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Massdrop Announces Dan Durston X Mid Tent: 2 People, 2 hiking poles, 28 oz, $199


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Home Forums Commerce Gear Deals Massdrop Announces Dan Durston X Mid Tent: 2 People, 2 hiking poles, 28 oz, $199

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  • #3545652
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    More info is at the Massdrop site.

    Sort of looks like Andy Skurka’s tent.

    #3545663
    d k
    BPL Member

    @dkramalc

    It’s billed as a 1P tent; 28″ wide…

    #3545666
    Rob
    BPL Member

    @grubbster

    Not sure about that 28″ width.  The drawing shows the 28″ on a bit of a diagonal.  That would make it less but not sure by how much.  Regardless it looks pretty tight inside.  Great price though.

    #3545667
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    That looks pretty nice actually.

    #3545669
    pesticidefree
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    Is it featured anywhere else for those of us who don’t subscribe to Massdrop?

    #3545683
    Ryan Smith
    BPL Member

    @violentgreen

    Locale: East TN

    Kinda favors the Yama Mtn Gear Swiftline. Weight, polyester fabric, pole orientation, etc. Except $135 cheaper which is really nice.

    Ryan

    #3545692
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    Doug—I think it’s pretty easy to get an account at their website, and then choose not to receive all the emails. I just signed in there and read all about it since I’d signed up last year…and later turned off all the email notifications.

    #3545694
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    That tent looks pretty darned sweet, for the most part. I’ve fantasized about making something like this, though it’d be a bear to make.

    The 28″ inner width might just be a CAD operator’s error. Maybe it’s meant to be the actual width of the inner relative to the sleeper. Who knows.

    The fly’s width is listed at 67 inches (vs 48″ for the Skurka designed SD High Route tent). That’s a big footprint for high, rocky Sierra tent spots IMHO.

    And the claim you can pitch it with just four stakes…uh, if you want the doors to flap in the breeze and the poles to shake in any wind. I’d love to have something similar that’s weather worthy that only needs six stakes.

    Sometimes I end up on very rocky ground and have to tie the stake points around rocks. The fewer the better in my book.

    #3545723
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Thanks guys. Here’s a few answers:

    “The 28″ inner width might just be a CAD operator’s error. Maybe it’s meant to be the actual width of the inner relative to the sleeper. Who knows.”
    Yes it is meant relative to the sleeper. The inner floor width is 28″ perpendicular to the sleeper, so that drawing isn’t quite right. You could fit a 28″ wide pad. I’ve tried to be a bit conservative here – the actual design drawings are 29″ wide but sometimes in reality dimensions end up a bit smaller so I’ve said 28″. Most of the prototypes tend to pitch closer to 28″ but it depends on how much you crank the inner up to the fly peaks, as this pulls the sides of the floor up. Depending on this, the inner floor is 27 – 30″ wide.

    SD High Route & Yama Swiftline
    Compared to the HR1, the X-Mid 1P uses the unique idea of having the inner positioned at a diagonal inside the rectangular fly. This is a unique idea that changes almost everything else about the shelter and has huge benefits.

    Making the tent wider plus having the inner on a diagonal allows for the poles/peaks to be moved inwards from the edges of the fly, eliminating the vertical walls of the HR1 which catch wind and require guylines. You can set the X-Mid up with just four stakes and it’s decently robust (use 6 in harsh weather). So yeah the High Route and X-Mid both have a diagonal ridgeline, but many tents have this (TarpTents, Yama etc). The X-Mid is the only tent with the unique combo of a rectangle base, diagonal ridgeline and opposite diagonal inner. It’s only when you have this complete combo that you get all this super simple, easy pitching yet spacious design. It’s the only rectangular tent to avoid all the common pitfalls of rectangular tents (e.g. lack of headroom, poles in the way, mandatory guylines, vertical side walls, lack of vestibules).

    Compared to the High Route 1, the X-Mid offers generous vestibules, no vertical walls so it’s more storm worthy, simpler 4 stake pitch, no mandatory guylines, far lighter (28 vs 37oz), lower cost and no sag polyester material. Simpler, larger, lighter and more functional. The advantages of the HR are that it will fit into narrower tent sites and has slightly more inner floor area (16.8 vs 18.8 sq feet).

    Compared to the Yama Swiftline design, the Swiftline again has a diagonal ridgeline but everything else is very different. The Swiftline inner is not diagonal to the fly, nor is the fly a rectangle – rather it’s extremely complex. Further, the Swiftline is a single wall. Due to far more efficient geometry (e.g. way less seams) the X-Mid is slightly lighter than the Swiftline (27.9oz vs 28.3oz) despite being a full double wall. Add in the extra stakes the Swiftline requires and the weight of seal sealing and the X-Mid is about 2oz lighter in total. The X-Mid also offers a much simpler pitch, more vestibule area, dual doors, seam taped, similarly generous headroom and much lower price. The only advantage to the Swiftline I can see is 10% more floor area (18.8 sq ft vs 16.8″).

    “The fly’s width is listed at 67 inches (vs 48″ for the Skurka designed SD High Route tent). That’s a big footprint for high, rocky Sierra tent spots IMHO.”
    Yeah the footprint is larger than the HR but about average overall. The fly dimensions are 67″ x 100″. This is the same width as the DuoMid, but 8″ shorter. The X-Mid is also 8″ shorter than the HR (enabled by the rotated inner), so the HR will fit in narrower sites, but the X-Mid will fit into shorter sites.

    Here’s a comparison of the footprint of some common solo shelters. Everything is to scale. Pad is 20″ x 72″ (scaled of course).

    “And the claim you can pitch it with just four stakes…uh, if you want the doors to flap in the breeze and the poles to shake in any wind. I’d love to have something similar that’s weather worthy that only needs six stakes.”
    I’m a big fan of minimal stakes too. The X-Mid shape is robust enough that you can pitch it with 4 stakes in normal conditions. Add two more stakes for the peak guylines if it’s windy. It’s foul weather worthy with six stakes. You can also little stakes to secure the small side of the door, but the small side of the door isn’t actually that annoying because it’s a lot smaller than it is in traditional mids. But yeah I like to add one ti skewer stake at whichever door I’ll be using. No need for one on the back door. Also, if you don’t want the small side flapping, you can tie it out the peak guyline instead of staking. Four stakes and you’re pitched, six stakes and you’re ready for a storm.

    #3545737
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    Nice job Dan. Congratulations.

    #3545739
    pesticidefree
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    Hey Dan,

    Who’s making this thing for you (not trying to start any silliness, simply curious). And if I PM you my email would you send me a few pics?

    Doug C: Appreciate the info, but I have no interest in handing out my info to yet another internet site – too many have it already.

    #3545740
    Ito Jakuchu
    BPL Member

    @jakuchu

    Locale: Japan

    Dan,
    Congrats.
    Looks like a very interesting design with impressive specs, and a nice opportunity to work with Massdrop.
    Now that you’re posting these footprint drawings, is it ok for you to post additional images in this thread for the people not on Massdrop?
    Would love to see more.

    #3545742
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Dan, I think it looks great. I am 100% sold on rectangular footprints after moving to a Duomid from a ZPacks Duplex and SMD Deschutes. The rectangular footprint makes setup really fast when weather is coming in or the light is fading fast at the end of the day. YMG’s Swiftline looks really nice but the number of stakes and irregular footprint is off-putting.

    I’m glad to see you have solved the vertical wall problem of the High Route.

    I like the little triangular spaces at the end of the inner. Those seem like a great place to put a flashlight, hat or water bottle that you might want in the middle of the night.

    Nice color choice.

    Questions:

    1. Just to clarify, are there six guyout points along the bottom hem? It looks like four in the corners plus two on the shorter doors. Is that correct?
    2. Is the zipper waterproof? I don’t see a flap on it.
    3. The pole placement means you can’t use it as a 2P tarp without the inner, right?
    #3545762
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    “Who’s making this thing for you (not trying to start any silliness, simply curious).”
    It’s made in Asia (Vietnam). Same factory as MSR tents. They do a super great job and have the technology to seam tape, so the 28oz weight is fully seam taped. Way nicer than anything I can sew.

    “Looks like a very interesting design with impressive specs. Is it ok for you to post additional images in this thread for the people not on Massdrop?”
    Thanks Ito! Yeah for sure. I didn’t realize you need to have an account on Massdrop to view the listings. I think you can opt out of the emails etc, but I totally understand not wanting to sign up more places.

     

    #3545767
    pesticidefree
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    Thanks Dan, much appreciated. So what’s the setup, stake four corners, insert poles, tighten guylines, or a bit more complicated? And will you be selling any outside of Massdrop?

    #3545768
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Just to clarify, are there six guyout points along the bottom hem? It looks like four in the corners plus two on the shorter doors. Is that correct?
    No there are more than six. There are the four corners, plus the bottoms of the door zippers, plus four more – one at roughly the center of each side. These last four are just grosgrain loops, while the four at the corners have LineLoc3’s. Here’s a diagram:


    Is the zipper waterproof? I don’t see a flap on it.
    Yes. The fly zippers are YKK water resistant / “uretek” zippers – the same kind you’d see on most nice ski jackets and high end tents (e.g. MSR, HMG). It’s a beefy #5 zip too. The inner uses regular #3 YKK zips like nearly every tent.

    These zips should keep all the rain out, but even if a drop got through it would just land in the vestibule. The inner is not under the doors at all. I much prefer not having the zipper flaps because of the snagging hassle they cause.

    “The pole placement means you can’t use it as a 2P tarp without the inner, right?”
    You can easily sleep two without the inner. This works the best if you angle the poles a little bit so the bottoms are closer to the centerline of the shelter, and then you can easily sleep one person on each side. From the pole to the fly edge is normally 25″, so if you angle the pole a bit then you have about 30″ of width. If you sleep opposite ways you both have 30″ at the feet and 35″ of width at the head end, or sleep the same way and one person gets a bit wider head and the other person gets more space at the feet, but either way you can easily fit.

    #3545769
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    So what’s the setup, stake four corners, insert poles, tighten guylines, or a bit more complicated?
    Yup that’s it. A simple pitch is super important to me, as I hate fiddling at the end of a long day when it’s raining.

    So yeah, stake the four corners, make sure it’s a rectangle and not some weird diamond, insert the poles (via the vents) into the peak grommets and extend until taut. There’s no need to pre-measure the poles.

    The tent is robust enough like this that you don’t need the guylines normally, only for windy conditions. Other than inserting a second pole, it’s no more complicated than a single pole mid. That’s why I love it – it preserves the simplicity of a single pole mid but addresses the major downside of having the pole in the center and not much headroom. Prior to figuring out this design with the diagonal inner and opposite diagonal ridgeline, I was experimenting with a bunch of other ideas to improve headroom (struts, hoops etc) and none of that was nearly as good. This works so well. Not just the headroom but everything. The inner is protected from falling rain, super easy to get in and out, walls are ideal slopes to balance shedding wind and rain etc.

    Of course you can optionally add the peak guylines. I also like one stake at the main door too so the small side doesn’t flap in the breeze when you open the door.

    And will you be selling any outside of Massdrop?
    Not any time soon. I came up with the design and worked with the factory through many rounds of prototyping to get the design perfect, but Massdrop is doing the corporate stuff I don’t have time or money to do. They’re overseeing the materials sourcing, manufacturing, budgeting, shipping, product inspection, promotion, warranty etc. Basically it’s my design and they’re manufacturing and selling it.

    Maybe one day I will start up a little shop – I’d love to – but that’s a long way off. Right now if I sewed you one it would take me about 50 hours of labour, cost $1000 and the quality would still be nowhere near as good. So short of signing up for Massdrop, your best bet would be to find one on gear swap some day.

    #3545770
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Wow! Great answers!

    #3545773
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    A couple other points:
    1) The tent is 28oz, not 29oz. The latest prototype is 27.9 oz for the fly + inner including guylines. Actual production tents should be extremely similar but maybe 28.2oz since I made the inner slightly taller.

    2) The 20D sil/pu poly fabric used in this tent is tested by Richard Nisley (of BPL fame). He wrote:

    “I received your fabric sample and completed the virgin HH test; it was >3515mm….The micrographs show that the weave is of high quality”

    20mm FOV (Richard Nisley photo)

    5mm FOV  (Richard Nisley photo)

    1.4mm FOV  (Richard Nisley photo)

    Full test results were:
    New: 3515 mm
    5400 wear cycles: 2812 mm
    10,800 wear cycles: 2100 mm
    16,200 wear cycles: 1582 mm

    So the fabric holds up quite well. Even after extensive wear cycling simulating a ton of use, the fabric is still above 1500 mm considered waterproof. This compares quite well to other fabrics Richard has tested. For more on this, you can see the results for other fabrics Richard has tested here:
    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/fall-2016-fabric-samples-compared/

    #3545775
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    Love the concept! Are you planning a two person in the future?

    #3545785
    BCap
    BPL Member

    @bcap

    Can you pitch w/o the fly in good weather?  Do you need any extra cord?  I like the stars when viable.

    #3545796
    rmeurant
    BPL Member

    @rmeurant

    Locale: Laniakea

    Sophisticated geometry, Dan. Kudos.

    #3545803
    Kevin B
    BPL Member

    @newmexikev

    Locale: Western New Mexico, USA

    Wow. Nice innovations to solve common mid issues. Did you use a prototype of this mid on your yo-yo?

    Awesome use of massdrop and Asia to actually get a cool design to market (Attention Roger and his tunnel design)

    DCF model eta? Jk

    #3545804
    Ethan A.
    BPL Member

    @mountainwalker

    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    Beautiful, well-thought out design. There’s no beating the ease of a rectangular setup.

    Most interesting design feature: “Making the tent wider plus having the inner on a diagonal allows for the poles/peaks to be moved inwards from the edges of the fly, eliminating the vertical walls of the HR1 which catch wind and require guylines.” The big advantage of a pyramid is the wind- and water-shedding of a single peak and smaller-profile upper walls – bringing the poles inward brings the shelter closer to that, yet with the benefit of the greater usable inner space of a two-peak setup.

    One benefit that may not have been mentioned is the color choice, a natural and subdued color blending into the environment, much better for stealth camping than many other offerings out there.

    With all the pluses and a very reasonable cost, I’m certain this drop will be very popular.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #3545808
    Eric Osburn
    BPL Member

    @osb40000

    I love it! Seems very well thought out. I’m going to pick one up even though I already own a TT Notch.

    Are there any plans to offer a “solid inner” like TT does?

    Are there any plans to release a slightly larger 2 person version?

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