MSR Trekker Insert
The Trekker Insert has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best bug shelters for 2020.
Historic Range: $109.90
I don't know of a place you can buy just the MSR Trekker Tarp Insert alone, but here's my review for what it's worth. I own the 1998 Walrus Trekker with Insert; the 2003 MSR Trekker with Insert; and this one -- the 2005 Model MSR Trekker Tent (a name change which indicates the Tarp and Tent are sold as a system).
Let me say first that there have been changes in this insert over the several models of Trekker and all appear to be for the better. This one is lighter in weight, has improved fittings to keep the sides of the netting away from the folks sleeping inside (the Walrus had fittings to do this in an overhead mode and the 2003 Trekker had none), and includes zippered entrances on each end as well as the standard insert-wide side zippered entrance.
I like it. On clear summer nights, I can set it up with full ventilation and watch the stars, 'possums, and bats overhead. The same two trekking poles (supplied by the user) that hold this Insert up, also support the Trekker Tarp (of whatever year and maker). The Insert comes with four MSR Needle Stakes to hold the corners down. If you carry the whole System, you could probably use these as spares in case one to the Trekker itself was lost.
Aside from a few fitting changes over the years, one Insert will fit all Trekker Tarps because of the universal two-point overhead FASTEX buckle system (one at each end. I also like that with the Trekker, your trekking poles are on the OUTSIDE of the Insert; versus the Betamid, Twin Peaks, Gimme Shelter, to name a few. This means that if the two people sleeping inside of this Insert want to snuggle, they can. In the other shelters I mentioned, the poles sit down between the two "happy campers."
This is the first model of Insert that changed the color of the floor from basic black to red with orange trim (to match the newer Trekker Tarp). It's also a few inches wider than older models, which gives the users additional "space," if desired. I like that all of the models are made with black no-see-um netting, which is easier to see through than other colors such as white. This floor seems less slippery than the Insert before it, probably due to a fabric change.
Because of the modular nature of this Insert, it might also be possible to rig another, lighter or home-made tarp over it, if so desired. It doesn't make a good Insect Insert for either of the three shelters mentioned above because its peaks are too long to match (although in a pinch you could make this work with some extra rigging, but I don't recommend it).
Having a similar design to that of the old-fashioned U.S. Army Pup Tent, it could probably be used as an insert for this as well, although if used with Army three-section poles, you'll have to pad the tips to protect the peaks of the Insert.
Also, it's June 2006, and I just noticed that the MSR website no longer lists the MSR Trekker Tent. That's a shame, because it's a good one, having survived in a climate of fierce competition for almost nine years. Buy them while you see them on clearance or pay more for these on Ebay in the future. Those who own them don't usually part with them easily...
Design: Net-Tent in A-Frame Design
Ease of Setup: Very Easy -- four stakes and two clips
Weight: 2 pounds
Price Paid: Part of Trekker Tent