Nov 13, 2013 at 11:51 am #1309807
Could be of interest to some.Nov 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm #2044299
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Suppose it impossible to just guess at how stability will compare with the Hexamids.
But like less stakes and the solid, high-walled floor, for all under a pound.
(Would have to get the slightly heavier duo, because 30" depth just won't do it for me and the pooches.)
They appear to have changed to a shinier green Cuben material that will be more obtrusive, but may collect less condensation due to less radiant heat loss. Trying to see myself in a shiny tent, but the price is over the budget.Nov 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm #2044357
Samuel, I'm not sure why you think they have changed to a shinier green. I received a Duplex yesterday :) and it's exactly the same olive drab cuben as previouslyused by ZPacks. The .74 oz cuben, however, is a darker green.Nov 14, 2013 at 8:16 am #2044445
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
A Firstlight in Cuben? A The North Face VE25 in Cuben? Heil Valesko?Nov 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm #2044564
To me this design looks a lot like the now extinct Gossamer Gear "The One" made out of Cuben Fiber rather than spinnaker fabric. The weight difference after seam sealing the latter would be about 3 ounces +/- between the Solplex and The One. The cost difference on the other hand would be about $250 or so. That's a lot to pay for a 3 oz. difference, but then again, Gossamer Gear seems to have gone out of the shelter business entirely. What a pity. I have a used The One I bought on this site and love it, but it is subject to condensation, which I figure the Solplex would be too. With a 4 oz. difference between this and the Duplex I can't see the argument for the Solplex. With the Duplex you can shelter two hikers with two doors and flow through ventilation. Those are a lot of advantages for 4 oz. In any case it looks like Joe has established himself at the forefront of shelter makers, not to mention his excellent packs, if you can afford it.Nov 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm #2044571
TarpTent still the standard bearer for the less spendy crowd? I'd like to see some cuben material used by Henry. Never heard why he won't use it.
DuaneNov 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm #2044573
I agree Duane. I have had several of Henry's tents and still have three of them. It seems he has focused on more affordable fabrics, which is a huge service to UL hikers putting kids through college or saving for retirement.Nov 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm #2044575
Duane: TarpTent still the standard bearer for the less spendy crowd? I'd like to see some cuben material used by Henry. Never heard why he won't use it.
Duane, you can learn why Henry will not use cuben fiber, and why he will not build backpacks, via this podcast: http://www.theoutdoorsstation.co.uk/2013/01/no-356-the-future-of-ultralight-gear-pt-3/.Nov 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm #2044679
John, thanks for sending that link to the Henry Shires podcast. He suggested that Cuben fiber was not a great choice for floors due to poor abrasion resistance, which is a consideration for both the Solplex and Duplex.Nov 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm #2044708
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
If it was the same podcast, there was also a concern over the premium price for Cuben and worries about a material that did not have a bit of "give". Maybe the latter has been resolved with these new hybrid materials.Nov 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm #2044711
It's good, but Zpacks already makes a lot of stellar shelters. I'd have a hard time choosing this over the original Hexamid Solo, Hexamid Twin, or new Hexamid Duplex. The solo is lighter and far less expensive, while the twin is similar in price and weight but more floor area. Then the Duplex offers a lot more area with all the same features for a slight price and weight penalty.Nov 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #2044738
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
John, Thank you for the link to the interview with Henry Shires about TarpTent's not using Cuben material. Very informative, especially coming from an experienced tent maker.
William, re: "Samuel, I'm not sure why you think they have changed to a shinier green. I received a Duplex yesterday :) and it's exactly the same olive drab cuben as previously used by ZPacks. The .74 oz cuben, however, is a darker green"
I've got some of Zpacks' current .74 oz Cuben, as well as their .5 oz they were using a couple years ago. The .5 oz has a relatively flat olive finish. The new .76 oz is quite reflective, or shiny. I looked at their website picture of the .5 oz and it appeared to be as reflective as the new .76 oz, but that doesn't appear to be so from your comment. So, it seems I should not have relied on the internet photo. To confuse matters further, the new .76 oz material I just ordered is NOT a dark green, but much more like the light emerald color of my jasmine green Forester.
Was looking at all this, because was planning to test some adhesives on Cuben and am finding that there may be a lot of different Cuben layups out there. So, I thought that testing adhesives on Cuben from Zpacks would be the most helpful to others, because that is a material that is very readily available to fellow MYOGers.
I also have some .76 oz green Cuben purchased a few years ago from Cubic Tech. The label on it indicated it was made differently from what was ordered and stated on the invoice. Tried some adhesives with this material, and the adhesion was strong enough to rip the outer film off the inner fibers, unlike the Cuben sold by Quest, which does not bond well to the same adhesives. So don't really know what the dickens I've got there, so feedback on BPL about Cuben isn't much help in deciding whether to use it.
My point – at last – is that it's looking very much like there may be different Cubens out there. Not just the different ones published by Cubic Tech, but with films made of different substances and different fibers. The Cuben tent you get from one maker might be made of a material quite different than a tent from another, with quite different qualities. On a positive note, I observed that the film used on the .76 oz material form Zpacks was clearly stronger than that purchased from both CT and Quest. The film on the older stuff could be shredded easily, not so with the new.
Henry Shires' comments on the podcast give me still more pause about Cuben, but on the other hand, weight differences aside, there are reservations about the sagging and water repellent qualities of 30 denier silnylon. With a double wall tent, even if the inner is only mesh, good design can go a long way in addressing sagging and condensation; but for a tent that has substantial portions of single wall canopy, the absence of sagging and reduced condensation become more important considerations.
I want to build a tent much lighter than I have now, and to do that, I've concluded much of the canopy has to be single wall. So that is what makes the Cuben so attractive, in terms of eliminating sagging and reducing the attraction of condensation to the inner surface, and is why I've been experimenting with adhesives to see if nylon strips can be bonded to Cuben at the seam lines in order to address Cuben's issues with holding stitching securely and keeping stitch holes from expanding. (Have tried all the tapes, but won't go into the issues with them now).
The only other alternatives no heavier than 30D silnylon that seem feasible are: 1) coated polyester, which sags very little and absorbs water much less than nylon, or 2) nylon treated to do the same, but not as much. Haven't found any of either so far with good water resistance, with one exception, the coated polyester used on the Snow Peak Lago tent fly, but can't source it for MYOG.
Please forgive me for going on like this. It is the only way I know to explain the difficulties with choice of materials, an issue that affects gear buyers as well as MYOG material buyers.Nov 15, 2013 at 1:22 am #2044778
I just want to say that I love my Hex Solo tarp, and .51 cuben seems perfect.
The Soplex looks more spacious, the only thing I dont like about it is the price, and need for two poles, and I dont carry trekking poles. Thus it would be an extra 3oz for another RutaLocura carbon pole.Nov 15, 2013 at 2:20 am #2044782
It really appears to be a Hexamid Twin with a sewn in floor and the new door design. The door design is rather nice in that it eliminates any issues with zips. I am interested to learn how others find it in strong winds. Does it flap or hum?Nov 15, 2013 at 5:11 am #2044789
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
No reason to buy the heavier Ruta Lucora poles for a tent like this. ZPacks has recently changed their carbon fiber pole designs and they are quite strong now. My 48'' pole is easily as strong (or stronger) than my Easton carbon fiber pole from SMD.Nov 15, 2013 at 5:51 am #2044795
I've checked this vendor out a few times, seems they (poles) are not available.
DuaneNov 15, 2013 at 8:07 am #2044824
@mikuLocale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
If you are interested in gear from Ruta Locura it is best to message Josh directly and see if he is able to supply it. He is very accommodating and often able to provide one-offs of what is listed as "Out of Stock".
DerrickNov 15, 2013 at 10:13 am #2044853
Thank you Derrick.
DuaneNov 16, 2013 at 9:33 pm #2045373
@anthonywestonLocale: Southern CA
This one looks like it will do better than the hexamid in the rain blowing sideways just because it has full length doors and the full floor .Nov 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm #2045376
I must say that I like the Soplex door design, they overlap and no zippers I assume. This means more airflow and less condensation. pretty nice tent.Nov 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm #2046629
@dgpostonLocale: Texas / Colorado
Just saw this today when I opened up Zpack's website. Dammit! Now I have to sell my hexamid and get the tent I really wanted with a bathtub floor. :) Or should I stick with the Hexamid with mesh floor?Nov 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm #2046737
Or you could mail it to Joe and have them sew a bathtub floor into your hexamid.Nov 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm #2046738
@dgpostonLocale: Texas / Colorado
I asked him about this when I first ordered my tent a few months ago. He said that the bathtub floor was never part of the original Hexamid design and he discouraged it. I think the Soloplex must be a different shelter from the ground up, whereas the Hexamid was originally designed with the mesh floor in mind. I haven't emailed Joe about the Soloplex yet, since I just saw it on his website today.Jan 17, 2014 at 10:27 am #2064061
@anthonywestonLocale: Southern CA
The soloplex has two doors so it's a more button down sheltor in the rain.
In my experience the cuben has much less condensation than silnylon under the same conditions. I don't trust cuben floors to keep me dry or to stand up to the wear and tear. I supposed you could cut a big hole the the floor (leave the sides) and tape in tyvek and used polycro over that in the rain. I usually end up bring tyvek to put under my shelters so I'd save some weight.
Looks like a great shelter just what I've been looking for.Apr 29, 2014 at 9:15 am #2097566
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
I often see people commenting on how they don't use trekking poles, and how they'll need to carry extra poles or weight… I guess this won't work above tree line, but I'd like to point out that you can go minimalist on this problem and just use branches you find on the ground.
I have used a nemo Meta 1P on and off in the northeast and its funny, because the first time I brought it out I just knew I'd use my trekking poles. What I didn't consider was that I wanted to USE my trekking poles while leaving the tent set up at "base camp." DUH how did I not think about that? So I just grabbed some sturdy sticks/branches that I found, broke them to the correct lengths, rounded out the end that fits into the fabric to make sure it wasn't sharp, and used the others for the tie offs.
Anyway, food for thought. No extra weight, free materials, etc.
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