Reader Q & A: Using my ZPacks Flat Tarp w/ my ZPacks Hexanet

John Dowd recently posted a question on my blogs FaceBook Page, asking me if I have ever used my ZPacks cuben flat tarp with my ZPacks Hexanet, and if so, what did I think about the combo?

Well, I have never actually used these 2 pieces together on the trail, but the thought did occur to me some time ago… so I did take them outside and give it a try. What I found though was not too exciting, so after a bit, I took it all back down and put it all back up. When John asked me this question though, it inspired me to take it back out again, and try it just a little different, and then see what my thoughts on these pieces together were now…

In the end, my thoughts are still the same. While the Hexanet will fit under the tarp when pitched in the half pyramid, it is not the best fit. The front edges of the Hexanet will actually stick out a little beyond the side walls of the tarp (seen in the photo’s below), which might be ok, but then again, may not be ok in some situations. As well, the Hexanet is not pulled as tight as it is intended to be, which means the mesh sags a bit, and the bathtub floor is not really a bathtub floor…

P1040048 P1040049

Below is another photo, which shows how far back the Hexanet is sitting under the tarp. In good weather, this would be fine, but in rain or bad weather, a beak would have to be added to the front of the tarp.


So, the short answer, in a pinch, these pieces will work together. However, the Hexanet fits under my Hexamid Solo Plus tarp so much better, so for me, if I plan to use my Hexanet, I would rather just take the Hexamid tarp.

So, I hope this helps to answer John’s question somewhat. And if anyone else has any more questions about this set-up, feel free to leave a question below, and I will do my best to answer it…

Also, if anyone else has any questions about any of the gear that I have, feel free to ask. And if the question warrants some sort of video response, I will try to get that done for you as soon as I can!

Thanks for stopping by!



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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5 Responses to Reader Q & A: Using my ZPacks Flat Tarp w/ my ZPacks Hexanet

  1. Sandro Friedrich says:

    Dear Stick,
    Thank you very much for your huge help & time investment!! This really helps! I think I will stick with ZPacks then. I just wrote an email to Joe asking if he can make bigger Hexanets. I’m not sure yet if I might eventually go for the Hexamid Solo plus with net floor in order to benefit from bigger space, since you mention that as far as protection goes they should be similar.

    All the best from the Swiss alps,


    • Stick says:


      Another option from ZPacks, that will provide a good deal more protection, and is being reported from taller guys that there is plenty of room to stretch out, is the new Duplex. One of these are on my radar… 🙂

      Also, with the Hexanets, I feel that it is safe to say that anyone much over 5’10” and sleeping on a thick air pad may find the Hexanet a little tight… depending on user’s preference’s.

      Anyway, I hope whatever you get works out for you.



    • Sandro Friedrich says:

      I think in this case I will leave out the hexanet and go for the hexamid solo plus which also seems to offer additional space.

      Thanks so much again!


  2. Sandro Friedrich says:

    I will buy an UL tent soon. I like the hexanet together with the hexamid solo plus (version with beak), since I’m often in foggier environment. Having an inner mesh tent seems to protect a tiny bit better than having the single-wall version, am I right?. I’m also considering the skyscape-x. Both tents seem to be a bit on the short side for me. Most of all I’m looking for good UL protection in foggy wet environment, which seems to be a week point in the hexamid, since damp air can crawl in relatively easily. You have an input to make my decision easier? Thanks a lot!


    • Stick says:


      Unfortunately, in foggy weather, no tent is safe… And I have found that in high humidity weather, everything will get wet, whether in a single wall, or a double wall tent. In these situations, one just has to make the best of things, and try to dry things out as much as possible after the fog moves on.

      As for the Hexamid vs the Skyscape, for me, I like the Hexamid with the Hexanet better. I actually had the Trekker version (of the Skyscape) and sold it when I got my first Hexamid Tent (which I later sold and went with the Hexamid tarp & Hexanet, and am currently, happily, using).

      For me though, both tents were about equal as far as set-up, although, since I have been using the Hexamid, it is quite easy to set up. There is no fidgeting with the internal cross bar, just stake out a few corners, insert a single trekking pole and finish staking out. As for interior space, the Skyscape has a little more, but it is a single wall. If I set up just my Hexamid tarp, there is more useable room IMO. With the Hexanet though, there is less. The Hexanet has a true bathtub floor, whereas the Skyscapes don’t really have much of one (if any, although, Ron doesn’t really believe in a bathtub floor in an “UL” shelter – he actually has an article on his site about this). The walls on the Skyscape do go closer to the ground though, which may help with some strong winds while it’s raining.

      I think that each feature set will need to be considered for each user, and then make the decision from that. Either way, I think that either tent is a good choice… I am just partial to the Hexamids though… 🙂

      As for length, if these are on the short side, I would suggest to maybe check out the new MLD Solomid XL… it is a great design, with serious protection, and now he is making a longer version, which may accommodate you a bit better.a

      Hope this helps some.



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