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ZPacks Hexamid questions
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
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

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

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.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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.


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

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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) - 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.