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TRAILSTAR TGO Magazine Top Gear of the The Year $230.00


NOTE: See the MLD Homepage for info on order wait time.

A True MLD Original Innovation in UltraLight Shelter Design

The TrailStar is Patent Pending and TradeMarked.

The original shaped tarp with five equal low angle sides and no doors. Combines the high performance of a traditional pyramid shelter with the open and multi-function pitching options of a tarp at a low weight per user space. No zippers, flaps, vents or anything extra to wear out or break.

We designed and tested this new UL Shelter design over years of development in the early 2000's.

See the TrailStar Solo InnerNet Page For More Info and Set Up Instructions

Pro Silnylon 18oz $230 Gray, Yellow, Brown

Cuben Fiber 11oz $385 Light Green

Fast Setup - No Doors, Zippers or Moving Parts


Five equal size panels blend shelter protection with tarp pitching ease and multiple shape options.

The 7' 2" / 218cm long baseline on each of the five equal sides create a very large pentagon floor plan living space for up to three people plus gear and up to five in a short storm huddle.

• Pitches with one standard or short length adjustable trekking pole in the center. Longer fixed length poles require a higher pitch and/or one side be pitched open in the standard pitch mode. A found stick works great too.
• 50+ sq/ft of useable floor space. Lots of room for two hikers plus all gear. -Three in a squeeze.
• TEN Perimeter Tieouts All with LineLocks- One at each primary corner and one centered on each side at the edge. Linelocks can be removed to save 1.2oz.
• Can be pitched tight to the ground for maximum full sided protection or higher for views, easy entry and great ventilation. Most of the time one side or corner will be pitched off the ground as a door and the center height will be about 44\\\"-Lots of room to sit up. A tight ground pitch on all sides has a center height of about 36\\\".
• Awesome shelter for hikers with dogs.
• Roof angle is moderate for great wind shedding and light snow loads.
• Super shelter for day hikers and ski groups for lunch stops and emergencies. Eight people can sit inside and at least four can lie tight together if needed.
• We don\\\'t advocate cooking in a shelter/tent - but it\\\'s pretty large...
• Gear hang loops mid position on each of the five seams to rig hang lines or clips up bivy hoods.
• Roof Apex is reinforced and has an outisde guyline loop and inside has a gear hang loop.
• No zippers, flaps, vents or other parts to wear or fail.
• Only five straight easy seams to seam seal.
• Linelocks can be cutoff to save about 1 oz and our MiniLine (optional) can be switched for the larger line to save about 1 more ounce on the line system. As is standard on most all UL tarp and shelters - the 20 oz base wt does not include guyline, stuffsack or seam sealing.

Cuben Fiber Vs Pro Silnylon TrailStar:
• The Cuben version is stronger than the Silnylon version because the Cuben Fiber CN2K.08 ( .74oz/sq/yd) fabric is 6X stronger than Silnylon fabric and the tieouts pull test to higher strengths. We bond and then additionally over-bond the seams. We reinforce and then double bartack through 6 or more layers of the Cuben or Silnylon at main corners. We have been building and bonding cuben tarps/shelters longer than anyone so we feel pretty sure the seams will not be a weak area. -The Pro Silnylon version is very strong and has been well tested all over the world and has never failed in the field. Both are strong enough for a very wide range of environments and this question should not be a prime consideration for selection.
• The Cuben version is lighter but costs more.
• Some users of Cuben tarps and other shelters report slightly lower internal condensation, presumably from a faster heat transfer rate from inside to outside due to the thinner Cuben fabric. This may only be a fairly small difference vs Silnylon and only in a few certain weather situations and should not be considered a significant factor.
• The Cuben fabric stretches less and that is both a small plus and a small minus in different ways. The lower stretch of the Cuben version requires a little more precision in staking and the orientation/geometry of the panels are a bit trickier to set without experience because you can not simply stretch the different tieouts points to compensate. However, after a tight pitch is set it will stay tight if staked properly.
• The Cuben version can not be pitched in some of the more extreme configurations- very steep walls or a very steep door entry. It works best at a more moderate angles with a flatter and lower pitch. For snow loading this would make the Cuben version a bit less desirable for much snow. The ability to make a steep inverted V door from the side tieout is more limited in the Cuben version.
• SilNylon is very slippery and snow will slide off a little better than with Cuben Fiber. If using the Cuben version in light to med snow, you may need to shake it off about 20% more often. Frequent winter users that expect more than about 6\"-12\" of snow per night will prefer the Pro SilNylon version and will want to pitch it with steeper walls. However- neither version is intended as a full-on winter snow shelter- We make DuoMids and SuperMids for that!

Choice Summary:
• The functional differences will not be very significant for 90% of users 90% of the time.
• If you prefer a slightly quicker learning curve, and sometimes easier pitching and/or bit wider range of configurations and/or you will experience more snow on frequent trips then the SilNylon version might be better for you. We highly encourage users to test pitch either version in nice weather in your yard a few times to discover the many pitch options and gain set-up speed. (Interestingly- we have had fewer questions about pitching the TS vs regular Pyramids...go figure.)
• For most users it will simply be a weight vs cost choice.

User Reviews Here: - Video of set up in high wind.

"After the (TGO/Scotland) Challenge I can see why as it’s very roomy, easy to pitch, very light and, most important of all, extremely stable. Because there’s no fixed shape, the five-sided shelter can be pitched at different heights - low profile for strong winds, high profile for easier access, better ventilation and bigger views."
2012 Chris Townsend - TGO magazine


• 40� Guyline
• Pro SilNylon Stuff Sack
• SilNet Seam Sealer

Set Up Instructions

***Most Common Set Up in the "Middle Pitch"***
This pitch uses one of the middle edge tieouts for the door pole.
Use this pitch when adding a TrrailStar Solo InnerNet.

By looking at the pictures you can easily will see about how long to cut the guy lines. A foot or two extra is OK for the first set up - you can trim it later if desired.

Fun to Watch Set Up Instruction Video Here:

1: Loosely lie it out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles.
2: Stake down the five primary corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter. The two primary corners next to the center door pole tieout should be moved about 1' - 2' closer together that the other primary corner stake points : 1" = Lower Door 2' = Higher Door
3: Insert trekking pole in the center at about 130-140cm in center.
4: Add the door pole at about 110-130cm - set hight to whatever is tight- depend on the width of the front corners.
5: Use built in Linelocks to tighten each corner.
DONE: 1.5 min

***Fast Set Up in the "High Pitch"***
This pitch use the five primary corners with one pole off one of those five primary points.

1: Loosely lie it out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles. 15 sec.
2: Stake down four corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter. (Shorter lines for a low pitch - longer for a high pitch. 20sec.
3: Insert trekking pole at about 130-140cm in center. 10 sec.
4: Stake out 5th corner off a stick or 120-130cm trekking pole. 25 sec.
5: Use built in Linelocks to tighten each corner. 20 sec.
DONE: 1.5 min

How to Get Inside:
- Since it is a five sided shelter it will stand up with only four of the five main corners staked down.
- If you are using it all staked low to the ground, easily loosen one corner using the LineLock and then duck inside and retighten the linelock reaching from inside. -It\\\'s easier than it sounds.
- If you do not need the full low pitch protection; use a second trek pole or stick about hip height and pitch one corner off the ground as a door. This creates a tall door.
-If you want in between protection of a smaller door, make a knee height eyebrow door arch using a second trek pole about 24\\\" tall on a center side tieout.

Setup Viarations:

-One side (OR two) of the X Shelter can be staked tight to the ground and the other sides set side higher using longer guylines to make it a wedge shape, blocking wind from one or more directions but offering great views from the others.

-For really harsh wind, all ten stake points can be used for an incredibly stable low wind shedding bombproof shelter. Pitched all the way low it should be able to handle 60mph!

-Can be pitched really high using a long stick or two trek poles lashed together and longer guylines. Think: Walk-In Party Cabana!

TRAILSTAR (tm) (pp)


Five 9" .5oz ea Easton Stakes for high wind and main stake points.
Five 6" .28oz ea Titanium Skewer stakes for secondary side stake points.

TrailStar Solo InnerNet - See the separate product page for more info

Seam Sealing Instructions

How to a Seam Seal an MLD Pro Silnylon Shelter

(Cuben Fiber Shelters do not need seam sealing.)

1: Pitch and inspect your shelter for any issues. Once it is seam sealed it is non returnable except for significant defects.

2: Use the supplied SilNet and only the SilNet. (If you want to dilute it or use some other silicone sealant it should work OK and is common (research this yourself online) but your are on your own- results may vary and are not covered by warranty - if you go this route it is assumed you know 100% what you are doing and have done it before!!!)

3: Pitch the shelter tightly. Temps should be above 60 F and humidity below 80%. You may do this indoors. You may also do one seam at a time indoors if the seem is stretched slightly. Pinning one seam from each end on the floor between two heavy objects works OK.

4: We use the SilNet straight from the tube. Do not make a big hole in the sealer tube - start small so you can control flow. Multiple small application is a lot better than one big smear.

5: Main Seams: Place a small bead on the seam along the stitching. Work on a 3’- 4’ section at a time. Use a finger to press the sealer into the stitching and the small valley at the edge of the seam where it is rolled under.


NOTE: You only need to seal the OUTSIDE of the shelter ONLY. You do not need to seal the bottom perimeter roller edge stitching. It is OK to add a small bead on the leading edge of the triangle tieouts reinforcement stitching, but it is not required.

SPECIAL AREAS: Add a little sealer to any tieout stitching on the middle of a panel (Mids, Cricket and SuperTarps). Seal the zipper storm flap stitching and tieouts on the Mids. Seal the stitching and apex tieouts areas on the Mids, Crickets and TrailStars.

IMPORTANT: Do no go back and forth over the wet seam too much - after a minute or three it will get gummy and look bad. Better to wait 8 hrs and then OK to add some over any area you missed.

Available Options:
TrailStar Solo InnerNet:
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