- Dec 5, 2018 at 6:01 am #3567499
Thanks John for the kind words and support on the project! I think you’ll love it. It’s designed to be very well rounded and capable in a wide range of challenging conditions.Dec 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm #3567524
Dan – I bought my Duplex in 2014 and while I love it and it is seemingly still in perfect shape, I am well aware that it’s lifetime is limited. What you have shown of the 2P X Mid has me salivating. I suspect there are many others like me…quite likely many more than you imagine.
So what am I saying? Please, if at all possible, accelerate the development of the 2P and get it on the market asap. I understand that you have no intention of doing if it is not “right”, but I would be your first customer. Plus, you can’t let a dog smell the steak and then put it back in the fridge :)Dec 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm #3567536
The bottleneck with the 2P development is the time to build the prototypes. When I get a prototype, I pitch it numerous times and spend hours inspecting and measuring everything. I can spot nearly all the weaknesses in a few hours. So I do that and then send updated design drawings to the manufacturer within a few days or a week of getting the prototype and ask them to get going on the next one.
I continue to use and inspect it after that, but mostly I’m just waiting another month or them to custom build the next prototype. It’s hard because it’s basically a custom tent for them, and they have to document everything perfectly so if I want something 1/2″ longer, they know how long it was in the previous one.
Anyways, all that is to say, I’m going full speed on the 2P. I expect the next prototype shortly (in a week or so) and there’s chance it’s pretty much perfect but more likely we’ll need 1 or 2 more rounds of prototyping. So my guess is about 3 months until the design is nailed down and then we can do a pre-sale.
So yeah I’m very keen to get it ready as fast as possible and it’s unfortunate that it takes so long. With artisan scale manufacturing they could start trickling out as soon as the design is finished, but to get a great price on these we need to manufacture at a larger scale and that takes quite a bit longer since we need to order all the custom materials and hardware, and let the factory tool up (e.g. program their machines that cut the panels).Dec 5, 2018 at 5:15 pm #3567543Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
I’m excited about the 2P too, but I also hope more of the 1P are manufactured in the future. If it’s that good, it deserves to be on the market with wider availability.
Selling 1000 through the first manufacturing run sure seems like a lot, but there are a LOT of backpackers out there. It will be a shame when I show off my 1P X-Mid to friends and fellow outdoors club members but have to say, “sorry. only 1000 were made.” It’s gonna be like owning a DeLorean or a GM EV1Dec 5, 2018 at 10:32 pm #3567674
Dan – I get it, believe me. Just wanted to emphasize that the 2P will sell well :)Dec 6, 2018 at 3:17 am #3567727
Do you think 2P tents in general outsell 1P? I’ve heard somewhere that 2P are about 100% higher but I don’t if that’s true. But yeah I think sales would be at least as high so we should be able to maybe do a few more options – mesh or solid inner, maybe 2 color options.
“I also hope more of the 1P are manufactured in the future. If it’s that good, it deserves to be on the market with wider availability.”
I hope to get the balls rolling on a 2nd run of the 1P sometime mid-late summer once the first ones are in folks hands and getting lots of use, reviews and feedback. Then those would be ready sometime in early 2020 for the following hiking season. Longer term it would be great to have them available in stock but it would tie up a lot of money to self fund a production big production run, and a small run would be a lot more expensive. So I hope to keep making the 1P and eventually sell it myself but it’s hard to say how that path will go.Dec 6, 2018 at 5:54 am #3567746Boyan BBPL Member
@groovygeekLocale: San Diego, CA
Generally speaking 2P tents probably outsell 1P by a handy margin. Most people who don’t hang out on BPL tend to not hike solo :-). I would not be so sure about a trekking pole supported tent though. It is somewhat of a specialty item that will probably not sell well in the traditional retail channel. Just look at those droopy barely guyed out self supporting tents at any moderately trafficked location. My intuition is that 2P does not sell as well as 1P. You COULD create a survey monkey poll and ask people here to complete it. This will at least tell you how the hard core crowd feels. I for one would not buy a 2P tent like this.Dec 19, 2018 at 3:08 am #3569419
A quick heads up that anyone hoping for one of these in April will need to place an order in the next few days.
Massdrop was able to get enough materials to expand the production run to 1300 tents (from 1000) but the last 300 tents are a bit behind the first ~1000, so the first 1000 will ship out in mid-April while the last 300 ship out in likely mid-late May. About 930 are pre-sold now, so in roughly another week those first 1000 will be spoken for. It’s also not guaranteed that exactly the first 1000 will arrive in April. Could be slightly more or less.
We’e recently got all the custom fabric from the mill and the factory is getting going on sewing it all together. I also got the X-Mid 1P off the production line and took some photos of it in the snow to show how the steeper walls + no sag can handle snowfall better than a typical trekking pole tent. Here is the X-Mid 1P pitched in anticipation of the snowfall. After this photo I did add an extra stake near the midpoint of the long side to help prevent snow loading from pushing in too much and reducing space inside. Notably, I didn’t deploy the peak guylines even though they would substantially strengthen the tent in these circumstances.
Here is the tent a bit later as the first snow starts to accumulate. You can see that even with a dusting the snow is already starting to shed. There was no wind – this is in my backyard with tall fences/hedges on all sides and it was calm anyways.
A bit more snow and more shedding:
Now we have about 2 cm of snow. A 3 season tent should at least be able to handle this without looking bad. You can see that the snow is shedding well and that the tent isn’t deforming at all – and keep in mind that this is without the peak guylines that really help under loading.
Now we have a total snowfall of about 5cm. It doesn’t look like much on the tent because it is continually shedding snow, but you can see the grass is no longer visible on the ground. Of course the snow is accumulating along the side of the tent, so the stake here helps avoid any substantial inwards deflection. It has now been 10 hours and notice how the pitch is still taut. A nylon tent would be showing substantial sag at this point and thus would be deflected a lot more, so it would be losing its ability to shed snow.
A bit more snow yet. Despite calm conditions (so the wind is not shaking the tent to shed snow), you can see that the tent has shed all the snow and the pitch is still looking good.
And finally, here is 20 hours later after 15cm (6″) of total snowfall. Again it doesn’t look like much on the tent because most of it was shed, but if you look at the ground you can see the grass was showing in the first picture and now it’s long past buried. Overall the tent is in good shape. It is a bit loose along the ridgeline which is because polyester has similar stretch as nylon (just not sag) and there is a substantial load around the base of the tent pulling on it which is basically stretching the sides down. After I shovelled some snow off from the sides the pitch was back to perfect unlike a fabric that sags. And continue to note that the peak guylines were not deployed. If they were, the pitch would be virtually unaffected even with the extra load pulling on it.
So overall, I’m not marketing this as a 4-season, but if you want to take it out in the winter when you might get some snow it would handle it fine. The key things that enable this are the lack of any flat-ish roof panels and fabric that doesn’t absorb water and sag, causing the tent to go limp and catch snow easier. If a big dump is expected then I recommend using the peak guylines.
One more photo from a few days ago:
Dec 19, 2018 at 5:32 am #3569444Graham FBPL Member
@02174424Locale: Victoria-Southeast Australia
G’day Dan, there is no doubt is there that those who purchased first (me on July the 9th when it opened ) will get their Xmid posted (to Australia for me) first is there?
Massdrop took an order from me once and told me nearly two weeks later that it had been cancelled and refunded my money.Dec 19, 2018 at 6:07 am #3569448
Was your cancelled order something that they ended up not having enough interest in to produce? I’m not really familiar with the history of Massdrop but I presume if you can see the X-Mid under “Active orders” they you should be all good.
Massdrop has assured me they are definitely going to process and post the orders from the first drop (July) before they send out the ones from the subsequent drops (Sept, Dec).
The latest I’ve heard is that production is supposed be complete by early February and then the tents are supposed to be done quality checks and shipped to Massdrop by mid-February. Shipping takes a while (~1 month) because it’s ground shipping. While I wish it was air shipping (I’m sure everyone does), Massdrop is barely making money on these so an extra $10 cost per tent is probably half their profit. They are prepared to do that if the tents end up behind schedule, but otherwise they’ll use ground shipping so they can meet their April 19 shipping estimate and still make a bit of money. It’s too bad Massdrop doesn’t have the option of paying an extra $10 so your tent is shipped via Airmail from the manufacturer to get it a month sooner. I’m sure a lot of folks would go for that.
So the tents should arrive with Massdrop in California in mid-late March, and then they’ll do some further quality checks and then post them out in batches. I expect all 300 tents from the first drop will go out in the same day, and then a few days later the next batch and then a few more days for the final 1/3 of those first 1000 tents. So things are on track for the original postage date estimate of April 19, and there is a chance it could be a few weeks early but no promises.Dec 19, 2018 at 7:19 am #3569450Graham FBPL Member
@02174424Locale: Victoria-Southeast Australia
Ta Dan. It was some socks. I was just annoyed because of the delay and especially as they said they had stock when I ordered. I ordered the Xmid based on the date given so that is not a problem, was just concerned that given my early order (I watched and ordered as the the drop went live) that I would be looked after in the appropriate fashion. Posed a question over on Massdrop re the winter inner -I am forgetting where I am half the time. I don’t know how you do it. I anticipate getting the 2 person with the cold weather liner for here in Australia. Thanks again.Dec 19, 2018 at 7:30 am #3569451
Yeah lots of back and forth :)
For others interest, here’s that picture of the solid inner that is coming for the 2P. Not for the 1P though.Dec 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm #3569456Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
That 2P photo looks great!Dec 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm #3569457
For others interest, here’s that picture of the solid inner that is coming for the 2P. Not for the 1P though.Dec 19, 2018 at 11:07 pm #3569510CARLOS C.BPL Member
@lamboyLocale: Mid Atlantic
I have been watching this thread for some time now. Eagerly waiting for the 2P. It would solve two of my issues in a lighter but similar size tent to my half dome plus tent for the wife and i when the dog isnt with us and potentially a candidate for light winter just me or with the dog. My protrail cant really cut it great for either situation. Especially like the idea of less or no sag in poly.
What is the durability like for the poly vs silnylon from Tarptent?Dec 20, 2018 at 3:58 am #3569534
Have a look at this recent poly vs nylon thread on reddit.
But basically the answer is complicated. Nylon is undoubtably stronger when new, but it also loses 15-20% of its strength when wet plus it suffers from far higher rates of UV degradation. So some respected tent makers, such as Nemo, think that poly is stronger overall. They write:
“Nylon is stronger… except that in the presence of UV, it will break down and start to degrade much faster than polyester. Polyester naturally inhibits UV. Although the fiber may be weaker at the start, it holds up better over time.”
But ultimately it’s really hard to say. The hiker that leaves their tent pitched in the day sometimes would likely fair better with poly, while the hiker that always packs up at dawn may fair better with nylon.
Coatings are also a huge factor to, as sil increases tear strength while PU decreases it, but PU isn’t annoyingly slippery and can be seam taped. Some of the criticism that poly gets about low tear strength is really a criticism of the effects of heavy PU coatings. For example, RSBTR’s PU4000 poly had a really low tear strength but because of the huge amounts of PU.
Anyways, the bottom line is that there isn’t a clear answer but they are both in the same ballpark. In my opinion, the no sag abilities of poly when it’s wet is a huge advantage because it keeps your shelter pitched well (e.g. no fly sagging and stuck to your inner) and this also makes it more storm worthy because you don’t have a limp tent. As really light polys have become available for reasonable prices, we are seeing more manufacturers moving to poly, such as SMD, LHG, Black Diamond etc. I think it’s the future primarily because the no sag is huge.Dec 20, 2018 at 5:41 am #3569537Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
An extended discourse on polyester versus nylon tent fabric sagging, from Mike Cecot-Scherer, who’s “designed 258 tents and counting.”
Complete with pictures and video!
— RexDec 20, 2018 at 6:04 am #3569543
Nice. On his factory page he lists Jasper Outdoors as the ultimate tent factory. Interestingly, they are building the DCF X-Mids. I’ll be blown away if they can do a better job than CampTec, which are building the silpoly ones. They quality on the silpoly ones is super and I’m a big stickler for that.
I certainly agree with Mike on a lot of things – polyester, no FR, fly first pitch etc. Just wish he’d build lighter tents. Looks like his lightest 2P is still 4 lbs.Dec 20, 2018 at 6:09 am #3569545Boyan BBPL Member
@groovygeekLocale: San Diego, CA
Hmm, did you just inadvertently announce cuben X mids or did I miss it earlier in this thread. I only recall you saying that it is under consideration.Dec 20, 2018 at 6:11 am #3569547
I’ve said before that the early wheels are churning, but a very long ways off. Delivery in spring 2020 is the hope. I didn’t even know if Jasper had the capacity to take this on until today, so prototyping has yet to start.
The DCF X-Mid isn’t just a DCF version of the same design. Rather, it is re-designed from the ground up to offer as much functionality as possibly while competing the sub 1 lbs tent niche. So they will be much less of a well rounded tent and more super geek level ultralight (e.g. single wall, #3 zips, only 1 vent etc).Dec 20, 2018 at 9:39 pm #3569621asolthaneBPL Member
I just got in the mail two straight carbon fiber poles from Ali Express that look like they will be absolutely perfect for the Xmid. They are listed as 65 Grams (I have not yet confirmed weight) and 126 cm, a little longer than Dan suggests but should still work at an angle, or they would be very easy to hack down.
I paid 23 dollars for a pair, but it looks like they have gone up to 40 for 2. They should go on sale again…
I use trekking poles but like the option to leave them if I am doing a fast and light trip with the fly only.
I don’t know if Aliexpress links work, but here it is: https://goo.gl/jT31KzDec 20, 2018 at 10:05 pm #3569625Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I just got back from very rainy trip with condensation inside
sil poly tent dry 13.8 oz
sil poly wet 24.7 oz – I shook it out vigorously
I think it would have got rid of more water if I had hung it from peak for a while and let the water drip offDec 20, 2018 at 10:45 pm #3569633
“I just got in the mail two straight carbon fiber poles from Ali Express that look like they will be absolutely perfect for the X-Mid.”
How are the ends? You want a tip on one end to fit into the grommet, or a fat end (like a trekking pole handle) so it doesn’t damage the fabric. If it’s just plain CF tubing that is doesn’t fit the grommet but also is kinda sharp/pointy, then it might not work so well.
This certainly sounds like a good deal though.
“sil poly tent dry 13.8 oz; sil poly wet 24.7 oz – I shook it out vigorously”
Interesting. That’s a lot of water weight.Generally speaking, poly gains quite a bit less weight than nylon and since it’s not absorbed it dries faster, but clearly you can still gain a lot of weight.Dec 20, 2018 at 11:56 pm #3569650asolthaneBPL Member
I can post pictures, diameters, true weight etc later if people are interested. It’s a lot cheaper than anywhere else I could find for such light poles.
One end has a skinnier section, but it’s not a tip. If it doesn’t fit in the grommet, then I might have to modify the poles.
You don’t happen to know how the diameter of the grommet opening, do you?Dec 21, 2018 at 6:31 pm #3569720
The grommet opening is 5/16″ (8mm):
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