Zpacks Duplex tent review

img_3625Since I bought my Duplex tent from Zpacks in 2014, I have used it on four continents. I do not have the exact number of nights I spent in it but a rough estimate would be 200. While I love this tent and would gladly purchase it again once mine fails, there is a certain trade-off on certain characteristics of the tent that you do by shredding so much weight.

Zpacks now has an extra option to turn this tent into a free-standing tent which I think is very neat. I would probably get the poles if I was to purchase this tent again. I also have the possibility to send back my tent so they can retrofit it so it will work with the poles, but since the tent is getting old I'll just wait until I need a new one.

 

Pros

● Super light for a fully enclosed two person tent. Mine weighs 634g on my kitchen scale, including the tent bag, 10 light titanium stakes and a stakes pouch.
● Does not look expensive to non-hikers, so it won't be the first tent to get stolen if left in a campground ;-). Other campground users usually believe I have made the tent myself and seem to believe it is not very resistant or a proper shelter to be in under rainfall.
● Good protection from the elements. I've been in some serious storms and rainfalls in this tent and managed to keep my stuff dry
● Good resistance, still usable after 200+ nights. I had to re-seal the seams though, after a while the seam at the top of the tent started leaking and my sleeping bag got wet for a couple of nights before I was able to re-seal it.
● Great customer service from Zpacks! I have sent this tent for repair (ripped mosquito net) and they sent it back to me super quickly at no-charge, even though I offered to pay for the repair.

Cons

● Hard to set up in strong wind. I have had great difficulty pitching this tent on two different occasions. One was behind a sand dune on a beach as strong winds were blowing from the ocean. The ground was not holding the stakes very well and the tent eventually fell on me. Another time was in a windy bay. I tried settling in a nice clearing to get a nice view but the wind was just too strong. I eventually retracted to tree cover. I would not take this tent on a trip where most campsites are exposed.
● Slipping a little from your sleeping mat or pitching a little too high puts a lot of strain on the side walls, especially if you are two in the tent. I had to get the tent repaired because of this. I also worry a lot whenever we are two using it and check the tension on the walls during the night.

 

The Zpacks Duplex is the tent I used on my Te Araroa, Baekdu Daegan and Trans Adirondack Route thru-hikes. I paid for the tent myself and did not get any discount for doing this review. More details on the Zpacks Duplex tent can be found on the Zpacks website.

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