ZPacks Hexamid questions
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Matthew Reese
(Bradktn)
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 12:45:09 MDT Print View

I'm thinking of getting a Hexamid, and had a couple of questions to ask of those who have experience with the tent. I'm wanting the tent version, with the mesh floor. First off, Solo or Solo plus? I will be using this tent exclusively as a one person, but I do like to bring everything except my food in to my tent at night. Second, I already have the Golite poncho/tarp, and was wondering if anyone had experience using this as the internal groundcloth for the Hexamid? Third, beak or no beak? I was also wondering if the the beak can be run over the front guyline or does this risk abrading the cuben on the spectra cord. Lastly, does anyone have any recommendation as to a comparable tarp tent from another manufacturer? Thanks

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 12:47:50 MDT Print View

"First off, Solo or Solo plus?"

It might be helpful if you stated your height.

--B.G.--

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 12:53:12 MDT Print View

Logic suggests that using one's rain gear for a ground cloth is ultimately self-defeating. A sheet of polycryo weighs almost nothing.


The role of a ground cloth is to prevent dirt, moisture, and sharp objects from reaching you. Said sharp objects - or just the constant abrasion against lesser edges - may well compromise the integrity of said rain gear.

Not - IMHO - a smart idea, especially with a dual-purpose item like a ponchotarp that has to serve as both rain gear and shelter.

I guess you have to ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?".

YMMV

Edited by wandering_bob on 04/28/2013 12:56:08 MDT.

Matthew Reese
(Bradktn)
hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 13:34:13 MDT Print View

I'm 5'11", 160 lbs. The groundcloth in the Hexamids serves a different purpose than most other tents, as I understand it; it goes over the mesh floor, and serves as the waterproof bathtub floor for the tent.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Re : ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 13:40:24 MDT Print View

The sewn in beak is a good idea for better rain protection , and privacy.

However, it comes down at a steeper angle than the front guy, so you will need a separate guy, but you can use the same peg. I run the guy from the beak around the peg, into the tent, and tie off around the pole. This makes securing the beak a lot easier.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 13:43:59 MDT Print View

I just received my Solo back from ZPacks, I had them add the netting to my tarp. I had only used it one night previous with a bivy and decided it was all too confining and had the netting added, so have not had the new setup out yet, out gardening and cutting firewood this weekend. It is pretty minimal, I was going for the lowest weight I could get with tent poles. The Plus may be worth it. The time I used mine and few weeks back while car camping, I was able to increase the foot print by angling the pole out some which helped quite a bit. I had a light, minimal rain that night and was fine. With the netting now, 8 of their stakes, guy lines, tent pole and the new and bigger stuff sack (thank you ZPacks) it comes to 12.6 oz. Half the weight of my old floorless TT Squall. I'm 6' and had enough room, the bivy was more confining than the shelter.
Duane

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 15:53:33 MDT Print View

I run the guy from the beak around the peg, into the tent, and tie off around the pole. This makes securing the beak a lot easier.

Thanks. I am going to try that.

I went with the Solo, as I thought it would do better in winds, as its centre pole height is lower. Not sure if this really was the best idea:). I think for most people the Solo Plus is probably the best idea. The solo is also a bit short for me at six foot. So far, based on very limited use, I think it will a great shelter for me when the weather forecast is decent. If there's going to be a lot of rain I prefer a larger covered area (Trailstar)and in high winds I also prefer my Trailstar.

I would also look at this http://www.yamamountaingear.com/gear-room/complete-shelters/cirriform-sw as an alternative tarp tent.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 15:57:26 MDT Print View

the solo should give you plenty of room.

mine doesn't have a beak, but I did get the "door". There have been a couple of storms I have been in that I would have gotten wet without the door or a beak. If I was buying something today, it would be the beak version of the solo.

As with others, I would go with something other than the poncho for the ground. One warning... if you use a quilt you are going to want a bivy, or make a bathtub ground cloth. The problem with quilts is that they want to spread out a bit, but you need to keep the ground cloth small enough that water doesn't run down the netting and on top of the ground cloth.

As to alternatives, the Skyscape-X is really wonderful if you have the money and it's in stock. The MLD SoloMid + InnerNet is also very nice but not as airy in the summer.

--Mark

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 16:03:58 MDT Print View

I agree about the Trailstar for strong winds. However, if its only one storm on a long trip, then perhaps just seek a well sheltered position for that occasion, and enjoy the much lower weight the rest of the time.. Compromises..

As some insurance for wind, I ordered two extra wall guys, one at each end.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 17:14:04 MDT Print View

As some insurance for wind, I ordered two extra wall guys, one at each end.

I was also wondering if the Hexamid could be pitched with two poles in a v shape in an emergency. A pole extender would be needed. It wouldn't be pretty, but could provide extra support for the rear panel. Also could lessen the chance of the front pole being blown out of its pocket.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 17:33:21 MDT Print View

> wondering if the Hexamid could be pitched with two poles in a v shape in an emergency

my immediate reaction is that this won't be helpful. The trailstar is certainly more protective from wind, but I found the hexamid to be very stable in the wind. Mine has been in wind that I clocked (using Burton ADC Pro) at 43mph (which means peaks stronger than that). In these winds it stayed in place, didn't deform significantly, and kept me dry. It was breezy inside :), but that what one would expect with a shelter than has a 6" perimeter of mesh and a front that is mesh. If I was going to be regularly facing high winds I would most likely look at something that is both stronger and more protective.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 04/28/2013 21:14:15 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 18:03:08 MDT Print View

I have heard some good reports about the Hexamid in the wind. My initial impression is that as long as the pegs hold it will be pretty good. However, sometimes, 40mph isn't that windy round here. Having said that I will be using the Hexamid a lot in the future.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/28/2013 22:43:14 MDT Print View

I have a solo Hexamid solo - no beak, no netting. I also have the zPaks poncho/groundsheet, but rarely use it as a groundsheet. I just use a 1/8" full lenght waterproof foam pad. With proper site selection (not that I get this right 100% of the time), no other ground sheet is needed. If the rain starts spraying inside, I just pull the poncho over me. Since I have a Cuben quilt, not worried about condensation in the quilt. Have had good luck with winds up to about 40 mph.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 04/29/2013 08:21:34 MDT Print View

My solo plus has done very well in some nasty wind - maybe 35 sustained and 50 mph gusts? Guessing, of course, but I'm a Chicago girl and we know our wind!! (Insert snarky comment here...). You do have to pitch appropriately, and keep the back to the windward side, of course.

I can't see how a second pole would at all be helpful, nor all that do-able. If you have the mesh floor you aren't going to want a pole pushing against it (I have SO many holes I've put in the door from not paying attention to where I dig my heels when I put my shoes on...).

It really is a great tent. For one person it's pretty much a perfect UL shelter...

I use the same stake in the front for the beak and the front guyline, and I actually keep the mitten hook for the beak attached to the line and just slide it up and down. Works like a champ....

Edward Jursek
(nedjursek@gmail.com) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Zpacks Hexamid Question on 05/01/2013 17:34:04 MDT Print View

You might want to consider a Hexamid Twin. I had a solo and loved it, but moved up to a Twin when my daughter started joining me. It is a good size for two and a palace for one. It also only weights a bit over 2 ounces more then my Solo. I plan on using it as my solo shelter this season as well.

Edward Jursek
(nedjursek@gmail.com) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hexamid Question on 05/01/2013 17:37:21 MDT Print View

I forgot to add, I used my Golite Poncho/tarp as my ground sheet inside my Hexamid Solo for a season. It did fine, and is tough enough. I have moved on to the Zpacks Poncho/Ground sheet however, as it clips in nicely and I think the bath tub design provides a bit more protection. Saved 5oz to boot.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Beak/Guyline on 05/01/2013 20:53:05 MDT Print View

The Hxamid Solo with beak comes with micro bungee line with a toggle linelock attached. String the long front guy through the loop in the bungee line and snug the lock up. this allows the the beak to slide down for full extension or up to wide open. An extra guy is not needed nor can one attached to the end of the beak provide the clean taught appearance when fully extended as with fhe bungee apparatus.

Edited by johnk on 05/01/2013 20:54:08 MDT.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Hexamid Twin on 05/02/2013 00:35:18 MDT Print View

Take note that if you are leaning towards the Solo+, then you should look at the Twin because it has the same footprint (uses same real estate) and only weights like half an ounce more. The difference is it uses a second pole to create more interior space, giving you a higher volume tent for the same footprint and essentially the same weight. But you do need two poles. Personally I like the idea of utilizing both my poles for some structural purpose. You do pay a 2-3 oz penalty over the regular solo. So if you are sure you do not need the extra space, save the weight and money.

Whether the extra pole support in the Twin makes it more weather/wind resistant vs. the Solo+, I don't know. The Twin has I higher profile, but would have the added pole to bear any extra force. How those factors balance out, I don't know.

With the Skyscape X, I have no experience, but would be concerned about how you get in and out in a rain storm without getting the interior all wet. Other than that, seems like a great tent (assuming that SMD is able to get some in stock soon). The Lightheart Solo uses a very similar design to the Skyscape, but again nothing in Cuben in stock.

Edited by mwgillenwater on 07/07/2013 23:02:09 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 02:24:24 MDT Print View

but I'm a Chicago girl and we know our wind!!

Meh -you've got nothing on Wellington :).

I can't see how a second pole would at all be helpful,

I think it could potentially help in two areas, but would only see myself using it in a real emergency.

1. Preventing excess deflection of the rear panel. I have read some reports of the MLD Solomid performing well in strong winds in the UK and the V pole set up and its ability to stop panel deflection was cited as significant. I realise that the Hexamid has some rear panel tie outs, but as per MLD's recommendations I only place minimal tension on these and also have attached some shock cord between the tie out and the guy line.

2. Preventing the pole being blown out of its top pocket in a strong wind from the front. Joe suggests placing the pole in a more upright position in strong winds, so this may be enough to prevent this from happening.

If you have the mesh floor you aren't going to want a pole pushing against it.

Obviously you would have to place something under the pole tip for protection. The same as you do for the front pole.

I am sure I will get some chances to test out my Hexamid in the wind soon. So it's good to hear positive reports from people. There is something very seductive about a solo shelter that weights about a pound !!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 07:13:07 MDT Print View

Sorry Jason, I just meant I didn't see HOW you'd use a second pole with the hexamid solo because of how it's designed.