A while back I picked up the ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tent, which has replaced my SMD Skyscape Trekker as my solo tent. When the tent arrived it was not seam sealed, so I had to seal the tent myself. To do so, I used the tube of SilNet that Joe sends with the tent, as he does all of his tents. I found seam sealing the white cuben fiber to be a bit tedious as it was simply hard for me to see the seam sealer on the tent as I was sealing it. So, I did my very best, and hoped for the best.
Well, I didn’t have to wait very long to find out how I did…the weekend before last we had a bit of a storm come through and I managed to get the tent set up in time to weather it. All-in-all, the tent did pretty well, although after about an hour of rain I noticed a few drops making their way in. As well, I realized that I should have sealed the seams at the corners due to the fact that when water saturated the seams here, the water came right on down the shock cord which attaches the bathtub floor to the tent. The water did not come into the bathtub floor because the mitten hooks created a drip point, but the water got closer than I had liked.
So, at this point I decided that I was not going to add any more seam seal to the tent. I did not want to continue gobbing on seam sealer in hopes that I got the right spot and continue to add more and more weight to the tent. Instead, I decided that I would try a different method to seal the tent up. However, the only other “method” that I knew of was to tape the tent. But, I was in luck, Joe sold the cuben fiber tape in his store! So, I exchanged a few emails with Joe trying my best to figure out how he turned double-sided tape into single-sided tape…turns out to be quite simple…just stick one side of the tape to some cuben, and then cut it into strips…BAM…single-sided tape. 🙂
So, I was saving the money to get a roll of tape and a yard of cuben and then next thing I know, Joe had added some single-sided tape to his store! Yeah! Not only that, but the tape is 1″ wide rather than the 1/2″ wide roll…double yeah! These strips though were not sold by the roll, but rather in 54″ strips and used green 0.51 oz/sqyd cuben as the backing. Being that my tent is white though, I contacted Joe again and asked if he could do me up some of the tape using the white 0.34 oz/sqyd cuben rather than the green 0.51 oz/sqyd cuben. And of course, Joe being the awesome guy that he is said sure thing…
Today my tape came in. So, I laid my tent out on the floor (per Joe’s instructions) to apply the tape and got to it.
When it was all said and done I have used approximately 220″ of the tape on the tent, however, I did not tape the entire tent. I did tape the 4 corner tie-outs, the back center tie-out, all 4 of the upper tie-outs and the major seam that runs up the center of the tent on both the front and the back side. Of course I took time to tape around the reinforcements around the apex of the tent and at the center of the beak as well.
The only places I did not tape is across the front seam where the beak is attached to the tent and along the 2 smaller seams that run at an angle on each side. The reason being for this is that these areas did not leak when I had set the tent up in the rain, as well, I did not want to try to tape around the area where the mesh is attached to the tent. Also, I taped everything from the inside of the tent, and this is simply because I had already applied the seam sealer to the outside and I was not sure how the tape would do if applied over the seam sealer.
So, the tent should be pretty dang water tight now. So, for the bad news…
Before I started applying the tape the entire tent, with ground sheet, guylines and stuff sack weighed in at 15 oz (this also included the seam seal that I had preciously added to the tent). After I finished taping the tent it all weighs in at 15.8 oz…so I added another 0.8 oz to the total weight of the tent. Still not a bad weight for a fully enclosed shelter of this size, however, it irks me that I know it didn’t have to weigh that much if I had done it right to begin with…
But, we live, we learn.
And now I have a sweet tent!
Thanks for reading.