A few weeks ago I received a prototype of the updated ZPacks Solo Plus Hexanet from Joe (see my write-up here). After checking it out, overall, I was very excited about it, however, there were a few things that I would like to have seen a little different, which were described in the above mentioned write-up. Once done, I returned the Hexanet back to Joe, along with my thoughts. Then, just a couple of days ago, Joe has finally added the finished Hexanet back to his site (linked here). But even better, mine was in my mailbox yesterday!
The final version is quite similar to the prototype version that he sent me, with a couple of changes:
- The direction of the door zipper has been changed. Originally, it ran vertically down the center and then horizontal to one side; now, it runs from the top down the angled side, turns at the bottom just above the cuben floor, and then runs back horizontally towards the middle. I actually like this better as it makes the door “hinged” at the center, which makes it easier to keep out-of-the-way when unzipped.
- A pull out loop has been added to the front, and the back center, of the cuben floor. (This was one of the ideas I suggested.) By guying out the back of the bathtub floor to the center back pull out on the Hexamid, I found that it helps a great deal to both open a bit of width at the floor, as well as maintains a bit of tension on the back wall of the Hexanet, which reduces the possibility of mesh sag. At this point, I don’t see myself needing to pull out the front, but I never know…
- The pole cup is now sewn directly to the reinforced apex of the Hexanet. This allows the Hexanet to be pulled up into the very apex of the Hexamid, which means that it is easier to get a tighter pitch on the Hexanet when pitched under the Hexamid, while the poles are set to the optimal 52 – 53″ height.
One other thing that is not part of the final version that I would liked to have seen is a solid, one piece floor. However, the floor is 2 pieces, sewn together and taped, so it should still provide a waterproof barrier.
Here are some things that I have added to the set-up to better accommodate my personal needs:
- I added 2 small loops of shock cord to the front stake out points on the Hexanet. I feel like this allows a tight pitch, while still allowing a bit of give.
- I added the shock cord with a mitten hook to the back pull out on the Hexanet so that I could guyout the back wall of the Hexanet to the back of the Hexamid.
- I tied a mitten hook to the loop in the top of the Hexamid (with a piece of shock cord). Now, I can pitch the Hexamid as normal, then throw the Hexanet under the Hexamid, stake out the 4 corners, and then attach the loop on the top of the Hexanet through the mitten hook in the top of the Hexamid.
I have got to say, despite that I really wanted a solid floor, I am very happy with the Hexanet/Hexamid combo. It is a very versatile set-up (as I can obviously set up either piece separately, or both together), it is roomy enough for my personal needs, and it sets up easy.
So, how about weight?
- Hexamid with guylines & stuff sack: 6.9 oz
- Hexanet with guylines & stuff sack: 9.1 oz
- 14 assorted stakes with stuff sack: 2.5 oz
This gives me a total combined weight of 18.5 oz. I will admit, this is not the lightest set-up on the market, but the weight is still very respectable. Considering this is a full, double-walled shelter, and includes a whopping 14 stakes (that is a lot, although, I only use 10 unless the wind is bad), 18.5 oz is quite lightweight, at least in my opinion.
As some may know, I have used the Hexamid tent for the past 1.5 years, and it was a great tent. It weighed in at 18.1 oz for everything, however, I found that the mesh floor was more than I (personally) wanted to deal with. For only 0.4 oz more, I have what I feel like is a superior set-up. Either way, this set-up is definitely here to stay!
Many thanks again to Joe and the crew at ZPacks!
And of course, thanks to all of you who have stopped by to check out my blog!
Til next time…
Disclaimer: I paid for this shelter with my own hard-earned money, however, I was charged $50 less than what he is now asking for the Hexanet and Hexamid. I am (regretfully) not affiliated with ZPacks and have no obligation to write about these items or the company. The statements in this post & video are of my own opinion, which I formed after putting my hands on these items and using them personally.
EDIT to add this video: