MLD DuoMid Tarp/Shelter from Mountain Laurel Designs
The MLD DuoMid from Mountain Laurel Designs is a tarp which features a number of extraordinary properties. It provides space for two persons or a generously proportioned interior for those undertaking solo trips.
The side walls of the MLD DuoMid extend down to the ground, making it extremely wind resistant from all sides whilst also providing the genuine feeling of being in a tent. If greater ventilation is required, the tent can also be erected at a higher level, which also results in a larger interior.
The height of the tarp (145 cm) also renders it extremely suitable to 4-season use, including during winter. The steep sides ensure that snow slides off effectively. I myself spent a number of nights in the tarp last winter and experienced no problems in conditions where 20-30 cm of new snow fell.
The MLD DuoMid is available in various versions. The Silnylon model has a total weight of 422 grams (14.9 oz). My Cuben Fiber Version, which can also be seen in the snow on the pictures, weighs a total of 275 grams. Removing the six line locks, which provide a slightly greater degree of convenience when erecting the tarp than a pure rope loop, will enable a further reduction in weight to 248 grams to be achieved.
A further particular characteristic of this tarp is the extreme rapidity with which it can be erected. The tarp can be put up without difficulty in 60 seconds. Start by staking out the pegs at all six corners, then simply insert the trek pole in the middle. The tarp is then secure. The center side panels can also be tied out if required.
Because of the height of the tarp, MLD also offers an optional pole jack which enables the trek pole to be extended to 145 cm or higher. I myself, however, prefer to save the weight and connect my two trek poles using the belt I normally use to tie my insulated mat together whilst hiking. Hikers with adjustable trekking poles will find things easier and will be able to do without the pole jack.
I am very satisfied with the MLD DuoMid and can only recommend it. There is very little on the market which compares. The only alternatives of which I am aware are the Alphamid from Oware USA or the Wild Oasis by Six Moon Designs as a single-person model.
Mountain Laurel Designs is a small company which has specialsied in ultralight equipment. MLD was founded in 2002 by Ron Bell, who has already made a name for himself in the ultralight scene. Lead times are currently approximately 6-8 weeks. I am currently using a number of his products and have never yet been disappointed.
MLD DuoMId Silnylon $175,00
MLD DuoMid Spectralite/Cuben Fiber $365,00
Mountain Laurel Designs: www.mountainlaureldesigns.com