PDA

View Full Version : Zpacks Triplex or SMD Lunar Duo Explorer



Squirrel!
02-05-2018, 08:04
I am seriously considering buying a Zpacks triplex. I live in the eastern side of the US and the majority of our hikes will take place there. We usually hike with our lab/greyhound dog. However, we are planning a Tahoe Rim Trail Thru-Hike this July without the dog. Is there any reason that I should consider a SMD lunar duo explorer instead? Iím aware of the weight, cost, fabric, general spec differences, and possible condensation issues. What Iím looking for is advice, warnings, or heads up on quirks or disadvantages to either tent that is not obvious from a perusal of the tent companyís website.
TYIA!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Singto
02-05-2018, 08:47
People who are familiar/experienced with both models who could give an informed opinion might be a small sample size. I would suggest looking at YouTube videos (if you haven't already) of each model (if available) and listen for "quirks and disadvantages" and then make a decision.

"I’m aware of the weight, cost, fabric, general spec differences, and possible condensation issues." With this statement, you sound probably as knowledgeable, if not more, than most.

It's highly likely that either one will serve you reliably. Good luck in your decision and happy hiking.

Squirrel!
02-05-2018, 08:51
People who are familiar/experienced with both models who could give an informed opinion might be a small sample size. I would suggest looking at YouTube videos (if you haven't already) of each model (if available) and listen for "quirks and disadvantages" and then make a decision.

"Iím aware of the weight, cost, fabric, general spec differences, and possible condensation issues." With this statement, you sound probably as knowledgeable, if not more, than most.

It's highly likely that either one will serve you reliably. Good luck in your decision and happy hiking.

You make a very good point. I always worry that Iíve missed something obvious. Thank you for your candor. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

JC13
02-05-2018, 10:20
This is what it came down to for me.

SMD: 2 person, 45" Height, 90" Length, 54" Width, 42.9oz seam sealed Weight, 2 vestibules, $200 Price(I got it used) New $335.
Zpacks: 2-3 person depending on pad widths, 48" Height, 90" Length, 60" Width, 26.5oz Weight(Spruce), 2 Vestibules, $714 Price.

So even if I bought the SMD new it was less than half the cost of the Triplex. Eventually, I may go to the Triplex when the SMD dies but I would have to look at the Lightheart Gear Duo at practically the same price point as the SMD.

I own the SMD and it has been a great tent so far. For me it eventually came down to how bad did I want to get my base weight down to 10lbs or below vs money spent.

Just some thoughts.

Squirrel!
02-05-2018, 10:44
This is what it came down to for me.

SMD: 2 person, 45" Height, 90" Length, 54" Width, 42.9oz seam sealed Weight, 2 vestibules, $200 Price(I got it used) New $335.
Zpacks: 2-3 person depending on pad widths, 48" Height, 90" Length, 60" Width, 26.5oz Weight(Spruce), 2 Vestibules, $714 Price.

So even if I bought the SMD new it was less than half the cost of the Triplex. Eventually, I may go to the Triplex when the SMD dies but I would have to look at the Lightheart Gear Duo at practically the same price point as the SMD.

I own the SMD and it has been a great tent so far. For me it eventually came down to how bad did I want to get my base weight down to 10lbs or below vs money spent.

Just some thoughts.

For most of our hikes (weekend long) the weight difference is not that large of an issue. Itís when we hike out west when we have to add in bear cans and more food/longer distances between resupply/leaving trail that the weight really has to be thought about.

Zpacks tents are a definite investment and I want to make sure that something half the price wouldnít work just as well.
Thanks for the insight!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Venchka
02-05-2018, 11:33
Add the Lightheart Duo and TarpTent StratoSpire 2 to the confusion.
The Triplex is only 6Ē wider than the Duo.
Why do you guesstimate less condensation with the ZPacks tent? Itís still a single wall tent.
Thereís a zillion miles of trails west of the Mississippi that donít require bear cans or long heavy water carries. Canada too.
Have fun.
Wayne

Squirrel!
02-05-2018, 11:46
Add the Lightheart Duo and TarpTent StratoSpire 2 to the confusion.
The Triplex is only 6Ē wider than the Duo.
Why do you guesstimate less condensation with the ZPacks tent? Itís still a single wall tent.
Thereís a zillion miles of trails west of the Mississippi that donít require bear cans or long heavy water carries. Canada too.
Have fun.
Wayne

Iím sorry if I wrote my post in such a way as to insinuate the Zpacks has less condensation issues. I meant that Iím aware that they both have the same issue since they are single wall tents for the majority of the tent walls.
As far as the LH duo, I appreciate the wider floorplan and headroom of the SMD lunar duo more, especially if Iím stuck in the tent during bad weather. Iíve read of concerns of the TT SS needing a large-ish clear area to erect it (we hike mostly in the heavily wooded eastern US) and the occasional struggle with proper setup.
Iíve been trying to decide on what is the best overall fit for me. Sometimes, too much information causes more headaches than they fix. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

JC13
02-05-2018, 12:04
Sometimes, too much information causes more headaches than they fix. :)


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkLol, this is the real issue here. Too many good options. Then again, not a bad problem to have.

bigcranky
02-05-2018, 13:27
We have used both tents extensively: had a Lunar Duo for six or seven years, and about wore it out. Got a Hexamid Twin for our LT hike for the much smaller pitched footprint, but it's really too small for the both of us. So we got a Triplex a couple of years ago. The two tents are broadly similar: two doors on the long sides, two vestibules, lots of interior room. I'll focus on the differences in use (you can figure out the differences in weight, price, etc., yourself.)

Lunar Duo: The curved poles on top of the doors seem to add extra interior headroom, at least it feels roomier above my head. The vestibule is easier to use with the zipper down the middle. The Duo is slightly harder to pitch consistently well, as very slight differences in angles make a difference. The Duo is exceptionally weather resistant. It does stretch and sag when it gets damp.

Triplex: more complicated to pitch, but once I got the hang of it, I could do it consistently, and pretty quickly. It's wider so there is more room across the middle, but it seems to have less headroom and also less usable length (so, for example, I can't get as much gear and stuff piled above my head.) The Triplex fabric does not absorb water, so it can be shaken off better than the Duo. It does take more room to pitch than the Duo. This tent is also quite weather resistant, though I've not had it out in the kind of intense thunderstorms that I experienced with the Duo.

Both: Both tents seem to pack down to the same basic size. They both get a fair amount of condensation under the right conditions. They are both excellent tents for a hiking couple.

I think in terms of being stupidly sentimental about gear, I *loved* the Lunar Duo. Just a great wonderful amazing tent. We had some great adventures in that tent, lots of good memories.

But my knees love the Triplex. :)

Squirrel!
02-05-2018, 15:19
We have used both tents extensively: had a Lunar Duo for six or seven years, and about wore it out. Got a Hexamid Twin for our LT hike for the much smaller pitched footprint, but it's really too small for the both of us. So we got a Triplex a couple of years ago. The two tents are broadly similar: two doors on the long sides, two vestibules, lots of interior room. I'll focus on the differences in use (you can figure out the differences in weight, price, etc., yourself.)

Lunar Duo: The curved poles on top of the doors seem to add extra interior headroom, at least it feels roomier above my head. The vestibule is easier to use with the zipper down the middle. The Duo is slightly harder to pitch consistently well, as very slight differences in angles make a difference. The Duo is exceptionally weather resistant. It does stretch and sag when it gets damp.

Triplex: more complicated to pitch, but once I got the hang of it, I could do it consistently, and pretty quickly. It's wider so there is more room across the middle, but it seems to have less headroom and also less usable length (so, for example, I can't get as much gear and stuff piled above my head.) The Triplex fabric does not absorb water, so it can be shaken off better than the Duo. It does take more room to pitch than the Duo. This tent is also quite weather resistant, though I've not had it out in the kind of intense thunderstorms that I experienced with the Duo.

Both: Both tents seem to pack down to the same basic size. They both get a fair amount of condensation under the right conditions. They are both excellent tents for a hiking couple.

I think in terms of being stupidly sentimental about gear, I *loved* the Lunar Duo. Just a great wonderful amazing tent. We had some great adventures in that tent, lots of good memories.

But my knees love the Triplex. :)

Thank you so much! This is exactly the side to side comparison I was looking for. Great knowledge to have. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Venchka
02-05-2018, 16:41
The StratoSpire 2 has the same geometry as the other two tents. Double side vestibules will need similar amounts of clear space.
If the SS2 needs more space to set up itís because it provides more useable shelter. The vestibule doors can be rolled up out of the way if space is that tight. Which applies to all 3 tents.
Wayne

Franco
02-06-2018, 00:49
"I’ve read of concerns of the TT SS needing a large-ish clear area to erect it (we hike mostly in the heavily wooded eastern US) and the occasional struggle with proper setup"
With the Triplex guylines in place it will take up more room than the SS2 does.
It is true that some do have problems setting up the SS2 but I have seen some awful set ups with the Triplex too.
Some people can set up tents , others not so much....

Maui Rhino
02-06-2018, 03:06
I don't have any experience with the Triplex, but I love my Lunar Duo. I especially love the head room since I'm a big guy. Great tent for the money!!!

Singto
02-06-2018, 04:12
Lol, this is the real issue here. Too many good options. Then again, not a bad problem to have.

Yes, agreed, at times it does suck to have too many choices...embrace the suck!

grids7
04-19-2018, 12:07
But my knees love the Triplex. :)

Amen, brother.

Furlough
04-20-2018, 08:18
Yes, agreed, at times it does suck to have too many choices...embrace the suck!

Good ole paralysis through analysis ..... love the suck, embrace the suck, be the suck

MuddyWaters
04-20-2018, 09:12
Add the Lightheart Duo and TarpTent StratoSpire 2 to the confusion.
The Triplex is only 6” wider than the Duo.
Why do you guesstimate less condensation with the ZPacks tent? It’s still a single wall tent.
There’s a zillion miles of trails west of the Mississippi that don’t require bear cans or long heavy water carries. Canada too.
Have fun.
Wayne
Lightheart duo slope of roof is such that 2 p cant sit up at same time. Wouldnt even be on my list for 2 p.
Maybe 1 + dog