View Full Version : ZPacks Cuben tent materials and color

10-20-2017, 20:57
So I ordered samples of their tent materials, from Zpacks...the olive, spruce, and cammo

Gotta say I am surprised on how thin this stuff is. The olive isn't so far off from some of that colored saran wrap folks use to wrap Christmas cookies!
that's just holding it in hand, with the hand right against it on the other side you can make out almost every detail!
It's really not that bad in terms of privacy....with just a bit of distance things are diffused a good bit.

My plan is to check it out in different lights and against some different flora. Trying to make a decision if I want to go this route and which color.
Right now I'm leaning to the camo...although I can't believe I'm writing that since I really don't want to go with that 'military' or 'hunter' look. Not about privacy so much as reduced visual impact, also shade.

10-20-2017, 21:12
Camo gives more privacy but reduces the view of trees through the material from what Iíve seen. It looks cool if you like it (Iím retired military so yeah, I like the look). My Altaplex is olive 0.51, I chose it because it was so lightweight. In the mornings I can see the trees through it which is nice. Iím not too concerned about privacy but unless I have my Headlamp on while inside it I donít think you can really see in, just shadows/shapes. I can say no one in camp has screamed ďAnaconda!!!Ē yet when Iím in there changing into shorts. :)

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10-20-2017, 21:22
Its always hot under cuben in day. Enough light comes through with the reduced airflow that it's usually uncomfortable underneath if the sun's out much of the year. So I wouldn't really worry about shade too much.

.74 will be more opaque..

And the fact that the tarp don't go all the way to the ground leaves you somewhat of a lack of privacy anyway

when the moon is full and overhead, it's like somebody shining a flashlight in your face and can actually make it hard to fall asleep under 0.51 Cuben. On the plus side you can see everything in your tent /tarp. without a flashlight

map man
10-21-2017, 08:34
I have a hexamid in blue. On my last backpacking trip to the Collegiate Peaks on the Colorado Trail I noticed a real benefit to the tent's opaqueness. Between the rain and mosquitoes I was in the tent on that trip almost all the time I was in camp. But it was a real psychological boost to be able to roughly make out the trees and such from inside the tent. I felt a lot less isolated and confined than I would have in a more traditional tent. I've come to see that opaque quality of cuben as a plus rather than a minus.

If privacy is a concern you can always change clothes with your sleeping bag or quilt draped over you. Since both the thickness of the material and how well the tent blends in with its surroundings are concerns of yours, I would think the .74 Spruce would be a good choice for you. I know that camo blends in well in some circumstances, but on my hikes it seems to catch my eye more than other colors because of the busy pattern -- that's especially true in more open country (not all your tenting is likely to be in dense forest).

10-21-2017, 10:48
I have two hexamids, a solo+ in the white 0.51 (maybe called "olive drab?) and a duplex in 0.74 spruce. I prefer the 0.74 spruce now that I own it, though the 0.51 served me well for about 60-70 nights and it's still working just fine.

I'm glad, however, when we bought the duplex that we paid the extra $ ($15?) and sucked up the extra couple ounces. The extra thickness makes me feel better somehow for both durability and overall strength in winds, etc. We carry our fears!

Privacy is zero issue, you can only see shapes through either, who cares? The solar thing though is a slight issue when camping in open country in the summer. A couple times we've set up early in the sun and wanted to take naps, it's bright in these tents! I have zero interest personally in anything Camo, just my taste, but maybe that color helps this a bit.

Just another 2 cents.

10-21-2017, 22:48
yeah, i don't know....good points all.
For me it's not all about privacy, I recon they are all fine....except maybe when camping with the boy scout troop...but even then there are work arounds.
Not all for shade either...I'm typically an early riser and not a napper so not a big issue, but I can see the once in a while nap perhaps....so a consideration
also not all about blending in, but that be no trace thing is a consideration too.

I had a chance to take the samples outside today. Clipped them to a palmetto in the yard against the woods and viewed them off and on in the various lighting through the day, wind blowing different angles, and such. The spruce has a lot of blue in it and definitely is the most visible here....for what that's worth. The camo looks basically black from a distance but I'd imagine in a forested setting would be the most obscure....

I don't know..... if I even do pull the trigger on a zpacks tent I'll probably just go for the cheapest/lightest option in the olive.

10-23-2017, 21:45
Iíve been using a spruce Duplex for over a year now and love it. Zero concerns about privacy. Consider adding their double-wall insert. I like it because it further darkens the interior of the tent so I can sleep longer. I donít know if itís recommended but, unless there has been heavy condensation, Iíve left mine installed.