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Looks like a not as good of version as the Tarptent Stratospire 1 (which I have). It is a well made tent with a variety of guy out and up options and the option of solid or mesh interiors is awesome for all conditions. It holds up well in near gale force winds. To me this is just a straight knock off of Henry Shires strongest tent but missing some important aspects such as panel pull outs and the strut supported 'pitch lock' corners which hive a steeper angel to the wall and help with wind and snow loading. Its frustrating to see this "designer" completely steal a unique tent design sans the patented pitch lock corners. Arrgg. Massdrop please do your research before putting knock off products on here.
I encourage you to mull this design over a bit longer, as it's quite different from the StratoSpire. I designed the X-Mid and I've owned the StratoSpire, so I'm very familiar with both. I've written a favourable review of the StratoSpire on my blog. TarpTent makes great stuff.
A major goal with the X-Mid was to shed a lot of the complexity that tents like the StratoSpire have (e.g. the pitch lock corners and six-sided shape) because pitching the StratoSpire is my least favourite aspect of it, plus the numerous struts, seams and stakes add weight and force it to pack into an undesirably long shape. So the X-Mid starts with a fundamentally different concept of basing the entire tent around a rectangle, rather than a hexagon. This is an enormous difference between the X-Mid and StratoSpire, and in combination with the diagonal inner, changes everything about the geometry.
Note that the X-Mid's diagonal inner is unlike the inner in the Stratospire: The inner of the StratoSpire is on a diagonal relative to the ridgeline but still square to the sides of the fly, so the SS inner is not on a diagonal at all, only the ridgeline is. The inner has the same orientation as every other hexagon based shelter (e.g. SMD Haven, Zpacks Duplex, HMG Dirigo etc). Conversely, the X-Mid inner is truly unique because it is actually on a diagonal (e.g. not parallel to any sides of the fly). Since the X-Mid also has a diagonal ridgeline (on the opposite diagonal as the inner) the X-Mid is the first a "double diagonal" design (hence the "X" in the name). Both of these tents have a diagonal ridgeline but the X-Mid breaks substantial new ground as the first double diagonal tent and the first rectangular tent to use a diagonal inner, which are a major innovations in tent geometry. The X-Mid is arguably the biggest change in tent geometry in decades. Prior to the X-Mid, rectangular tents have languished for centuries as almost exclusively single pole pyramids and "pup tents".
This unique rectangular base + "double diagonal" layout has been developed not to skirt patents. Rather it is developed from the first principles of geometry to achieve a large improvement in efficiency and function. The X-Mid geometry is fundamentally more efficient (less stakes, seams and fabric for the volume), so you can have a tent that is lighter and simpler while providing the same amount of space. Compared to the SS1, the X-Mid is appreciably lighter (~28oz vs ~34oz), much simpler to pitch, has larger and adjustable vents, no sag fabric, packs smaller without struts (stores horizontally in a pack), has fewer seams, comes factory seam taped, sheds snow better with steeper roof panels, has higher end hardware (e.g. water resistant zips) and yet has similarly generous living space and vestibule area. So lighter, simpler and more functional - and far lower priced because Drop is selling these with minimal markup.
Simply put, the X-Mid is the only tent in history to use a diagonal inner inside a rectangular fly. In an era with so many extremely similar tents, it is noteworthy that the basic floorplan of the X-Mid is unprecedented. I think most would agree it's pretty far from a "straight knock off".
dandurstonThe differences between this design and the StratoSpire seem pretty self-evident to me, and they appear to be based on actual experience in the field. The same can't be said for any number of tent designs out there; sometimes I wonder if the designers ever pull themselves away from their CAD apps long enough to take a deep breath of fresh air. Which is what this mid looks to be, especially in terms of the geometry and reduced number of seams. Well done, Dan—I'm excited about it.
bcyorkI agree; looks a lot like my stratospire 1 also.
ndpandaThanks for the support ndpanda. After years of using various other tents and mids, it's surprising no one has tossed a diagonal inner inside a rectangular fly. Works so well.
bcyorkYes, you nailed it. The only reason the X-mid doesn't violate our patent for the StratoSpire is because the X-mid is missing the PitchLoc corners. Same was true of the Sierra Designs High Route. Of course, removing those also removes structural support for wind and snow loading, cuts off useable volume, and necessitates the diagonal floor because the interior volume is too constrained to support a floor in any other direction.
HenryShiresThanks for chiming in. I thought this design looked a bit too close for comfort. I want to provide support for your clear inovation here. Think I’ll stick with a bit more “complexity,” as Dan puts it, and go with the more reliable and less “borrowed” design.
HenryShires"The only reason the X-mid doesn't violate our patent for the StratoSpire is because the X-mid is missing the PitchLoc corners."
I'm surprised to read this because it's not correct. Your patent describes a shelter that differs in many ways besides simply struts. Your patent is mostly about a hexagon based shelter, but when it talks about a rectangle base it describes a shelter with poles along the perimeter (whereas here they are internal), a floor that is parallel to the fly (whereas here it is diagonal), has struts (none here) and that requires guylines (versus a guyline free pitch here). They're fundamentally very different layouts even if they do share one element (offset poles).
Comparing the actual products, the X-Mid is based around a rectangle, rather than a hexagon like the StratoSpire:
I've already described the major differences in geometry between the X-Mid and StratoSpire in my earlier post so I won't repeat that again, but please note that the X-Mid doesn't simply delete the vestibules off the SS1 to achieve its rectangular shape (as Sierra Designs High Route 1 does). I agree there are many downsides to that sort of a design (e.g. vertical side walls, mandatory guylines, lack of vestibules, longer unsupported panels).
Compared to the High Route, the X-Mid adds several new ideas (widen fly -> rotate inner -> move peaks closer to the centerline). That creates vestibules, gives better wall slopes and avoids the need for mandatory guylines, so here a rectangular based trekking pole tent can offer all the advantages commonly found in a hexagon based shelter without the downsides common to a hexagon based shelter (more stakes required, more complex pitch, more weight). The X-Mid solves all the common pitfalls of rectangular tents (e.g. lack of headroom, poles in the way of the entrance or in the living area, mandatory guylines, vertical fly walls, lack of vestibules) while preserving the advantages (simpler, lighter), so the X-Mid combines the advantages of hexagon and rectangle layouts while avoiding the downsides of both.
Designing it around a rectangle + using the diagonal inner to move the peaks in from the perimeter changes everything as it pertains to geometry, structural support, snow loading, volume etc. PitchLoc corners wouldn't be a benefit here (like they arguably would for the Sierra Designs High Route) since the basic design already has steeper walls slopes, and thus add-on features to mitigate low angled walls aren't needed.
AJXDAgreed, low class.
People are going to continue to design and innovate based off what works and what doesn't, that's progress. Trying to throw a new manufacturer/designer under the bus bus is never a good business strategy.
HenryShires"the only reason it doesn't violate our patent, is that it doesn't violate our patent". This is obviously as different than the stratospire as any other trekking pole supported shelter you're just being a whiner.
solistcaThis "looks a bit too close for comfort" to those who are either too myopic or insecure. Shires did a great deal to popularize and innovate - a lot of the "heavy lifting" if you will - but to be so prickish toward very clear refinement is unacceptable.
HenryShiresIt is unclear what the complaint is. You've just stated that the tent doesn't violate a patent. The design has non-trivial differences to any existing tents of yours, so legalese aside it is not ethically ambiguous in my book. And aside from the initial fanboy/girl surge he is generating, if your tents are of equal value and quality then the market will choose your tents in the long run anyway. Honestly, I've always found Dan to be very complimentary towards TT products, and his positive review of the SS2 is the only reason I know TT as a company and have considered buying TT products.
dandurstonYes, it is a bit different. Apologies. All these models begin with a basic A-frame but when I see offset poles from a basic A-frame, minus the pitchloc corners,as was/is the case with the SD High Route, the lights start flashing. The StratoSpire 2 is hexagonal but is also based around a rectangle. It became hexagonal when it became clear that adding those extensions provided much more vestibule space and most especially strong symmetrical fly tensioning. The SS design could easily accommodate a pitchloc to pithcloc/diagonal corner to corner sleeping orientation but we opted not to do it that way in order to maximize the sleeping width. The X-Mid does not have true symmetrical fly tensioning but looks to be pretty close. I hope you do well with it.
bcyorkYou know, TT gets credit for pioneering the use of two offset poles. The SS is the first shelter I'm aware of that did that. When the Yama Swiftline came out it got criticized as an imitation. I want to say the High Route did too. At this point I'd say Dan is adding to the variations on the theme. I'd call the X-Mid's use of dual offset poles more as a Shires artistic/design "influence" than a ripoff. More choices are good. I bought my SS2 and my Locus Gear Khufu after reading IntoCascadia. The X-mid seems like a sweet spot in between the two.
Logan96Oh dear. That response from Henry seems out of character.
HenryShiresSo...it doesn't violate your patent because it is fundamentally different, and doesn't use the element you have a patent on, and you don't have a patent on a dual peak mid design.... So how exactly did bcyork nail it? Henry I have a Notch and love it, and Dan has been a supporter of your products. Your comment seems really petty.
UnnamedpeaksCan everyone please stop making up things to rip on @HenryShires for! He is absolutely wonderful from my dealings and has developed unique tent designs and runs a very good and responsible company that many from the community has benefited from. His products have exceeded my expectations every time and this behavior shows how bad the internet can be . My whole point was that this just really just looks like the Stratosphere and I was a bit peeved as well at the time as MD has been successful in deceiving me twice on drops with blatant wrong info and refuses to respond to any emails and I will never buy anything from them again, they are a absolute scourge.
For the record I didn't know anything about @dandurston before. Aside from my issue with MD I'm glad to see that Dan did use the Stratospire2 a great deal (i read his whole post about it) and while I may disagree with his criticisms to some extent such as its wind resistance and difficulty to setup mine is a the 1P and there could be a difference there as the larger panels of the 2P would catch more wind and would put more strain on each stake. However comparing a 1P to a 1P Dan may have a different feeling on those things, who knows. Also this tent is lighter than the SS1 due to using a lighter fabric and a PU/sil coated polyester which isn't as strong as sil-nylon but doesn't have the sagging issue, to each's own preference there. I prefer the stronger material and work around its minor shortcoming.
@Unnamedpeaks @cadure @Bcap @Logan96 if you actually go back and re-read what Henry wrote he is referring to a specific part of my original post and you should go and read up on patents, they are usually related to hyper specific details and not something as vague as two peaks on a tent.
@audible is it "refinement" or just a variation. Things that come after aren't always refinements and only time can tell on that end. I find the long end to be a very wide side for wind to catch and it probably wouldn't do as well in falling snow as the SS.
@dandurston Best of luck with your tent, apologies for stirring this up.
To all, I'm leaving to do a week long hike tomorrow so any trolling replies will not be seen.
bcyorkThe only thing people really ripped on Shires for was the tone of his first post agreeing with you. Nothing about his contributions to the community or product quality or service were really brought on the table, so there is no need to defend those. Its seems most people don't agree with yours or Henry's initial size-up of the situation and felt you were giving Dan the short end of the stick. Henry walked it back a bit later, and you seem to be doing the same now. If you come in guns-a-blazing so-to-speak, it is hardly unexpected that the response will be negative.
As for patents. I know enough about the patent process to know how flawed it is. Not infringing on a patent does not necessarily mean that a product wasn't immorally copied. Also, getting a patent on something doesn't necessarily mean that it was really your idea either. Any moral judgement regarding IP has to depend on the history and context. That is why I stated that IMHO I don't view this as a copy regardless of legalese.
And as to whether it is a "refinement" or "variation"... I 100% agree that only time will tell. As much as I respect Dan's experience and attention to detail he has no history of producing tents, and as much as I want/expect him to succeed, I can't justify putting my limited monies towards a product that has no proven history (in comparison to TT's long history). My hope is that it gets reviewed well and is dropped again next year.
Enjoy the hike! Sounds way better than another week of work.
dandurstonThe HR1 does have vestibules they just aren't traditionally shaped. I own one and have never found myself wanting for vestibule space. There is probably a solid 8-9 inch wide strip of space between the fly and the inner nest on either side which is plenty to store my shoes, sit-pad, and enough room to cook on one side, and to have my empty pack out of the way on the other side. The only disadvantage I could see the HR1 having vestibule wise is that you couldn't fit a dog in them but your design doesn't seem much better in that regard.
As for the vertical walls, while they may be inherently weaker in high wind (personally I have never had an issue there) they do offer great performance in for rainy weather. Because the walls are vertical and not sloped very little water clings to the entry flaps, which means when you get in and out of the tent water isnt dumping on your back. This to me is the biggest flaw of any vestibule I have ever come across. To go with this when its raining and there is little to no wind and the rain is falling straight down I can have both doors fully open and stay totally dry, meaning I can cook, enjoy the view, and keep all my ventilation.
With all that said I am intrigued with the weight savings of your design over my HR1 and will look at it further, as I do think that the dual offset pole design has room for innovation. One aspect that I would love to see is how your design handles the inner nest zipper. The HR1 design is almost impossible to open with one hand and a constant thorn in my side.
I'm impressed that you can cook in an 8-9" deep vestibule. My 1.3L pot is 6" diameter, so that would leave about an inch on either side between the pot and the tent fabric, except that my windscreen is a little wider still - a bit dicey.
I disagree with your statement that the X-Mid "doesn't seem much better" with regards to fitting a dog in the vestibules. The X-Mid has perhaps the most generous vestibules of any lightweight solo tent at 29 sq ft (vs 17 sq ft for the HR1 or a token 5 sq ft for the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1). You could easily fit a large dog on either side. A dog on one side and regular hiking stuff on the other would be a nice setup. Whereas you wouldn't fit much of a pooch in the High Route vestibules.
With regards to doors and slope, Like the HR, the X-Mid fly also has a decent overhang above the inner so you can keep the doors open in light rain. Further, since there is some slope to the door walls, if you only open the X-Mid doors about half way and roll them up like that, you get a lot more overhang (much more than the HR) so you can keep the doors half open even in moderate rains and still cook, enjoy views etc in conditions where you'd want to have closed the HR doors. I don't think you'll find the X-Mid lacking compared to the HR in this area, but both tents should be fantastic partners in the rain compared to mainstream tents which often set up inner first and don't fully cover the inner when the door is open. Both the X-Mid and HR have large functional vents, large doors and fly's that overhang the inner, so this seems a bit like splitting hairs between two good tents. But the X-Mid does add no-sag polyester fabric, which makes a substantial difference in wet conditions because the pitch stays taut.
With regards to water on your back during entry/exit, I think the biggest factor here is how high the door is because it's really hard to duck under a low door and all doors are going to wind up wet eventually. Some mainstream tents have really low doors. For example, the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 is impressively light but mostly because it is tiny. The peak height of the inner is only 34" (versus 43" for the X-Mid and HR) so you can barely sit up even at the highest point. Naturally, the doors are lower still, so you'd be hard pressed to squirm out in wet conditions without touching the fly. Comparatively, both the HR and X-Mid have quite large/tall doors, so they should both be relatively easy to enter/exit while avoiding touching wet fabric. If the exterior of the X-Mid door (or any door) is really wet, then I roll it up with the roll outwards (rather than inwards) so the water is trapped inside the roll and drips out the end further away from the inner.
Regarding one handed operation of the inner nest zipper, this is difficult to do in any tent because there will commonly be angles where you pull on the zipper and the inner isn't secured in the opposite direction. In general, it is easy to pull the zipper down away from the inner peak with one hand since it has that solid connection at the peak, but if you do the opposite (pull it up towards the inner peak) you may end up just pulling up the floor fabric rather than closing the zipper since the zipper has more resistance. The X-Mid inner zippers are above average in this area because I've spent a fair bit of time trying to get the inner as taut as possible (whereas many tents have a limp inner that makes the zippers harder to use). So most of the time you can operate them with one hand. You should be able to pull the zipper slider down from the peak, around the corner and all the way to the other end with just one hand. If you do the opposite (pull the slider from the bottom end to the peak) you'll probably find that it briefly needs a second hand to get around the corner. The only way around this would be to secure the inner to the ground here either by staking it down or connecting it to the bottom of the trekking pole. I could have done either, but I think occasionally using a second hand is better than adding weight, complexity and more steps to the pitch.
Overall, I think the largest advantages compared to the HR are the much lower weight (28 vs 37oz), larger vestibules, no sag fabric, no vertical fly walls and simpler/no guyline pitch. I'm leery of guylines that extend far from the tents body because myself or someone else often finds a way to trip on these which can damage the shelter. I also think the X-Mid is more wind worthy, but I can see how this could be a red herring since the HR is likely good enough for conditions a backpacker will encounter. More broadly, I think too much discussion on shelters focuses on unlikely hypotheticals rather than practical real world differences. Differences in weight, space and ease of use are real world differences that meaningfully affect a backpacking experience, whereas theoretical differences in wind or snow shedding almost never matter in the field. Certainly you don't want an inadequate tent, but I wouldn't choose one tent over another because it might require less banging to get the snow off on the rare occasions where it snows.
bcyork"@audible is it "refinement" or just a variation. Things that come after ....blah blah blah..."
semantics and 'probablies'...yawn.
HenryShiresDan leaves a detailed, fair, and good review of his StratoSpire2 from Henry Shires' Tarptent. Henry Shires in turn, lashes out in this ludicrous suggestion that we, as consumers, should look at Dan's X-Mid as a knock-off of the SS1?!
Look at the side by side birds-eye schematics, Henry, bcyork, solistca! They're about as different as 2 UL 1P trekking pole dependent tents could be!
I had high regards for Tarptent and you were on my short list of possibilities. But this nonsense and the use of saggy nylon have taken Tarptent off the list.
If your designs are better, let them speak for themselves. Lashing out at a fledgling start-up who DID NOT violate any of your patents is poor show to say the least.
You may need to revisit Business Ethics 101.
dandurston@dandurston This is all a bit of rationalization and @HenryShires has a valid point. Both the High Route and the X-mid are a Stratospire variant with the vestibules chopped off. The HR chose to keep the sidewalls vertical, which compromises storm worthiness somewhat but simplifies pitch dramatically - not only in terms of fly pitch, but also in terms of not having to keep track of the location of the inner, at least if you use Henry's and not Franco's pitch method. (After a year of ownership of the SS1 I frankly found both unsatisfyingly fiddly, to the point where I sold the tent). The X-mid improves on the vertical sidewalls of the HR a bit but retains and even exacerbates the difficulty of correctly positioning the inner on challenging terrain. Both the X-mid and HR are clearly derivative products (which does not mean that they are illegal copy-cats, both add enough twist that you could probably convince a jury that they are different, particularly if you look at the pitched product, and not at the top-down diagrams.
dandurston@dandurston the HR1 is getting a rev that makes its weight on par with your design. Also, the inner of the original HR1 can be placed asymmetrically, to open a full 18-inch vestibule on one side. I agree that your design is a clever way to squeeze out more useful space under the fly, but the sacrifice of simplicity of pitch via the rotated inner is just not a good tradeoff IMO. I am sure you and many others will feel otherwise.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll provide some comments in response, while starting off by saying that I'm a big fan of both of the SS and HR tents and think highly of them.
It sounds like your main concern with pitch complexity is correctly orienting the inner tent, as opposed to the other factors like the number of stakes and guylines, or having to guess angles, or having a tent that can blow down mid-pitch in a wind gust. I agree that orienting the inner can be a bit tricky with the StratoSpire because you've got six sides that are all similar in length, so you have to remember which side is the one that the inner is square to (I solve this by keeping in mind that I need a Pitch-Lock corner in my left hand). The X-Mid is easier here because there are fewer sides and they are obviously different (long vs short), so you only have to grab one of the short sides and remember the inner angles left relative to that:
So I find orienting the inner to be mild challenge with the StratoSpire, but close to a trivial one with the X-Mid. I think other aspects of the SS pitch are much harder (guessing multiple angles). Indeed the High Route doesn't have this consideration at all because the inner is parallel to the fly, but it has several other areas where it is more complex than the X-Mid, as I will explain. Here are the X-Mid and HR tents illustrated to scale (the difference in vestibule area is striking):
Comparing the HR and X-Mid pitches, either way you start by staking out a rectangle. Indeed you have to consider the orientation of the inner briefly with the X-Mid. However, since the HR has the poles located right at the perimeter of the rectangle, it requires two additional guylines. So there are two additional stakes to deploy and the pitch is vulnerable to wind gusts during the time between when you add the pole and when you get that guyline deployed. None of these are a big deal - both are simple tents compared to the StratoSpire - but overall I think the X-Mid is the simpler pitch with it's 4 stakes, no wind vulnerability and no guylines.
You mention that the 2019 High Route is much lighter at 27oz. This weight is basically the same as the X-Mid (27.9oz) once you factor in that the High Route requires two more stakes. Indeed the 9oz chop in weight is a great improvement to the High Route but I think there are numerous compelling reasons to choose the X-Mid. The advantages to the 2019 High Route are that you don't have to consider the orientation of the inner and it fits in very small tent sites. Conversely, the advantages to the X-Mid are:
- Substantially more headroom (43" vs 40" peaks)
- Far more vestibule area (29 vs 13 sq feet)
- Slightly more inner floor area (17 vs 16.5 sq feet)
- Two doors (versus one)
- Two vents (versus one)
- No required guylines
- 4 stake pitch (versus 6)
- Better wind shedding with non-vertical walls
- Better snow shedding (smaller and steeper angled roof panels)
- No sag polyester fabric
- More waterproof (2000mm vs 1200mm HH).
So the X-Mid offers more space (inner area, vestibule area, headroom), functionality (vents, doors) and performance (no sag, wind shedding, higher HH) for the same weight and a much lower price. I don't think it makes sense to give up all that to avoid spending a second or two thinking about the orientation of the inner, especially when you'll likely spend more time than that staking out the mandatory guylines of the High Route.
Around the same time you posted here, I see that someone posted strikingly similar criticisms of the X-Mid in a comment on Andrew Skurka's blog:
In case that was you, I'll address the other thing mentioned there, which is that the X-Mid is less stormworthy than the StratoSpire. I don't think this is true at all. The SS has relatively shallow roof panels and then average sloped side panels, so it has a mix of shallow and moderate slopes. Comparatively, the HR is a mix of moderately sloped panels and then very steep (vertical) side ones. So both the SS and HR have inconsistent panel slopes but biased in opposite directions. Conversely, the X-Mid is a very unique tent in that all of the panels have a consistent and moderate slope. It's rare to find a tent with consistent slopes, let alone consistently moderate ones.
Panel slopes are unavoidably a trade-off because steeper slopes are better for snow but shallower slopes are better for winds. You can't optimize for both simultaneously. So the best possible design for a well rounded tent is to have consistent panel slopes (so there is no weak link) and then have these consistent panels at a moderate angle to balance both wind resistance with snow shedding. This is exactly what the X-Mid is. You could also have a consistent tent with steep slopes (e.g. a very tall teepee) that is great in the snow but poor in high winds, or a consistent tent with shallow slopes (e.g. MLD Trailstar) that is great in high winds but poor at snow shedding. For a versatile, well rounded shelter the best you can do is consistent medium slopes.
So compared to the X-Mid, the SS has much shallower roof panels and thus is less adept at snow shedding. Snow will typically slide off every panel of the X-Mid, while snow typically does not slide off the roof panels of the SS. The HR roof panels are a closer slope to the X-Mid, but still a bit larger and shallower, so the X-Mid is undoubtably the best of these three tents for snow shedding.
For wind resistance, the HR is obviously going to trail the SS and X-Mid because it has vertical side walls. The SS and X-Mid are pretty close here because both tents have a fair bit of area (or wind resistance) on the long side. A key difference though is how this force is distributed. The long side of the SS is basically hanging off a single stake at the pitch lock corner, so it puts a lot of strain on that one stake. I've had this rip out on me on several occasions with my SS2. Conversely, the X-Mid allows you to use two stakes evenly spaced out along the long side, plus you can deploy the peak guylines in this direction to anchor the long side even more (which you can't do on the SS), so the total load can be spread over 3 stakes instead of 1 (or five versus three if you count the corner stakes). You could even add a second peak guyline and run it out from the vent to share the load even further. So while ideally you wouldn't pitch the X-Mid broadside to the wind, even if you did it would have the lowest load per stake, which is the common failure point. Ideally these tents would be pitched with the smaller end wall into the wind, which case both the X-Mid and StratoSpire would offer near identical wind performance with similarly good end panel slopes + one guyline. Both tents would be great in this configuration, so any further dissection of the differences would be only academic.
You also made a few comments about the similarity/non-innovation of the X-Mid compared to the StratoSpire. I've already shared my thoughts on this at great length in some of my previous comments (see link) so I'll avoid repeating myself here. If that post doesn't convince you, then I probably can't.
But geometry aside, I think what really matters is that all of these designs are noticeably different - we aren't talking about clone tents from Aliexpress. Judging from Henry's comments here about the X-Mid ("Yes, it is a bit different. Apologies") and Andrew Skurka's response to your (?) comment urging him to call the X-Mid a copy ("The X-Mid is different from anything else out there"), I think all of us designers are in agreement that there are substantial differences between these shelters and we would prefer to leave it there, rather than debating how similar is too similar. We all have good intentions and want to make tent designs that are as high performance as possible - and the UL community is better off for that. The only reason I'm doing this is because I genuinely believe that this layout delivers higher performance.
dandurston I joined the drop after reading this thread
GroovyGeekHave you seen the video in which Dan pitches the X-mid? I have never seen a tent pitch easier than that.
drytoolThis was on a perfectly flat reasonably soft surface with no orientation restrictions. If you are pitching this on an incline where the orientation of the inner matters things get "interesting". I used to own a Stratospire that had a similar rotated inner, and pitching under those circumstances is always an exercise in trigonometry. Sand and Rocky terrain are also extremely troublesome, but that is true of any trekking pole supported tent. The rotated inner is present on only two tents I know of. It increases vestibule space significantly at the cost of the above mentioned complexity. I have the V1 Skurka tent which I like and joined this drop to see what the X mid is like. Worst case I don't like it and post it for sale for a small loss.
J002Yes I've filed a patent application.
dandurstonGood for you. Expensive and lengthy process and sometimes patent applications get invalidated, but if it is a successful patent application you will get long-term security in the market. I'm considering applying for a patent myself (on a factory automation machine)
J002Yeah it’s quite the process. I’ve filed the preliminary application which stakes the claim, doesn’t cost that much and then I have one year to get the full application in.
HenryShiresHmmm. I've been planning to purchase a tent like this, or one of the Tarptent designs, or one from any of several other lightweight tent designers. Mr. Shires just convinced me to not pursue any of his designs. Grow up Mr. Shires.
HenryShiresWow, I’m surprised you took this opportunity to have a go at someone else’s design instead of being your best self and using this platform as a positive. This speaks volumes about you and your company and has ultimately affected my decision of ever doing business with you no matter how interested I WAS in your products
HenryShiresI did and it tells me that you jumped at the opportunity to respond negatively without even looking at the design of the x mid, then back tracked to an apology because your statement didn’t hold water, which led to me to post my opinion
HenryShiresI want to encourage everyone to move on from this and base their future gear choices on design quality and innovation rather than politics.
I don't think most hikers appreciate how sensitive design infringement is in the lightweight hiking community. Companies put a lot of work into a design and then often when something is successful it is copied outright or the key components are copied while changing something superficial to make it appear different. Most gear makers are respectful of other designs but there are some that will do anything they can legally get away with. So quite a few companies I've spoken with are upset at other companies - and often for good reason. This is particularly true for tents compared to any other gear (e.g. backpack designs are far more similar to each other yet few are upset).
While I don't agree there is excess design overlap here, I can sympathize with a reaction that is a bit emotionally charged because of the long history of design infringement in the ultralight community. That has led to a situation where many folks - manufacturers and customers - are on edge. Since TarpTent has produced the majority of the good ideas in the lightweight tent space over the past decade, they've also experienced the heavy weight of having to defend their ideas against would be piggybackers. In this case an apology has been made, so I want to encourage folks to show grace and move on.
dandurstonI am ready to buy the x-mid 1p. When will they be available. I never even got a notice of the pre-sale
smokescreen53I think Drop just got a new batch a few days ago and has been busy shipping out the pre-sales, so it should open for new orders any day now. I'd be very surprised if it's not this week - hopefully today.
You can sign up for the 1P email list on my site if you want a notice. That's near the bottom of this page:
https://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-1p dandurstonI am also very interested in your new 40l backpack for my AT thru hike. I have been looking at 60l packs like the Mariposa and Granite Gear, but I am afraid if I go with a 60l, I will fill it up.
smokescreen53The 1P is back on sale now. My 40L pack is a fairly generous size for a 40L (e.g. it's a true 40L and not an optimistic one like many packs nor is it including the external pockets in that 40L). We debated calling it a 45L.
dandurstonOk. I got the x-mid 1p. Now the pack. This will be my first thru hike. Will the 45L in the pack you designed work, or should I just go with the drop x 60l. It weighs about 8 ounces more.
smokescreen53Really depends on your hiking style. My 40L pack is smaller, lighter and provides quick access to your stuff while on the move via shouder strap pockets, hipbelt pockets, and a unique quick access side pocket. The GG pack is larger, heavier and more of a traditional pack with a more robust frame and thick padding. For a thru-hike, I recommend getting your baseweight down to fit into a smaller lighter pack, but if you have a fair bit of gear then you may need the larger pack too.