- Mar 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm #3583750
Gregory SteinBPL Member
@tauneutrinoLocale: Upper Galilee
I can’t believe they actually sewed fly to the floor. It’s foolish in a single wall tent. Even in my Duplex when sleeping in humid places its canopy sweats like a runner, but almost no water falls inside. ULTAMID shelters have the same feature I believe. And they missed it here? No way!Mar 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm #3583761
Stephen JBPL Member
I’m a little surprised by the negativity about this new tent. Every tent comes with strengths and weaknesses. What I really like is the increased width (52″), which when compared to the duplex or stratospire li (45″), allow you to get 2 wide pads in. Where does that extra room come from, the vestibules, which is one of the tents weaknesses. Going above the treeline in to strong winds is one of the major strengths (it’s a bit like a mid). The fly has zippers, so that will reduce flapping/noise and keep the wind out. Trying to cook in the vestibule while it’s raining, maybe not so much. Not sure how the sloped walls will work with rain… hadn’t caught that one. It’s not as light, but that’s because it’s got 0.8oz/sqyd DCF standard in the fly, so more durable than other offerings, which are standard at 0.51oz/sqyd. And who knows with moisture management, maybe those events actually work well. I will post a review once I’ve had a couple nights in it.Mar 16, 2019 at 12:32 am #3583799
Jim BBPL Member
Watching IBTAT set his up on youtube and seeing him actually in it demonstrates how poorly this is designed. It’s a two person tent, but only one person can sit up in it due to the angle of the walls. Touching the walls when they have condensation means water dropping on your gear. every other tent maker who has single wall tents have figured out how to keep condensation from running down and into the tent floor. It’s a gorgeous tent, but it’s flaws are HUGE flaws. This is a brilliantly designed fair weather tent. I love my HMG Southwest. They make great gear, but they really messed up the design on this one. Just simple and obvious things totally overlooked. The pole in the middle and the D doors means you can’t sit in the middle, the highest point of the tent, and cook or relax and enjoy a view without hunching over or moving to the side and sticking your head out of the tent. I don’t know man, just simple things regarding functional use seem to have been over looked. I really hope you enjoy the tent and it works well for you. I’d really like to see your review.Mar 16, 2019 at 1:18 am #3583806
Bill SBPL Member
To wit, it is not a tent for ultralight backpackers. It is a tent for open (desert) or above treeline environs with long periods of dry weather and strong winds (Altiplano Peru-Bolivia, southwestern US, Mongolia, et al). Fortunately for us as customers, there is a growing list of new tents to fit the bill of most backpacker’s needs. The Dirigo does not fit within the needs of most backpackers, but does fit the specific needs of some. In that regard, it does have a unique niche. HMG chose a different path. Who knows how far it will go.
Bill in Roswell, GAMar 16, 2019 at 2:10 am #3583810
Franco DarioliBPL Member
Well written Bill.Mar 16, 2019 at 5:16 am #3583828
“What I really like is the increased width (52″), which when compared to the duplex or stratospire li (45″), allow you to get 2 wide pads in.”
Yeah you could get two wide pads in but if you have two people that like their space enough to carry two wide pads, they aren’t going to be happy with the lack of headroom. The Duplex and SS Li are 45″ wide, but they are also about that wide at the top, whereas the Dirago is about 15″ wide at the top. I think the wider floor area is misleading more than anything, since it makes the tent sound large while actually you have quite a bit less room to sit up. Also consider that since the walls of the Dirago slope inward so much, it likely is only wider in the lowest 6″ of the tent and then these other are wider above that.
With a twin trekking pole tent you can basically tell how much headroom you have by looking at how far apart the two poles are located. The Duplex poles are about 45″ apart, the SS Li are about 60″ apart (since they are on an angle) whereas the Dirago is about 15″. And that’s not even going into how the Dirago is shorter than these other tents.Mar 16, 2019 at 7:47 am #3583838
Maybe HMG are deliberately aiming for a niche? The Duplex, the GG Two, the Haven, the SS Li are all lightweight tents that cover some of the criticisms of the Dirigo 2. The Swiftline, non-cuben Stratospires and forthcoming X-Mid are slightly heavier options. That market seems quite well supplied.
What the Dirigo offers is the easy pitching of the Duplex with a smaller footprint than all the above (I think) and is possibly more wind-worthy than any (from looking at the profile). It has its disadvantages – rain coming in open doors, can’t cook in it, not so good for high condensation areas.
There is a niche market for people who camp in high altitude, relatively dry climates, who don’t cook inside the tent and never spend time sitting in it. My wife and I may be a niche of one (in tent terms), but those our our conditions June through to October.
Perhaps HMG looked for a niche in the market and think they’ve found it?Mar 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm #3583844
Perhaps HMG looked for a niche in the market and think they’ve found it?
I am certain you are correct. However time will tell whether it is a viable niche, easily determined by seeing how long it remains for sale.Mar 17, 2019 at 4:48 am #3583960
“What the Dirigo offers is the easy pitching of the Duplex with a smaller footprint than all the above (I think) and is possibly more wind-worthy than any (from looking at the profile).”
The footprint of the Dirigo is very similar to the Duplex. The Dirigo has an extra 7″ of floor width and both tents have vestibules that are 20-21″ deep, so the Dirigo ends up wider at 92″ instead of 86.5″. It is shorter though because they sewed the bathtub floor right to the fly instead of having a mesh gap, so it’s 95″ long instead of 100″. Overlaid, these footprints (and the SS Li) look like this:
So shorter but slightly wider – not really much different from the Duplex. Both are small footprints for a 2P tent. The SS Li isn’t particularly large either, but you can see it is much wider because it actually has decent vestibules.
On the topic of headroom, the Duplex floor is 45″ wide at the bottom while the ridgeline is spec’d at 53″, so the side walls slope out a bit (per their specs). The Dirigo has a 52″ wide floor but slopes heavily inward at the top. I estimate the width at the top at 15″ (in photos you can see the carbon part isn’t any longer than this). The Dirigo is also 3″ shorter (45 vs 48″). Here’s what that looks like:
So Dirigo clearly has much less interior space than the Duplex – which itself is rather small for a 2P tent. The Dirigo appears to be one of the smallest 2P tents on the market. The vestibule depth is similar on both tents, but more useable in the Duplex because the fly wall doesn’t slope inward so steeply.
So it’s mostly a question of wind shedding vs headroom. Certainly the Dirigo is going to be a wind shedding machine with its small size and sloping walls, but it’s not a tent where two people would be able to sit up at the same time (or avoid contacting wet walls)
As for aiming at a niche, this is possible but I doubt HMG would intentionally concede the bulk of the 2P market to their competitors. They’re a rapidly growing company moving into stores like REI, so I’m sure they want to compete in the big segments. To me it just looks like a misjudgement. If you look at how they’re marketing it, it appears to be right at the heart of the 2P market. For example, their video with Rich they’re really driving the point home about “confidence in all conditions” , “bomber” and “spacious” but the actual tent only really jives with the bomber one.Mar 17, 2019 at 5:39 am #3583961
Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Dan.
I was aware of the similarity in the footprints of the Dirigo and Duplex, as shown in your diagram; when I said the Dirigo had a smaller footprint I was thinking of the apex guy outs on the Duplex. Not a major difference, I admit, but I have had pitches where they were a problem. I wasn’t aware that the Strat Li had such a small footprint, though; that’s interesting. (Edited to add: Heightwise, I think the Dirigo will be slightly higher; like many, according to what I’ve read here, I set the Duplex up with the poles somewhat shorter than recommended by Zpacks – at 44 or 45″. On top of that, the Duplex ridgeline has a rather dramatic cat curve, so its real height is rather lower than the pole height.)
The trade off between headroom and wind shedding is one I’d be happy to make as apart from when putting on/removing socks, I’m lying down. I’m not comfortable when sitting in a tent. The drip-line being over the inner is a minor trade off for when and where we’d be using this tent. Our current tents, Duplex and Swiftline, don’t have vents. But the attachment of the floor… that’s really giving me pause.
If HMG really were going for the mainstream market with the Dirigo, I think they’re going to be disappointed.
Mar 17, 2019 at 5:51 am #3583964
- This reply was modified 3 days, 22 hours ago by William Chilton.
In case it’s helpful, here are the footprints for a wider range of 2P tents including the Dirigo 2:
Mar 17, 2019 at 6:10 am #3583966
Thanks.Mar 17, 2019 at 8:57 am #3583969
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
Dan – very interesting visualisation!
From that selection the most direct competitor for a stormworthy 2P Dyneema shelter is likely the StratoSpire Li, at a similar cost and weight.
The penalty for the SS in terms of footprint is less than I realised – not really enough to make a practical difference in most situations.
The SS would probably match the Dirigo in the wind, and would be much more liveable with a modular double wall inner, plus far better vestibules and poor weather ventilation. The only significant win I can see for the Diringo is the easier pitch, though even there it requires an extra couple of pegs.
If I was dropping that kind of ££$$ for a stormworthy Dyneema shelter, I can’t see much reason for choosing the Dirigo over the SS. Or am I missing something?Mar 17, 2019 at 9:44 am #3583970Mar 17, 2019 at 12:39 pm #3583976
Hanz BBPL Member
do you really think the Strato is more storm worthy then a duplex + flex option? I feel like folks on this thread are comparing it to the duplex without flex but I find the flex option addition makes my duplex very sturdy at equivalent weight to this new Dirigo 2. So I’m really curious for a comparison to duplex + flex in high winds.
dan- that’s an increadible analysis- I want it framed!
Mar 17, 2019 at 3:32 pm #3583991
- This reply was modified 3 days, 15 hours ago by Hanz B.
Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Another +1 on your post Bill S.
If wind worthiness and durability are what you value most, I believe the Dirigo beats all of the others, I’d like to see it in a wind tunnel test against the Duplex with Flex frame upgrade. I bet the trekking pole Dirigo would perform much better, as it would against all of the rest of the 2P tents mentioned here.Mar 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm #3583998
peter tBPL Member
Hanz BBPL Member
I just find it hard to believe a basic trapezoid geometry (Dir2) is more functionally stable in high wind then a taut ridgeline trapezoid + a two x cross beamed arches (Dup+flex). I mean that would be like saying the quality of the duplex’s geometry is so poorly carried out that the addition of the two cross beamed arches somehow makes it less structurally sturdy then a trapezoid by itself. Not buying it. Until there’s testing, I don’t think it’s a reasonable assumption that this is a more wind worth exposed shelter… for multiple reasons
I don’t think wind tunnel is required. But I’ll really be interested to see someone compare these on a trip report in similar conditions.
Mar 17, 2019 at 5:36 pm #3584010
- This reply was modified 3 days, 10 hours ago by Hanz B.
peter tBPL Member
As a tangent on the wind worthiness question, I have no experience with either tent so this is hearsay only but I recall even Joe recommending earplugs if expecting strong winds as the Duplex can be quite ‘flappy’… And while certain aspects of the Dirigio design are undergoing intense scrutiny here – a good thing – the few reviews there are so far have made a point of stressing how taught and quiet it is in wind. Perhaps this is also a clue to wind worthiness as well… But even if not, that’s at least one strong point in its favor regardless of whether both survive the night equally well. Just my opinion.
Mar 17, 2019 at 9:09 pm #3584039
- This reply was modified 2 days, 3 hours ago by peter t.
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
“I’d like to see it in a wind tunnel test against the Duplex with Flex frame upgrade. I bet the trekking pole Dirigo would perform much better, as it would against all of the rest of the 2P tents mentioned here.”
I don’t have one, but the SS gets good reviews for its stability in wind, even here in the UK where our standards are necessarily quite high. TT make this a big sales point, saying it’s their strongest 2P shelter and that it offers “Bomber performance in high winds”. So I don’t think it’s safe to assume that you’ll get better performance from the Dirigo in return for the inferior livability. Dan has used the Sil SS, I think, so perhaps he could chip in.Mar 17, 2019 at 9:38 pm #3584046
Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Perhaps the TT SS would do as well as the Dirigo in strong winds, but the gentle slope of the Dirigo just looks more aerodynamic. Intuition tells me that the octagonal SS has more wind opposing surfaces. I could certainly be wrong of course.
Rich calls ithe Dirigo 2 an A-frame and Alan says it’s a pyramid. Looks like a little of both really. A hybrib if you will. If I was going to head to Patagonia for a multi-day this is the tent I would want.Mar 17, 2019 at 10:59 pm #3584058
Bathtub sewn directly to fly is the right move in my view. It is much less likely to tear compared to mesh in a number of likely real world scenarios. It is also blowing sand and snow proof. If condensation is that bad and running down the walls I’ll count myself lucky that it does end up on the floor ends instead of dripping on me first.
This is a fairly large volume shelter with a reliably taught pitch, a mostly floored design to block rising condensation and good sleeping bag separation from side walls. I’ll happily skip any vent design I can think of. Condensation happens in all tents. Every tent is hot in warm weather. Tiny vents do next to nothing and aren’t going to save you from carbon monoxide or add climate control to any small enclosed weatherproof space.
Criticism is great especially on silly expensive unnecessary things. But in my view this tent is well landed in an underserved area where a Duplex or similar ultralights don’t come close to fulfilling. The advantages will be lost on a lot of folks, that’s fine and great. There is hardly anyone I would recommend to actually buy this tent because most people won’t care for it’s advantages. Yet there are some to whom the advantages are unique and the disadvantages are trivial or easy to work around. The whole category of “ultralight” is niche, HMG and DCF and BPL is all niche.
I’m rarely an advocate of DCF for any application any more. But I think this one plays to the strengths of DCF and trekking pole support while minimizing what I see as their usual shortcomings. Good job HMG, lower the price!
Mar 18, 2019 at 12:27 am #3584090
- This reply was modified 3 days, 4 hours ago by Po.
Dan MaddenBPL Member
While I don’t disagree with most of the points already made, it is essentially an exercise in mental gymnastics until someone (ideally, more than one…) has actually used the product in real life conditions instead of making basic assumptions from photos and online specs… and even after hands on experience, it comes down to someone’s subjective view of the ‘perfect’ shelter. In essence, what we have is yet another $800 shelter which almost no one can afford and the few that can, may not have room in their garage because of all of their other gear they don’t have time to use, not to mention the shelter in question closely resembles multiple other shelters which are well established in the market. The final verdict will be decided by how many people can afford a very niche product that is trying to create new space in an already tiny niche.Mar 18, 2019 at 12:41 am #3584094
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
The Duplex’s I have seen always seem to have a floppy pitch (I haven’t looked recently but so did the pictures on ZPacks website) I wonder if it is a design issue or a cutting-sewing quality type issue?
I feel like Z-Packs has good designs in general that are poorly implemented with poor fit and finish. I also feel like HMG makes questionable design decisions but has impeccable fit, finish, and quality.Mar 18, 2019 at 3:30 am #3584138
“Bathtub sewn directly to fly is the right move in my view. It is much less likely to tear compared to mesh in a number of likely real world scenarios. It is also blowing sand and snow proof.”
Most bathtub floors that connect via mesh aren’t relying on that mesh for strength. They have various cord/straps that actually anchor the floor and then the mesh keeps the bugs out and let condensation drain.
As for blowing sand/snow, the Dirigo still has mesh on the long sides, so about 2/3rds of the perimeter is still mesh. if you’re headed for conditions where you’re concerned about blowing sand and snow, you’d want a tent without any mesh.
“I’d like to see it in a wind tunnel test against the Duplex with Flex frame upgrade. I bet the trekking pole Dirigo would perform much better”
Pure conjecture, but my money’s on the Dirigo. I haven’t been impressed with the Flex poles because Zpacks missed some big opportunities to really improve the physics. As is, the way the two sides connect at the peaks gives up a lot of rigidity, as does the spacing of the connection points. I’m not saying it’s bad, just that it could be better.
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