The Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD) SuperMid is a large floorless, single-pole, non-freestanding shelter. With enough coverage for up to four people, this lightweight silnylon shelter offers an excellent amount of space for its weight, as well as four-season weather protection. MLD also offers optional perimeter bug netting (sewn-in) as well as a bug tent insert which converts the SuperMid to a double-wall shelter (although you do lose a bit of floor space, and three occupants becomes more reasonable).
The SuperMid pitched with joined trekking poles at a river-side camp.
Like MLD's other pyramid shelters, the SuperMid allows for a very quick deployment, which is excellent for inclement weather: stake out the four corners in a reasonably square shape, unzip the door, insert and raise the pole, and tighten the corners. Done. I love shelters that are this simple and easy to pitch. MLD has designed the SuperMid so that it can be pitched using a single pole or supported by a limb above using an exterior loop sewn to the apex. The single support pole can be anything from a site sourced staff (limb), to joined trekking poles, to a packraft paddle.
The SuperMid pitched using a site-sourced pole and rock at a higher-elevation camp near Mt. Rogers, Virginia. The next morning found several inches of snow accumulated on the ground and shelter.
I was able to use the SuperMid on several overnight trips, including a camp next to a river with temperatures in the low teens, and a camp just off Mt. Rogers in Virginia where we woke up to several inches of snowfall but with temperatures never dropping much below freezing. I tried using connected trekking poles as well as a site-sourced pole and rock for support, both of which sufficed. However, if you are expecting high wind or heavy snowfall, I would recommend a third-party carbon pole or a large stick for support. Wrenching the corners down with trekking poles for support seemed weak. I didn't experience condensation on either occasion, even with accumulated snow blocking some of the lower ventilation.
The SuperMid sealed up and using the side-panel tie outs to create a little more usable floor space.
The SuperMid provided plenty of weather-protected floor space for myself, my wife, Robin, and our border collie mix trekking companion, Max. I found myself positioning the base of the support pole closer to the door (as opposed to directly under the apex) and canting it inward to make sufficient space at the rear for Robin and me to sleep next to one another. The additional tie outs on the sides were welcome for both wind protection as well as the ability to claim a bit more usable floor space.
|Year/Model||2011 Mountain Laurel Designs SuperMid|
|Style||2-4 person pyramid shelter|
|Fabrics||1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon|
|Weight||Manufacturer Specified: 24 oz (680 g)
BPL Measured: 27.6 oz (782 g) with corner lines, liberally applied seam sealer, and stuff sack
|Dimensions||Manufacturer Specified: 8.9 ft (2.71 m) x 8.9 ft (2.71 m) x 5.75 ft (1.75 m)
BPL Measured: 8.83 ft (2.69 m) x 8.83 ft (2.69 m) x 5.75 ft (1.75 m)
|Protected Area||Manufacturer Specified: 70 sq ft (6.5 sq m)
BPL Measured: 68 sq ft (6.32 sq m)
|Floor Area/ Weight Ratio||40.24 sq ft/lb (.008 sq m/g) based on 68 sq ft (6.32 sq m) floor area and weight of 1.69 lb (767 g)|
|Features||Closable peak vent, Dyneema X reinforced apex with interior and exterior hang loops, both doors can be opened and tied back, mid-height door snaps allow for partial closure, eight ground level perimeter tie outs with LineLocs, center side-panel tie outs on all sides for reinforcement in high wind|
|Options||18-inch (46-cm) perimeter bug netting along bottom (adds US $75), InnerNet (adds US $195)|
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.