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ZPacks Hexamid Solplex
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Chad B
(CenAZwalker) - F

Locale: Southwest
ZPacks Hexamid Solplex on 11/13/2013 12:51:31 MST Print View

Could be of interest to some.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Hexamid Plexes on 11/13/2013 20:20:36 MST Print View

Suppose it impossible to just guess at how stability will compare with the Hexamids.
But like less stakes and the solid, high-walled floor, for all under a pound.
(Would have to get the slightly heavier duo, because 30" depth just won't do it for me and the pooches.)

They appear to have changed to a shinier green Cuben material that will be more obtrusive, but may collect less condensation due to less radiant heat loss. Trying to see myself in a shiny tent, but the price is over the budget.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Hexamid Plexes on 11/13/2013 23:30:00 MST Print View

Samuel, I'm not sure why you think they have changed to a shinier green. I received a Duplex yesterday :) and it's exactly the same olive drab cuben as previouslyused by ZPacks. The .74 oz cuben, however, is a darker green.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
What's next, the world? Zpacks Uber Alles? on 11/14/2013 09:16:24 MST Print View

A Firstlight in Cuben? A The North Face VE25 in Cuben? Heil Valesko?

Edited by RobertM2S on 11/14/2013 09:17:56 MST.

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
ZPacks The One? on 11/14/2013 13:43:30 MST Print View

To me this design looks a lot like the now extinct Gossamer Gear "The One" made out of Cuben Fiber rather than spinnaker fabric. The weight difference after seam sealing the latter would be about 3 ounces +/- between the Solplex and The One. The cost difference on the other hand would be about $250 or so. That's a lot to pay for a 3 oz. difference, but then again, Gossamer Gear seems to have gone out of the shelter business entirely. What a pity. I have a used The One I bought on this site and love it, but it is subject to condensation, which I figure the Solplex would be too. With a 4 oz. difference between this and the Duplex I can't see the argument for the Solplex. With the Duplex you can shelter two hikers with two doors and flow through ventilation. Those are a lot of advantages for 4 oz. In any case it looks like Joe has established himself at the forefront of shelter makers, not to mention his excellent packs, if you can afford it.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
ZPacks The One? on 11/14/2013 14:13:52 MST Print View

TarpTent still the standard bearer for the less spendy crowd? I'd like to see some cuben material used by Henry. Never heard why he won't use it.

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
Tarptent at forefront? on 11/14/2013 14:27:31 MST Print View

I agree Duane. I have had several of Henry's tents and still have three of them. It seems he has focused on more affordable fabrics, which is a huge service to UL hikers putting kids through college or saving for retirement.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: ZPacks The One? on 11/14/2013 14:32:34 MST Print View

Duane: TarpTent still the standard bearer for the less spendy crowd? I'd like to see some cuben material used by Henry. Never heard why he won't use it.

Duane, you can learn why Henry will not use cuben fiber, and why he will not build backpacks, via this podcast:

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
Shires podcast on 11/14/2013 19:30:47 MST Print View

John, thanks for sending that link to the Henry Shires podcast. He suggested that Cuben fiber was not a great choice for floors due to poor abrasion resistance, which is a consideration for both the Solplex and Duplex.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Shires podcast on 11/14/2013 20:22:16 MST Print View

If it was the same podcast, there was also a concern over the premium price for Cuben and worries about a material that did not have a bit of "give". Maybe the latter has been resolved with these new hybrid materials.

Corbin McFarlane
(raven15) - MLife
Almost good on 11/14/2013 20:34:50 MST Print View

It's good, but Zpacks already makes a lot of stellar shelters. I'd have a hard time choosing this over the original Hexamid Solo, Hexamid Twin, or new Hexamid Duplex. The solo is lighter and far less expensive, while the twin is similar in price and weight but more floor area. Then the Duplex offers a lot more area with all the same features for a slight price and weight penalty.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
New Hexamids on 11/14/2013 21:57:40 MST Print View

John, Thank you for the link to the interview with Henry Shires about TarpTent's not using Cuben material. Very informative, especially coming from an experienced tent maker.

William, re: "Samuel, I'm not sure why you think they have changed to a shinier green. I received a Duplex yesterday :) and it's exactly the same olive drab cuben as previously used by ZPacks. The .74 oz cuben, however, is a darker green"

I've got some of Zpacks' current .74 oz Cuben, as well as their .5 oz they were using a couple years ago. The .5 oz has a relatively flat olive finish. The new .76 oz is quite reflective, or shiny. I looked at their website picture of the .5 oz and it appeared to be as reflective as the new .76 oz, but that doesn't appear to be so from your comment. So, it seems I should not have relied on the internet photo. To confuse matters further, the new .76 oz material I just ordered is NOT a dark green, but much more like the light emerald color of my jasmine green Forester.

Was looking at all this, because was planning to test some adhesives on Cuben and am finding that there may be a lot of different Cuben layups out there. So, I thought that testing adhesives on Cuben from Zpacks would be the most helpful to others, because that is a material that is very readily available to fellow MYOGers.

I also have some .76 oz green Cuben purchased a few years ago from Cubic Tech. The label on it indicated it was made differently from what was ordered and stated on the invoice. Tried some adhesives with this material, and the adhesion was strong enough to rip the outer film off the inner fibers, unlike the Cuben sold by Quest, which does not bond well to the same adhesives. So don't really know what the dickens I've got there, so feedback on BPL about Cuben isn't much help in deciding whether to use it.

My point - at last - is that it's looking very much like there may be different Cubens out there. Not just the different ones published by Cubic Tech, but with films made of different substances and different fibers. The Cuben tent you get from one maker might be made of a material quite different than a tent from another, with quite different qualities. On a positive note, I observed that the film used on the .76 oz material form Zpacks was clearly stronger than that purchased from both CT and Quest. The film on the older stuff could be shredded easily, not so with the new.

Henry Shires' comments on the podcast give me still more pause about Cuben, but on the other hand, weight differences aside, there are reservations about the sagging and water repellent qualities of 30 denier silnylon. With a double wall tent, even if the inner is only mesh, good design can go a long way in addressing sagging and condensation; but for a tent that has substantial portions of single wall canopy, the absence of sagging and reduced condensation become more important considerations.

I want to build a tent much lighter than I have now, and to do that, I've concluded much of the canopy has to be single wall. So that is what makes the Cuben so attractive, in terms of eliminating sagging and reducing the attraction of condensation to the inner surface, and is why I've been experimenting with adhesives to see if nylon strips can be bonded to Cuben at the seam lines in order to address Cuben's issues with holding stitching securely and keeping stitch holes from expanding. (Have tried all the tapes, but won't go into the issues with them now).

The only other alternatives no heavier than 30D silnylon that seem feasible are: 1) coated polyester, which sags very little and absorbs water much less than nylon, or 2) nylon treated to do the same, but not as much. Haven't found any of either so far with good water resistance, with one exception, the coated polyester used on the Snow Peak Lago tent fly, but can't source it for MYOG.

Please forgive me for going on like this. It is the only way I know to explain the difficulties with choice of materials, an issue that affects gear buyers as well as MYOG material buyers.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re samuel f. on 11/15/2013 02:22:57 MST Print View

I just want to say that I love my Hex Solo tarp, and .51 cuben seems perfect.

The Soplex looks more spacious, the only thing I dont like about it is the price, and need for two poles, and I dont carry trekking poles. Thus it would be an extra 3oz for another RutaLocura carbon pole.zpacks soplexzpacks soplex

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Hexamid Twin upgrade? on 11/15/2013 03:20:31 MST Print View

It really appears to be a Hexamid Twin with a sewn in floor and the new door design. The door design is rather nice in that it eliminates any issues with zips. I am interested to learn how others find it in strong winds. Does it flap or hum?

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Hexamid Twin upgrade? on 11/15/2013 06:11:57 MST Print View

No reason to buy the heavier Ruta Lucora poles for a tent like this. ZPacks has recently changed their carbon fiber pole designs and they are quite strong now. My 48'' pole is easily as strong (or stronger) than my Easton carbon fiber pole from SMD.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Ruta Lucora on 11/15/2013 06:51:57 MST Print View

I've checked this vendor out a few times, seems they (poles) are not available.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Ruta Locura on 11/15/2013 09:07:39 MST Print View

If you are interested in gear from Ruta Locura it is best to message Josh directly and see if he is able to supply it. He is very accommodating and often able to provide one-offs of what is listed as "Out of Stock".


USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Ruta Locura on 11/15/2013 11:13:36 MST Print View

Thank you Derrick.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
solplex on 11/16/2013 22:33:56 MST Print View

This one looks like it will do better than the hexamid in the rain blowing sideways just because it has full length doors and the full floor .

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
soplex on 11/16/2013 22:47:29 MST Print View

I must say that I like the Soplex door design, they overlap and no zippers I assume. This means more airflow and less condensation. pretty nice tent.