MLD Trailstar Review / Overview

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by Dave V, May 17, 2019.

  1. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Now I know that most people here have either owned/own or are familiar with the Trailstar... :p

    Just a little something I put together with a few hints and tips I have come up with myself and some advice from others..

    Full article HERE

    A bit of background first

    After more than 50 nights in varied conditions and locations, I thought it was about time that I give my MLD Trailstar a review/overview and a little information as to why I chose the shelter in the first place and what I had used before..

    In 2015 I decided that I wanted to mix photography and hiking as a way to get out and explore more. I started going out using gear I had from years gone by and decided that I wanted to start camping out.

    Camping would be a way of not only enabling me to walk further, not having to turn back and walk back to the car at the end of the day but put me in a position where I could capture sunset and sunrise landscapes.

    It had been years since I had camped and the only tent I had dated back some 10-12 years, a Vango Force 10 Mk3. This was obviously too heavy to be lugging around so I did a quick search online and found that Vango were still a popular brand and that the Blade 200…. seemed to be a popular choice as well as the Banshee.

    I bought a Blade 200 and set off out, after only a few camps I realised the shelter was not really designed for open moorland camping. Only a small amount of wind on top of a tor would flex and deform the pole. I did a little more research online and ended up buying a Hilleberg Akto.

    The Akto was second hand and I picked it up at a relatively good price. Unfortunately, I didn’t get on with this either. I am 6ft tall and found that I either woke up with a wet footbox of my sleeping bag where the inner had touched the fly or the inner flapped in my face all night long.

    Back to the drawing board.. By pure chance, I stumbled upon a YouTube channel of someone hiking and camping on Dartmoor, Tony Hobbs. This was when I first saw a Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar and I loved the simplicity and space it seemed to offer whilst watching Tony’s videos.

    I advertised my Akto and it sold within a day, leaving me with enough money to buy a new Trailstar from MLD and an Oookworks inner.

    Soon after ordering my Trailstar I had an email from Ron Bell, Chief Happiness Officer / Design Minister as his email signature read advising the order had been received and just over two weeks later my Trailstar was at my local post office. As you can imagine I was very keen to pitch the shelter but our garden was all loose shingle so I set about seam sealing it.

    The Shelter
    The Trailstar is effectively a five-sided shaped pyramid tarp with various pitch options, superb wind shedding performance and stacks of space.

    When I ordered my Trailstar, seam sealing before delivery was not an offered option. MLD now offer this service for an additional cost and I would recommend anyone who has never seam sealed a shelter before either taking this option or practicing prior to doing it for real on the shelter.


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