This version of the Trailstar shows just how much difference the fabric can make to a shelter. It’s exactly the same size and cut as the silnylon Trailstar yet it can’t be pitched exactly the same way. A high pitch with a high door isn’t a problem, though it’s hard to get the sides of the door really tight, but there’s no way to pitch it high or low with a low door. To check this I spent a few hours with ultralight backpacker Colin Ibbotson, whose praise introduced me to the Trailstar. Neither of us could get a low door on the Cuben Fibre version, or a door that was really taut, yet we could both achieve these with the silnylon one in just a few minutes. Why the difference? We decided it was due to the complete lack of stretch in Cuben Fibre, which meant there was no give in the fabric so it couldn’t be pulled really tight.

That said, if pitched carefully with the back into the wind this Trailstar is very storm-resistant. I’ve used it in strong winds and heavy rain and felt quite secure though I did once get up in the dark and re-pitch it when the rain blew in the high entrance (the OookWorks door would help here). The edge of the entrance thrumming noisily in the wind was solved by leaning the pack gently against it.

The low weight of this Trailstar is astonishing and it’s very roomy with good headroom. I doubt there’s any other lightweight shelter with this much space plus good storm resistance. However the silnylon version only adds 185 grams to the weight, costs considerably less and is much easier to pitch, especially in the low-profi le stormshedding configuration.

Overview

  • Overall: 3-5 out of 5

Pros: Awkward to get really taut, not as versatile as the silnylon version, only available from the USA, waiting time

Cons: Ultralight

  • Details: SLEEPS: 2 FLYSHEET: Cuben Fibre, taped seams INNER n/a POLES: trekking PEGS: optional 5x 23cm Easton tubular, 5x 16.5cm titanium skewers or own choice PORCHES: n/a DIMENSIONS: 4.6m2-plus, height variable MAKER'S WEIGHT: 340g without guylines or pegs TEST WEIGHT: 301g without guylines or pegs, 586g with guylines & pegs
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