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#41834 - 02/20/15 11:41 AM Tent recommendation
laguy442 Offline


Registered: 06/27/14
Posts: 6
Loc: CA
I am looking to lighten my pack load this year and am considering purchasing either the Zpacks Duplex Tent or the HMG Echo II. Both are Cuben Fiber tents that would drop my current pack load a couple of pounds.

The ZPacks tent uses a lighter weight Cuben Fiber resulting in a lighter overall pack weight with the possible issue of it not being a sturdy as the HMG which uses a thicker wall and floor material. It also does not use a double wall construction so condensation might be an issue. I do like the double vestibule entry better than the HMG.

The HMG has a nicer floor bathtub design in my opinion since it is more rectangular with less possible pressure against pulling seams if you get to near the sides of the tub. The end entry isn't my preference and headroom appears to be less than the ZPacks.

Anyone out there with experience on either tent that could toss me some thoughts.

Much appreciated.

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#41837 - 02/20/15 02:25 PM Re: Tent recommendation [Re: laguy442]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7445
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture from the Zpacks Duplex page for the tent. With that roof incline sewn right to the bathtub floor, I think it is a sure guarantee that condensation will roll down inside and puddle at the bottom. If you are sitting out a rain storm, I am afraid that would be a big issue.



I've used a ZPacks backpack for the last few years (need to replace the last one, as the material delaminates after a few years). I liked the last one so much that I won't use any other brand.


The Tarptent ProTrail seems to have a solution to that problem:



I would be tempted to try out the HMG Echo II tarp cover by itself, leaving home the 1 lb bug shelter, and use a plastic garbage bag as a tarp under the sleeping bag.

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#41843 - 02/23/15 05:13 PM Re: Tent recommendation [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1125
Loc: NorCal
The Zpacks Duplex is awesome. My wife and I have ridden out several heavy Sierra downpours and a few steady hard rains that went on overnight with no problemos. The dual doors and perimeter netting provides good ventilation, never any significant condensation yet, even beach camping in January. It's only been a couple years, but no signs of wear yet. We've also been fine in Silnylon TartpTents, but Cuben fiber is the bomb.

We've use a couple different TarpTents for many years with entry from one end and condensation is sometimes an issue. It does run down the sides, but silnylon tends to "mist" inside and stretch when saturated. I hear the same from friends with similar shelters in CF and silnylon.

I considered the HMG shelter but it was a little heavier and more expensive. If you like modular tarp and bug net, or if you're hard on gear, then HMG looks like a good way to go. All the HMG gear seems more durable overall, but more costly and a little heavier.

I also considered the Six Moon Designs Skyscape X CF model but it oddly didn't have 2 doors at the time, and it was always out of stock. Their new model now has a zipper on both sides, but its only a solo version.

TarpTent Cloudburst on Left; Zpacks Duplex on Right



Packing up after a booming "afternoon thunderstorm" that went on all night.



Edited by SierraNevada (02/23/15 05:32 PM)

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#41846 - 02/23/15 11:24 PM Re: Tent recommendation [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7445
Loc: Fresno, CA
SN: you have definitely had more Thunderstorm experience than I. If the ZPacks tent is as good as you say, I'm definitely going to look at it again!

thanks

BTW, where is that beautiful spot in the second picture? It shows really cool geology: Granite on one side and lava flows on the other.

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#41849 - 02/24/15 06:36 AM Re: Tent recommendation [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1125
Loc: NorCal
Afternoon thunderstorms in a safe camp are one of my favorite things about the Sierras - makes for a great excuse for an afternoon nap and the air is so fresh afterwards. This particular camp spot was not so safe as we were on a bench 100 ft above the lake and the lightning was right overhead. The rain and wind went on until the next morning. We got caught in the start of the downpour while on a hike away from camp, but once in our tents, we were dry except the Tarptent had some issues with condensation and leaking on the perimeter netting, but it wasn't pitched all that well by the kids. The stock stakes on the Zpacks are tiny and moved a little due to wind load. I now use longer stakes and I'm going to put tensioners on a few of the guy lines for easy adjustments.

Good catch about the geology, Steve. The photos are at Round Lake north of Carson of Pass, on the Tahoe Rim Trail. The Carson Pass area still has some substantial volcanic flows overlaying the upthrusting granite that haven't yet been eroded away. Many other volcanic overlays have been fully eroded in the Sierra. The dramatic cliffs really light up bright orange/red during sunrise/set alpenglow. Also the volcanic soils are more nutrient rich so the wildflowers in the area are spectacular.

EDIT: Thats not fragile high alpine grass we're on. It's just a nice grassy spot at 8,000 ft that gets heavy use and survives just fine. This would be a bad tent spot in a true alpine zone.


Edited by SierraNevada (02/24/15 06:41 AM)

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