MLD SuperMid SpotLite Review

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable MLD SuperMid SpotLite Review

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    Addie Bedford
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    Companion forum thread to:

    MLD SuperMid SpotLite Review

    Thomas Trebisky


    Locale: Southern Arizona

    I like the MLD gear that I have, and I presume this would be just as well made.

    But I have been down the road and back again with mids and don't ever intend to go there
    again. Their one and only virtue is the simplicity in putting them up – stake down the
    four corners and push up the peak with a pole — it all goes downhill from there.

    The darn pole is always in the way and ruins all the best real estate under the tent.
    I can speak from experience having owned a Chouinard (not Black Diamond) Megamid.
    (Yes, I go that far back). This is in essence a lighter version made of modern materials.
    The fundamental concept is flawed. I have been much much happier with a Ray Jardine Tarp.
    No pole in the center, not really much harder to set up, you can use trekking poles as-is
    with a tarp instead of fussing around to join them together. Lighter, nicer.

    The one place I think a mid might be better would be under heavy snow load – the steep walls
    should shed snow well – so a hard core winter camper might contemplate a mid I guess.

    David Ure


    Good points. With a smaller mid (i.e. MLD SoloMid or DuoMid) one can use an inverted 'V' approach to the pole structure which prevents the dreaded mid pole head bonk (at least for me). With a larger mid like this one, I am not sure what the solution is unless you tied two poles together and used two sets (?).

    Rakesh Malik


    Locale: Cascadia

    "With a larger mid like this one, I am not sure what the solution is unless you tied two poles together and used two sets (?)."

    There are a few asymmetric designs out there that might be good solutions for this. They put the pole toward the front, leaving the back more open for sleeping and such. I have no personal experience with them as yet, but I'm curious about them partly because of this very issue, and hoping that BPL might be able to get them into their review queue. The ones I'm thinking of are the Seek Outside Backcountry Shelter and the Kifaru Paratipi.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California


    I agree with you. I still have my old Chouinard Pyramid and hated that pole in the middle, even for just me going solo. Plus the walls always iced up inside in really cold weather… but it could handle just about any weather condition, was easy to set up, and I had no problem cooking in it (with the flap partially opened). It was always a love/hate relationship.

    I have a modified mid (zPacks Hexamid) and although I would not use it for winter conditions, the offset pole makes it a pleasure. If I was looking for a shelter to handle really bad weather, I would explore a full mid with an offset.

    Erin McKittrick
    BPL Member


    Locale: Seldovia, Alaska

    The pole can be angled to some extent. Or two long sticks can be used instead. But really, I like it fine with the pole in the middle most of the time. It's simple, works in a variety of conditions and on uneven ground, no problem to fit the whole family + gear, and doesn't weigh much.
    I lived in one (well, several) for over a year, and still like them.
    Though I do now use a heavier tent with a woodstove for extended winter conditions with small kids.

    Lucas Boyer
    BPL Member


    Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W

    I have the supermid and really like the shelter. Me, wife, and our two 40lb dogs have real estate to spare. Unfortunately, my pole setup failed me on our first outing. I was using my BPL Stix w/ a pvc extension piece as pole and my overzealous dog torked the pole and snapped my tip off the pole. Luckily I only lost the replacement tip part and can repair the pole w/ no loss of length, but I had to carry a broken pole the remainder of the trip.

    Ron Bell / MLD
    BPL Member


    Locale: USA

    We have offered the SuperMid in Cuben as a custom order option for years and now it is a standard option.

    We like the one large vent design for three big reasons:
    1: You can pitch the rear of the mid to the prevailing wind and not have a blown in rain/snow issue.
    2: When that prevailing wind moves around the rear and sides of the peak and past the one large vent on the opposite side it creates a mini venturi effect to help move air from inside to the outside.
    3: It makes for a less complicated stronger peak designs with fewer seams.

    After years of use and well over 300 nights in the rough Alaskan bush we just sent Erin and Brentwood a new SuperMid. They are pretty tough and perfect for serious back country adventure.

    canyon steinzig
    BPL Member


    Locale: Nor Cal

    I think it's amazing to be part of a forum where a super user (Erin) and the manufacturer (Ron) are actually commenting, along with the usual plurality of other user opinions found on most sites.Amazing place

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