Saturday, December 2, 2023

10 Greatest Ultralight Pyramid Tarps of 2023

10 Best Ultralight Pyramid Tarps

Pyramid tarps typically known as “mids”, quick for pyramids, can be found in a number of kinds starting from one-person ultralight monopole tarps to multi-person winter tipis, full with internal tents, range jacks, and wooden stoves. Regardless of their variations, all pyramid shelters share a couple of widespread properties.  They’re exceptionally wind and climate resistant, they’ve a single peak, and strong partitions. This makes them a good selection for tenting in uncovered terrain that doesn’t have a variety of pure windbreaks like timber or vegetation, and for winter tenting, the place the steep sidewalls of a pyramid might help shed snow.

Listed below are the highest 10 pyramid tarps that we advocate.

1. Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid XL

MLD Solomid XL
The Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid XL is a single-person pyramid able to dealing with robust winds and average snow hundreds. It has an uneven design that will increase the quantity of house behind the one middle pole, permitting the entrance for use as a lined vestibule. This offset design permits entry and exit in wet situations to assist maintain the sleep facet of the shelter dry. The Solomid XL is out there in silnylon and Dyneema DCF. A companion internal tent can also be out there.

View at MLD

2. Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp

Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp
The Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp is a spacious 1-person pyramid tarp that solely weighs 13 oz. It has a facet entry and boasts 44 sq ft of inside room with a 49″ peak top so you possibly can actually stretch out and retailer your gear inside. The Deschutes Tarp is made with silnylon and requires a trekking pole to arrange. A carbon fiber pole can also be out there as an add-on buy. Learn our Deschutes Tarp Evaluate. 

View at Six Moons

3. Zpacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp with Doorways

Zpacks Pocket Tarp with Doors
The Zpacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp with Doorways is a 6.1 ouncespyramid tarp made with Dyneema DCF. It’s designed for quick journeys the place you need to carry a minimal quantity of substances and anticipate pretty temperate climate. The 2 doorways will be rolled again fully or partially opened for higher airflow. You should use it with an ultralight footprint, bivy sack, or an add-on bathtub ground (proven above). An inside tent isn’t out there as an possibility, however Zpacks sells a really related single-wall tent known as the Plex Solo, which has completely hooked up noseeum netting, a tub ground and simply weighs 13.9 ounces. Learn our Pocket Tarp Evaluate.

View at Zpacks

4. Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid

MLD Duomid
The Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid is a two-person pyramid that may also be utilized by one particular person as a palatial shelter. Moreover being bigger, it’s a considerably totally different sleeping expertise than within the MLD Solomid XL. It has a big peak vent with a foldable wire that can be utilized to restrict airflow or block snow. It has 8 ground-level perimeter tie-outs all with LineLocks for straightforward adjustment and three panel-guyouts. Inside loops are supplied to hold lights or an internal tent. It pairs properly with the one-person Solomid internal tent if you need a screened-in sleeping space with a big open space for cooking or gear storage. Learn our Duomid Evaluate.

View at MLD

5. Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2

HMG UltaMid 2
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 is a rugged two-person pyramid tarp made with Dyneema DCF that’s seam-taped and extremely waterproof. It has a water resistant zipper as a entrance door with two peak vents backed by noseeum mesh for inspection safety. The Ultamid 2 comes with 8 strengthened perimeter tie-outs with line locks, 4 middle panel tie-outs, 1 tie-out on the cone for hanging beneath timber. Hyperlite has a lot of suitable add-ons for it together with a Ultamid 2 Half Insert (nice for one particular person), UltaMid 2 Insert No Flooring, UltaMid 2 Insert with DCF11 Flooring and a DCF Floor Material.

View at Hyperlite

6. Locus Gear Hapi

Locus Gear Hapi Pyramid
The Locus Gear Hapi is a single-wall pyramid tarp out there in silnylon, eVent, or Dyneema DCF. Sized for 1-2 folks, its door is situated alongside the facet, making it straightforward for 2 folks to share with out having to step over each other to enter or exit. The Hapi has a single mesh-backed peak vent and a water resistant zipper. Setup requires 1 pole, with as much as 16 man out factors across the base and on the facet panels. We’re very eager on the silnylon model which is sort of affordably priced. Locus Gear is a Japanese gear firm, recognized for its extremely refined ultralight gear. In addition they ship to the US.

View at Locus Gear

7. Search Outdoors Cimarron Pyramid Tent

Seek Outside Cimarron Pyramid Tent
The Search Outdoors Cimarron is a Pyramid Tent that comes with an non-obligatory range jack so you possibly can burn wooden inside in chilly climate. This can be a widespread possibility with backcountry hunters who’re out for days at a time in chilly climate. The Cimarron has eight facet panels as a substitute of the 4 discovered on most mids and a couple of zippered doorways as a substitute of 1.  There are a number of totally different fashions out there in Cordura or Dyneema DCF in addition to add-ons, together with a carbon fiber pole, range, winter liners, and guy-out extensions.

View at Search Outdoors

8. MSR Entrance Vary

MSR Front Range
The MSR Entrance Vary is a surprisingly light-weight and roomy 4 particular person pyramid tarp with a 5’ 4” peak top. Whereas it’s supreme to be used as a ski mountaineering shelter or winter eating tarp, it additionally packs down sufficiently small for fair-weather use by {couples} wanting further room to unfold out or as a substitute for a standard double-wall tent. The Entrance Vary is made with the identical PU/Sil coated nylon discovered on all MSR tents. There are strengthened line loc tensioners on the corners with added guy-out factors alongside the seams. A ski strap is included so you should use trekking or ski poles to arrange the tent. A mesh insert can also be out there.

View at REI

9. Mountain Laurel Designs Supermid

MLD Supermid
The Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD) Supermid is 4 particular person pyramid tarp 9’2″ x 9’2″. It incorporates design options to strengthen its bigger dimension and improve livability, not discovered on MLDs different mids, together with an outsized peak vent to reduce inside condensation, mid-height door snaps, and triple rolled seams. The Supermid is a superb selection for ski mountaineering, winter tenting, and base tenting for 2-4 occupants. It’s out there in silnylon or Dyneema DCF, with add-on choices together with an internal tent or a ground. A 6′ lengthy carbon fiber middle pole can also be out there.

View at MLD

10. Black Diamond Mega Lite 4P

Black Diamond Mega Lite 4P
The Black Diamond Mega Lite 4 has been within the Black Diamond product line for over a decade however has been designed and up to date up to now 12 months. Whereas it has at all times been a well-liked selection for winter and ski mountaineering, the up to date mannequin is now seam-taped and made with sag-resistant siliconized polyester. The Mega Lite 4 comes with a carbon fiber middle pole and has a complete of 12 guy-out factors. It has a entrance zipper with a buckle to take stress off the zipper and line loc tensioners on the corners, making setup a breeze. An internal tent can also be out there.

View at Black Diamond

Pyramid Tarp Information – Crucial Concerns

We’ve used pyramid tarps and tents fairly extensively for backpacking in a wide range of climates and terrain. Listed below are some hard-earned insights into the best way to use them and what to search for when buying one.

Monopole Shelters

Pyramid tarps are known as monopole shelters as a result of they solely require one pole to arrange. The pole is often positioned inside the height within the middle of the pyramid, though it may also be slanted with the bottom off-center to supply extra inside room. The height itself is often strengthened so the middle pole doesn’t puncture it. Most peaks additionally embody an air vent to launch the water vapor and heat air that may trigger inside condensation.

A pole is usually included with the shelter or out there as an possibility. Most smaller capability pyramids (1-3 folks) will be arrange with a trekking pole as a substitute of a separate tent pole, which is widespread with the ultralight pyramids made by cottage producers. In case your trekking pole isn’t lengthy sufficient, you possibly can lash it to a second trekking pole with a Voile ski strap to create an extended pole or lengthen it with a pole jack, which is basically a tent pole restore sleeve that matches over your trekking pole tip to make it longer.

Interior Tents, Nests, Internet Tents, And so forth.

What’s the distinction between a pyramid tent and a pyramid tarp? Pyramid tents are often simply pyramid tarps with an non-obligatory add-on internal tent that has a ground and mesh netting to guard occupants from floor moisture, bugs, and creepy crawlies. Should you use an internal tent with a pyramid tarp, you’ve successfully turned it right into a double-wall tent, with all the benefits and downsides generally related to them.

On the plus facet, many pyramids’ internal tents will be arrange after the outer tarp when it’s raining, so that they keep dry. They’re additionally non-obligatory, so you possibly can depart them at house once you need to save gear weight or bulk. That is significantly advantageous in winter when insect safety is pointless.

Golite Shangri-La 3 (now available as the Pyramid 3 from My Trail Company) pitched with its inner tent. While comfortable, the inner tent significantly increases the shelter weight.
Whereas comfy, an internal tent can considerably improve the shelter weight.

Should you decide to not use an internal tent in a pyramid tarp, you should use a light-weight footprint, like Tyvek or window wrap, as a water-proof groundsheet, or an ultralight bivy sack with a mesh hood for added insect safety.

One other widespread various is to buy a half-sized internal tent that solely fills a part of the pyramid to avoid wasting weight so you possibly can safely prepare dinner within the floorless half in unhealthy climate. Most of the producers listed above promote half-mids internal tents that can be utilized for this objective. When buying a pyramid, be certain to search for ones which have inside gear loops or attachment factors so you possibly can conveniently droop equipment within the inside.

You can use a pyramid like you would any single wall tarp, with a UL groundsheet and UL bivy sack.
You should use a pyramid as you’d any single wall tarp, with a UL groundsheet and UL bivy sack.

Entrance Door

Most pyramid tents and tarps have a single entrance door, which will be problematic relying on its place and the variety of folks sharing the shelter. Whereas not a difficulty for solo use, you’re in all probability going to get up a companion if you must get out of a multi-person pyramid at night time. When evaluating multi-person pyramids, attempt to discover ones that allow you to orient your head going through the entrance wall so that you and your companion(s) have equal entry to the door, fairly than pyramids the place you’re mendacity perpendicular to the door. An alternative choice is to get a pyramid that’s bigger than needed so you have got extra room inside to maneuver round.

Wide air gap between the bottom of the tarp and the ground.
Broad air hole between the underside of the tarp and the bottom.

Inner Condensation

Pyramid tents and tarps are vulnerable to inside condensation identical to another single or double-walled tent and shelter. One of the best ways to cut back or remove any inside condensation is to take care of as a lot airflow as attainable. Whereas many pyramid shelters have a vent within the peak, this isn’t often ample by itself to vent moisture build-up.  Whereas sleeping with the entrance door rolled open in honest climate will be fairly useful, the easiest way to make sure good airflow is to take care of a large air hole between the underside fringe of the tarp and the bottom so breezes can cross by the tent. Lengthen the middle pole a couple of inches to lift the height, and stake out the bottom as regular.

The least amount of overhead clearance is at the head and foot ends under the slanted walls.
The least quantity of overhead clearance is on the head and foot ends beneath the slanted partitions.

Inside Quantity

Whereas the headroom on the middle of a pyramid tent or tarp is often fairly good, letting you sit up with ease, the inside will be awkward to make use of relying on the slope angle of the partitions and their distance out of your face and the highest of your ft. Whereas elevating the middle pole might help improve the gap between the tarp and your face, there’s at all times going to be much less clearance on the edges of the tarp farthest away from the middle pole. If this bothers you, search for pyramids with a better peak top and steeper sidewalls. The form of the footprint –  round versus sq. or rectangular – may also have an effect on the quantity of edge clearance you have got. Edge clearance is often much less of a difficulty in winter as a result of you possibly can dig a pit into the snow beneath the pyramid to create extra headroom.

It can be challenging to wedge a pyramid in between trees in dense forest
It may be difficult to wedge a pyramid in between timber in a dense forest

Campsite Choice

Pyramid tarps and tents have a pretty big footprint, which might make it troublesome to pitch in closely forested terrain the place you should wedge them between timber. In addition they work greatest on flat and even floor, not like a flat tarp, the place you possibly can pitch one facet significantly greater than the opposite and nonetheless get a viable shelter. If the one floor you possibly can set a pyramid on is uneven, you’re in all probability going to get some “wall sag” as a substitute of a drum-tight pitch on the excessive facet. This could scale back the quantity of useable house you have got inside, however is unlikely to have a critical purposeful influence.

When tenting in uncovered and windy terrain, it’s greatest to arrange your pyramid with the door going through away from the wind or at an angle. When you can stake out the sidewall guy-out factors to stop wind stress from bowing the partitions into your dwelling house, crucial stakeout factors for top wind are across the base of the shelter. Take into account bringing longer, thicker, and heavier tent stakes when anchoring your shelter in windy terrain.

It best to pitch a pyramid with the door facing opposite the wind
It’s greatest to pitch a pyramid with the door going through reverse the wind

Dyneema DCF Vs Silnylon

Many pyramid tarp producers supply their shelters in a number of cloth choices, together with Dyneema DCF and silnylon. Whereas a DCF shelter will probably be lighter weight (the bigger the shelters, the larger the burden distinction) than one made with silnylon, it is going to be bulkier to pack. DCF shelters are additionally considerably hotter inside when the solar is shining, which might make hanging out in a single through the day unbearable.

Moreover being lighter in weight, DCF shelters are often seam-taped, so that you don’t should seam-seal them. The fabric additionally doesn’t stretch when it will get moist by rain or morning dew. Each supplies are more likely to have the same lifespan, though many individuals favor utilizing Silnylon over DCF in winter as a result of snow slides off its floor extra simply.


Pyramid tarps are a well-liked ultralight backpacking shelter possibility as a result of they’re comparatively light-weight and wind-resistant. If sleeping on the bottom doesn’t attraction to you or in case you want insect safety, you possibly can add an internal tent to a pyramid tarp to create a double-walled tent. Inner condensation is greatest addressed by encouraging loads of airflow by a pyramid, by maintaining the entrance door open or pitching them so loads of air can blow by, low down close to the bottom. Most ultralight backpacking pyramids will be arrange utilizing a trekking pole(s), however you possibly can often acquire and carry a separate tent pole in case you don’t use them.

Pyramids work greatest on flat floor with pretty open campsites as a result of they require a good quantity of house to arrange and stake down. Whereas headroom is sort of good within the middle of a pyramid, the ends will be fairly low above your face or the tops of your ft. This may be addressed by getting a bigger capability pyramid that gives extra dwelling house, though it is going to be heavier to hold.

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