- May 8, 2017 at 12:06 am #3466743
Golly G. WillikersBPL Member
@pianoLocale: Orion Spur
I am not a Duplex owner/user, but I definitely would be — would have been long ago — if only one new configuration were made possible, providing so much more flexibilty. My ideal shelter would be a duplex tarp with a removable inner mesh/bathtub, in combination with the Flex upgrade. I really, really, really wish they would provide this option. PLEASE ZPACKS, IF YOU ARE LISTENING!!!
The main reason is that whenever the conditions allow, I love to sleep in an open-air tent without the fly. Whether it be sleeping under a bright starry sky, a leafy jungle canopy, or cliffside overlooking a jagged mountain range out to the horizon, being able to see and be more immersed in the surroundings is better. That why we venture into these awesome places, isn’t it?? The fly should only be for cold/wet/wind/privacy when necessary. No matter how light or fast a shelter is, this is a dealbreaker for me (except for racing).
The other good, and very practical, reason such a configuration would be great is the added versatility, since the shelter could be set up as a tarp only. In lousy weather, this would be a good option for meal prep, or stopping to repair gear, or to wait out the rain, or any other reason for pausing a hike/bike segment in foul conditions. Or skipping the bug net some nights if unneeded.
Instead, I bought a Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum 2, which weighs 67g LESS than the Zpacks Duplex w/ Flex (excluding stakes and stuff sacks, but including guy lines — see below), which is cheaper by $174 ($550 vs $599+125), and which gives me a clear view out when I leave off the fly. It does not satisfy the second reason, to act as a tarp. Although a removable inner for the Zpacks would weigh even more for the added mesh, I would go for it anyways for the added flexibility, and more interior room for sexytime or just sprawling out (and actually I’d add another 56 g for the sturdier fabric).
For the sake of interest, here is the weight of my B.A. Fly Creek Platinum. I exclude the stakes and stuff sack, since you can use any for either shelter.
– main body: 259.14 g
– fly: 324.83 g
– poles: 219.33 g
– sum: 803.30 g
– comparison, Zpacks Duplex + Flex: 870g (according to Zpacks’ website)
Come on Zpacks! The Duplex is not the shelter for someone seeking the lightest or fastest, so make it the best-in-class by adding versatility! As it is, there are lighter, cheaper shelters out there that perform better, albeit slightly less roomily, and lacking that UL’er cachet. So please, removable inner.May 8, 2017 at 6:29 am #3466766
IMVHO the Duplex has endured enough “upgrades” as is.
Fly Creek can be tarp-only with the footprint… there’s your answer. Or get someone to make you a Cuben footprint for the FC.
OR get the Duplex tarp only with a SMD serenity duo inner net.
The whole Flex notion is bizarre to me since this shelter can be set up so quickly and easily with trekking poles.May 9, 2017 at 7:16 am #3467041
jimmy bBPL Member
Fly creek vs. duplex. Two different shelters completely. I have used both and there is no comparison in room and usability for one. Second, I don’t see the logic in adding freestanding poles to the duplex for a weight comparison as it is designed as a hiking pole shelter to begin with. Add in the straight pole option if necessary. The simplicity of pitching the duplex is much more appealing than the FC and especially if its raining to any degree. The only thing that the FC may have the advantage with is moisture control. With the duplex you have to manage condensation a bit, but for its advantages its well worth it. Back from a recent trip where we were making a frosty snow cone mix on the inner roof at night a wipe and gentle shake along with opening up the doors in the morning was all that was needed. I find the CF material is much quicker to dry out as well.
Believe me I cringed at spending $630 for my camo duplex but I have not missed my FC2 for a minute since and you sure won’t get my wife back into it after going to a two door side entry palace in comparison.May 9, 2017 at 7:50 am #3467048
What Bob and jimmy said… x100.
The only thing that the FC may have the advantage with is moisture control.
One of my hiking buddies has the FC2 Platinum. One night camped below treeline but near summit saw a 20 mph wind, fog and rain roll in around midnight. I was warm and bone dry with no flapping in the Duplex. Around 6am the rain let up enough for me to pop out for a pee when I saw the FC2 Platinum’s upwind fly PLASTERED against the inner. The tent was guyed out as well and the design allows and all guys/stakes were still taut and in place. I heard some rustling inside so went over to ask if all was good. My buddy opened the fly enough to talk and he had lost fully 1/3 of the interior volume. He also had to scoot to the downwind side to keep the fly and inner (now essentially one layer) off his sleeping bag. I have never seen more condensation on the underside of a tent fly. I had maybe 10% of the condensation he had, and a liteload towel dealt with it quickly.Jun 18, 2017 at 12:45 pm #3473871
Jan Paul MBPL Member
For those considering a Duplex Tarp with an innernet, Bear Paw Wilderness Designs ( http://bearpawwd.com ) can make you a custom-made innernet in either sylnylon of CF. I had an email from John Stultz confirming that and their prices are quit reasonable. I’m thinking of getting one myself. An innernet with tarp makes sense in very bad weather (with lots of wind and rain) or in the winter. So getting on with a higher bathtub or solid side walls might be a good option.
I have yet to hit the 50-night mark, but so far I’m very satisfied with the Duplex. The first night I ever used it for real I had to set it up in the dark on a campsite that sloped down and I had an incredibly rainstorm later that night. The duplex was fine, but in the morning I noticed that one of the bathtubcorners was touching the tarp, so condensation leaked into the bathtub instead of out through the mesh. Lesson learned.
I have the camo, because in Europe I often have to set up on camping grounds, and I like some privacy. The camo is a leaf-and-branches pattern which is actually very nice to look at. Makes you feel part of nature even if you are in a fully closed tent.Jun 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm #3473887
Link .BPL Member
Jan order from John Stultz at Bear Paw Wilderness Designs at your own risk, there have been numerous complaints over the years
this is just one postJun 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm #3473901
Ken T.BPL Member
Ha! Link, I PM’d him that link.Aug 29, 2017 at 7:24 am #3487648
Robert RBPL Member
@rob-rLocale: North Texas
I think Zpacks hit the nail on the head with this tent. I had a 2017 Soloplex and after spending a night in it, I knew it was going to be a little restricting for me. I sold it and went with the Duplex. Received it yesterday and set it up which was very easy to do. This thing is spacious for its weight. I bought the spruce green version and glad I did. I’ll be getting a great deal of use out of this tent. I’m 6 ft 190 and will use it solo. If it’s the wife and I we use a Hilleberg Kaitum 3.
Aug 29, 2017 at 8:24 am #3487657
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Robert R. Reason: added height/weight
peter tBPL Member
Hi Robert –
If you don’t mind, could you please include your size / height? Do you intend to use it solo? Personally speaking, of course, I wish everyone would do this as otherwise observations such as restricting or roomy/spacious, etc are rather amorphous…
Thanks for your post-Aug 29, 2017 at 8:52 am #3487667
I’m 5’9″ medium build and think it would be a bit of a squeeze for 2 people my size. Of course, very roomy for me when solo and still quite roomy with my 65 lb pooch.Aug 29, 2017 at 9:22 am #3487673
Kenneth KeatingBPL Member
@kkkeatingLocale: Sacramento, Calif
I’m 6′-2″, 170ish and have doubled up in the tent. If you sleep head to head with another tall person, it can feel a little restricting, But arranged head to toe is completely different, much more room. If I’m with my wife, who’s 5′-8″, we sleep head to head and there’s really been no problem.
I did have the triplex, but I didn’t like the volume of space it took up in the backpack.
Aug 29, 2017 at 9:28 am #3487675
- This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by Kenneth Keating.
Jorge VillalobosBPL Member
6’1″, ~180 lb. Have shared the tent with the wife (5’6″) + our equipment multiple times, for max 3 nights at a time. Wouldn’t call it roomy, but it isn’t too cramped either. Again, pitching lower than recommended is key here.Sep 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm #3491207
Daniel KinsellaBPL Member
Does anyone use komperdell carbon ultralite vario 4 trekking poles with the Duplex? The poles smallest setting is 120cm which is about 47 inches. It seems the consensus is the that Duplex works best with poles set at about 45 or so inches? Just being curious.Sep 16, 2017 at 7:00 am #3491236
In my experience 120cm is a bit high for “normal” pitching and 44-45 inches is better, with the option to go a bit lower than that in windy/cold conditions.Oct 5, 2017 at 11:01 am #3494935
I have a Duplex on order. The first video Joe did for setup showed him staking 1 front corner. Then he went to the other front corner pulled the line tight, then back 6 inches before staking. The 6 inches of slack allowed for the installation of the front pole. Repeat for the back.
The new setup video says to stake out all 4 corners and the lines are taught.
I realize there’s usually more than 1 correct way to pitch most of these types of tents. Is this change due to something changed with the tent or just that Joe believes this is a better method? It’s a little simpler and I’d imagine better when setting up in windy conditions.
What do you owners prefer?Oct 5, 2017 at 11:32 am #3494938
I was not aware they had changed the setup video, but after 13 days in the mountains (with nothing more than about 10 m/s luckily) I started thinking that I wanted a setup more failsafe during windy conditions. I started to setup the Duplex in a almost identical way without knowing anyone else set it up this way. The other setup works reasonably well in normal weather so for me its 100% to have a routine that works well during windy conditions that made me change (though I would set it up much lower than in the video if windy).Oct 5, 2017 at 11:33 am #3494939
My method, which has evolved over time, is to stake out two corners on the same side, stretching it a bit (I wouldn’t call it “taut”) after inserting the first stake, and then moving the stake in about 6 inches, per Joe V recommendation.
I then insert the first pole on that side, position it such that the tip of the pole (where it is sticking into the ground) is about 6 inches inside a line between the two corner stakes, then temporarily peg the ridge line guy.
Next I go to the other side and insert the other pole, stretch the ridge line fairly tautly and peg out that ridge line guy.
After that I put in the stakes for the remaining two corners, then go around the tent to adjust the tension of the guy lines. The ridge lines have the common LL3s and I use Blake’s hitches on the corners as my tension adjusters.
To finish, I get some sticks and throw a couple of clove hitches on the end panel guy lines to attach the sticks and stake them out.Oct 5, 2017 at 11:40 am #3494940
Good point, Gunnar.
For very windy conditions it is nice to have an alternate method. However, I don’t see how it could work if all four corners are staked out tautly with no slack to accommodate the poles when they are inserted.
I should play with this setup a bit.
It seems Joe V’s Scottish friends have influenced his views! :^)Oct 5, 2017 at 11:42 am #3494941
The new setup video. Looking at it again, the lines are not taught when he inserts the poles.Oct 5, 2017 at 11:49 am #3494942
OK, I like that, but IME it is still too high with the floor suspended like that… puts a lot of tension on the netting. But that is a good and viable option.
Where I camp, however, I have never, EVER, had all the stakes go in that easily, lol. ;^) Usually involves some level of cursing, and judicious whacking with rocks.Oct 5, 2017 at 11:58 am #3494943
I make the poles shorter then they will be in the final pitch before I insert them and then adjust the length when they are in position. Not perfect but works good enough. Also when you pitch it much lower. I think it would be uncommon not to have to adjust pole length – as in the video.
Btw I don’t use it as an alternative method, I changed method, because when conditions are really bad I want to be able to use my normal routines as far as possible.Oct 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm #3494944
The thing that’s not obvious at first in the video is that he stakes the lines fairly taught, but if you look at them when he does the pole, they’re loose.
I guess with experience you can figure out how much slack to allow in the 4 corner lines prior to inserting the pole.
I’m surprised Joe still says 48″ for the pole length considering owners in this thread seem to agree that the pole should be a few inches shorter.Oct 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm #3494945
I suspect I will become a convert.Oct 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm #3494946
You don’t need slack really since its only the bathtub that becomes tight when you stake the corners. (Or maybe very little slack to care for the netting attached to the bathtub.) You can still raise the tent.Oct 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm #3494947
Has anybody noticed how messed up the times are on posts recently? I sincerely doubt that Gunnar posted from several hours into the future. This has been going on for some time.
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