Apr 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm #1301872
Earlier today ZPacks updated their website with a new product, called the "ZPacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp" — an 88 gram (3.1 ounce) hexamid tarp made from 0.34 cuben fiber!
As one of a very small handful of people in the world that have any serious mileage using a 0.34 cuben fiber tarp, I have to say I am amazed that ZPacks has pushed out this product – but I am super excited that they have!
The worry, of course, will be that inexperienced hikers will see the weight of this and buy it – without any real clue as to just how delicate 0.34 cf is.
ZPacks is describing this tarp in this manner: "It is meant to be used as an emergency shelter carried in your day pack."
I think that is a great way to approach this, but still going to be super concerned that hikers will buy this and try to use it out on the trail for full time use.
It is totally possible to use a 0.34 cf shelter as your full time shelter (I have two entire summer seasons using one – probably close to 200 nights) and I have only one very minor tear in my rectangle 0.34 CF shelter, which was caused by somebody over tightening it when I was letting them set it up. But it just goes to show that even being hyper aggressive with this material can potentially cause damage to it.
So, all the worries and concerns aside… will I be buying one?? Oh man, tough call… but yeah, I think I will be putting an order in for one. After ~200 nights with my rectangle 0.34 CF tarp, it might be time to put it into a box and send it around to all the different cottage companies that make CF shelters and let them see what 0.34 CF can handle.
ZPacks is indicating a total weight for a Hexamid Pocket tarp at 113 grams (4.0 ounces) with cordage and stuff sack. That is crazy impressive!
Whadda all think??Apr 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm #1977861
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Personally, I've been wondering what the next latest and greatest item or fabric would be. I still need to put together something for day hikes or short rides on my motorcycle.
DuaneApr 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm #1977873
As someone who just bought a hexamid twin, getting ready to order the twin cuben bathtub groundsheet and a few extras.. I think this is something im seriously considering. And like, im actually kinda geeked at the idea for numerous reasons.
1.The Fact i have 2,2 man tents. 1 being rei quarter dome t2(love it just a little heavy) and the other being, the Hexamid Twin i literally just got last week in the mail. But i havent even gotten to use it yet to see if i even like it. Which is a main factor im being timid about pulling the trigger. But i do need a solo shelter/ backup for my day packs and from what i hear the .34 is fine if you treat it right.
2.I was considering getting the hexamid solo, but ive been reading this is just fine for a shelter if you treat it right.
3. Its new and would be sweet to get early review of it up.
4. Weight.. i mean 8.1 with stakes is something to think about.
5. Im a gear junkie.Apr 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm #1977874
While I won't be buying one, it's nice to see a company that is seemingly finding commercial success continuing to push things lighter rather than gravitating towards the mainstream. It's a pretty cool niche product.Apr 18, 2013 at 12:04 am #1977911
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
I continue to be impressed with the constant innovation and ongoing improvement coming out of Zpacks.
I don't, however, have the elite skill levels or the experience needed to use this tarp(:.Apr 18, 2013 at 5:46 am #1977940
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Dan, my thoughts too about companies "gravitating to the mainstream".
DuaneApr 18, 2013 at 6:32 am #1977949
@mtnjimLocale: Shenandoah Valley VA
I have a .34 Heaxamid solo. It has worked very well so far. The design does a great job of distrbuting load thorughout tarp.I use 2gram titanium stakes and add additional anchorage if weather dictates.Apr 18, 2013 at 7:41 am #1977980
I have one too. Have been in some good windstorms and it has held up well. No sign of deterioration at the tie-out points either, which was my biggest concern.Apr 18, 2013 at 8:46 am #1978007
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
It is light enough that a person could carry it as a separate place to cook food in bad weather.
My wife, for example, likes me to bring her coffee in the morning before she gets out of the tent. If it is raining I sometimes set up a lean-to for this chore.Apr 18, 2013 at 9:43 am #1978030
@towalyLocale: Smoky Mtns.
I currently use a 5×8 ID Siltarp as a "pocket tarp", which does indeed fit in my pocket.
It's not as light as this ZPacks Pocket Tarp, but I do like the concept, and I might be considering one of these items in the future.
I like things that can go in a pocket.
I wear a very light nylon fishing vest(numerous pockets) for some outdoor activities with my Siltarp in one pocket, my Klymit X-Lite pad in another pocket, and a HeetSheets emergency bivy bag in another pocket, giving me a complete mild-weather shelter/pad/bag system that takes up very little space and also weighs very little.
My extremely compact 2.5 oz Stoic Wraith in another pocket for a hoodie jacket.
A few Clif Bars for munchies, and a water bottle hanging off my belt loop with maybe a Sawyer Squeeze or a Steri-Pen, and it's a pretty useful bit of kit, without needing a pack.Apr 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm #1978089
just Justin WhitsonMember
How waterproof is the .34 oz/yd2 Cuben?Apr 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm #1978100
I think the .34 cuben is the same mylar thickness as the .51 and .74oz but with less dyneema thread. It should then be just as waterproof but have less tear strength.Apr 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm #1978102
just Justin WhitsonMember
Ah, thanks William.Apr 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm #1978117
Yup it's entirely waterproof until you get holes in it. That can be a long time if it's tarp and you treat it well. Abrasion is the enemy.Apr 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm #1978120
How much tarp mastery does one need before justifying a tarp like this? I love the weight, but I'm not a professional tarp-camper. Just noodling around with basic rectangle setups, mostly.
I wouldn't want to buy this, end up in a little storm, and immediately tear it to shreds.Apr 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm #1978124
This shelter sets up easily, more so than similar types of shelters.
One night Craig W and I camped in pretty windy conditions – we got plenty of sand in our clothes and food. I wouldn't trust it in 50 mph plus winds, the wind probably wouldn't hurt the fabric, but the tie outs could be a problem. Of course it would need to be oriented to the wind properly, and prayers to the wind god might be appropriate — asking that the wind direction not change. For seriousness wind and a tarp shelter a Trailstar would be better.Apr 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm #1978126
I like to sleep nude. This may be a problem.Apr 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm #1978199
"I like to sleep nude. This may be a problem."
Not if you hike solo or come across a group of nymphomaniacs.May 2, 2013 at 10:46 am #1982560
Ok, I just placed an order for mine!!
Who else has ordered one up??Jun 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm #1997280
@jdegraafLocale: Bay Area
It's been the better part of a month since you ordered, my question is then: have you had a chance to use this little number and how has it held up?
JamesJun 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm #1997306
James, I have not used it yet as it has not shown up yet. Pretty sure I was at or very near the top of the list of first order one, but you know how it goes.
I have already owned a hexamid solo and I have probably more miles on a 0.34 tarp than anybody else so I pretty much know what to expect from the shelter.
But yep, as soon as it shows up I will take photos in my backyard and maybe a walk-around video for you.Jun 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm #1997312
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Hmmm, how about a hammock tarp in this stuff? With no poles for stress and a continuous ridge line, it may have less stress and it would always be in the trees for protection.
And then a matching under cover… whimper…
I think I have *socks* that weigh as much!Aug 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm #2014505
I'm starting to think about getting this shelter. Given that I normally cowboy camp unless its raining and rarely setup my existing tarp, this may be very practical for my regular backpacking trips. Even on the PCT, I only setup my tarp 9 times for the entire trip.
My only question is, how would it hold up to nickle size hail coming down in a thunderstorm or handle the weight of 4 inches of snow coming down in the shoulder seasons? Just wondering if it would be practical to use say on the CT, though that may just me getting a little too ambitious in my ideas? I won't even dare suggest the CDT for it though I'd like to since I'm looking at the regular hexamid tarp for that. ;)Aug 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm #2014532
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
It seems like for .9oz more you can get the .51, which is what I have. But for mild weather it should be plenty durable.Sep 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm #2029258
Yeah, after thinking about it, for the small weight difference, the pocket version only made sense if one was getting a stripped second tarp as an emergency shelter for day hiking if they already had one for backpacking.
So I ended up going with the normal Hexamid since its a bit more durable. As its the end of the summer season, it showed up in less than 2 weeks from ordering. I'll be deliberately putting this through some bad weather between now and next spring in order to evaluate it for a potential CDT thru-hike.
As this is potentially replacing a 5+year old MLD CF tarp for me, if it wasn't lighter there would be no point in changing since my existing tarp is still good. So I ordered the hexamid stripped without the netting or beak. I figured the opening isn't any larger then I'm use to with my tarp so why bother with a beak. Plus, I figure it will cause more condensation if I actually used the beak in rain. As I normally cowboy camp and only use a tarp for rain, I'm staying with my bivy sack which eliminates the need for netting (if bugs haven't bother me in 6+ years of using a bivy, why change now) and gives some additional security against any rain coming through the opening so once again, I don't see the extra weight of the beak to be justified. Since I have plenty of the 6.5" titanium stakes already, I decided to try the lighter and thinner 6" stakes to see how they hold.
After removing the cords for the CF floor that I'm not going to use, the Regular Hexamid (with no beak or netting) + storage sack + attached guy lines + 8x 6" Ti stakes came out to weigh only 6.2oz (176g) on my scale. That's about 2oz lighter then my existing tarp setup though the tarp is heavier weight CF and uses longer stakes that are slightly heavier. It's even lighter then my 6.5oz bivy sack. It may be time to consider replacing it with the Borah CF bivy to save 2 more oz. At this rate, my wallet is going to be thin before X-mas even gets here this year. ;)
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