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What is everyone's favorite UL solo, three-season shelter?
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Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
What is everyone's favorite UL solo, three-season shelter? on 06/25/2014 03:00:34 MDT Print View

Currently trying to choose what route I'll be going for an UL solo, three season shelter for the PNW/Sierras. I need something that can handle at least mild snow, heavy wind and rain (it's the PNW after all). Something that can be pitched in the snow as well. I do want some kind of bug protection like a net or double wall.

Currently considering:

MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz
ZPacks Duplex = 22oz
ZPacks Solplex = 16oz

I'm 6'1, so I need something big enough to fit me with enough room in the tent or vestibule for a pack.

What are your favorite solo, UL shelters that can handle some sketchy weather? Any reasons why I should go with one of the above over the other. I think I'm currently leaning towards the Duomid as I can also just take the Cuben Duo by itself on nights I don't expect bugs and cut weight.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
duomid on 06/25/2014 06:55:24 MDT Print View

for what you're describing, the Duomid would fit the bill. can handle tough weather, lots of room for one person (I use it w/ my spouse, so it'll work for two in a pinch), bring the inner when the bugs are bad, leave it home when not needed. I found the inverted V to be the best pitch for me (necessitates short pole extenders). quality is top notch

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: duomid on 06/25/2014 07:04:29 MDT Print View

Yeah, that was my leading choice. Offers a bit more versatility than the other two, and from what I've read better weather protection. Less room than the duplex with the net but still plenty of vestibule room as well.

Paul Huber

Locale: Western Virginia
Tarptent on 06/25/2014 07:04:48 MDT Print View

I really like my Tarptent Notch. Had it in snow and ice with a lot of heavy wind, partial solid sides make it even better.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Tarptent on 06/25/2014 07:40:55 MDT Print View

The Notch is a little over the weight I'm looking for. I've heard it's a damn fine shelter nonetheless.

Edited by vision-quest on 06/25/2014 07:41:25 MDT.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 07:42:38 MDT Print View

Is this big enough to fit somebody 6'4"?

I'm using a TT Rainbow at the moment and it gives me the perfect amount of space at head and foot, but is 10oz heavier.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 07:48:57 MDT Print View

I sold my Duomid as I found it at 6'3" to be too short for me even without an inner. I recently bought a Solomid XL and I believe there is an inner available now for that. Perfect size for one IMO.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:06:19 MDT Print View

Hmm I don't like the lack of depth of the Solomid XL compared to the Duo.. wouldn't there be more of a chance of your gear getting wet with less width?

Edited by vision-quest on 06/25/2014 08:24:23 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:35:31 MDT Print View

my first choice would certainly be the duomid + solo inner - but then you say you're 6'4".

I'm 5'7" and the duomid/solo inner is an absolute PERFECT shelter. But if I were about 4" taller it would be too adding even more on top of that would probably not be the most comfortable.

However, given your height you may want to consider the solomid XL or the solplex......

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:38:13 MDT Print View

Not 6'4, only 6'1 :) I really do love the ZPacks offerings. I just don't know they stand up to bad weather like the Duomid, and in the PNW it can get pretty windy/wet.

Edited by vision-quest on 06/25/2014 08:38:53 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:39:57 MDT Print View

I use mid without netting.

Something about a mid, the bugs fly to the peak and just flitter around.

This probably only works in moderate bug conditions, as I experience in Oregon and Washington. and I try to avoid the worst places/times. Plan B is a 4 foot circle of netting I put over me.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:40:34 MDT Print View

Thanks, Ken.

Found this other thread on the Solo XL:

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:44:52 MDT Print View

Honestly, I think you can't go wrong with either then (6'1" is probably just fine!). I have both the duomid with solo inner and the solplex...which I purchased as a thru hiking solo tent (the duomid i use with my 80# dog).

The solplex and duplex have HUGE bathtub floors. I can't even see how rain would get in that tent even if you tried. A friend had the duplex on a trip with us and we had a HUGE downpour, with blowing rain, lots of scary thunder, etc. He was dry as a bone in there. So I think it would be just fine - but it is a single wall tent, so the condensation is an issue.

I guess it comes down to the flexibility of the duomid + inner (which has variety - with inner, without, duo inner, solo, double wall! if you want it) vs the solplex/duplex which is just the single configuration.

I really, really love the vestibule of the duomid/inner set up - but I found I sometimes have to search a little more than I'd like for a site because the footprint is a bit bigger than i'm used to. I also really, really love how small the solplex is, and that its only 14 oz with EVERYTHING included. That's pretty darned sweet, I must say.....

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 08:49:33 MDT Print View

Appreciate your insight Jennifer, given me some more to think about!

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: MLD Cuben Duomid + Net = around 23oz on 06/25/2014 09:07:44 MDT Print View

I'm 6'3" and have used the Hexamid Twin for the past year. Roomy when I'm solo with plenty of space for my gear. I have experienced condensation problems but upside of using a single wall tent is that I can wipe it down with a bandana when it becomes a problem. It's nice that I can use it with my kids/nephews but our gear has to stay outside when we do that and there's not enough room under the vestibule.

I'm enamored with the Duplex but have decided to hang on to my Twin. There's one design feature I like about the twin is that the bathtub floor is removable and I can just use a plain ol' polycryo ground sheet if I wanted to. I don't need to bring a ground sheet as the bug screen does double duty. Some people find that with this design, the bug screen picks up a lot of debris but this hasn't been a real problem for me.

We're looking at a couple backpacking trips for the whole family. Since I'm the family pack mule, at some point I'll probably pick up the Duplex or Triplex to accommodate all four of us.

I haven't used it in a windstorm yet so I can't speak to that.

Jeff Sims
(jeffreytsims) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal
3 season shelter on 06/25/2014 09:41:56 MDT Print View

I am 6 ft 5 and I currently have a Solplex, Duplex and a SolomidXL. I have recently parted ways with my Ultamid 2 for the very reason that Jennifer brought up. The smaller foot print of the Solplex and SolomidXL provide a lot more options when it comes to site selection. This obviously depends on where you are, but i spend most of my time in the Sierra and many times after a long day I do not want to have to keep looking. I bought the Duplex for a trip with my son later this year so I really can not comment on it, other than it seems bomb proof, but again it would need the larger site. I used the Solplex on the Rae lakes loop 2 weeks ago and I really like this tent. I was concerned that I was going to feel cramped as I spent last year under shaped tarps (cirraform/SolomidXL) bit the Solplex breaths very well and I did not find myself feeling confined in the slightest. I found the Vestibule plenty large, but I do not carry a lot of extra gear.

My solo shelter this year will only depend on bugs. Soleplex with bugs, Solomid XL or Cirraform without but with that said you really can not go wrong with any of the three that you are looking at. One other option that is available at your height would be the Skyscape X from SMD I am too tall and did not even go there, but I hear a lot of good things


Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

4-season, anyone? on 06/25/2014 11:13:06 MDT Print View


Borah gear Snowyside eVent Bivy. Using it year-round right now, working great. Check out my blog for a review.

John H
(pastyj) - F

Locale: SE US
ZPacks Duplex on 06/25/2014 11:53:24 MDT Print View

LOVE the room, weather protection and weight of the Duplex as a solo shelter.

Started with a Hubba: loved everything about it except the weight.
Next went with a tarp: couldn't live with the lack of weather protection in SE US storms (wind + rain).
Next up, Tarptent Notch: 90% Hubba, 1/2 the fat. Loved it until I tried to setup/takedown in 3 days of solid rain.
Finally arrived at the Duplex and don't know of anything I could by or make that would cause me to switch.

Rudy R
(rudyr1999) - F
Solo XL + Superlight Bivy on 06/25/2014 12:33:49 MDT Print View

I knew I wanted a mid. What I didn't know is if I wanted an inner or bivy. After weighing both against each other I went for the bivy.

Bug protection
Added storm protection

More vertical room
A fraction cheaper
Easier to get in and out of

Cowboy camp
Packs away with air pad
A fraction lighter
Can be used with shelters
Can be used with other tents/tarps
Added warmth
Dutch oven all night long!


Joe A
(dirtbaghiker) - M
My system on 06/25/2014 12:35:29 MDT Print View

Bear Paw wilderness bug bivy. If needed I will set up my MLD cuben Patrol Shelter. IT's a simple system, packs down small, weighs just about a pound and it leaves me many options for sleeping out anywhere I need. It sets up and packs away in seconds which I LOVE. It's keeps me comfortable, dry and let's me catch the breeze if I want.