Zpacks Hexamid Solo-Plus
Awesome ultralight shelter for one person, or two people if they're really cozy. Easily usable as a 3-season shelter, with proper sleeping gear and clothing.
- Very ultralight
- Super simple setup
- Usable in widely varying conditions/terrain
- This is ultralight gear-it's not as durable as "traditional" hiking gear
I used this tent (with optional beak) for the first time on a 5-day, 60 mile hike in the Flattops Wilderness area of the Rocky Mountains. Elevations were over 10k the whole trip. Weather was varied, lows between apx 38-48, light rain, heavy rain, moderate wind, calm/still air, and heavy mosquito activity.
My previous tent was a Lightheart Gear Standard Solo. I bought this tent because I felt like I needed more room, it was far lighter, and it only requires one trekking pole to set up (I use GG LT4's). I also bought the cuben bathtub floor for this tent. It fit my NeoAir All Season with just enough room at the end for my Zpacks Arc Blast to lay flat & provide extra "pillow." I also had plenty of room around the edges for other gear and clothing. This tent is very spacious, and had plenty of room for sitting up in, getting dressed, etc.
I had no problems with mosquitos or other creepycrawlies whatsoever. I had no problems with dirt getting tangled or inside the mesh floor. The nights that it rained, the bathtub floor kept me and my gear perfectly dry. Some nights there was condensation on the inside of the tent, and others there wasn't. Leaving the beak open made a big difference in condensation, but did make for a cooler night sleeping. If you sleep cold, make sure your sleeping bag is rated for your temps or bring extra clothes.
Pitching this tent took a little practice. It was hard for me to get a taut pitch *and* have enough slack in the mesh in front in order to fully close the zippered doorway. I asked Matt & Joe for advice, and they suggested playing with the vertical angle of my trekking pole. I discovered that (somewhat counter-intuitively), that if I moved the base (nearest the ground) of the pole outward (towards the front guyline) about 4-5" from true vertical, this allowed me to pitch the tent taut, and allowed enough slack in the mesh for the zipper to fully close.
By the last night on the trail, I was able to fully pitch the tent in 3-4 minutes (taking my time & being casual about the whole thing). Take down of the tent is a cinch, taking less than 30 seconds. Most of the time I carried the tent in the mesh outer pocket of my Blast, where it rode fine, packed well, and was able to dry somewhat.
I do recommend that if you have time during your day, lay the tent out in the sun if it needs to dry. It dries very quickly this way. It stayed wet when wadded into the mesh pocket. When put into the provided stuff sack, the tent is about half the size of the LHG tent.
The tent appears to be sturdily and carefully constructed. More use will determine if that is the case.
This is a great product that I highly recommend for the solo hiker. Trying to fit two (unless the second is a smaller child or dog) in this tent would be challenging, but possible.
Source: bought it new
This is a great solo tent, easy setup, less than a lb., has the coolest ground sheet on the planet. Can use my Sherlock hiking staff as a tent pole (love when you can multitask gear). Won the tent on a Zpacks ebay listing. This was a birthday present from my wife (what a peach).
- Ultra light
- Easy setup
- Has an internal bucket ground sheet that keeps my pad and stuff close by
- Can use your hiking stick as a tent pole
- The ultra light stakes worked good in my backyard, but not in the Smokies. Switched back to my trusty Ground Hogs
I've been trying to drop pack weight for my Smokies trips. Flat trail is one thing, but when you try to bust a hill light is right. I got the white Cuben fiber so when daylight hits the tent lights up. Easy to see to pack up my stuff.
The Cuben ground sheet goes in the tent over the mesh. When you tighten it up it forms a bucket floor to hold my NeoAir, too cool.
Tent is well ventilated, so if you're a cold sleeper you might need a warmer sleeping bag. It was in the high 30s on this trip and my Mountain Hardwear 32° did OK, but I'm asking Santa for a Zpacks 5 ft 10" extra wide 30 degree mummy bag for Christmas. I'll be warmer and drop almost another pound in pack weight. Thanks.
May 27, 2017 ADD ON:
Have seen some reviews on the web that said the net floor collected mud if pitched during rain. Two years ago we did a Smokies backpack with four days of almost constant rain and wet campsites. Mud collection on the floor was not a big problem and the very small amount that did collect on the floor was rinsed out with a garden hose when I got home.
I think Zpacks has a new weather-resistant beak on the new Solo Plus. I had no problem staying dry with the old beak and it rained every night. THANKS.
Source: received it as a personal gift