Gear Review: ZPacks Hexamid

Posted on 17 Mai 2010


ZPacks Hexamid after a cold night in the Vosges

Introduction:

For a long long time I was looking for a lightweight shelter and it took the same long time until I could decide for the ZPacks Hexamid. Some tents of MLD were also in closer selection, but Joe’s new Hexamid made the race, because I needed a shelter that is easy to set up and offers a lot of space for one person and the gear. I have decided against the netting, since I don’t really know how stable it is in the use on the trail.  After I had ordered the shelter, it took six weeks until the shelter finally arrived, because Joe had so many orders of his new gear he had to work off.

You can get the ZPacks Hexamid in several options. In Silnylon or in Cuben and with netting or without and you can also buy an optional door as a protection against bad weather. I have chosen the Silnylon version without netting and door. This wasn’t a good choice, but more about this later. My Hexamid has got a weight of 295g (10,4 oz)with lines and 8 stakes. This is a totally acceptable weight for a Silnylon shelter.


Setup of the shelter for good weather, but the folds disrupt

Performance:

I could spend over 25 nights in my Hexamid until now and I’m largely satisfied with this shelter. It is very easy to pitch because you only need one trekking pole. With the height of the trekking pole and the length of the guyline you can adjust the protection against bad weather. I had the opportunity to test the tent in different external conditions. Most of the time I had good weather and only in few nights it was windy and rained.
The performance of the Hexamid was very good. I have used a rescue blanket as groundsheet and a bivy bag overnight. Everything was dry and protected from dirt in the morning. In a few nights I had some small problems with condensation. The main reason for this was the bad choice of the campsite.

The ZPacks Hexamid offers you a plenty of space, even if you choose a lower setup for a better protection. If you have bad weather and you choose the lower setup it is also necessary to use a bivy bag because the sleeping bag comes in contact with the tent and gets wet.
I hope I can test the Hexamid in the next time in really bad weather conditions to get more and better impressions of protection and durability.


Good and efficient line locks


Bad weather setup for more protection

Some points I dislike

Nothing is perfect and so here are a few points I do not like so much at the ZPacks Hexamid. After I had pitched the shelter several times, I unfortunately discovered that it is not possible to pitch the Hexamid without a wrinkle. I think that the pattern of the Hexamid is designed for Cuben and not for Silnylon, which has a larger expansion. Another problem are the amplifications at the anchor points. Instead of using Silnylon amplifications, Joe used Cuben. The Cuben is not expanding enough and tears out when you pitch the shelter. Last but not least it would be really great if Joe would enclose some line locks to the tent.

That’s not really Sewing as an art

Conclusion

Finally I can say that the ZPacks Hexamid is a reasonable shelter for 3-season usage and the construction is OK. If you’re looking for a new lightweight 3-season shelter check out Joe’s page. In retrospect, I am annoyed that I did not buy the Cuben version.


A person with a height of 180cm in the shelter


  • http://www.ultraknilch.blogspot.com Knilch

    Can you please post a picture, where you are in the shelter?
    Thanks

  • http://rioleichtsinn.wordpress.com/ RioLeichtsinn

    I have a nice photo with Beni in the Hex, early in the morning… :)

  • hrxxlight

    @rio that’s a real bad photo

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