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Hexamid - to beak or not to beak?
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Robert Spencer
(bspencer) - MLife

Locale: Sierras of CA
Hexamid - to beak or not to beak? on 05/23/2011 16:57:25 MDT Print View

I'm very intrigued by the Zpacks Hexamid Twin Tent. It seems to be an ideal shelter for my wife and I since we mostly backpack in the Sierras in the summer. Do the Hexamid owners agree?

A few questions:
Is the extended beak option the way to go? Did anybody get the beak and regret it? Does this eliminate the need for the door panels?

Does the netting floor work as advertized or should I opt for a sewn-in cuben floor?

Will fixed length trekking poles work for set up? I have GG poles that are 110 cm and my wife's are 105 cm.

Any other advice about this shelter is appreciated. Looks like a great design and the weight is absolutely amazing. Just want to make sure there is no catch. Thanks.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Hexamid Twin on 05/23/2011 17:41:17 MDT Print View

The bug netting is great. I've never had a hole in mine (which has gotten some rough use, BTW), but I have successfully sewn up holes in bug netting with needle and thread.

Addendum 5/31/11: I got a couple of small holes this weekend when I set up on sharp-stick-laden ground. (Should have cleared away the sticks.) But duct tape and (later) needle and thread) fixed the problem.

The beak replaces the attachable cuben door (and works a bit better in the rain), and since you'd have the door along anyway, there's no loss in having it sewn on. I had Joe sew the beak on my Hex Solo. Does anybody want to buy a door?

The poles are another matter. Your shorter pole is too high for the back of the Hex Twin, but you could tie it off mid-way up the pole with no difficulty. Your longer pole is about 5.5 inches (if my memory serves) too short for the front of the Hex. You could set it up on a rock, but then you'd have to sleep with a rock in the way. ;-)

I love both my Hexes. I have little use for the Twin because my wife has given up on BPing, but I can't bring myself to part with it, even though I use the Solo exclusively now. Eventually, I suppose I'll have to to buy more gear, but the danged thing is just so elegantly and efficiently designed. And now you know why my children don't have shoes . . . .

Edited by nerdboy52 on 05/31/2011 09:30:09 MDT.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Hexamid Twin on 05/23/2011 17:59:17 MDT Print View

@Thomas: PM me regarding this door. I've been considering adding the beak to my solo Hex tarp.

Back @OP: I don't know if I've read a single bad user experience with the netting. I recall lots of "I don't know…" comments from folks who haven't used it, but then people become elated after seeing it in person. I opted for just the tarp, but that's because I prefer the bivy option - for the Twin, I think the full "tent" is worthwhile.

Robert Spencer
(bspencer) - MLife

Locale: Sierras of CA
Hexamid Twin on 05/23/2011 18:50:26 MDT Print View

I agree, haven't read bad reviews of this shelter or the netting, but I wanted to make sure I am not missing a glaring problem. Seems ideal for my needs.

Maybe I need to spring for the adjustable GG poles as well. Those should do the trick with the Hexamid Twin, yes?

Good to hear that the beak works better than the door. Certainly worth the ounce in weight gain.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The door on 05/23/2011 19:04:19 MDT Print View

One advantage of the door:

You can use it as a ground cloth if the chance of rain is low.

Does Joe still sell the door? I couldn't find it on the web site.


Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
GG poles on 05/23/2011 19:07:12 MDT Print View

>Maybe I need to spring for the adjustable GG poles as well. Those should do the trick with the Hexamid Twin, yes?

That's what I use for hiking and as supports for the Hex. They work like a charm in both cases, and at 3.5 oz/ pole, they float in your hands (no need for the straps, IMO).


Edited by nerdboy52 on 05/23/2011 19:08:02 MDT.

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
My experience on 05/23/2011 19:53:59 MDT Print View

I have used the duo.

I think you want the beak.

I had the tent and the cuben floor although the cuben floor is not sewn in nor in place of the netting floor. Rather it's in addition to.

You need to be aware of what you are getting with this shelter. It's extremely light but much more susceptible to damage than a comparable sil shelter.

It's a great shelter and joes quality is excellent but if you have never used .5 cuben be prepared for the changes in behavior required to keep it safe.

Robert Spencer
(bspencer) - MLife

Locale: Sierras of CA
Hexamid Twin on 05/23/2011 20:22:43 MDT Print View

Stargazer - I didn't see the door option on the website either so I will have to email Joe. I like the idea of using the door for an additional ground sheet, etc. but wonder if I would carry it knowing the beak is pretty effective on its own. And thanks for the thumbs up on the GG adjustable poles.

Mark - I have never owned a cuben shelter or tarp (just a few stuff sacks), but I am usually pretty careful with my gear. I guess without trying I won't know. Did you mention that issue in relation to abrasion resistance or stress from windy conditions or both?

It sounds like proper pitch is essential for getting the most from a hexamid tent. Hard to predict the severity of summer storms but I hope this shelter will suffice for a JMT type trip.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Hexamid Twin on 05/23/2011 20:47:24 MDT Print View

I've had my twin for almost a year now, and have used it a bunch. I don't have the door or extended beak, and don't intend on adding either because I dont feel like I need them. The mesh floor is brilliant IMO, and I use a MLD UL ground cloth (plastic sheet) on top of it. My wife and I will be using it on our Sobo JMT Thru this summer, as I think it's the perfect UL shelter for three season use.

Man, I should be getting some kind of advertising fee :-). Really, I no longer have shelter envy.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Hexamid - to beak or not to beak on 05/23/2011 22:16:23 MDT Print View

I have the solo tent, with cuben floor and the door (beak wasn't available at the time). The accessories were bought after the tent. I like it quite a bit.

I find the tent actually quite resilient. The netting floor has worked as described by Joe on his site. I'm actually quite impressed. I burnt a couple of holes in the net (floor and door) with a "cigarette"-like ember. Joe charged me a very nominal fee ($15-20). Looks as good as new. Great service.

The cuben floor with attachment hoops, was the best addition. I didn't bother having it sewn in and just keep it attached when packing the tent. Packs very very small when you fold and roll. Up to you whether you want the floor sewn in or not. Save a bit of weight (couple ounces) or have an extra layer of material between ground, or option to use floor without tent (?).

I was considering getting the beak when it came out and retrofitting it. Joe told me not to bother and am kind of happy with the door. You can raise or lower it from inside the tent. It's behind the main pole so doesn't take away from floor space. You can keep it tight to the bottom with rocks etc to get better coverage against wind/rain. You can lower the top half of door for better ventilation and keep bottom up to protect when lying down in tent.

I haven't used the beak so have no idea the advantages. I suppose it would be neater/tidy inside and you can use beak for shoes etc.

Joe is a stand up guy and very helpful with questions. Good luck.

The only downside of the hexamid is that it takes up a bit of real estate with the guylines.

The other tent I have is the Tarptent Double Rainbow. That one is a total no-brainer at $260 all in. Great for two people, easy set-up, small footprint. but it is a pound heavier.

Edited by elf773 on 05/23/2011 22:21:56 MDT.

Robert Spencer
(bspencer) - MLife

Locale: Sierras of CA
Hexamid Twin on 05/24/2011 14:58:15 MDT Print View

Scott, very helpful comments. Love the Double Rainbow but the weight of the Hex is making me salivate. I see your point about the door option -- sounds flexible. And keeping the cuben tarp clipped to the corner loops instead of sewn in seems more versatile indeed.

I am leaning towards the beak and regular netting floor however. Then I can assess effectiveness for me and my hiking environment and add accessories as needed. No point in buying extras unless I decide that something is lacking.

Thanks for all the advice. You guys are great.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Door on 05/24/2011 15:06:42 MDT Print View

If anybody wants a door, I'd be glad to part with mine. Since I got the beak sewn on, it's been sitting forlornly in my gear closet.


tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
hex door on 05/24/2011 17:04:32 MDT Print View

Ive got the Hex twin on the way, just in time for my thru of the CT in june.

I didnt order the door or beak. I figured id be alright without either...i may be wrong.

I measured it out inside of a fort i made out of sheets and that thing is a palace!

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Holes in the mesh on 05/31/2011 09:27:05 MDT Print View

IThis weekend, I pitched my Hex on some pretty rocky/ stick laden ground and got couple of small holes in the mesh. I noticed with fascination as an ant crawled up and down the mesh until it at last found one of the holes and crawled right in. (It had to wiggle a bit to get in. The hole was very small.) A small piece of duct tape fixed the problem fine, and a few stitches with needle and thread last night fixed it permanently.

A great shelter, with or without the beak.

Tom B.

Edited by nerdboy52 on 05/31/2011 09:32:07 MDT.

Vit Hradecky
(vit001) - F
Re: Door on 05/31/2011 10:48:28 MDT Print View

I am interested in your door. It's from the hexamid single right?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Hexamid - to beak or not to beak? on 05/31/2011 11:34:35 MDT Print View

I wish I had a beak with my netted Hexamid. I think of it like a vestibule, which could be very nice if it rained or snowed during the night.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Adding the beak on 05/31/2011 12:10:50 MDT Print View

Joe added a beak to mine. I'm sure he's done the same for others. You just can't beat his workmanship and customer service.


Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The door on 05/31/2011 12:15:01 MDT Print View

>I am interested in your door. It's from the hexamid single right?


Yes, it is, but I think it will work on both the single and the double. Post an mail address in your profile, and I'll PM you about it. (I don't to hijack the thread any more than I have already.)

(Or PM me with an email address.)


Edited by nerdboy52 on 05/31/2011 12:55:01 MDT.