- Jun 2, 2019 at 1:52 am #3595839
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
Well…I ordered a Plexamid Beta V (13.6 oz — lighter version of last year’s Plexamid), and now I’m reading all kinds of negative reviews about ZPacks, including anecdotes about the carbon struts snapping in the Plexamid. This is discouraging. I was hoping to replace my Hexamid Solo tent (circa 2013) with this new shelter, but now I’m wondering if I should try a Borah bivy with my Hexamid Solo tarp (spring 2018)?
Any Plexamid owners here? Thoughts? It’s pretty disappointing that the Solplex and Hexamid lines were discontinued, but the hope is that the Plexamid is a better (and lighter) shelter.Jun 2, 2019 at 2:31 am #3595846
Joe McNairBPL Member
I have owned my Plexamid for about 4 months. Have had it out about 10 outings with 0 problems.Jun 2, 2019 at 3:41 pm #3595895
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I went through the same story as you, lots of negative strut reviews. Luckily, Zpacks has recently replaced the previous strut poles with different ones. They have doubled up smaller diameter struts, for supposed better durability. Of the dozen times I have set up my Plexamid, I have had no issues. The struts seem to have plenty of “give”, and don’t feel like they would snap at all.</p>Jun 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm #3596390
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Zpacks has the Plexamid as “temporarily unavailable” on their site, so it’s no longer available to order. Someone on Reddit was saying they are going back to the Solplex, but that’s just a rumour.
FWIW, lots of reports of snapped struts here, including the updated ones:Jun 5, 2019 at 7:48 pm #3596400
Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
I still think if Joe would bring back the Hexamid with slight modifications it would be well received. The Altaplex and Hexamid Solo-Plus were too high and had too much surface area for 1 pole. I’d like to see a slightly longer Solo Hexamid (4 inches) with a sewn in bathtub floor instead of the all net with detachable floor, and a larger entryway. He could call it the Hexamid Classic and say “Back by Popular Demand.”
I’ve just never liked the looks of the Plexamid. All the panel pullouts, gimmicky strut and larger footprint. The Soplex might be a little better, but with the second shorter pole and asymmetrical shape…no thanks.
Jun 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm #3596421
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Monte Masterson.
David WieseBPL Member
Latest rumor is Zpacks is bringing back a Hexamid tarp w/ storm doors.Jun 5, 2019 at 10:35 pm #3596432
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
That was me that posted on ultralight reddit (my reddit/youtube channel name is backpackingvideos). I got an email response from Joe a couple days ago. In brief, they are having issues with the current batch of struts. According to Joe, a new batch is on its way and should be available within a week or so. This could explain why they have taken the Plexamid offline temporarily until the issue is resolved. He hasn’t indicated whether the Solplex will be brought back (or the Hexamid). I think I will ask him this question directly, though, and report back.
Like I said before, I think a Hexamid with cuben sewn-in bathtub floor would sell quite well. Personally, I prefer the Hexamid design without the struts, but I see why they introduced the Plexamid to get more headroom for taller hikers. The simplicity of the Hexamid can’t be beat–a single pole setup for me is ideal because poles can/will break. Also, some hikers carry only one pole.
The Hexamid tarp you are referring to is the one they discontinued a year ago? I have one of these. I’m baffled as to why it was pulled, as it was quite popular. I don’t see why Zpacks would offer the Hexamid tarp with storm doors in 0.34 cuben. It makes more sense to go back to the 0.51 cuben tarp and tent. The glory days of Zpacks would be back! We are getting a crowded market today in UL shelters, and more options is better for Zpacks, not less.
Jun 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm #3597378
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by David Poston.
To alleviate your (and my own) fears about a strut failure while on a trip, I removed my struts to see how the Plexamid would fare. Surprisingly well… And with very little loss of head/foot room. So much so, I wonder what the heck Zpacks was even thinking making an overcomplicated design… Reminded me very much of my old Hexamid… My original plan was to carry two extra struts, but now I’ll just carry my small DCF patch kit in case a broken strut makes a puncture, and plan on removing the struts in a failure situation until I return home… Here are some pictures of it set up. For reference, I am 5’11”, and I placed my head where I could sit up without my head touching the walls. I would guess about 18″ of foot space.Jun 12, 2019 at 6:55 pm #3597427
Paul S.BPL Member
If it works so well without struts then why bring them?Jun 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm #3597429
A fair point, Paul. I think for the extremely small weight penalty they cost, enough room is gained to make them worthwhile. My point was that if one was damaged, it is certainly not a trip ender by any means.
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