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Black Diamond Mega Light and Mega Bug Pyramid Tent REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Black Diamond Mega Light and Mega Bug Pyramid Tent REVIEW on 05/08/2007 19:48:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Black Diamond Mega Light and Mega Bug Pyramid Tent REVIEW

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Mega Light on 05/08/2007 21:03:32 MDT Print View

This is a great 2-3 person tent for extended backcountry ski trips and due to it's size, a great social tent. I've never used one at any other time, so no bug worries and one can dig in the tent into the snow to make it super strong----in fact, I think the tent is physically stronger in Winter use than as a 3 season shelter.

Fine comphrehensive review.

Edited by kdesign on 05/08/2007 21:43:37 MDT.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Mega Light on 05/09/2007 00:01:16 MDT Print View

It would be nice to see a comparo to the lighter and roomier OWare competitor... I've always wondered what the big differences are!

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Mega Light on 05/09/2007 00:03:54 MDT Print View

Once again, in the "What's not so good" section, there are only two valid complaints.

A, that the tieouts are non adjustable like on some other pyramid shelters such as the Hex3, and that the interior bug liner is heavy.

Freestanding is a bad thing?? Aren't all tarps free standing??

Requires lots of space to pitch?? What type of lame complaint is this?? What is Black Diamond going to do about this?? It is a four person shelter and thus requires a certain amount of floor space.

This section should include only those complaints which are actually relevant to the design of the product, things which the maker could modify and thus improve the product.

Complaints like non-freestanding are simply ridiculous and should not be mentioned. Your reviews are becoming more and more like this as time passes. If it is a tent, you say it is not as light as a tarp, if reviewing a tarp, you say that it doesn't offer bug protection and that it is not freestanding.


Please keep design complaints relevant to the discussion of the actual design and intention of the product.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Mega Light on 05/09/2007 21:54:02 MDT Print View


Edited by kthompson on 02/13/2010 08:33:21 MST.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Adjustable tieouts on 05/10/2007 06:30:29 MDT Print View

I've just bought a Megalight after using a Megamid for about ten years or so.

To make the tieouts MORE adjustable (not fully) for NO weight penalty I simply untied them, threaded them thru the grossgrain twice more, so I now had a triple loop, and retied the ends. (The same as the double loops on some SLCDs)

Now to pitch, grab one loop off a corner (leaving the others wrapped around the grossgrain loop), pull taut and peg out. This will extend the tieout back out to essentially the same length as it originally was. Continue for the other corners.

To adjust (ie tighten) grab one more loop off the grossgrain and pull out over the peg. The loop is now half length. Still not tight enough? Grab the third loop and pull it over for a one third length loop.

It's not a perfect system, but it's simple, it's bomber, and you can do it even when you're out in the bush cursing because you forgot to sew on your adjustable straps at home.


Edited by Rod_Lawlor on 05/13/2007 00:57:31 MDT.

Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: Mega Light on 05/14/2007 13:25:28 MDT Print View

Crazy Pete,

In writing the "What's not so good" section, we are describing all the negatives or downsides with using a product. This is not our recommendations for improvement section nor is it "design complaints."

We have a fairly large and diverse subscriber base. We can't assume every reader knows as much about the differences between pyramids and free-standing shelters as you do, and therefore we provide all the limitations to using this type of shelter in the "What's Not So Good" section to help educate those who are less experinced with lightweight backpacking.

Our reviews have always been thorough, and by being thorough we might mention details that are obvious to some. Again, we are writing for a diverse lightweight community, not an elite few. I appreciate your constructive criticism and hope my explaination here sheds light on the task we strive to accomplish.


Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Re: Adjustable tieouts on 05/14/2007 13:28:23 MDT Print View


Not a bad idea with the triple loop. I'll give it a try.


Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Re: Adjustable tieouts - criticisms on 05/14/2007 13:37:58 MDT Print View

Just a quick note - maybe it would just be helpful to change the "what's not so good" header to "ideas for improvements/limitations" or to "what's not so good/limitations".

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Re: Adjustable tieouts - criticisms on 05/14/2007 13:52:34 MDT Print View


You'll find the "Recommendations for Improvement" section at the end of reviews. The "What's Good" and "What's Not So Good" sections are intended to outline the pros and cons of a product, even if the noted characteristic is inherent to the product type. For example, we typically note that a tarp is "lightweight" even though most people might assume that; we also note when a design takes up a lot of room, is bulky, or is heavy compared to other options, even when those aspects might be necessary to the design. As Jay noted, a new user who hikes in a "green tunnel" might be disappointed to find out that he has trouble pitching his new pyramid properly due to lack of space.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Adjustable tieouts - criticisms on 05/14/2007 13:59:01 MDT Print View

Thanks Benjamin - I really don't have a problem with the way the reviews are done. You are right - what is redundant to some may not be to others. Better to err on the side of caution than having people be disappointed.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Mega Light REVIEW; "limitations" on 07/10/2007 22:47:47 MDT Print View

Great Review, I especially appreciate the discussion on options for the center pole.
I agree the megabug is overkill; why do you need netting all the way up the sides? A floor-only is available for about $70, and could be modified with 15" of noseeum and velcro tabs.

I understand the editors intent with the 'not so good' section; but it implies improvements would solve those problems. Making this tent with a smaller footprint, free-standing, etc.. is not making it 'better' for people who want a large pyramid. A better term would be 'limitations'; thus; 'what's good' then 'suggested improvements (change bug netting for example)', and then 'limitations' listing the INHERENT limitations of this design choice.

Edited by Brett1234 on 07/10/2007 22:48:21 MDT.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Mega Light REVIEW; "limitations" on 07/11/2007 11:23:55 MDT Print View

Have to agree with Brett on this one. The inherent limitations of the design would be better understood under a heading called "Limitations".

I for one like see how a particular item compares to other options, and what potential usage limits to expect. I think this is definitely valuable in a thorough review for at least some of the intended audience.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
... on 07/11/2007 12:36:23 MDT Print View


I don't see any possible justification is stating "Not so good - requires a lot a floor space" when talking about a 4 man shelter.

Take your lumps and move on.

Steve Nutting
(sjnutting) - F

Locale: Southwest Colorado
I own one on 09/06/2007 19:58:24 MDT Print View

I've owned one of these for the past few years. Got mine at an REI garage sale (the only thing wrong was it was missing the pole). So I've never used the carbon fiber pole, but it sets up great with two trekking poles. I have wished for a non-conductive pole when waiting out severe thunderstorms above treeline, however.

It has been through heavy rains, hailstorms that left 2 inches of hail on the ground, and all-night snowstorms. I've found it to be great in every condition except heavy winds. The only times this has been a problem is when camping above tree line, and I found that even in light winds it can flap a lot, making it difficult to sleep.

Condensation has been a major problem only when I've pitched it over wet grass. That's when it did some dripping. Otherwise, it will get a bit wet inside on a still night, but not dripping.

What should be improved?
1. Add some guy-out points midway up each seam. This should help with flapping and in high winds. I'm looking at doing this myself, but it would be nice if it was done from the factory.
2. On the corner strings, some kind of taught-line hitch setup could work to make them easily adjustable. I've used the doubled stings (not tried triple), but that only gives fixed lengths and sometimes there are rocks in just the wrong spots.

Bob Chilson
(bob.chilson) - MLife

Locale: eastern high sierra
adjustable tieouts on 09/27/2007 12:17:52 MDT Print View

Rod, what a simple, excellent solution to a very minor problem. It would be nice if the manufacture made adjustable loops of some sort, but if not then I would hope most people would realize what they are buying and figure out a solution to any potential problems or bugs before they purchase the product or else buy a different product.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
BPL's review methods - are they fair or do they have limitations? on 09/27/2007 13:19:42 MDT Print View

I'd have to agree about reviews that appear to complain
about an inherent feature of a product that in one case is desirable and in another is not.

ie. "Vanilla ice cream may disappoint lovers of chocolate ice cream."

Also annoying, are reviews that speculate without testing the
features or construction of products.

Stitching methods are one such where an untested comment about stitch strength was speculative and wrong.

BPL doesn't need more filler.

Just the facts, Mam.

Edited by oware on 09/27/2007 13:24:17 MDT.

Rick Teague
(wedge) - F
Improvement for Megamid Tarp Tent on 11/07/2009 20:23:22 MST Print View

I realize this comes in very very late but I have a suggestion for a possible improvement. Someone said the only real limitation was the Megamid flapped in the wind and made a lot of noise making sleep difficult. After doing some intense studying of Tibetan Nomads who live not in yurts but in woven Yak hair tents. The Megamid is already the right shape for wind but it has large triangular walls which are not held tight when staked down. I recommend more tie downs along the perimeter of the base and also tie outs centered on the triangle face where you can tie lengths of nylon cord out to another pole and then secure the nylon cord down to the ground. Then there would be less flapping. Click on link for a photo example.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Pyramids- Re: Black Diamond Mega Light on 11/08/2009 09:25:40 MST Print View

Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I have been putting together a fabric order for a MYOG family pyramid.

Black Diamond's official spec's do themselves a disservice. They appear to say that the pyramid footprint is 86" square. Only if you dig do you realize that's the size of their optional floor or mesh inner tent, and these are sized approximately 12" in from the pyramid edge, giving a roughly 9' square pyramid. For my family I need a 9' or 10' pyramid and I initially thought this one was only 7'.

I wouldn't buy their floor or nest- instead go with edge mesh and a light floor.

The pole looks to be quite good- I learned last summer that I don't really need trekking poles on family trips.

Bottom line is that if I buy top quality silnylon that's been tested for waterproofness, my MYOG pyramid would cost almost as much as a Mega Light on sale. That doesn't include a pole!

My research had narrowed to 4 pyramids: MLD Supermid, Oware 10x10, GoLite Shangri-La 4+, and the Mega Light. The Mega Light wouldn't be my very first choice, but the vent, pole, and price combine to make it the best value for my use.

EDIT 5/27/13. I confirmed the dimensions a couple weeks ago. Pyramid fabric covers 104" square. The interior tie loops for the inner net tent or floor make an 86" square. With the tieout extensions staked out, the 86" square has about 13" clearance to the ground.

Edited by jimqpublic on 05/27/2013 20:25:57 MDT.

Anthony Dickinson
Hard to read review on 05/25/2013 23:15:15 MDT Print View

I know this is an old review, but.....

It displays as grey text on a grey background and is almost impossible to read using safari on my iPad. It's the only review I've seen that displays this way.

Can it be fixed please? (Or is it just a problem with my iPad?)