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New 'Compact' Trailstar
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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Mini Trailstar on 03/04/2013 10:42:33 MST Print View

I would go with the Mini Trailstar over the Cricket because the former is simply a smaller version of the regular Trailstar and will have better wind and poor weather performance.

Having said that, if you are taller than about 5'10" according to Ron, the regular Trailstar would be the way to go.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
Entrance of Compact in common pitch method on 03/04/2013 12:03:15 MST Print View

Something I've not seen discussed - Entrance height.

In the UK photos I've seen, most seem to use the 'storm' pitch. Using a centre edge tieout on one side as an apex.

This looks roughly to make an entrance hole the shape of an equilateral triangle. Which I'll use for my example.

A 7' edge used as 2 sides of such a triangle will give a vertical height a fraction of an inch over 3'

A 6' edge used in the same fashion will give a vertical height of just under 2.6'

i.e. an entrance 0.4' or 5" less height.

I think this would be a problem for me.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Well.. on 03/04/2013 12:47:49 MST Print View

A tent/tarp setup is my choice.

i.e. Tent fly that can be pitched with or without the inner tent.

That way you can use the fly as a tarp if desired, such as for lunch & rest during a driving rain.

** The TRAILSTAR tarp loses way too much useable floorspace for my liking. The sides are not vertical enough.

In fact the Tarptent Notch fly would be a much better choice for useable floorspace in a tarp (defining a tarp as a single wall, floorless shelter).

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Mini Trailstar on 03/04/2013 13:50:40 MST Print View

"Having said that, if you are taller than about 5'10" according to Ron, the regular Trailstar would be the way to go."

I'd agree. Pitched to the ground, even at 5'8" I think it's best to kant the internal pole a bit and lay your sleeping pad sideways instead of against the back to avoid having your bag touching any part of the tarp.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Entrance of Compact in common pitch method on 03/04/2013 13:57:38 MST Print View

Doh - Just seen the photo on page 1 comparing compact with original

compact trailstar

answers my question - crawl ( even lower than with the standard TS) to get inside?

Edited by MoleJ on 03/04/2013 14:48:46 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
New 'Compact' Trailstar on 03/04/2013 14:45:36 MST Print View

Detailed long term Cricket review.

http://tramplite.com/2013/02/mld-cricket-review.html

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: New 'Compact' Trailstar on 03/04/2013 14:52:11 MST Print View

I am not sure why anyone would go for the Cricket tarp over the SoloMid.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
Cricket on 03/04/2013 15:01:03 MST Print View

< I am not sure why anyone would go for the
Cricket tarp over the SoloMid.

Cricket has more sheltered entrance overhead? ( harder to get in and out of though...)

I had a solomid for a while. So small that rain comes straight down in on you when the door is open. Cricket has that beak.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Mini Trailstar on 03/04/2013 16:07:52 MST Print View

Dave U says:
"Having said that, if you are taller than about 5'10" according to Ron, the regular Trailstar would be the way to go."

Well, I'm 5' 2", so I don't have to worry about being too big for my shelter! The regular Trailstar would be comically large for just me, and I'm pretty sure I can't talk any of my hiking buddies into sharing it, because it's not a fully enclosed tent. Often I end up camping in locations that require you to use designated sites, and sometimes they are not very large, especially when you have 2 or 3 tents sharing one. For that reason also, smaller would be preferable.

Dave U says:
"I am not sure why anyone would go for the Cricket tarp over the SoloMid."

One thing I dislike about my current tent (an old Sierra Designs LightYear CD) is that I can't see out of it when I'm inside. That's why I'd go for the Cricket over the SoloMid.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
New 'Compact' Trailstar on 03/04/2013 16:25:21 MST Print View

+ 1 to J Mole. I have always been put off the Solomid, because even in rain with no wind it looked like I would need to have the door shut.

Peter Evans
(NLslacker)
Cricket to Trailstar on 03/05/2013 00:01:17 MST Print View

Ron changed my order to Trailstar instead of Cricket... I was having some doubt based on weather and my height, now I have both covered. I went with Gray Silnylon.
I can't wait to try it out.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Entrance of Compact in common pitch method on 03/05/2013 00:19:00 MST Print View

The 2' 6" entrance height could be difficult for a tall person, I imagine. I, however, am short enough to go through that entrance by duck-walking (I just measured!), which has to be easier than getting into the tent I have now. Plus, my understanding is that it's possible to bring the front corners in slightly, creating a steeper and taller entrance. I've also read that someone kept a small sheet of plastic film at the entrance, and simply unrolled it so they could crawl inside without touching the wet ground. It seems like there are various ways of working around the low door height.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: New 'Compact' Trailstar on 03/06/2013 10:05:14 MST Print View

Jason Elsworth says:
"Detailed long term Cricket review.
http://tramplite.com/2013/02/mld-cricket-review.html"

Thanks for the link! I finally read the review and it was excellent. I've searched quite a bit and was able to find very few reviews of the Cricket. I hadn't seen this one. It's made me think that perhaps a Cricket tarp would be a good choice for me.

Maybe some of you could give me a reality check with this. I've never used a tarp before so I can't draw on personal experience. My thinking is that neither the mini-Trailstar nor the Cricket requires a water-resistant bivy underneath, as they both offer good protection from rain on their own. I would use some sort of light ground cloth to minimize dirt and moisture on my gear. And I don't relish sharing my bed with ants and ticks, so my plan is to use a bug bivy (with a full mesh top) and suspend the head end from one of the mitten hooks inside the shelter. Then, if I want more space for changing clothes, etc. I can unclip the bivy and just sit on top of it. Does this sound like a reasonable setup?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Cricket on 03/06/2013 10:57:35 MST Print View

"I had a solomid for a while. So small that rain comes straight down in on you when the door is open. Cricket has that beak."

If you pitch the Cricket low enough during a storm (i.e. blowing rain), unless you are the aforementioned 5'2", you are going to have to snake to get into it and even then, still not be protected from blowing rain. I am a little confused by the comment because if you unzip the door on the SoloMid to the same height as the Cricket 'awning' then the entry / exit will be the same as will rain ingress.

The SoloMid is also a 4 season shelter, which is nice.

Horses for courses, I guess but the comment about views was kind of funny. One could just leave the door open on the SoloMid.

Of course, the better way would be to just buy the Tarptent Notch fly which can be purchased separately.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Cricket on 03/07/2013 09:05:31 MST Print View

Dave U says:
"Horses for courses, I guess but the comment about views was kind of funny. One could just leave the door open on the SoloMid."

It isn't about views at all. It's just that when I can't see at least a little of the outside world I feel rather claustrophobic.

If, as other people have said, a lot of rain comes inside a SoloMid when the door's open, it seems like that wouldn't be very practical. Suppose you go to sleep with the door open and it rains during the night. This might be ok if you're someone who'd wake up at the first raindrop, but I'd probably not wake up until I was completely soaked and freezing.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Cricket on 03/07/2013 09:08:37 MST Print View

"Suppose you go to sleep with the door open and it rains during the night. This might be ok if you're someone who'd wake up at the first raindrop, but I'd probably not wake up until I was completely soaked and freezing."

Yes, then the SoloMid is definitely not for you. Of course if you experience blowing freezing rain, the Cricket won't be for you either.

Mental note: Remember to close off shelter at night lest I wake up in a pool. I kid, of course.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Cricket on 03/07/2013 10:01:37 MST Print View

"If, as other people have said, a lot of rain comes inside a SoloMid when the door's open, it seems like that wouldn't be very practical. Suppose you go to sleep with the door open and it rains during the night. This might be ok if you're someone who'd wake up at the first raindrop, but I'd probably not wake up until I was completely soaked and freezing."

When I had a Cricket I had a triangular door made of cuben so I could clip it up to help with windblown rain, FWIW.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Cricket on 03/07/2013 10:02:35 MST Print View

"When I had a Cricket I had a triangular door made of cuben so I could clip it up to help with windblown rain, FWIW."

Bingo, Stinky.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Cricket "door" on 03/07/2013 10:37:54 MST Print View

Doug - Who made the cuben door for you? I had something similar for a while for the TrailStar made by OookWorks, but I wound up never needing it and sold it on. Now my Cricket tent is in the production queue, I'm wondering if I could source something similar domestically at a reasonable price.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Cricket "door" on 03/07/2013 10:42:39 MST Print View

I believe Chris Zimmerman made it for me, he was doing a lot of one-off stuff for me back then.