- Aug 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm #3605356
So I’m a really bummed cause I’m here in Wales with my new Zpacks Duplex, which is only a week old, went wild camping yesterday, got caught in a pretty rough storm that saw 40-50 mph gusts and looks like it caused a little tear that created a leak. Also, boy is this thing loud in the wind!
I’m not giving up on it just yet cause everything from here will just be heavier and I really thought I found the perfect tent, but I want to start thinking about options should it keep giving me issues.
So as far as a lightweight, preferably 2 person tent. What else is there out there? I won’t be using it for camping in the snow so no need for a 4 season tent.
Thanks in advance!Aug 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm #3605362
Andrew PriestBPL Member
Maybe something in the Tarptent range might tick the boxes? Double Rainbow for example.
I also tried out a Zpacks Duplex but ended up back with Tarptent and a Double Rainbow. Cost me some weight, but I sleep happier and the packability is a big plus as my main use now days is bikepacking so space is a premium.Aug 9, 2019 at 4:14 pm #3605384
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
MLD TrailstarAug 9, 2019 at 7:05 pm #3605416
Ah, that’s a tarp, not a tent.
For wind and 3-season I’d look long and hard at a Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 or Copper Spur UL2.Aug 9, 2019 at 9:59 pm #3605430
Mole JBPL Member
I’ve used 4 different Tarptent models in serious winds in UK mountains. ( Mostly Scotland).
Scarp1, Stratospire 2, Moment DW, and Notch.
Staked and pitched well they cope.
I also have had a Trailstar for 6+ years. Even though it’s a Tarp, it won’t be any less draughty than a Duplex. And far more windworthy. (Staked well obv.)
Was sat in a friend’s Trailstar last weekend at night. Only 30mph gusts, but inside you wouldn’t have known.
Aug 9, 2019 at 10:34 pm #3605438
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Mole J.
Tell me about the Moment DW… thinking about one with a solid inner for the fall here in the Northern Rockies… enough room to sit up? Storm worthy?Aug 9, 2019 at 10:45 pm #3605453
Dave VBPL Member
@vaughaagLocale: Nr Exeter
MLD Trailstar, I’ve had mine out in some pretty monstrous wind and there are plenty of inners out there that work with it for solo and a couple that will work for two.
I recently picked up a Tarptent Stratospire 1 and have been very impressed with it too, you can fit two in the Strat1 if you lower the inner and don’t mind being cozy. I have seen the Strat 2 also and it looks just as impressiveAug 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm #3605460
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I’ve had a Tarptent Scarp 1 for around 10 years. It is a wind-worthy shelter, especially with the optional crossing poles (extra 12 ounces). With stakes and optional poles it weighs exactly 4 pounds (64 ounces). I recommend it if you are okay hauling a “heavy” shelter.
My Trailstar weighs 32 ounces with stakes, but without poles (you can use trekking poles). I don’t use trekking poles, and use .600 inch diameter carbon fiber poles that weigh a total of 8 ounces. It handles wind better than any shelter I’ve ever used.
Neither the Scarp or the Trailstar are my go-to shelters. I usually take a Cuben mid, but only sleep in it if the weather is bad.Aug 10, 2019 at 12:52 am #3605467
nunatak down gearBPL Member
The Yama Cirriform is a pretty stable design, focusing on weather-ability.
We use the 2 person full cuben single wall version, with floor, zipped inner mesh door and zipped vestibule. Plenty roomy for my wife and I (I’m 6’2″) and the dog at our feet.
I measure it at 27 ounces and have absolutely no doubt it’s a better tent in weather than the Duplex.Aug 10, 2019 at 1:24 am #3605471
@bookLocale: Northern California
“For wind and 3-season I’d look long and hard at a Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 or Copper Spur UL2.”
I have experience with the Fly Creek Ul 1 and earlier iterations of BA solo tents. I have to say, they’ve all been good in high winds. The Fly Creek (and by extension the Copper Spur I believe) just has a good design for winds–low to the ground, good ergonomics (windonomics? Obamanomics?) and solid pitch; and they tend to fit into smaller, protected areas–at least, so do the solo tents. (with this last I’m trying to avoid a dangling participle.) (dangling participles do poorly in high winds.)
That said, there are trade offs. You’ll lose the headroom and living room that the Zpacks affords.
i also had a Zpacks hexamid solo tent that I loved–but, it was the earlier version with a ‘beak’. That beak made me very nervous about winds–it just didn’t close near enough the ground. The Duplex has always looked clumsy and not wind worthy to me, but I have no experience with it and it is very popular, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.Aug 10, 2019 at 2:25 am #3605473
The duomid sheds wind (and snow) like a champ… I’ve been in mine during polar vortex (40-60 mph winds with 18” of snow in 12 hours) and many 3 season storms of lesser severity. Ive rolled it up and stuffed it back into its sack around 250-300 times so far with no visible damage or leaks , I spend around 75-80 nights a year in it :) I too will just bivy unless the weather is threatening. FWIW I also own and love a supermid and grace duo. The grace sees a lot of summertime action…
just duomid – 14 oz (no guyline)
my duomid and bivy – 21 oz (without guyline)
My duo and full bug inner – 26 oz (without guyline)
I’m sure the other tents mentioned so far would be great too ! Good luck and sorry about your duplex :( I eyeballed one of those seriously for a while but prefer the modularity of a fly and inner which are separateAug 10, 2019 at 4:38 am #3605489
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the input. Lots of tents for me to look into should the Duplex not work out. That being said, it looks like there was some serious user error on my end… I talked to a buddy that has a Duplex and he recommended lowering the tent so it becomes more aero dynamic. Hadn’t thought of it and last night it did very well. The gusts weren’t as strong but so far so good, no crazy flapping around. I’m going to see how it fairs the rest of the weekend and go from there. Lot’s of rain and wind coming my way!Aug 10, 2019 at 5:28 am #3605493
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
“looks like it caused a little tear that created a leak. Also, boy is this thing loud in the wind!
What amazes me is the bucks that folks lay out for DCF tents, only to find issues like leaks and others that you relate. There is tape to repair such leaks, but yours is a new tent. What’s it going to look like after a few trips.
Geoff C’s link reveals perhaps unintentionally how vulnerable DCF is to cuts and punctures. I had occasion recently to cut some samples from Cuben, and was surprised how easy it was to cut. All the publicity has focused on tear strength; but cuts and punctures also matter big time on the roof of a shelter. It is understandable, as the mylar has no inherent strength and is there for wind and waterproofing; but did not expect the dyneema in the 3/4 oz DCF would cut with no resistance to a utility knife. That was 3/4 oz, while the DCF for many of these tents is only 1/2 oz.
If you decide to patch and continue to use the single wall DCF tent, you would be doing everyone a great favor by relating your experience with the condensation, and whether the DCF appears to cause less of a condensation problem due to its so-called low “emissivity,” as has been claimed. And maybe the noise will abate a bit after some use. Would like to know.
Agree with the comments favorable to TarpTents, for the reasons stated and many others. I had a bad experience some years ago after buying a Big Agnes solo ultralight tent and finding it weighed around 4-5 oz more than advertised. Called and was told that was due to guylines, not stakes, bags etc., but just guylines. No arguments, just returned it. Since then have seen reliable measures of their tents’ water resistance coming in well below 1500mm HH, or well below the generally recognized standard for waterproofing. TarpTents are well above that standard. Would love to see some TPU coated and/or polyester TarpTents, or at least hear from them about that.
Don’t doubt that the comments about the MLD Trailstar tarp are merited, at least for the fabric version; but the DCF version will have DCF issues. Once commented on BPL that I’d “moved on” from tarps to tents early on; but did not realize how volatile the responses would be. Well, too bad, because for longer BP trips, tarps do not provide the rain and wind protection of a good tent. Got washed out enough times with tarps, not to mention skimpy tents, to learn that. All the hype does not work on folks who have spent a great deal of time backpacking longer distances – not expeditions, but a few weeks or months where retreat to civilization is not a reasonable option.
End of Rant, Happy TrailsAug 10, 2019 at 2:37 pm #3605505
<p style=”text-align: left;”>DCF definitely gets a little quieter as it softens up some after use. I have about 4 years so far with the duomid as my primary shelter (.74) no issues yet! As above I’ve roughly 300 nights in it that’s equivalent to a thru hike or two… I’ve been at least 20 miles from town trusting it fully</p>
IME Condensation still occurs in a dcf tent if you live in a humid climate. The material can’t stop the forces of nature. Ground moisture, relative humidity, temperature, site selection, breathing… the only difference really is dcf doesn’t “absorb” moisture so you can pretty much wipe it down and it’s dry, where the sil shelters I’ve had tend to retain the moisture a little. Not a big deal! I used to live in a Golite Hex3… for 3 summers.
sam that’s too bad u got volatile responses, kind of goes against the old HYoh attitude. Everyone comes to there own conclusions when making these personal decisions… I would love to try TarpTent someday!Aug 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm #3605539
That’s good to know it softens up and get’s quieter. Yesterday I had the guy lines much tighter and it sure helped. The only thing I’m wondering now is if I should have upgraded to the .74 from the basic. Tomorrow night I’m heading back up on the mountains with some weather coming in and I’ll see how I fair with the new tent settings so to speak…Aug 11, 2019 at 7:41 am #3605594
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Yes, and suppose that is why we see YMMV used so often on these forums. But still do not get how different folks have such different results from DCF shelters. That DCF has not been consistently durable and waterproof is strongly suggested by Richard Nisley’s reports, and the experiences of Alex and others make me wonder if the bugs have been worked out. Yet you obviously have had great experiences with DCF shelters. Bottom line: So long as I remain puzzled, the prices on most DCF shelters are too much to bear when there are reliable and less costly alternatives that may not equal, but do approach the same weight savings.
As for the tarp vs tent thing, I have never forgotten Dan Durston’s post about his PCT trek, and how many with skimpy SUL shelters headed for the nearest lodging when the weather got really nasty. That may have been part of his motivation in putting a great deal of effort into producing and marketing a better tent. My own experiences have also reinforced the need for lighter and better shelters, so trying to design them has become an avocation. I think that better shelters will save lives and prevent countless miserable experiences that we read about in the local paper here almost daily – fortunately only a few deaths occur as we have super SAR people, both volunteer and professional.Aug 11, 2019 at 8:06 am #3605596
William ChiltonBPL Member
” That DCF has not been consistently durable and waterproof is strongly suggested by Richard Nisley’s reports, and the experiences of Alex and others make me wonder if the bugs have been worked out.”
There is a recent thread on here somewhere that shows that there was indeed a bug that has since been rectified and Tarptents 8,000mmHg HSH claim is accurate.
(There is some information here,)Aug 11, 2019 at 6:19 pm #3605622
obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Read up on dcf. Where and how did you get the tear? Unless something has changed the spectra strands in dcf tend to align and run parallel. Any hole in the mylar will run along parallel to the strands with no structure ( perpendicular spectra strands) to stop it . Get some dcf repair tape and always carry @ 4 feet. Weighs nothing. Reinforce all tie-outs with repair tape running perpendicular to the spectra fibers in the existing dcf. While you’re at it or as part of this tape the seams around the tie-out stitching. Actually you might want to go ahead and tape the main top seam, or any seams that seem to be stress points. Anywhere that’s sewn the needles make holes so tape compensates for those potential weak spots. I’m not sure if the seams are now routinely taped or somehow glued and taped to eliminate stitching so if they are disregard, Also get some hair-ties or ponytail “bungees” and attach those to the end of guy-lines. When you stake those lines taut leave a little room for shock absorption in those hair-ties. None of this will add appreciable weight (1 -2 ounces?) and can be done in minutes rather than hours and no messy seam sealer. The repair tape Z-packs sells is really easy to use, and very tenacious. It’s not coming off and because of the backing it’s really simple to apply it accurately.
Site selection is also always important. I’m always surprised: mildly? ;) at the spots people pick to pitch.
This is not meant to counter any of the excellent comments above but you now have the Duplex. Learn how to use it. BTW I carry no water for Z-packs.Aug 12, 2019 at 11:17 am #3605716
Since I made that adjustment to my tent for high winds (simply by lowering it to about 1-1/2” from the ground) I haven’t seen any water come in. I’m still baffled on how the water was leaking from there but as now, nothing. So for now I’m going to chuck it to pure user error on my part. It literally rained for 48 hrs on the tent with the strong winds we’ve been having in Wales the fast few days and the tent has remained dry.
And you’re absolutely right about site selection. The night I had the issue, the wind shifted in the middle of the night and there I was with a poorly installed tent.
Size and weight wise this tent is amazing, hopefully I worked out most of the kinks…Aug 12, 2019 at 1:18 pm #3605725
Great to hear Alex, my close friend Katherine finished the AT last year with her Duplex and loved it, as do many others! It always takes a bit to sort out the kinks in a new shelter, same for me when I first got duomid. Now I can set it up tight in like 90 seconds. Hope you get many great adventures in your new home away from home… figured I’d add a little shot of a deep powder trip I took on the coast of Maine with a few buddies. Snow blew so hard it stuck to the trees like a snow shadow…Aug 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm #3605745
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
The Duplex isn’t designed for that kind of wind. The Trailstar, as already mentioned is the best “lightweight” option in heavy wind, but others such as the Duomid and HMG Ultamid 2 will also do well in the wind. I’ve had the Duomid in those kind of winds and it’s pretty solid, though it’d be tiny for two people.
I’m not sure of your timetable, nor exactly how good it would be in the wind, but the Durston/Massdrop X-Mid 2 Person might fit the bill.Aug 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm #3605760
figured I’d add a little shot of a deep powder trip I took on the coast of Maine
David, where on the coast?Aug 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm #3605765
Hey brad – it was a weekend trip to Donnel Park Preserve near Franklin, ME. It’s halfway between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. We did the caribou loop over and around Caribou Mt. We wanted to go further then 12 miles but the snow was soooo deep it made the travel pretty slow going… we had to rotate the lead walker constantly because breaking trail was rugged with the snow depth, being second in line was exponentially easier…
are you familiar with Maine? I wish I was familiar with Montana! :)Aug 13, 2019 at 12:57 am #3605818
Hi David, indeed I’m familiar with Maine. I spent many summers in my youth there, backpacking in Southern Maine, and time spent further “Down East Maine.” My 90 year old father still lives half the year in the Winter Harbor area… he has a place on Frenchman’s Bay.
When we were visiting last summer we were going to try to get over to Franklin to Donnelley Pond for a hike, but we ran out of time and weather!
You owe it to yourself to come to Montana to spend some time… Maine and Montana are two of my very favorite places on the planet. :)
Thanks for sharing your photos… would love to see more!Aug 14, 2019 at 2:42 am #3606006
Wow! Winter Harbor! I used to work in Seal cove… Learned carpentry on Deer Isle . Here’s some shots of A recent trip to Acadia. My buddy and I did about 24 miles in 2 days it was wonderful to get back there. More to come… tomorrow I’ll reformat and please if you’re able to share some as well:)
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