Rating: 5 / 5
I purchased my tent with full netting and the cuben fiber groundsheet from ZPacks in November 2011. I used it for several weekend long trips, and got to put it to the real test during my 22 day JMT thru-hike during summer 2012. Nature threw a lot of us, and we experienced over 8 days of monsoons, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and strong winds. The shelter gained some attention from other hikers due to the "odd" fabric being used, and its design/weight. Bottom line, very pleased!
This tent is advertised as a 1.5 person shelter. My girlfriend and I shared the tent for the entire duration of the JMT. We are both 5 ft 7, and fit snugly but comfortably inside the tent (with all of our gear except our bear canisters). Even in bad weather, the tent was roomy enough for both of us to sit up at the door, cook our food right outside, change cloths, and stay dry (Be careful not to touch the walls!) For one person, the Solo Plus is a very roomy shelter.
Setting up the shelter may seem a bit confusing at first but is very easy once you get the hang of it. I was able to get a good pitch in under 3:00 minutes by the end of my trip. This tent is not free-standing, and I did have to use rocks on occasion when above 11,000 ft.
As said before, we experienced several days of foul weather during our trip. The tent held up beyond my expectations during a 20 minute bombardment of grape up to quarter sized hailstones. I was concerned that the lightweight cuben material would not hold up, but it did. The hail was so heavy that a fellow hiker's tarp failed under the weight of the hail and wind, and he retreated to our shelter. 3 people in the Hexamid Solo Plus was a tight fit, but worked out. After the hail passed, I had to re-stake the shelter because the bombardment had partially pulled out most of the stakes.
Check out my video in the hailstorm:
Zpacks Hexamid Solo Plus in Lightning Hail Storm
@ 3:43 I turn on my light and you can see the hail coming down outside the door.
Heavy squalls were no problem, and the groundsheet worked well. There was no need to turn up the bathtub groundsheet at the edges, but I am sure it would have worked perfectly.
The tent handled gusts up to 30mph during one storm without any issues.
I did like the extended beak, it did a good job blocking rain spray and wind, as well as providing a little more privacy.
As with all single wall tents, sometimes condensation would build up on the inside of the walls, especially when sleeping over wet ground or plants.
This shelter provided everything I would ever want for a 3-season tent in an ultralight package. ~18.0 oz including the stakes for an enclosed shelter is super light for one person, and for this trip came out to ~9.0 oz per person since the tent was shared. I would buy this shelter again in a heartbeat if mine ever wears out.
Bottom line: If you want the best non-freestanding ultralight shelter that is 3-season bombproof, buy this tent!