- Dec 12, 2017 at 3:19 am #3506999
I found this cheaper alternative to the Ultamid 4. The Ultamid 4 is exactly 30cm larger in each length width and height, and weighs on 1.45 lbs compared to this tent which is 1.63 lbs, but as you can see I think these numbers are very comparable. For only $129 compared to the HMG Ultamid 4 ($865) I think this is a really decent alternative.
ThoughtsDec 12, 2017 at 3:22 am #3507001
I think HMG’s Ultamid 2 Half Insert would work really well with this with just a little effort in rigging it up.Dec 12, 2017 at 6:07 am #3507037
Paul SBPL Member
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Two different kinds of fabric, DCF vs silnylon. Still a decent comparison with the MLD line in sil though I wouldn’t trust the quality to be anywhere as good as MLD or HMG.</p>Dec 12, 2017 at 11:08 am #3507051
I have no experience with either the Chinese mid or the HMG UltaMid 4. Material properties aside, the HMG is 75″ tall versus the Chinese mid is only 63″. Additionally the latter is also a few inches smaller in footprint, and I believe there is going to be a huge impact on livability.
From a cost perspective, I wouldn’t want this Chinese mid. For a silnylon alternative, Black Diamond Mega Light is often on sale for about $200 and comes with a solid carbon pole. Another option, Oware also sells mids that are not much heavier, 9’x9′ is 28 oz and $240.
I just purchased an Oware 10’x10′, and I have only pitched in the yard, but I’m so far very happy with it.Dec 12, 2017 at 12:24 pm #3507052
A lot of talk on the trek-lite forum about the ASTA brand mids, mostly about their smaller Khufu clone. That one uses a 20d silnylon and there have been some reports of misting with that fabric. This larger mid uses 30d silnylon and I haven’t seen any reports about it. My general impression is that silnylon advertised on aliexpress as “silicon both sides” typically has low hydrostatic head. Due to the steep walls of a mid, such fabrics will keep you dry in fairly heavy rain, as long as it’s vertical. But wind-driven rain that impacts more perpendicular to the fabric might penetrate. (Most of the “silicon nylon” fabrics used in products sold on aliexpress are of the silicone outer surface/PU inner surface variety and have much higher HH, although their tear strengths are very low.)
On the other hand, until several years ago it seems that most of the US cottage manufacturers were using low-HH silnylon. So buying something like this ASTA mid might be somewhat similar to buying an older version of a Supermid with lower grade silnylon, as compared to the Supermid available now which has HH of 3000-4000.
The MegaLight does looks a better deal – not sure how good BD’s silnylon is, but you get a warranty and that carbon pole. As far as sewing goes, I would expect the Chinese stuff to be as good or better than the US cottages; the Chinese can sew.
Dec 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm #3507056
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Stumphges.
@iago, I stated that the Ultamid is 30 cm larger in it’s L/W/H , and I disagree that this would make a “huge difference in livability” The two tents are very similarly sized. Are you saying the only “livable” H is 190cm and that a 160cm tent would be “unlivable” because it is 30cm shorter? Im sure this tent is more than 80 percent of the size of the Ultamid 4 and I believe it is in fact larger than the Ultamid 2, which everyone here would say is an amazing tent. I know the materials matter more than dimensions and that the cuben mids performance would be better than silnylon, but still these two tents are very close in size and weight, and IMO very comparable to each other in terms of everything except price and a slightly worse user experience (that’s really not even that big of a deal in 90 percent of cases) You literally save over 730 dollars and the only draw back is a loss of 30cm and the possibility in getting slightly misted when the weather is at it’s absolute worst…big whoop. If the HMG was say about 400 dollars then I’d say there is no point really, but they ask over twice that when very similar alternatives exist for 125-200 dollars on several sites. (this is the cheapest I’ve seen for a tent this size and weight however, which is why I wanted to share)Dec 13, 2017 at 3:37 am #3507189
Dear Michael, you stated in your initial post that this was a low cost alternative to the Ultamid 4. I didn’t think this was a valid comparison. As I said, I don’t have real experience with either tent. And in fact I am pretty new to mids myself. As you highlighted in both of your posts, first there is the huge price difference. I don’t think a lot of folks considering an HMG Ultamid 4 would be looking at these Chinese mids, or viceversa. I’m a Camry guy, and you won’t find me shopping for an Aston Martin, regardless of the performance advantages. Anybody who is seriously considering at Aston Martin is unlikely to be checking out a Camry. By the way, I love my Camry, or at least, its reliability.
I’m digressing, on to the shelter itself… It seems the Ultamid 4 is a four person shelter that apparently can accommodate said number of folks in all sorts of conditions. I do not think this is the case with the Chinese Mid in the link, and the reason why I made a reference to a significant decrease in livability. Again, the comparison seems unfair. Let me elaborate.
If the Chinese mid is to be used by two people, then no problems. For a family of four with two small kids, yes, probably fine also. But four adults in 25″ (63.5 cm) pads, I am afraid they will not fit in a low pitch. First, let’s consider the width. 260 cm cut in half is 130 cm or 51.2″ on either side of that center pole. But since the ends of the footprint aren’t really livable because of the pitch, I am afraid that the two adults on either side won’t fit unless the shelter is pitched high. Which will be fine in fair weather, but not in other conditions…
Both occupants on either side on 20″ (50.8cm) wide pads makes it maybe doable in storm mode if they lay close to the pole. Seems alright in theory. It would be nice to set up a pole in the yard with some cordage at 160cm staked out to the ground to simulate real world use before buying this shelter, and consider how it will be used. If my geometric calculation is correct, the outside shoulder about 40″ or 100 cm from the center pole would have a vertical height (headroom) of 37 cm or 14.5″ in the Chinese Mid. The same distance from the center pole in the HMG Ultamid would yield a height of 53.3 cm or 21″.
As to your question, do I think that the 30 cm in height make a difference? Yes, I do. See my note above about headroom 40″ from the center pole. Let’s forget about snow load for a second. The steeper angle will give you more clearance above you at the ends, which coupled with a slightly longer footprint, will make it easier to fit 4 adults more comfortably on an HMG Ultamid.
I thought this Chinese mid was better compared to the 9’x9′ BD and the Oware tents as they are only slightly taller and wider than the Chinese mid, which is 8.5’x8.5′. You equate the weight of the Ultamid and the Chinese mid, but these other two are also in the same ballpark. As to the cost comparison, for about $100 the BD and Oware seem worth a consideration for somebody shopping for a new four person mid at the lower pricepoint. And paying half the price is always tempting. For me, having seen some poor materials in these untested mids, I just don’t think it’s worth the risk on the long term investment.
Back to the question of livability. I feel it’s very subjective. Some folks swear by bivies, while others can’t stand them. Some have no problem sharing a BA Fly Creek 2 with another individual, but others chose the BAFC 3 for just to occupants. From a personal perspective, the BA Mega Light is considered a 4 person shelter. Based on reviews, I bought one a couple of years back and sold it after one or two pitches in the yard. I didn’t like it as a four person shelter in extreme conditions. Maybe I would feel differently now that I have a little more experience with mids. I don’t know. Maybe this mid is awesome for four people. My clear choice at this price point for a 9’x9′ mid is Oware based on footprint and height, plus the possibility of mods. For two people, I am intrigued by the Titanium Goat Vertex 5 at 21 oz and $255. The geometry and features seem very interesting.Dec 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm #3507290
Michael, I think you should get the ASTA Supermid clone and let us know how it performs. 4 and 2-person inners exist for this model but are not yet on Aliexpress (they are on Taobao.) If the HH isn’t up to standard you could always augment with DYI silicone/mineral spirits (lots of threads on that topic.) It won’t be an Ultamid but neither will it be Hypexpensive.Dec 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm #3507311
You actually make a good point iago. Sorry if I seemed dismissive. It seems this particular mid would suit 3 people fine but not really 4, where as the ultamid can actually suit 4. That makes a big difference, holding an extra occupant while still being lighter makes the ultamid look like it really lives up to it’s name. In retort to your car analogy, I am kind of considering both. I am always willing to pay more if it is justified but I loathe paying more for no reason. My criteria is optimal is optimal is optimal and that price is secondary as a concern. So I have always looked at the lowest and highest and middle classes of gear. To admit tho I am kind of spent out on tents as I have payed for a few expensive tents these past few months that I havent even used yet, and are actually sitting in storage lol. I actually neeed to be finding things I dont already have. So why I was considering both of these I dont even know. I’m a junky when it comes to backpacking gear now I guess haha
I might get this? I would have to sell my Vaude tent tho.Dec 14, 2017 at 1:09 am #3507376
Dear Michael, I didn’t think you were being dismissive. I was simply concerned about people perceiving this Chinese shelter as appropriate for four adults. And while some may make it work, personally I don’t think it’ll work for many. As you have probably figured out, I get rather verbosely pedantic when I write.
As to the Ultamid being worth its price, it comes to the eternal discussion of Cuben vs. Silnylon, and that’s for every individual to answer for themselves. A discussion that obviously can’t just be answered based on size and weight differences alone. Size and weight are not hard to replicate at a much lower price point–half a pound or less extra gets you similar shelters. Beyond fabric performance, the difference in cost is the overwhelming factor. A 10’x10′ Oware is $250, 32 oz and larger. A 9’x9′ Oware is $240 and 28 oz, while a bit smaller. Even beyond Oware, there is a significant financial difference between and MLD Supermid and Mondomid on one the hand and the Ultamid on the other, while the weight and size differences are “small”. Is the price justifiable? Each of us has their own answer to that question.
The linked mid is without a doubt a great deal in and of itself. Tempting. Half the price of the Megalight and Owares… Is it a good place to put one’s money? My personal answer is no. But it’s mostly based on the uncertainty of the performance of its material. Would I change my answer if I was assured that it’s fabric is solid? Yes, definitely. But I still wouldn’t think of using it for four adults.
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