The Zpacks Plex Solo is an ultralight one-person, single-wall tent made with Dyneema DCF that weighs simply 13.9 oz. Retailing for $599, it has a hybrid pyramid form and comes with a built-in bathtub flooring, insect netting, and a entrance vestibule. A 52″ trekking pole or tent pole (bought individually) is required to set it up together with six to 10 tent stakes. The inside is spacious with loads of room to take a seat up and there may be further room for inside gear storage. It’s a superb backpacking tent to be used in reasonable climate circumstances however can require a good quantity of tweaking to get a taut pitch.
Specs at a Look
- Kind: Single-wall, non-freestanding
- Capability: 1 particular person
- Weight: 13.9 oz / 395 g
- Poles: 1 trekking pole (not included)
- Peak-height: 52″
- Doorways: 1
- Vestibule: 1
- Pockets: 1
- Dimensions: 7.5 toes lengthy, 38″ broad within the middle, 28″ broad on the ends
- Minimal variety of stakes to pitch: 6 (10 advisable)
- Supplies: 0.55 ouncessq/yd DCF (Fly), 1.0 ouncessq/yd DCF (Flooring)
- Hydrostatic head: Fly (15,000 mm); Flooring (20,000 mm)
- Packed dimensions: 6″ diameter x 12″ size (5.6L)
- Guarantee: two-year restricted guarantee towards defects in supplies or workmanship
- Made within the USA
The Zpacks Plex Solo is made utilizing Dyneema DCF, an ultralight however very sturdy waterproof materials that has little or no stretch, even when moist. There are two grades of DCF used on the Plex Solo: the ground is made with 1.0 ouncessq yard DCF whereas the fly is on the market in two totally different weights relying in your alternative of coloration: 0.55 ouncessq yard DCF (blue, olive drab, white) or 0.75 ouncessq yard DCF (burnt orange dust, spruce inexperienced). Notice: the load of the tent will increase to fifteen.4 ouncesif the 0.75 ouncessq yard DCF is used. Each of those choices are extremely waterproof, exceeding standard silnylon, silpoly, or PU-coated tents by an element of 5 or extra.
The tent seams on the Plex Solo are sewn for energy and manufacturing unit seam taped to be waterproof. The tent additionally comes totally configured with vivid yellow 2.0mm Dyneema Z-Line wire guylines and LineLoc V guyline tensioners, which remove the necessity to tie any knots. A DCF stuff sack is included with the tent. There isn’t a footprint for this tent particularly neither is one actually required until you camp often on extremely abrasive floor. Zpacks sells DCF Groundsheets (3.1 oz) and Tyvek Groundsheets (9.2 oz), however you’ll discover that their Tyvek groundsheet weighs virtually as a lot because the tent! If you would like a footprint that’s light-weight and inexpensive we advise utilizing plastic window wrap which is able to weigh roughly 2 ouncesfor this tent.
Plex Solo Tent Design Walkthrough
The Zpacks Plex Solo is finest described as a pyramid-shaped monopole tarptent with a floating bathtub flooring that’s related to the rain fly with unfastened insect netting. The sort of building is adaptable to uneven floor and annoying roots and rocks as a result of the bath flooring can transfer up or down unbiased of the partitions to adapt to the floor contour. When you even have a thick inflatable sleeping pad, you may typically flip a bumpy campsite into one thing extra tolerable for sleeping.
The Plex Solo requires one 52″ (132 cm) trekking pole to arrange, which is on the lengthy facet as trekking poles go. My trekking poles are simply barely lengthy sufficient when totally prolonged (well beyond their advisable size). You would possibly have to improve your poles to make use of the Plex Solo or to make use of a pole jack (bought individually) to make the pole longer. However you finest test your trekking pole size if contemplating this tent.
When you can arrange the Plex Solo up with a minimal of six tent stakes, I’d suggest utilizing all ten guylines to maximise the inside quantity. It’s finest to stake out the top corners and rear of the Plex Solo first, leaving a lot of slack within the strains, which you’ll be able to tighten as soon as the trekking pole is inserted within the peak. While you insert your trekking pole, hold the grip on prime as a result of the height, whereas bolstered, doesn’t have a grommet inside to accommodate a carbide tip and would in all probability be punctured should you use the sharp finish. Having performed this with different tents, that is one thing you wish to keep away from.
With the vestibule doorways closed and staked out, stake out the remaining guylines and stress them. You’ll discover that rolling again one or each the vestibule doorways or tensioning the bath flooring contained in the tent can damage your splendidly taut preliminary setup. That is an artifact of the tent’s uneven design.
For instance, I would tweak a guyline wire or roll open the vestibule solely to seek out that I’ve launched vital slack within the again wall. I’ve owned a number of one-person Zpacks tents and that is one thing that I’ve at all times discovered irritating with them. It’s one of many tradeoffs of utilizing an uneven design that’s designed for minimal weight since including extra materials or structural parts would make the shelter heavier. I liken it to proudly owning a Jaguar motor automobile: it’s quick and enjoyable to drive, however has just a few idiosyncrasies that you just had been unaware of if you purchased it.
The entrance vestibule has two overlapping panels that connect with a two-pronged hook on the entrance guyline so either side might be rolled again independently. This makes it simpler to dam the wind on one facet of the vestibule whereas preserving the opposite facet open for air flow. Using the two-pronged hook as a substitute of a zipper, improves the sturdiness of the tent since zippers are a standard level of failure.
The vestibule doorways don’t attain the bottom with a purpose to ventilate the tent and to scale back inside condensation. The overhang offers sufficient safety to stop reasonable rainfall and splashback from reaching the within of the tent. In additional excessive blowing rain, decreasing the trekking pole may additionally assist scale back splashback, however the rear partitions will go slack and are simply as prone to soak you with inside condensation. A greater wager can be to prop up your backpack or rain jacket within the vestibule to dam the rain.
The entrance of the tent behind the vestibule is all mesh with a rainbow-shaped doorway, which I personally like as a result of it’s so easy, however it may be liable to zipper jams or failure as a result of appreciable stress is put onto the zipper when opening it or closing it. It’s finest to seize the material on the finish of the zipper with one hand to offer a brief anchor if you open or shut it.
The bath flooring contained in the tent is kind of lengthy (90″) with a middle width of 38″ and a tapered head and foot-end width of 28″, with sufficient room to make use of a large pad and retailer a few of your gear inside with you. I’ve used the Plex Solo with a 77″ x 25″ inch inflatable pad and had further room to spare.
The bath flooring is 8″ deep, however usually lies flat on the backside of the tent until you tighten elastic cords that droop it from the rear panels. These cords assist angle the insect netting so condensation can run down the ceiling and drain by the netting, relatively than dripping on the ground. Nevertheless, should you pull them too tightly they are going to trigger the rear wall of the tent to bow inwards.
The inside of the Plex Solo is surprisingly spacious. I’m 5′ 11″ and I can sit up comfortably inside. When mendacity down, I don’t discover the area over my head to be overly confining, and my toes keep away from the ceiling on the far finish.
Air flow and the airflow by the tent is nice so long as you retain each, or a minimum of one of many vestibule doorways open. The vestibule is pretty slender and received’t fully cowl a big backpack. Alternatively, you may improve certainly one of Zpacks waterproof Dyneema or Extremely backpacks to keep away from carrying a sodden backpack the following day
The DCF partitions of the Plex Solo are translucent and let lots of gentle cross by the partitions. When you’re involved about privateness, I’d suggest getting the rainfly in 0.75 ouncesper sq/yd DCF as a substitute of the 0.55 ouncesper sq/yd DCF as a result of it’s much less clear. Nevertheless, as a result of they’re translucent, the Plex Solo and different DCF tents can get uncomfortably heat inside in direct daylight. Whereas this may be an asset in colder climate, it may possibly make the tent insufferably sizzling and not possible to make use of till the solar goes down.
The Tarptent Aeon Li is a one-person DCF shelter with a facet door and vestibule just like the Plex Solo. It has a decrease peak top and a smaller inside however might be pitched with a daily size trekking pole. It’s barely heavier than the Plex Solo as a result of it consists of extra carbon-fiber struts within the corners that make it simpler to realize a superbly taught pitch each time. Learn our Aeon Li overview.
The Gossamer Gear DCF One is a one-person tent with a DCF rain fly and a Sil/PU coated nylon flooring that makes it extra compact to pack than an all-DCF tent. It has a spacious entrance vestibule and requires two trekking poles to arrange. It’s effectively ventilated and simple to pitch however has barely much less inside area than the Plex Solo. Learn our DCF One overview.
The Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo is kind of related in design to the Plex Solo and makes an fascinating counterpoint as a result of it’s twice as heavy however lower than half the price. It’s made with low-stretch siliconized polyester (silpoly) that shares certainly one of Dyneema’s most quoted advantages. Learn our Lunar Solo overview.
The Zpacks Plex Solo is the lightest weight tent Zpacks makes and at 13.9 oz, you’ll be hard-pressed to seek out an insect-proof shelter that’s lighter weight until you turn to a tarp and a bivy sack. Chances are you’ll be tempted to purchase the Plex Solo just because it’s so light-weight and I wouldn’t blame you, as a result of I’ve performed the identical.
However, I’d nonetheless encourage you to think about the professionals and cons of this shelter rigorously. Whereas it has a comparatively spacious inside, it requires a protracted trekking pole (or pole jack) to pitch and has a reasonably slender vestibule that won’t fully defend your backpack from the rain. It’s a single-wall shelter and subsequently liable to inside condensation until you retain the vestibule doorways rolled again for optimum air flow. Lastly, the uneven design could make the pitch slightly fussy to dial in should you like your tent to have drum-tight partitions, however with slightly follow, you’ll get the dangle of it and perceive tips on how to choose tent websites that play to its strengths.
Zpacks donated a tent for this overview.
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