Here is something a lot of us have been waiting for… the Mountain Laurel Designs LittleStar – the solo version of the crazy popular MLD TrailStar!!
I know I am not alone when I say I am very excited to see shelter hit the market.
The Mountain Laurel Designs TrailStar has been one of, if not the, most desired and awarded cottage made shelter over the last few years. Its ability to handle horrific wind conditions has proven to hikers around the world that it is a shelter to be contended with.
For some of us though, we felt the original TrailStar just had to big of a footprint. I know I am not alone in that. Every time I have seen a TrailStar setup I just went “wow, that sucker is huge”. Those of us who have felt that way have been long waiting for MLD to release a smaller version of the shelter, and now they have done so.
Mountain Laurel Designs is stating that the LittleStar has a 15% smaller footprint.
They have also indicated that it “will handle wind as well or better than the larger TrailStar“, which of course makes sense as there is less material for the wind to sit and pound against, due to its 15% smaller size.
From a weight perspective, the LittleStar is 99.22 grams (3.5 ounces) less weight than the TrailStar, when ordering the cuben fiber version.
From a price perspective, the LittleStar is the exact same price as the TrailStar — yes, I double and triple checked that… they are the same price as of the time of this article being published.
Pro Silnylon 13oz $210
Cuben Fiber 9.5oz $355
Pro Silnylon 19oz $210
Cuben Fiber 13oz $355
The Cuben Fiber that MLD uses across all of their products is .74oz/sq/yd fabric and they are using it for the LittleStar as well. They use to offer 0.51 cuben fiber as an option but that option is no longer available by the looks of things.
You will need at least one pole/stick to setup the LittleStar, and two is highly recommended to form the entrance/exit area.
You will also need ten (10) stakes. MLD is advising five 9″ stakes for the primary guylines and five 6.5″ stakes for the side guylines. Probably best to just pick up their Ultimate Stake Set which will give you what you need plus an extra of each size. The stakes will add another 133 grams (4.7 ounces) to the Total Shelter Weight.
Mountain Laurel Designs is including 40 feet of guyline, which I am going to guess is their 1.5mm High Visibility Orange Spectra Core Line which has a listed weight of 19.84 grams (0.7 ounces).
The LittleStar has LineLock 3’s, which I have come to love, that account for 42.5 grams (1.5 oz) of the weight and can be removed – but with ten guylines, it could make readjustment of the shelter a lot more work, so I say just leave them on there.
If you are wondering just what it is that makes this design from MLD so popular and amazing, check out this video (turn down your volume first) where a MLD DuoMid and a MLD TrailStar are getting hit with 70mph+ wind gusts. The DuoMid is holding its own and gets huge credit for taking the abuse, but in the few moments you can see the TrailStar, it is just sitting over there as if nothing is even happening – and that folks, is what makes the design of this shelter worthy of the praise it has gotten from hikers around the world.
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that as of the day of publication of this article I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell America, Gossamer Gear, Black Rock Gear, Suluk46.