Monday, September 22, 2014

My MLD Duomid has arrived and these are my first impressions

It looks like this
I ordered a MLD Duomid a few weeks ago and it arrived today.  I am sick today and I am not in a good mood.    I think I'm going to keep the Duomid, but it's not what I was expecting.  It was supposed to weigh 20 ounces, but it weighs much more.   I got perimeter bug netting and I know that added a few ounces.  Still, I was not expecting this floor-less shelter to weigh 30 ounces with stakes, bag and lines.  My 3 person Shires Tarp-tent with full bug netting and a full bathtub floor weighs 43 ounces with stakes, poles and lines.

It weighs this much with lines, stakes and pole jack and stuff sack
I think the listed weight for the Duomid on the MLD website is off by five ounces.  I'm just not sure how much weight I added with the perimeter bug netting and the extra snaps that come with it.

This is what it came with, the seam sealer was missing and there were no directions or receipt
If I use a polycro floor then the Duomid will still weigh about 30 ounces but if I use a tyvek floor like I had planned the mid will weigh about 33 ounces.  That's only a ten ounce saving and for that savings I get less space, less bug protection and I have to carry a heavier trekking pole or fart around tying my poles together.   What I do get is a prettier tent that will hold up better in the wind and the snow.  I don't think that my Shires Tarp-tent would hold up at all in the snow and it's not particularly good in the wind with it's long side walls.

If I bought the inner net I would have a shelter that weighs just as much as my 3  person tarp-tent  so it made no sense to me to get the inner net.

My trekking poles are Black Diamond ultra mountain FL women's poles that extend to 110cm and they are too short to use with the Duomid even with the pole jack, so I will have to use heavier poles or will have to take the time to tie my existing poles together and carry the extra weight of cord to tie them together.  Tying my poles together will take extra time and the cord to tie them will add a little extra weight.

One of the selling points of the Duomid for me was being able to quickly pitch it in the rain and the cold with just one trekking pole, so I'm disappointed. I suppose I could try to find a 41cm rock to put under my pole, but I don't think I want a huge rock in my living space.  I'll have to take the time to tie my poles together.  Maybe I can come up with a good fast solution using Velcro.

My pole is way too short, even with the pole jack
the mid is pitched tight to the ground here too.

 I bought the mid because I wanted something lighter and smaller and more wind resistant.  It's a little bit lighter but is it $300 lighter?  Maybe the answer is yes, but only because I  want to be able to camp in the wind and maybe even the snow.

The Duo mid does look to be very well made and the stuff sack is certainly ample.  In fact the stuff sack is twice as big as it need to be.  I wonder why it is so big?  The stuff sack is well made too, much better made than the sack that came with my tarp-tent.

My mid was not shipped with the seam sealer that was supposed to be included and it says I'll void my warranty if I use any other seam sealer.  So I emailed MLD about this and I hope they will send me some.  What a shame it was not included, because it's going to rain all week now and I won't be able to seam seal it in the rain.  Today was probably the last day this week that I could have seam sealed it.

I found directions for the Mid online and it did not take me too long to cut up all the string and attach it.  The directions said that the length of strings needed for the side tie outs would be obvious, but it wasn't really.  Still I was able to get it pitched for the first time without too much trouble.  I am going to have to singe the ends of all the cords I had to cut to stop them from fraying.

The mid has a very strong smell to it that I hope will fade with time.  I had a headache when I pitched the mid and the smell made my headache worse.  The peak has a vent in it.  The vent has bug netting in it but there is a gap in the attachment that is big enough to let mosquitoes in.  I'll have to find a way to plug that gap during bug season if mosquitoes are smart enough to find their way in and around the vent.

The mid looks to have ample space for both my daughter and I and all of our gear. I'm only 5'5" and I sleep with my backpack under my feet so I will be able to store all my gear at my head or at my feet.  My daughter is about 5'3" and growing.  In fact there is no reason why we can't fit the dog in there with us.  I never let my dog into my tarp-tent with it's bathtub floor, but I think I will let the dog into the mid since it does not have a floor that she can destroy.  She will have to be trained to stay off my sleeping bag though.

 So bottom line, not as light as I had hoped but plenty big enough and plenty strong enough for wind and snow.  Now I have to find out how livable it is with out a floor or full bug netting.

I'm going to go with this self improvised system.  It will give me ten centimeters of adjustment and by using the rivit on the pole I can prevent the poles from slipping down under pressure, but I can still slide them up and down for adjustments via the flick locks.  I think this will work, it won't take too much time to tie my poles together and there won't be as much of a weight penalty as there would be if I packed a dedicated pole.  The only weight penalty with this is the cord. 

If I want to pitch my tarp and go hiking with my trekking poles I will have to find a stick to prop the mid up with, that or tie the top to a tree.  But I doubt there were be very many situations where I can tie it to a tree branch in a spot that is flat enough to pitch it. Running a line between two trees might work better depending on how saggy the line is. 

I can creatively use this rivet on my pole to keep my poles from slipping down under pressure.

With the slack in the cord I can use the flick locks to adjust the poles up and down
and at the same time the rivet on the lower pole will prevent the set up from slipping down under pressure.


Priscilla Dawn said...

This is Dawn Anderson with Paleo Meals To Go. Please tell me the address to which you would like me to send some free meals for you to review/blog about.

You can email me at:


Priscilla Dawn said...

Hi Mossy Mom,
I'll be happy to send out some meals for you to review is you'll let me know which you'd prefer:

Beef or chicken?

Strawberry/Blueberry or Mango/Pineapple/Banana?

Please email me at
Thanks much,
Dawn Anderson
Operations Manager
Paleo Meals To Go