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  1. #1

    Default Is the Hexamid $275 better than the TarpTent ProTrail for the PCT?

    Here's my LighterPack: https://lighterpack.com/r/fjxn6c

    I'm torn between the Hexamid (with bathtub floor) and the TT ProTrail. With the ProTrail, my base-weight is about 10 pounds, and with the Hex, 9 pounds.

    The big thing about the Hexamid for me is the removable floor, for drying, less condensation, and the non-sag cuben.


    So,is the Hexamid worth $275 over the course of a thru-hike?



    PS. any other critiques of my pack where I could drop weight for cheap?

  2. #2

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    Note: I don't own a shelter yet.

  3. #3
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    I believe for a thru, yes it is. That's a lot of continuous time carrying the tent and one would like to make that as pleasurable a hiking experience as one reasonably can. Also on a thru one is really tired at the end of the day and not really using the tent for anymore then sleeping. For another thru hike I would buy another heximid (or look at their newer offerings)

    But that said the Heximid is a very minimal shelter, no true privacy as it is translucent, no totally closing off the world at night as the beak does not touch the ground. Also there can be some rain issues on the open sides, not much but water can get in especially from splashing I placed my pack on one side and my sit pad on the other to deflect some of this. It's not a big issue but something one must be aware of and deal with at times.

    For regular backpacking I would consider alternatives, more room, better privacy and water protection. Also I don't like to leave a heximid unattended in the woods (such as base camp peak bagging), and would rather use a cheaper tent.

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    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    We have a Hexamid Twin that we bought for a Long Trail end to end, to save shelter weight over our Six Moons tent.

    First, I'd probably look at the Notch for the two doors on the long side, instead of the ProTrail. Personal preference, but we owned a couple of Tarptents with head-end doors and disliked that feature. The Notch has easier access and way better views and ventilation.

    Second, on the Zpacks Hex tent: We liked it, though the Twin is a little cramped for two people. It's weather-worthy, doesn't stretch when damp, sets up quickly, and it's pretty light. We did try removing the removable floor a couple of times, and found it to be a pain to replace, so we've just left it in ever since. We like the tent enough that we're planning to get a Triplex to replace the SMD tent this winter. That will give us all the interior room and the two doors of the Lunar Duo, and save well over a pound.

    Tarptents dry pretty quickly in the sun, even with sewn-in floors. We often lay ours out at lunch to dry if it rained or got heavy dew overnight.

    So, is it worth the $275? Well, that depends on whether you have the cash, right? If your budget for a thru is tight, I'd save the cash for the trail, where it will come in handy. I think most hikers end up spending more than they expected on the trail. The weight difference between the Hex and the Notch is not that much.

    That said, for me the cost difference would be very small compared to what I would spend on a hike, so I would be more willing to spend it.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  5. #5
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Besides being non-sag, Cuben also is non-absorbing so you do not get much added weight even when soaking wet. I wipe mine down, pack it up, if you can find even a few minutes of sun it will dry very quickly, my sil-nylon shelter I had before took more like a hour to fully dry. I am now carrying the solplex, I had a Hexamid in 2012 and found I left the ground sheet in it all the time anyway. I used my rainskirt as a ground sheet in shelters.

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    First of all, when I bought my zpacks solo-plus (the equivalent tent to the pro-trail in size, I think), the cost was $390. It is now $445. that's $220 more than the pro trail, not $275. There is zero reason to spend the additional $80 on the zpacks cuben bathtub floor, when you can use ultra-cheap and lighter polycro material (saves an additional 2 ounces over the cuben).

    As to whether it's worth the additional $230 ($220 plus 10 bucks for a polycro sheet), that's a tough call. I personally have found that over the long term, getting the "best" gear is worth the significant additional cost. Whenever I buy something cheap, I wind up replacing it with the more costly option. But my situation might be different; I can afford the expensive stuff because we (my wife and myself) have prioritized our outdoor lifestyle at the cost of spending less elsewhere.

    And I'm not calling the pro-trail a bad piece of gear, I have zero experience with it. I just know the zpacks is a fine piece of gear.

    I used my zpacks hexamid solo-plus for a half of an AT and absolutely loved it (I used a BA fly creek for the first half). The tent does have a "learning curve" to pitch it most efficiently, getting it perfectly taught and strong, plus learning to pitch the upwind side low to minimize and rain/splash issues. I only remember one single night where I had rain issues and still stayed 98% dry; good enough!

    The hexamid (solo+) also saves 10 ounces over the pro trail, very significant, though by itself, probably not worth $230 extra for most.

    BTW: the Solo+ is actually large enough that my wife and I plan on trying it together on our PCT hike next year, we'll se how we do in it together. For one person, the zpacks Solo+ is palatial; I'll never understand why anyone going solo would need the hexamid twin.

  7. #7

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    While not a thru-hiker yet, I felt that the extra money for the CF Duplex was worth it. I have definitely appreciated the waterproof aspect of it in a few deluges...I don't like the sagging aspect of silnylon at all. I honestly LOVE my Duplex and got it in the slightly heavier .74oz for added durability and minimal weight penalty.

    Of course my Duplex might not see much use if I get into hammocking like I want to, but it's still a great piece of gear, and in buying a tarp for the hammock I will still be going CF.

  8. #8

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    My review of the Hexamid Solo Plus is mixed after using it on most of the AT. Setup included a twin sized bathtub floor to accommodate an occasional second person. The twin floor will be replaced with a Gossamer Gear Polycro Ground Sheet for future outings, because I believe this larger floor served as a collection vessel for rain/splash. This is a very good tent, but it demands a taut pitch and I usually ended tensioning the tie-outs twice, making sure any rain drips to the outside of the tent. That being said, it is spacious, easy to setup, well ventilated, and a pleasure to carry in your pack.



    There is probably no such thing as a perfect tent, and the Hexamid, like any other tent, has its pluses and minuses. Yet I must be the only person on the trail with mixed feelings.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    There is zero reason to spend the additional $80 on the zpacks cuben bathtub floor, when you can use ultra-cheap and lighter polycro material (saves an additional 2 ounces over the cuben).

    I've read and re-read the conversation about polycro in the Hexamid, with some claiming it works and some claiming it doesn't. I'd love to save $80, and it probably will rain a handful of times in the first half or 2/3's of the hike, but I've never used a groundsheet before.

    You all have convinced me that my lust for the Hexamid is valid, so convince me that a polycro sheet will work?

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    Just use window shrink film ! Works just fine and is very cheep . I use a Deshutes shaped tarp 13 oz and shrink film . I spent my zpacks tarp money on whiskey.

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    ZP Hex W/ cuben bathtub is $475. TT Pro Trail is $225.

    If this is for a NOBO thru finishing around Sept either shelter would work. You will not experience the level of drying needed, condensation issues, or sag as I think you assume, at least not in CA and OR within the overall fair weather and relatively dry PCT NOBO thru window.

    What are your reasons for wanting a bathtub floor for the PCT? From a weather perspective you'll find for a PCT nobo done during typical nobo timeframes the thru is acceptable for cowboy and UL tarping.

  12. #12
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by changed View Post
    I've read and re-read the conversation about polycro in the Hexamid, with some claiming it works and some claiming it doesn't. I'd love to save $80, and it probably will rain a handful of times in the first half or 2/3's of the hike, but I've never used a groundsheet before.

    You all have convinced me that my lust for the Hexamid is valid, so convince me that a polycro sheet will work?
    Well, I used one sheet for about 8 weeks on the AT. It did get a couple small tears eventually, and I replaced it with a new one, still working.

    If you want something slightly more substantial but still dirt cheap, try 1443 Tyvek on Amazon; enough for a couple tents for $17. I think it's only very slightly heavier than Polycro. I bought a piece and am planning on cutting it to Zpacks tent floor size and weighing it and trying it out, because my current polycro piece will eventually fail like the first one kinda did.

    "Regular" Tyvek (home depot house wrap stuff) is heavier.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kitemaking-Ma...keywords=Tyvek



    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyou View Post
    Just use window shrink film ! Works just fine and is very cheep . I use a Deshutes shaped tarp 13 oz and shrink film . I spent my zpacks tarp money on whiskey.
    Window shrink film IS polycro, Cheyou. Dirt cheap. Before I knew this, I spent $10 for a 6x10 2-pack of polycro ground sheet on Gossamer Gear web site.

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    [QUOTE=colorado_rob;2101136]Well, I used one sheet for about 8 weeks on the AT. It did get a couple small tears eventually, and I replaced it with a new one, still working.

    If you want something slightly more substantial but still dirt cheap, try 1443 Tyvek on Amazon; enough for a couple tents for $17. I think it's only very slightly heavier than Polycro. I bought a piece and am planning on cutting it to Zpacks tent floor size and weighing it and trying it out, because my current polycro piece will eventually fail like the first one kinda did.

    "Regular" Tyvek (home depot house wrap stuff) is heavier.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kitemaking-Ma...keywords=Tyvek



    Window shrink film IS polycro, Cheyou. Dirt cheap. Before I knew this, I spent $10 for a 6x10 2-pack of polycro ground sheet on Gossamer Gear web site.[/QUOTE



    yes it IS ! Lowes , Home Depot hardware store has lots of it in the Northern states. He should try it. Save 84 bucks

    Thom

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    Just as Tyvek, shrink window film wrap comes in different grades and thicknesses hence different area wt. the cost of Gossamer Gear, MLD, or perhaps ZP polycro is comparable to even Walmart's Duck brand window film. I strongly doubt GG, MLD, or ZP are getting rich selling supposed overpriced window film.

    Window film or polycro is ultra thin and wispy. It eventually tears and punctures easily repaired with duct tape but as CR said it's cheap. It is NOT as tough as 1.0 sq/yd cuben which many UL cottage industry companies are using for their cuben ground sheets. . making two pieces cut to size for a hex shouldn't cost more than $8 wherever you buy it. I used it on a PCT NOBO thru, having to replace it part way through, and several other PCT hikes under a tarp.

    IMO, where a bath floor is nice for a PCT nobo using either the ZP Hex or TT Protrail is 1) allows a pitch that is slightly off the ground to get better through ventilation which can be advisable for single wall shelters 2) in doing this though one can be exposed to wind blown sand , snow, debris, and possibly some mist/rain/splash especially if hiking late into the PCT NOBO window in Washington state and on windy Mojave nights. The bathtub wall helps prevent that. Plus, with a flat groundsheet especially in the Mojave sand gets on top of it easily into other gear. but even this can be remedied by noting the direction of wind and placing shoes, some gear, a few rocks or twigs under the ground sheet on the edge in that area to raise it up slightly.

    I agree the Tyvek 1443 is slightly tougher than 75 mil window film and not as tough as 1.o/sq yd cuben.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    ZP Hex W/ cuben bathtub is $475. TT Pro Trail is $225.

    If this is for a NOBO thru finishing around Sept either shelter would work. You will not experience the level of drying needed, condensation issues, or sag as I think you assume, at least not in CA and OR within the overall fair weather and relatively dry PCT NOBO thru window.

    What are your reasons for wanting a bathtub floor for the PCT? From a weather perspective you'll find for a PCT nobo done during typical nobo timeframes the thru is acceptable for cowboy and UL tarping.
    I used a Double Rainbow on a cross country road-trip and it had horrible condensation issues; beyond that, I don't want to imagine using a silnylon shelter in Washington and Oregon when it happens to rain multiple days in a row and my shelter never has a chance to dry out on breaks.

    Re: the bathtub floor: I barely though about not getting it, because this'll be my first tarp-esque experience, and hadn't thought of a cheap groundsheet instead.

    I did camp in the Mojave this past summer with the Double Rainbow and had plenty of sand in it in the morning, but it didn't bother me.

    I think I will go with the Hex w/o the bathtub floor and be very happy spending $399 for a 13.5 oz shelter!

    Thanks ya'll!

  16. #16

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    If you don't want to spend the money on the ZPacks tent, I would recommend the TT Notch. Side entry is much better in my opinion. I used a Notch for 4 years before I got a Duplex this spring.

    However, I love my ZPacks Duplex tent and highly recommend them. I like the attached floor for easier setup and the dual vestibules.

  17. #17
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by changed View Post
    I think I will go with the Hex w/o the bathtub floor and be very happy spending $399 for a 13.5 oz shelter!

    Thanks ya'll!
    Last thought: have you considered the Solo-Plus? Tons more room, plenty of room for all gear, plus more separation from splash along the sides, admittedly not likely along the PCT most of the time. My buddy has the solo, myself the solo+, I've compared side by side. 2.3 ounces and $46 more. Just a last thought.

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    'I used a Double Rainbow on a cross country road-trip and it had horrible condensation issues; beyond that, I don't want to imagine using a silnylon shelter in Washington and Oregon when it happens to rain multiple days in a row and my shelter never has a chance to dry out on breaks.'

    Respectfully, the DR is not the ProTrail and cross country(whatever that might entail) is not the PCT.

    Do NOT expect those multiple days of rain experienced on a AT thru accomplished during typical thru-hike timeframes to be the norm on the PCT during typical SOBO and NOBO timeframes! PCTers both SOBO and NOBO are typically in OR during July one of Oregon's driest months. Do not be an east coaster who thinks the rainy Pacific Northwest is equally rainy every month of the year.

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    Condensation issues can be addressed by greater airflow. That was why the design of both the TT ProTrail and ZP Hex W/ the bathtub floor allow the tarp/shelter to be pitched slightly off the ground.

  20. #20

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    Condensation is an issue with the ZPacks tents too; it's all about location location location and air flow

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