- Dec 22, 2018 at 1:51 pm #3569789
Thanks for the added info on Poly vs Nylon. Certainly solidifies my expectations and excitement for the 2P.Dec 23, 2018 at 12:57 am #3569820Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
I’m in on the 1P, but I’m a bit confused by the Massdrop numbers.
Currently it says 965 sold with 10 left. Are they being conservative with the numbers?Dec 23, 2018 at 1:20 am #3569821
I’m not exactly sure either but I think it is a mistake.
Originally they had ordered 1000 tents so they planned to sell about 975 to have a few spares for various purposes. Now I’m told they were able to increase that order to add 300 more tents, but I’m guessing someone forgot to update the number on the drop, so it is still counting down to 975.
Another possibility is that once it hits 975 it’ll automatically reload with another 300 tents but change the delivery date back a few weeks since these 975 tents are the ones that are on track to ship out in April. The remaining 300 will be shipping out in May, so it’s advantageous to get in sooner if someone wants one. Since the last 300 are expected to ship in May, they may want to actually put June for the delivery date to be conservative.
I messaged Massdrop to let them know, but I expect everyone is off on Holidays for the next few days. So they might not figure this out until the 27th. My guess is that it’ll sell out tomorrow but then re-open in a couple days with more tents once they figure out the number error.Dec 23, 2018 at 1:30 am #3569823
For the past few years, I have been using a DCF Duomid as a solo shelter (both with and without a Solomid inner). How stormworthy is the X Mid compared to a Duomid? It doesn’t seem to have a ton of guyout points. Are they not needed?Dec 23, 2018 at 1:53 am #3569825Thomas VBPL Member
Those Aliexpress poles are going to be 16-17″ long, which may inhibit your packing versatility, depending on your needs.
Also, the layup of carbon poles can be important in their suitabiity to a given application . . . we can only guess what the layup design was on these poles. Maybe OK, maybe not. Or maybe sub-optimal but they’lll never see sufficient use/abuse to manifest their “weakness.” I’m not criticizing the choice, just highlighting that there are difference among poles, and one can reasonably expect a purpose-built design like Ruta Locura to have superior strength and longevity (albeit at a higher price).
With those shown on Aliexpress, you’ll definitely need to fashion together some sort of end tip to fit the grommet.Dec 23, 2018 at 2:35 am #3569829
I certainly really like that setup. I’ve owned several DuoMids including DCF ones as well as other single pole mids (LG Khufu). For many years, a DuoMid + solo inner in the back was my favourite setup, but I think if you tried the X-Mid you’d be converted (all else being equal – obviously the DuoMid is available in DCF which is a big difference).
I’ll break down “stormworthyness” into three parts: handling rain, wind and snow.
For rain, both of these are relatively good tents since they are both double wall, fly first pitch and the inner is protected from falling rain even with the door open (assuming a solo inner in the back of a DuoMid). So they are both strong performers in the rain, but the X-Mid has two key advantages over a silnylon duomid which are that the fabric doesn’t sag and that the panels are a bit steeper so if you do get heavy condensation it’ll run down the inside of the panels rather than dripping. The long sides of the DuoMid are fairly steep but the end walls are shallower and condensation can drip here. The 4% sag/expansion of silnylon has a big negative effect on the silnylon DuoMid because it has quite long panels, so you need to re-tension to keep it stormworthy and/or to keep the fly from sticking to the inner. But of course this isn’t an issue with the DCF DuoMids. So both strong performers but I’d say a moderate advantage for the X-Mid.
In the wind you would think the DuoMid would easily win because it has shallow walls slopes and so little area up high. Conversely, the X-Mid has a lot more headroom and thus more area for the wind to catch as well. This difference is in profile is really only pronounced on the long side of the tent, as they both have a similar profile from the ends, although the X-Mid wall is steeper on the ends. So certainly the basic shape of the DuoMid has less wind drag than the X-Mid. However the X-Mid has a bit of an ace up its sleeve which is that it has optional peak guylines. The X-Mid is reasonably solid without these (I rarely use them), but if you deploy them then you can really beef it up solid. Conversely the DuoMid does not have peak guylines, so despite it’s plethora of guyout options, there is no way to support its core structure (the single pole). Generally speaking, guyouts that are not connected to the structural system (like mid-panel guyouts) don’t help that much. If set up right they can help take some of the force so the tent deflects in less, but they don’t really do that much compared to guyouts that are connected to the structure. So I haven’t run the tests, but I would wager than an X-Mid with its peak guylines deployed would at least equal if not outperform a DuoMid with 4 mid-panel guyouts deployed in a wind test. Note that you can deploy the peak guylines in a variety of directions as needing, including to support the long side of the tent. Also, if you’re really concerned about a serious storm you can add an additional guyline to each X-Mid peak running out the vent, so you have two to support both the end wall and the side wall, and then by doing the same thing at the other peak you’ve actually supported the shelter in all 4 directions with guyouts connected to the structure. You could add one guyout via the peak vent on the DuoMid, but at most you’d anchor it in one direction rather than four, so ultimately I think the X-Mid can be set up to be stronger in the wind. Also the X-Mid uses grommets for the pole tips, which I can’t prove help in a storm, but they subjectively feel more solid in extreme conditions since the peak can’t slide around on top of the pole handle in extreme winds.
In general, I’m not a fan of mid-panel guyouts because they are commonly misused where folks use them to pull out on the tent (rather than to prevent it from deflecting in) which distorts the natural shape, and because they aren’t connected to the structure. They can help a little, but not that much. I think they are only appropriate on 4-season tents. Some 3-season tents do use them to help the shelter fulfill it’s full volume (e.g. Duplex) but unless this is designed into the shape I think it ends up poor because it pulls the shape in elsewhere (e.g. Duplex ridgelines are often yanked way down). So the X-Mid provides a variety of guyout options around the perimeter, plus the peak guyouts:
As for snow shedding, I think the X-Mid wins easily here because the end walls of the DuoMid are fairly shallow so they are not nearly as good at shedding snow, and when they do it collects on the foot of the tent more. This encroaches on the living shape. With the X-Mid there are steeper walls that shed snow eagerly (see photos a page or two back) plus there is less encroachment by the snow accumulating around the shelter since the walls are steeper and there are many perimeter guyouts to prevent the edges from being pushed in. Also with the DuoMid and a solo inner you sleep right along the back wall so snow encroachment affects you, whereas in the X-Mid you are in the middle so any snow encroachment is just a loss of vestibule space. Lastly, for the silnylon DuoMids the snow encroachment problem is compounded by the fabric sagging in the snow because it absorbs moisture from the snow.
So overall I think the X-Mid is more stormworthy but it’s hard to say since it’s a complex topic and empirical evidence is lacking. The DuoMid does have some unique advantages like the buckle at the door zip (the X-Mid lacks this but there are stake points on both sides you can use to reinforce the zipper). The X-Mid also has some unique advantages, such as the vents which can rapidly open and close (unless MLD has changed their design, their vents are slower to close and near impossible with mitts on).
To sum it up, the advantages of each seem to be:
– shape catches less wind
– has mid-panel guyouts
– buckle supporting the door zipper
– dual vents
– vents easily open/close
– has two peak guylines
– can optionally add two more peak guylines
– steeper wall slopes shed snow and condensation better
– steeper wall slopes mean less encroachment by snow
– sleeping position isn’t sensitive to snow encroachment
– no sag like the silnylon DuoMids
Overall, I think the X-Mid layout offers a compelling improvement in design over single pole mids. As the diagram below shows, the X-Mid actually has more volume than the DuoMid despite using less fabric since the shape is more volumetrically efficient. The volume is 81 vs 79 cubic feet, but the difference feels far larger because much less volume is squandered around the low edges. Headroom is far ahead. And since the X-Mid design has a better volume:surface area ratio, it’s actually lighter for the same size, or you can add features while keeping the weight the same. That’s mostly why both of these tents weigh 18oz in the non-DCF versions, despite the X-Mid having dual doors, dual vents and more functional vents (struts that quickly open/close).
In this diagram the DuoMid does look like it has more floor area, but consider how low it is around the perimeter because the walls are at a low slope. So both shelters accommodate the same length of inner tent (87″) and does that will a generous 7-8″ gap at either end plus steeper end walls so the living space feels like 40% more. So the DuoMid footprint is just overly large for the sleeping area it provides because the low wall slope.
Yes it took me forever to calculate the volume of the X-Mid.Dec 23, 2018 at 2:44 am #3569831
Alright you sold me Dan, I just joined the drop.
I hate the sag of Silnylon, but the bulk (and expense) of DCF makes me think ultralight polyester might be the future for UL shelters.Dec 23, 2018 at 3:28 am #3569832
G’day Dan, is it too early to ask how you might go about attaching the extra guy line through the vent?
Genius idea by the way!
Given the velcro there you could I suppose, still fasten (close) a good portion of the vent in high wind around the guy line?Dec 23, 2018 at 4:47 am #3569835
“Alright you sold me Dan, I just joined the drop.”
Nice. I think you’ll be impressed. If not, they’re going to be sold out all of next year so I presume you could easily sell it for what you paid.
“Is it too early to ask how you might go about attaching the extra guy line through the vent?”
Basically you’d tie it to the webbing or grommet. Inside the peaks there is two layers of webbing that is solidly sewn to the 210D nylon cone. The grommet is placed through these two layers. So there are a number of spots here were you could sew. You could tie right to the grommet or around the webbing on either side.Dec 25, 2018 at 9:25 pm #3570058
not sure if you are still following this… I’d imagine you are having a well earned rest but…a question please when you can get to it. As you are Canadian and the cold weather you get there is far more extreme I’d wager, than here SE mainland Oz, (I never know what 3 season means going from forum/continent etc.) what would you put as the minimum temps, and importantly conditions you would reasonably use the Xmid without referring to regions/countries please. I know you are conversant with Celcius etc as a canuck( Boxing Day coming up!). I can work with temp, apparent temp, dew point etc.
I am especially interested around (sub) zero temps and the boost (or not) the Xmid may get from being pitched low for example. Some form of bivy inside? I have seen the snow load pics, so it’s not a load query but management of a temp “something comfortable” in side the tent in your estimation. Outside minus 2C –inside the tent ??. Thanks again for all your hard work. Can I also request some guaranteed form of notice of the Xmid 2 person with solid inner-I don’t want to find out late and get across to Massdrop and they are all sold. Cheers.Dec 26, 2018 at 6:26 am #3570093
Generally speaking tents aren’t a very efficient form of insulation. Any tent is only going to be a few degrees warmer than outside because doing anything else would add a ton of weight. There simply isn’t much R value in a few layers of nylon. I’m sure 8 people crammed into a 6 person tent would warm it up a bit more, but any 1P tent is only going to be a few degrees warmer than outside.
The two main factors in how much warmer it will be are whether it’s a double wall or not, and how much air exchange there is. A drafty single wall might only be 1 C warmer than outside, while a double wall with a fully coverage fly and a solid fabric inner might get 4-5 C warmer than outside. The X-Mid 1P is a double wall with a full coverage fly, but a mesh inner, so I reckon you’d typically be about 3 C warmer than your surroundings typically (less so if it was really windy). If you pitched the fly higher you might get that down to 1-2 C, whereas if you pitched the fly right to the ground and also closed the vents to retain as much heat as possible, then you might do 4 C above ambient.
While it would be possible to design a tent that is more insulated that this, it wouldn’t be a good use of weight because you’d have to insulate the entire surface area of the tent (a very large amount). So it’s much more weight efficient to put that insulation in your sleeping bag instead. True 4 season tents can be a bit more warmer because the material is a bit thicker and they are often tiny so you have less surface area to lose heat, but even here I doubt you’d do more than +5 C above ambient. Other 4 season tents would be less warm since many are single wall tents (e.g. Black Diamond I-Tent) which would barely be warmer than ambient.
When I refer to a tent as being a 3 season or a 4 season, I’m usually referring to how it handles precipitation and wind. A 3 season tent should be able to handle tons of rain, 5-10cm of snow and winds to about 60km/hr (40 mph). A 4 season tent should be able to handle lots of snow (+30cm) and high winds (to 100 km/hr or 60mph at least). It’s not so much winter versus the rest of the year, as it is really stormy, exposed conditions versus normal conditions. Even in the winter it’s often reasonable to use a 3 season tent if you pitch it in a sheltered area if harsh weather hits.
In winter conditions the limiting factor for the X-Mid would usually be its mesh inner. You lose a bit more heat with this, but more importantly, it’s not going to fully block blowing snow if it’s very fine. So a serious winter storm might blast spindrift under the fly edges and drive some of that through the mesh. If nothing else, mesh does exchange air more readily than solid fabric so it would be a bit colder and more drafty.
So if you’re winter camping in relatively calm conditions (e.g. below treeline) then I’d be happy using the X-Mid year round even if it was really cold (e.g. -30 C) as long as I had an awesome sleeping bag. But if I was camped up in the winter alpine then I’d prefer a solid inner tent if there is a chance of blowing snow or high winds.
I do hope to offer a solid inner for future production runs of the 1P, which would be much better in those conditions and I think buyers will be able to order just that if they already own an X-Mid. With the solid inner, I’d use the X-Mid in any conditions other than extreme winds (+100km/hr) and extreme snowfalls (>50cm).
As for the 2P, I’m sure there will be a few threads on here and elsewhere when that comes out in a few months. You can also follow me on YouTube or Instagram if you want to see it there when it comes out.Dec 26, 2018 at 7:31 am #3570097
Thanks Dan. Should have said I own a Duplex and one person Big Sky Revolution with a breathable nylon (non mesh) liner. I have been doing a bit of temp nerding lately, comparing inside and out with a proper thermometer so your information is timely. I find the coffinesque interior of the single person full inner hard to take sometimes in poor weather hence my questions. So I am interested in using the Xmid down in that “cold weather for me”, that I might use the Big Sky 1, and would look to the 2 person in other conditions perhaps. I have found in the little one person Big Sky 1 in winter inner temps to be at least 3-5 degrees difference frequently. Even the Duplex managed a couple of degrees in some 20-25 km/h winds. The wind will be my concern rather than snow, more than likely.
CheersDec 28, 2018 at 8:32 am #3570543Roman VazhnovBPL Member
Dan, what’s the tear strength for fly fabric (and which test standard was used)?Dec 28, 2018 at 2:02 pm #3570547
Dan thanks for the diagrams with all of the stock guyout points. The pictures on Massdrop (which are a prototype I’m sure) only show guypoints on the four corners, doors, and peaks. They don’t show all the other perimeter guypoints that you show. Do those have linelocks are are the linelocks just on the four corners and peaks?Dec 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm #3570573
“Dan, what’s the tear strength for fly fabric (and which test standard was used)?”
Hi Roman. I don’t have that spec handy at the moment and I’m just running out the door for a 4 day winter mountaineering trip with the 2P prototype. But I can make a few comments. First, we are using quite a high thread count (420T) so it is quite strong for a 20D (other 20Ds are often 330T) and also we made sure not to use an excess of PU in that coating because that has detrimental effects on the tear strength. A fabric like RSBTRs old PU4000 silpoly has much lower tear strength than a 2000mm rated silpoly, so we tried to strike a balance where we don’t over-apply the PU yet still have a very waterproof fabric (see the HH testing and wear testing earlier in this thread – page 1 or 2).
Generally though I agree with the tear strength rationale here, which is that even at these low weight fabrics tear strength is not really an issue if the tent is designed properly (e.g. guyouts that spread the load well). My tents use an almost identical fabric to what they are using.
“The pictures on Massdrop (which are a prototype I’m sure) only show guypoints on the four corners, doors, and peaks. They don’t show all the other perimeter guypoints that you show.”
That prototype did have those other four stake points near the mid-point of each side, but you can’t easily see them in those photos because they are small (just a grosgrain loop bartacked to the rolled edge) and because the pictures are often photoshopped to delete the background, so details along the edges often got deleted in that process too.
In the photo below I’ve circled where it is, but it’s just a slightly dark spot along the edge because the grosgrain that stuck out got deleted by photoshop.
Along the short ends they are directly in line with the peak, while on the long sides you already have stake out points at the doors, so I added one more that splits the difference between the door and the corner. This does prevent the door from opening quite as far, but if the conditions are intense enough that you need stake points like this then it’s welcome trade off to be able to stake it down more.
Do those have linelocks are are the linelocks just on the four corners and peaks?
There are 10 LineLoc’3 on the 1P, which is really too many. There are 4 corners, 2 peaks and then two more at each door (one on each side). Having the LineLoc3s at the doors is overkill, especially on the larger side of the door which you’d almost never be staking down. So I recommend snipping the LineLoc3 on the large side of the door and perhaps both of them. For the 2P I’m leaning towards just having a grosgrain loop on both sides plus on the small side only, having a loop of shockcord/cord so you have some length adjustability when you stake this down to hold the small side of the door in place.
These last four guyouts which you are asking about are near the midpoint of each side. These aren’t as beefy as the rest of the guyouts, as they don’t have a reinforcement patch behind them. These are just simple grosgrain loops that are sewn to the hem. They are sewn on solidly and the hem is double folded so this is sewn through three layers. So it’s still fairly strong. It helps to stake this out if you’re expecting snow loads that could push in on the sides, and they help in high winds too, but ultimately they are trying to strike a balance between making the tent as capable as possible, without adding too much weight to it.Dec 28, 2018 at 7:09 pm #3570584John McBPL Member
I’m entertaining hiking the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland. I’d say it’s the most popular trail. I wouldn’t trust my Nemo Hornet in the possible winds. Using your double peak guyouts with deep MSR Groundhog stakes should work. Thoughts?Dec 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm #3570676John McBPL Member
Oops…..I thought the drop was good until months end. My question is void now… 😨Dec 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm #3570844
Just so you have more feedback im firmly in the 50 in min width for the 2P version Xmid. Our half dome plus has 56( excessive) but the ability to have two large width pads is important to me. It has 92 length but i find that is ecessively long unless you are really tall, but im just a hair under 6 ft myself and the wife is 5’4’’. Especially because we make consolations for comfy pads and the dog is a bed hog.
Is the 2P going to be 2 pole or 4 pole supported?
Another weird question. By any chance would the TT trekking pole handle adapters be able to attach to the Xmid grommit hole so that you could put the trekking pole tips down and secure it firmly? I already have a set and just curious at this point.
TyJan 3, 2019 at 1:22 am #3571132
“Using your double peak guyouts with deep MSR Groundhog stakes should work. Thoughts?”
The X-Mid is already decent in stiff winds with just the 4 stakes and then quite solid with two additional guylines, so with the double peak guyouts in all four directions, I expect it would be exceptionally solid in high winds. And since the groundhogs are good stakes, I expect you’d have a very robust setup for Iceland’s winds.<i>
“Oops…..I thought the drop was good until months end.”
Yeah me too. They have 1300 coming so I thought they were going to sell them until the 31st since they weren’t on track to hit 1300 by then, but they decided to cut it off around 1000 because the last 300 are apparently a couple months behind the first 1000 (roughly June vs April). So there will be another 300 available relatively soon (perhaps in February) although with a bit later delivery. Those will be the last ones for a long while.
“By any chance, would the TT trekking pole handle adapters be able to attach to the X-Mid grommet hole so that you could put the trekking pole tips down and secure it firmly?”
They should work fine since they are designed to accommodate a wide range of handles and the grommet the X-Mid uses is very similar to what TT uses. But I’m not sure you’d want to do this. The X-Mid pitches solidly with the handles up without using something like this, and these adapters would add hassle/fiddle to the pitch, so I wouldn’t use them unless you’re expecting a serious storm that could dislodge the handles from the peaks. But they could be handy in extreme conditions like that.
“Just so you have more feedback I’m firmly in the 50 in min width for the 2P version X-Mid.”
I have listened to the voices here and increased the width to 50″. The current prototype is 50″ wide and thus can handle two wide pads. The dimensions will be roughly those shown below. With this layout, two people can sleep side by side (rather than staggered) and you have room at the two opposite corners (where the roof is lower) for stashing gear (or a dog). This layout makes good use of all the area, as you have a nicely sized sleeping area, a bit of protected gear storage area at either end, and then a decent sized vestibule each.Jan 3, 2019 at 1:37 am #3571133
Ta Dan, and the perimeter dimensions would be..?Jan 10, 2019 at 3:05 pm #3572544
I know we got a long wait ahead of us still on the 2P model, but could you tease us with pictures or something along the way haha. I know that seems silly but it helps to dream for me at least to make the time pass. Alternatively further updates on the 2P testing process. Might be interesting to get a behind the scenes look at all the hard work you do that we benefit from but do not see. Time willing of course.
If not here it could be good content for your blogJan 10, 2019 at 9:38 pm #3572592
The 2P is coming along well. Here’s a recent shot:
With the 2nd generation prototype I opted to make the floor a few inches wider so it’s a true 50″ wide floor (rather than ~47). A bit of a risky move because the first gen prototype was pitching surprisingly good and widening the floor changes everything (e.g. every measurement on the fly). Getting the measurements dialed isn’t as easy as just doing the math, because you have to account for a lot of variables like stretch.
But it worked out pretty well so the 2nd gen it also pitching quite nicely now. I’m tweaking the bias of the fabric a bit for the 3rd proto and some minor changes to the fly dimensions but just fine tuning. Mostly I just need to dial in some of the smaller details like the vents (too small), inner pockets (new location) and a bunch of other small changes.
We found a nice fabric for making a solid inner, so we’re planning to have the option of either mesh or solid inner. The solid inner fabric is awesomely light, so it’s no more than 0.5oz penalty to opt for that.
So overall it’s in a good shape and I expect I’ll have it quite dialed in a couple more rounds of prototyping. I also think it’s a good looking tent because it doesn’t need any seams in the large panels and with the vent moved to the end wall you get a bit taller zipper and an even cleaner look to it. Moving the vent has pros and cons. The main pro is the taller door zipper/slightly easier access while the cons are that it’s slightly more awkward to insert the pole when pitching since it’s on the end wall and the vent is a bit harder to reach from inside, but still pretty easy to do. Either way it’s splitting hairs because off of these things are easy. I’m doing the 1P with it on the door wall and the 2P with it on the end wall and then we’ll see if customers have a preference.
Jan 10, 2019 at 10:21 pm #3572601Gunnar HBPL Member
Dan, I hope the inner options will be solid, mesh or both. I intendent to buy both. (If I have to choose it will be the solid.)Jan 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm #3572611
If we’re making both solid and mesh, it makes sense to allow folks to buy both. So I expect that’ll be an option as long as Massdrop doesn’t think it’s too complicated or something. I’ll push for it and I expect it’ll happen.Jan 11, 2019 at 5:33 am #3572659Katherine .BPL Member
thanks for 50″. advance thanks for both inners.
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