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Black Diamond Betamid

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Betamid tarp/shelter

Solid, lightweight weather protection for lightweight/ultralight packers. I use the optional floor, and got a friend with a sewing machine to sew on about 12 inches of bug screening along the bottom of the Beta, making it a bug- and rain-proof haven, with room for two, plus gear, plus a medium sized dog, for around 4 lbs.

I made a couple modifications so it will stand using four trekking poles (two A-frames, from the edges of the floor), so my wife and I don't have trekking pole handles between us. We love this thing!!! Huge and solid for the weight.

That being said -- I have plenty of experience (including an Appalachian Trail thru-hike), and this is not a shelter for everyone. It is entirely dependent on stakes, and getting it taut requires balancing tension between six corners. Setting up on hard surfaces can require creativity -- just ask my intrepid wife, who was foraging for rocks and logs to use as stake points, as a storm rolled onto the south coast of Kangaroo Island in Australia. (Nothing south of that except ocean, until you get to Antarctica.) But once set up, we were dry and happy campers :-).

Design: Tarp-tent
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Practice makes perfect.
Weight: 2 (ish) lbs, 4 lbs tricked out.
Price Paid: $100

Very spacious and sturdy shelter.


  • Space
  • Strength
  • Just two trekking poles to setup
  • Cheap


  • Lighter version is out there
  • Trekking pole in middle to sleep around or two trees to tie off to to setup
  • No floor or bug protection

Great beginner tent, which means it's lightweight and very sturdy without breaking the bank. However you don't get a floor or bug protection. On the plus side you can do a little bit of cooking inside if the weather is bad. 

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $50

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Price MSRP: $99.00
Historic Range: $17.24-$149.95
Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$100.00
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