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  1. #1

    Default Zpacks tent durability

    I was planning on buying a zpacks hexamid tent to replace my heavy tent while on the AT because it is the cheapest, lightest option of the zpacks tents but I noticed in the "features" text of the hexamid it said that it would only last about 1 thru-hike. I did not see this text in the "Plex" line of tents. Does this mean the hexamid is something to be avoided for longevity or are they all like this?

  2. #2

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    I would not worry about it. When they say it will last a complete thru hike, they are saying 5 months of constant, rough use. For the average section hiker or weekender, it will take you years to get to 5 months of total use, but you will also be taking better care of the tent (hopefully) between trips and repairing any small issues as you go.

    FWIW, there are a couple of people who have used the same Zpacks tent for multiple thru hikes without issue. It all depends on how well you take care of your gear.

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    Both the hexamid and Plex tents are made of .51oz cuben for the tarp. The floor material is made out of 1.0oz cuben on both tents.

    I would expect both of them to last equally. However with this type of gear, it greatly depends on how the user treats it.

    Treat it like normal gear, a zpacks tent will prob be pretty worn after a thru hike. Furthermore, it depends on how much one actually sleeps in it on trail.

    Treat it very gently and jawnzee has a triple crown and many more miles out of his original hexamid. He just retaped the seams.

    Even if the fabric tears. It's easy to repair with cuben tape and is a permanent fix.

    Cuben is tougher than it feels and looks.

    And as a wise man here says, ultralight gear doesn't need to last forever nor is it designed too.

    Solplex vs hexamid. They should last equally as long with the right care.

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  4. #4

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    What soumodeler said...thru-hike=rough use at approx. 200 nights each hike. And yes, several have been used for multiple thru-hikes. Just take care of it.

    The Plex tents do have the same wording written in their description somewhere.

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    I have used my hexamid on A my florida trail thru hike and the shelter seen some really high winds and rough weather quite A few times on this hike but it held up like A champ for me and is still going strong with plenty more use on it.
    I would not worry about its durability all that much,Ii myself was concerned when receiving my first cuben fiber shelter because it seemed so fragile but it is alot stronger than you think when first looking at it.
    I love my hexamid tarp but am switching to the regular as the plus is just to big for me alone. It is huge on the inside.
    Another reason I am contemplating selling my duplex tent soon.
    If I die trying now I wont die wondering how life could have turned out.....


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    Quote Originally Posted by Timinator View Post
    I was planning on buying a zpacks hexamid tent to replace my heavy tent while on the AT because it is the cheapest, lightest option of the zpacks tents but I noticed in the "features" text of the hexamid it said that it would only last about 1 thru-hike. I did not see this text in the "Plex" line of tents. Does this mean the hexamid is something to be avoided for longevity or are they all like this?

    It will hold up fine, but....

    After about 200-250 times being stuffed, reports are the cuben can start to leak
    Also the mylar is not UV stable, and light exposure will hasten breakdown

    Cuben UL gear...is not...going to last forever

    None of it

    Dont matter what it is
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-22-2017 at 19:30.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    It will hold up fine, but....

    After about 200-250 times being stuffed, reports are the cuben can start to leak
    Also the mylar is not UV stable, and light exposure will hasten breakdown

    Cuben UL gear...is not...going to last forever

    None of it

    Dont matter what it is
    What's better for cuben fiber, to stuff the tent or fold? With nylon, I always stuff because the folds can cause leaks.


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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    What's better for cuben fiber, to stuff the tent or fold? With nylon, I always stuff because the folds can cause leaks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I fold my Duplex (.51) only because it takes up less space. But I don't fold it neatly and end up sort of semi-stuffing it, so the folds aren't exactly the same each time.

    Abrasion is definitely Cuben's enemy, but it seems to me unless you fold it exactly along the same lines each and every time it probably doesn't make any difference. I know there are some people who advocate using an oversized silnylon stuff sack to reduce abrasion when packing it and while carrying it. Whether or not this does any good I have no idea, and I've not seen any controlled experiment to prove it has any effect...

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    I like oversized stuff sacks for anything I put in a stuff sack. Especially quilts. I don't pack my quilt loosely like some people. Rather I keep it in a ~20L cuben stuff sack I made. It requires so much less stress on the quilt when packing and packs nice and flat.

    Back to the topic at hand. Honestly, with a cuben shelter. Take caution where you set it up, treat it with care, and you'll get your money's worth.

    $500 sounds like a ton of money up front. I consider it cheap as hell when its my home for 6 months and rent is $800 a month here.



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    Furthermore, even will wood from zpacks has been continuing to use his original duplex in .51 cuben after he slept in it every night on the AT. You can see it in his Florida trail and foothills trail videos I believe.

    On the other hand, he used a brand new camo duplex on the PCT and it got pretty damaged from a severe hail storm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post

    $500 sounds like a ton of money up front. I consider it cheap as hell when its my home for 6 months and rent is $800 a month here.
    $500 is a lot of disposeable income for most people...
    But it really isnt much money in absolute terms anymore

    Fraction of a house note, part of a new car payment, couple trips to grocery store, couple dr visits, etc

    Or two tires for my truck mail ordered, not installed
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-22-2017 at 20:57.

  12. #12

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    I have a solplex, I fold it because that’s what they did in the how to video on the zpacks site. Good point above about not folding it the same way each time.

  13. #13

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    mine leaked due to a factory defect. I did a video as a review and my experience with the customer service when it failed on the trail.
    https://Review

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    Repairs are a very difficult situation as anyone that has worked in retail or wholesale would know.
    For example here, how is a manufacturer going to know , before examining the tent, if it was a manufacturing fault , an accident or user damage ?
    Now if it happens that it was user error and a replacement tent has been sent out in the meantime, what would happen then ?

  15. #15

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    I purchased my Solo-plus second hand from a successful thru-hiker that treated his gear very good. There were a few snags repaired on the floor netting when I received it and now after another 800 miles of use from me, I have a couple pieces of cuben tape applied where I have noticed a pin hole or two; easy and permanent fix. I am sure I will get another 800 miles out of this tent and probably more. I am not a certified fan-boy, but I am a huge fan of all my Zpaks gear.

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    I've had my zPacks Hexamid Twin since early 2013 and it has been with me on all of my backpacking trips. I love this tent and have kept it going with only minimal attention - zipper issues and some re-taping especially around the peak of the tent. If zPacks still made this, I'd buy a new one just because mine is getting older after probably 200+ nights in it. I've lost track. I have found it excellent in wind, in rain, in hail, and even in heavy snow if I clear off the snow by gently hitting the canopy every so often. I love this tent and am dreading the dilemma of what to replace it with. Now, zPacks has discontinued not only the twin but the hexamid solo plus. I really like the modularity of the hexamids with the removable groundsheet. I'm not too keen on the Plexamid or Duplex options but I'll end up probably choosing between on of the two.

    On the off chance that anyone has a lightly used Hexamid Twin (under 25 nights) for sale, I'd be very interested in it. Did I mention that I love this tent?

  17. #17

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    Coffee, I know how you feel when a manufacturer discontinues a beloved tent. Years ago I had a tent that I loved and used until the fabric degraded and one day I looked down at the foot of the tent and saw sunshine streaming in. I bought the tent the manufacturer sold as their new version. It was ok. I bought the smaller edition, it was ok but to small. I now have thirty-some tents. They all have their good points and their bad points. I sure miss that old tent... .

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    On the off chance that anyone has a lightly used Hexamid Twin (under 25 nights) for sale, I'd be very interested in it. Did I mention that I love this tent?
    There's one for sale on eBay - the listing says it has been used 7 nights. Just put "zpacks" or "hexamid" in the search bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    On the off chance that anyone has a lightly used Hexamid Twin (under 25 nights) for sale, I'd be very interested in it. Did I mention that I love this tent?
    I likes mine because roomy, and can pack everything but tent while inside .
    Probably 80+ nights on mine
    With a few repairs

    Great 1p shelter.
    Not so much for 2p

    Plusses:
    Roomy
    Can hang empty pack from pole inside tent to get out of way
    Leaky things can be placed off cuben floor, but still inside tent, away from chewy critters
    Easy to pack/unpack as one unit


    Drawbacks?
    Requires 2 poles
    Not best in wind,
    Not hard to push floor into mesh and get water to run onto groundsheet in rain, especially with 2 people
    Not squirrel resistant
    Wet mesh picks up debris when roll up
    Very Dry conditions can hold debris with static when roll up as well
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-19-2018 at 21:13.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    There's one for sale on eBay - the listing says it has been used 7 nights. Just put "zpacks" or "hexamid" in the search bar.
    Thanks! Will check it out.

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