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  1. #1
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    Default lighten up already

    I'm thinking of switching to a zpacks pack. I currently have a Deuter Xlite 65+10. It's a good comfortable pack but wt is 4 lb +. I could knock out 2 1/2 lb with a zpacks. I'm thinking of going the extra 3 oz for the dyneema material. Better abrasion resistance and a bit more load capacity, Bit by bit I'm trying to lighten up. I like the ease of access with the front zip, another 3 oz, but that means no pack liner and the possibility of the zipper leaking some. I do have a pack cover. So you opinions please.
    The other question is the zpacks duplex tent. I could knock off another 1 1/2 lb from my current BA copper spur 2. With the extra head room the BA feels like a hotel room, as is self support, nice features. But geez the duplex is expensive, and then add the ground sheet/poncho.
    And then there's their rain suit, a lot smaller packing and lighter than anything else. I do want to be comfortable during the day and at night.
    So what's you experience and opinions.
    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Wow expensive

    thom

  3. #3

    Default

    They make an excellent product. I have the arcblast in the regular material. When you start using ultralight gear you need to start treating it with a little extra care, and really only a little. Don't just toss your backpack on the ground, be a bit more concious of scratching it up against things. Once you change your mindset you'll realize a super heavy duty bag is unnessisary.

    Is is for the price just get one thing at a time as you can afford it, it helps to sell the existing piece of gear it will be replacing. This is how I switched over from a base weight of 20+ pounds to less than 10.

    Last but not least I recommend you buy "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips" by Mike Clelland. I used this little book to shave several pounds without having to buy anything! Good Luck!

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile..._clickid=3x277

  4. #4
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Default

    Holy cow!!! $600 for 1-1/2 pounds.

    For those of us like me (with a BMI above 25), it makes a whole lot more sense to loose 1-1/2 pounds of body fat than to spend that kind of money on gear.

    Though I'll admit I'm currently doing both:
    I've spent the last 9 months going from a BMI of 33 to 27 (equates to loosing more weight than my fully loaded pack weights).
    I just ordered the 8oz Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisper down jacket at Sierra Trading Post. You can currently find coupons at Retailmenot.com for Sierra Trading Post for an extra 20% off with free shipping... bringing the shipped cost to about $160 (depending upon your tax rate). I bought mine with a 25% off coupon and got it for $150 shipped. From time to time I've seen STP coupons for as much as 35% off with free shipping.

  5. #5
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Might want to check out the zpacks hexamid solo-plus, in lieu of the duplex. I find it plenty roomy, seems like more room than my BA fly creek, but really never measured it. But it is plenty roomy for me and everything I'm carrying on a long hike. I paid less than $400 for it including the beak option (highly recommended), yeah, still expensive, but instead of the heavier, significantly expensive cuben ground sheet zpacks likes to sell you, I use a Gossamor Gear polycro ground sheet, a 2-pack for 10 bucks. One sheet lasts a couple months. You do have to pre-cut it to fit, plus I duct-tape on cord loops where the tent ties-ins are. Total weight of the ground sheet is 2 ounces, including the little cord loops, so total weight of tent including cords, groundsheet and stuffsack is right at 16.0 ounces. I tell you, it sure is nice carrying a 1-pound-flat full tent with bugscreen. Yeah, not freestanding, but I never quite got the mass appeal of a freestanding tent.

    Be aware of a couple things with the zpacks tents: they have a small learning curve on proper, taut and bomber pitching, so practice in your yard more than once. The front stake is critical to holding the entire thing up, so I carry a dedicated, longer stake (still a UL Ti stake) for the front, and shorter UL Ti stakes for the other ties.

    Also, these tents are hard to get into and out of, which puts a lot of people off, kinda like the BA fly creek vs. your BA copper spur. I find this in/out "difficulty" a non issue; I get into my tent and out of my tent pretty much precisely once per day. Who cares if it takes me an additional 5 seconds and slight contortions to get into my tent. I don't. Some do. You might. It would be nice if you could try one out before laying down the bucks, but not sure if zpacks has any sort of a trial-return policy, I doubt it.

  6. #6
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    Zpacks is good stuff, but lots of other less expensive ways to lighten your load. Plan your food and water better. Get rid of the what ifs and extras. Look into tarptents and other options like tarps- use a tarp with a net inner or bivy if you are concerned about creepy crawlies. That tent you have is like 3.5 lbs, lots of relatively inexpensive silnylon shelters out there in the 2 lb range.

  7. #7
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Might want to check out the zpacks hexamid solo-plus, in lieu of the duplex. I find it plenty roomy, seems like more room than my BA fly creek, but really never measured it. But it is plenty roomy for me and everything I'm carrying on a long hike. I paid less than $400 for it including the beak option (highly recommended), yeah, still expensive, but instead of the heavier, significantly expensive cuben ground sheet zpacks likes to sell you, I use a Gossamor Gear polycro ground sheet, a 2-pack for 10 bucks. One sheet lasts a couple months. You do have to pre-cut it to fit, plus I duct-tape on cord loops where the tent ties-ins are. Total weight of the ground sheet is 2 ounces, including the little cord loops, so total weight of tent including cords, groundsheet and stuffsack is right at 16.0 ounces. I tell you, it sure is nice carrying a 1-pound-flat full tent with bugscreen. Yeah, not freestanding, but I never quite got the mass appeal of a freestanding tent.

    Be aware of a couple things with the zpacks tents: they have a small learning curve on proper, taut and bomber pitching, so practice in your yard more than once. The front stake is critical to holding the entire thing up, so I carry a dedicated, longer stake (still a UL Ti stake) for the front, and shorter UL Ti stakes for the other ties.

    Also, these tents are hard to get into and out of, which puts a lot of people off, kinda like the BA fly creek vs. your BA copper spur. I find this in/out "difficulty" a non issue; I get into my tent and out of my tent pretty much precisely once per day. Who cares if it takes me an additional 5 seconds and slight contortions to get into my tent. I don't. Some do. You might. It would be nice if you could try one out before laying down the bucks, but not sure if zpacks has any sort of a trial-return policy, I doubt it.
    I don't mean to hijack the thread... I was contemplating the Hexamid Solo-Plus (it will most likely be my next shelter) and was wondering which of the stakes to purchase with it. Did you order their stakes? I was thinking of a couple of the longer stakes for critical tie-outs, and shorter stakes for the other tie-outs, but it is hard to tell how many of the longer stakes I might actually need. Recommendations?

  8. #8
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Zpacks makes excellent gear, very light and plenty expensive. We have a Hexamid Twin and I have an Arc Haul. Both are well made.

    The Hex Twin is great for a solo hiker and can easily sleep two people who like each other. Yeah, it's expensive, but if you have the money, it's a good tent. Same with the Arc Haul; I did a long post here on that pack, just search for it.

    As for just losing body weight, yeah, you can do that, but having a lighter pack helps no matter how much you yourself weigh.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  9. #9
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Default

    Zpacks makes excellent gear, very light and plenty expensive. We have a Hexamid Twin and I have an Arc Haul. Both are well made.

    The Hex Twin is great for a solo hiker and can easily sleep two people who like each other. Yeah, it's expensive, but if you have the money, it's a good tent. Same with the Arc Haul; I did a long post here on that pack, just search for it.

    As for just losing body weight, yeah, you can do that, but having a lighter pack helps no matter how much you yourself weigh.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  10. #10

    Default

    I had a Duplex. For a tall person, it's a dream and a true 2 person shelter. I ended up trading it for an Altaplex to the dismay of some. They saw it as trading down. I saw it as easibility. I find the Altaplex to pitch much better and stronger in wind than the Duplex, which I attribute to the single pole design over a double pole. The length of the Altaplex is substantial as well as the width. I don't miss the width of the Duplex because the headroom and length make up for it.

  11. #11

    Default

    If I were to replace my ArcBlast right now I would get the dyneema ArcHaul just for the additional durability and load capacity. Like you said, only 3 ounces more. My ArcBlast in cuben hybrid does hold up to 30lbs, but I do baby it quite a bit when it comes to abrasion. The dyneema would remove some of that worry, though not all.

  12. #12
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    Default

    For half the money you could lose about the same weight with an SMD Skyscape, Lightheart Solo, or TarpTent Notch. I used a Skyscape last year and liked it, but I'm trying the Lightheart this year after checking out several on the trail (seemed a little roomier). I saw one guy with a Hexamid last year. Interesting design, but not my cup of tea. Not a fan of guylines or front entry. I like a tent that you can stake out and then just pop-up when you insert the hiking poles. The guy I was hiking with had a Notch. He really liked it and it seemed roomy, but it has guylines.

    I'll tell you this -- if you show up with all Zpacks gear, you'll be the cat's meow! Everyone will want to check it out.

  13. #13

    Default

    REI makes some pretty light weight backpacks for cheap. I've had mine for 3 years+. The Flash 50 I have is 2lbs 12oz I believe and I grabbed it at end of season for $89. Loved it enough to buy my husband and son the 65 for $99 when I saw them on sale too.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  14. #14

    Default

    I ordered an Arc Haul in dyneema for all the same reasons. Has not arrived yet. One reason I chose this over other many good packs is it is basically an external frame pack that stays off your back. I am someone who sweats a lot, that 2-3 inches of space I am sure I will like. I hope it is as comfortable as they say, will find out in about two weeks.

  15. #15
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    I don't mean to hijack the thread... I was contemplating the Hexamid Solo-Plus (it will most likely be my next shelter) and was wondering which of the stakes to purchase with it. Did you order their stakes? I was thinking of a couple of the longer stakes for critical tie-outs, and shorter stakes for the other tie-outs, but it is hard to tell how many of the longer stakes I might actually need. Recommendations?
    I use UL titanium stakes, but I simply cannot remember where I bought them, somewhere online, but it was not zpacks. Really, only one tie-out is critical, the front one. The other 9 are redundant, so if one or two pulled, the tent would still be OK. I actually only carry 8 stakes these days, simply because I've lost a couple and that's what I have left (I bought 10 originally). My 8 stakes including one longer one (8", I think, the rest 6") weigh 1.8 ounces. I use sticks, rocks or branches or whatever for the missing two stake-outs. I think even as few as 6 actual stakes would still be reasonably convenient, but again, make sure you have one bomber tie out in front.

  16. #16
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I use UL titanium stakes, but I simply cannot remember where I bought them, somewhere online, but it was not zpacks. Really, only one tie-out is critical, the front one. The other 9 are redundant, so if one or two pulled, the tent would still be OK. I actually only carry 8 stakes these days, simply because I've lost a couple and that's what I have left (I bought 10 originally). My 8 stakes including one longer one (8", I think, the rest 6") weigh 1.8 ounces. I use sticks, rocks or branches or whatever for the missing two stake-outs. I think even as few as 6 actual stakes would still be reasonably convenient, but again, make sure you have one bomber tie out in front.
    Thanks for the response! I knew there was at least one tie-out that was critical. I wanted to make sure to start out on the right foot when I do make the move for the Solo-Plus. I already have 6" UL titanium stakes and it sounds like I can just re-purpose them for this purchase. I'll just be sure to pick up one that is a bit longer and more solid for the front stake.

    Thanks!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Holy cow!!! $600 for 1-1/2 pounds.

    For those of us like me (with a BMI above 25), it makes a whole lot more sense to loose 1-1/2 pounds of body fat than to spend that kind of money on gear.
    This is probably one of the smartest statements I've ever read on this forum. There are quite a few of us carrying around an extra 40 pounds on our bodies and it makes little sense to spend $600 on a pack when you could just go on a sensible diet for a few weeks....hell, you might just lose that amount of weight on a week long trip.

  18. #18
    Registered User mountainman's Avatar
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    If you have the money, buy everything you can from Zpacks.. Less weight will ready save your knees and feet. Heavy pack on a steep downhill is torture. I have their pack tent, and sleeping bag. If you start there you can easily have your big 4 under 5lb.

  19. #19

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    There's nothing holy about Zpacks. You can save the same weight with a number of boutique makers, some of which have pretty good sales from time to time.

  20. #20
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Joe also will sell you the materials to DIY, that is how I got lighter on the cheap!

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