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lukejmills
01-27-2018, 19:03
Considering buying the ZPacks Duplex for my thru-hike. Just curious as to whether or not this tent would be good on the AT, since it's not free standing. I've also looked at the Big Agnes Fly Creek and am now considering the SMD Lunar Solo tent. Kind of want something general purpose though that might last me through my thru-hike and for a few more trips afterwards.

Thanks!

blw2
01-27-2018, 19:11
I can't answer your question directly, about through hike....
but after much research and deliberation I ordered a duplex and it just came in the mail yesterday. I still haven't been able to set it up to check it out....

but after lifting the box....then holding just the tent, all I can say is WOW. Compared to my similar sized REI 2 man, the thing weighs NOTHING. Wow!!

soumodeler
01-27-2018, 19:21
It should be fine if you treat it with care. Lots of people use them on thrus, and many last for more than one thru hike. I love mine, and have used it extensively on the AT.

Rex Clifton
01-27-2018, 19:52
I have owned all three tents and still own the Duplex. I used the Fly Creek (the old version) for three years and it was OK, but the tent sits low and is kind of uncomfortable given the front door entry, small vestibule and the fact that it collects quilt a bit of moisture for a double wall tent (it needs a vent in the rear). I absolutely hated the Luna Solo. It was difficult to set up, does not have a real bathtub floor and was, overall, nasty. The Duplex is, IMHO, the best ultralight tent on the market. It has tons of room, two side entries and two large vestibules, all for around 20 ounces. I have not used it enough to attest to itís durability ( I got the .51 version). The downsides are that it is not free standing and itís bloody expensive.


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blw2
01-27-2018, 21:15
As I mentioned, I just got my duplex, and just today Will Woods posts a vid with a preview of a new Zpacks design not yet released. Looked promising for a 1 man + option. Probably be a while before they sell it though is my guess.

bigcranky
01-27-2018, 23:00
Been using non-free-standing tarptent style shelters on the AT for many years, including a Triplex and a Hexamid Twin from Zpacks. Never had a problem pitching one of them.

Rex Clifton
01-27-2018, 23:29
As I mentioned, I just got my duplex, and just today Will Woods posts a vid with a preview of a new Zpacks design not yet released. Looked promising for a 1 man + option. Probably be a while before they sell it though is my guess.

I saw that too, the tent looks pretty cool! I almost bought the Hexamid Solo Plus but couldnít get over having the bug net sit under the bathtub floor. It looks like this is a redesign of this Hexamid, so I think they will bring it out pretty quick. With Will spilling the beans, theyíre gonna get a lot of inquiries regarding availability.


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fastfoxengineering
01-27-2018, 23:40
I saw that too, the tent looks pretty cool! I almost bought the Hexamid Solo Plus but couldnít get over having the bug net sit under the bathtub floor. It looks like this is a redesign of this Hexamid, so I think they will bring it out pretty quick. With Will spilling the beans, theyíre gonna get a lot of inquiries regarding availability.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk ProYes it looks real nice. I wouldn't mind scoring one before hiking north in April.

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Shrewd
01-28-2018, 12:28
The duplex is a very popular tent on the trail.

Big Agnes is as well, and the fly creek is on a pretty great sale at REI right now.

Itís worth noting that it takes some practice to set up the duplex fast.

You should see do it a few times at home as well as a few shakedown hikes and youíll be good to go.


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lukejmills
01-28-2018, 14:52
Thanks all, think I may take the plunge on the Duplex. I've heard mixed reviews about the Big Agnes Fly Creek, but only good things about the Duplex (with the exception of those who neglected it by sitting on it at camp/using it to cowboy camp on). Think it'll be well worth the money if it holds up for this thru hike and a while longer. Would another thru-hike, e.g. PCT, be a little too hopeful to squeeze out of it?

tflaris
01-28-2018, 15:23
We saw plenty of Zpacks tents on our 500 mile Section last year.

YMMV


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blw2
01-28-2018, 15:28
I just set up my new duplex in the back yard a few minutes ago. (just got it in the mail a couple days ago). I didn't get it perfect in 30 seconds but I didn't find it difficult to set up, although I did watch the set-up video a while back when considering it, and again a couple days ago.

Being used to pulling the corner stakes on a tent so that a tent floor in other tents is taught before pitching, I fumbled a bit at first on it. It seems a little more slack is needed here than I first understood, but otherwise it goes up fairly easily. I fumbled a lot more with some of the dome tents, trying to figure out which pole goes where....

For first impressions, I'm pleased with my purchase. When I think about the price I still cringe a bit, and honestly I'm a bit embarrassed to tell people how much I paid, but wow....the weight (or lack of it)...just wow.

I wouldn't call it a palace really. I've seen that written about it many times...a palace for one. Well I suppose it is, compared to a bivy or the 1 man tents that are near-bivy sized, but I'm used to using a 2 man for just me. Two in there, sure....but IMO they'd need to be family.

Shrewd
01-28-2018, 16:25
Think of it this way - for less than one monthís rent of a small apartment you own a home for six months.

And I think getting 2 thrus out of a cuben tent to be....maybe unlikely. I suppose as long as youíre gentle with it.

My cuben tarp is holding up fine but I never slept on it so itís apples and oranges.




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blw2
01-28-2018, 16:32
Think of it this way - for less than one month’s rent of a small apartment you own a home for six months.

And I think getting 2 thrus out of a cuben tent to be....maybe unlikely. I suppose as long as you’re gentle with it.

My cuben tarp is holding up fine but I never slept on it so it’s apples and oranges.




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yeah, no I get that..... $ per day aint bad for a long distance hiker. I'm just a weekend warrior looking to do a week long section + some local stuff once in a while, so in my case it's very extravagant.

Coffee
01-28-2018, 21:09
Regarding durability of the 0.51 cuben, I would have no concerns whatsoever. I've owned a Hexamid Twin (now discontinued) for five years and it is still fine but showing its age a bit after 150+ nights. It's a terrific shelter and the material is amazingly durable (don't let the thinness fool you). I have recently begun thinking about replacing the Twin and the Duplex is on the radar along with the Hexamid Solo Plus. My main concern regarding the Duplex is the space required to pitch the tent. It has a pretty large footprint. So you might have difficulty getting into small sites. Otherwise, it's obviously a terrific option. For me, I'm more tempted by the Solo Plus Hexamid given that it has a removable ground sheet that can be used in shelters or cowboy camping. I would buy a new Hex twin in a nanosecond if it was still offered but I'm having to choose between what's available.

fastfoxengineering
01-28-2018, 21:32
Regarding durability of the 0.51 cuben, I would have no concerns whatsoever. I've owned a Hexamid Twin (now discontinued) for five years and it is still fine but showing its age a bit after 150+ nights. It's a terrific shelter and the material is amazingly durable (don't let the thinness fool you). I have recently begun thinking about replacing the Twin and the Duplex is on the radar along with the Hexamid Solo Plus. My main concern regarding the Duplex is the space required to pitch the tent. It has a pretty large footprint. So you might have difficulty getting into small sites. Otherwise, it's obviously a terrific option. For me, I'm more tempted by the Solo Plus Hexamid given that it has a removable ground sheet that can be used in shelters or cowboy camping. I would buy a new Hex twin in a nanosecond if it was still offered but I'm having to choose between what's available.Will "RedBeard" wood just announced in his YouTube channel of a new hexamid design coming out very soon. He even shows it off. Looks slick.

Might be something your interested in.

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lukejmills
01-28-2018, 21:39
Regarding durability of the 0.51 cuben, I would have no concerns whatsoever. I've owned a Hexamid Twin (now discontinued) for five years and it is still fine but showing its age a bit after 150+ nights. It's a terrific shelter and the material is amazingly durable (don't let the thinness fool you). I have recently begun thinking about replacing the Twin and the Duplex is on the radar along with the Hexamid Solo Plus. My main concern regarding the Duplex is the space required to pitch the tent. It has a pretty large footprint. So you might have difficulty getting into small sites. Otherwise, it's obviously a terrific option. For me, I'm more tempted by the Solo Plus Hexamid given that it has a removable ground sheet that can be used in shelters or cowboy camping. I would buy a new Hex twin in a nanosecond if it was still offered but I'm having to choose between what's available.

The Solo Plus Hexamid looked interesting, my biggest thing with that is that it doesn't have a bug net, weighs about as much as the duplex, and costs nearly the same. With these things considered, I'd prefer to have space for two people were I to need it

Coffee
01-28-2018, 23:04
The Solo Plus Hexamid looked interesting, my biggest thing with that is that it doesn't have a bug net, weighs about as much as the duplex, and costs nearly the same. With these things considered, I'd prefer to have space for two people were I to need it
I saw that video last night! It does look.interesting.

Coffee
01-28-2018, 23:06
The Solo Plus Hexamid looked interesting, my biggest thing with that is that it doesn't have a bug net, weighs about as much as the duplex, and costs nearly the same. With these things considered, I'd prefer to have space for two people were I to need it

It does have full bug netting and you save maybe two ounces vs the duplex. The main advantage is the removable groundsheet. That's been great in my twin.

Dogwood
01-28-2018, 23:36
ZP Duplex has a rather expansive foot print after its guyed out. Mention this as it can be a factor since you said you want something to use other than the AT.

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fastfoxengineering
01-29-2018, 02:16
I've been using my Zpacks hexamid with six mooon designs serenity bug net for a little while.

I like it.

Double wall, full bug net, bathtub floor. I haven't weighed it buts it's pretty darn light.

If I were to do it again I would probably get the solo plus tarp in a heavier cuben.






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Gambit McCrae
01-29-2018, 09:15
Considering buying the ZPacks Duplex for my thru-hike. Just curious as to whether or not this tent would be good on the AT, since it's not free standing. I've also looked at the Big Agnes Fly Creek and am now considering the SMD Lunar Solo tent. Kind of want something general purpose though that might last me through my thru-hike and for a few more trips afterwards.

Thanks!

Everyone that I have seen use one on a thru or any considerable use at all has loved it. I bought one in November but have not been able to use it yet.

lukejmills
01-29-2018, 10:35
It does have full bug netting and you save maybe two ounces vs the duplex. The main advantage is the removable groundsheet. That's been great in my twin.

It does have bug netting? I thought that the guy in the video just rigged it up to have bug netting there. Guess that was an older video...

Here's the video I was talking about btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGMG_aBjT3c&t=275s

colorado_rob
01-29-2018, 11:55
I own and have used extensively both the zpacks Hex Solo Plus and the Duplex. Both fine, fine tents.

When solo, I'll grab the Solo+ every day. It is nearly as big in floor plan as the duplex. Total weight including the polycryo ground sheet and cords is 16.0 ounces. The duplex is 23 ounces equipped similarly, 7 ounces heavier than the solo+, but I did buy the heavier cuben option, the spruce green, which is said to add 2 ounces. So, with the same cuben, the duplex is ~5 ounces heavier, not 2 or 3. No biggie, still crazy light for a full tent with bug netting.

The entry for the duplex is higher than for the solo+, important for some, not for me. There is plenty of room in the solo+ to stow all your gear beside you when solo.

When with my wife, we grab the duplex most of the time. but when we REALLY want to shave weight for special occasions, we use the solo+. The solo+ is really quite large inside. What it lacks is the second pole and higher ceiling in the back of the tent. the solo+ is also $150 cheaper than the duplex, though you do have to buy a floor sheet; I use polycryo, about 6 bucks.

On the SHR last fall, I loaned the solo+ to a buddy, so this pic shows both of our tents set up side-by-side.

Overall, I'm glad I chose the slightly heavier Cuben for the duplex, I realize it's 90% psychological.... OTOH, my 0.51 solo+ shows zero sign of wear after 100+ nights of use.

Both of these tents have full bug-netting. Does someone think they don't? I'm not talking about zpacks tarps.

lukejmills
01-29-2018, 12:50
...

Both of these tents have full bug-netting. Does someone think they don't? I'm not talking about zpacks tarps.

Thanks for that excellent overview!

I thought they didn't because a video I'd seen where someone claimed it did not. Thanks for the clarification though!

ncwild
01-29-2018, 13:07
One of my friends thru hiked in 2017 and saw quite a few of the Duplex tents, as well as other single wall tents. He stated it was a good tent, but that many of the users had condensation issues even with proper ventilation. He went with a double wall 2lb tent, I think a Nemo brand, and would stay with a double wall in the future. I'm looking at the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, around 3lbs.

Shrewd
01-29-2018, 14:02
There were a lot of ZPacks on the trail last year. As well as plenty of lightheart Gear solong 6s and six moon designs tents

Iíve heard good things about all; but any single wall tent in a place like the AT is gonna have significant condensation issues


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colorado_rob
01-29-2018, 16:21
A note about condensation along the AT: Pretty much every tent of all types, singe or double walled, will have condensation "issues" along the wet AT. I used a BA Fly creek for half an AT. I had condensation "issues" most nights. Then I switched to a zpacks solo+. Continued with the condensation "issues". Really, this is not a big deal. Pretty much most tents will be wet the next morning most nights along the AT. What's nice about Cuben fiber tents is that they don't absorb the moisture like sil-nylon tents. I did a little experiment a while back and made a post, but can't find it. I weighed both types of tents dry, then soaking wet, then shaken dry, like one would do in the mornings with a wet tent. I was able to get way more water shaken off the cuben tent than a sil-nylon tent, meaning less carried weight the next morning. Something like a half a pound less.

Dogwood
01-29-2018, 16:41
Thanks all, think I may take the plunge on the Duplex. I've heard mixed reviews about the Big Agnes Fly Creek, but only good things about the Duplex (with the exception of those who neglected it by sitting on it at camp/using it to cowboy camp on). Think it'll be well worth the money if it holds up for this thru hike and a while longer. Would another thru-hike, e.g. PCT, be a little too hopeful to squeeze out of it?Almost unanimously folks, myself included, promote the gear they own or approaches they take. ZP is a current darling in this regard. You might factor this into opinions when considering your shelter desires.

You should not consider the ZP tent shelters light wt with perhaps greater coresponding durability. Consider them low wt on the UL spectrum to SUL tent designs with correlated lower durability and higher price tags. There are reasons why these shelters are so light.

Respectfully, you could look at it as Shrewd validly stated. You could also look at it as most folks don't expect to purchase a new $600 tent every 1.5 or so TC caliber length thru-hikes.

I think 150 nights in the hands of someone like Coffee who is a backpacker with some diverse experiences is certainly possible.

If it's your goal to get an AT and PCT NOBO out of a ZP Duplex it's certainly possible but IMHO unlikely. For an AT thru followed up by a CDT thru I'd say NO.

Of course, how often it is set up, days to complete such thrus, where specificallly you set up, weather the tent is subjected, how well it's set up(tensioned out, etc), etc factors. Consider those factors to put yourself in the best position to achieve your goal.



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Coffee
01-29-2018, 18:15
It does have bug netting? I thought that the guy in the video just rigged it up to have bug netting there. Guess that was an older video...

Here's the video I was talking about btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGMG_aBjT3c&t=275s

The hexamids are available as tents or tarps. The tents have full bug netting on the sides and the bottom and you put your ground sheet on top of the bug netting (it sounds weird but works). The tarps have no floor and therefore no bug netting. zPacks has some videos of the tent versions that should show you the netting.

Coffee
01-29-2018, 18:22
In terms of long term durability, having owned a zPacks shelter (Hexamid Twin) for five years and I've lost track of the number of nights (but it has to be 150+), I am very happy with the weight/durability situation. The tent itself shows some wear primarily near where the tent poles supports connect to the cuben fiber and I have added extra cuben tape there to reinforce. There are no holes or rips whatsoever in the canopy. Somewhat amazingly, there are no holes of note in the mesh floor. My groundsheet is still working fine. I have replaced the guy lines twice, both times because I chose to tie out to rocks directly rather than pile rocks over my stakes and that's hard on the guy lines after a while. I have 2.5 JMTs, 1 Colorado Trail thru hike, several Appalachian Trail segments, and a 900 mile segment of the PCT on this tent plus shorter hikes like the Foothills Trail. So although I haven't put the tent through the rigors of an uninterrupted long trail thru hike, it has been through at least the equivalent (rain, wind, hail, snow, you name it).

So at the risk of promoting the gear I have, I'll say all of that. But also that I'm very very careful with my gear in general and try not to be hard on it. So your mileage may vary.

I do wish zPacks still offered the Hexamid Twin but the Solo Plus may well be fine for my purposes based on what colorado_rob says above. Since I use the tent as a solo shelter the headroom in the back isn't a big deal. I feel like I should buy a new tent before this summer since I have some extensive plans and will sell my Twin to someone on WB, probably someone just getting into cuben who wants a cheaper used shelter.

colorado_rob
01-29-2018, 18:31
In terms of long term durability, having owned a zPacks shelter (Hexamid Twin) for five years and I've lost track of the number of nights (but it has to be 150+), I am very happy with the weight/durability situation. Agree, I am very pleasantly surprised with the durability of my 4.5 year old, 100+ night zpacks solo+. Frankly, I don't see any wear. I suspect the failure, when it eventually happens, will be a big tear. The fabric must be aging, it's just not yet obvious.

UV is a big tent killer in the long run, I suspect Cuben is not too different from nylon. The good news is that the AT is pretty low, near zero, on the UV scale compared to here out west. So if you use a zpacks for an entire AT before say, a PCT or CDT, you won't have a lot of UV againg in the tent.

Coffee
01-29-2018, 18:40
Agree, I am very pleasantly surprised with the durability of my 4.5 year old, 100+ night zpacks solo+. Frankly, I don't see any wear. I suspect the failure, when it eventually happens, will be a big tear. The fabric must be aging, it's just not yet obvious.


My first cuben product was a small ditty bag from zPacks - also 0.51 material. The failure eventually was at a seam. It started to fray. I also have a 1.0 dry bag from zPacks and that material failed around the velcro at the top. So eventually the material will fail, it is just a matter of when. I would feel totally comfortable with my 5 year old hex twin for a shorter trip but I'm worried about relying on it for a month or more just because it would be such a pain to replace a shelter mid-trip (zPacks currently has a 2 week lead-time). One thought I had, if I choose to not sell it, is to order a Solo Plus and leave it at home ready for a friend/family to ship to me if my Twin starts fails for any reason. That way I'd get maximum use out of the Twin and only replace it when it fails. But maybe I'll sell it relatively cheaply to someone who could get some use out of it.

Red Sky
01-31-2018, 10:54
Not a thru-hiker, but did over 100 miles in GA and NC last year with a ZPacks Duplex. Love the roominess and quick set up. Got to love the light weight! I never had a problem with condensation, but never had much rain when I was out there.

Singto
02-05-2018, 04:07
If someone bought me a Zpacks Duplex, I would say OK. But no way is that amount of money coming out of my pocket for anything when there's other reasonable choices starting for less than 1/3 the price. That goes for anything. No doubt it's the premier shelter nowadays....good for those who can and/or want to afford one.

lukejmills
02-05-2018, 13:23
So despite the positive things I've been hearing about the Duplex, I've decided to buy the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 to use (at least to start). Got it from REI, so I have their wonderful return policy in case things don't work out.

The tent was only $150 all said and done (since it's on clearance). I just don't think a relatively good UL tent from a decent company could be beat at that price...

fastfoxengineering
02-06-2018, 00:18
So despite the positive things I've been hearing about the Duplex, I've decided to buy the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 to use (at least to start). Got it from REI, so I have their wonderful return policy in case things don't work out.

The tent was only $150 all said and done (since it's on clearance). I just don't think a relatively good UL tent from a decent company could be beat at that price...I'd rather have that than pay $600 for a duplex.

Even if it doesn't work out. I'm sure you could sell it for $100 if you take good care of it

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Deacon
02-06-2018, 10:23
On my last night on the AT at the campground behind the Abol Bridge Camp store, I spent the night in a four inch deep flood in my Duplex. The thunderstorm was horrendous.

I stayed perfectly dry the whole night. Can the Fly Creek do that?


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Time Zone
02-06-2018, 14:59
So despite the positive things I've been hearing about the Duplex, I've decided to buy the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 to use (at least to start). Got it from REI, so I have their wonderful return policy in case things don't work out.

The tent was only $150 all said and done (since it's on clearance). I just don't think a relatively good UL tent from a decent company could be beat at that price...

Just curious if you considered the Sierra Designs Tensegrity 1 FL they had on 70% off through yesterday (under $100!). It's back to 50% off today, which is what I paid. I have one and I rather like it, but haven't had it out in a rain yet. I believe it'll do OK condensation-wise even as a hybrid (single-wall over the sleeping bag; more or less double-wall on sides), because of the excellent, if partially forced, ventilation. But I'm not sure. And some say it takes quite some room to set up, due to the broad awning of the gear shed, but I don't think it's that bad, and I like that feature quite a bit. If anything concerns me it would be the pooling of water on the roof, since it's pretty difficult to get a taut pitch. But I've found it surprisingly roomy inside (volume, not sq ft), yet quite light and compact.

Anyway I was surprised that they've not sold out, esp. at the prices offered. I fail to see much wrong with it that isn't also wrong with other hybrid, trekking-pole-supported designs. And it has a leg up in some ways, too, IMO.

lukejmills
02-08-2018, 21:45
On my last night on the AT at the campground behind the Abol Bridge Camp store, I spent the night in a four inch deep flood in my Duplex. The thunderstorm was horrendous.

I stayed perfectly dry the whole night. Can the Fly Creek do that?


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We'll have to see and find out! I've heard many success stories with the fly creek, and don't doubt it's abilities. The biggest objective issue I've heard has been the lack of space (other concern being durability - truth is material will last if you take care of it from what I've read). Fortunately, I'm a flexible, wiry guy, so I don't take up too much space

lukejmills
02-08-2018, 21:46
Just curious if you considered the Sierra Designs Tensegrity 1 FL they had on 70% off through yesterday (under $100!). It's back to 50% off today, which is what I paid. I have one and I rather like it, but haven't had it out in a rain yet. I believe it'll do OK condensation-wise even as a hybrid (single-wall over the sleeping bag; more or less double-wall on sides), because of the excellent, if partially forced, ventilation. But I'm not sure. And some say it takes quite some room to set up, due to the broad awning of the gear shed, but I don't think it's that bad, and I like that feature quite a bit. If anything concerns me it would be the pooling of water on the roof, since it's pretty difficult to get a taut pitch. But I've found it surprisingly roomy inside (volume, not sq ft), yet quite light and compact.

Anyway I was surprised that they've not sold out, esp. at the prices offered. I fail to see much wrong with it that isn't also wrong with other hybrid, trekking-pole-supported designs. And it has a leg up in some ways, too, IMO.

I saw that! I'm not sure how it'd do with winds that hit it from the long side; that would be my only concern.

Venchka
02-08-2018, 22:05
Or something else???
Something else.
Definitely something else.
Wayne

Deacon
02-09-2018, 06:07
We'll have to see and find out! I've heard many success stories with the fly creek, and don't doubt it's abilities. The biggest objective issue I've heard has been the lack of space (other concern being durability - truth is material will last if you take care of it from what I've read). Fortunately, I'm a flexible, wiry guy, so I don't take up too much space

I just realized that you had already bought the Fly Creek, when I thought you were still deciding. I wasnít putting it down, just offering another point to help in your decision.


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fastfoxengineering
02-09-2018, 08:57
How's the footprint of a duplex? I've never seen one in person.

I currently use a hexamid tarp. Super easy to setup and I can kinda squeeze it in anywhere.

Is the duplex significantly larger?

That's the only thing keeping me from going to a two person shelter

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Shrewd
02-09-2018, 10:21
I wouldnít bother with the footprint, just common sense campsite selection.

If thereís ever an issue call BA and theyíll make it right. Definitely mention youíre a thru. Till they get a new one to you - duct tape!


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lukejmills
02-09-2018, 11:47
I just realized that you had already bought the Fly Creek, when I thought you were still deciding. I wasn’t putting it down, just offering another point to help in your decision.


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No worries Deacon! I didn't think you were.

I just made the decision a little while ago, and feel good about the decision. Thanks for your feedback though!

I will definitely come back and post my experience using the Fly Creek

sethd513
02-09-2018, 16:27
Duplex is 45x90 but you can pitch it low or high to fudge it a bit.

I bought one and sold it a few years later. Was able to get my -20 col bag. Much happier with that bag over the tent.

I someone was going to give me one or I only paid 200 for one that was never used Iíd jump on it. My new summer solo set up is an oversized 10x9.5 tarp and a Borah bug bivy with head and foot caps. I believe that puts me at 28 oz. I can use the tarp all season. Multiple ways. Idk Iíll try that for a while. All in 210$ for multi use gear.


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