MLD Duomid Recommendations
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Stevie Patrick
(XstevieX)

Locale: Adirondacks
MLD Duomid Recommendations on 07/26/2012 23:45:11 MDT Print View

Just looking for some advice from anyone who owns a Duomid, and what options you chose, or what options you wish you had went with.

I'm currently thinking about ordering a Sil Duomid with a Duo Innernet. However, I'm debating whether or not it would be worth losing those six ounces to go with the Solo Innernet. Also, is it really worth the huge cash difference to go with cuben fiber.

I'll mostly use this tent for solo camping, so I almost feel like it's unnecessary to go with the Duo, rather than the Solo. But, it seems like the extra space and protection from rain would probably be worth it. Any advice at all would be appreciated.

Victor Bushkov
(Victor_B) - MLife
Re: MLD Duomid Recommendations on 07/27/2012 02:37:23 MDT Print View

I own a cuben fiber version of Duomid. Like you I go solo, but I didn't buy Solomid due to condensation concerns. The main reason is that the larger the shelter the less internal moisture is building up, also it is less likely that your sleeping bag will rub the walls accidentally. Other reasons why I went with Duomid is that I have more space to store my gear inside. And more space for cooking inside, when it is raining I can cook away from the entrance (but not too far) without the fear of wetting my sleeping bag (I usually cook while I am in a sleeping bag).

The advantages of Solomid as I see are the following. First, it has a smaller footprint and a lower profile, so the wind resistance is better and you might have more options when it comes to selecting a camp site. This can be offset by the fact that Solomid is more prone to condensation, so the choice can be limited to places where you will less likely have condensation build up. Second, you need a shorter pole for Solomid. This can be offset by connecting two trekking poles together, but I guess such setup would be less secure. As for me, I use a sturdy photo tripod with Duomid, so my setup is quite robust. Third advantage of Solomid is of course its weight.

As I said I have a cuben fiber version. I went with this option because of the weight, CF Duomid weights less than Silnylon Solomid. Since Mids are easier to pitch than tarps, I find that CF is as easy to pitch as Silnylon, even though Silnylon is more stretchy. Also you should consider that CF version does not need seam sealing, so the weight difference between Silnylon and CF will increase after seam sealing Silnylon. The disadvantage of CF as I see it is that CF is not as packable as Silnylon, so a CF shelter will take a little bit more volume then the same shelter made of Silnylon.

Victor Bushkov
(Victor_B) - MLife
Re: MLD Duomid Recommendations on 07/27/2012 02:37:23 MDT Print View

deleted because of double posting

Edited by Victor_B on 07/27/2012 02:38:50 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
My DuoMid on 07/27/2012 08:31:27 MDT Print View

I just bought a silnylon DuoMid for solo hiking. I had found that I really liked the SuperMid I use for group hiking and thought I'd extend the use of 'mids to solo hiking.

Here was my logic: For just 4 or 5 ounces more you get a shelter that is much more roomy, comfortable, and versatile than the SoloMid. I have come to not like the fuss involved with mesh InnerNets- I have converted to carrying a bivy. The inner I use with the Supermid certainly works well, and is nice for social group hiking, but it's sort of a PITA. Most bivys are lighter, too- a Superlight bivy is almost HALF the weight of the DuoMid InnerNet. Mine has the larger-mesh option, and is just for bug control when I need it. You could also use an all-mesh bug bivy if you prefer- you might save an ounce- but the regular bivy is more versatile. I cannot overemphasize how much happier I am with a bivy than with a mesh InnerNet. MUCH less fuss. But it is important to have a side-zipper. Trying to squirm into a bivy that's only open at the end is almost as much fuss as the InnerNet. Plus, you can then leave the zipper open and just sort of use the bivy as a groundsheet if you want to when the bugs aren't bad.

Also, my hiking staff is the perfect length to be the center pole for the DuoMid, so no worries about lashing two trek poles together.

I have never been convinced that cuben is worth the hype. If I were independently wealthy and could afford to replace a shelter that costs two car payments every year or two and risk shredding it if high winds sneak up on me... maybe. But I'm not. Silnylon is well-established, durable, and has a long track record. And it's cheap. Someday if I get a windfall I might experiment, but not anytime soon. Look at it this way- the weight savings we're talking about is $50/oz. Would you pay $50 to shave an ounce off of your spoon? But then again if you WOULD and if you're just the kind of guy who likes the cutting-edge stuff then maybe it's for you. Clearly a lot of people love their CF stuff.

Edited by acrosome on 07/27/2012 08:35:36 MDT.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
duomid/solomid (and speedmid) on 07/27/2012 09:04:50 MDT Print View

If you don't have a problem with crawling insects, also consider the mesh skirt option, as it works really well with flying insects and is the lightest option that will give you the most room for moving around while protected from (flying) insects.

I owned a duomid but sold it since I hated the center pole in a shelter that size. The solomid can be pitched with two poles eliminating the pole in the center. I have no personal experience with the solomid however.

In the end I ended up with the speedmid with mesh skirt, which is only slightly heavier than the duomid, but has way more room. It's a great shelter.

Stevie Patrick
(XstevieX)

Locale: Adirondacks
Re: MLD Duomid Recommendations on 07/27/2012 10:09:18 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the input! This is really helpful for me. So, it sounds like it's definitely worth going with the Duomid over the Solomid, or at least for my preferences. As much as I would love to own a cuben fiber Duomid, I'm just not sure it's feasible for me right now. Especially when I could use the extra $200 for gear.

I've considered going with a bivy, rather than the innernet, but I don't have any experience with a bivy. My concern is that I'm going to feel claustrophobic, or not appreciate the bivy touching me at all times. Does it take some getting used to? Or is it not as bad as I might think? Also, any recommendations on an ultralight bivy?

The net skirt is intriguing as well, but I worry about ticks.

Victor Bushkov
(Victor_B) - MLife
Bivy on 07/27/2012 10:45:11 MDT Print View

I use MLD Superlight Bivy with my Duomid. Mine has a Pro Silnylon bottom and weights 7 oz. The bivy has a net window which I can attach with a short cord to the inner walls of the Duomid so that I have some space between the net and my sleeping bag.

However, most of the time I use Duomid without a bivy.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Duomid on 07/27/2012 10:54:29 MDT Print View

I've used the Solomid and the Duomid, and have ended up going with the Duomid (cuben), along with the solo innernet with cuben floor.

I went with the Duomid for the extra internal space, for the same reasons listed above. I use the innernet, which with the cuben floor is only an ounce or so heavier than the superbivy. When set up to keep skeeters away, I do find the superbivy to be a bit confining. Currently, I have the innernet attached to the Duo so they go up together. Very neat and quick!

I use GG poles, and they are generally long enough to work as a center pole, though sometimes I have used a rock to give just a bit of lift. Earlier this year GG offered an extra section of carbon fiber pole to give extra length for use in tents, etc, and I picked up two of them. With them I can set up the Duo with two poles (like the Solo) if needed for extra wind support. So far I haven't needed to do this in the field. The extra length with a single pole makes searching for just the right stone a thing of the past.

I set the center pole right next to the innernet zipper, which functionally means the pole "disappears" as an interior obstacle.

I have not used the Duo with double occupancy, nor do I intend to, apart from some emergency. For more than one, I pack the Trailstar with the superlight bivy, full bug netting head.

All in all, the Duomid is my favorite tent/shaped tarp/home-away-from-home.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Bivy on 07/27/2012 10:55:03 MDT Print View

I went with the XL size MLD Superlight Bivy, which I use under a cuben SoloMid. It's my first bivy and I have yet to feel claustrophobic in it. XL has enough width for a 25" wide air pad and a 3 season bag, or a 20" air pad and a winter bag. An added advantage - I haven't rolled off my air pad once since I started using the bivy.

There are two hood options - half moon mesh or all mesh. I use the former in Colorado, but the latter will breathe better in humid / hot environments.

Just make sure the zipper on the bivy matches the bag - I foolishly bought a right zip 30 degree bag for summer and a left zip bivy, and it's a bit of a hassle to get in and out. Much better with my left zip 10 degree bag for shoulder seasons.

As for the SoloMid, there is a surprising amount of room, both in length and width. Plenty of space inside for me and my backpack. At a push I could get my 70lb dog in there too, but claws and cuben aren't a good match. The SoloMid uses the inverted V pole setup which adds stability to the shelter - the long walls can be supported by the poles in windy conditions. The downsides of the SoloMid: it is a few inches lower than the DuoMid, although at 5'9" that's not an issue for me; not enough space to cook inside; and a lack of protection from rain when getting in and out of the shelter.

Peter Fokkinga
(nitto)

Locale: the Netherlands
Re: MLD Duomid Recommendations on 07/27/2012 11:12:32 MDT Print View

Another Cuben Duomid owner here, since this spring; I took it on a three week trip to Norway where it saw plenty of sun and rain. In addition to the Duomid I have the Sean's Oooknest inner. Good combo, although in retrospect I probably would have liked the slightly smaller Oooknest Nano better.

Duomid vs Solomid: when using an inner(net) I would definitely go for the Duomid, I think the extra room due to the larger depth (width is the same) will be really noticable and welcome. When using a bivy the Solomid is enticing because you can use 2 trekking poles in an inverted V, so no center pole that gets in the way, and less deflection of the larger sidewalls when it's windy.

Cuben vs silnylon: cuben does not stretch when wet (claimed and witnessed after 33 hours of continuous rain) so there's less chance the outer will touch the inner. Which was one of the mayor annoyances of my previous tent, so an argument I used to convince myself that I needed cuben ;-) For weight alone, not worth it IMO. Oh, and if you have never seen cuben before and you take the Duomid out of the (silnylon) stuffsack it comes in, you'll probably be disappointed: just a bundle of wrinkly, translucent, cheap looking plastic...

While cuben may not stretch, the side panels will deflect even in moderate winds (I measured 18 mph gusts) and you may want to pitch the Duomid close to the ground. When pitching low the smaller Oooknest Nano would leave more space between the inner and outer.

As for modifications, I asked Ron about an extra tie-out in the front so you could leave the right panel closed while opening the left panel. It was doable, but not recommended because the fabric near the zipper on the right panel was not as strong. So I did not order this change, and in hindsight have not missed it.

In wet weather you can open the right panel partially by opening the zip upto the reinforced press studs at around 16" from the bottom and flipping it onto the sidepanel; it will stick (the cuben at least) because of the wetness. One thing I would have liked is to be able to open it a little more (say half way). But if you do so without modifications you may put too much tension on the zipper (or maybe not, I should ask Ron).

Anyway, great shelter; even (especially) in prolonged rain.

Mark Roberts
(redwedge) - MLife

Locale: Lapland
DuoMid & Bivy and Inner on 07/27/2012 11:25:50 MDT Print View

I have a silnylon DuoMid. I originally bought it with a mesh perimeter to keep out mosquitoes, but found it to not be enough protection where I'm based (Lapland, and previously MInnesota). I started using a Katabatic Bristlecone bivy, which is very nice. It has a good 180ΒΊ window that is lifted high away from my head. I don't find it claustrophobic at all. It's also perfect for winter use.

However, for summer, when the bugs are really bad, and if I expect bad weather, I started to think being stuck in the bivy for long periods might not be all that much fun. This year I ordered a custom DuoMid OookNest from OookWorks which is extremely well made and perfect (mine has a chikara bathtub floor, silnylon sides and rear wall, and full mesh front).

Now, in any situation – either using the bivy or OookNest – I no longer had any real use for the mesh perimeter. As I found it largely ineffective anyway, I cut it off.

My OookNest weighs 385g, the Bristlecone weighs 200g. It's a pretty flexible setup and lasts me year 'round. The DuoMid I absolutely love. Loads of room. Easy to pitch – that was the reason I went for Sil over Cuben.

Ken Nguyen
(ninjapuppet) - F - MLife

Locale: B-Town
seam sealing on 07/27/2012 11:28:40 MDT Print View

wow, i didnt realise the cf version didnt need seam sealing!?!?

i had the cf version and kinda went overboard with the seam sealing. so Victor, yours has not leaked despite no seam sealant?

Peter Fokkinga
(nitto)

Locale: the Netherlands
Re: seam sealing on 07/27/2012 11:38:21 MDT Print View

I did not seam seal my cuben Duomid, and no leaks whatsoever (and I did see plenty of rain).

But I did receive a small tube of seamgrip sealer with the Duomid; I couldn't see what to do with it so I asked Ron. His reply: "you should not have gotten that, no sealing necessary". Oh well, I'll find some use for it :-)

Victor Bushkov
(Victor_B) - MLife
Re: seam sealing on 07/27/2012 11:46:48 MDT Print View

The seams on cf versions are glued, so no need to seam seal them. For this reason a cf version is not supplied with a seam grip. I also emailed to Ron about seam sealing cf Duomids and this is the reply I got: "The cuben fiber ones are all sealed and ready." However, it seems that older cf models needed seam sealing because they were supplied with a seam grip (see e.g. this thread http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=22968&skip_to_post=185374#185374). I didn't have a chance to test my Duomid in a downpour, but I guess it will perform well since it's already seam sealed.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
claustrophobic bivys on 07/27/2012 13:00:28 MDT Print View

I'm a very athletic sleeper, so I got a size XL bivy for the extra room even though I'm only average-sized. It works well for me, no claustrophobia. And, yes, almost all of these bivys have loops on the mesh so that you can tie it up off of your face. All of the MLD 'mids including the DuoMid have a loop halfway up the corner seam specifically to attach the bivy netting.

I'm not sure how you'd get "stuck in the bivy" for long periods. If it is time to sleep, get in the bivy. If it isn't and the bugs are still awful, wear your clothes and headnet- and don't get in the bivy. Granted, I don't live in a horribly insect-infested area, so maybe I'm missing something.

Mark Roberts
(redwedge) - MLife

Locale: Lapland
Re: claustrophobic bivys on 07/27/2012 13:41:55 MDT Print View

I don't really like wearing headnets for long periods, and I'm talking about real mosquito hell. Even in a headnet, there are still hands, ankles, areas where where they bite through (shoulders are particularly susceptible). "Wearing your clothes" is often not an adequate solution.

Of course, if you live or hike in places where bugs are not really much of an issue, the perimeter net is great.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
DuoMid on 07/27/2012 20:10:48 MDT Print View

I'm a fairly new cuben DuoMid + solo inner (when conditions warrant) user. My real world experience is infantile, but I've spent considerable time mulling over the same questions. My first DuoMid trip beyond the front yard is still two weeks away.

May to July (or so) I plan to use the inner, and then I will switch to a groundsheet when I can be sure the bugs won't be too horrific. I much prefer an inner over a bivy because it gives me the option to sit up and read a book or maps for a couple hours in the tent at night while getting a much needed (mentally) break from the bugs. Much nicer than cooking (and eating?) dinner with a headnet on. The inner can be left clipped inside the shelter so there's no extra hassle at set up. I'm not sure why some have experienced frustration with the inner. I also think the center pole is a non issue (for a solo user) as ingress is easy enough - especially with the pole a bit off set.

Combining the solo inner with the DuoMid (rather than the SoloMid) is nice because (1) you get a vestibule and (2) rain won't fall in the door and land on your sleeping area/gear. This allows you to cook breakfast from inside the inner and you have lots of room outside the inner for your shoes, pack, wet gear etc.

The DuoMid (sil or cuben) is about 25% heavier than the SoloMid. For this extra 2.5-3.5oz, you get 33% more floor area and more headroom. In challenging weather conditions (ie. extended cold rain) it's nice to have a little more space. For winter use, the extra real estate is valuable for ski boots, snow shoes and other bulky equipment.

In terms of dealing with weather, the SoloMid is smaller and lower, so ultimately it should be stronger in high winds. Both shelters are considered to be quite robust though, so for most hikers I suspect this consideration is a red herring. Perhaps a more salient difference is the SoloMid can be easily set up with dual hiking poles reinforcing the side walls, while the DuoMid requires some sort of extenders or adapters (ie. Locus Gear DTPE) to complete the V. In the DuoMid's favor, it's steeper sides should theoretically be better for shedding snow but again, both shelters do quite well.

Jouni Leppanen
(leppanen) - MLife

Locale: Australia
MLD Duomid on 07/28/2012 07:03:30 MDT Print View

Hi Stephen and Dan
is your inner nets clipped to more points than just to the one at the ceiling whilst been packed away.
I love the idea, why I did not think of it before, d'oh d'oh d'oh
Cheers

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
@ Jouni on 07/28/2012 09:33:12 MDT Print View

The MLD innernet also clips at the bottom. It is indeed a nice, quick system.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Inner Clips on 07/28/2012 10:26:34 MDT Print View

In addition to clipping the inner to the peak, the four corners of the inner are also clipped to the mid. The back two corners clip to the back two corners of the mid, and then you can clip the front two corners to either the loops mid-way along the sides, or you can clip them to the front corners of the mid.

If you clip the front corners of the inner to the loops mid-way along the DuoMid sides, you use less shockcord (lighter, simpler) but you might need to add two stakes so the inner isn't pulling the sides in. Accordingly, I used longer shockcord and clipped the front two corners of MLD inner to the front two corners of the DuoMid. Either way, it stays in place and goes up with the shelter, so no added hassle.

Edited by dandydan on 07/28/2012 15:32:29 MDT.