- Oct 9, 2016 at 9:42 am #3430167
as Bob pointed out our Father-Daughter Iceland trip report has photos that show us setting the tent up in such a way. In our trip report you will find another photo with that set-up that is immediately followed by a photo of a someone else’s freestanding dome-tent being flattened by the night’s storm. Our 0.51 Cuben Duplex made it just fine through the storm. We have seen several nights of high winds in our Duplex – in areas that didn’t give us the slightest opportunity of setting up behind a windbreak (just look at the photo above) – and made it fine through the nights. I’m sure there are limits to the Duplex and more extreme situations might require a pyramid tent, but for the situations we encountered in Iceland (and before in our Father-Sons trip across the Brooks Range in Alaska) we were fine.
ManfredOct 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm #3430189
Kenneth KeatingBPL Member
@kkkeatingLocale: Sacramento, Calif
I have the 2014 Duplex with +50 nights. The tent has performed well in high winds with and without rain. This model year did not have the mid-door toggles. Without the toggles, if high wind is blowing in the direction from the inner(under)door to outer(overlapping) door it’ll make the outer door flair out, sometimes even oscillate violently. Adding the mid panel toggles stopped this issue. Putting the correct end into the wind helps out, but I’ve had numerous times where there’s been no wind during set up, but in the middle of the night the wind starts and it’s blowing in the wrong direction.
I use a pitching height of 44”; seems to work perfectly for me.
The side panels tie-outs are also used to provide more head room. Sure, these cause tension wrinkles, but they’re low tension, not high tension. When taking photos most of the time I undo the side panel guy lines to make the tent look better.Oct 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm #3432275
Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
I will comment on the solplex because I’m assuming that it will be close enough to offer some useful feedback.
I hike primarily in the adirondack high peaks and other northeast hiking areas. We get lots of humidity, rain and mud.
I am extremely happy with the performance of the solplex. It has kept me dry and protected when other big name brand tents around me have failed.
I find that it can have issues with condensation when I pitch it close to the ground, but if I pay attention to where I pitch and am able to adhere to the “laws of condensation” then all is well.
I have about 25 nights or more in my solplex so far in varied conditions. I have noticed very little wear except a few tiny pulls/runs in the mesh. The zippers are in good shape, the seams are in good shape, the whole thing is in good shape.
I’ve taken this tent on a few traveling adventures as well – so far to a Tenkara backpacking trip in Japan and to yosemite. It travels well and works well everywhere I have used it.
I have wanted to buy a duplex to try it out for two people and for those times when I might want to have all my stuff inside during rain storms, but as of yet I haven’t had a reason to upgrade from the solplex.
I really think this is a pretty perfect shelter when you need bug protection and just can’t use a tarp wiht ground sheet instead.Oct 22, 2016 at 12:00 am #3432313
I appreciate that ZPacks has made the recent refinements available at a nominal cost.Dec 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm #3439142
@afterdarkphotoLocale: Central Sierra Nevada's
I’ve had over 50 nights in my 2014 duplex. I’ve used it in hail, downpours, sustained and consistent rain for over 24 hours and I love this tent.
The doors can flap in the wind but a few slight mods with Velcro can assist in adding tension to the door flaps so they don’t get too noisy.
I use polycro under my tent every time but I have noticed that the floor is starting to fray in the areas where you lay the most often and come into full contact with the ground or granite you pitched it on.
i bought an Altaplex thinking it might be better and slightly smaller and regretted the decision. The duplex is perfect for me and I’m 6’3″. Never had an issue fitting inside.
i will agree with the other users that say 48″ is too high to pitch. I like 45-46″ pole height myself.Jan 8, 2017 at 6:20 pm #3443900
Stephen BradshawBPL Member
We purchased our Duplex in 2014 and easily had over 50 nights since.
Why the ZPacks Duplex?
1). Liked the double sided half moon zip entrance for ease of entry/exit. Had the BIG AGNES FLY CREEK 2 PLATINUM TENT had huge issues with cramping legs because it was such a tight a door opening getting in and out.
2). Extremely light weight.
3).Ventilation. Multiple ways to set up door/vestibule openings for easing inside humidity.
4). Does not absorb water – dries out extremely fast in a nice breeze compared to sin nylon
5). Ground sheet and bug screen included – one piece design
6). Very quick and easy set up and take down.
7). Awesome view from inside when doors are open.
Note: the last 4 items really was not why we originally purchased this shelter but consider as awesome extra value added features.
Issues experienced to date:
1). Inflatable sleeping pads need to be tethered together(especially if one occupant is a constant moving sleeper), the Cuben Fiber floor makes a very slippery surface when not pitched on level ground.
2). Since the bathtub floor is not anchored we had one extremely bad issue where extra gear at the foot of our sleeping bags got kicked out pushing the floor system beyond the pitch of the roof and rain poured in literally turning the floor into a bathtub in the morning. Lesson well learned here!!
3). Seeing some fibers releasing and degradation spots on CF stuff sack. Think this is mostly due to friction points placing it in and out of my pack.
4). On colder or very high humid nights the shelter requires at least one or all doors to be left open to eliminate condensation/dampness build up on under side of roof.
Performance has exceeded our expectations here in the Northern Ontario, Canada backcountry in all severe summer stormy wet situations particularly one instance in which very strong locomotive sounding winds and pounding rain picked up so strongly we held down on the support poles as the very strong swirling winds were lifting the shelter like a parachute or kite and was afraid the shelter staking would be compromised if we did nothing. Also due to the extreme humidity that day and the doors being closed ventilation was a a big problem. ie. condensation buildup.
Other than that the shelter system is still continuing to preform extremely well.
“Does pitching the tent at a lower height negatively impact tensioning of the panels in a way that compromises its wind resistance/stability?”
I think pitch height only impacts the extra tension/stretch on the bug screen and half moon zip entry. I get a little leary with the added tension here…may compromise zipper and/or the screening material. If I see this happening I’ll back off on the height or angle the poles away from the shelter slightly more. As for wind resistance/stability issues I see none.
“I know they are there to prevent the panel from collapsing in high wind, but I’m wondering if there are improvements to be made here.”
I think the wrinkles may be a function of the pitch method. (see pics provided for some comparison) The centre panel definitely assists in stability in wind/rain and helps to redirect most of the water flow to corners away from the shelter centre also makes a great pivot point to add extra head space.Storm Haven on Georgian Bay in very early Spring
Pukaskwa National Park
Topaz Lake, Killarney Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial ParkJan 10, 2017 at 9:14 am #3444271
Mike WhitesellBPL Member
Those who use 6’6 bags, does your bag touch/head touch when laying straight? Mainly this would be used for solo backpacking so I could sleep diagonally but if I were to take someone would my bag touch?Jan 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm #3444380
Stephen BradshawBPL Member
Sleeping area is 7.5′ x 45″
Lot’s of space. Would be extremely extravagant for solo use!Jan 10, 2017 at 11:15 pm #3444457
Mike WhitesellBPL Member
I know it’s 90″ long but just wondering how the ends are angle wise and if they’d be touching anything.Jan 13, 2017 at 9:25 am #3444922
robert coursonBPL Member
@bertcoursonLocale: lake michigan
Why did you regret purchasing the Altaplex and then like the Duoplex? The tents seem similar to me and how could you like one and not the other? I am seriously considering the Altaplex because I want a solo shelter. Should I look at the duoplex, even if it a larger tent than I need? Thanks.Jan 13, 2017 at 11:45 am #3444950
Ken T.BPL Member
Great thread.Jan 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm #3445441
Ready to buy the duplex, but am hung up on the material.
Not the strength of the different material but its opacity.
The .51oz looks really transparent. I was thinking the .74 would give me a little more shade and morning sun blockage. I talked to ZPacks who thought the .74 might not make enough difference to notice, though the Camo would. Camo conjures up some weird stuff for me and I don’t think I would like it. Does anyone have any thoughts on this point?Jan 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm #3445446
Ken T.BPL Member
I know what you mean about camo, but there’s nothing weird about wanting to blend in with your surroundings. Both of the non camo choices don’t do much in the way of shade. Though not really see through they are too translucent for me.Jan 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm #3445452
I actually like the translucence of the material. I can see a hazy full moon on a clear night, which makes me smile before drifting off to sleep. I don’t like to sleep too late when backpacking, so the early morning sun shining through is welcome.
If you don’t like the translucence but want the shelter, you could always wear one of those eye shades the airlines used to hand out.Jan 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm #3445455
@pastyj-2-2Locale: Fed up with BPL snark!
I’m with Doug. I love being able to see the moon…and stars! I dont go hiking/camping to sleep late, and I definitely don’t camp with or around crowds. I could understand someone being concerned with translucency, but nobody’s trying to see me nekkid :)Jan 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm #3445482
I get the value of translucency and I too am typically up at dawn, but I am doing 5 months on the PCT this year and it wouldn’t hurt to be able to sleep in once in a while :)Jan 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm #3445524
jimmy bBPL Member
I got the camo and would do it again. You can not believe how stealthy it is for times you don’t want to be noticed. I like the light blocking ability and my wife likes the privacy but it doesn’t keep us from waking early. Only drawback I have found is its a bit harder to spot skeeters but not that big a deal.Jan 17, 2017 at 12:23 am #3445560
Katherine .BPL Member
i know what you mean about camo. It is a somewhat different, less macho, hunter-aesthetic camo. It’s almost sorta pretty. I saw one in person (Diane P’s) at a PNW GGG.Jan 17, 2017 at 5:54 am #3445573
@pastyj-2-2Locale: Fed up with BPL snark!
I must admit, were the need to replace my Duplex to present itself I would have to seriously consider the Camo option…the ability to “hide” just off trail would be a big plus. I do love the starlight coming through the .74 though. Also totally agree that it is a much more pleasant, friendly camo than the normal “hunter-aesthetic” versions (as Katherine so succinctly put it).Jan 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm #3446082
@petemanteauLocale: San Francisco
I have the blue 2014 model with over 70 nights. I don’t have much to add that others haven’t said already, but I do agree it’s an amazing shelter.
I have 1 small hole in the noseeum due to my own negligence. I’ve had one of those circular noseeum patches on it for over a year and it’s been fine. The original stuffsack that it came in has a fair amount of wear. Last year, due to a pack change, I started using the longer, slimmer “tall drybag” from zpacks. I’ve retrofitted the storm doors with the hooks and I’m thinking of getting the storm door toggle, since, as others have noted, wind can make them a little flappy.
I appreciate the translucence for the reasons others have mentioned. I enjoy being able to see the moon and stars at night. And waking up with or before the sun is how I usually roll, so that’s never a bother. If using it for a bug-sheltered nap during the day, I could see that being a problem, but for me, the many other benefits would outweigh that drawback.
It’s an awesome shelter. I’m 6’2″ and have spent most of the nights with another (shorter) person and sometimes with my small dog, as well. It has always been a comfortable fit. When I’m alone, it provides an incredible amount of space for its weight. It’s been through gusty nights, rain, hail, and very light snow. I’ve always stayed cozy and dry inside.Jan 23, 2017 at 5:36 pm #3446799
I’d really like to be able to see the fabric. I’d love to see ZPacks do something like send 2ft x 2ft samples with a credit card deposit. Get the deposit back when you return the samples. Have one of them patched so you can see exactly what that looks like.
I’m ready to order the moment I can make up my mind on the fabric.Jan 24, 2017 at 9:07 am #3446862
Matt MacaulayBPL Member
Tim, just an idea – try Yama Mountain Gear’s DIY Cuben Fiber Stuff Sack Kit. $40, but you can check out what 0.8 cuben is like and get 6 or 7 stuff sacks to boot.Jan 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm #3446949
Katherine .BPL Member
comparing this photo to my memory:
I’d say it’s a little more green, less brown in real life.
If moonlight matters get the normal. If stealth matters get the camo.
(on my wishlist: a camo hex tarp — cause I like the stealth advantages of hammocking — and a plain CF duplex. neither are coming to me soon.)Apr 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm #3461920
USA Duane HallBPL Member
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Ordered one of these last night. Debated last week and thru the last few days over another cuben fiber tent or a Nemo tent. I’m thinking I can lower the pole height by either angling the tent poles or digging a small hole. I only needed one pole as I can use the one from my Solplex. Just picked up a pup, so hopefully he won’t wreck the netting. Also believe the cuben fiber will be more forgiving then light fabric in the Nemo that had been suggested I get. Thanks to all for the positive comments.
DuaneMay 7, 2017 at 9:13 am #3466593
Sam CBPL Member
The .51oz looks really transparent. I was thinking the .74 would give me a little more shade and morning sun blockage. I talked to ZPacks who thought the .74 might not make enough difference to notice, though the Camo would. Camo conjures up some weird stuff for me and I don’t think I would like it. Does anyone have any thoughts on this point?
I am from California, didn’t see too much camo. Now, where I live on the East Coast sandwiched between Western MD., Penn., and WV., camo–in particular Real Tree and Mossey Oak, are fashion statements and what guys where when they go out on Friday nights. This is why I prefer woodland camo or “digital”.
Anyways, to answer your question; camo is good for stealth camping (no pun intended)–in particular if you are camping in a park that requires you to set-up at a campsite.
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