Merrill's 28 Year Old Moss Starlet Still Feels Bombproof

This just in from Merrill, a devoted fan of the Moss Starlet:

"I have a Camden Maine-tagged Moss Starlet tent I lived in almost every night on my 28,000 mile, 28 country world bicycle tour from 1984-1988. I pitched this tent at least 1200 times. Sent it back to Moss Tent Works in 1988 to replace worn pole sleeves and a pole section and a zipper. Still going strong after 28 years! 

Bill Moss Starlet Tent You can see in the picture that my Starlet still looks very good, even though it's been pitched at least 1200 times. You might also note the faint "camouflage" effect showing through the fly. That is because I painted the other side. On my world tour, my Starlet's tan color stood out too much in very green countries such as Scotland.

While I was staying the night at a B&B in Inverness, Scotland, I was wondering how I could camp with more of a "stealth" profile, and came up with the idea of painting the non-coated side of the fly with camouflage colors. Since it's symmetrical, the fly fits fine either side out. So I visited an art supply store and bought a throw away brush and two tubes of acrylic artist's paints, one in dark brown and one dark green (the Starlet already has the light tan third color of most camouflage patterns).

Much to my B&B hostess' delight and interest, I set up my Starlet in her back yard, fly wrong side out, and proceeded to paint an abstract camouflage pattern on my tent fly. Acrylic artist paint won't harm nylon and sticks reasonably well to the uncoated side of a fly if you don't brush in on too thick. It worked better than I dreamed. A few days later, I set up my tent not five feet from a sidewalk on the outskirts of a Scottish village. The spot was the only flat area I could find, and was just lightly screened by a few trees and shrubs, but it was still daylight and I wondered how visible I'd be. Dozens of people walked by and no one noticed my tent it blended so well! The picture here shows the coated, normal side out. The green, brown, and tan camouflage pattern is still usable today with the fly wrong side out (but I didn't need it here).

I really came to appreciate the Starlet's small, but completely usable size (for one anyway). I bought it in 1984 before a Moss footprint was on offer, but I had a seamstress sew my own custom footprint with loops at each corner to fit the stakes (you can just see it below the still original red tent floor). I designed it with an extended flap covering the right half of the vestibule so I could put down my food prep things on a clean surface. I cooked many meals in that vestibule, during weeks of rain in Newfoundland, Wales and Ireland, and I stayed dry. It weathered 60 mph winds and horizontal rain in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada. I bicycled across the treeless, rainy, wind swept Hardangervidda in Norway and the Starlet never flapped or complained. It sheds wind like the engine nacelle struts on jet liners!

I recently researched online to see if there were any tents I liked better than the Starlet. I didn't find one. I think I'll keep using mine. I am certainly grateful that Moss Tent works was around in 1988 after my world tour to replace the worn pole sleeves and a zipper. My Starlet still feels bombproof. " Merrill

How great that the Starlet is still going strong. Thank you, Merrill.