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Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 10:23:43 MST Print View

He is not taking orders until next month but here is the info. Green will be an option then. I am going to pull the link because he doesn't want people to order. But I will copy the information here. Just don't know how to do pics though.

ZPacksā„¢ "Hexamid" Solo Tent


The "Hexamid" is a six sided pyramid style tent for a solo hiker. The tent is available in .6 oz/sqyd cuben fiber, or 1.3 oz/sqyd sil-nylon, with or without screen.

* Sets up with just one trekking pole and a minimum of six stakes. Eight stakes are recommended.

* Ample space for one person plus gear. The tent is long enough to fully stretch out your arms and legs, and tall enough to sit upright.

* Great ventilation, and a great view through the large nanoseeum screen entryway. 5" of screen around the perimeter allows air flow.


This tent is unique in that it has a fully enclosed nanoseeum screen floor. Why a screen floor?
o It keeps 100% of insects, spiders, ticks, etc OUT!
o The screen floor is lighter than a sewn in floor would be. Use a small, lightweight ground sheet on the inside on top of the screen, just like sleeping under a tarp. Tyvek, or a Gossamer Gear Polycryo ground sheets work great.
o Your separate ground sheet can also be used for sleeping under the stars or in shelters.
o Rain spray or condensation runs right out through the screen floor. You can adjust the position of your ground sheet, or fold up the edges if the wind changes to the wrong direction.

Dimensions: 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide by 45 inches tall.


* Total weight is 8.9 ounces / 252 grams including the tent, seam sealing tape, guy lines, and a stuff sack.
* 100lb Z-Line spectra guy-lines are included. Bright yellow for visibility.
* Cuben shelters come with waterproof seam tape applied to all seams.
* Sil-Nylon shelters include a free tube of SilNet for you to apply.
* A small-plus size stuff sack is included.
* A ground sheet and 8 stakes are not included in the price or weight.

Cuben Fiber Hexamid w/ screen
8.9 oz / $259

Sil-Nylon Hexamid w/ screen
12.1 oz / $209

Cuben Tarp Only (no screen)
3.3 oz / $139

Sil-Nylon Tarp Only (no screen)
6.5 oz / $89

Optional Doorway:
This triangular doorway clips to the tent or tarp at the peak and front corners to block rain spray. To get in or out just unclip the top clip and the door drops to the floor. Three mini-d carabiners (.1 oz each) are included. In my experience however, the door is not necessary- see the review below.
Cuben Doorway
1.4 oz / $49

Sil-Nylon Doorway
2.9 oz / $29

Joe's Review, and questions answered:
In 2009 I tested the cuben fiber hexamid on a full Continental Divide Trail thru-hike. The trip took 154 days traveling roughly 2,651 miles through the rocky mountains. Over the course of the trip the tent went through just about every type of weather, from gusting wind, to rain storms, snow storms, sub freezing temperatures, etc. I hiked the first half of the trip solo, the second half with my significant other, Sheryl. We used the same tent for the whole trip.

Won't I get wet if rain is blowing towards the screen door?
Probably not. Ideally the tent should be pitched with the back or sides into the wind. If rain does start blowing towards the door it is easy enough to just slide your groundsheet to the back. You can use your shoes and water bottles to prop up the edges of your ground sheet to give you even more protection. If you want to play it safe you can add the optional doorway. I carried the doorway on my trip but never needed to put it up while hiking solo.

How durable is the material?
The tent held up really well over my five month trip. I didn't get any punctures or tears, and didn't have to do any repairs. The cuben material feels paper thin and I was careful with it, but I think it is just as durable as silicone nylon would be. Cuben has the advantage that duct tape sticks really well to it so repairs in the field would be a breeze if needed. (Duct tape will not stick to sil-nylon). I would be comfortable using the same tent on a second thru-hike, I would just replace the seam tape since it is getting crispy after five months of sun, etc.

Won't the screen floor wear out quickly?
Surprisingly no! I was careful about picking up sticks and rocks and never got any holes in the floor. Sharp things like needles and thorns that can normally cause holes go right through the screen without doing any damage.

Will the tent fit two people?
The tent is meant for one person. Sheryl joined me for the second half of the thru-hike; with two people the tent was a snug fit, but it worked for us. Most people would want more space I think. You will need the optional doorway, as there is no extra room to avoid rain spray with two people. One nice thing though is we both had room to sit upright and cook outside the front. A twin version of the tent is in the works!

How does the tent do in strong wind?
Reasonably well, about the same as a typical tarp. Whenever possible choose a sheltered location such as under tree cover. If forced to camp in the open position the back or side into the wind and make sure it is staked out well. The cuben material is designed for making sails and can handle the stress of high winds.

Edited by bpeugh on 12/17/2009 11:30:35 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 10:35:10 MST Print View

Nice. I think that is the cheapest Cuben Fibre shelter

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 11:39:18 MST Print View

I just knew something like this would come out after I spent the $$$ on Gossamer Gear's Squall Classic last spring! I'll wait for Joe's 2-person version, though. (Need the space for my dog!) And probably longer, since I'm actually very satisfied with the Squall Classic at this point. But, once again, a fascinating piece of gear to save my pennies for!

The CDT is, IMHO, a much better place to test tents than the PCT or AT--particularly for those of us who backpack in the Rockies!

The idea of the screen floor is definitely original!

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 11:43:59 MST Print View

The two person version is just a design concept right now, although it will likely see the light of day soon enough. It will be a foot wider than the current model and will use a second trekking pole. The front will still have the open beak, however. Although I think the solo version will get plenty of attention from UL enthusiasts who are average size, bigger folks or folks with a partner (or dog) will likely need the bigger version as the pitch of the roof slope eats up some of the 9' length and some of the shoulder room.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Re: Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 11:49:55 MST Print View

I'm glad to see Joe's work getting some more attention at BPL. I have a bunch of his stuff and it's all high quality and available at a fair price.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 11:50:26 MST Print View

It looks as though there is a 'rain curtain' in the one picture as perhaps, an option.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 11:54:51 MST Print View

It's an option, although Joe says it isn't really needed and sent it home while on his thru-hike.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 12:02:24 MST Print View

That's what I thought, Jolly Green--my dog (80 lbs.) and I could squeeze into the current single version, but it wouldn't be much different than when I squeezed the two of us into an SMD Lunar solo (except for the lighter weight, of course). Even though I'm only 5'3", I had to be extra careful not to brush my head against the sloping head wall when I sat up. And things were pretty cramped. Of course my 2.5" thick insulated air pad didn't help.

As mentioned, I'm not in any hurry to replace my present tent, but I will definitely keep a close watch on this one! The main reason I use a tent instead of a tarp is to have a bug-free space for both my dog and me during bug season. I really like the looks of this tent!

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
tarp only on 12/17/2009 12:03:59 MST Print View

...and a few pics of the tarp only version:jv1jv2

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
"Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent" on 12/17/2009 13:18:01 MST Print View

I really like that design.

Keep it up Joe.

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Cuben Z shelter on 12/17/2009 13:35:42 MST Print View

Here is a two person he made for me earlier this yearDuo-Mid

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
z shelter on 12/17/2009 13:43:55 MST Print View

Sorry wrong pic try this2 person cuben shelterz shelter

Edited by billreyn1 on 12/17/2009 13:49:14 MST.

Adam Frizzell
(adamf) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: tarp only on 12/17/2009 13:58:31 MST Print View

I really really like this!
Definitely going on my wish list.
Hard to tell from the photo, but is there a reinforcement area at the beak for the trekking pole?

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
reinforcement on 12/17/2009 14:03:53 MST Print View

There is on mine I am sure it is on the tarp as well.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 14:18:01 MST Print View

Brawny tents done in Cuben. Lookin' good.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Re: tarp only on 12/17/2009 16:24:33 MST Print View

He uses the heavier cuben for the place where the pole holds up the tarp. I assume it is the same stuff his packs are made of as the tarp itself is much lighter cuben. Where the pole goes through the tent and touches the ground, he uses the lighter stuff which might be a point of stress. Overall, it is a truly minimalist shelter that will excite many BPL visitors. It comes in a sack about the size of a sandwich bag.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Brawny tents done in cuben on 12/17/2009 17:13:40 MST Print View

So Sam,

This is a Brawny design? It's looks like that to me but I've only seen a Brawny once. One thing I really liked about that design is the ease and simplicity of the set-up.

Gotta admit the idea of a screen floor is kind of a eureka moment. Why not?

Can we get more photos?

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/17/2009 18:47:21 MST Print View

He's also making his packs out of Dyneema! I can get a 18 or 26 for a weight similar to a modded or unmodded GoLite Ion. Ah! Choices!

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent w/ noseeum floor on 12/17/2009 18:50:30 MST Print View

I like the look of this thing, and I'm anxious to see the 2 person model.

I also like the idea of the noseeum floor, but wouldn't it pick up a lot of stickers, etc., when pitched with the groundcloth inside as recommended? And if it does, I'd have the choice of either picking each one out one-by-one (not gonna happen), or of rolling the tent up and packing it away with the stickers still stuck in the floor. Since the floor can't be packed separately from the canopy like a groundcloth could, wouldn't those stickers poke holes in the canopy when I pack the tent away?

William Glazer
(UkuleleBill) - F

Locale: Northeast Ohio
Re: Re: Joe Valesko of Zpack's new 9oz tent on 12/20/2009 10:12:42 MST Print View

Jolly Green Giant--
I'd love to hear more about your opinions on the size for bigger guys - I'm 6'6". If this tarp can fit my length, I'm ordering one. Especially for the buggier summer months. Thanks, UkeleleBill