Apr 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm #1301818
I have been kicking around the idea to sew in a netting floor (and door) to a Golite Shangri La 2. From what I can gather, people are happy with the netting floor on ZPacks shelters. I have not been able to find a review from someone that does not like them. If I did it, I would use regular no-see-um netting since that is what I have in the basement. It looks like ZPacks uses lighter weight nanoseeum. So in theory, the noseum would be even more durable.
Specifically with regards to durability, does anyone want to offer their experiences good or bad? Does the netting get "dirtier" by picking up needles or dirt more so than a solid floor?
BenApr 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm #1977395
this just came up in another thread a few days ago. I emphatically concur with another poster who opined that it severly aggravates condensation inside single wall floor less shelters.Apr 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm #1977396
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Does the netting get "dirtier" by picking up needles or dirt more so than a solid floor?
CheersApr 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm #1977400
That makes sense, but since I currently use no floor at all, (just groundcloth) It shouldn't be any worse. I am more so looking to do this for mosquito season in the west where humidity is rather low anyway.Apr 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm #1977405
The condensation will be worse than using no floor, because even though the mesh allows air to pass somewhat, it inhibits air movement enough that you will likely see a noticeable increase in condensation from your current setup with just a groudcloth.
-DavidApr 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm #1977410
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
No personal experience with netting floors or bug skirts but I've heard it reported by others with sod/bug skirts made of netting sewn around the perimeter of shelters that the netting becomes a major pain when used in snow camping. The netting easily freezes into the snow making it difficult to dismantle and pack the shelter away without tearing the netting. I'd assume you would have the same problem with a solid netting floor.
If you use (or plan to use) the SL2 for winter snow conditions, you might consider a removable netting floor so you could leave it at home when not needed for bug protection.Apr 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm #1977440
I actually sold my Hexamid tent a couple of months ago now. To be honest, I sold it because I had purchased another tent, so I decided to part with the Hexamid to help dampen the monetary blow a bit. However, I loved the Hexamid, so it was a tough decision. What made me go ahead and sell it was the floor. I loved everything else about the tent, but in the rain, the mesh floor was a bit of a hassle FOR ME and in the end, I decided I would be happier without the mesh floor.
I never found the mesh floor to be a problem if the ground was dry, and IMO, it didn't attract any more debris than any other shelter floor did considering what can be carried onto any floor from going in and out. However, if it rained, the mesh floor collected a lot of water. And to make it worse, if I was set up on dirt, then the splatter was filled with dirt, which collected in the mesh. This was a hassle (again, FOR ME) to deal with. Due to this, I learned to set up on grassy area's if I was expecting rain, which solved the dirt issue, but I still had to contend with the water issue. And trust me, that mesh can hold a lot of water…
As far as condensation, I can't speak for the SL2, but I never had an issue with condensation in my Hexamid. Sure, if it was 100% humidity outside, foggy or raining, I would get a little bit of moisture on the inside, but never as much as I did with my Silnylon tents. I feel like this was due to the large interior space (I had the Hexamid Solo Plus) as well as the ventilation that the Hexamid allowed. Even with 2 inside the tent, it wasn't an issue FOR ME. Of course though, the SL2 is a bit different shape, and made from different materials, so I can't really speak for that.
And might I suggest that if you do decide to add bug netting around the perimeter, don't attach it right at the edge. I would leave a little bit of an overhang on the outer tarp. This way, when rain rolls off of your tarp it will not travel along the mesh. Depending on how low you pitch the tarp, it may help with keeping some water out of the mesh…
Also, I never got to use my Hexamid in the snow, but as others have mentioned, I would be worried about using a mesh floor in snow since it could become frozen to the ground/snow.
Anyway, I am by no means knocking the Hexamid either. I loved that thing, and am actually in the process of saving $ to re-buy the Hexamid Solo Plus tarp and likely an inner net tent for it. I know that there are others that have used the tent and was fine with the mesh floor. But for me, as much as I loved the tent, the mesh floor wasn't my favorite option.Apr 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm #1977454
@ckrusorLocale: Northwest US
Ben, I'm glad you raised this issue. I just received my SL2, and I have the same questions. In warm weather it would be nice to have a mesh door for ventilation with bug protection. It would reduce condensation at night and keep the interior temperature down during afternoon naps.
Today I finished making a waterproof bathtub groundsheet for the SL2 that is only slightly larger than the double-wide sleeping pad my wife and I use. There is quite a bit of uncovered ground inside the shelter around the perimeter of the groundsheet. I'm trying to decide whether to just give the shelter a noseeum skirt that hangs from the edges to the ground, leaving some uncovered ground in the shelter (around the groundsheet), or sew noseeum between the edges of the shelter and the groundsheet, for a continuous bug-proof floor.
I had a bad experience with ants flowing into my sleeping bag during the night once, and I've heard horrifying stories of armies of ticks invading floorless shelters on duff beneath pinon pines in the eastern Sierra, so I'm inclined to go with the complete netting floor joining the groundsheet to the edges of the shelter. Something removeable would be nice, but it would be difficult to make a removeable netting floor completely bug proof.Apr 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm #1977469
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
I'm with chad. I really, really like my hexamid solo plus…a lot. It is my first non traditional tent and has only made me really want to try full on tarping.
But I hike with my big yellow long hair shedding dog most of the time and oh for the love of Pete there is a lot of dog hair that gets trapped in that netting!!!!! I'm probably carting around a whole second dog at this point, and I have yet to figure out a good way to really get it out of there. The ground debris eventually comes off when I hang it to dry in the shower after a trip, but the dog hair? Soon I won't need a sleeping mat. Ill just have a lovely bed of down embedded in the net floor……..Apr 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm #1977471
@bookLocale: Northern California
So why not a Hexamid with a cuben floor? And what are the drawbacks? I hate insects. There, I've said it. And condensation. From what I've seen a Hexamid with a separate lay-down floor is still nearly a pound lighter than my BA fly creek. Anyone have a Hexamid with a sewn in cuben floor, and what do you think?Apr 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm #1977474
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
Same experience here. Netting doesn't collect debris, but when it gets wet it makes the whole shelter twice as heavy (literally, doubles the weight). I never had success shaking it out either. When camping on an already damp or muddy area, forget it, and plan on getting muddy and wet. The condensation didn't seem much different to me.
I personally wouldn't purchase a shelter with netting floor again, but would love to see a cuben or sil floor as not to otherwise abandon the design of the Hexamid which I do like.Apr 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm #1977490
I appreciate the feedback too. I just sent my Hexamid Solo in to add netting after deciding the bare bones of the Hex and a cuben bivy were not going to be good in bug season. I can always use a ground cloth the traditional way and bring it in when it rains. Good to know also that it will weigh a ton after getting rain under it or setting up on wet ground. :(
DuaneApr 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm #1977533
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Like the others who have used a hexamid… didn't have a problem with debris in dry conditions, didn't have problems with condensation, but the netting floor in mud isn't a lot of fun. I didn't noticed as much weight gain as others when it was wet but not muddy (e.g on top of grass)… but I didn't have a scale with me.
–MarkApr 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm #1977544
@tauneutrinoLocale: Upper Galilee
It's great you are rising this issue! I thought of it and that's why I didn't ordered my Hexamid yet.
Zpacks website states: "The Hexamid is a six sided pyramid style tent for a solo hiker. It is made from the lightest materials available; .51 oz/sqyd cuben fiber, and optionally .7 oz/sqyd ultralight insect netting."
"The ground sheets are constructed from black 1.0 oz/sqyd Cuben Fiber"
SO I thought to cut a hole in the netting floor and sew in the ground sheet. Weight penalty is not that big, but I save all the hassle with mud and water in the netting.
Thoughts?Apr 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm #1977550
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
I've only used my Hexamid solo with netting a once and it wasn't wet. Pros and cons seem to me as follows:.
1. Maximises the space available vs an inner net.
2. Quick easy set up.
1. Mesh could soak up a lot of moisture and suddenly your UL shelter isn't that light.
2. The mesh is sewn right on the edge of the tarp, so water could run down the tarp and right onto the nest.
3. Mesh is hard to keep clean.
I use a very thin foam pad under the mesh to help (in theory) with moisture and dirt soaking into the mesh. I use this pad all the time to protect my very light Kooka bay pad, so it isn't extra weight for me.
I must admit that on the one night I did use it I remember thinking that there was a lot of condensation. A Trailstar is my usual shelter.
I'm happy with the Hexamid so far. If I am expecting a lot of wet weather I would bring the Trailstar, as I prefer a larger covered area when dealing with wet gear at the end of a wet day. For buggy summer trips it seems great.Apr 17, 2013 at 9:46 am #1977639
Gregory, don't "cut a hole in the netting floor and sew in the ground sheet." ZPacks will make you the Hexamid with a sewn in groundsheet, and it will come in lighter than the mesh floor plus groundsheet. They'll charge a few dollars extra for the extra work involved.
I haven't found a problem with the net floor, but I take a homemade footprint (68 grams) if I'm expecting rain and mud.Apr 17, 2013 at 10:06 am #1977648
Like a screen door on a submarine.Apr 17, 2013 at 10:15 am #1977652
I guess I keep forgetting we can't all be happy, all the time, some drawbacks with just about everything. I'll have to live with my decisions. The sewn in gc has its own issues I believe. One, hard to raise the edges when water may flow over it, it would be easier to deal with a separate gc and be able to raise its edges with twigs or small rocks to get around water over running it. No added expense and is easily replaced when needed, although a sewn in gc may have a longer life.
DuaneApr 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm #1977723
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
Not sure that's a good idea, either. My understanding is that the point of the net floor is that the condensation (or rain outside) runs down the walls and into the net…and then into the ground where it – theoretically – goes away. If you have something under the net then the water can't flow into the ground, and just pools under you.
I did wonder about having joe sew in the groundsheet…so you'd have a wall, a perimeter netting, and then a floor. All enclosed, no mesh floor…might be a good compromise. I really like the shelter, it's just starting to get kind of annoying in some small waysApr 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm #1977726
It seems most of the complaints I read relate to the bug net.
I was looking at the BearPaw AT 2 with hanging floor recently as a viable option. Can't speak from personal experience on how well that design would work to reduce condensation.Apr 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm #1977778
If you are going to have the ground sheet sewn in, I would suggest also seeing if the mesh could be sewn up the tarp a few inches rather than at the edge. As I said before, and others here, when the water rolls off of the tarp, it will then follow along the mesh since the mesh is sewn to the edge of the tarp. If your ground sheet is sewn in, then the water will also follow the mesh right onto the top of the ground sheet/floor. Then you are in a bathtub with water in it… However, if you can get the mesh sewn a few inches above the edge of the tarp, this would probably be a better idea…
However, as has also been mentioned, by doing this, one can't swap the ground sheet out if it were to develop holes, or just wanted a bigger size. At least not as easily as if it weren't sewn in…
I never tried it either, but I would imagine that using a ground sheet under the mesh would be fine at keeping the mud/debris off of the mesh, but then water can potentially pool under you on top of the groundsheet. Maybe though if that piece of ground sheet were narrow it would be less likely to collect water though… Like I said, I haven't tried it, but I don't feel too confident in it personally.
Anyway, I may be able to place an order for another Hexamid Solo Plus tarp soon, however, after this I will save up for an inner net tent. Again, this will have it's own set of limitations, but I think that I will be able to deal with them a little better and will just be happier overall with it. As I said, I loved the Hexamid… It is a great tent!Apr 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm #1977791
The old practice with gc's is to place it under a tent, when it rains or looks like rain, you place it inside the tent, hopefully it isn't loaded with pitch. My understanding with the mesh/netting floor is any water that runs down the edges of a shelter, will soak into the ground. Even with it inside, on top of the netting, you may still need to curl up the edges of the gc to prevent water from going over the top of it, that is how I use my TT, floorless Squall and I see Henry has modified his shelters by bringing the netting in, away from the edge of the shelter so water will drip off the edge of the shelter fabric and less so onto the netting. There may be times where one has to take active observation and action if needed, of what is going on during a rain.
DuaneApr 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm #1977819
Duane, I used the solo plus ground sheet inside my Hexamid, on top of the mesh. At each corner, as well as at the middle of each side, the ground sheet can be clipped up to the tarp. By doing this, a bathtub will be formed, and while water will run down the mesh, it will not reach the inside of the bathtub floor since the bathtub is on top of the mesh. However, if the floor is sewn in, the mesh is sewn to the top of the bathtub, which means that water traveling along the mesh can then go right into the bathtub floor.
As far as using ground sheets with tents, I always made sure to cut the ground sheet a little smaller than the actual tent floor. I always used the ground sheet under the tent, even in rain and never experienced any problems.Apr 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm #1977827
Chad, I've done the fold the edges back with the gc still under the tent, did not want to do any damage to the bottom of the tent and save a little wear and tear. I'd read a few weeks back here, that some said if not a good shelter placement, that the bathtub floor did not form/lay right. The principle sounds good though. I'm hoping my setup works, but I hardly get rained on out here in the Sierra, but I think in a deluge, more protection the better. Felt sorry about 8 years ago for people in the Muir Pass area where they got inches and inches of hail for a few hours. It did not look pretty from my campsite further north in the Evolution Valley.
DuaneApr 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm #1977831
@bookLocale: Northern California
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