Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 05:57:02 MDT Print View

I don't think I've been this conflicted over a gear purchase decision before. I think it's partly because of the price tag and partly because I have something similar. I'm considering purchasing a ZPacks Hexamid Solo shelter with their cuben groundsheet. I currently own a SMD Lunar Solo which works fine for me. The Lunar Solo, after seam sealing, with stakes weighs 26.75 oz, so I would drop about 10.75 oz with the Hexamid Solo, which is the driver behind me considering it. I'd like to get some BPL advice on this. Something in the categories of "Yes, definitely get one and here's why," or "Nah, stick with what you have."

Thanks!

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 06:16:50 MDT Print View

Only one reason why you should... that is: if you feel that $400 bucks is worth a 10 ounce lighter backpack.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex on 03/31/2014 06:24:23 MDT Print View

Go for it. You will discover if its your type of thing or not. Its a good stepping stone to a plain tarp as well. You can always sell it at a minor loss. Or even better, buy used and sell it with virtually no loss but shipping. Thats a no brainer.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/31/2014 06:26:30 MDT.

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Get other stuff on 03/31/2014 06:51:56 MDT Print View

If the sole main reason is to drop 10-11 ounces from your main shelter system, then I say don't do it for $400.

Instead, I'm positive that you could spend the $400 on multiple item upgrades in your pack that would total to an even greater weight savings.

Of course I haven't seen a typical gear list of yours and can't say for sure.

Just because it's one of the "Big 3" people automatically jump on shelter upgrades first thing. It's more flashy and sexy than improving a bunch of little stuff you can't really show off to buddies on the trail or just to make yourself feel like a "better" backpacker cause of the price tag of your tarp.

If you are happy with the performance of your current shelter, I can all but guarantee you could make better use of that $400.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 07:14:52 MDT Print View

If you're not a bivy user, yes. It's a great design/piece of gear; one of my favorites actually. If you do use a bivy though, or see yourself going that route down the line, then a Hexamid is not to ideal for that application.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Go for it. on 03/31/2014 07:19:57 MDT Print View

Hey man- it's all just toys, and if your'e even thnking about it then you've already decided that the money isn't a big deal. Depending on what shape it's in, you ought to be able to get $150 or so for your SMD tent, so the difference is only something like $250 or so. You culd squander that easily on a night out or a sportcoat. And if it doesn't work out for you, you can always sell it here and only lose a few bucks on the deal. And like a previous poster said, this is a pretty freakin' cool tent to brag to your buddies about!

Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Should I Buy a Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 13:39:05 MDT Print View

Love the responses. So varied, yet all with valid (and helpful) points of view.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Should I Buy a Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 13:46:26 MDT Print View

I think your last name (Whynot) provides a great answer.......

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Yes on 03/31/2014 14:17:05 MDT Print View

Yes.

Hope this helps!

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Yes on 03/31/2014 14:18:54 MDT Print View

I use mine with a bivy. Planned it that way and works great.

b

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Yes on 03/31/2014 14:19:39 MDT Print View

No. 10 oz loss for an inferior design makes little sense.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 14:54:49 MDT Print View

Kind of at the same point myself looking to replace an old Tarptent Moment SW with Hexamid Solo Plus or Twin tarp with matching bug shelter (ZPacks or other). The Moment works fine but thinking a tarp shelter/optional bug net would be more packable/easier to dry, easy to erect storm shelter, and lighter -- I would still keep the silnylon TT for potentially snowy trips, however.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 16:22:42 MDT Print View

What will you be able to do after you have a Hexamid that you can't do now?

Spend your money on acquiring skills or adventures.

If you know how to travel cheap, $400 could fund a pretty serious outdoor adventure.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 16:35:41 MDT Print View

Of what you're looking at, I've only owned the Hexamid Twin and have never owned a SMD shelter. I really enjoy my Twin and don't regret purchasing it. While last summer's gear acquisition spree was expensive, I'm left with a kit that I'm 95% happy with. If the Hexamid family is an inferior design, well then I guess ignorance is bliss and I'm a happy backpacker.

Only you can say if losing pack weight at $25 per oz (assuming you sell your SMD for $150) is worth it or not. I also don't know what your financial bottom line is. Agree with Craig, somewhat, that if you'd have to sacrifice time from traveling and backpacking to fund this shelter, I'd make do with what you have.

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Yeah ... might as well on 03/31/2014 16:51:59 MDT Print View

It's a good step toward an open tarp or other system. It's kind of freeing to get beyond the traditional or hybrid tent where you are all zipped up inside all of the time. I have the Hexamid an Ground sheet too. I sold a SMD Trekker and have really like the move to tarps. if you're in a hot humid area with bugs 9 months a year, maybe you should stay where you are, but if not, I'd try it. It's a natural progression and as someone else said, it's all just toys anyway. I like using the hexamid and ground sheet for 80% of the trips I do. I have SMD's Serenity net and take it along if I expect bugs and leave the cuben floor at home. I can't say enough good things about how well the SMD serenity and Hexamid fit together. For my more luxurious trips, car camping, and camping with the dog, I'll take the SMD net tent and a duomid. But I prefer the Zpacks shelter, as the floor and tarp with guylines, is around 9.5 oz. Home light home.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 16:55:57 MDT Print View

In my opinion, unless you are doing a many multi-night backpacks or a through hike it's hard to justify dropping that kind of money on a 10oz improvement to your shelter. Clearly shelters are the most lusted after gear choices UL Backpackers have. I have mentally come around finally to the point that given the # of nights I am out and general short distance of my trips (i.e., < 40 miles per trip), that I don't need to push the envelope of the very best and lightest.

Having said all of that, this forum provides a great opportunity to try a piece of gear and sell it if it doesn't work out without losing much at all. Especially the Hexamid.

Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Should I Buy a Hexamid Solo on 03/31/2014 17:12:35 MDT Print View

Again, thanks for all the great opinions and insight...extremely helpful. This post has been a great example of the value of BPL to me.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F - M

Locale: SoCAL
Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 03/31/2014 21:08:38 MDT Print View

I'd rather drop $400 to save 10-11ounces in my pack weight then spend $10/week at Starbucks and spend over $500/year. But that's just me. Whats important to some people is different then others. In the last 6 months, I spent about $400 to just save 4.5oz and consider it a good tradeoff. But I crossed the 10 pound baseweight years ago and can only drop additional weight by tiny amounts which often means replacing 2-3 year old expensive gear with today's expensive gear as the next lightest thing comes along. But as I always seem to have another long distance trail thru-hike as a goal every few years, it might be easier for me to justify since I know I'll be carrying it for several months straight.

I recently bought their Hexamid Solo Tarp (with no netting or floor) to try out since I could drop my 8oz. CF tarp total weight to 6.2oz. It seems well made, and if my experience with cuben fiber tarps is anything to go by, it should last a long time. I don't see any issues with it for rain protection; at least compared to my cat. tarp. But I'm a bivy user who mainly cowboy camps and only puts up a shelter for the rain so what I'm looking for in a shelter is mainly just the lowest weight possible with adequate rain coverage. I didn't go for the beak, since I'm use to much more open shelters coming from non-shaped tarps. I also suspect that using the beak would lead to condensation issues.

Edited by Miner on 03/31/2014 21:17:22 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
ozs on 03/31/2014 21:53:48 MDT Print View

There comes a point where anything under $50 per oz saved is a bargain.

Worth it to some, not worth it to others. Just depends.

Unfortunately, too many things like that have been worth it to me. But, its pretty much my only vice these days so that makes it OK. I much prefer toting a 6-7 lb basewt much of the year instead of a 10 lb one.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/31/2014 21:55:02 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?" on 04/01/2014 10:37:34 MDT Print View

Beyond weight savings, you need to consider whether this type of tent--which is more a tent/tarp hybrid--is for you.
I'm used to a two pound solo tent with its own poles; one that is fully enclosed and that I trust is bomb proof.
The Hexamid is a completely different deal; more finicky in its set up, and partly open on one side. I've only used mine a few times but I worry about wind with this tent; I think that the design will allow gusts to enter and turn the tent into a sail. But the majority of owners don't complain about this. Also, I don't like not having my poles if I go for a day trip while out backpacking. but this last is minor.

I'm keeping my hexamid but with reservations. It may well prove itself this coming season.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: "Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?" on 04/01/2014 12:08:00 MDT Print View

"I think that the design will allow gusts to enter and turn the tent into a sail. But the majority of owners don't complain about this."

Possibly to prevent post purchase dissonance.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 04/01/2014 13:08:32 MDT Print View

Easily yes.
I do not have extended beak. I have the original run. With seam sealing it’s 8oz (also with line). Add 1.6oz for 8 Ti stakes. And then 1.5oz for the polycro and it has protected me in ugly storms; <12oz for protection.. Mine was $275 but now it has raised to $295; but the new taped seams sound nice.

It has been great not retentioning after an hour as compared with silnylon. Or if it’s raining during the night, silnylon will sag but not the hexamid. It’s such a simple concept-- that it’s beautiful. The small pack size allows me to take a smaller pack.

I have WAY LESS condensation as compared to my tarptents (Rainshadow, Double Rainbow, Virga).
That’s why the hexamid has been my goto tent. Here’s my little tent backpacking in Arches National Park over the weekend:

Hexamid 3/28/14 Arches NP

-Barry
-The mountains were made for Tevas

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo? on 04/01/2014 14:05:52 MDT Print View

"Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?"

NO! Get a hammock/tarp.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
Step Two on 04/02/2014 04:00:34 MDT Print View

It's these decisions that are maddening. Once it's made to go with the ZPacks, my very next thought would be, "I'm dropping $400 beans on a solo shelter. For a little extra I can get a two-person Zpacks and be set for good. Hmmm..."

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Step Two on 04/02/2014 10:55:21 MDT Print View

"Possibly to prevent post purchase dissonance."

My twin is rapidly approaching its 1 year birthday. I had to break the news to it that no Chuck E Cheese birthday party until I see how it does in a wind storm. If I see a windstorm in the forecast, I'd probably play it safe and bring my mid. On the chance I get caught up in a windstorm that wasn't in the forecast, my general plan is to stake the tarp to the ground and hold onto my @$$ for dear life. It may do well but as of now, its untested for me. I have the twin groundsheet which I can roll up in as a bivy in a pinch.

In a situation of very high humidity, low temperatures, persistent rain, and the beak lowered, I found condensation was heavy. The spray from the energy transfer from the raindrop to the condensation created a misting effect but I would just occasionally wipe down the inside with my towel. My sleeping bag didn't get pelted with too much mist and the DWR made that a non-issue. Had I not been sharing the Twin with my daughter, I would have just left the beak up and moved towards the back.

I do recommend going with a twin or duplex. The few extra ozs are well spent for the extra room.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?" on 04/02/2014 11:06:41 MDT Print View

I had the exact same misting experience in my solo during a night of very heavy rain. Turned out o.k. but it was a bit disconcerting since I wasn't used to this sort of thing. Luckily the winds were mild where we camped during this storm, but the whole experience got me wondering about this tent. A bit higher up the winds were pretty bad. a tent failure in those conditions would have been disastrous; it was snowing 5oo feet higher from out camp.

Again, time will tell.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Should I Buy A Hexamid Solo?" on 04/02/2014 11:24:03 MDT Print View

"I had the exact same misting experience in my solo during a night of very heavy rain. Turned out o.k. but it was a bit disconcerting since I wasn't used to this sort of thing. Luckily the winds were mild where we camped during this storm, but the whole experience got me wondering about this tent. A bit higher up the winds were pretty bad. a tent failure in those conditions would have been disastrous; it was snowing 5oo feet higher from out camp."

As far as the misting experience goes, at the time it was happening, my reaction was "Hmmm... not too crazy about this." Upon reflection, it really wasn't that big of a deal for me or my daughter and I think it was a fair compromise for the benefit of carrying a complete shelter that weighs in a bit over a pound. Spoke with a gentleman that day who was using a BD single wall tent who had the same problem. A lady who was camping near me was in the two person Fly Creek and she said that condensation wasn't a problem for her.

Again, it's all a matter of personal preference but I'd rather deal with the condensation than carry a heavier shelter. This was a rare occurrence and the majority of the time, condensation isn't a problem for me.

Since I have the tent version with mosquito netting, I wouldn't take it on a trip with snow in the forecast personally and bring my mid. I'm all for simplifying my kit but there are times when it's nice to have a few options in your quiver of shelters.

Ralph Wood
(visualscapes) - MLife

Locale: Northern CA
I love my Hexamid solo plus on 04/02/2014 15:11:49 MDT Print View

so much that I'm getting a Solo without the screen paired with an ultralight bivy for ultimate in shelter lightness. My solo plus has been through ferocious winds on the coast in the Channel Islands (direct exposure 40-45+ mph) with no problem. Also went through an extremely nasty hail/thunderstorm in the North Cascades on a PCT section hike last year.

This summer I'm going to do some High Sierra backpacking and will mostly "cowboy camp" in my bivy, but will be happy to carry the 7oz of Hexamid just in case things take a turn for the worse.

I did a ton of research and for the size shelter you get (full coverage in a storm) nothing really compares. With my bivy, total shelter weight will be right around 12.5oz.

That's pretty hard to beat!

Edited by visualscapes on 04/02/2014 15:12:39 MDT.