MLD (Mountain Laurel Designs) is one of a small number of growing cottage companies in the US creating high quality backpacking gear. A lot of this gear is ultralight focused, and uses materials that are not being used or offered by the large outdoor.
The Duomid Shelter (.75 cuben fiber material) weighs only 14oz / 400gms. The low weight is due to the fact that it does not have a floor or any poles (you use your hiking pole)
An inner net can be placed inside the shelter providing protection from bugs, and providing a more traditional Pro Silnylon bathtub style floor. This additional piece adds 10oz.
Pyramids, or Mids, are arguably the strongest and most weather resistant type of tents. They pitch with one or two poles (I just need my one hiking pole), are enclosed on all sides, have steep walls that shed wind and snow, and offer excellent weather protection. Mids are the top choice for serious wilderness expeditions in foul conditions, yet - like any four season tent - they can also be used in three-season conditions.
The Cuben fiber is lightweight, highly durable, and is 50-70% lighter than Kevlar, four times stronger than Kevlar, and allow flex without losing strength. It also weighs less than silnylon, floats on water, is 100% waterproof before stitched and has high chemical and UV resistance.
The set up of this shelter is very easy and quick, which is imperative in bad weather.
This shelter does cost a fair chunk of change, $450 for the tarp and $165 for the inner bug net. Personally I think its well worth the cost, but its still a lot to put down for a tarp shelter.
Another drawback is that the shelter requires a generous amount of space to set up properly. Also since it is not freestanding, you have to pitch it in a place where you can use stakes.
I love this shelter. It offers a generous amount of space and protection for how little it weighs. It is also very versatile. You can use it in lots of different environments. I have used it both in the snow and in the desert and found it worked great in both situations. I am sure I will be using it for many upcoming adventures.
Justin McCormick grew up in the Yukon Territories in a cabin on Nisutlin Bay. Being surrounded by the majestic and harsh wilderness of the north, he developed a passion for canoeing, hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. He currently resides in Texas and is trying to impart his passion for the outdoors to his four children.