Jun 4, 2020 at 11:07 am #3650969
I recently had an issue with a Duplex where small horizontal cracks started to appear in the cuben in an area where dyneema fibers were not present. Zpacks was nice enough to give me a new .55oz Duplex, but upon my initial setup I found the same inconsistencies and “pinching” of the fibers in the cuben (see the first pic below).
Additionally there is a large silver like stripe across the door of the new tent, and it actually protrudes from the fabric around 1/4″ in places.
Has anyone else had any issues like this with their cuben products, or could anyone shed any light on these issues or comment on if they are defective in nature?Jun 4, 2020 at 5:12 pm #3651001JCHBPL Member
I am surprised. No. I am shocked. That is not the quality of product or craftsmanship that I have received, nor that I would expect, from ZPacks. They must have made a mistake somewhere. I would send them pictures of the replacement and ask for a response. I bet they make it right.Jun 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm #3651018Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Z-Packs Dyneema tents, from what I have seen, need improvement mainly in build quality, i.e. stitching, seam sealing and better stress point reinforcements. And some re-design wouldn’t hurt either, like the door closure, for example.
The market for Dyneema backpacking tents is warming up and tent makers are either living off their past reputation or building better and better tents.Jun 4, 2020 at 8:03 pm #3651019
I was pretty shocked as well, considering this now the second Duplex I’ve had that has had issues upon its initial setup. It appears they may have a quality control issue of some sort… I don’t want to bad mouth the company at all because I’ve had great products from them in the past — I was just wondering if anyone else had seen these issues with their shelters from Zpacks.
Eric – I couldn’t agree more, I do have my eye on the new Rainbow Li if for whatever reason I can’t solve this issue with Zpacks.Jun 4, 2020 at 8:40 pm #3651028GarrettBPL Member
They had to have seen that.
+1 to what Eric saidJun 4, 2020 at 9:45 pm #3651035Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have often confessed to being a Tarptent “fanboy” because of their clever designs and my ownership of, now, 5 Tarptents.
But objectively speaking, when it comes to Dyneema tent build quality, based on other Dyneema tents I’ve seen, Tarptent (and their new Chinese fabricator) has raised their build quality higher than any other Dyneema tent maker. TT’s excellent seam stitching, multiple reinforcements of stress points and refinement of design, within the parameters of Dyneema fabric widths, all combines to give you a very livable and reliable Dyneema tent.Jun 5, 2020 at 12:45 am #3651046Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Has anyone else had any issues like this with their cuben products, or could anyone shed any light on these issues or comment on if they are defective in nature?
Do these affect the function, durability, or waterproofness of the fabric? Or are they just cosmetic?
I don’t know.
However, given how much a Duplex costs, one wouldn’t expect this.Jun 5, 2020 at 9:06 am #3651068
I have always had fantastic experience with Zpacks. In the rare case where I see some imperfections on some not so obvious flaws – they have given me a price break or return. In this case, it is an obvious flaw – but, maybe they thought it was a cosmetic flaw on a door (not on a tent body) and hence they sent it?
I guess I will never buy a Tarptent after I never got a reply from their customer service when I asked them a question long time back. Besides their tents are not packable with the struts etc.
I love Zpacks tents – have owned a Duplex/Altaplex Tarp, own a Altaplex tent, Pocket tarp with doors and Solplex. Their tents rock! Functional and lightweight. Why look elsewhere? Always get a reply from Zpacks and they have always done the right thing.Jun 5, 2020 at 11:54 am #3651114StumphgesBPL Member
Is it possible that that door panel was made from DCF 2nds?Jun 5, 2020 at 2:53 pm #3651174
Thanks everyone for your input.
Eric – thanks for mentioning your experience with tarpent. I used to have a Contrail and was incredibly impressed with their quality; glad to hear they found a factory in China that is so skilled with cuben.
Nick – 2 of the issues are purely cosmetic but show evidence of bad batches of cuben or poor workmanship. The third issue (the pinching of dyneema fibers in the first picture) could result in small tears appearing in the fabric where the fibers are absent (this happened to my previous Duplex, woke up to water dripping through the fabric onto my quilt).
Zpacks got back to me today with a very apologetic message and mentioned they had been having some quality control issues, which I very much appreciate considering I used to run the warranty program for sea to summit (sorry if I pissed some of you off). Zpacks said they will likely be replacing mine with the Spruce green version, which leads me to believe they may have an issue with the olive drab production.
Thanks for all of your input, and I’m glad to see for the most part this is not a regular issue for Zpacks.Jun 5, 2020 at 3:56 pm #3651192Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Sounds like a quick resolution. That’s good customer service.
Post pictures of the replacement when you receive it.Jun 6, 2020 at 8:59 am #3651319David UBPL Member
Great to hear of a resolution!
“I guess I will never buy a Tarptent after I never got a reply from their customer service when I asked them a question long time back.”
Sounds like a valid reason.Jun 6, 2020 at 10:18 am #3651331
Yup! Nicole at Zpacks has been super helpful and apologetic about the situation. I’m going to be switching to the Spruce Green version, so I’ll be sure to post some pics when I receive it!Jun 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm #3651442
Ive had some similar
0.51 is pretty thin stuff
these are probably material defects and have nothing to do with z-packs manufacturing other than they didn’t catch it.
always good to keep in mind that when you buy Cuben you’re not paying for high-quality gear, you’re paying for light gear. It has a definite and fairly short lifespan. Don’t stress out too much about things which don’t matter…. It’s not an investment….
people who freak out that the 350- $600 item they purchased is really a POS, probably aren’t really the type of people who need to be buying Cuben gearJun 6, 2020 at 9:10 pm #3651451Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
people who freak out that the 350- $600 item they purchased is really a POS, probably aren’t really the type of people who need to be buying Cuben gear
Wise words.Jun 6, 2020 at 9:26 pm #3651453
DCF is a fantastic material for tents. I wouldn’t consider it POS. Even packs made of DCF last a long time. I have had more issues with ripstop nylon tearing than DCF.
And you can get back most of the money when you sell it. So I would consider it a wise investment. Consider a HMG 3400 I bought for $315. After using it for 450 miles – I sold it for $250. So, $65 for 450 miles – I am happy with the return I got from that backpack. I had a Zpacks Duplex which I sold after 20 nights of use for $450 bucks. I sold it so that I can buy another DCF tent with a single pole. Again, happy with the return I got. Similar experiences with other DCF material.
Folks have used DCF tents for 5000 miles – that is awesome and I will be happy with 5000 miles for *any* gear.
350 to 600 bucks is lot of money and you should have expectations for such gear.Jun 7, 2020 at 7:31 am #3651477
I have multiple tents, and packs of dcf
Much higher use then yours
All have repairs made.
Eventually cuben fails and starts to leak
Holes wear in it easy by hard objects
Seam tape rubs off/peels
Not lifetime gear, except for people that dont actually use it
I also receive new tarp with defects in it that I didn’t stress about I just put a patch over them , and you go use it. 100% functionalJun 7, 2020 at 8:15 am #3651490
There are so many things I find faulty in your assessment – but, I don’t want to prolong this!
So, hike your own hike M B!Jun 7, 2020 at 8:19 am #3651491Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
This is another reason tarps have advantages over tents. There are no zippers and no tricky seams. There are limited places where it will fail.Jun 9, 2020 at 10:51 pm #3652022Derek M.BPL Member
@dmusasheLocale: Southern California
For whatever it’s worth I’ve had nothing but great customer service from Tarptent. Frequently Henry Shires himself is responding to my emails. I’ve been thoroughly impressed, always.
Additionally, I ordered a Double Rainbow Li recently (I was probably one of the first orders on the first day it became available).
The tent is pretty close to flawless. I’m actually kind of astonished by the fit and finish achieved on my tent, especially given that making such a curved DCF tent is no small feat. I bet Henry had to search far and wide for a factory that could do it. Anyway, to say I’m impressed is an understatement.
ZPacks also has a strong reputation for good customer service (I’ve never received anything other than good service from them). Nevertheless, ZPacks also has a long history of quality control issues. I’ve seen enough examples of really terrible sewing that I’m quite hesitant to buy their products. Nevertheless, they seem to typically make any problem right, so I guess that is a consolation.
I just wish they had much better quality control to prevent these problems from ever reaching the customer…
And yes, the OP’s pics look like defective DCF to me. Anyone who says that is not ZPacks’ fault doesn’t know much about business. It has ZPacks logo on it, doesn’t it? Sure the root problem lies with the DCF manufacturer, but that’s not the consumer’s problem, that’s ZPacks’ problem.
Just my two cents.Jun 9, 2020 at 11:12 pm #3652024idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
+1 to Derek’s comments on Tarptent and Henry Shires. I’ve bought a lot of shelters from Henry over the years and have never had anything but great service from him/Tarptent.Jun 10, 2020 at 11:14 am #3652092
Derek: “For whatever it’s worth I’ve had nothing but great customer service from Tarptent. Frequently Henry Shires himself is responding to my emails. I’ve been thoroughly impressed, always.”
I have seen his activity on BPL and that’s what makes it all the more difficult when I didn’t get a response from Tarptent:-) Just kidding. They probably replied and it went to my spam – who knows. I was flippant when I said I will never buy anything from them because they didn’t respond. I have looked at their tents on and off – but didn’t like the packability due to the struts etc. I like their Protrail Li – probably would have bought it if not for my new Zpacks Altaplex introduced a month or so back which I love!
Yes – agreed that Zpacks has to do better customer service. It is their problem – no doubts about it. But, what makes me go back to companies like Zpacks are how they respond when there are problems. Not when there are no problems. To be honest, I like their products – functionality at low weight. And the myriad products on their website to make backpacking easier and fun – one stop shop.
When I get tents/tarps – I do not really look at how the stitches are – whether it wavy or straight etc – I guess as people, we are all different. If it serves my functional needs – I am good!
As a consumer, we have great choices when it comes to DCF tents and that is awesome!Jun 10, 2020 at 5:41 pm #3652166
“When I get tents/tarps – I do not really look at how the stitches are – whether it wavy or straight etc – I guess as people, we are all different. If it serves my functional needs – I am good!”
This is me.
I view it is as a consumable, not an asset.
1 yr later, 10 nights on it….yeah you might still get 90% of the value of a high priced item if you resell it
8 yrs later, not current design, 200 nights on it… It doesnt have much value…at all.
Not many people looking to buy 25 year old WM bags…..
Like it or not all gear depreciates.
Use it, or not, it’s still becomes worthless after a period of time. But faster if you do use it.
So stressing about minor imperfections is really somewhat pointless for people that keep gear and use it.
People that buy it and try it and trade it around and buy something else …should be more concerned. And yeah, there’s a lot of people who really shouldnt afford that price of specialty gear but buy it anyway….
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