Rating: 3 / 5
I use the Hex 3 for two applications:
1. Family camping.
2. Winter ski trips as a shared shelter.
For #1, we often use the enclosed Nest (car trips) and I made a velcro netting perimeter we use during bug season for backpacking. For the three of us (wife, son, dog) it's great. The pole is in an interesting spot for this configuration, but not much you can do aside from drilling a hole in the middle of your couple's bag (a good tip I got from Roman Dial) or skooching the pole to the side a few inches.
For these trips, we take the Hex 3 for one reason: room. It has a good space:weight ratio and the headroom is bliss when backpacking with a family. The goofy shape is an asset because we can stick kids/dogs/gear in the corners.
For winter, I'm a little more critical. To weather a good stiff winter blizzard, and to maximize living area, you need to stake out 11 points. Combined with the need to get that geometry "just so", this is quite a lot of work to set up camp. Arrive early if the snow is deep: setting 11 stake out points in the deep fluffy powder snow, of say, the northern Rockies, is no easy chore. Sure, you can use trekking poles, ice axes, snowshoes, and all manner of 1 oz deadmen stuff sacks but the reality is the fastest and most convenient stakes are nice long tube stakes like those sold by Kifaru. And when a shelter requires 11 stakes (vs., say, 7 for a good MegaMid pitch), the weight of big stakes adds up.
We had an entertaining conversation about the Hex on my last trip. My partner said, "this shelter would be perfect it was square". But I'm not real concerned about lost space in the corners, I like them for gear storage, but the hex shape does make for a lot of stakeout points.
Also, in winter conditions, having a nonbreathable fabric for a floorless winter tent can be a real nightmare if you are trying to keep stuff dry. In very cold conditions, especially if it's still, the Hex, or any of these shelters, will not vent enough moisture through its peak vent to keep the insides of the walls dry. You have a very high humidity environment in here: snow floor, two+ people, cooking, etc. The condensation doesn't drip if its wet because of the steep walls but look out if you brush against it. Worse, however, at cold conditions, you can get some pretty gnarly frost rains when the wind blows, resulting in a fair bit of spindrift swirling around. A bivy sack or sleeping bag with a very water resistant shell is essential for a trip longer than a few nights in winter temperatures.
Having said all this, we use Epic fabric Hex 3's in BPL's winter courses here in Montana. Epic solves a big fraction of the condensation problems mentioned above, adds only a few ounces, and is far easier to pack up, with a lower packed volume, after the first night of big freeze.
To improve the Hex 3, I'd make it out of Epic, and include as an option, a winter stake kit that actually works, like the Kifaru snow stake kit, AND is ultralight, unlike the Kifaru kit...