Just over a year ago I blogged about the advantages and disadvantages of the MLD TrailStar. Since then I used mine just once so I decided, somewhat reluctantly, to sell it.
I much prefer to backpack with a tarp or a single-walled tarptent as they are lighter and fit my style of backpacking so the TrailStar seemed to be a good fit for me. It’s a great shelter; roomy and can handle really bad weather. Once you have got the hang of pitching it the TrailStar it is straightforward and quick to pitch. All desirable attributes for a shelter and why I was hesitant about selling it.
But, in the end, I decided that the inherent draughtiness of the shelter and the dirty knees/hands syndrome due to the entrance just drove me batty. If there is any condensation on the fly I’d end up with a wet back too when I entered/exited the TrailStar. So I decided to sell it. And I’m glad I did…… by and large.
The TrailStar is a marmite shelter; either you love it or hate it. I think that if you’re not too tall (5ft 8ins or less) then it’s far easier to get in or out of. However, if you are 5ft 10ins or more then it’s a hands and knees job. And, for me at any rate, it’s bloody annoying.
The draughtiness is something that can either be put up with or you’ll need to carry an inner or Bivvy bag too. These are essential tools in buggy conditions but just extra weight to carry outside of bug-season.
I’ve found the TrailStar to be excellent in some ways (weight, space, storm worthiness, pitching) but bad in others (draughts, entry/exit, privacy on campsites). I’m glad I tried one for a couple of years but it wasn’t for me. So bye, bye TrailStar, hello Gossamer Gear SpinnTwin and spinnaker The One! Let’s see if you can beat the Gatewood Cape😀