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Great tent design, great quality. Perfect for transitioning into ultralight backpacking
My wife loves the outdoors but is just starting to get into backpacking. In order to maximize comfort for her on our trips, we bought a 3 person freestanding tent weighing in at over 6 pounds. As you can guess, in order to get her into the back country, I got to carry that weight (and pack the bulk). It was a compromise I was willing to make, but it made packing difficult and limited our range.
When I started the hunt for a lighter multi-person tent, I quickly found lots of extremely expensive options (e.g. made out of DCF), and was really bummed out. Then I found this tent, and I was incredibly impressed with the efforts in optimization during design. At ~half the cost of some of the DCF tents, and ~a third of the weight of our freestanding tent, I was so excited to get in on the Drop and test out this shelter.
**Please note that I have not taken this out in the Colorado backcountry yet, but I have set it up quite a few times to figure it out top to bottom before I take it out. We have three trips planned for this summer (fingers crossed they don't close the wilderness areas), so I will update with real world experience as I get it.**
We received the tent a couple of weeks ago, and I can say without a doubt it's a huge upgrade from our freestanding tent in a lot of ways -
- Packability: The freestanding tent took up almost my entire HMG 3400 pack, since it had to go vertically. This shelter packs down so small that I can put it horizontally, meaning I can carry more stuff in my pack (ultimately meaning my wife can lighten her load and we can enjoy our hikes more).
- Weight: At a third of the weight of our freestanding tent, it's no comparison. Obviously it's smaller than a 3 person tent, but we still have enough space for both of us, and it's way lighter. I get to carry less weight and my wife gets to camp in comfort. It's a win for everyone.
- Quality: Our freestanding tent came from a small but reputable and widely known company. The quality of that tent is superb, and the quality of the DD X-Mid is just as great. My wife is a seamstress so I've learned to appreciate quality stitching when I see it. This is an incredibly well-built tent.
As Dan has said quite often, yes, you can find lighter tents, or larger tents, or tents with more features. But you won't find another tent that so elegantly optimizes weight, space, and features at this price point. It's even light enough that I am planning to take it out on solo trips.
For me, this tent is more than just a shelter, since it means that my wife and I can go on bigger and better adventures together!
- Designer Support: Ironically enough, despite how amazing the physical product is, this is where I think this tent shines the brightest. I have never seen such amazing outreach from the designer of a product. It's clear that Dan is incredibly passionate about his products, as I see him constantly responding to questions on Drop and Reddit. To me, that means all the difference in selecting a product.
Would recommend to a friend.