HOW LONG BEFORE MY ORDER IS SHIPPED?
WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT LEAD TIMES?
MLD offers a wide range of unique, high-quality UL Gear all of which is custom built in our local shop. Orders are built as they are received, to the strictest quality standards. If your credit card or PayPal account has been charged, rest easy your order is in the production queue and we are building it as soon as possible. All efforts are made to meet the following lead times:
BACKPACKS: 6 weeks
QUILTS: 6 weeks
PYRAMIDS: 6 weeks
TARPS: 6 weeks
SUPERLIGHT BIVYS: 6 weeks
Thanks for your patience while we build your Super Awesome UL Gear!
CUBEN FIBER OR SILNYLON?
The main decision is cost vs. weight. The functional differences will not be very significant for 90% of users 90% of the time, but here they are:
STRENGTH: The Cuben version is stronger than the Silnylon version because the Cuben Fiber .75 oz fabric is 6X stronger than SilNylon fabric and the tie-outs pull test to higher strengths. We bond and then additionally over-bond the seams. We reinforce and then double bartack through 6 or more layers of the Cuben or Silnylon at main corners. The Pro Silnylon version is very strong and has been well tested all over the world and has never failed in the field. Both are strong enough for a very wide range of environments, and this question should not be a prime consideration for selection.
WEIGHT: The Cuben Fiber Version is lighter but costs more.
STRETCH: The Cuben fabric stretches less – a small plus and a small minus in different ways. The lower stretch of the Cuben version requires a little more precision in staking and the orientation/geometry of the panels. If a tight pitch is set, it will stay tight when wet. The Cuben version can not be pitched in some of the more extreme configurations vs. the SilNylon using a very steep wall or door angles. The Cuben version works best at more moderate angles and a flatter and lower pitch. For snow loading, this would make the Cuben version a bit less desirable.
SNOW: SilNylon is very slippery, and snow will slide off a little better than with Cuben Fiber. If using the Cuben version in light to medium snow, you may need to shake it off about 20% more often. Frequent winter users that expect more snow will prefer the Pro SilNylon version and will want to pitch it with steeper walls. However- neither version is intended as a full-on winter snow shelter- We make DuoMids and SuperMids for that!
SUMMARY: If you prefer a slightly quicker learning curve, and sometimes easier pitching and/or a bit wider range of configurations and/or you will experience more snow on frequent trips then the SilNylon version might be better for you.
If you are after something ultra light and ultra strong, you are probably after the Cuben Fiber version.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN .5 , .75, .85 & 1.5 CUBEN FIBER?
.5, .75, .85, and 1.5 is the ounce per yard weight of the Cuben Fiber. Cuben Fiber, or Dyneema® Composite Fabric, is one of the lightest and strongest fabrics on earth and it comes in hundreds of weights and styles. MLD has been making outdoor gear out of Cuben Fiber DCF longer than any other company, and we have thoroughly tested many different weights an styles to find the ones best suited to each of the products we make. We use the following:
.5 CUBEN FIBER | At .5 ounces per yard, this is our lightest weight Cuben Fiber. We offer some of our smaller Mids and tarps in this weight. It is good for 3-Season use. Due to how incredibly lightweight it is, it will have a shorter service than heavier weight Cuben.
.75 CUBEN FIBER | Is the go to weight for our lightest Pro Level tarps, shelters, bivy floors, rain chaps, and stuff sacks. This weight and style of cuben fiber is also known as CT2k.08 , CT2E.08 and CF8.
.85 CUBEN FIBER | Our new “Camo Custom” Cuben Fiber is .85 ounces per yard. This new color and weight is available as a custom option on all our tarps and shelters.
1.5 CUBEN FIBER | Incredibly strong and waterproof, this is what we use in our packs, dry bags, and bear bags.
3.3 HYBRID CUBEN NON-WOVEN & WOVEN FACE | Is used in our backpacks and other small but tough gear.
To learn more about our fabric choices, how we test them, and why we choose them, visit our FABRIC MOJO.
DO I REALLY NEED TO SEAM SEAL?
If you have purchased a Cuben Fiber product, no. Cuben Fiber does not require seam sealing.
If you have purchased a SilNylon product, yes! We would happily factory seam seal your shelter for you for a small fee, an option that is offered at checkout with each shelter. Each of our SilNylon shelters also comes with a tube of McNett Sil-Net Seam Sealer, if you would rather do it yourself. It is STRONGLY recommended you use this supplied seam sealer to seal and strengthen the seams of your shelter.
HOW DO I SEAM SEAL MY SHELTER?
1. Pitch and inspect your shelter for any issues. Once it is seam sealed, it is non-returnable except for significant defects.
2. Use the supplied SilNet Sealer and ONLY the SilNet Sealer. (If you want to dilute it or use some other silicone sealant it should work OK and is common (research this yourself online) but, you are on your own- results may vary and are not covered by warranty! If you go this route, it is assumed you know 100% what you are doing and have done it before!!!)
3. Pitch the shelter tightly. Temperatures should be above 60 F and humidity below 80%. You may do this indoors. You may also do one seam at a time indoors if the seam is stretched slightly. Pinning one seam from each end on the floor between two heavy objects works OK.
4. We use the SilNet straight from the tube. Do not make a big hole in the sealer tube – start small so that you can control flow. Multiple small application is a lot better than one big smear.
5. Main Seams: Place a small bead on the seam along the stitching. Work on a 3’- 4’ section at a time. Use a finger to press the sealer into the stitching and the small valley at the edge of the seam where it is rolled under.
ALLOW AT LEAST 24 HOURS TO FULLY DRY.
NOTE: You only need to seal the OUTSIDE of the shelter. You do not need to seal the bottom perimeter roller edge stitching. It is OK to add a small bead on the leading edge of the triangle tie-outs reinforcement stitching, but it is not required.
SPECIAL AREAS: Add a little sealer to any tie-out stitching on the middle of a panel (Mids, Cricket, and SuperTarps). Seal the zipper storm flap stitching and tie-outs on the Mids. Seal the stitching and apex tie-outs areas on the Mids, Crickets, and TrailStars.
IMPORTANT: Do no go back and forth over the wet seam too much – after a minute or three it will get gummy and look bad; it is better to wait for 8 hrs and then add some over any area you missed.
HOW DO I SET UP MY TRAILSTAR?
MIDDLE PITCH INSTRUCTIONS
The most common setup for the TrailStar is the “Middle Pitch” – a pitch which uses one of the middle edge tie-outs for the door pole. Use the “middle pitch” when adding a TrailStar Solo InnerNet.
1. Loosely lie the shelter out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles.
2. Stake down the five primary corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter. The two primary corners, next to the center door pole tie-out, should be moved about 1 – 2 in | 2.5 – 5 cm closer together that the other primary corner stake points: 1 in | 2.5 cm for a lower door, 2 in | cm for a higher door.
3. Insert trekking pole in the center at about 51 – 55 in | 130 – 140 cm high.
4. Add the door pole at about 43 – 51 in |110 – 130 cm – set the height to whatever is tight, depending on the width of the front corners.
5. Use built in Linelocks to tighten each corner.
DONE, in 1.5 minutes or less!
HIGH PITCH INSTRUCTIONS
The fast setup in the “High Pitch” uses the five primary corners with one pole off one of those five primary points.
1. Loosely lie the shelter out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles. (15 sec)
2. Stake down four corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter; Shorter lines for a low pitch, longer lines for a high pitch. (20sec)
3. Insert trekking pole in the center at about 51 – 55 in | 130 – 140 cm high. (10 sec)
4. Stake out 5th corner off a stick or 47 – 51 | 120 – 130 cm trekking pole. (25 sec)
5. Use built in LineLocks to tighten each corner. (20 sec)
DONE, in 1.5 minutes or less!
Since the TrailStar is a five-sided shelter, it will stand up with only four of the five main corners staked down.
• If you have your TrailStar all staked out, low to the ground, easily loosen one corner using the LineLock, then duck inside and re-tighten the LineLock by reaching out from the inside. It’s easier than it sounds!
• If you do not need your TrailStar in the full low pitch; use a second trekking pole or stick (about hip height) and pitch one corner off the ground as a door. This creates a nice tall door.
• If you want “in between protection” (a smaller door), you can make a knee-height eyebrow door arch using a second trek pole about 24 in | 61 cm tall on a center side tie-out.
• One or two sides of the TrailStar can be staked tight to the ground while the other sides are set higher, using longer guylines, to make it a wedge shape. This allows you to block the wind from one or more directions while still getting great views from the others.
• For really harsh wind, all ten stake points can be used for an incredibly stable, low, wind shedding, bombproof shelter. Pitched all the way low it should be able to handle 60 mph winds!
•The TrailStar can be pitched really high using a long stick or two trek poles lashed together and longer guylines. Think: Walk-In Party Cabana!
For more setup variations, visit STEVE HORNER’S TRAILSTAR PITCHING GUIDE.
There is also a great video on pitching the TrailStar here.
HOW DO I SET UP MY MID SERIES SHELTER?
A four-sided pyramid tent is one of the easiest shelters to set up! After a few test pitches, most users can set it in in under 2 min on a normal day, and under 1 min when properly motivated!
Cut four 18 in | 46 cm guylines. Tie a 2 in | 5 cm stake loop on one end. Thread the free end of the guyline into the corner LineLocks on the shelter, then up through the rear LineLock slot/hole, over the bar and down through the front LineLock slot/hole. Tie an overhand knot with a 1 in | 2.5 cm tail to prevent the line from pulling out of the LineLock.
FIRST SET UP:
1. Adjust the corner guylines to be short – no more than 2 in | 5 cm of slack from the LineLock.
2: Stake out the rear corners to the ground. The rear wall baseline between the corners should be medium tight, with no slack.
3: Stake out the front corners. The side baseline of the shelter should be tight. Watch the angle formed by the rear and side walls of the shelter at the rear corners and position the front corners so that the rear corners form 90-degree angles. The goal is to have a perfectly square/rectangle floor base. As viewed from overhead the corners and corner guylines form a perfect X shape right out to the stakes.
4: Unzip the front door leaving the bottom buckle snapped.
5: Reach or step in and insert the center pole – adjust it’s height to make the shelter tight.
6: Now you can cut and add any other mid-panel or mid-baseline guylines as needed. The lengths needed will be obvious.
NOTE: Use a small bungee loop on any center panel tie-outs to limit wind force on that tie-outs. DO NOT stake out a center side panel tie-outs too much – it should only move the wall a couple of inches out at most! DO NOT pull it so far it changes the shape of the mid-wall.
That’s It!!! The shelter should be tight and square. You can slightly tighten each corner LineLock if needed.
Almost all setup problems occur when the shelter floor is not square, with all corner angles as close to 90-degrees as possible, or slack is left in the corner guylines.
NOTE: See the setup info for attaching the InnerNets on the InnerNet product page.
Your first setup is a good time to seam seal your shelter IF you have purchased a SilNylon version and did not have it factory seam sealed. Use the SilNet supplied to seal the main seams, center panels tie-outs, door zipper stitching, and the apex stitching. Use only a SMALL amount and do not go back over an area after 5 min. You can use your finger to push the sealer into the seams. If you miss a spot, wait until it is dry and then re-coat as necessary. See ‘Seam Sealing’ tab for instructions.
HOW DO I SET UP MY INNERNET?
The very first time you set up your Innernet with your Mid or TrailStar, it will take about 10-20 mins to get the pitch correct, but after the corner bungee loops are tied and adjusted the InnerNet and pyramid shelter will mate and set up quickly!
FIRST SET UP
1. First set up you Mid or TrailStar
2. Then insert the Innernet and clip it to the inside apex loop. If you pyramid is set high, you may need a short loop of bungee to connect the InnerNet Apex to the shelter. On the DuoMid and SuperMid InnerNet, the extra top apex cinch bungee is used to reach the Pyramid’s clip.
3. Note the distance from each corner of the Innernet to the outer pyramid shelter and the length of bungee loop needed to reach its corners.
4: Cut and Tie 3/32″ bungee loops to the Innernet corners.
5: Adjust the tension on the Innernet floor by lengthening or shortening the bungee loops.
6: You may use additional stakes for the InnerNet corners or clip them to the shelter stakes using the long bungee cord loops of some guyline.
7. We highly advise you also use McNett ZipCare on the zipper when new and then every 30 days of use for a long life.
To give you various pitch options in the Mid Series Pyramids – higher off the ground or low – The short elastic corner tie-out loops (with hooks) on the InnerNets are not long enough to fit any of the shelters exactly. The hooks can be moved up or down to create the best angle for various pitches- just slide the small hook higher or lower to change the angle.
NOTE: DO NOT OVERSTRESS THE CORNER TIE-OUTS. ONLY PULL AND STAKE THEM TIGHT ENOUGH TO GENTLY FORM THE FLOOR’S SHAPE!
WHAT SIZED POLES DO I NEED FOR MY SHELTER?
The answer to this varies by shelter type and size. Each shelter specifies the pole length required in the product description. Are your trekking poles too short? On many of our shelters, you can request a free pole jack extender at checkout! You can also purchase pole jacks on our Custom Poles & Jacks product page. Don’t hike with trekking poles? No worries! We also sell UL Carbon Fiber Pyramid Tent Poles and UL Carbon Fiber Tarp Poles!
ANY TIPS FOR USING A STAND ALONE BIVY?
1. Campsite location can make a huge difference. In bad weather, finding a semi-protected area under a rock overhang, behind a natural windbreak, the base of a large conifer tree or cave can offer a lot more livability.
2. Using a synthetic sleep quilt offers a measure of comfort, warmth, and safety over a down bag in the event you have to enter and exit in rainy conditions or are forced to sleep in wet clothes.
3. Use of a pack liner keeps your gear dry in the pack, and the wet outer pack body + other wet great can be stuffed into the liner for storage inside the bivy as a pillow if needed.
4. No bivy sack, even non-waterproof highly breathable DWR bivys, are 100% condensation free in all conditions. This bivy is one of the best, but taking preventative measures to limit condensation is key. Campsite selection, venting and containing wet gear and clothing inside the bivy are imperative to lowering condensation. In challenging conditions, the overall goal is to be warm and being slightly damp and warm, is far better than wet and cold, or dry and cold.
5. If you expect lots of rain or very bad weather conditions, consider using a small tarp + the FKT bivy for those sleep periods.
For some great use notes and more tips, visit the gear review at Backpacking Light.
HOW DO I MEASURE FOR A PACK?
MLD torso length is measured from the bottom of the pack below the waist belt wings to the point where the shoulder straps attach to the pack. 95% of user find the right pack size by using the following height guide:
TORSO LENGTH: 17 in | 43 cm
FITS: Approx. 5′ – 5’2″ | 152 cm – 157 cm
TORSO LENGTH: 18 in | 46 cm
FITS: Approx. 5’2″ – 5’6″ | 157 cm – 168 cm
TORSO LENGTH: 20 in | 51 cm
FITS: Approx. 5’6″ – 5’10” | 168 cm – 178 cm
TORSO LENGTH: 21.5″ | 55 cm
FITS: Approx. 5’10” – 6’2″ | 178 cm – 188 cm
If you need help deciding the right size, please feel free to give us a call. Please don’t order multiple sizes as a guess! Test Fit You Pack Indoors after Receiving it – We are happy to exchange for different size or refund new/unused packs. If In Doubt – SIZE UP!
SHOULD I GET PACK FITTED AT MY LOCAL GEAR STORE?
NO! Different pack makers and outdoor stores measure for torso length differently AND frameless pack, like ours, are measured and fit differently than fully framed packs with large hip belts. DO NOT go to your local outdoor store (REI etc…) and “get pack fitted” and then select a size/length based on that measurement because we promise you, it will be wrong!
HOW DO I HANG MY BEAR BAG?
PCT BEAR BAG HANGING TECHNIQUE
0: Find a stick 2 ft – 5 ft long, about 0.5″ diameter.
1: Put a rock or gravel/sand in a rock sack and throw it over a branch 18 -26 ft high.
2: Clip the rock sack side of the line into the SuperFly Mini Biner.
3: Pull the rock sack line to pull the food bag up to the branch.
4: Reach up over your head and tie the line around the stick. Use a girth hitch or clove hitch.
5: Lower the bag until the stick jams at the SuperFly Mini Biner suspending the bag at least 8 ft off the ground…10 ft is better for tall Grizz.
6: Reach over your head and stuff the left-over line into the rock sack and cinch it closed.
Pull the line down, un-clip the line from the SuperFly Mini Biner, snap the stick to release the knot and lower the bag slowly. Watch your head.
Forgetful? Still not sure? DOWNLOAD THESE INSTRUCTIONS. (Don’t worry, we made them small and super UL.)