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Zpack Tents
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John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Zpack Tents on 09/27/2011 15:08:01 MDT Print View

I just finished section hiking over 500 miles of the PCT and was really hoping to see a Zpack tent.....It didn't happen. I heard there were lots at kickoff, but none of the thru-hikers I met had one.

I'd really like to hear how the tent performed on the PCT.....THANKS

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What did you see? on 09/27/2011 22:32:58 MDT Print View

Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question - but out of curiosity what tents did you see the thru's carrying? What section did you do?

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
What did I see? on 09/28/2011 08:42:24 MDT Print View


I did the full length of Washington. I see you're from here so you may know the trail. I started in Cascade Locks, crossed the Bridge of Gods, and made it to Manning Provincial Park at the border.

I didn't see a single Zpack tent, Lightheart tent, or even a MLD tarp/tent. What I did see were a handful of Big Agnes Fly Creek tents, a couple TT Contrails, a Hubba Hubba, a Gatewood Cape, and a handful odd misc. nothing tents.

I had my Lightheart Solo Cuben tent..,......AWESOME.

Edited by HairlessApe on 09/28/2011 08:43:29 MDT.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: What did I see? on 09/28/2011 10:39:13 MDT Print View

I can't answer your question either, but I did notice something similar on the JMT this summer in that I didn't see nearly as much UL gear as I expected. Nothing wrong with that, I was just a little surprised. I guess the UL crowd is either elusive, not really on the JMT or just more of a minority than I thought. There were 2 guys that we kept leapfrogging that had a Gorilla and a Granite Gear pack, one group of 3 all with golite packs and I noticed about 5 ULA packs, but that was about it. I don't think I saw one tarp or even tarptent the whole time.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: What did I see? on 09/28/2011 10:52:50 MDT Print View

Ive only made it out locally for a weekend this year so far. In the last few years though on my annual trip out west to the winds I was susprised to see how few people were packing UL or even LW for that matter. UL is still the minority by far from what I have seen.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Lightheart cuben solo on 09/28/2011 11:06:32 MDT Print View

Hey John Have you had times where the conditions have been right for real heavy condinsation, like humid rainy weather followed by a big temp drop, no wind and camped out in the open. Im wondering how the LH will do in that. Ive had my LH silnylon out in rain but nothing really where you get the real heavy nasty condinsation yet. I have always thought that the design might lead to the netting wicking the moisture off the fly and running down and dripping into the tent

Jake Palmer
(jakep_82) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Lightheart cuben solo on 09/28/2011 13:20:12 MDT Print View

I have a silnylon solo and had this happen to me recently. We were basically camped in a cloud and I got heavy condensation. The netting absorbed some water and eventually dripped. But even with really heavy condensation the dripping was very minor and didn't cause any significant problems. I always keep a camp towel in my tent to wipe up drips and condensation in the morning.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Lightheart on 09/29/2011 12:41:27 MDT Print View

Hey Mark, I haven't had any conditions like that to test my cuben lightheart in. I had nothing but sun for the 21 days I used it through Washington. One evening it rained for a couple hours.....that's all.

Francis DeRoos

Locale: Mid Atlantic
lightheart on 09/29/2011 18:18:07 MDT Print View

I just finished the JMT and I too was genuinely surprised by the relatively heavy packs people where carrying. My Lightheart cuben solo performed superbly throughout with 1 week of daily heavy thunderstorms and hail.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Hey Francis on 09/30/2011 09:22:35 MDT Print View

Can you send me a PM. I want to know if you can get your tents rainfly tight. No matter what I try I can't get the none door side tight.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
UL on JMT on 10/01/2011 01:20:46 MDT Print View

Just finished the JMT as well, and saw a decent amount of UL gear. Saw a 3-4 granite gears, a bunch of osprey exos, a GG mariposa and G4. ULA was the biggest presence...packs ranging as far back as the p-1 p-2 line, all the way up to modern catalysts with their new cordura bottoms. Counting my own ULA pack, I probably saw at least 10 of them.

In terms of shelters, I Saw a GG the one shelter, a lunar duo, a gatewood cape, a TT rainbow, TT cloudburst, a TT moment, a couple hammocks, a couple of fly creeks. TT was definitely the biggest cottage presence on the JMT while I was there.

I Didn't see any cuben...I heard from another hiker that there was a zpacks on the trail.

Also saw a guy with a golite jam doing the trail in a week...amazing. Overall, a larger lightweight presence than I expected.

Francis when were you on the trail and when did you hit whitney? We might have barely missed each other. I started the 5th, and finished the 25th. I hear you about all that crappy weather we got...10mm hail, woot!

Edited by Konrad1013 on 10/01/2011 01:23:20 MDT.

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Lightweight on the trails on 10/04/2011 11:25:35 MDT Print View

Any chance a reduced visible UL presence is due to a lot of ULers camping LNT in areas not-visible from the trail? I wouldn't expect to see many of the BPL crowd in their campsites.

The only visible UL presence I would expect to see is in packs.

In contrast, I was down in NC recently and saw what was, simultaneously, the most impressive and saddest sight I've ever encountered. My wife and I were resting on some rocks at a stream crossing and down the trail came a group of about 10 young women, appeared to be probably college-age, who looked more exhausted than I've ever seen hikers. They had the largest packs I've ever seen, and some of them had second packs strapped on behind their main pack (think large external-frame maxed out with a stuffed 30L daypack strapped behind it); one girl had probably a 12-quart black pot, could have been cast-iron, lashed on as well.

They were midway through about 100 miles of trail as some sort of leadership program, as best I could gather. They weren't stopping, so I only got to talk with one of them briefly, but I would have loved to be able to get a picture -- I've never seen a group so overloaded, and this was all young women, which made it even crazier. I'll be shocked if any of them ever hit a trail again.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Re: Lightweight on the trails on 10/04/2011 15:21:57 MDT Print View

"Balls" and "Sunshine" used a ZPacks Hexamid Twin on the PCT. They reached Canada September 24 and will be publishing a couple of articles on BPL, hopefully including a post-trip gear appraisal. They have talked me into getting one! Hopefully I won't have to re-mortgage the house!

Last year "Boston" and "Cubby" completed the PCT squeezing themselves into a ZPacks Hexamid Solo. They said at the end of their journal that they received more questions about the tent than any other gear item.

The cost is undoubtedly keeping quite a few thru-hikers from investing in cuben.

Do remember that when you meet people out hiking on the trail, you hardly ever know what tent they are using unless you ask. It's only when they're in camp that you see what they have. Thanks to the harsh conditions due to the late-melting snow, I'm sure the dropout rate was much higher on both the PCT and CDT this year. I suspect that quite a few of the Hexamids at Kickoff never made it.

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/04/2011 15:28:55 MDT.

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Stealth camping on 10/04/2011 17:13:47 MDT Print View

I suspect some of the hikers are stealth camping, too, making it hard to see what tent/tarp they are using.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Lightweight on the trails on 10/04/2011 17:36:28 MDT Print View

I REALLY, REALLY like the looks of the Hexamid Solo without the net.

Last month I ordered one with a carbon fiber pole and I also ordered a cuben groundsheet/poncho.

I thought I was pretty light with:
5.1 oz BPL Cuben Tarp
6.7 oz Marmot Essence Rain Jacket
6.8 oz GG Light Trek Poles
2.0 oz ground sheet
2.0 oz trash compactor bag

I have never felt any great advantage with the trekking poles, since I hiked nearly 40 years without a set. I mostly just carry them, but they are great for setting up a tarp.

These two zPack items will allow me to:
Get rid of the trekking poles
Replace the jacket, ground sheet and trash bag with the cuben poncho
I will need to add two tent stakes

Net weight savings is 12.6 ounces. To me that is significant.

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Cuben poncho doesn't breath on 10/04/2011 18:09:52 MDT Print View

I know the cuben in that poncho is not breathable, so let us know how it works out in actual rain conditions.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Cuben poncho doesn't breath on 10/04/2011 18:42:49 MDT Print View

"I know the cuben in that poncho is not breathable, so let us know how it works out in actual rain conditions."

I have been using water proof non-breathable poncho/tarps since the 60's. Given their design and ample air space they are wonderful rain covers, unless you are bushwhacking :)

My Golite and MLD silnylon poncho/tarps are much more comfortable than my Marmot Essence or any GoreTex I have ever used. They only thing I cannot personally compare it to is eVent. I will admit that on some trips a jacket is more convenient to wear than a poncho.