Sorry for not seeing this sooner and responding. I have been down and out for awhile due to an ITB issue with one of my knees.
And this might be a rather long post...
@Charles Pearson -- But: though he reports being satisfied with durability of 0.74 cuben fiber for the canopy, he would like to see an option to have a bathtub/floor made of 1.24 cuben fiber.
As I indicated in my article I have used a cut-down Gossamer Gear 1/8th sleeping pad and throw it underneath the shelter and problem solved. I also indicated that I have used the Gossamer Gear Polycryo ground cloth underneath the shelter - and ask just about any thru-hiker and they can tell you that they are amazingly tough. The nice thing about these is it also gives you a secondary vapor barrier, which the 1/8th pad does not.
This would also be a good point to remind those of you with one, or planning to buy one, that SMD has not bonded/sealed their floors. Why, I have no idea. It baffles me why they went to such extensive lengths to tape bound the rest of the shelter, and than they do not also tape-bond the floor. I/we can only hope that they do so with their next batch of this shelter. If they do not, first thing I will be doing when mine shows up (yes, I am buying another one) will be to put some single sided Cuben Fiber tape from ZPacks on every corner and seam of the floor. I will also be attaching some additional layers of cuben fiber where the poles come into contact with the floor on the inside. Ron has told me that they already have an additional layer of CF in that spot, but it still does not feel like it is enough. I will just take some spare 0.74 cf I have and cut out some round disks and tape-bond them onto the floor. Probably totally unnecessary, but I really hate being inside of a shelter when the weather is bad wondering if my shelter is going to fail. A few minutes of my time to make this reenforcement just seems logical to me. Highly doubt it needs to be done, but I spend too much of my life out on the trail to have to worry about something that can be solved easily.
But anyway, yes, the SMDSX floor (previous production runs) have all been made of 0.74 CF floors.
For those who have not seen it, here is a very sweet video of the CNC machine that SMD is using to cut their shelters.
@Tom Kirchner -- Myself, as well, and I've bet $450 that Ron will be amenable to that, especially if user feedback indicates problems with the .74 Cuben. He has integrity and cares about customer satisfaction, not to mention making sure his products are manufactured to the highest standards. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out as folks gain experience with the current version of "X". As I said, I put $450 on the line, despite questions about the floor, based on the above assumption. I'm not worried.
In my review of the SMDSX I did say that I would love to see a true bathtub made of heavier weight material. Do I think this will ever happen? No. The SMDSX is a sub-one-pound fully enclosed shelter - and that is a huge accomplishment! There is no way that it could remain a sub-one-pound shelter with any heavier weight material and I suspect that in the end Ron would care more about having the SMDSX remain a sub-one-pound shelter in his catalog of products.
There are very few sub 20 ounce fully enclosed shelters on the market. The SMD SX is 465 grams / 16.40 oz / 1.025 pounds. Based on my research, this is the worlds lightest Total Shelter Weight one-piece fully enclosed shelter! Add two 0.292 carbon fiber poles for a Total Shelter Weight of 502.79 grams, 17.73 ounces, 1.108 pounds. Nobody else in the world (as of time of this writing, AFAIK) can claim this low of a weight for a fully enclosed one-piece shelter. Not Terra Nova (though they falsely claim this, their TSW is laughably heavier) and neither can ZPacks as they do not have a one-piece fully enclosed shelter (you still have to have a bathtub floor when it rains, which thereby turns the Hexamid into a two-piece shelter) so what Ron has done with the Six Moon Designs, Skyscape X I am not sure anybody else out there (minus perhaps a DIYer) can claim that they manufacture and sell. So, yeah, I highly doubt that unless the shelter starts having serious flaws in its floor, there is very little likely hood of them switching up to a strong weight material.
@Dan Durston -- If price was no object, I'd choose 1.2oz cuben next, then silnylon.....mostly because of the slipperyness of silnylon but also because of the waterproofness of 1.2oz cuben. I'm not sure which would last longer but they both should be reasonable. ... IMO 0.74oz cuben floors are really only suited to niche applications in the XUL world.
Hey Dan, This is something that has been an interesting discussion with myself and a few other SUL/XUL hikers as of late. I have been trying to make the point the last few months that CF as a floor material makes no logical sense. By the time you use a CF material strong enough to be able to throw it down anywhere, you might as well just go with Silnylon. I kind of really hate to say this, because I have been pushing the whole CF thing for a few years now - I do believe in CF - but if you are a hiker who does not desire to carry a secondary item (ground protection of some kind) than CF sort of does not make any sense. Case in point, look at the very awesome HMG Echo I Insert. It has truly the best bathtub/insert of any insert that exists IMHO. But it comes at a price, a freaking 11.5 ounces price!! I have called the HMG Echo Shelters the "world most bombproof CF shelter" - and I have yet to find a CF shelter that can take the abuse a HMG shelter can take - but that equates to them using heavy CF and thus you have a 29.5 ounce CUBEN FIBER shelter. Ouch! (as you yourself know). At some point the logic that CF used as a bathtub floor (without secondary ground protection) is something I have began to ponder on.
When I go out with my sub 2 pound BPW setup I would use a 1.0 CF ground cloth (see photo) and even the 1.0 CF was not something I would put directly onto anything but soft ground. Roots, rocks, granite tops, etc, would just chew up 1.0 CF without even thinking about it.
I totally understand what you are getting at, but I am not really aware of any XUL application where I would want to put 0.74 CF directly onto the ground for any long distance hike. I am sure others out there are willing to do so, but here in the Redwood rain forest of Northern California, water on the ground is probably of bigger threat to me than anything else, so a bathtub floor is of paramount importance.
@Tom Kirchner -- intend to make the Skyscape X my only shelter. If the floor doesn't hold up, I will have it replaced with heavier Cuben at season's end. I am hoping that a polycryo ground cloth and careful site selection will make that unnecessary. In any case, it was a carefully thought out, calculated risk. We shall see... This is my first foray into the Cuben world and the Skyscape X will definitely be a learning experience for me
That is very awesome!! I think if I were to pick one CF shelter on the market today as my one-and-only shelter it would have to be the Six Moon Designs, Skyscape X. It can give you bug protection in those times of the year when you need it. It can open up on both sides to let an insane amount of air through in the hot seasons. It has a very awesome 75/25 apex which gives it a feel of a lot of headroom inside. And SMD has probably the best engineered gear of anybody that makes UL shelters here in the USA.
Please keep me updated on how it works out for you!
Anyway guys, sorry this post was so long and I went rambling on about stuff. If you have not seen it be sure to read my SUL/XUL Fully Enclosed One-Piece Shelter Comparisons article and spreadsheet that I wrote up a few months back. And my full thoughts on the SMX SX is located here. I suppose I should also disclose that I do not recommend using 0.292 carbon fiber poles with this shelter, as I mentioned in my article. They are just not able to handle really strong wind gusts from the side. Bounce up to the slightly heavier 0.355 carbon fiber poles if you expect to be hiking in areas where it is really windy. The 0.292 fibraplex poles can handle around 30 mph winds, but much beyond that (if you get hit on the side of the shelter) and the poles start bending to a point of major concern.
(updated: fixed a typo - sigh, probably a lot more in there)