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Zpacks NEW Plex Solo: what is it?


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Zpacks NEW Plex Solo: what is it?

  • This topic has 10 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by Dan.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #3736840
    J R
    BPL Member

    @jringeorgia

    I haven’t seen any discussion yet of the new Zpacks Plex Solo shelter. Best I can tell is that it is a Plexamid, same size, except it ditches the spreader bars at the top and instead brings the top to a true peak, saving ~1.4 oz. Probably can pack a little smaller without the spreader bars. It might offer an advantage for slightly taller hikers as it looks like the sides are at a slightly steeper slope, so less likely to touch the wall with your face when sitting up or toes at the other end, but that seems a marginal advantage for those of a specific height. Mainly it seems to be a redesigned Plexamid that saves 1.4 oz.

    Thoughts?

    #3736848
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    It’s a lower Altaplex with a same length floor, but narrower on the ends instead of being rectangular. Altaplex has a peak height of 56″ whereas the Plex is 52″ tall. In see the Plex as a Hexamid on steroids with a sewn in bathtub floor instead of a full netting bottom and detachable floor. Looks good to me. The Altaplex is just too high profile. I haven’t used one, but in very strong winds it can’t be solid. Altaplex has too much surface area for a single pole IMO.

    #3736944
    bjc
    BPL Member

    @bj-clark-2-2

    Locale: Colorado

    It looked to me like a dcf version of a lunar solo, a bit taller and narrower with Zpacks overlapping vestibule instead of zippered doors.

    #3736950
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    It looks like a reboot of their 1P Plex. Was that a SolPlex? I always thought that looked like a decent option.

    #3737118
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    “Mainly it seems to be a redesigned Plexamid that saves 1.4 oz “.

    At 52″ tall the Plex Solo is midway between a 48″ high Plexamid/Hexamid and the 56″ to 58″ tall Altaplex. ZPacks lists the exterior width of the Altaplex but not the Plex Solo, however the center width of both with vestibule are 69″ and 62″ respectively. If it wasn’t for the 4 panel tieouts I might be more enthusiastic about the Plex. I can handle 2 back panel tieouts bonded to .74 (with shockcord loops), not any more though. My biggest gripe with the Altaplex and Plex is the 4 panel tieouts which are NOT sewn onto seams. That’s where I like Tarptent’s approach to DCF tieouts better.

    Maybe the Plex is ZPacks’ best solo tent to date for those who find the Hexamid (or Pocket Tarp) too confining, but don’t want to go to the skyscraper route of the Altaplex either. Or perhaps they see the Plexamid as an overengineered gimmick. A good compromise?

    #3737123
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    When introduced 7 years ago, the Duplex seemed revolutionary, at least to me.  For instance it took quite a while for me to become comfortable with the floating floor and the initial perception of fragility. Now the design seems sturdy and normal to me.  I realize that most of the design concepts of the Duplex were borrowed from various previous designs, but the overall collection of design elements plus material selection really made it stand out in 2013.

    Fast forward to today and while the Duplex design and construction are arguably primitive, they are in keeping with its KISS design principles.  It is very interesting to now see companies like Tarptent and Durston taking all that has been learned about DCF and applying sound, principled and tested engineering design principles to DCF shelters. Other threads discussing DCF shortfalls and longevity make it clear that this is an overdue progression.

    It’s just a shame that DCF availability and pricing is in such fluctuation.  These should be the glory days of DCF shelters because you KNOW the next material “revolution” is brewing and DCF will someday (soon?) be old news.

    #3737126
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    I think this new tent is going to be really sweet for smaller hikers. It’s so awesome being able to take down the shelter and have it packed up in literal seconds (no struts or poles). You just grab the peak of the tent, lift it high, then fold it into your arms a couple times getting it folded enough to toss into the stuff sack. Then the tent just perfectly forms into whatever space it needs to form into inside the pack. Zpacks does a perfect job of sizing their stuff sacks as well, which can’t be said of other companies. ;)

    I own DCF shelters with and without struts, An Aeon Li, Altaplex, and Altaplex Tarp. The struts on the Aeon Li make it kind of a joke to get packed or get a decent pitch on uneven ground. When packing up, the struts have to be very carefully placed within the thinner DCF to get it tight enough to put back into the stuff sack. The center pole strut and corners can push into the thin DCF when not be careful while rolling it tight.

     

    #3737133
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I owned an older version Hexamid solo with net floor. I liked it a lot, except for the net floor when it became wet (and heavy) so the solid floor is an improvement for sure. Also, and more crucially. I really didn’t like how the beak didn’t come down far enough to the ground, so potentially leaving a gap large enough for winds to enter the tent. Or so I worried. I never had an issue with rain or gusts entering and lifting the tent. And I’ve never heard anyone complain about this. But I still would prefer a design that brought the entrance panel down much closer to the ground than Zpacks does.

    #3737137
    J R
    BPL Member

    @jringeorgia

    “At 52″ tall the Plex Solo is midway between a 48″ high Plexamid/Hexamid and the 56″ to 58″ tall Altaplex.”

    Yes, but the Plexamid has a flattened off top — if the panels had continued up to a single peak/point then the equivalent height would more like 50-52″, the same or close to the Plex Solo. I don’t know that the new Plex Solo allows more headroom for a tall person compared to the Plexamid because the additional space is in that narrow pyramid above the height of the top of the Plexamid, pretty narrow to be sticking your head into, but maybe if you’re just an inch too tall for the Plexamid then the Plex Solo might have just enough difference for you. Also to note is that Zpacks markets the Altaplex for “larger adults” but makes no such claim for the Plex Solo, so again I think that extra height is more of a design change on the Plexamid that doesn’t gain more usable height but instead finds a way to lose the weight of the spreader bars.

    That’s why I see it as more of a modified Plexamid, but clearly from the comments so far the Plex Solo is squeezed in between a lot of different shelters with marginal differences overall.

    #3737156
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    I think Joe at ZPacks told Matt: hey, let’s just dust off the old Solo Hexamid Plus patterns and sew a bathtub floor onto them. Give them a new name.

    #3737174
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    I’ve been using my Plexamid without the peak struts for the last couple of years. They broke, and I found they weren’t necessary.

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