the longer length adds flexibility when doing non standard anchoring in less than perfect sites.

These are the approximate lengths that I use:
Front Apex Line(topmost) 96"
Beak line 84"
Front corner pullouts 36"
Side pullouts 28"
Rear corner pullouts 16"
Rear Apex Line 60"

Of course the additional length adds weight. The amount of weight depends on the line you use.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

More info desired on 01/23/2013 16:44:15 MST Print View

Just got my cuben patrol shelter -- with the original MLD uncut guyline.

Based on my specs I'm looking for some input:

I'm 6'1" and always use LONG 6'6" sleeping bags -- either in a Large MLD Superlight Bivy or in a yet-to-be-decided-net-tent.

East Coast hiker so having longer guyline lengths appeals to me since it is sometimes hard to find the perfect stake placements.

QUESTION 1: Would you use another guyline instead of the MLD yellow stock line in the Linelocs ? Anything better / lighter / more holding power that I should consider ? (NOT cutting off the linelocs and using clam cleats with mini-line...I like the ease of use of the line-locs...)

QUESTION 2: Anyone else (I see Ice-Axe's listed set of cut lengths) have a set of guyline lengths that seems to be working for them (have actually had it out a number of nights to try it)?

My tent weighs in at 7.83 oz. in the stuff sack WITHOUT the guyline.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
My take on 01/23/2013 17:16:23 MST Print View

I had considered using lighter line, but the linelocs won't work very well with thinner line. The line would slip unless backed up with something to provide grip.

I may leave the linelocs on and experiment with lighter line.
I never used the linelocs before getting my Patrol and am not sure what to think yet.

They do provide quicker readjustment from within the shelter rather than using the typical taut-line hitch(or other) at the stake method.

As you see from my post, I went with longer lines, partially like your experience with not having pristine ground, but also to allow for a higher summer pitch.

Oh and by the way, although I've only slept in mine one night, I have setup and tested in many scenarios that I have seen with my other similar shelters and came to the same conclusion about line lengths.

You could always start off with longer line lengths and trim as you see fit.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/23/2013 17:19:54 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bug net? on 01/23/2013 18:53:35 MST Print View

I'm showing a little more interest in MLD shelters, especially the good words about the Patrol. What are you going to use for bug netting or bug bivy? I was checking out weights etc. last night and by the time you add all the bits and pieces of a BearPaw Minimalist 1, a pole or two and stakes, might as well get a ZPacks shelter at under a pound with a tent pole and stakes. A little more $$$ for a Hexamid though.

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Bug net? on 01/23/2013 19:58:20 MST Print View

Modular setup and smaller foot print. I was using a HMG Echo 1 tarp/beak with a Borah bivy. No rain, leave the tarp at home. Expecting bad weather, bring the beak and tarp.

I couldnt deal with the lack of head room though so I switched to a Hexamid tarp. I also sold my quilt and switched to a bag, so I dont see the bivy as much of a necessity anymore. Probably going to get netting added to the tarp.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bug net? on 01/23/2013 20:17:28 MST Print View

Thank you, don't want to cause much thread drift, so I'll ask other questions later or figure stuff out myself. Quite interested in the overall footprint too. Gotta keep that in mind, can't always find a big spot to pitch a shelter.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Your ideal set-up may vary on 01/23/2013 20:41:16 MST Print View

Having tried a number of shelters, I just feel like I'm finally honing in on what I want. I usually do fast/light/long trips or just car-camp or the equivalent (few miles into shelter, etc.).

I've either used extensively or at least set up and set up my gear under the following set-ups: Hexamid Solo, MLD Cuben SoloMid, MLD DuoMid, BPL Stealth Nano Solo, MLD Grace Solo, TarpTent Contrail, TarpTent Moment, TarpTent Rainbow, Big Agnes Copper Spur 1 + 2, MSR Hubba Hubba + Mutha Hubba, MSR Nook, and the Fly Creek Series.

I have a Hexamid Twin which is unused as of yet - but may serve as my 2p / 1p roomier set-up , and now my Patrol shelter which will be for my exclusive use. I usually do 25-35 miles per day for my short trips, and on longer harder ones like the Long Trail I usually try for close to 20 mpd to leave room for relaxing and napping on mountain tops.

The flexibility of being able to put a net tent (hot buggy weather) or nothing (no bugs) or a bivy (cold weather) allows for almost complete 4 season use and a component system that also allows me to bail into shelters for unusually bad weather (can still use bivy and net tent in shelter - as I did on my AT thru and LT end-to-end). CERTAINLY NOT FOR EVERYONE - as with all things backpacking, you have to pick your most important things - and then make some concessions elsewhere. I enjoy being close to the earth, and having a "open" feeling while being surrounded by nature, but it is not for all.

Certainly it takes a bit of learning curve to set up right, and it is not as fast as say a Fly Creek - but I think it may work for me all the same....only some test trips will tell.

Any more input as to the possible guyline I should use (stock or something else?) and any other thoughts as to lengths? Thanks

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Why the Patrol Shelter? on 01/24/2013 06:41:36 MST Print View

I have used many shelters. Why I went with the Patrol is it's combination of advantages that I find other shelters are lacking.

One problem that I have with a lot of UL shelters that have the bug nets attached as an integral part of the shelter is the lack of ventilation in the very hot part of the summer.
Having a net running across the door and/or around the perimeter of the bottom just isn't enough sometimes.

The Patrol and bug net combination allows you to pitch the fly high with air flow coming from all sides, heat flowing up, cool air flowing in from the bottom.

But at the same time, I can pitch it tight to the ground with only enough opening at the head for air. This makes for a warmer shelter in winter and less chance of blowing rain coming in during an extreme storm.

I have often wished that I could adjust the fly up higher for ventilation and/or lower to the ground to keep the blowing rain out with many tarptent style shelters I've used, but because of the fixed pitch design, it is not possible.

There are exceptions, some tarptents have a more flexible double wall design, but are heavier.

As far as livable space goes, I have come to find it the perfect size for me at 5'11" with room to spare. You are not going to stand up and change clothes in it, but I find it comfortable.

My last long hike(8 days) was with an Oware Alphamid. Although it was nice at time to have that much room, I didn't think it was worth the extra weight.

I used a GG Spinnshleter(similar to the Patrol) on a previous 10 day hike and was quite happy with it. The only reason I replaced it with the Patrol was weight and the white color of the Spinnshleter made it stand out. I have to stealth camp a lot where I hike. The green cuben is easier to hide.

One complaint about these kind of shelters is getting in and out. Experience will help with that.
I'll try to explain what I have always done:
After I pitch the fly, I unhook the line or pull out the stake from one of the head corners and throw the loose corner over the top. This allows side entry. I put a sit pad at this opening to keep from having to kneel on the ground. Ice-Axe uses a poncho for this.

I can then hang the bugnet, setup my sleeping pad and bag/quilt.

When I go to bed and am in the bugnet, I reach out and re-attach or re-stake the corner and zip up the bugnet.

When I need to get out, I unhook the corner again.

It is a little tricky in pouring rain, but with practice and care, your bedding will stay dry.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Why the Patrol Shelter? on 01/24/2013 06:56:20 MST Print View

What is your total weight with lines and stakes with the/a bug net/bivy? That seemed a drawback to me the other night adding up the weight of the Patrol and the BearPaw Minimalist 1. I would then have to add in tent poles as I don't use hiking poles. I know there are very small bug nets that hang down and cover the head and torso. I have a TT floorless Squall I've had for about 8-9 years now that comes in at 1.5 lbs. If I have to spend some money, I think I can get a good shelter under 1 lb. Even due to price, the ZPacks solo Hexamid is looking pretty good, so my goal if I get another shelter this year, is to shave half a pound off my shelter weight, trying to get to a UL status, moving on from lightweight. I'm out west, doing all my trips here in the Sierra and some trips to the coast or further north here in CA.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Weight on 01/24/2013 07:21:55 MST Print View

@Duane, I will have to admit that my current system weighs almost 1.5 lbs, including lines, stakes, and bags but I haven't tweaked it enough to say where I'd end up before my next long hike.

I could cut weight by going with thinner line, the line required to use the linelocs is thicker than I'd choose to use. I may get rid of the linelocks and go with 1mm line.

I could also drop an ounce or two by using less and lighter stakes. I actually stake out my bug bivy with titanium shepherd hooks, but that is more of a convenience than anything. I move around too much and staking the bug net keeps me under the tarp and keeps the bugnet taut.

I could cut a few grams by putting everything in one bag.

Re Haxamid and others:
Although the Hexamid is a great all around shelter, I find the Patrol more flexible.
If I rmember correctly when the bugnet is attached to the Hexamid, you really only have one pitch and that pitch is not optimum for hot weather.

If I were going with the Hexamid, I'd get it it without the bugnet/floor and use a separate bugnet/bivy for flexibility and then I'd be at around the same weight.

Also, the Bearpaw Minimalist is a heavier option and was chosen because it has a huge net area, higher bathtub walls and beefier components than most.

I often use the SMD Meteor in cooler weather. It is a little lighter, but less ventilated, so I use the Minimalist in warm weather.

MLD, Oware and others would be lighter.

The Equinox Mantis is inexpensive and only 4 ounces, if I remember correctly, but you'd want a ground cloth with that.

Many people commented that they like the side entrance on the Hexamid, but I suspect they don't realize that the Patrol can be side entrance as well.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/24/2013 07:23:52 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Weight on 01/24/2013 11:20:08 MST Print View

Thank you Steven. Would you consider the Patrol more weatherproof than say the Hexamid? If I'm not saving weight or better performance from a new piece of gear, I may as well save my money for more stoves.:) I liked the Minimalist screen but it adds more weight back into a shelter. Does the Patrol Shelter have a smaller foot print than the Hexamid? I'll have to review their material layout and try to figure out how much space is required for lines. I'll go back to Matt's figures. Funny, I have his MSR X-GK II he used for most of his trips I believe he used it on. Runs great still. Small world.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Comparison on 01/24/2013 12:21:26 MST Print View

I can't give a fair comparison between a Hexamid and a Patrol as I have never used a Hexamid.

I do believe that the Hexamid doesn't have a lot of pitch options and so looking at the diagram would give you an idea of the internal space.
You can change the pitch to accommodate different situations, but I don't know how far you can go.

This limitation hasn't received many complaints other than wind blown rain coming in the front of some Hexamids' that didn't have the extended beak.

Both shelters have thru-hiked many long distance trails and both are well liked.
I believe both are easy to setup after a little practice.

I suspect the Patrol will give you more room when setup in a summer pitch and probably less room when pitched tight to the ground compared to a standard Hexamid pitch.

The Patrol is kinda like a tarp in this regard and I'd think could be pitched in more locations than the Hexamid could.
One common situation is when the only flat spot around has only a 2' gap between two big objects, rocks, trees, bushes, ...

I would probably be perfectly happy with a Hexamid if I had one. I went with the Patrol instead mostly based on the flexibility of it's design and my positive experience with previous shelters of its type.

I have also been perfectly happy with and have a Gatewood cape, which is a similar design to the Hexamid. But I find the Patrol a little more flexible.

I think I may be splitting hairs here.

I think If I had gone with the Hexamid, I would have not ordered it without the bugnet/floor option and instead used an SMD Serenity bugnet which is pyramid shaped and would probably work well in the Haxamid.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
P.S. Hexamid on 01/24/2013 12:58:32 MST Print View

Another plus for the Hexamid is that it only requires one pole. The Patrol uses two.

This is not so big a deal for me as I always used two poles, but people who don't use trekking poles, or only use one, could save weight by going with the Hexamid.

As others have stated, they feel the Hexamid has more room, but that depends on how you pitch the Patrol. I usually pitch high enough to sit upright except in harsh weather.

The shape of the Hexamid and other mids tend to have more headroom when your sitting up because of the extra room in the center.

The patrol feels roomier when you are lying down. The highest point being above your head. You are farther from the fly when lying down so strong winds are less likely to flap against your head. Again, I'm splitting hairs.

I still can't say which is best for you:-(

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/24/2013 13:00:04 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
P.S. Hexamid on 01/24/2013 14:05:27 MST Print View

Most of my bping is in the mountains, heat usually isn't a factor. Wind can be.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Set up Cuben Patrol on 02/14/2013 10:06:27 MST Print View

I like windy spots for some of my camping - and I plan on experimenting with the Patrol. I found the Hexamid to be very close to my face while on a NeoAir in a Long bag, and not have a ton of extra room for real bad weather. Both are great shelters, just different strengths. I decided to start off using slightly longer guylines, and then cut them down once I've experimented enough to know what I want.MLD Cuben Patrol Shelter

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
A low, winter/wind pitch on 02/14/2013 10:42:02 MST Print View

The main reason I like my lines a little longer than IceAxe's is that I do some hot desert hiking and have on occasion used my tarp as a shade for taking a nap dring the hottest part of the day.

But there have been a few times on hot muggy nights in the NorthEast when I was glad that I could pitch my shelter really high.

Anyway, below is a shot of a storm or cold weather pitch. I found that even on my blow-up pad I still had a good amount of room above my face to not feel cramped.

I did have a photo that was taken on a backpacking trip, but it is not as clear as this shot I took in a park in Brooklyn:MLD Patrol Strom pitch #1

Edited by brooklynkayak on 02/14/2013 11:31:09 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Side Entry on 02/14/2013 10:51:13 MST Print View

Oh, and regarding side entry with an MLD Patrol, here is a typical pitch showing the method of side entry that I mentioned earlier in this thread:MLD Patrol Side Entry

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Side Entry on 02/14/2013 11:18:22 MST Print View

Do you have the MLD bug net in that pic too? I like that close to ground setup. I went with a ZPacks Hexamid w/o netting or beak, and am getting a Borah cuben bivy with noseeum as my summer shelter, at 12 oz. with a tent pole, out the door weight. Cheaper than MLD setup and much lighter. It will be half the weight of my floorless TT Squall. We'll see how durable in the months, years to come.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Bugnet on 02/14/2013 11:26:33 MST Print View

These pictures are taken with a BearPaw Minimalist 1 bugnet which I had long before I bought the Patrol Shelter.

I also have and use an SMD Meteor bug bivy. I usually use the Meteor because it is lighter and offers better splash protection. I use the Minimalist for the summer months as it is all mesh so has better ventilation.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 02/14/2013 11:28:01 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Close to ground on 02/14/2013 11:36:45 MST Print View

And by the way, that storm/winter shot was take on a windy cold winter afternoon and it was almost too warm inside.
There probably aren't that many situations where you would want such a tight pitch and I'd bet condensation would be an issue if it isn't windy out.

Even in winter I pitch a little higher than that to allow some air in from the sides.
I just wanted to show an example of what you could do in a really nasty storm.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Update on 06/24/2013 18:18:36 MDT Print View

I wanted to update this thread with some of my later observations:

I experimented with using the very good 1mm line sold by Oware and although it is amazingly strong, light and relatively tangle free, it is not as easy to work with as the 3mm line that comed with the Patrol Shelter and using the linelocks has many advantages.

I feel I am fairly confident with knots and thin line, but found that repitching in rain and/or in the dark was nowhere near as simple as the 3mm line/linelock combination.

For me, the extra two ounces of the 3mm/linelock combination is justified.

I also belive that the extra line length that I use is justified. I was near the end of the line a few time on hot humid nights in the NJ Pine Barrens area and upstate NY. I would have been fine with shorter lines and splicing extensions to these lines, but carrying the extra line is just as heavy. So i'll stick with my line lengths.

Joe A
(dirtbaghiker) - M
2014 on 10/01/2014 14:12:43 MDT Print View

So here we are now..2014. Any new updates on how the patrol shelter has held up in winter with cold wind and snow?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: 2014 on 10/01/2014 15:28:58 MDT Print View

Hi Joe,

I have been using a hammock instead of my Patrol Shelter lately when there are trees.

I did use the Patrol Shelter a few times in Arizona desert and it worked great, but it was more like spring weather at the time.

I have done a bit of foul weather camping camping in the Patrol prior to last winter.
One really heavy and windy rain storm and one calm 20 degree f calm night last November in the Catskills.

I still consider it a very flexible shelter and will always use it when ground camping.
I just like the hammock/tarp combination more when I am in areas with trees.