I have the Ultamid and I love it so far! I have the half insert and I am thinking about possibly getting the full insert or even just the net. What are your experiences with the Ultamid and do you have any suggestions?
I have had the Ultamid 4 and full insert w floor since 2018 and have about 30 nights in it, all of those with 3-4 people. I think there are a few downsides, but they are outweighed by the plusses.
-- Sometimes you just aren't going to have a big enough flat space for it, so somebody is going to get a bumpy or uneven sleep surface
-- I have pitched it in some high winds. It never came down, but it was very loud, and the fabric bowed in, making it hard to sleep. I'm not sure how it would have compared to a freestanding tent in the same situation, but I try to find places with at least some protection from the wind now.
-- It doesn't pack down very small, but that's manageable, especially if you split it up among your group.
++ Lightweight! In a group of four, one person can carry the tarp, another the floor / net, another the cooking gear, and somebody else can carry extra water, beer, etc.
++ Flexibility. Sometimes I just bring the tarp, sometimes I just bring the mosquito netting. Sometimes I bring it all.
++ Speed. One thing I really appreciate, especially during rain / precipitation, is that you can put the tarp down first, slide the netting underneath, and then put it all up together without getting much water on the inside, making it more comfortable.
++ I just used the tarp twice in one day to wait out some hail storms near Mt. Whitney. It was super nice to be in out of weather. You can see my IG story here.
One suggestion would be to have 3 clips on the outside of the netting so it can attach to the tarp's D rings, but it's not a big deal.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I've carried the Ultamid 2 for about 4,000 miles (I guess I've lived in it for a cumulative year!) and have tried a variety of setups. This includes stuffing two people into one half insert (1,500 miles of the AT), using the full 'mid with two HMG ground cloths for a floor (most of the PCT), as well as bringing along the mesh bug insert to create a complete setup (high Sierra.) For the weight, I find the mid + ground cloth + bug mesh to be the best combination of weight, versatility, and space. I know lots of folks love the full insert with the bathtub floor, but I found that carrying a ground cloth instead meant that I could cowboy camp when conditions warranted, just pitch the 'mid during cool nights with inclement weather, or just pitch the bug net as a stand-alone "tent" during hot and buggy nights when airflow was a priority. So many sleep options for similar, or maybe even less, weight than the full insert.
Any couples use the Ultramid 2? I wont one in the worst way but not sure it would get much use. I don't think my wife and I would like the pole down the middle. I know you can hang it too, but we do a lot of desert hiking where thats not always an option.
I am secretly hoping that HMG is working on a Dirigo 2 replacement for backpacking couples :-)
Hey, @TenDigitGrid, see the above answer for Ultamid use as a couple. I probably wouldn't use the Ultamid as a 1P shelter if I could help it, given the space and weight. For two people, though, it's aces. That being said, you might wanna hold off on pulling the trigger until a little later on in the year...
@tina how cramped is it with two people in the half insert? Is the individual on the outside super close to the sloping wall?
My wife and I currently use a Nemo dagger 2p. I have seen pics with two sleeping bags in a half insert before but never with two people.
I will have to find someone and test it out 🙂
@TenDigitGrid decently cramped for two trim folks at 5'7 and 6'. It wasn't the right move for summer on the AT, which is muddy, sweaty, and humid, but it was livable and we did it. In winter conditions, it might actually be quite nice. I don't recall ever being super close to the wall, although I do recall the wall person having to clamber over the not-wall person to get out of the tent for bathroom breaks, etc. Having half of the tent reserved as a vestibule for nasty gear/cooking was pretty awesome, though. Our friends were always jealous when it was raining, because we had soooo much room.