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Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp - Shout Out!
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Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp - Shout Out! on 07/01/2012 02:11:48 MDT Print View

The microclimate inside the Haleakala Crater on Maui cetainly creates rapid swings in weather conditions and temperatures even in the middle of summer.

However, it is unusual to have a period of severe wind and rain last several days without ever stopping. So it came to pass this week, that my little junket into the crater resulted in me being pinned down in my tent for 40 hours of raging wind, cold temps and pounding rain! Ru-roh!

Not to worry, it seems in its maiden voyage, my new Hexamid Solo Tarp kept me warm and dry with a little rain splatter inside around the edges, which only presented a problem when it got to my ground sheet and puddled before I caught it. Not that being huddled inside my bag and shelter for 40 hours strait is fun, it wasn't, and it totally put the kabbosh on my plans to day hike up and over the rim. However, even with the swirling wind continually tearing at the tarp causing quite a bit of flapping and noise, it held up much to my delighted surprise!

I will say that I have the extended beak and that really made a big difference. I think the tarp alone would not have kept me dry and I would have a lot more water directly pouring inside.

So if you're considering taking the plunge to splurge on a Hexamid, I highly recommend it, but definitely get the extended beak, it's worth the extra 1.4 oz.

Edited by veganaloha on 07/01/2012 02:14:01 MDT.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
NEW Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp on 07/01/2012 03:46:21 MDT Print View

That's good to hear. Did you find any damage, ie stressed stitching or tape lifting? I assume yours has the new taped seams as standard. I've just got one , but somehow assumed it wasn't for the worst weather conditions, although I got Joe to add extra guys to the ends just in case :-)

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: NEW Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp on 07/01/2012 05:57:02 MDT Print View

No damage. Yes, It's the taped seams.

The only thing I would say is that I may opt to get line locs for my guy lines instead of the fixed length guys that Joe provides. I had it in storm mode with the stakes pinned directly through the grommets due to the weather, but even wihtout bad weather, the length of the guys I feel is too long for my taste and results in the tarp being too far off the ground.

When you order, you get the line and Joe provides instructions of how long to cut each line. I guess the option would be to decide to just cut them shorter than instructed, but it's hard to know how long you want them without experimenting. So, since I've already cut mine to the prescribed length, I think I'll just get the locs so they're easily adjustible and suffer a small weight penalty to add them.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Re: NEW Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp on 07/02/2012 07:16:36 MDT Print View

I've taken my line locs off! Instead I'm using a guyline hitch knot, which is easier to use, less bulky, and a few grams saved. Mind you, I've not tried on a wet windy night : I don't know whether the cord will slip or not, certainly works dry. With locs or knots the lines can be adjusted to half the length, which is what Joe intended. You could try a few guys each with the different methods to see how you get on.

Erik Dietz
(erikdtz)

Locale: Los Angeles
bivy or hexanet? on 07/02/2012 09:09:00 MDT Print View

Hi Susan,

I'm about to purchase the Solo+ tarp and I was curious if you were using a bivy or the hexanet underneath? That's the one thing that's making me lean towards the hexanet over the bivy, is the possibility of a long storm and having to hang out under the tarp for an extended period of time. I know the Hexanets don't provide tons of room but I would be able to sit up.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Tautline Hitches Very Dependable on 07/02/2012 09:31:48 MDT Print View

" I'm using a guyline hitch knot, which is easier to use, less bulky, and a few grams saved. Mind you, I've not tried on a wet windy night : I don't know whether the cord will slip or not[...]"

I've used the good ol' taut-line hitch on skinny synthetic cord guylines since the early '70s on tarps and tents in all kinds of rough weather, including a few healthy blizzards which battered my shelters all night long. I've never had a taut-line hitch slip.

It's an easy knot to tie, don't see any reason to use them plastic line tightener thingies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taut-line_hitch

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: NEW Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp on 07/02/2012 09:32:42 MDT Print View

Linelocs are nice because if the weather gets nastier, you can drop the pole height, and adjust the guyline length from underneath the shelter (since the linelocs are attached to the shelter, not the stake, unlike knots). They're also really easy to use when your hands are numb from cold.

Edited by lindahlb on 07/02/2012 09:36:41 MDT.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: bivy or hexanet? on 07/02/2012 10:16:09 MDT Print View

Erik, if you're leaning toward the Hexanet, you might consider the Solo+ "tent" option instead. I'm sure you looked at it, and yeah it eliminates the option to go tarp only, but it does give you a lot of room.

I spent some wet stormy nights in a Solo+ tent with a ground sheet and didn't have any issue with getting wet from underneath (if that's a concern with the mesh floor).

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: bivy or hexanet? on 07/02/2012 21:38:42 MDT Print View

I was using a bivy, which is also new from John West. This trip was really about testing new gear, so from that regard the unexpected storm certainly provided a rigorous test!

For me the Hexamid Solo is long enough for me since I'm 5'-2", but is was a bit cramped in the width. I'm not sure I would wnat to use the net tent becasue from what I can tell on ZPacks website and other related posts, the net tent further limits the room under the tarp.

For me, I've been looking at other bug protection options to use with this tarp when needed. I guess based on the expected bug conditions, that could range from my new bivy, a head net or the Gossamer Gear net.

Hope this helps!

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
A Good Reason on 07/03/2012 06:58:16 MDT Print View

"Linelocs are nice because if the weather gets nastier, you can drop the pole height, and adjust the guyline length from underneath the shelter [...]"

That is a handy feature! I'll have to re-visit them.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: NEW Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp on 07/07/2012 02:58:05 MDT Print View

"...With locs or knots the lines can be adjusted to half the length, which is what Joe intended...."

I had though of that as an option, but it hadn't crossed my mind previously that it was actually intended. I'll have to try "halving" the fixed guys before I invest in linelocs, or refresh my knot tying skills for the other options mentioned for more adjustable length guys.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 07/07/2012 04:51:54 MDT Print View

I take a mylar space blanket from walmart, ($3). Cut a few pieces of 12" wide strip. When things get snotty, i put this around the edge of my groundsheet covering the mesh Eliminates the splash in heavy rain.

One of the severe problems with having the mesh sewn to the edge of the tarp, is when you are on a sloped surface where you keep sliding downhill, eventually the cuben groundsheet will touch the mesh and start funnelling runoff right into it. Putting the strip of mylar behind it to cover the mesh prevents this.

Joe really needs to attach the mesh about 6" inward from the edge of the tarp, that would stop this problem. But it is a minimal shelter and has its related issues.

On the beak side, Ive experienced a lot of splashing in heavy rain, especially near the corners where the beak overhang is minimal to nonexistent.

Same thing here, a strip of mylar spaceblanket across the mesh, using pack, foodbag, boots, to suppor blocks the spray. Ive also had to put my CCF pad across in really nasty conditions to stay dry. Just one reason to carry 2 ccf pads, and not one. A 1/8" GG pad will stand up on its own, and totally block off that side if needed.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: hex on 07/08/2012 00:24:19 MDT Print View

MB,

"On the beak side, Ive experienced a lot of splashing in heavy rain, especially near the corners where the beak overhang is minimal to nonexistent."

These two corners are also where I had some rain splash get on my ground cloth. I simply pulled the ground cloth in and folded up the edges to make corners. Also, I just ordered the ZPacks ground cloth so I could clip it in place. I had debated about this, but decided to do it because my polycryo ground cloth did slip around a bit since I was on a slight slope. Thast and I've almost decided to take my Hexamid versus my GG The One to do the JMT in August.

Susan

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 07/08/2012 06:09:36 MDT Print View

I have the zpacks groundcloth, its not a perfect solution, its not even close. It helps some. But the edge of the ground cloth can still be pushed into the mesh, which funnels water right into it. It is also a bit too wide and the ends tend to lay flat basically anyway, the geometry of the support points wont stretch it tight width-wise.

On a slope, it is especially bad because i keep sliding downhill until it happens. Cant always find a perfectly flat spot in the mountains, especially in a hurry.

I was really surprised at the amount of very fine splash that comes thru the mesh door even with the beak in heavy rain, Dropping the pole height helps. My first night of thunderstorms at 5000' on the AT, I had to put pack, raingear, and sleeping pad across this side to stay totally dry, but I did and slept good. I just let my pack get wet.

One of my taped side tie-outs leaked as well, micro-wrinkle in the patch, steady stream of water down the roof of the tent, but no drips , had to seal that , as well as the tie points for groundsheet, they will wick water in. Cant count on water dripping outside the groundsheet, too easy for that setup to mess up.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: hex on 07/10/2012 02:21:11 MDT Print View

MB,

I have just the tarp (no sewn in mesh) not the tent, but when I get my ground cloth, I'll post how it works. For me, I'd like to just be able to go to sleep rahter than staying awake and worrying about water getting in during a storm.

I agree, I find it difficult to get a good flat spot in just the right location. I usually end up with some slope, which is why I've opted for a tent in the past.

Again, I am leaning towards taking my hexamid for the JMt in August. I hope there are not significant or prolonged storms....

Susan