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Cuben MLD Cricket tarp for an AT thru-hike?
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Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
Cuben MLD Cricket tarp for an AT thru-hike? on 05/21/2013 09:05:56 MDT Print View

I've been thinking pretty heavily about ordering a Cricket tarp soon. I'll most likely be using a Superlight Bivy along with it, but may end up getting an inner at a later time. I love the size of the footprint, the open views, and no moving parts/buckles/etc.

But, I'm torn between the cuben and sil versions. I've read the Tramplite review, which was super helpful. However, it is primarily for the sil version, which he prefers due to the many different pitches that can be achieved, which more easily combat driving rain and high winds found above the tree-line. But, since I'll be below the tree-line, I don't feel like this would be an issue really. Am I wrong?

Can any Cricket owners chime in? Likes? Dislikes? Any input would be appreciated.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Cricket on 05/21/2013 09:40:16 MDT Print View

Ron Bell, Mr. MLD himself, was recently asked on Facebook what his primary shelter was. Here's his reply:

"It depends on where and when I'm going- The last time I went out in Summer in the Blue Ride I took a Cricket Tent. I wanted the bug protection on that trip and the tarp like views of the Cricket are nice. The Cricket Tarp with a SuperLight Bivy all net hood is my all around set up."

Since he's pretty local to the AT, I'm guessing that's what he'd use there, especially since it's such a light combo.

I'm on the other side of the country, but also use that setup. (I use a Duo for more luxurious camping). I find the cuben version a bit more flexible than that review indicated, but the silnylon version is indeed more easily stretched than the cuben. The cuben version is also more impervious to rain hitting the roof than the sometimes misty silnylon.

Michael Rasmussen
(michaeldr) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
MLD Cuben Cricket on 05/21/2013 14:27:46 MDT Print View

I own the cuben cricket with the innernet and I like it very much. I do quite a bit of backpacking on the AT in Tenn. and NC and it works very well for this part of the country.

The positive aspects are that it packs small and is lightweight. I usually try to sleep in shelters, but it is easy to carry this as a backup just in case they are full. I like the fact that I can use it as a tarp if bugs are not a problem or quickly add the innernet. You have the option to attach the innernet beforehand so it's quick to get a tight pitch for the entire system within a couple of minutes. Another positive is the small footprint which allows you to pitch it in fairly tight places. Even with the cuben you can get the front fairly low in case of bad weather, but if I expect bad weather I would use the innernet. I have the .75 version of cuben and have not found any issues with the durability. Ron does an excellent job with the construction.

On the downside, the cricket can be a little small for taller hikers. I am 6'1" and use a 6'6" bag. It fits ok, but there is not much head or foot room remaining when using the innernet. Ideally, I would prefer a bit more room, but it's ok. Without the innernet I have enough room. Lastly, it requires 2 hiking poles. For me this is not an issue since I always carry poles, but for others it might be. I hope this helps.

Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
Re: MLD Cuben Cricket on 05/21/2013 14:53:19 MDT Print View

Thanks to both of you! This is very helpful. I'm glad to hear that you both have positive things to say about the cuben version. Also glad to hear that you can pitch it low for bad weather. I saw Ron's comment about the Cricket on the MLD Facebook, which is cool to know that it's his shelter of choice as well.

I'm 6'1" too, but I'm sure I can cope with the length. I also only carry one trekking pole, but I'm going to try a transition to two poles, so that won't be a problem either.

Edited by XstevieX on 05/21/2013 14:55:38 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
hex on 05/21/2013 15:44:02 MDT Print View

Just get the hexamid instead, it only takes one pole to setup which is a huge plus.

Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
Re: hex on 05/21/2013 15:48:59 MDT Print View

I already own a Hexamid with the net floor, Cricket is appealing because of the smaller footprint and fewer lines/stakes.

Michael Rasmussen
(michaeldr) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
MLD Cricket door on 05/21/2013 17:56:57 MDT Print View

You may want to check out this link. Here is an example of a door that you can add to the Cricket. It was made by Chris Zimmerman. It weighs approx 1 oz and would make it very difficult for even blowing rain to get into the sleeping area. It just clips onto the cricket with the existing clips and no additional stakes. I have one, but up to now have not had a need to use it. However, it does provide additional peace of mind if I get into a bad storm.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Cuben MLD Cricket tarp for an AT thru-hike? on 05/21/2013 19:25:29 MDT Print View

ookworks also make a door for the Trailstar and could probably make something similar for the Cricket. A combined cuben rain skirt and door would be nice.

Randy Cain
(bagboy) - MLife

Locale: Palmdale, CA
Zimmerbuilt ROCKS!!! on 08/10/2013 00:10:22 MDT Print View

You might as well scratch Oookworks off of your least for now. I've sent 3 emails expressing interest in his work, because his inners look fantastic. No response to ANY of them. And a buddy of mine has been waiting for over 4 months for his inner!!

Chris Zimmer, on the other hand, shipped out 3 different orders to me within 2 days of placing them!! And one of those orders was for four custom sized pockets! He's fast & furious!! And everything I've gotten from him has been awesome and REALLY reasonably priced! I hadn't even heard of him till a couple months ago. Now he's my go-to guy for anything custom. Very responsive, great work, and speedy!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Cuben MLD Cricket tarp for an AT thru-hike? on 08/10/2013 03:15:11 MDT Print View

Also consider the MLD Patrol.
It has a similar foot print and weight, but has more room around the head/face area when pitched.

It does require two poles, but the pole at the foot can be short. A found stick easily works.