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BearpawWWD Vs. MLD PYRAMID discussion
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Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
BearpawWWD Vs. MLD PYRAMID discussion on 12/17/2012 09:44:01 MST Print View

So i'm not sure whether or not people are particularly opinionated or informed on this, but I need additional information before i'm willing to drop 170.00 + on a pyramid shelter.

I was wondering if folks have any kind of an idea about how the bear paw wilderness designs pyramids compare to the MLD pyramid shelters especially in terms of 1) quality of craftsmanship and 2) overall durability 3) ease of setup

I'm specifically looking at:


pyra-tent and luna


Speedmid and duomid

Anyfeedback would be greatly appreciated.

I should disclose this is my first pyramid shelter, and I've just recently started using poles. I'm using a pair of black diamond ultra distance z poles at 130cm.

Thanks to everyone for the wealth of knowledge and information!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

BPWD & MLD on 12/17/2012 15:56:29 MST Print View

They're both great companies. You won't hear me (or anyone) saying anything bad about either. I've had great customer service from both including a recent great experience with Bearpaw. Such a nice, helpful guy.

Regarding the pyramids, the BearPaw Luna 2 is few inches longer/wide than the DuoMid and about 6-8" taller, so that's something to consider if you need more/less space or your trekking poles work better with a certain height shelter. I can use my GG LT4 poles in a DuoMid with no pole jack, whereas I'd need on with the Luna. I believe you need one either way though with the Z poles.

One thing to consider is that Bearpaw is about 15% cheaper and it'll ship in 1-2 weeks instead of 4-10 weeks, so if you want to use in January or Feb then look at BearPaw.

pyramid on 12/17/2012 17:54:55 MST Print View

Look at pictures of each.
Taughtness of all panels? Wrinkles?
The precision with which panels are cut and sewn determines this.
Being off very very little can result in wrinkles ,particularly in cuben which doesnt stretch.

It may not affect actual performance. But it might affect resale or pride.

Look at Locusgear Khufu for comparison as well. Locusgears net tents appear as taught as their tents. Its a show of what can be accomplished with attention to detail.

You will probably find, it appears that more $$$ are crafted to a slightly higher level
of precision.

I think Bearpaw is an honest company, that brings fast service, fast customization of gear, etc to the market. They most certainly have a place. Their reputation is good on service. They have a few sporadic complaints about stitching neatness in the past on here.

Personally, I would need a fairly significant discount to MLD's pricing, or be in a fix to choose their shelter over an equivalent MLD one.

pics from each mfgs websites.
Locusgear khufu
Locus gear khufu cuben
Bearpaw luna 4
Bearpas luna 2 cuben


khufu cuben


luna 4luna 2 cuben

Edited by livingontheroad on 12/17/2012 18:43:29 MST.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 12/17/2012 18:12:58 MST Print View

I have multiple products by MLD including a solo bug shelter. I had one silnylon tarp product by Bearpaw.

On a scale of 1-10 I would rate MLD's craftsmanship at 9.5 to 10. Simply the best I've ever seen even compared to the major label companies, let alone cottage makers. Both design and execution were flawless.

I would rate the Bearpaw tarp's craftsmanship at about 4. Serviceable, certainly, but eminently unimpressive. In my opinion the Bearpaw tarp had flaws both in design and execution. To be fair this tarp is the only Bearpaw product I've physically had access to so maybe it was a fluke. Also in the interest of fairness, I was able to return the tarp to Bearpaw in a mutually agreeable deal. I am not posting here to burn them. I am being as objective as I can.

If you've got the budget and the time, I would recommend MLD over Bearpaw. If you are on a tight budget then you can get by with Bearpaw's work, it's not a total disaster and I do feel they are an honest company.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
I have items from both on 12/18/2012 21:05:50 MST Print View

I own a MLD Trailstar and eVent gaiters, and have had a few custom bug nets from Bear Paw.

Both companies have had excellent customer service. John from Bear Paw is very easy to deal with and accommodating, and Ron from MLD is helpful and professional.

Both companies stand by their products and services, and both make good gear.

If I had to give the edge for one of them, it would be MLD. The craftsmanship is a bit cleaner, but whether or not it that translates into more durable gear, I don't know.

Bear Paws prices are a bit more palatable.

I can honestly say that without hesitation, I would happily order from either company again.

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
bear paw vs. MLD on 12/20/2012 18:14:57 MST Print View

I think that's what I've realized most about this is that there is a place for both manufacturers. I think ron has the advantage of a high quality of craftsmanship. This quality likely comes as a result of him having more experience as a cottage manufacturer and gear designer.

In terms of Bear Paw's quality and pricing, I think that they have an advantage of having faster service but that service comes at a cost of slightly lower quality. That being said, if it were priced a little more competitively with MLD i think that Bear Paw would increase the amount of sales that they have. Either way they both look like SOLID purchases and my pyramid dilemma will continue. Thanks to all for info/insight.

good summary on 12/20/2012 19:11:45 MST Print View

I agree.
I also wish there were a few more vendor choices.