MLD Cricket, my initial experiences.

The MLD Cricket Tarp needs little introduction. It was originally named the the Solo Trailstar but later renamed to the cricket. Thus its origins lie in the pentagonal pyramid design of the Trailstar, albeit smaller. However unlike its bigger brother it is not a regular pentagonal pyramid, but one with sides of different lengths. Moving away from the geometrical perspective it is apparent that as a shelter it works, Colin’s review pays testimony to that. Colin’s comprehensive review pretty much summarises my feeling on the MLD Cricket.

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I have used the tarp for a total of 10 nights now, and have been nothing but impressed by its spaciousness, ease of erection and more importantly its weather worthiness. I use Carbon Fibre Pacer Poles which are not the optimum length for the Cricket, even though Ron suggests a length of 125 cm (49″) as an approximate pole length . The CF pacer Poles have a maximum length of 130 cm (51″) but in Colin’s opinion 135 cm (53″) is the ideal length of the poles, which I would agree with. Fortunately if you are an alloy Pacer Pole user then these poles can be extended to 140 cm (55″) and thus provide sufficient length for the shelter. I have found that with the use of small rocks and other supports I have been able to use the CF Pacer Poles ensuring an optimal erection of he tarp.

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I also have the Cricket inner and once connected to the outer it provides an excellent bug free environment for a total weight of 680 grams (24 ozs.) with the variety of setups, especially the storm setups the shelter will withstand strong winds and storms. Which was exemplified to me on my last trip when a fierce thunderstorm hit the area I was camped in, I could see the storm coming so whilst the main pole was set at its maximum of 130 cm, the front pole was set at approximately 60 cm (24″). The storm hit the shelter, on the rear corner, with powerful gusting winds and rain and hail, I was amazed as the centre pole and peg out points barely moved as the storm passed through, though there was some deformation of the panels as would be expected. I was also pleased to find that no water had entered the inner confines of the shelter.

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What makes the shelter special? For me it offers the views and openness of a tarp whilst also providing the protection of a Mid making it ideal for use in the forests of Scandinavia.

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This entry was posted in C2C Sweden, MLD Cricket, Pacer Poles, Shelters. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to MLD Cricket, my initial experiences.

  1. David Hanlon says:

    Super little shelter. I've been hovering over the idea of trading in the Grace duo for a trailstar since last summers Scotish trip but the idea of a complete bug free solution at less than 700g is very appealing.

  2. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks David, yeah its horses for courses, that is different shelters for different needs. For me the cricket fulfils a niche, I can use it in the forests wherever I am and it will protect me from the elements and the bugs. I will not always need the inner and can use a bivy which will save some weight. The cricket is a shelter you can use in many places as demonstrated by Willem (http://transscandinavia.wordpress.com). The Trailstar is a different beast, you can accommodate more people and it is proven in above tree line conditions. Which would I take? The Cricket, Why because it provides shelter as well as views in a compact package for 1.

  3. Mark Roberts says:

    It does look interesting. And full points to Ron for coming up with something unique on the shelter front. Hopefully this will be the new "one".I think I can see an elf in that last photo. Somehow the shelter looks tiny in that one.

  4. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Mark, yeah I like it a lot and it has a lot of potential for most of my hiking locations. Your right about the elf, I was laying down chatting to him while taking the photo, he seemed quite a friendly fellow, but did think I was a bit crazy hiking along the roads.

  5. Yes it certainly looks a bit like the GG 'One', my favourite shelter for forest hikes. Bug free and less than 500 grams. However, I suspect that the Cricket, according to what has been said, is more storm proof.

  6. I was just visiting Heather and Alan Rhodes in the UK and they recycle the middle section of aluminum pacer poles to make an extender pole which will only work with their carbon fiber version. Alan cuts them to size in his workshop so you might be able to get them to cut one for you to the specifications you request. Might be worth an email to them.

  7. Actually, I was thinking in looked like a Zpacks hexamid without the troublesome netting.

  8. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks for the tip Philip, when I get back from Lapland I will take your advice and contact Heather and Alan who have been extremely helpful and generous in the past.

  9. nielsenbrown says:

    Yes it certainly looks similar to the hex amid, and possibly a few others ; )

  10. Pingback: Tramplite Shelter | Nielsen Brown Outdoors

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