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ZPacks Hexamid questions
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Matthew Reese
(Bradktn) - M
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) - M
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.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 08:09:24 MDT Print View

Sorry in advance for the thread jack but I have a couple quick questions about the Solo Plus/Twin which are probably unworthy of a new thread.

1. I've always been enamored with these two tarps but I was under the impression after reading a few BPL threads that at 6'3" and using an Exped Synmat, I'd be too tall for these two tarps (possibly ok solo in the Twin.) Stick's Blog's Facebook Page (that's a mouthful) recently shared a picture of two adults and three children squeezing into the Solo Plus which has given me an opportunity to reconsider these shelters. Anyone using this tarp who is my height or taller care to weigh in on this? I’d occasionally have one of my kids or a dog in the shelter with me.

2. Many of the complaints about the Hexamid Tent seem to be about the mosquito netting picking up debris and Charlie Dog hair. I believe the Bear Paw inner nets are roughly 11oz (please correct me if I’m wrong) which seems to defeat the purpose of buying this shelter in the first place. The Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito Net is only 2.9oz for a single and 4.85oz for a double:

http://www.rei.com/product/849594/sea-to-summit-nano-mosquito-pyramid-insect-shield-net-shelter

Has anyone tried using this mosquito net in the Hexamid with a polycryo ground sheet?

Edit typo

Edited by IDBLOOM on 05/02/2013 08:12:34 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 08:15:24 MDT Print View

Hey Ian, CharlieDog hair is a special breed...I'm not sure other creatures would be as bad. I actually have not really had too much of an issue of the hexamid netting picking up TOO much debris; yeah, it's some, but not such that I would discount this shelter.

Just for me, I think it's great. For the dog, the condensation issue is far more problematic than the debris at the bottom (chuck likes to get up, walk around the perimeter of the tent, spin around, come wake me up, stretch, shake, rub all over the tent walls again....you get my drift). My complaints with that tent are very specific to my dog...who is huge, by the way. He only weighs 70# but looks like he weighs 90...it's all hair!

Anyway, I actually really like the hexamid....

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 08:32:04 MDT Print View

Thanks Jennifer. I like the idea of the Hexamid as a tent for keeping my future dog from wandering off after a squirrel at 0-dark-30. My understanding of how this tent works is that water will run down the mosquito netting and that the ground sheet needs to be on top of it to keep me dry. Stands to reason that I could use two polycryo ground sheets; one on top of the netting to keep the water off and another below (as needed) to keep it clean?

My gear budget is the last thing money trickles down to in my house so I have to make these purchases carefully!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 09:24:20 MDT Print View

"one on top of the netting to keep the water off and another below (as needed) to keep it clean?"

I would recommend against putting a ground sheet below the netting. It just doesn't get that dirty/shakes out pretty well. With a ground sheet under the netting, the water that runs down the netting will collect and pool under you instead of just soaking into the ground.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 09:27:11 MDT Print View

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

But isn't the Hexamid a pole-forward design, so the pole pocket isn't a top center but rather to the front of the shelter? I'd think trying to use an inverted V would increase the likelihood of the rear pole slipping in high wind and going through the netting.

Don't know this, just speculating.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 10:02:16 MDT Print View

Some processes are just to complex for simple reasoning, and so are only really answered empirically. Anyone have a wind tunnel in their garage?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 16:34:38 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.

Jennifer -Sorry if I came across as a bit snippy. You are quite right I am not sure if it would really work in practice. I have only had a quick look on one occasion. Next time I pitch the Hexamid I will have another look. The whole idea might turn out to be total pants as the British say.

Ian - have you seen the Hexamid long.

Matthew Reese
(Bradktn) - M
z poles and Hexamid? on 05/02/2013 17:36:21 MDT Print View

To add to my original list of questions, Does anyone have experience with the Black Diamond Z poles and the Hexamid Solo Plus? I'd hate to have to change poles, but with a short tip section and a fixed mini-basket, I'm not sure there is enough purchase for a pole jack. Mine measure 120cm, about 47 inches.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Why not a twin? on 05/02/2013 17:52:16 MDT Print View

I've used the Hexamid Twin with my Z-Poles with great success. I use the 130cm poles so I drop the handle down (as though I were collapsing the poles, but without separating the sections) which gives me a perfect height for the front pole.

The recommended front pole height is 122cm for the twin (several inches shorter than the solo plus), so your fully extended pole should work just fine. Weight penalty for the twin over solo plus is under an ounce, and the cost doesn't get bumped much.

That extra space might be worth the half ounce and Jackson even without having to buy new poles.

Also, to answer Ian's question on size: I'm 6'5" and have shared the hexamid twin several nights with other adults of various more normal sizes. I wouldn't mind if the shelter were a bit longer, but it's never been a problem for me.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 05/02/2013 17:57:19 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 17:58:27 MDT Print View

"Ian - have you seen the Hexamid long."

I have. It looks like a tedious tarp to pitch but that's probably just misperception on my part as it's only one more step than the Twin.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 18:57:47 MDT Print View

It looks like a tedious tarp to pitch

That's why I didn't go for one.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 20:10:15 MDT Print View

> It looks like a tedious tarp to pitch

It took me 3 set-ups one afternoon to master the hexamid... mostly around what was the best angle / length for the pole. Now I can pitch it in under 2 minutes so long as the ground with take stakes. Now that I have used it for awhile, I typically get the stake position right first time (no need to move them to get the hexamid taut). I have also found the hexamid one of the easiest shelter to pitch tautly.

--Mark

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 20:25:55 MDT Print View

Mark, they're talking about the long, not the regular Hexamid.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Re: Re: ZPacks Hexamid questions on 05/02/2013 20:54:11 MDT Print View

"I've always been enamored with these two tarps but I was under the impression after reading a few BPL threads that at 6'3" and using an Exped Synmat, I'd be too tall for these two tarps (possibly ok solo in the Twin.) Stick's Blog's Facebook Page (that's a mouthful) recently shared a picture of two adults and three children squeezing into the Solo Plus which has given me an opportunity to reconsider these shelters. Anyone using this tarp who is my height or taller care to weigh in on this? I’d occasionally have one of my kids or a dog in the shelter with me"

I'm 6'4", couple hundred pounds, I find the solo to be an excellent fit for me with my xlite pad. Spacious no, but good fit for me and my small amount of gear yes.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
You guys are all right! on 05/02/2013 21:15:42 MDT Print View

This was really informative. Thanks for sharing your experiences with this shelter.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Pitching the Hexamid Long on 05/03/2013 04:03:49 MDT Print View

I have the Hexamid Long and the Twin. I used to have the Solo+. To be honest, they're all pretty much the same in terms of how easy they are to set up. If anything, the Twin is a little more difficult than the others, as the height and positioning of the rear pole has quite an effect on the pitch, plus the rear pole is the also the centre rear tie-out, and in my experience, it is getting the balance correct between the front and rear centre tie-outs which is the most important factor in getting a good pitch with all the Hexamids.
With the Long, it's true that if you're using trekking poles for all three supports, then it means you have to adjust all three pole to the correct length. On the other hand, if you have three trekking poles, then it means that there are at least two of you to share the adjusting. If you are using the carbon fibre poles for the sides, then there is very little difference between the Solo+ and the Long in terms of ease of pitching.
The Long gives an incredible amount of extra usable internal space over the Twin and the Solo+.
One question I have about both the Solo+ and the Long is which is the best way to orient them in the wind. Conventional wisdom seems to be to face the Hexamids with their backs to the wind. The Solo+ and the Long, however, seem to me to offer much less profile to the wind if they are oriented sideways. Any comments?

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 05/03/2013 07:31:11 MDT Print View

The hexamid is a minimal shelter, not a tent.

One thing I do like about it, is that the pole is inside the sleeping are, not outside.

Thats because I actually can hang my pack from it, with my unused gear and even foodbag in it. Keeps it out of way in a rodent free space.

I can think of several ways to greatly improve the hexamid. Problem is, they all add weight. The goal of the shelter is to be as light as possible. There ARE compromises made.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/03/2013 07:32:19 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: hex on 05/03/2013 11:39:01 MDT Print View

"The hexamid is a minimal shelter, not a tent."

I think it's just a matter of semantics. Zpacks labels the version with a net as a tent to distinguish it from the tarp version.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: hex on 05/03/2013 12:11:14 MDT Print View

As a prospective hexamid owner, I wonder if anybody would like to comment on my impression of it:

In terms of shelter, the mesh Hexamid (mexamid?) seems a lot like mesh inner + fly tents. It'll keep most rain and snow out unless they can get around corners, which they occasionally can. It'll keep most condensation off, but not perfectly. It keeps bugs out. It won't keep wind out of your sleeping bag like a fabric inner+outer tent, or a whatever+bivy. It won't raise the temperature like 2 layers of fabric, which may be a good or bad thing.

In this, it seems about the same as a Skyscrape or Rainbow or Solomid + inner. The differences are space, vestibules, convenience of egress, and so on.

The four tents above seem quite different when compared to each other. But they're very similar when you throw in 8x5 tarps, Hilleberg Aktos, eVent bivvies, hammocks et al.

Edited by Morte66 on 05/03/2013 12:42:05 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 05/03/2013 13:29:25 MDT Print View

It wont block wind, that would compromise ventilation and lead to condensation.

It will be prone to rain splatter and spray intruding on your sleeping area, especially near the front corners where the beak is attached and there is no overhang.

Rain will run down the mesh, and if you touch it, you will get wet, or your groundcloth will, or your sleeping bag will.

It is a small shaped tarp, with a little bug netting attached. You must be comfortable with water dripping or running only inches from your gear.

The netting is fairly durable as a floor, and protects the cuben or other lightwt groundsheet somewhat.

It has fixed guyline lenghts, and shape. It doesnt adapt well to non-flat surfaces due to this. It doesnt raise or lower well either. You can accomplish a bit, by wrapping the guylines around the stake to effectively shorten them.

The tarp is only a couple inches from your face in lying position unless you prop up the guyout with a stick for more room, like the extended version does.

The shape at top where mesh is under tension, and the zippers dont work well together. It takes two hands to work the zippers across the curve at the top, which you must do to get the opening open to go thru, and to close again. I left a gap one night recently, and had a mouse come in mine . They can climb all over the mesh very very well.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/03/2013 13:35:54 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: hex on 05/03/2013 13:38:36 MDT Print View

"It wont block wind, that would compromise ventilation and lead to condensation."

Certainly the mesh parts won't, the cuben parts will (which is most of the 'above ground' part). I also use a solo plus groundsheet, which allows me to get more coverage when needed, but roll it back for more ventilation.

"It has fixed guyline lenghts,"

Well, only if you choose to use fixed guyline lengths. Joe also sells lineloc 3 adjusters on loops, 1.8 grams each, that you can use instead. I used to have them on one of my Hexamids.

"The tarp is only a couple inches from your face in lying position unless you prop up the guyout with a stick for more room, like the extended version does."

Or if you're only 5'8", like me. While I've never measured, it's more than a couple of inches away from my face when I'm lying down. I'm always amazed at how roomy it is when I use it.

Agree with the rest of your post though.

Edited by idester on 05/04/2013 14:50:33 MDT.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
netting/condensation on 05/04/2013 14:07:07 MDT Print View

“It wont block wind, that would compromise ventilation and lead to condensation.”

I believe the netting does “compromise ventilation” decreasing the free flow of air and, with other factors present, resulting in condensation. A two-wall shelter, on the other hand, with a tight pitch, leaves the fly unobstructed. UNLESS BUGS are a factor forget the netting and buy the plain o Hexamid with a beak.

Not wanting to sound dogmatic, this opinion is based on personal experience with a sil-nylon shelter similar in design to the Hexamid with netting.

wet tent2
WetInside

Edited by johnk on 05/04/2013 15:13:41 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 05/04/2013 15:31:26 MDT Print View

I would do without the netting under me, before I would do without the netting around me.

I agree it reduces ventillation a bit. But the point is, you have it and do not pitch it tight to ground, so that you have ventillation and minimize condensation. The result is succeptibility to some rain spray and splatter. Its a tradeoff.

Just things to be aware of in such a shelter. More than one person has been lured by the low weight, only to find that they are really a tent person.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: hex on 05/04/2013 21:15:27 MDT Print View

I've been in some nasty wind and rain in my cuben hexamid (with a restless 70# pup) and never had even a hint of splatter come near me. I actually use the twin groundsheet with my solo plus to give me a bit of extra floor room with the dog, and I can quite easily block any sideways rain that might want to come my way.

Granted, I have no experience with a true tarp, but frankly I kind of disagree with most of your post.

I'm 5'7" and the dog pushes me where he wants me (trying some sil dots on my pad to see if that makes it harder on him to move me in the night...) and even with that bit of extra annoyance to contend with I've not had the wall "inches" from my face, or had me or my stuff splattered with water/rain. There is more than adequate room in there to protect my stuff (I push my pack up against the wall of the bathtub groundsheet to help support it) and keep my gear in front of that. The beak has sheltered my shoes and CharlieDog's pack just fine.

Frankly, using the hexamid with the net floor has just whetted my appetite for other tarp set ups. It's a great shelter...I just need to train the dog to understand the concept of morning condensation......

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: netting/condensation on 05/04/2013 21:18:04 MDT Print View

John, I'm sorry but I don't understand your comment about a 2 wall shelter leaving the fly unobstructed...while a single wall shelter like the hexamid does not??

And I can't believe the netting restricts THAT much airflow that it makes any real difference. But please someone correct me if I'm wrong....

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: netting/condensation on 05/04/2013 21:34:19 MDT Print View

the netting does break the wind more than you would expect... but I have had less issues with my hexamid that other shelters which had approx the same ventilation made from sol-nylon or spinnaker. I don't know why, but cuben in my experience is less likely to condensate.

--mark

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: netting/condensation on 05/04/2013 21:47:40 MDT Print View

"And I can't believe the netting restricts THAT much airflow that it makes any real difference. But please someone correct me if I'm wrong...."

Yup, you are wrong. Netting significantly restricts airflow compared to no netting.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
netting/condensation on 05/04/2013 23:15:48 MDT Print View

Jennifer: assuming your two-walled shelter is pitched taught, there should be space between the fly and the mesh/nylon inner tent thus allowing air to circulate and reduce trapped moisture and other factors giving rise to condensation. As other have since pointed out, with the single wall with a mesh border to keep mosquitoes at bay, air circulation is blocked keeping warm moist air inside.

My Hexamid is the plain solo with a beak and I agree with you that it provides good protection against wind and rain. Also our transition from enclosed shelter seems to be quite parallel with whetted appetite towards a plain tarp.

Mark: Same experience as you with cuben and no condensation. Quite the contrast with Sil-nylon as shown above.

HexamidSolo

Edited by johnk on 05/04/2013 23:18:17 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: netting/condensation on 05/05/2013 00:08:33 MDT Print View

I suspect the only way to truly compare the condensation that accumulates with a silnylon shelter vs a cuben shelter is to:

A.) use the identical design of shelter in both fabrics and

B.) use both shelters in identical weather conditions at the same geographic area at the same time.

Otherwise stating that cuben fabric will accumulate less condensation than silnylon is pure conjecture.

Anyone have the ability to test this?


John, your WO is pitched low and has perimeter netting. Your Hexamid lacks the netting and is pitched high. This would help to define the difference in condensation management.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
hexamid: tarp or tent on 05/05/2013 03:38:42 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies to my sub-query.

As somebody who's never used a light solo shelter, I find myself wondering what the hell is the difference beteween a tarp and a tent anyway. As best I can tell, a "tent" has a zipped entry and a "tarp" doesn't. Which doesn't seem overly important.

Or maybe it's a state of mind -- "You must be comfortable with water dripping or running only inches from your gear", the key word being "comfortable. Tarps are for people who don't need belt and braces.

When I look at shelters, I'm looking for this:
- It's for use in Britain (seems quite like the PNW), for 3 season conditions. I'm partial to coastal areas. I'm worried about wind, rain, bugs, humidity, mud and snow in descending order.
- One person, I'm six foot, and I'd like to use a 3" inch thick and 25" wide air matress. I'd like just enough head/elbow room to able to change clothes whilst sitting up.
- Pitch/enter/exit/strike without getting rain on the inner/groundsheet.
- Some sort of vestibule or equivalent, for things that will drip, so they don't drip on the groundsheet.
- I don't use trekking poles as a matter of course, so poles count towards the weight.

I *think* a Hexamid + mesh ticks most of the boxes, and it's very light. It's weak on the vestibule, but a Skyscrape and Solomid seem weaker. [Does that make them tarps? ;) A RayWay oversized 10x8 tarp over a smaller bathtub groundsheet + bugnet, pitched lean to in a non-veering wind, ticks all the boxes. Does that make it a tent? ;) ]

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Condensation and fly sheet material on 05/05/2013 11:00:53 MDT Print View

There were enough variables in the weather, temp, pitch and etc. to account for the difference in condensate but I believe the overriding factor was the netting. Hopefully David there will be enough comments on the issue of material type to spark the curiosity to test if there is anything to it.