- Jun 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm #3409222
I searched the forum for days but I still can’t seem to find enough advice to help me in the decision…
Trying to decided between shelters for next year PCT thru hike. My experience limited includes week long trips with an older tarptent. I would like to cowboy camp as much as possible but it is new for me and feel like I need a full shelter as a backup.
As an upgrade…Any thoughts between fly creek 1 UL (with ground sheet) and the Zpacks Altaplex.
Obviously the flycreek adds 13 +/- oz.
I am thinking the fly creek would be easier to set up with more combinations. Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.Jun 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm #3409225IanBPL Member
I have a Zpacks Twin, but I can only imagine the Atlaplex is even easier to pitch since it only uses a single pole. One of my hiking buddies has the Fly Creek. From watching him, I don’t think his shelter is any easier to pitch than mine.Jun 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm #3409238Thomas WillardBPL Member
For the PCT and the climate- the Altaplex hands down. Also, in lieu of the FC UL1, take a look at the Nemo Hornet 1P. Side entry, and with UL stakes, truly sub 2 pounds. But for what you’re asking- Altaplex.Jun 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm #3409268Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Do you use trekking poles? If not, consider the price & weight of a support pole as well. If you do, you may still need an extender etc.
The Zpacks Altaplex tent (not tarp) is $585 USD in .51 oz/sqyd cuben fiber. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 is available from Backcountry Edge (or other major retailers) for $249.95. That’s a $335 difference.
In PCT thru-hiker talk, that’s about 80 Big Macs. Or, about a week in a Motel 6. Better yet, about 22 cases of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.Jun 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm #3409289Andrew PriestBPL Member
I am in the process of working out my new shelter needs now that I have moved on my Tarptent Scarp 1. As I will be using the shelter bikepacking in addition to bushwalking I need the carbon fibre poles. The Zpacks Altaplex is on my short list.
The full weight (poles and Zpack stakes) and cost is US$679 at a weight of 23.4oz (663g) or $1.02 per gram.
I am struggling to decide between the Solplex and the Altaplex from an interior space perspective and reached out to Zpacks. This is the response from Will “Red Beard” Wood:
<div>The interior space of the Altaplex is definitely greater than that of the Solplex. The Solplex is a true one person tent much smaller with less room for moving around. The Altaplex has a tall roof and also more width. If you want more interior space you will want to go with the Altaplex. Both pack down to about the same size and are very small.</div>
<div>Unless my testing of a MLD Duomid convinces me otherwise I am pretty sure come Monday I will have an Altaplex on order.</div>Jun 16, 2016 at 6:50 pm #3409294jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
use polycryo instead of a groundsheet and lose a lot of ounces–no matter which way you go.Jun 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm #3410018Ryley BreiddalBPL Member
@ryleybLocale: Pacific Northwest
If money isn’t an object, and you use trekking poles anyways (or as someone else said, factor in the cost/weight of a folding tent pole)…. Why wouldn’t you go with the altaplex?
More combinations? Should not be an issue. Up til the Sierras, you can cowboy camp. Sierras, bugs is the main issue. After that, cowboy until approximately Washington. In Washington, you’ll want the full shelter setup.
I can’t see any situation there where you’ll want more flexibility than the altaplex offers. Perhaps you can explain what you were thinking?Jun 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm #3410040
Thanks for the feedback. Cash is not a big issue as I have been saving for a while, and I. Do use trekking poles.
the fly creek has the fast fly set up which I read somewhere is great for hot sun breaks in the desert. And then a quick set up with just bug net for nice nights with bugs out.
i am assuming the altaplex has a larger footprint with guy Lines and larger number of stakes? I’ve never hiked the high Sierras, is this an issue there?
In my mind it seems like the altaplex is more challenging to get a good stable shelter compared to the ease of the fly creek.
i have no experience setting up Zpacks shelters so it may just be my misconception.
Again thanks for the thoughts.Jun 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm #3410043Alan GBPL Member
If you are planning on cowboy camping I would suggest going with the altaplex tarp instead of the tent. You can pair the tent with a breathable bivy and you have a lot more flexibility. You get insect protection and a groundsheet for about 7oz.Jun 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm #3410048JCHBPL Member
Gary, I offer you one person’s experience, and suggest that your concerns with the Altaplex may indeed be misconceptions.
I have no direct experience with the Altaplex or FC1, but I am the owner of one of the first Duplexes sold and cannot imagine replacing it with anything else. I’m willing to bet that 30 min. practice pitching the Altaplex in the front yard will dispel any concerns. Yes, the first pitch on uneven ground will be a learning experience, but IMO you’ll get the knack very quickly.
Two of my hiking buddies have the FC2, one UL and the other Platinum. One night camped below treeline but near summit saw a 20 mph wind, fog and rain roll in around midnight. I was warm and bone dry with no flapping in the Duplex. Around 6am the rain let up enough for me to pop out for a pee when I saw the FC2 Platinum’s upwind fly PLASTERED against the inner. The tent was guyed out as well and the design allows and all guys/stakes were still taut and in place. I heard some rustling inside so went over to ask if all was good. My buddy opened the fly enough to talk and he had lost fully 1/3 of the interior volume. He also had to scoot to the downwind side to keep the fly and inner (now essentially one layer) off his sleeping bag. I’ve also have never seen more condensation on the underside of a tent fly. I think the Altaplex will be faster to setup and more stable than the FC1.
Lots of people like the FC, but I would rather purchase an Altaplex that be given an FC free of charge. And if all else fails ZPacks offers a great return for refund.Jun 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm #3410057
Thanks for personal experience….decision made!Jun 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm #3410065John S.BPL Member
In bad weather I would go fly creek no question.Jun 21, 2016 at 5:35 pm #3410066Andrew PriestBPL Member
In bad weather I would go fly creek no question.
I am curious John as to why you feel that the Altaplex is not ideal for bad weather?
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