Trailstar users, what weather protection do you use under the tarp?

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by SafetyThird, May 11, 2018.

  1. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    OK, so I have my knotstar and I'm figuring out how to sort stuff inside. I've picked up some polycro as a groundsheet but how to protect the sleeping bag or quilt etc. When it's raining, rain's going to get under the tarp unless you're on a perfectly flat area that's well drained. I can lay out polycro over a fairly large area but, without a bathtub floor, what do you use to keep your gear dry when sleeping?

    I use an Xtherm wide pad and I'm moving over to a quilt for sleeping, when it eventually arrives, and don't want it lying on wet ground or having water run over the polycro. l guess a dwr bivi is an option but they're expensive. I could probably get a chinese inner for it but then it's up to about a kilo in weight and my scarp is only 500g heavier for some serious weather protection and a cosy inner.

    Without additional protection, I'm wondering how much weather gets under a trailstar and how seriously I need to protect against water running over the ground in a storm.

    Perhaps I'm overthinking this and it isn't really a problem but figured I'd ask folks here as the trailstar's so popular, this must have been well sorted by now so why try and reinvent the wheel :)
  2. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I don't know how this works with a Trailstar but...
    You can cut the polycro into a rectangle and form bathtub walls by folding (similar to the fold in wrapping paper on the corners of a rectangular box) and taping them. The sides will still collapse though. You can mitigate this to some extent by adding duct tape (packing tape works too) loops to the corners and middle of the long sides punch a hole to attach bungee cord with a mitten hook to attach to a suitable point on the fly. The tie-out cord will work as an attachment point with some shelters, but I don't know with a Trailstar.
  3. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I just use a MLD Suerlight bivvy, if water is forming puddles under the shelter it's probably time to move on and find some raised ground :)

    You can pitch the Traistar pretty low so there's only a couple of inches of clearance all round, with a low pitch you don't get any weather blowing in. If it's raining cats and dogs and it's running in then the height of a mat combined with a bivvy you should keep dry.
  4. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Just a flat groundsheet usually - polycryo.

    I used an Oookworks silnylon bathtub ( 70cm wide) last year, but it was too narrow really. A bivi would be better I reckon.

    Usually pitch selection means puddles avoided, though once I woke up with a small stream beside me but was ok.

    If expecting serious wet ground conditions I'd probably take a different tent with an inner.
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    murpharoo likes this.
  5. Padstowe

    Padstowe Section Hiker

    Maybe a Oooktub floor?
    As Shewie says you can pitch them quite low, but the more you close it off the more condensation (which i don't find a problem with the slope of the fly, or a quick wipe down). I also use a MLD superlight or bug bivvy haven't tried a bath tub floor in there but can't see why it wouldn't work.
    edit: missed moles post, they say you can get three widths now?
  6. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Trekkertent /oookworks do bath tub ground sheets in silnylon for £40-50 in 30d they end up about 140g I think. Never actually used mine. Site selection and polycryo seems to work for me also.
  7. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Thanks everyone, I'll have a go with just some polycro and see how I get on. l fancy a lightweight bivi with a mesh head area but that will have to wait until I'm a bit more flush or one comes along secondhand.
  8. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    Just polycro for me.
    I don't see much benefit of a breathable bivi under a mid type shelter. I just think you are contributing to the condensation issue for your sleeping bag. The mid provides the rain protection and I very rarely get condensation to the degree I'm worried about my down bag. I have however had condensation issues in bivis even the breathable non waterproof ones.
    If it's midge protection you're after a mesh inner is infinitely more liveable than a bivi under a mid type shelter I reckon.
    el manana, Teepee, Mole and 1 other person like this.
  9. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Polly sheet . Tyvek. tub floor . banna bivy . Mld bivy or as tucas or EE one . Or inner .. I hardly ever pitch low these days ,but do pitch with edges to the ground
  10. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    Polly sheet and inner net. But looking to switch to Mld bivy!
  11. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Just a groundsheet for me, usually a bathtub style as I like a dry floor to do my admin in.

    I don't really do bivvies or full covers inside shelters anymore. They are usually a hindrance and usually increase the amount of moisture in the sleep insulation, a job done much better by a bottle of Rioja than a bivy. :)
    murpharoo likes this.
  12. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Poly, Tyvek, Bathtub or bug bivy. All dependant on weather, ground expected etc.
  13. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting comments about the bivvy condensation, in 7 years of using the MLD I've never experienced any, I guess we're all different though.
    hillwalker66 likes this.
  14. Jamess

    Jamess Ultralighter

    Just polycro and careful site selection work for me.
  15. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    How effective is the ductape and cord solution? Thinkin about ditching the solomid inner for a long trip where bugs won't be a problem, but some heavy nights of rain could be..
    ooktub/trekkertent tub isn't hugely lighter than the solomid inner, so doesn't seem a worthwhile investment..
  16. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Since polycro has almost no stiffness, it depends on how suitable the attachment points on the fly are. Basically, if you can attach the four corners with a reasonable amount of tension at 45 degrees to the two sides, and if you can give some extra support in the centre of the 2 long sides (the trekking pole is good for this on one side with most shelters), then it can be a very effective system.
    No doubt you could get fancy with rods supporting the four corners, or cord run around the perimeter so you can put it under tension but I haven't tried.
    oreocereus likes this.
  17. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Does anyone have one of the 3F inners and can tell me what they weigh?
  18. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    About 350
    My custom 70 x 220 bathtubed 30d sil net tent inner by trekkertent is 300 and twice the price so I'd say they are not bad
  19. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    Yeah seems reasonable. What do you use this system under?
    I think i've also seen people put pen shafts with tiny stakes to stiffen the corners. Perhaps by the time you make it work the weight savings might be minimised..
  20. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Thanks Enzo.
  21. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    The J and T zip Ali inners will fit the trailstar. Pitched at 125-130 your'll need to tuck the top to pull it tight.

    IMG_8660.jpg IMG_5672.JPG
  22. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    The slightly larger solid J-zip is 366 gr on my scales and the solid T-zip one 332. That's without stuff sacks and with the larger having an additional zipper to turn into a T-zip of sorts.

    The Knot TS doesn't have any attachment points for the inner (either top or sides) so these would have to be added.
  23. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    The first time I used polycryo I made a "bathtub" of sorts with shockcord tie outs at the corners and plastic drinking straws for uprights, it worked well but by the third day I'd torn it down one of the long sides, wet shoes with knobbly grips going in opposite directions usually wrecks mine, since then I've not bothered to faff and just take a flat sheet if I'm using it. I like the stuff but tear strength is pretty pants once it starts, I don't think I've come across the thicker version yet though.
  24. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I don't use it any more as we now use a Duplex and a Swiftline, so it's redundant. We first used it in a Shangri La 2 and then various Hexamids, where it's pretty easy as you can add stick on loops where you need them and the net can help support it.
    Shewie's caveat is worth noting. I haven't had that problem; my main complaint with a polycro is how slippery it is.
  25. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    2 yards of 0.7 cuben and some 4mm carbon fiber tubes makes a nice bathtub. ~ 70g.
    0.7 has the same sheet thickness as 1oz but the thread count of 0.51 rather than the probably excessive count of 0.74 that the 1oz has. A little more expensive than poly though.
    Dave V likes this.

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