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Which Mid Solo or Duo?
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Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Which Mid Solo or Duo? on 10/01/2012 16:49:27 MDT Print View

I'm looking at MLD shelters and am thinking about getting a Duomid or Solomid. Other than 3.5 ounces, what differences would (or did) sway you to one or the other, and why? I'm only using at as a solo shelter. I like the weight/size of the solo, but think maybe, given the fully enclosed design, ventilation would be better in a duo. It also has more support options on the exterior, maybe better for winter, which, along with rainy season, is why I'm considering one. Thanks in advance.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Which Mid Solo or Duo? on 10/01/2012 17:11:15 MDT Print View

A thought...

I got rid of my solo because I stopped using trekking poles. While it is possible to pitch it with an offset single pole, I never felt it had the same strength or living space with this option.

Personally, I'd now go with the Duo as a dedicated (non-trekking) pole option can be used with it with no compromise to functionality.

Having owned the solo and seen both in action, if trekking poles aren't an issue, I'd get the solo for one-man use. I loved the relatively compact footprint and the two poles in A-frame configuration make it a really solid shelter in bad weather.

Edited by xnomanx on 10/01/2012 17:13:47 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Which Mid Solo or Duo? on 10/01/2012 17:13:55 MDT Print View

I have had both but don't use them anymore as favour my Tarp Tent Stratosphire 1.

The Duomid is more versatility as it can fit two in a pinch but above all if you use a Solo inner it gives you a proper vestibule area.

The Solomid has less unsupported fabric so it should be better in the wind. There are plenty of users on here who have used both who will have far more field experience than me.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Thanks for the input. on 10/01/2012 17:33:18 MDT Print View

Craig and Stephen, much appreciated. Your point about a propoer vestibule makes good sense. Even without an inner, it could make a nice indoor-outdoor area for cooking, boots, wet gear, etc. Give then $35 and 3.5 ounce (coincidental?) difference, I think I'll go that route. That said, if anyone has a reason they prefer the lower, lighter, more compact solo shelter, I'd love to hear.

How is condensation in these compared to a single walled tent, or flat tarp? Better? Worse? Should I be looking at the Trailstar? Looks like too much real estate for little old me.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Which Mid Solo or Duo? on 10/01/2012 19:04:04 MDT Print View

I would go for a Duomid unless you need to pitch on small sites or camp in open areas with high winds a lot. However, in high winds the Duomids performance can be greatly enhanced by using the technique to bind two poles together described here If you do this and use decent pegs then a Duomid isn't going anywhere. You will get plenty of side deflection, but it will keep standing.

Duomid seems to me a lot more liveable in rain than the Solomid. In my mind the Solomid is for sleeping in the Duomid is for camping in (gross generalisation of course). I did own a Duomid,but swapped it for a Trailstar, because I wanted the best possible high wind performance. I did really like the using the Duomid especially with both the doors open.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
duomid on 10/01/2012 19:07:55 MDT Print View

I'm 5'11" and I switched from solomid to duomid because I don't like the foot of my sleeping bag brushing up against the wall of the tent. The duomid gave me more room.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: duomid on 10/01/2012 20:20:39 MDT Print View

I too would go for the DuoMid over the SoloMid for the usable length issue. However, it should be noted that there wasn't a 3.5 oz difference for me. It was 5.7 oz.

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
+1 for the Duomid on 10/01/2012 20:57:24 MDT Print View

I've had both and yes, the solo is bomber in terms of side deflection, but it doesnt have really any vestibule space and it can be a pain during inclement weather. The duomid is really luxury after a few trips in a solo and for me it was well worth the weight penalty. Although in winds, you do have to uber stake it whereas the solo was easier... just due to side acreage .......etc...

My .02c. Plus I always like that view of the rainy day on the forums here with the bushbuddy cranking and the doors open with the view and the rain falling. Have yet to recreate that but I'm looking forward to it!



Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
I have a solo on 10/01/2012 23:04:55 MDT Print View

I only have 13 nights in my solomid and 0 nights in a duomid so I'm not incredibly experienced. However, I sold the silnylon version and got the cuben fiber solomid because I hated how much the silnylon sagged when it got wet. I had read about it beforehand so it wasn't surprising but it was a lot more then what I had imagined.

I'm a big guy (6'2" & 225 lbs) and I find the solo to be a little tight when it's pitched low to the ground. My feet will touch the end sometimes and there's not much room for anything extra other than me and my bivy. If I have the solomid pitched a few inches up I can fit my pack inside but it's snug. Definitely no room for cooking, not that I would do that anyway. While I don't mind smaller spaces, I don't have a lot of experience in the solomid in crappy weather. I imagine the experience would be a lot less pleasant if I was riding out a multiple day storm.


Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Ordered. on 10/03/2012 20:39:49 MDT Print View

Silnylon yellow duomid. Now the waiting begins.

But now ... I am thinking of a trailstar. Is it useable in alpine lake Sierra terrain? If so, I think I will change my order.

Edited by bcutlerj on 10/05/2012 01:41:01 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Duo/Solo/Trailstar on 10/07/2012 18:55:42 MDT Print View

While the trailstar has some really neat attributes, I think the vast majority of hikers are better off with a mid. Sure the trailstar is the ultimate high wind shelter, but the other mids are great as well, and they are much quicker to pitch, ofter full 360 protection, they're lighter and nicer to get in/out of (no kneeling). So unless you regularly camp in really harsh conditions or want a huge shelter, I think a mid is likely the way to go.

I personally own a DuoMid (cuben prototype, 11.4oz). I haven't used a solo mid, but I suspect the Duo is well worth the extra few ounces. You can sleep in the back half of the pyramid away from the door, so your stuff doesn't get wet if you open the door in the rain. You also have a nicely sized vestibule for your shoes, pack etc. It's a very well appointed solo shelter. With the solomid you give up headroom (which also translates into less useable length, due to the slope of the walls), you lose vestibule space, you have to worry about opening the door in the rain, and the only upsides are slightly smaller campsite selection requirements and a couple ounces (and dollars) saved.

I haven't used (or seen) a solomid (or trailstar) but I've done a lot of research on the topic and think for 80% of people the DuoMid is probably the right call. Some gram counters (or people who spend very little time in their shelters) will prefer the solomid, and a few storm camping fanatics (or acrobatic sleepers) will love the trailstar. The trailstar is a really cool shelter. I love the idea, but for me simplicity is huge and a mid epitomizes that.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Duo/Solo/Trailstar on 10/07/2012 19:08:24 MDT Print View

+1 with Dan.

I was thinking about getting a TS for about a week. I was happy with the Mid, but stopped using poles. But may go that route again. Very easy shelter to live with, the Duomid. You'll be happy. Come out to Point Reyes 19-21st if you can and compare side by side. Pretty sure both shelters will be there.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
10/19-10/21? on 10/07/2012 19:36:19 MDT Print View

If so, I think I am in. May have to come up Saturday, but definitely in. As to the conundrum, I think Dan is right. I have gradually moved back to the duomid selection. Off topic a bit, but Ken, how worried should imbe about yellow and bugs here in NorCal? This is one reason the duo is better also. Should I rethink my yellow choice? I don't camp anywhere illegal and my orange big Agnes house-sized car camping tent is actually quite pleasant in the a.m. light.