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Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks??
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Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks?? on 04/16/2013 15:27:17 MDT Print View

I have been kicking around the idea to sew in a netting floor (and door) to a Golite Shangri La 2. From what I can gather, people are happy with the netting floor on ZPacks shelters. I have not been able to find a review from someone that does not like them. If I did it, I would use regular no-see-um netting since that is what I have in the basement. It looks like ZPacks uses lighter weight nanoseeum. So in theory, the noseum would be even more durable.

Specifically with regards to durability, does anyone want to offer their experiences good or bad? Does the netting get "dirtier" by picking up needles or dirt more so than a solid floor?



John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
perimeter netting on 04/16/2013 15:43:29 MDT Print View

this just came up in another thread a few days ago. I emphatically concur with another poster who opined that it severly aggravates condensation inside single wall floor less shelters.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks?? on 04/16/2013 15:45:12 MDT Print View

> Does the netting get "dirtier" by picking up needles or dirt more so than a solid floor?
Horribly so.


Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Condensation on 04/16/2013 15:54:54 MDT Print View

That makes sense, but since I currently use no floor at all, (just groundcloth) It shouldn't be any worse. I am more so looking to do this for mosquito season in the west where humidity is rather low anyway.

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: Condensation on 04/16/2013 16:08:20 MDT Print View

The condensation will be worse than using no floor, because even though the mesh allows air to pass somewhat, it inhibits air movement enough that you will likely see a noticeable increase in condensation from your current setup with just a groudcloth.


Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks? on 04/16/2013 16:41:21 MDT Print View

No personal experience with netting floors or bug skirts but I've heard it reported by others with sod/bug skirts made of netting sewn around the perimeter of shelters that the netting becomes a major pain when used in snow camping. The netting easily freezes into the snow making it difficult to dismantle and pack the shelter away without tearing the netting. I'd assume you would have the same problem with a solid netting floor.

If you use (or plan to use) the SL2 for winter snow conditions, you might consider a removable netting floor so you could leave it at home when not needed for bug protection.

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Yes... there are drawbacks. on 04/16/2013 18:22:04 MDT Print View

I actually sold my Hexamid tent a couple of months ago now. To be honest, I sold it because I had purchased another tent, so I decided to part with the Hexamid to help dampen the monetary blow a bit. However, I loved the Hexamid, so it was a tough decision. What made me go ahead and sell it was the floor. I loved everything else about the tent, but in the rain, the mesh floor was a bit of a hassle FOR ME and in the end, I decided I would be happier without the mesh floor.

I never found the mesh floor to be a problem if the ground was dry, and IMO, it didn't attract any more debris than any other shelter floor did considering what can be carried onto any floor from going in and out. However, if it rained, the mesh floor collected a lot of water. And to make it worse, if I was set up on dirt, then the splatter was filled with dirt, which collected in the mesh. This was a hassle (again, FOR ME) to deal with. Due to this, I learned to set up on grassy area's if I was expecting rain, which solved the dirt issue, but I still had to contend with the water issue. And trust me, that mesh can hold a lot of water...

As far as condensation, I can't speak for the SL2, but I never had an issue with condensation in my Hexamid. Sure, if it was 100% humidity outside, foggy or raining, I would get a little bit of moisture on the inside, but never as much as I did with my Silnylon tents. I feel like this was due to the large interior space (I had the Hexamid Solo Plus) as well as the ventilation that the Hexamid allowed. Even with 2 inside the tent, it wasn't an issue FOR ME. Of course though, the SL2 is a bit different shape, and made from different materials, so I can't really speak for that.

And might I suggest that if you do decide to add bug netting around the perimeter, don't attach it right at the edge. I would leave a little bit of an overhang on the outer tarp. This way, when rain rolls off of your tarp it will not travel along the mesh. Depending on how low you pitch the tarp, it may help with keeping some water out of the mesh...

Also, I never got to use my Hexamid in the snow, but as others have mentioned, I would be worried about using a mesh floor in snow since it could become frozen to the ground/snow.

Anyway, I am by no means knocking the Hexamid either. I loved that thing, and am actually in the process of saving $ to re-buy the Hexamid Solo Plus tarp and likely an inner net tent for it. I know that there are others that have used the tent and was fine with the mesh floor. But for me, as much as I loved the tent, the mesh floor wasn't my favorite option.

Edited by Stick on 04/16/2013 18:22:56 MDT.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Golite SL2 mesh on 04/16/2013 18:48:05 MDT Print View

Ben, I'm glad you raised this issue. I just received my SL2, and I have the same questions. In warm weather it would be nice to have a mesh door for ventilation with bug protection. It would reduce condensation at night and keep the interior temperature down during afternoon naps.

Today I finished making a waterproof bathtub groundsheet for the SL2 that is only slightly larger than the double-wide sleeping pad my wife and I use. There is quite a bit of uncovered ground inside the shelter around the perimeter of the groundsheet. I'm trying to decide whether to just give the shelter a noseeum skirt that hangs from the edges to the ground, leaving some uncovered ground in the shelter (around the groundsheet), or sew noseeum between the edges of the shelter and the groundsheet, for a continuous bug-proof floor.

I had a bad experience with ants flowing into my sleeping bag during the night once, and I've heard horrifying stories of armies of ticks invading floorless shelters on duff beneath pinon pines in the eastern Sierra, so I'm inclined to go with the complete netting floor joining the groundsheet to the edges of the shelter. Something removeable would be nice, but it would be difficult to make a removeable netting floor completely bug proof.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Yes... there are drawbacks. on 04/16/2013 19:45:45 MDT Print View

I'm with chad. I really, really like my hexamid solo plus...a lot. It is my first non traditional tent and has only made me really want to try full on tarping.

But I hike with my big yellow long hair shedding dog most of the time and oh for the love of Pete there is a lot of dog hair that gets trapped in that netting!!!!! I'm probably carting around a whole second dog at this point, and I have yet to figure out a good way to really get it out of there. The ground debris eventually comes off when I hang it to dry in the shower after a trip, but the dog hair? Soon I won't need a sleeping mat. Ill just have a lovely bed of down embedded in the net floor........

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks??" on 04/16/2013 19:55:57 MDT Print View

So why not a Hexamid with a cuben floor? And what are the drawbacks? I hate insects. There, I've said it. And condensation. From what I've seen a Hexamid with a separate lay-down floor is still nearly a pound lighter than my BA fly creek. Anyone have a Hexamid with a sewn in cuben floor, and what do you think?

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks??" on 04/16/2013 20:10:08 MDT Print View

Same experience here. Netting doesn't collect debris, but when it gets wet it makes the whole shelter twice as heavy (literally, doubles the weight). I never had success shaking it out either. When camping on an already damp or muddy area, forget it, and plan on getting muddy and wet. The condensation didn't seem much different to me.

I personally wouldn't purchase a shelter with netting floor again, but would love to see a cuben or sil floor as not to otherwise abandon the design of the Hexamid which I do like.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks?? on 04/16/2013 20:51:41 MDT Print View

I appreciate the feedback too. I just sent my Hexamid Solo in to add netting after deciding the bare bones of the Hex and a cuben bivy were not going to be good in bug season. I can always use a ground cloth the traditional way and bring it in when it rains. Good to know also that it will weigh a ton after getting rain under it or setting up on wet ground. :(

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks??" on 04/16/2013 22:40:33 MDT Print View

Like the others who have used a hexamid... didn't have a problem with debris in dry conditions, didn't have problems with condensation, but the netting floor in mud isn't a lot of fun. I didn't noticed as much weight gain as others when it was wet but not muddy (e.g on top of grass)... but I didn't have a scale with me.


Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Cuben floor instead of netting floor on 04/16/2013 23:52:51 MDT Print View

It's great you are rising this issue! I thought of it and that's why I didn't ordered my Hexamid yet.

Zpacks website states: "The Hexamid is a six sided pyramid style tent for a solo hiker. It is made from the lightest materials available; .51 oz/sqyd cuben fiber, and optionally .7 oz/sqyd ultralight insect netting."
and also:
"The ground sheets are constructed from black 1.0 oz/sqyd Cuben Fiber"

SO I thought to cut a hole in the netting floor and sew in the ground sheet. Weight penalty is not that big, but I save all the hassle with mud and water in the netting.


Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks?? on 04/17/2013 00:12:41 MDT Print View

I've only used my Hexamid solo with netting a once and it wasn't wet. Pros and cons seem to me as follows:.


1. Maximises the space available vs an inner net.
2. Quick easy set up.


1. Mesh could soak up a lot of moisture and suddenly your UL shelter isn't that light.
2. The mesh is sewn right on the edge of the tarp, so water could run down the tarp and right onto the nest.
3. Mesh is hard to keep clean.

I use a very thin foam pad under the mesh to help (in theory) with moisture and dirt soaking into the mesh. I use this pad all the time to protect my very light Kooka bay pad, so it isn't extra weight for me.

I must admit that on the one night I did use it I remember thinking that there was a lot of condensation. A Trailstar is my usual shelter.

I'm happy with the Hexamid so far. If I am expecting a lot of wet weather I would bring the Trailstar, as I prefer a larger covered area when dealing with wet gear at the end of a wet day. For buggy summer trips it seems great.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Cuben floor instead of netting floor on 04/17/2013 10:46:41 MDT Print View

Gregory, don't "cut a hole in the netting floor and sew in the ground sheet." ZPacks will make you the Hexamid with a sewn in groundsheet, and it will come in lighter than the mesh floor plus groundsheet. They'll charge a few dollars extra for the extra work involved.
I haven't found a problem with the net floor, but I take a homemade footprint (68 grams) if I'm expecting rain and mud.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks? on 04/17/2013 11:06:28 MDT Print View

Like a screen door on a submarine.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Re: Netting Floor for shelter. Any drawbacks? on 04/17/2013 11:15:14 MDT Print View

I guess I keep forgetting we can't all be happy, all the time, some drawbacks with just about everything. I'll have to live with my decisions. The sewn in gc has its own issues I believe. One, hard to raise the edges when water may flow over it, it would be easier to deal with a separate gc and be able to raise its edges with twigs or small rocks to get around water over running it. No added expense and is easily replaced when needed, although a sewn in gc may have a longer life.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Pad under the netting?? on 04/17/2013 14:12:54 MDT Print View

Not sure that's a good idea, either. My understanding is that the point of the net floor is that the condensation (or rain outside) runs down the walls and into the net...and then into the ground where it - theoretically - goes away. If you have something under the net then the water can't flow into the ground, and just pools under you.

I did wonder about having joe sew in the you'd have a wall, a perimeter netting, and then a floor. All enclosed, no mesh floor...might be a good compromise. I really like the shelter, it's just starting to get kind of annoying in some small ways

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Hexamid on 04/17/2013 14:17:06 MDT Print View

It seems most of the complaints I read relate to the bug net.

I was looking at the BearPaw AT 2 with hanging floor recently as a viable option. Can't speak from personal experience on how well that design would work to reduce condensation.