/ MLD Duomid tarp tent, reviews and advice please?

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Snoweider - on 24 Sep 2012
I've been offered a second hand Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid at a really good price (100), including a home made bugnest. I've been toying with the idea of a tarp tent for a while, but was sort of looking at the MLD Trailstar, which looks stronger in high winds, and I wasn't sure whether to commit. This price for the Duomid seems too good to miss, but I'm after views and experience on the Duomid if you have any!?

I'd be using it for winter bivis, and for summer multi day trips in Scotland mostly. Most of the people I know who use them and like them are super-dooper lightweight geeks, and don't mind a bit of suffering (I'm the other sort, a luxury backpacker with a stupidly heavy rucksack).
Thanks!
Shearwater - on 24 Sep 2012
If you've not already been there, take a look at backpackinglight.com as it is full of lightweight masochists and less masochistic people who seem to have better luck with weather forecasts than I'd expect in the UK.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_i...

I'm not a fan of these sorts of shelters in wet, windy weather. Some folk do make and sell non-mesh nests that keep wind and windblown rain or snow at bay, though I don't know if there's an off-the-shelf model for this tent.

For the price, it is hard to argue against it though!
Snoweider - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Shearwater:
I know, tricky when its such a bargain. I'm wondering if there are any normal people, not weirdo lightweighters (lovely as they are), who have actually tried it, in average uk weather. Maybe I'll be the first....

A few years ago I took the plunge and tried Paramo, and discovered that the hype is true. Maybe its the same for tarp tents?
Northern Climber on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Snoweider:

not used one, but used a tarp and bivvy bag a few times.

my advice would be to get it as the price is good. then try it out for a few trips, if you don't like it then sell it on again, if you do like it you've got yourself a bargain!
Snoweider - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Northern Climber:

I've decided to go for it. Its my best opportunity to take the plunge in to tarp-tent weirdness without investing too much financially!
aliander7 - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to Snoweider: you sure have made a very good deal there, at that price you will have no problem whatsoever selling it on if you don't like it. It is effectively a tent really, only lighter,more spaceous and a lot more headroom than your average backpacking tent, so not really a point for too much masochism. Mesh tent can be a bit drafty though, I find it ok with a light bivi bag added. You could get a full ripstop inner from UK based Oookworks or US based Bear Paw Designs, but both at considerable cost. I have experimented with that and similar shelters while ticking of QMDs towards my ML, as was fed up with heavy rucksacks especially when carrying winter gear.
With the Duomid I would try to look for reasonably sheltered spots where possible and level ground will help to get a good pitch which is quite crucial. You'll need a pole that extends to over 145cm or use an extender. Knowing its limitations it can be a great shelter, definitely is designed with great attention to detail and all.
Personally I like the smaller Solomid and then the Trailstar. Loads of space, easy to pitch even on uneven ground, and bomber in the wind. Have used mine a lot in Scotland and summer in the Alps and really like it. The inner you get with the Duomid should normally fit under a Trailstar as well. Am now getting myself a proper tent with a solid inner again though, go figure...
Snoweider - on 27 Sep 2012
In reply to aliander7:
Its arrived! Going to go and play with it in the wind and rain tomorrow. My pole is not long enough, as I use exped quad poles, so will need the 12" pole jack that came with it, not sure how stable it is with the pole jack, so looks like I'm going to have to experiment a bit and maybe fix something up myself. Any experience folks have with the various ways of extending poles also gratefully received!
aliander7 - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Snoweider: some thin strips of gaffer tape down the opening of the extender sorted out any wobbling for me.
Would try that first as the lashing option can be a bit of a faff depending on your poles.
galpinos - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Snoweider:

I've always fancied one but never managed to justify the cost. Could you do a review once you've got some use out of it? They seem popular in the states but less so here, I'm never sure how effective they are in our climate.
Snoweider - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to galpinos:
So far so good- I put it up in the garden with relative ease. The pole is a bit wobbly on the 12" pole jack (I've got diddy exped quad poles), but it works. My mates home made inner is a tad heavy, so if I like the tarp after I've tested it properly I'll be ordering an inner from ookworks... keep you posted.
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Snoweider - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to galpinos:
I've just come back from a 3 night exped in the Lakes where the Duomid performed really well. I used it with the home-made inner for two nights- one v breezy wild camp near Black Moss Pot, and the other a quiet camp at Chapel Stile. On the final night we wild camped near Grisedale Hause, and although it wasn't windy, it rained heavily. I used the shelter just as a bivy tarp and was very cosy and dry. All in all its a great system.
A few points to note, I ditched the pole jack as my husband made me a custom gadget to join my two Exped Quad Poles together- a much more stable system. the weak point is now the strength of my poles... the Dumoid shed wind well, but I've not used it in a storm so that remains to be tested fully. In terms of waterproofing, my friend has sealed all the seams, but there is one bit he missed and rain dripped in there, so the shelter needs to be prepped and treated for the uk climate.
i'm now in the process of ordering an Ooknest from Ookworks. Very excited.

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