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Archive for January, 2011

Zpack Hexamid tent field review

Hexamid at dawn near Rams Head 2150m KNP (Great photo by Dave)

After owning my new Zpacks  Hexamid for nearly 10 months I finally got to go on a walk where I could to use it.

The trip was a three day, two night trip in the Kosciuszko National Park around Australia’s highest peak Mt Kosciuszko, the first night was spent on a ridge near Rams Head at an elevation of 2150m. The ridge was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever set up camp with exquisite views but being high and exposed it was quite windy.

I found the hexamid easy to setup and was just roomy enough for my Neoair sleeping mat, pack and some of my gear bags that I wanted easy access to. This night I used a Gossamer Gear ploycro ground sheet on top of the mesh netting floor. When changing head room was just adequate, I am 1.82cm tall. As the possibility of rain was forecast I brought the optional door along which I did not use. For a tent pole I used the pole from my Tarptent Contrail which is nearly the perfect length, to protect the tent fly from the narrow end of the tent pole I used a rubber tip from a walking pole, this worked very well.

I set the tent up with the backside to the then easterly wind. After retiring for the night I was woken up with the tent flapping in the strong winds, I readjusted the guy ropes and this stopped the flapping a lot, though I still had some noise but this did not stop me from going back to sleep, in the morning I was woken by another flapping noise and discovered it was the polycro ground sheet near the front side, the wind had shifted during the night and was now coming from the west, when the ground sheet was re adjusted the tent was reasonably quiet for the brisk winds that we where having.

In the morning there was some condensation inside the hexamid, with the brisk winds I was a bit surprised, but when I thought about it rain was forecast and there was probably a bit of moisture in the air, after a quick shake, the tent packed away easily, the CF stuff sack has ample room for the tent and door, I used a tent pole from my Contrail tent which I packed away in my Tenkara Hane fishing rod sleeve.

That day we walked 33k up and over 11 of Australia’s highest peaks, at the end of the day we where absolutely exhausted, we ended up camping beside the Snowy River near Charlottes Pass, the mosquitoes where very bad so after a nice meal we retired early, I had no problems sleeping and was not aware of the Hexamid flapping at all during the night, this time I set the ground sheet up under the fly screen floor. It was a warm night and we where camped near a river, in the morning there was a lot of condensation inside the tent, in those conditions any tent would have had a lot of condensation inside.

Do I like the Zpacks Hexamid tent after first use, Yes and I look forward to using it on my next trip.

Likes

Easy to setup

Easy to packup

Reasonably quiet in windy conditions (when setup properly)

Very light

Dislikes

No Top vent (Could do with a top vent to improve ventilation but this adds weight.)

Closeup at dawn, Neo air sleeping mat, WM Summerlite sleeping bag.

Some more photos

Contrail and Hexamid on the Snowy River near Charlottes pass

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