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Mountain Laurel Designs Doumid ('09, spectralite)

in Shelters - Tarps & Floorless

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (2 reviews)


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Jon Solomon
( areality )

Locale:
Lyon/Taipei
Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid ('09, spectralite) on 09/05/2009 17:57:12 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is a fantastic shelter that accompanied two avid hikers on a planned ten-day trip through the 2nd southern tier trail and its environs in the Central Mountain of Taiwan (peaks approach within meters of 4000m). Ten days turned into two very interesting weeks because of the unexpected and extremely rapid formation of typhoon Morakot, which created immmense damage in the area. Nearly 3 meters of rain in three days, with typhoon force winds! Made for a really unforgettable trip (with an unsolicited helicopter "rescue" at the end) and a great way to find out about how cool the MLD Duomid is. It's easily taken it's place as our go to shelter for one or two person use when full protection at minimum weight in the face of mayhem is valued more than just weight reduction or the interest of other tarp options. If I could have only one shelter, this would be it. In fact, I ordered a second one in silnylon just for backup.

It is an easy shelter to pitch, either raised slightly for space/ventilation, lowered for storm protection. Gives full protection. Condensation apparently less than siliconised fabrics (maybe reflects heat instead of holding it?). Provides enough space for two (@ 170cm body height). Spectralite (cuben fiber) is cool, and on really wet days, the spectralite (cuben fiber sailcloth) material lets in as much of the full spectrum of light as there is. Should be called "spectralight".
Welded tie outs with bungees half way up add stability and give the structure some flexibility that is missing from spectralite in comparison with the ultrastretch of silnylon. Used two sets of spectra lines. I did not use the Duomid during the period of highest winds because there was available space in a national park hut, but did experience typhoon torrential rains and gale (not typhoon) winds. Sealing is a must, people!!! I received the Duomid only less than 24 hours before departure; my sealing job was less than ideal. Had to use duct tape (silver industrial tape) to seal the leaks. Good news is that duct tape will adhere to spectralite even when wet; bad news is that when removing the tape, it is prone to take off a layer of the mylar film that composes spectralite's outer layer. Ron Bell, head Minister and peace purveyor at MLD, was extremely helpful in the post-trip repair process.
MLD gear is tweaked for people who like gear, know how to use it and want it optimized for: high quality construction, UL function, and reliable simplicity.

Gives excellent views with one full side open. Very livable and lovely!

Edited by areality on 09/06/2009 03:17:53 MDT.

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Andy Howell
( ecotrend )
Expensive but superb shelter on 09/16/2009 12:19:22 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've been playing around with this shelter for a couple of months now and am very impressed.

The Duomid is a massive shelter and when used for one person is sheer luxury. The pitching options are quite versatile, short for high winds and higher for more ventilation. I don't peg straight into the ground but rather I use a shorter length of chord in bad weather.

My first night out was in a real coastal storm/gale and the Duomid was not very well pitched. Things whipped around in the wind but there was no sense that the fabric was anything but bombproof. On subsequent evenings pitching has been spot on and this is a shelter that can cope with bad weather.

The mid side tie outs can be linked with the tie outs at the base of the tent but it might be easier to run a longer independent line from the mod ties in poor weather.

The key to a good pitch seems to be height. Pitch at about 55 inches and you'll have a reasonably tight pitch with tons of headroom. Go much shorter than this and the whole tension of tension of the shelter can go.

For this reason practice pitching before you can out into the wild and windy weather. Offsetting the pole gives a single user more space and it is worth knowing how long you should be extending the pole to use it effectively with the pole extender.

I worried a little about the cuben fibre. But it seems strong enough for most things the UK can throw at it. The zip is more fragile than on the sinylon version but is easy enough to work with.

I echo the comments about seam sealing. Don't cut corners with this. Hang the tent up somewhere and take your time sealing. When properly sealed it is fully waterproof.

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