|Side view showing the non-zip overlapping doors. A clever idea. Will they be flappy in wind? They appear to be pretty taught when fastened properly. Two vestibules and two entrances, which is a highly desirable design feature.|
Yet again this is not a gear review. But yet again I have had a number of queries from people about my latest purchase with requests for photographs. And for the third yet again I know I've gone mad buying lots of new gear. But there you go, and I did sell a load of stuff including the Akto, a Rab down sleeping bag and two backpacks to help pay for this stuff. And I am hoping to get a longish foreign trip in next summer, so want to spread the cost of any new gear needed. Actually, I seem to have bought everything all at once.
First thing to say is I don't usually do radical. I am pretty small 'c' conservative which is why I end up normally only buying gear that is well established and, preferably, that I have seen in use and have first hand recommendations. However, I am fed up with carrying too heavy a pack - I am just getting to an age where it is unsustainable, as I recently explained . Also, I am fed up with gear that is not quite right for me, especially backpacks which have too short a back, tents with insufficent length and headroom and so on, all of which make for a less comfortable trip.
Having sold the Akto I needed (well wanted) a replacement shelter as my stock was getting dangerously low ie down to two, a Trail Star and a Tarptent Scarp 1. I love the latter but it is about 1550gr and would be a real squeeze for me and the dog. I wanted 'roomy' to fit my overlong body and to give me the possibility of fitting hyperdog in with me. And I wanted as light as possible which likely meant Cuben Fibre. Ideally it would also be bomb proof but that wasn't the prime consideration, given my other options still available if the weather was looking iffy before a trip. I considered things like the Mountain Laurel Duomid and its nest, but the former was just too narrow, and it's an expensive combination. I considered the Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp plus nest but that is also a hefty price and the space in the nest is pretty restricted. So after much agonising, I settled on the Z Packs Hexamid Duplex . I went for this rather than the one person version for the reasons of space as mentioned earlier. So I could have gone lighter. This is not, incidentally, one of their tents with a mesh floor, a design which seems to raise strong feelings. To me it seemed a great combination of weight (the best weight of all actually, bar other tents from the same manufacturer), space and headroom. It is also a fully enclosed tent, so although it is spendy there was no need to get a nest as well. To put price into perspective it is way cheaper than a new Akto (£490 now folks!), not that I wanted an Akto again, and a fair bit cheaper than a Cuben Duomid and nest combo.
I had a few non-standard modifications which put the weight and price up marginally. Firstly, I had the guylines fitted for me and linelocks added at the same time. Joe charged a tiny amount for that service. Secondly, I had it made up in the heavier 0.74 oz cuben fibre. Joe Valesko believes this isn't necessary, but I suspect it is quite a popular option. It was $15 and an extra 62 gr for this peace of mind (and a nicer colour!). The weight now, with all the mods, is 685 gr. I need to stress that no bug nest is needed and this is a shelter that is big enough for two, so it is pretty much one of the lightest tents out there for the spec. On top of that it needs 8 pegs. I am using 6 Vargo titanium V pegs and 2 Clam Cleat Tornadoes. With a couple of those tiny orange ended titanium skewer thingies as spares the pegs weigh in at 130 gr. Oh, and it doesn't need seam sealing. It is all taped or bonded or something technical.
Right that's almost your lot, in that I am not going to comment on the merits of something I haven't tested. I will, however, give some thoughts, or pose questions, about some of the features. There are various reviews out there if you want to look on the Internet. I hope to get mine on a hill very shortly.
So for the rest of the photographs. It is worth saying they were taken on the very first time I put it up. Having practiced a bit since I know I can get it looking better than shown in these. There is a Youtube video on the Z Packs website where Joe demonstrates how it should really be put up.
|The cunning but slightly fiddly door fastening arrangement. The gap between door and ground is higher than in other shelters I own. Good to minimise condensation; how will it be in wind? @CleverHiker tells me it is good.|
|Very deep cuben fibre bathtub floor and mesh inner doors. Full mesh doors mean draughtier - but less condensation.|
|View from inside, again showing the generous bathtub. Should help slightly with draughts?|