ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tent w/ Beak & Ground Sheet

12/16/11: I placed an order for the Blast 30 backpack and a Multipack along with some other smaller items. I requested to receive the items by 1/10/12 for an expected trip.

12/30/11 (approximately 6 pm): I placed an order with ZPacks for the Hexamid Solo Plus Tent with the beak and the cuben fiber solo plus LITE ground sheet, among a few other small items. I was fully aware that ZPacks was closed for the holidays and would not be back in until 1/2/12. However, I requested that if possible could this tent be shipped with my Blast 30 backpack by 1/10/12 for a trip I am leaving on.

12/31/12: Joe responds to my email and says that he has been away for holiday and has a lot to catch up on, but that he will shoot for the 10th for the tent. As well, he said my backpack would be ready to ship early that week separately.

1/2/12: Email confirming that pack would ship the next day, 1/3/12.

1/3/12: Backpack and all small items from both orders shipped.

1/5/12: Backpack and small items arrive.

1/6/12: Tent & ground sheet shipped.

1/9/12: Tent & ground sheet arrived.

So, why did I say all of this? Because Joe rocks, that’s why!

Before I placed my order for the Blast pack I made a video with the pack that John sent me and requested suggestions as to the way the pack fit. Joe viewed the video and responded to me. He was loads of help before ordering the pack as far as fit and options were concerned. As well, he told me that it shouldn’t be a problem to get the pack to me by the date requested!

Then, what really rocks. He responded to my Hexamid tent order while his shop was closed for vacation. Then after that, he manages to get the tent to me a mere 11 days after placing the order. A week and a half! And keep in mind that part of that week and a half included a holiday as well as shipping days…

Joe came through in a huge way for me so I gotta say that Joe does indeed rock. Over the last year I have placed numerous smaller orders from him and every single time he   immediately responded to my emails and has always had the items to me within a weeks time. These last 2 order were obviously much larger orders but the crazy thing is, he really showed out on these orders! Keeping in mind that the packs and tents are built as they are ordered…

So, if anyone is considering purchasing from Joe I say from experience, GO FOR IT! Joe will treat you right and you will end up with some SWEET gear…

Saying that… this post is not about Joe, but instead the tent that I just received from him. So, without further adue, here is a quick video that I made on the Hexamid today in the yard:

As for the tent, I found set-up to be quite easy. The no-knot thing makes it so. However, once getting it all staked out I did have to go back and pull each guy line back a little farther until I got them all the way I liked. Not a hassle, just readjusting the guylines once they were all staked down, as with most tents.

As far as space, this thing is huge! It may have something to do with the 52″ high ceiling and the fact that it is white…then again, it may just simply be the fact that it is huge… It is truly a one person palace. Two should fit, but closely, however, due to the high ceiling and the white, see-through color I do not think it will feel very cramped. (Of course this may depend on whom the space is being shared with too…)

Seam sealing. I hate it. I seam sealed my Skyscape Trekker and it took a few go overs. Then with this, well, it was hard IMO. Because of the white/see-through color I couldn’t tell how much I had where and well, it was just a pain in the butt! I have read that it will take about half a tube…I used the whole thing on this tent and the ground sheet… I am curious if the SilNet would be easier to see on the blue or the green color…

Entry/exit. I address this (briefly) because I feel like it may be one of the things that people will point out as being less than ideal. Well, let me say that it is not a bit of problem for me. Ok, so I haven’t spent a night in it yet, so how do I know? Well, I have spent nights under my 8×10 OES sil tarp and I have had to enter/exit it about the same way. For me, it is not a problem, period.

Mesh floor. Ok, this was definitely my biggest hang-up with the tent since the very first time I came across the Hexamid Solo tent. Since that time I have changed my thought processes some. I can see some benefits to it (weight, bug protection, water run-off from the tent not running onto my ground sheet) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some concerns still. Namely, durability. Although IIRC, Joe said he used the Hexamid Solo for one of his thru’s and never got a hole in it. So, I am willing to give it a try. But, I will be honest here…last night as I was lying there drifting off, I was thinking about cutting part of it off…similar to the SMD Wild Oasis…leaving just enough netting to fit under the ground sheet.

Anyway, the last concern I have with the mesh floor is how much junk will it absorb? I am thinking of pulling it up out of a puddle with mud stuck all in the mesh. And then, when I fold it all up I will really have a mess… But I guess at a stream I can take it out and wash it off… just stick it in the stream… I dunno, this I will have to wait and see.

So, anyway, these are some initial thoughts. I am getting ready to take it with me for a 3 night/4 day trip so I should get some better ideas about it throughout the weekend. So, until then, I will leave you with some weights…

Tent with guylines, stuff sack & ground sheet attachment cords:

  • Before seam sealing: 11.3 oz
  • After seam sealing: 12.3 oz

Ground sheet with 1 attachment cord:

  • Before seam sealing: 2.5 oz
  • After seam sealing: 2.7 oz

Total weights:

  • Before seam sealing: 13.8 oz
  • After seam sealing: 15 oz

So, I have added 1.2 oz of weight with the seam seal. All I gotta say is that I hope I got all the spots…  🙂

The final weight of the tent with 10 titanium tent stakes and a Spinn tent stake bag comes to a total of 17.7 oz.

UPDATE: 2.23.12

Today I talked my neighbor into coming over and letting me take a picture of him lying down inside the Hexamid. So, I set the tent up in the yard and threw in my 2.8″ thick Exped SynMat 7 sleeping pad…then I asked my neighbor to hop in. He is 6’3″ tall, so here is a picture of him lying down inside my Solo Plus size Hexamid:

As you can see, he does indeed fit. However, it is close. His feet are actually almost touching the top of the tent at the foot end, but it is a little hard to see that well. However, he can still slide a few inches up towards the head end. As well, he could actually have came a few inches towards the front of the tent which would have also gave up a few more vertical inches at the end. He did not crawl into a sleeping bag for the picture, but I feel like he would be fine in a sleeping bag as long as he did not get to wild squirming around and such.

I hope that this helps those taller folks that are interested in this tent out some!

Thanks for reading!

~Stick~

About Stick

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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17 Responses to ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tent w/ Beak & Ground Sheet

  1. James says:

    Sorry, reread and found out. Not so well, just as I thought. Good work here. Thanks for your efforts.

    Like

  2. James says:

    Been following your blog for some time. Very helpful. Am considering ordering the hexamid solo but have the same concern about a mud caked screen and have yet o find anyone addressing this issue. Were you ever forced to set up on wet ground and if so how did the screen fare?

    Like

    • Stick says:

      James,

      Yeah, I think it comes down to personal decision, but for me, I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped I wouldn’t mind it… I personally think that it is a better option for drier climates… but that is my opinion.

      I did find that if I set up on grass, or leaves, when a wet environment was expected, it ended up being cleaner, but the mesh would still hold a lot of water. Personally, I like the Hexamid with the Hexanet inner a bit better as it gets rid of the mesh on the ground.

      Hope this helps some.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  3. JT says:

    Stick,

    I have been looking at a light weight tents I can use solo or with one of my kids. Also, to take on my annual winter camping trip to the the North Carolina Mountains in February. The weather is usually in the low teens and windy.
    The tents I have been looking at are the ZPack Hex Solo Plus, SMD Duo Explorer and the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Like

  4. Matt Humphries says:

    Thanks. I will check those out!

    Like

  5. Matt Humphries says:

    Stick. How did your neighbor get in? What is the height of the top of your entry-way? Your door looks like it is shaped a little different from the zpacks website.

    I’m 6’4 and worried about entry and exit. Zpacks site says 29 inch door opening. Sitting down I’m 35 in and on my hands and knees even more.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Matt,

      TBH, I can’t remember if he crawled in or if he squatted and got in. As well, I do not have a measurement right off the top of my head for the doorway height, although next time I set it up I will try to remember to measure it for you. (Although, I set it up as specified, so if they quote 29″ I feel like mine is in this same range.) But obviously the height can vary slightly, depending on how high off the ground the tent is pitched. However, getting in and out of this tent is what it is, no getting around that. I am 5’10” so it is not quite so difficult for me, although I could see how it may be for those that are taller than me. I know that some don’t like this fact, so I guess this is where one must weigh pros and cons…

      OTOH, I saw a thread on BPL a while back in which a user had Joe install a zipper straight up the middle, so the tent actually unzipped, but the doorway was as tall as the tent itself. This may be an option for you, however, this option will definitely add some extra weight.

      As far as the shape of my doorway…I don’t know what to tell you about that. In this particular post, the pic at the top with the blue Hexamid is from the ZPacks site. The picture at the bottom of the page with my neighbor in it is obviously mine. Looking at the two, I do not see any differences, but maybe I am missing something?

      Also, I am not sure if you saw, but Joe recently added the “long” version of the Hexamid to his site. It is similar to the Hexamid Solo Plus, but the ends are boxed rather than sloped so the user can take full advantage of the entire footprint.

      Anyway, hope this helps some.

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Matt Humphries says:

      Thanks for the reply. Yes I have seen the long version. I would definitely go that route. The door is the main sticking point for me.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Matt,

      It is a bit different, but have you thought about the MLD SoloMid or the Duomid in cuben? I know that they both have doors that unzip all the way up. They are all mids, but of course the overall designs are completely different… Not trying to turn you off of the Hexamid in any way, but it was just a thought…

      ~Stick~

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  6. Singletrack says:

    Stick, enjoyed your review. Years ago, I had a Brawny Tarptent, same design as your ZPack Hexamid. It had no netting, and a small beak. Everytime it rained, I would get wet. This is a great improvement with the large beak, and floating bath tub floor.
    Couple of questions, Do you have any concerns with the lighter .51 oz. cuben fiber material? I noticed it is sewn, and not bonded. Could this cause the stitching to stretch in a high wind conditions?
    I really like the floating bath tub floor. Wondering if the 6 attachments can be adjusted to increase the height of the bath tub floor, when the wind is blowing hard and sideways?
    My only dislike, are 10 stakes. I would use the thicker aluminun stakes.
    Singletrack

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Singletrack,

      At this point, I do not have any concerns about the weight of the cuben in this application. As far as the seams, Joe has kept them to a minimum, and it seems like the way the seams are positioned, it will not suffer from high wind conditions. But, only time will tell. I know that on his site he has commented that it has held up well for him in some wind…

      The attachment points can adjust the height of the bathtub floor some. They are attached via some elastic shock cord with cord locks. So, to raise the floor, simply pull up and cinch the cord locks down. However, by doing this may put pressure on the attachment points on the tent or the ground sheet if care is not taken, but I figure he uses elastic cords so they will give some rather than jerking on the tent. (If that makes sense.)

      As far as the stakes, it can be set up with 6 stakes and in fair weather it will be just fine. But, if a storms a coming, I would recommend guying out all 10. So far it has not been an issue, granted I have only used it 3 nights. I had no problem though getting all 10 staked out, and it actually went pretty fast too… As far as stakes, I have been using the 7″ Ti-Eye and Shephard Hook stakes that I got from Lawson Kline. They have worked very well so far, especially in the rocky soil I have experienced along the AT.

      Hope this helps,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  7. Joslyn says:

    Have to totally agree with you on Joe. I’ve been working with him on a custom piece to round out one of my shelters and man that guy is really great! I haven’t even put in my order yet and he’s already been more helpful than some places I have bought things from after they had my money!

    Also, man that tent is huge and for such a low weight too!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Joslyn,

      Concerning Joe, I am not surprised. He is very helpful. And timely. That alone says multitudes.

      So, what you getting? A tarp? Regardless, I will look forward to you showing it off once you get it!

      And yes, I am very happy with the tent, big and light, but not cheap…oh well, can’t have all three huh so I figure those 2 were the best 2 in the end…

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Joslyn says:

      I’m saving up for a custom hex tarp/poncho. Due to recent car issues I am going to have wait a little longer than I had hoped but I will have it before spring. I hate waiting anyway…

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Joslyn,

      That should be interesting. Is it the based on the Hexamid, but with a hood? Anyway, I hear ya about having to wait…it sucks! I am glad that I am not currently waiting on anything now. Everything is here and getting ready to go this weekend! Yay!

      Anyway, you will have to do a video once you get the tarp in…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Joslyn says:

      It’s the 9x6x5 ft tarp in what he calls a trapezoid but if laid flat is more correctly a hexagon and shaped like an Mcat from OES. Due to my smaller size I can keep my ridgeline shorter and go with a smaller tarp, but I’m still planning on adding two DIY GrizzBeaks in cuben to the whole thing. It certainly won’t be a winter palace or anything but it’ll be great for 3 season here in Ga and will save me some serious weight and cost by combining the two things.

      Yeah, I’m backed up about six deep on videos I need to make right now for all my Christmas presents. 😛 but I’ll be sure to add it when I get it!

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Joslyn,

      Gotcha. That should be an interesting tarp. And wow, DIY cuben huh? You are brave… I am still not brave enough to buy any raw cuben just because I am afraid I will mess it up… So I will be interested to see how those turn out…

      ~Stick~

      Like

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