ZPacks Solo Cuben Fiber Ground Sheet

A couple of months back I took delivery of my new solo size cuben fiber ground sheet from ZPacks. I had been wanting to pick one of these up for quite a while, and finally got around to getting one. The reason that I wanted it was so that I could carry the ground sheet to use with my Hexamid Solo Plus tarp when bugs are not an issue, and I can leave the Hexanet behind. Why? Well, to simplify things, and to save some weight… of course!

Once I got the ground sheet, I added six tie outs, made of 3/32″ shock cord, a mitten hook, and a mini cord lock. I also grabbed a mini cuben fiber stuff stack (from ZPacks) that I had lying around to store the ground sheet in. After adding in these pieces, the total weight of my ground sheet came to 3.5 oz. Sure, there are lighter options, such as a piece of cut down polycro which weighs 1 oz, however, (believe it or not) this was not all about weight… I choose the ZPacks ground sheet for its bathtub floor!

Some may remember a past trip in which I reported waking up in a rather deep puddle… Of course, this was my fault from the get-go… I should have chosen a better site (which is the first rule when using a tarp), but I didn’t. And I feel like if I would have had a groundsheet with a bathtub floor such as the ZPacks ground sheet, then I would have fared a little better… although, in that case, it still would have ended bad…

Anyway… since getting the ground sheet, I have used it under my Hexamid tarp two nights on a recent hike to Savage Gulf.

P1030847The ground sheet worked great, however, after using it, I realized some things that I did not think of before…

I would like to use the ground sheet in place of the Hexanet when bugs are not an issue, which is during the cooler months. But, in the cooler months, I will be carrying a bit more gear than I would in warmer weather (more clothes, thicker air pad, loftier sleeping bag, etc…) So, my “problem” that I ran into is that I like to keep my extra gear with me, inside the shelter, and well, that can fill the solo sized ground sheet a bit quick… (See the photo above.) This is an issue, at least for me… I still have to put my 200 lb, 5’10″ body in there with the rest of my gear! But, as I found on my recent hike with it, I do still fit, along with my other items around me, I just wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. So, this is definitely a personal issue, as opposed to a product issue.

Anyway, I do like the ground sheet, but I think if I am going to use it more, at least during the cooler months, I will simply have to start putting my “extra” gear back in my backpack, and just hang it from a tree or something outside. This isn’t really a problem, as I have done this quite a bit before, but since using my Hexanet, I guess I have become a bit spoiled with all the interior room, and being able to spread out all of my gear inside with me… Well, either that, or just get the Duplex….  :)

So,  how about the weight savings?

My Hexanet, with all cords and stuff sack, comes in at 9.5 oz. As I said above, the ground sheet, with all cords and stuff sack comes to 3.6 oz. This gives me a 5.9 oz total weight savings… which is nothing to sneeze at! So, because of the weight savings, as well as the awesome design of the ground sheet itself, I am going to see what I can do to continue to use it… even in the cooler months! But, now I have to wait a while as the cooler weather is finally moving out, and the bugs are taking its place… so, it’s back to the Hexanet for now. (Although, I am not complaining about that either…)

Thanks for reading!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: I paid the full price for the ground sheet with my own, hard-earned, money. I am not affiliated with ZPacks, nor have any obligation to “review” this item. As well, I am not being compensated in any way for writing this. The statements within this review are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling/using the ground sheet.

 

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About Chad “Stick” Poindexter

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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9 Responses to ZPacks Solo Cuben Fiber Ground Sheet

  1. jdrower says:

    Chad – Unless my rapidly deteriorating memory is failing me, you at one time had a Zero-Plus tent and partially for the extra width relative to the single-person size. Did you go with the solo-size tarp because you decided the tent had more room than you needed? I continue to learn from all your articles. Thx, JD

    • Stick says:

      JD,

      I did have a tent version, which was the Solo Plus size. I love the idea of the solo size (ahem: weight), but not sure I would be happy with it. I got rid of the tent because I didn’t like all the water the mesh floor took on, so I sold it and picked up the Solo Plus tarp and is still the one I use. When I bought the tent, I also got the Solo Plus ground sheet, but when I sold the tent, I also sold the ground sheet.

      So, this set up is the Solo Plus tarp, with the solo size ground sheet.

      As well, the Hexanet that I have is considered a “Solo Plus” size as well.

      Hope this clears it up!

      ~Stick~

    • jdrower says:

      Understood. Where do you usually sell gear? JD

    • Stick says:

      The few times I have sold gear has been on BPL.

      ~Stick~

  2. Cesar says:

    Wow, thanks for the video and the shout out Chad! Great info. You have a great eye for detail that us gram geeks can really appreciate–at least I sure do. It’s a real pickle trying to dial in the final details for the whole summer/winter trips. What you could do in winter is take a smaller, extra ground sheet to put your gear on inside of the Mid. What I usually do is keep my pack inside and leaning on the pole with all the stuff I don’t really need for the night. Next to my bivy I will put my largest stuff sack, which is either silnylon or Cuben, and then put stuff I might need there (flashlight, breakfast, knife, etc.). Btw, I just put up a trip report where I used my solo Hexamid and my Cuben Borah bivy. Worked out great as always. Looking forward to your next trip report and gear breakdown :)

    • Stick says:

      Cesar,

      That is a good idea about using an extra ground sheet… I already carry the Cloudkilt, and even my pack cover would work too. Also, when I have a pack with a frame (now, the only one that fits that description is my Arc Blast) I would also lean it against the pole like you describe. Otherwise, I put the (frameless) packs under my sleeping pad.

      And I will check out your newest blog entry soon! I am still upin the air with my Borah bivy… it’s nice, and I love the mod that I did to it, but weight wise (and remember, mine is sil) it is very close to the weight of my Hexanet… so it wins out more often…

      Anyway, great to hear from you man! Talk with you later…

      ~Stick~

  3. Cuben fiber is the most magical man made invention of all time. The bathtub floor is pretty sweet, should help get rid of those 3 AM oh crap, it’s raining moments!

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