It had to come - a Cuben Trailstar!
I've just had a look on the Backpackinglight.com forum and there is a thread where Ron Bell has a few comments in response to a few questions on this new incarnation of the Trailstar.
It's strange how this shelter, in the silnylon version, has been hovering around under the radar, so to speak. I know I hesitated ages before deciding to buy a silnylon version. I nearly bought a Duo-mid, which has also had high praise, but I am so pleased I got a Trailstar.
Now, I'm seriously thinking - Cuben!
Even at $335 (£215.81) + shipping this looks very good value for what you get! (There was an introductory offer of $295, but this has gone).
To appreciate what you get - and to appreciate the route I took - have a look at Colin Ibbotson's excellent review on Andy Howell's blog.
Then have a look at Steven Horner's equally excellent review and pitching guide.
They describe silnylon versions, but the Cuben version is the same dimensions and very strong.
A number of folk have picked up this fantastic shelter and Martin Rye regularly uses a Trailstar (See Summit and Valley). For an one-time anti-tarp man, Martin remained true to his stance - the Trailstar is a shelter!
(Even though I did call it a tarp for dramatic purposes when I wrote my bit for the TGO mag!)
I used my Trailstar on the last TGO and can vouch for it's storm-worthy-ness! The Trailstar can take a full blown Scottish storm! It does need some good stakes to keep it on terra-firma!!
So, I'll be using a Trailstar on next years TGO. The only question is silnylon or cuben?
The silnylon Trailstar is $170 (£109.60) + shipping, but for what you get - it's excellent value.
Even allowing for a groundcover - Wickes secondary glazing film - and a bivy bag (which I personally prefer as it keeps off drafts and adds a few degrees to my sleeping bag) the weight is still well less that 1000 grms.
When you compare the space inside to the space inside an Akto or a Lazer there is no competition. You sit in a palace with plenty of headroom and space to play in.
I came to the Trailstar having played with a number of tarps over many years.
To go from eg an Akto (I have one) to a Trailstar in one go requires a leap of faith.
All I can say is, I'll find it very hard to go back to my Akto.
The Trailstar is that good!