Nov 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm #1310198
The Solplex has been on the market for all of 13 days… you really think that is enough time for it to get use in the field? And even if somebody has, you want to base a purchase decision on somebody that has used it for ten-odd days? It is, as you say, an expensive shelter… why in the world would you want to base a not-yet-on-the-market-for-even-two-weeks review on something so expensive?Nov 25, 2013 at 8:29 am #2047874
@mak52580Locale: Washington, DC Area
I think it was more of a point of curiosity than a basis to make a decision straight away.
I read his "Has anyone had the opportunity to field test either of these and which one did you think was best" as looking for feedback on whether or not anyone has even tested it yet, fully expecting that no one has yet.
Also, there are many people on this forum who get sneak-peaks or get to test out gear before it hits the market so while it may have been available only to the general public for 2 weeks, there might be some on this board who already have several weeks worth of testing into it.Nov 25, 2013 at 8:40 am #2047884
there might be some on this board who already have several weeks worth of testing into it.
But my point still stands here Marc…
Oh boy, a whole two weeks, or even a month, of testing a prototype, is exactly what we should be putting up against a shelter that has over a year of being on the market.
I am not standing up for either shelter here… nor trying to put down any shelter.
Simply trying to make a point: stop asking people to compare a brand new product to a product that has been on the market for two hiking seasons. The SMDSX probably has 10,000+ miles of use by different hikers. The ZPSP has, what, maybe a few hundred… but probably not even a hundred… its prototype is still sitting in the "bargin bin" at their website.Nov 25, 2013 at 8:54 am #2047889
@mikuLocale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
John – your brand-crammed avatar is becoming a mark of haughtiness. If you dont like the question, pass on by brother. There is no need to judge someone so aggressively.
DerrickNov 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2047955
@mak52580Locale: Washington, DC Area
I think there are two different types of field testing… long term field testing and short term field testing. Both of which can be helpful to someone looking to drop $550 on a shelter.
If you are talking durability then of course it's unlikely someone can give him a solid opinion and I agree with your sentiments… unless it was taken out one time and got shredded in a hail storm, in which case the short term report on durability would certainly apply and I'm assuming the poster would want to know this information.
However, if you are talking about other criteria, then even someone with one night… or even someone who has just bought it might be able to chime in and possibly help someone before they spend half a month's salary or more on a tent.
I can make a snap decision on a variety of things about a shelter before it even leaves my backyard:
1. How big is it? Can a large/wide pad fit in it comfortably? Can I comfortably stretch out and FEEL comfortable in it?
2. How big is the vesitbule? Can it fit my gear?
3. How large is the bathtub floor? Will it handle spray and splash?
4. How sturdy is it? When I get it set up correctly, does it still sway or move to a point that I would be uncomfortable trying it in 30mph+ winds?
5. What is the workmanship like? Does it appear that the vendor may cut corners in their production or are there little things overlooked which may make it wear faster than the other tent?
6. Once I have the tent in hand, does it appear to address whatever it was I was looking for in a new shelter? Sometimes that can be done without even setting it up. The gut feeling we've probably all had with gear where we pull it out and say to ourselves "Nope, this just isn't going to work for me."
With regards to his specific question about handling wind… in my opinion all it would take is one good wind storm for me to make a determination. So long as I know I pitched it right, then I can make that call.Nov 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm #2047962
I agree with Mark that there are some basic aspects such as size and design that can be sorted out within minutes.
I often do that just by looking at a few photos taken at different angles.
From that I have a pretty good idea on how I will fit in and how it will perform in different weather conditions.
For well over twenty years I worked in the same street where all the major outdoor shops are located in Melbourne.
Every time I spotted a new tent on display I would fiddle with it ,get inside and get the feel for it.
Always amazed me, for example, how at 5'8" I found some shelter too small for me when folk here at 6' plus would rave on about them.
(mind you, not unusual to see some of the same people later selling the tent because it was too small…)
Mind you the above is mostly to sort out the ones that will not work, it isn't going to tell most if it will work.Nov 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm #2048003
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Get the zpacks one good customer service if nothing else.Nov 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm #2048110
I have a Refuge X and like it. I don't have a Soloplex, but I like the looks of it. They are fairly similar. From what I can tell, here are two differences:
1) The Soloplex is symmetrical front to back, while the Refuge X is not. In other words, the Refuge X has its apex a bit to one side (presumably where you put your head). I prefer this; it means that when I lie down, I have more space over my head. Some may not care, or feel that symmetry provides more storm protection (I think other factors probably play a bigger role).
2) The Soloplex's poles connect to the outside (they are placed on the ground). I would prefer this. The Refuge X might have a bit more space as a result, but I would rather have the ability to connect the poles on the outside. My poles get dirty, having poles on the inside means I have to enter the tent while setting it up, if I break a pole and have to use a stick I have less flexibility, etc. As with the symmetry issue, some may prefer attaching poles on the inside. That way, if you make an adjustment during the night, you don't have to exit the tent.
It would be nice to have them next to each other and compare the two.Nov 26, 2013 at 1:15 am #2048173
@Scott, sorry man… I was watching the packers game… (thank you Game Rewind) and I was all pissed off that hines ward is no longer playing… he WAS the Packers!Nov 26, 2013 at 7:24 am #2048215
@cgrafLocale: So Cal
@ J.A…..Didn't Hines Ward play for the Steelers?
Zpacks Soloplex vs SMD Skyscape X:
The Zpacks Soloplex looks strikingly similar to the now defunct Gossamer Gear The One which was at the time a beloved shelter within the UL community (until cuben came along). With the same external pole placement and overall design being similar, I tend to leap toward the conclusion that it will perform roughly the same in windy conditions, though better in prolonged rain due to the higher HH of cuben.
Additionally, I contacted Joe of Zpacks and he said that both the Soloplex and Hexamid would handle inclement weather similarly and have about the same floor space (slightly more headroom in the Soloplex), it just comes down to whether you want a sewn in floor or the versatility of a ground sheet and either a one vs two pole setup. So in this regard, there is a ton of information on the Hex out there.
Quality: From all the remarks of forum members both tend to be high so probably couldn't go wrong with either. One area that would sway me though is that ZPacks is willing to modify and do custom work….where I believe SMDs shelters will be strictly stock.Nov 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm #2049086
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I prefer cuben tarps plus a net tent. More versatile and can save the wear and tear by only setting up the net tent on clear nights. Cuben is worth it for weight and it doesn't sag like silnylon. Easier to pitch for me.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.