3 May 2011

Trailstar Tarp

I needed a two person biv for my upcoming 20 day John Muir Trail hike. I opted for the Trailstar. A bit heavier, but a ton of room and 300 grams per person is acceptable for such a bullet proof shelter! All up weight is about 600 gram with titanium pegs. I thought Ron's guidelines were a bit over-kill, but I will probably stay with them?

I don't use the stuff sack preferring to stuff the tarp in my pack loose to use all spare spaces. I do the same with my bivy bag with sleeping bag inside. Of course I use a plastic pack inner (check-out Gossamer Gear's pack liners).
I can write heaps about this fantastic tarp, but I think Colin Ibbotson's review says it all. Check it out at http://www.andyhowell.info/Colin-Ibbotson/Trailstar-review.html

Here are some photos - I was surprised at the tautness of the pitch. Silnylon usually sags when wet, but a night of heavy rain and it still was as tight as a drum in the morning. We also had very strong winds and with the "bum" pitched to the wind this shelter was incredibly stable - hardly a flap!

I am very please with this tarps performance and give it a 5 star. I will report more after my Kaweka trip over Queens Birthday W/E 


  1. I've used a tarp in midge country but the idea of using a Trailstar up the Matukituki, near the foot of the French Ridge, terrifies me. So many sand flies came under the fly of my TNF Tadpole that take off must have been a possibility.

  2. I use a MLD Superlight Bivy Bag with full netting head. I have a light bungy cord attached and hook this up to one of the ties in the tarp to keep it off my face.
    When solo, I use my Hexamid tarp with bug net insert. see www.zpacks.com

  3. Ookworks make a very lightweight and effective inner designed especially for the Trailstar. Worth a look...



Hey, thanks for you contribution - I monitor my blog weekly. I will reply with comments, ideas and suggestions ASAP - In the meantime, remember, hiking is an outdoors experience to enjoy, not an army boot camp training exercise!!