Xmid 2p extra guys.
Jul 15, 2021 at 2:27 am #3721948
I know mids are deemed as pretty wind worthy and I look at the Xmid and can’t see that much difference in panel size, pitch etc. I’ve not had my Xmid out in any bad weather really but know Dan is adding additional guys to the latest revision. Is it fair to say with additional guys the Xmid would rival mids for their wind worthiness and where do folk feel are the optimal places to add these if doing yourself please?Jul 15, 2021 at 1:28 pm #3721975Jim MorrisonSpectator
@plinyLocale: Pacific Northwest
My Bivy has tabs and strings on the head and foot. I am not sure if that was my addition on the foot or not. I wanted to be able to secure my bivy if I were on a narrow ledge and didn’t want to roll off during the night. What I have had happen a couple of times is that when I unzip or open the top of the bivy in the night if there is wind it would balloon up like it wants to fly away. No harm done, but a little disconcerting. I could just imagine my sleeping bag and bivy flying away in the middle of the night.Jul 15, 2021 at 2:01 pm #3721979
There are two components to wind performance, which are (1) how much drag the shelter has, and (2) how well supported it is to counter that. A big 4-season dome tent might have a lot of drag, but it also has a lot of structure (e.g. numerous guylines and tent poles) to support the greater load.
The reason single pole mids are good in high winds despite not having very much structure is because they have hardly have any volume up high. Their low drag allows them to be low structure, which makes them light. Pretty neat, although this is accomplished mostly through minimizing headroom, where the best high wind mids have the least headroom.
The X-Mid and other shelters with 2 poles have more volume (headroom, elbow room) than a single pole mid of the same base area. That gives appreciable more space, but it does also mean higher wind drag (e.g. the dual poles give it a larger profile to the wind).
So the X-Mid certainly has greater wind drag than a single pole shelter of about the same size (e.g. MLD DuoMid XL). Countering this, it also has more structure. It has 2 poles (vs 1) to support the canopy, and further has dual peak guylines (which single pole mids commonly lack). In many ways it is quite a good wind performer (e.g. the peaks are quite well supported when the peak guylines are used) but the achilles heel in the X-Mid 2P are the two larger side panels. Those have a large profile to the wind yet do not have mid-panel guyouts, so they will deflect more than ideal in high winds. That’s never been a real problem (e.g. no one has ever had one torn apart by the wind) but it is the weakest link. For normal 3-season use it works fine, but when you’re getting into seriously wind conditions those side panels are the limiting factor.
That’s why for the next batch we’ve added side panel guyouts. These attached near the door toggles on the side panels and dramatically reduce side panel deflection for a nice boost in wind performance. With these, I’d say the wind performance is getting pretty close to a mid but it’s really hard to say because mids vary widely from big mids with low support, down to tiny mids with a lot of support that are really good in extreme winds.
Users of the X-Mid have reported using the door toggles as side panel guyouts (e.g. tying a line to the cord loop there) and that does seem to work well for older versions without side panel guyouts. No one has reported ripping one off doing this, but we haven’t designed the door toggles for that so it’s a “use at your own risk” method. That’s an option or you can sew on proper side panel guyouts. Beyond that, guyouts could be added to the 4 corner seams would improve things further although the gains here are smaller. It would take pretty extreme winds before those would pay off.
Circling back to the bigger question, single pole mids are essentially trading livability (headroom) for wind performance, while dual pole shelters keep good headroom and also try to also have good wind performance through more structure (poles, guylines). For extreme environments I think mids are the way to go (especially one with a lot of guylines), but for the vast majority of people I think a dual pole shelter is the more well rounded choice. You can get quite good wind performance while also having a shelter with a lot more living space and a smaller footprint.Jul 16, 2021 at 1:50 am #3722069
Thanks Dan. I’ve seen both mods described previously and just wondered how much additional benefit they added and the best placement for these. As described in the initial post I haven’t had mine out in any weather yet but as I live and hike in Scotland being caught in an unforecast hoolie is just a matter of time.
My partners friend is a seamstress so for what it’s worth I think I’ll get tabs added near the door tie back and 4 corners as described. The addition weight of this wouldn’t bother me.Jul 16, 2021 at 1:43 pm #3722118Paul SBPL Member
My experience with the X-mid 2 is that the end panels (at head and feet) could benefit from a panel tie-out. When it’s windy (we were in 31 mph (measured with instrument) gusts) the end panels blow inward, pushing against the mesh inner, and pushed a bit against our head/feet. Perhaps an extra perimeter tie-out on the ends would do the trick instead of, or in additional to, a panel tie-out. Currently the ends have their 2 corner tie outs, and one perimeter tie out about a 1/3 of the way in from one corner. Maybe add another perimeter end tie-out 1/3 of the way in from the other corner? Overall a nice tent! Lightweight, sturdy, roomy, with large and extremely functional vestibules. And, bonus, it looks great in photos! :-)Jul 16, 2021 at 2:38 pm #3722121
Great looking photos Paul. What pegs (stakes) do you use for the snow?Jul 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm #3722123Paul SBPL Member
We use the MSR “blizzard” snow stakes. We have 8 of them that we usually bring if we suspect that we’ll be camping on snow. Note: I removed the line’s that came with the tent, and added slightly thicker line, and made loops at each corner guyline (and pole apex guyline) large enough to accept the snow stakes. Depending on how consolidated the snow is, and how warm/cold the air temps are, and how windy it is, we use them as regular stakes, or deadman them.
We also have a set of 8 SMC snow stakes. They are similar, but significantly longer, and slightly heavier. We use those when camping in winter, when the snow is not as consolidated.Jul 16, 2021 at 4:33 pm #3722145
For the end walls, the current extra stake point on the bottom hem is directly below the peak which does leave a fairly long span over to the far corner. It’s located 26″ in to this 89″ long side, so certainly the long side (63″) is a long span. There are reasons why that stake point is directly below the peak, but they are pretty minor so we’re considering shifting it over to be closer to the middle of the span. I’m leaning towards moving to about 40% of the way over, which gives about equal area on both sides of it.Jul 17, 2021 at 2:19 am #3722173Mole JBPL Member
Dan, any plans to put some sort of pullout guy tab in the middle of end panel – not the hem?
I’ve found the same effect as Paul S on my Xmid1P – windward end panel bowling inward and touching my feet through the mesh inner. Due to physical stretch of the Silpoly I guess? This was in what I consider “normal” wind for a UK hill on a dry night. Nothing that was exceptional at all. Max 30mph (though I didn’t have a gauge) .
I don’t think moving the hem peg point will mitigate this bowling much at all. Mine was nailed down. It’s the steepness of the panel catching the wind, combined with the fabric stretch I think. I found no issues with the long sides as they aren’t so close to the inner.
It’s the only doubt I have about the tent, which is very well thought out and put together. I’ve camped in stronger winds where a friend used his Xmid1, and it held up fine (as did all the shelters in the group) – but that friend doesn’t sleep stretched full length, so the bowing in (which I could see from outside) didn’t touch or bother him.
Another friend sold his XMid2p this spring for this reason. He said he found it “too much of a sail” for using for a long trip in Scotland. Though, to show how people value your product, it made near twice the original price on eBay!Jul 17, 2021 at 10:07 am #3722182
Thanks for the feedback. I don’t think I’ve ever got request for a mid-height guyout on the end panels before, like we do for the side panels (since the side panels are larger). But with the new guyouts on the side panels for the next batch, that does become the next weakest link.
I’ll give some thought to your suggestion. We may be making some further updates for 2022, so I’ll look into improvements here.
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