Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review


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Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Any updates on 08/26/2012 16:49:06 MDT Print View

Michael,

Search online and you will unearth an extensive collection of reviews on the Trailstar from active and knowledgeable users. The Trailstar was a late bloomer, many adopters picked it up within the last two years coming off the praise of vocal outdoor bloggers expounding its capabilities as a lightweight shelter (I did!), yet it has been around for several years now and paid its dues. What exactly are you looking to gain from Ryan's "johnny come lately" perspective on the Trailstar?

I think there is more than enough quality beta out there on this shelter for anyone to make an informed decision as to whether or not it would be an asset in their outdoor quiver.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/26/2012 17:05:59 MDT Print View

I liked mine and used in a lot a couple of years ago (I was an early adopter). However, I had difficulty finding spots for it below treeline and a Mid proved better for my needs.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/26/2012 17:09:53 MDT Print View

A mid is best all rounder for most it seems. I've seen a couple of TrailStars and they do take up some serious real estate.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Any updates on 08/26/2012 17:16:21 MDT Print View

"I think there is more than enough quality beta out there on this shelter for anyone to make an informed decision as to whether or not it would be an asset in their outdoor quiver."

http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com/2012/03/trailstar-wars.html

http://www.summitandvalley.com/2011/07/is-trailstar-best-lightweight-shelter.html

http://sectionhiker.com/mountain-laurel-designs-trailstar-long-term-review-by-dave-lintern/

http://www.stevenhorner.com/?p=1003

http://goinglighter.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-impressions-mld-trailstar.html

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/26/2012 17:30:08 MDT Print View

It seems like a mid and a trailstar have about the same footprint.

Mid - 8 or 9 or 10 feet square

Trailstar - 7 feet on a side - it depends how you pitch it

I just don't like the open side - I'de rather have it extend to close to the ground and have a zipper - but that takes away some of the simplicity

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/26/2012 18:04:52 MDT Print View

Forgot to add that Chris Townsend gave the Tstar a rave review in the latest TGO magazine. Also gave the Duomid a good review. I started with the Duomid, but figured for the same weight I could get much better high wind performance. Also with a std mid if it is raining, even in calm conditions, it seems to me that you need to close the door.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/27/2012 11:26:47 MDT Print View

Jerry, specs aside, the TS takes up a lot mor real estate than the DuoMid. One easily fits on tent platforms, the other doesn't.

Experience trumps all.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Space on 08/27/2012 11:39:27 MDT Print View

I've never done it, but I'd assume there are a few pitch options for the TS, like the narrow 4 sided pitch that someone posted on here somewhere.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Any updates on 08/27/2012 11:42:42 MDT Print View

Idester, you are now going head-to-head with "Link" O'leary. Watch out, she could rip you to shreds...

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Any updates on 08/27/2012 14:50:38 MDT Print View

"Watch out, she could rip you to shreds..."

And as we learned from another thread, she's got a mean side. I take back all my links! I'm sorry Anna! I didn't mean it!

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
MLD TrailStar Update on 11/14/2012 15:05:18 MST Print View

The MLD TrailStar has Won 1st Place : Camping Gear of the Year in the TGO Magazine The Great Outdoors Awards event today.

TGO is the leading outdoor magazine in the UK.

The judges of this category were only the editors at the magazine. -Other categories were by popular vote online so we feel extra happy about this one as extra special. http://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/awards/judges/

We can tell you that they get plenty of rough weather and high winds in the UK on the exposed walk areas in the north and that on the 2012 TGO Challenge hike across Scotland many dozens used the TrailStar.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 11/14/2012 15:43:48 MST Print View

Congratulations Ron. The Trailstar is also great for the conditions we often face in New Zealand. You have bomber wind performance, plus plenty of space to get out of the rain and deal with soaking wet kit. So far mine seems to have come with fine weather attracting coating, but its only a matter of time:).

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 01/02/2013 22:40:53 MST Print View

I wonder if the review is going to be updated, it is almost a year. Seems the rolling reviews must have rolled off a cliff.

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
stupid question on 01/12/2013 05:30:23 MST Print View

I know I'm going to embarrass myself with this one, but I've been watching Bear Grylls on TV a touch lately and it got me thinking:

Could I use the TrailStar as a parachute, if I *really* needed a parachute in a pinch?

this assumes I'm caught on the top of a cliff somehow and the best decision is to get down ASAP by some means other than descending like a normal person or "aiming for the bushes."

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: stupid question on 01/12/2013 06:18:04 MST Print View

While trying to avoid the profanity filter I'll say this...

We have a saying here in SE LA. "When you're up to your _____ in alligators you're gonna run, walk, swim or fly."

My point being, when you are presented with a situation that demands you do whatever you can ASAP to avoid serious injury or worse a person will "try" to survive.

Parachutes have harnesses, multiple shroud lines and steering lines. At most your TrailStar has 10 attachment points for guy lines. All of these would be held in your hands as you attempted your "jump".

Use the proper tool for the job. I doubt that you really want to carry a chute on a hike but an alternative might be a suitable length of climbing rope and gloves to allow for a quick descent.

Party On,

Newton

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 01/12/2013 09:20:17 MST Print View

"I wonder if the review is going to be updated, it is almost a year. Seems the rolling reviews must have rolled off a cliff."

Are you really waiting to hear what they have to say about the Trailstar, Nick?

No need to finish this, other than for formalities sake and honoring what was promised. ;-)

Anyways, this initial review was late to the "party" when it came out almost a year ago.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar Shelter Review on 08/29/2013 09:53:32 MDT Print View

A smaller and larger version of the TrailStar is now available at mountainlaureldesigns.com

The LittleStar is about 15% smaller and the BigStar is about 30% larger than the standard TrailStarMLD LittleStar.


BigStarBigStar

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Big Star on 08/29/2013 18:09:13 MDT Print View

Wow.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Big Star & grandkids on 08/29/2013 18:11:44 MDT Print View

This will be an excellent tarp when out with my grandkids! I can hardly wait!

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Locale: PIEDMONT N.C.
Question for Ron: on 08/29/2013 18:46:23 MDT Print View

If you pitch the Big Star as a pyramid,with 4 corners to the ground(as pitched by one of your youtube reviewers,what size shelter will you have?