Oct 14, 2020 at 11:15 am #3679669
I’m thinking of getting an MLD Cricket Silnylon, I currently have a Tarptent Protrail Silnylon. My backpacking is mostly 50 mile sections fall and spring on the AT (NC, VA, PA) and usually scheduled around good weather. I’m hoping to use it mostly without the innernet but would probably get it so it’ll take the place of the Protrail also.
Oct 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm #3679706
- How does the Cricket interior space compare to the Protrail in good weather and storm mode? I’m 6′ tall.
- Do you have to re-stake anything to switch to storm mode?
- Any other thoughts on the Cricket for this?
Storm mode will involve removing the front pole and staking the beak directly to the ground and adjusting the two front corners. I’m 6 ft and it’s roomy. I don’t know how it would compare to the Protrail.Oct 14, 2020 at 6:02 pm #3679761
Here’s my Cricket with MLD BugBivy2Oct 14, 2020 at 10:06 pm #3679779
unfamiliar with the protrail, but used to own a cricket. it’s very spacious and you can sit upright even in storm mode. you’ll need to crawl in, though. yes, you’ll need to readjust the stakes on the front corners.
I sold it because I think silnylon kinda sucks. the 14oz cricket swelled up to 22oz when wet and took an entire day or more to dry. I’d look at the wildgeardesigns pentatarp or tipik pioulou, both in silpoly so water won’t be an issue. also, factor in the 0.7oz or so pole jack required for cricketOct 15, 2020 at 5:13 am #3679807
Great pic, thanks.Oct 15, 2020 at 6:08 am #3679812
I found that my ULA rain kilt makes a perfect door for the Cricket in regular mode. The kilt comes with two loops so I did have to a loop on the opposite corners. I did not find the need for a pole extender. Also in storm mode you can unhook one corner to make it easier to get in and then rehook it.Oct 15, 2020 at 7:17 am #3679816
I haven’t seen MLD even offer a pole extender on the current design so perhaps they designed that out.
I didn’t know about the similar tarps made from silploy, they’re a few ounces lighter and wont absorb as much water but less durable it seems. I’ll probably stick with MLD, everything I’ve got from them in the past has been top notch and I’ve read their silnylon is better than average. Plus their 45 away from my house so its nice to be able to buy such awesome gear from a place nearby.
That rain kilt setup is a good idea, I was trying to think I could string up a rain jacket in the same way.
The crawling in aspect is the only thing I don’t like about it but I’ll deal with it.
Thanks for the pictures.Oct 15, 2020 at 7:40 am #3679818matthew kModerator
Not 100% sure but I think my MLD skirt has 5 loops. Using that as a door on a Cricket would allow the skirt to stay more vertical than what I’m seeing in Jimmy’s photo and would keep the tension off the long seams of the tarp itself. I’m thinking the middle loop of the skirt would get attached to the trekking pole (set up in front of the inner). Just another option…
The old inner with the splash panel down low always seemed like a good idea to me.
I’ve always been tempted to try a Cricket. It looks like a great setup.Oct 15, 2020 at 8:16 am #3679820
you’ll need a pole jack with the current 2020 cricket, unless you have unusually long trekking poles. it’s not included. in regards to silpoly vs silnylon strength, see dan durston’s words on the subject: https://durstongear.com/materials tldr: silpoly is the future
mld uses nylon 6,6. it’s nicer than others but still has all the flaws of silnylon and absorbs a substantial amount of water. nearly doubling in weight was my experience. 14.6oz was the weight of my 2020 cricket with guylines and seam sealing, btwOct 15, 2020 at 10:42 am #3679840
I see what your saying about the pole jack, they list the apex at 57″ and my poles are 49″ (~125cm). They sell the the standalone 2020 Cricket/Solo XL pole at 56″ The pre 2020 Cricket/Solo XLs were 4″ shorter.
In a quick look, the longest poles generally available are 130 cm (~51″). They don’t mention anything on the Cricket page about needing a specific pole or even offer a pole jack so there must be something I’m missing, I’ll see what Ron has to say.Oct 15, 2020 at 10:50 am #3679841
Just cut a short piece of pvc plumbing pipe and stick it over your hiking poles tip.Oct 15, 2020 at 12:17 pm #3679852
@ Chris Taylor, I’ve also used my rain parcho as a door. Set the tarp up as you normally would, then lower the pole enough just to slip the hood of the rain jacket or poncho over it. Then tie with the jacket/poncho open, tie the corners to the fron corners of the tarp. I added some mitten hooks to do this. Here it is with another tarp.Oct 15, 2020 at 2:36 pm #3679873
both the cricket and solomid xl require at least a 6″ pole jack. it’s not listed on the website just like other information and product specs that mld ignores or fails to mention. it’s kinda their thing lol. I ordered a cricket without realizing this and had to place a 2nd order and wait to use it. If I remember correctly, the 6″ aluminum jack weighed 0.8ozOct 15, 2020 at 11:31 pm #3679924Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
“….it’s not listed on the website just like other information and product specs that mld ignores or fails to mention. it’s kinda their thing lol. ”
The apex height of all their shelters is listed. Not sure what you are driving at?? MLD does not know how long your hiking pole is.Oct 16, 2020 at 7:44 am #3679938
considering most ul common poles are similar in max length, mld could give a heads up that a pole jack will be required most of the time with this tarp without having to do geometry. in fact, mld themselves told me as much when I asked them if I needed to buy one: “we should have that on there, been meaning to change that”
still not updated nearly a year later. I love their products, but that level of customer experience is par for course for mldOct 16, 2020 at 7:53 am #3679939
Strange, maybe my Cricket is older, although I didn’t think it was, but I set my poles at around 130-135 and the pitch seems right to me. I guess now I’m going to go out the garage and cut some pvc pipe and see if I’ve been missing out on anything.Oct 16, 2020 at 7:56 am #3679940
Yeah, they should add that somewhere in the description, I guess they’re too busy making gear. Ron confirmed it requires a jack, “yes, need the jack, we send one with it.”. The page pictures are probably from the pre-2020 version when it was 4″ shorter and a 132 cm or longer hiking pole would match the poles he sells.Oct 16, 2020 at 8:11 am #3679943
dimensions changed whenever the solomid xl grew in size (2019?). my poles are 130-133cm depending on how their measured when fully extended and needed the extra 15cm to pitch properly. took me several failed pitch attempts one day before going “oh duh, needs a jack”Oct 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm #3680025Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
@ will I have a couple of differnt UK hiking poles. Some of them need a pole jack, others don’t. You note: “….dimensions changed whenever the solomid xl grew in size (2019?). ” But when you bought the shelter, the correct dimensions were posted on the web site, yes? You are just wishing the web site told you to measure your pole.
@ Chris. So they sent the jack for free, yes?
Don’t know what else you expect from a vendor.
In my experience, MLD has had the best customer support of any of the cottage manufacturers.
CheersOct 16, 2020 at 8:19 pm #3680033Mole JBPL Member
MLD have a long history of not getting round to changing the website info to match the changed specs of what they are selling. And not updating photos to reflect the version they are currently selling. It definitely is “their thing” . I’ve witnessed it, and seen it discussed online many times over the years by others who have experienced differences between published specs and actual product received.
It’s not to detract from the products, but it’s potentially disappointing when what you think you are buying turns out subtly (or significantly) different from the last iteration which is still shown on the website.
I get that it shows “continuing product development” . But all the same. Communication is important.
With regard to the Cricket apex height (and other dimensions).
This was changed ( increased all round significantly) the middle of 2018.
I ordered my Cricket in summer 2018, after seeing and pitching/testing a friend’s 2017 Cricket. I wanted to try an alternative to my Notch. (And Trailstar).
It arrived in the Autumn 2018.
I used it a few times Autumn, winter and spring.
I found I needed a significantly longer centre pole than my friend – 145cm to get a pitch. He needed 135cm (4″ difference).
We measured seams and hems of both our shelters ( side by side) Main seams were 6” longer on mine, long side hems 5” longer and side hems also significantly longer . So the shelters were bigger all round.
This info was not reflected by the website dimensions at the time of buying or for quite some time afterwards.
Also, the “triple rolled seams” which have long been on all their Silnylon shelters had changed so they were just felled, and had the raw edge showing , though the website still stated “triple rolled”.
When it was discussed on a FB MLD Group when others were finding these differently constructed seams, Ron confirmed this was a thing he’d changed, and explained why. At the time, the website still hadn’t been updated.
I used my Cricket for a few more overnight trips, then a hiking companion used it for a 17 night trip we did together. I used the Notch. I never once felt “Cricket envy”.
I then sold it. I just didn’t feel the love for it in the same way I did for other shelters I still have.
I think it being different from what I thought I’d ordered soured the relationship from the start – it just felt unnecessarily taller, more hassle to pitch, and less aerodynamic than my friend’s which inspired the purchase. I see MLD subsequently added panel tie-outs to the larger end panels. (Though site photos still don’t reflect this!)Oct 17, 2020 at 8:40 am #3680069
bruce trolly: no, the cricket page was not fully up to date when ordered but has since has been updated (but still no mention of needing a pole jack. if it’s such an easy thing for a customer to accidentally overlook as I did then perhaps mld should put a note in the description to avoid customer issues. and remember, ron himself agrees with me).
what do I expect? how about an accurate website before spending hundreds of dollars and waiting 3 months before realizing something has been changed and having to email them asking what’s up? mld could learn from, say, yama that has concise information and dimensions and weights on their product descriptions and answers to questions with more detail than “it changed awhile back – ron”
if you’ve had the best customer service ever from mld, that’s great but your experience seems to be the exception. I’m not trying to bash mld — I love their products and glad they are around — but these are my experiences with ordering the cricket that I thought would be helpful to the OP.Oct 19, 2020 at 10:39 am #3680266
I’ve looked into the Notch alot, I should have got that rather than the Protrail several years ago.
With tarp and ground sheet only do you think I could squeeze my 5 year old son in the Cricket or Notch for an overnight trip in case of rain?
We’ve slept in the Protrail once, it wasn’t very comfortable though.Oct 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm #3680311Mole JBPL Member
I wouldn’t think the Notch would be suitable for even a child really due to poles positions and the long sides have a gap at hem level unless pitched very low and non optimally.
The Cricket yes, as long as wind doesn’t change.
Duomid would be better. Trailstar even more so .
The X mid1P would be ok. I’ve slept in it with my partner with no inner. It’s tight but doable head to toe. With a small child it would definitely work.
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