Massdrop x Dan Durston X-Mid 1P Tent
Massdrop x Dan Durston X-Mid 1P Tent
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Product Description
Designed to be the best double-wall solo shelter supported by trekking poles, the X-Mid is the brainchild of Dan Durston, an experienced thru-hiker and established member of the ultralight community. It aims to solve the common issues seen in trekking-pole-supported tents: Most are single-trekking-pole pyramids, which lack headroom, or overly complex multi-pole designs, which are tedious to pitch Read More
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
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would recommend to a friend
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bpchristensen
146
Apr 16, 2019
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Hard not to give 5 stars simply for the innovative design and the passion and involvement of the designer.  I do a lot of reviews on Amazon (last time I checked I was ranked #630 of all reviewers), and I usually use a 5 star rating for something that is absolutely perfect and cannot be improved upon.  Honestly I’m not sure that is entirely the case with this tent, but I’m still going with a 5-star rating because I am genuinely very impressed with the overall functionality and quality of the tent.  It it is definitely trickier for me to pitch than Dan makes it look on the video.  Because the fly is not square (due to the vestibules), getting perfect 90° angles at the corners takes a bit of fiddling. And without perfect 90° corners, the pitch won’t be quite right. This is especially true when pitching it on uneven terrain.  I think the real secret is really pulling the corners taught before staking. In wet or soft ground, this will probably mean you'll need to upgrade from the tiny shepherds crook stakes to some "v-channel" type stakes. One  thing I notice is that the bathtub of the inner tends to pull up when the pitch is good and taught, even with the support straps loosened all the way. I haven’t slept in it yet, but I can see potential for some interference with the mesh while sleeping, which honestly doesn’t bother me.  This problem largely disappears once your sleeping system is put in place and holding everything down. (the inner just "hangs" from the peak, and is stayed out on all 4 corners to the outer corners of the fly). Some color coding of one of the corners might be a good improvement, even though it is fairly obvious, but it might save some folks having to re-do connections. The total outer area of the tent is quite large for a 1P tent and the vestibules are very generous. Literally big enough to put all your gear on one side and then cook dinner on the other side while it’s pouring rain outside.  (You have to put your butt inside the inner and then cook between your legs, but it’s totally do-able.  There are a lot of other thoughtful touches  and quality construction throughout. The corners are all beefy and well-stitched, the doors in the outer and inner all have tie-backs, there is a mesh pocket in the roof peak of the inner (big enough for airing out socks), and the line-locs on all the tie-downs is a really nice touch.  I really like the self-sealing waterproof zippers on the outer - this eliminates the typical snagging (and leaking) you get from the typical "flap" that covers non waterproof zippers. Overall I’m very impressed, and while it is a smaller sleeping area in the shoulder/head area than other traditional 1P tents I've used it is literally almost 1/2 the weight. And it will be much better in rough weather or creepy-crawlie prone areas than my normal ultra-light shelter - a single wall tarp + Tyvek ground sheet. Speaking of ground sheets, I'm obsessive about caring for my gear, and so I usually always use a groundsheet to protect my precious tents from mud, squashed bugs, animal turd stains, and punctures from sticks and rocks (almost impossible to avoid in the places I camp). I have a roll of Tyvek, so in about 10 minutes I was able to roll out, measure, and cut a perfect footprint using Dan's dimensions:
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I rolled out a 96.5" length (87 + 9.5) then trimmed it to 28" wide. Then I measured back 9.5" from each opposite corner, drew a diagonal line from the other edge, and cut the ends to create the parallelogram shape. This fits perfectly under just the inner portion of the tent. I haven't weighed the finished piece yet (its in the washer on cycle #2 as I type this) but I expect it won't be more than about 3 or 4 oz - a worthwhile weight penalty to keep the tent in good shape, in my opinion. And it fits in the stuff sack along with the tent and stakes. The greatest endorsement I can give is that I definitely plan to get the 2p version when it becomes available!
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Apr 16, 2019
Valgal
12
Sep 6, 2019
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I believe you are supposed to make the footprint slightly smaller than the tent so that water isn't channeled between the footprint and the tent.
Sep 6, 2019
bpchristensen
146
Sep 11, 2019
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Right. But we were talking about the “inner” whereas I think you’re referring to the outer fly. You’re absolutely right - you don’t want the ground sheet to extend beyond the fly for exactly the reason you’ve pointed out; rain will hit the ground sheet and flow under the tent.
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Sep 11, 2019
evincent220
67
Oct 16, 2019
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Innovative and Comfortable
My Dad and I used this tent for 2 weeks this fall on the John Muir Trail. I posted an overview earlier this year but now feel like I can leave a legitimate review on the X-Mid 1P.
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The Praise: I found the X-mid 1P so simple to set up. If you watch Dan's youtube video on setup and give it a few practice runs you should have no problem pitching it. The 90 degree angle is KEY. The entire pitch hinges on that 3rd staked corner. Other than that the tent goes up without a hitch. If that 90 degree angle is off just reevaluate your rectangle and fix one side of the tent. Don't bother adjusting guylines or tensioning this or that corner. If that rectangle is accurate the tent pitches beautifully. Unless there was uneven ground almost every pitch I'd insert the pole through the vent around 112 cm and the final tension was around 117ish cm. The fabric held up great in the wind and rain that I encountered. I did not run into any severe weather but there was 15-20 mph winds and I never felt the need to use the peak guyouts. The no stretch properties of the sil poly were definitely appreciated on those mornings where things were wet. The overhead pocket in the inner was awesome for stowing lightweight items like my headlamp, sunglasses, tent bag, etc. The ability to remove the inner independently from the fly is such a nice feature coming from a zpacks duplex (my other shelter) where the entire tent must be packed up wet. All zippers functioned great although on some of the very cold nights and mornings those #5s on the fly could start to bind up. I would assume this of any zipper in those cold temps as the plastic becomes less pliable. I did use a polycryo groundsheet. I can't say this was totally necessary but if carrying a 1 oz barrier meant I could pack up and not have any dirt, sand, pine needles, etc stuck to the bathtub in the morning it was totally worth it. I'm 5'10 150 lbs and I found the inner to be completely sufficient laying down. If you needed to lounge around inside during a storm or to escape the bugs it is a little snug. As many others have mentioned you can tie off the inner's door keeper to the outer fly door's keeper to spread the shoulder room out a bit. I did not use the supplied stakes. I used MSR groundhogs. I also swapped out all the cordage on the linelocks with 2.5mm lawson glowire while using 2mm for the peak guyouts (nearly 50% lighter and can tie a slippery hitch to guarantee no slippage in tough weather) Aesthetically, I think think the x-mid looks sweeter with a little contrast between the fabric and pulls/guyline. Overall, this tent performed beautifully during my time out there. The Critique: Nothing is perfect. Everyone will have their own opinions and these are mine. The first is the linelock on the larger panel of the fly's door. To me, this serves no purpose. I can't bring myself to snip it off but I highly doubt that linelock will ever be utilized unless you were in some serious weather where you were trying to reinforce the potential strain on the door zipper due to high winds, etc. Second is the velcro on the vents. I mentioned this in my overview comment earlier this year but I wish there had either been a little more overlap on the vent fabric or the velcro had been moved up .5" or so. As soon as you tension the small fabric panel of the fly door it starts to pull the velcro apart. Therefore, if you have the panel tensioned and decide to close the vent you need to loosen that panel's linelock to allow enough play in the vent to be reattached. Otherwise, half the velcro is hanging out. The velcro in general is a bit frustrating to use since its ALL the way across. I think it might have been less of a nuisance if it was maybe 1 patch of velcro that the strut utilized when being propped open (and 1 extra piece for strut storage - addressed in "user tips"). I understand though that the vent could flap or let driving rain / sprin drift in during tough weather. Hard compromise. Another critique of the 1P would be that the footprint is on the larger side. This also is a catch 22 because the vestibules are amazingly large. That doesn't happen without dimensional consequences. It means that the x-mid just won't tuck in to any stealthy spot. You need a bit of room. Lastly, this isn't a dig on the x-mid but of all trekking pole supported shelters. There is no way to tear down the fly when wet with condensation without it falling to the ground and getting pretty filthy. Maybe you could take a peak guyline and string it around a branch or something while tearing down but that doesn't seem worth it. This is mostly just an aesthetic issue because once you lay it out or pitch it later in the day the fabric dries very quickly and the grime can be brushed off. User tips: - Initially, the vent strut was such a nuisance packing up. It was always flopping around and I'd blindly be trying to push it in the right orientation for rolling the tent. However, if you sandwich the strut between the vent velcro and then secure the vent that issue is instantly solved. You can orient it to the left or to the right depending on how you want to fold your x-mid when packing up. As I mentioned in the critique section I would have liked just a center patch of velcro for the strut and another patch to the right and/or left for strut storage.
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  • - Carry a bit of guyline just in case (perhaps you do this already). The very first night in Yosemite a rogue bastard squirrel ran under my fly when I stepped away and chewed the long single cord that tensioned the inner in half! I had some guyline with me as part of my kit but then realized even more so the importance with this particular shelter that you have extra cordage since the inner's shaped totally depends on that cordage creating the parallelogram shape.
  • - If pitching fly first and attaching the inner second make sure the short ends of the x-mid are nice and taut. If they're too loose when the inner clips in it can cause those ends to sort of collapse due to the increased pull from inner's tension.
  • - I personally found it easier to always remove the inner and pack the two separately into the stuff sack (lay the folded inner on top of the fly and roll them up). It seemed like it was more fussy to leave everything attached when trying to fold and roll up. I always attached the mitten hooks to the grosgrain instead of the plastic D rings for ease of removal and would advise doing this if you plan on removing the inner the following day when packing up.
Overall, I found this tent to be a joy to use with very minimal issues. I'd have given it 4.5 stars but I couldn't give it just 4, hence the 5. Nothing is perfect but it comes close. I'm very happy with the purchase and would not hesitate to take this shelter on any long distance 3 season trip. I have also ordered the X-Mid 2P and I'm sure it will also exceed my expectations. I hope you found this review helpful. -Emmanuel
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Oct 16, 2019
kincheng
33
Oct 23, 2019
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Nice! Your designs are top quality and those other manufacturers will be following along soon enough. Btw, what is the max user height for the xmid 2p. My buddy is 6’6” and regardless I’m gonna try and shove him in there but I’d like to know how angry he will be.
Oct 23, 2019
dandurston
2331
Dan Durston
Oct 23, 2019
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I say the 1P works pretty to about 6'2" (188cm) because some users are happy to about 6'4" (193cm) while others say 6'0" (183cm) is about the limit. The 2P is 5" / 13cm longer than the 1P but also has more inward slope so it actually sleeps about 3" / 8cm longer. So I think it works comfortably to about 6'5", with users likely reporting the max in the range of 6'3" - 6'8". So your friend will fill it up but he shouldn't be too upset.
Oct 23, 2019
Whiteburn
17
May 24, 2019
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Having spent some times using the X-Mid I can only re-iterate others’ comments, a well designed shelter, very good build quality, roomy & easy to set up…..Excellent job Dan! Would like to have given 5 Stars but in common with others’ I’ve found a few niggles (would give it 4.9 stars): Firstly, the supplied cordage slips in the LL3’s in gusty winds & is cut too short to accommodate a bumpy pitch………easily rectified with longer 3mm braided polyprop. Secondly, the carbide pole tips (BD Trail) exhibited a worrying ‘nipple’ in the fly fabric, I ended up stitching a small piece of Hyperlon type material over the eyelet which seems to have cured the ‘problem. Third, the door zippers are under significant stress, I added a 12mm side lock across the zip which makes me a lot happier, guards again zipper failure & will definitely increase zip life. Lastly, it would have been a good idea to reinforce the door tieback loops so that a lateral guy line could be added with confidence. I would have liked the option of a semi-solid inner to cut down on draughts in the cooler months & would definitely buy one should they become available in a future drop. It was good that the X-Mid was supplied with some stakes to enable a pitch on delivery but IMO they are generally unsuitable for trail use; I would have liked an ‘add-on’ option for half a dozen 8” gold Eastons as these are difficult to source outside of the USA.
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May 24, 2019
Whiteburn
17
Nov 3, 2019
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Adding a buckle across the zip opening is a straight forward job, < 1hr for both sides.
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Don't have any pics of the tip (nipple) 'problem' & I believe the new version has a strip of webbing across the top of the eyelet so shouldn't be an issue. Having said that I couldn't overcome my concern over inserting a pole tip towards the fly & hoping it stayed in position during setup, particularly in gusty winds; now use pole handle up with some MYO adapters similar to the Tarptent ones.
Nov 3, 2019
dandurston
2331
Dan Durston
Nov 3, 2019
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Yes the upcoming batch has webbing across the top of the eyelet/grommet, and also positions the eyelet a bit lower so it should resolve problems of the tip pressuring the top.
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Nov 3, 2019
Cogs-n-Sprockets
63
Apr 19, 2019
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I think this tent is a game changer for the UL community. Dan has put an amazing amount of thought and detail into the design of this shelter. I believe he has found no need to compromise anywhere to attain the end product in the X-Mid 1P. Where this tent beats the competition, in my mind, is as follows: 1) Cost - for $200, there is nothing else out there that compares to the X-Mid in terms of features, weight, and sheer size. 2) Weight - I challenge any to find a 1 person shelter with as much to offer for under 2 lbs. 3) Ease of pitch - 5 minutes on the second pitch and that can be significantly reduced with practice. There are plenty of easy pitch options out there, but they compromise elsewhere, where Dan does not. 4) Simplicity of design - 4-5 stakes and 2 trekking poles is all you need to erect this palatial tent. 5) Convenience - 2 entry doors, 2 huge vestibules, 2 ample peak vents, integrated peak storage - this is a 1P UL tent! It can be erected in the rain while keeping the inner dry. Oh, and it's already taped and seam sealed. 6) Protection - Double wall with a netted inner and bathtub floor. Inner is inches away from the fly, offering excellent splash protection. Fly goes to the ground reducing splash and keeping water away from the inner and vestibules. Easily-closed vents and vestibules from inside in storms. Sil-poly won't expand when wet, so you don't wake up to sagging walls that transfer condensation to you and your stuff after an all night rain, like nylon. Ability to bolster the tent in high winds with 8 stakes and 4 guy lines. Could add additional guy lines and stakes through the vents from trekking poles. 7) Versatility - Use as a double-wall, as an inner-only, or as a fly-only shelter. If your trekking pole/s break, you can easily substitute a stick. 8) Space - You can sit up, roll around, kneel, change clothes, and store all your equipment, dry and secure, inside the vestibules. Are there cons? Some nit-picky ones. Well, the inner gets pretty close to you and even touches you sometimes when living in this tent, but I don't find it annoying at all. It could use some additional connection points to pull the inner toward the fly and open the interior a little more. There is sag in the peak of the inner when you put stuff in the storage pockets - a center tie up to the peak of the fly could fix that. I worry about no protective ground sheet, and there is none included (understandable), so I made one out of Tyvek that stays attached to the floor by shock cords. The pitch is easy, but not fool-proof, and it is possible to get a poor pitch if you don't stake out your foundation rectangle well. There are variations in tent weights based on the production run and the sil/PU-coating application - as much as 1.5 oz. in some cases. But, I'm OK with that if it translates to a little extra protection. Thanks, Dan and Massdrop! Like I said, I think this tent is a game changer for the UL community and I look forward to spending many nights in it!
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Apr 19, 2019
Barry67
27
Apr 19, 2019
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Yes, I found that might be a nice refinement to have a couple of detachment points that kept the inner closer to the fly at the top and the long sides (without touching of course) to create a little more sense of space. But otherwise, its fine as is. I slept in it the other night and it rained fairly hard for a couple of hours early morning. The inside of the fly had some condensation, but not a drop on me or the inner. Actually the sound of the rain beating on the tent, put me right to sleep :)
Apr 19, 2019
mejbp
53
Apr 20, 2019
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So like others have said, I could not wait for the trail and set up the tent in the backyard, spending the last two nights in it. The pitch was fairly easy following Dan's many posts on the subject and his video, but it took a little fiddling to get it just right. Construction fit and finish is spot on with nary a stitch out of place and the seam taping is flawless. Being the consummate perfectionist, I could find not a single thing wrong with the tent. It is very refreshing to actually receive a product that is exactly as advertised/designed, so kudos to Dan Durston and the Massdrop team. Regarding the weights, mine is just a tad over on the fly (+1.37 oz), but everything else is spot on: Fly=549g, Inner=280. The X-mid tent hits the sweet spot of affordability, light weight and functionality. I predict a cult following in the UL community (well maybe that is already happening.) Edit: 5/14- The tent has been out on two backpack trips and performed exceptionally well. Conditions this past overnighter were constant 10-25 mph gusts which the tent handled without issue. The additional photo is from Limber Pines Bench Camp, San Gorgonio Wilderness (CA). Edit: 9/10- The X-Mid has now graced the Eastern Sierra 3 times with a total of 30 nights deployed. It has seen wind, rain, high altitude, rough surfaces and continues to perform flawlessly. The Polycro groundsheet I made using Dan's dimensions has kept the inner floor without any noticeable wear and the Polycrw doubles as a place to fold and roll the tent when breaking camp. On a recent night in the Sierra the temps hit the dew point and everyone else in our group had significant condensation in their single wall tents...hardly a drop inside or outside the X-Mid. Added photo of off-trail adventure at Sister Lake on August 14, 2019. GPS: 38.020928, -119.473167
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Apr 20, 2019
KyleRoberts
24
Jun 18, 2019
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I hadn’t previously reviewed the tent because I was waiting until after I had a chance to put it to use on a backpacking trip in the mountains. This past weekend I spent hiking in Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front (just east of the Bob Marshall Wilderness). Over the course of two nights the weather was typical for this time of the year and off and on it rained, hailed, winds occasionally gusted about 20mph and the overnight lows dropped to about 45. The tent was a wonderful escape from the showers. Truly, the secret “best” things about this tent are the two huge vestibules and the silpoly fabric. I think many people are buying the tent because of its specs and Dan’s support and commitment. (Seriously, it seems like you respond to every comment on every website!). People may buy it because of the specs, but I think the non-sag fabric and the amazing vestibules are the reason everyone loves it. It proved very weather worthy and I stayed dry and sheltered from the breeze. The fact that the fly comes so low to the ground was a welcome design when the wind gusts increased but I remained comfortable in the tent. I gained confidence in the tent quickly and I enjoyed going to sleep with the sound of the rain hitting and running down the fly. As others have stated in their reviews, the attention to detail and craftsmanship are very, very good. I too had some small issues with the inner netting, but I was able to quickly fix those by rubbing with my fingernail while laying in the tent. More concerning to me was that my poles (BD Trail) produced the bump in the fly fabric that others have noted. The deflection was very slight and I was not really concerned, but I found an easy - and different solution than some others have employed. I was originally going to use the grommet that had been discussed on the forums at trek-lite. However, that seemed finicky and because the rubber grommet is so thick, the grommet itself would then create an impression in the fly (although not sharp like a carbide tip). I was also afraid the thickness of that grommet might impair a good handles up pitch. My stop gap measure (while I figured out the best long term solution) was simply that I was going to put a rubber washer over the tip of my pole before setting up the tent. So I headed to my local hardware store to buy a couple of washers that would do the trick. I hadn’t done any of my own research into grommets because of all the info that was already available on forums online. But as I was standing in the aisle of various hardwear bits, I took a chance and opened a tray filled with grommets of various sizes. I didn’t have the tent with me to check sizes but I grabbed a couple that looked about right. When I got home and got out the tent, I found that these standard, off-the-shelf grommets were perfect! Because the outer bumpers of the grommet are so thin, they do not press against the fly at all and don’t cause any issues pitching handle up. I could not be happier with how they worked out! I only made two other changes to the tent. First I swapped out 6 of the included stakes for DAC J-Stakes (corners and guylines). I also added short loops of the thinnest cord I could find for the midpoints of the fly perimeter. With those simple changes I was very pleased with the performance of the tent. I have only two tiny complaints. First, I wish it was a few inches wider inside. However, I sleep on a Nemo Tensor long and wide pad (25” x 76”) and it does still fit comfortably. I also found myself wishing there was a corner pocket next to the door. The ridge line pocket is great, but I would have loved for a second pocket close to my sleeping bag zipper for items that I might want in the night. Instead, I just set those items on the tent floor above my head (in the triangle of space created by the rhombus shape of the offset inner). I am attaching pictures of the grommet to this review for others looking to make the same improvement. Edit: I should add that I have not had any trouble fitting the tent back in the stuff sack. As a matter of fact, I was taking down the tent quickly on Sunday morning due to the rain and I accidentally left my headlamp in the ridgeline pocket. Even with the added bulk and a wet fly it rolled up fine and fit in the bag without any hassle. Edit #2: I was just back at Ace and it turns out the grommets were out of order and messed up in their bins. That caused me to take a picture of the wrong grommet sizing info. I have taken a new picture (of the grommet info) and changed the photo in this review. Sorry for any confusion my well intended efforts may have originally caused.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Jun 18, 2019
dandurston
2331
Dan Durston
Nov 17, 2019
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In the picture I posted above, the top right tips are the same as yours (they are both Fizan Compact 3's). I've used them lots and while there is a bump, it doesn't lead to any damage. With your tent, there is an extra layer of webbing above the tip (the tip used to press directly on the black fabric) and the grommet is a bit lower, so it should work even better. If you want, post a picture of the outside with the pole in place so I can see what it looks like, but I don't think you will have any problems.
Nov 17, 2019
ukgelo
13
Nov 20, 2019
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I had no problem with Fizan Compact 3 poles (bought here at massdrop). Unfortunately one of them broke (you really need to be careful with them) in the middle of my trip and I switched to a 'generic' cheap ones with different (longer) tips and that one tore one peak outer shell. I now inserted recommended rubber grommets and they works great with any poles I tried. So even you now have Fizan poles (or any other with 'short' tips) and plan to use them - anything might happen. Grommets will ensure your tent peaks will be safe. Highly recommend them.
Nov 20, 2019
gavainm
35
Aug 17, 2019
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So ... I reached out to Dan about dimensions he recommends for a DIY Tyvek footprint and I have attached what he sent. I used the plan and here are pics of my footprint. I used some light shock cord to attach mitten hooks to the grommets I installed on the footprint's corners. The mitten hooks hook onto the shock cord loops already installed in the X-Mid inner tent's corners. Works great and weighs less than 3 oz. I Used leftover Tyvek to make a small ground cover (.58 oz) for the vestibule to keep my pack out of the mud.
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Just thought I'd share in case someone else was looking for a solution to wanting a footprint for their X-Mid.
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Aug 17, 2019
ER-RN
36
Dec 4, 2019
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I did mine the same shape and size as the floor. The only thing I protect from the ground in the vestibule is my pack. I just take the rain cover and put it on backwards before I lay it down. Already have it, and don’t have to worry about it bringing water under my tent.
Dec 4, 2019
gavainm
35
Dec 9, 2019
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I've done the same thing for a long time and it worked well for me too. My current pack is waterproof so it doesn't need a cover. Once I did that, I had to come up with another way to keep it clean(er) on the trail. I kept a small square(ish) piece of leftover Tyvek in my pack (probably ~3'x3', called it my welcome mat) to lay my stuff out on or stand on when setting up camp or changing (respectively). It weighs less than 2 ounces and was already in my pack, so I basically just made a little bit smaller version of that to take when tenting (other one was/is for hammocking). In the end, what matters is what works for you. I do agree on the pack cover ... that's an easy way to solve that problem if you already have one in your pack.
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Dec 9, 2019
RustyBridges
98
Sep 21, 2019
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My go-to home away from home
After carrying the Xmid for 163 miles this summer I’ve completely fallen in love with it! This being only the third tent I’ve owned in my 13yrs of backpacking, I don’t take replacing a piece of equipment that has become a part of me lightly. I was initially nervous about purchasing an unproven product, but Dan’s knowledge of design and his interactions with the community gave me the confidence that I was in good hands. I wasn’t disappointed. The ease of setup, stability, and versatility combine to fit my needs and my style of backpacking perfectly. (Disclaimer: I would like to stress this last part. I don’t usually review equipment for fear that I may influence someone’s choice, especially something as personal as a tent. Just because the Xmid fits ME and MY backpacking style does not mean it will fit yours, it took a lot of PRACTICE to figure out “me” as a walker...but because Dan has been so active in the community I feel I owe him some feedback.) The Xmid’s ease of set up is by far my favorite feature! Whether it be in the rain, in the dark, in the wind and even after a lot too much “swag sweetener” the pitch has never alluded me. Now, granted I’m not a perfect pitch nazi and usually prefer speed over looks, a perfect pitch just seems to happen on its own and with out having to watch videos or read walk-throughs. The simple picture on the stuff sac was sufficient. The tent the Xmid replaced in my kit required; a certain amount of finesse when staking down, some laying down to get my sticks in place and a bit of yoga to get into it. In contrast, the Xmid barely requires any bending over (my ever aging back and knees thank you Dan). I will admit that I was a bit confused with which direction to deploy the peak support lines the one time I felt like I needed them, it didn’t take long for my monkey brain to grasp it. All in all, If you can recognize a rectangle when you see one, your in there like swim wear. The stability of the Xmid was only tested once. Only once because I pride myself in tent site selection. I’d even go as far as saying that I have a 6th or even 7th sense for it. Where some would see a serene babbling stream as a lullaby, I see a nightmare of condensation. You see a beautiful peak sunrise to wake up to, I see a potential wind tunnel, and this was the case when I reached Chestnut Knob late one night. First thing I noticed was a stone walled hut with a door, a quick peek inside revealed no vacancy for my exhausted ass, I had to tent. I don’t know the wind speeds that night but it was troubling to say the least. I almost lost the tent when trying to stake it down! I pitched it low, deployed the outriggers and bunkered down. The tent performed beautifully, some noise was all that resulted, the tent was a rock. I know it looks boxy but don’t be deceived, the Xmid is stout in weather! The versatility of the Xmid was pleasant surprise to me. Anyone who backpacks the east coast knows that summer turns the Virginias and Carolinas into a rain forest, and this year was no exception. 7/10 days for me was stormy. I don’t spend any time in my tent unless I absolutely have to, the only exceptions being extreme diarrhea, extreme hang over and extreme weather. I have to say the Xmid inner is tight for a stick-bug like me, my head and shoulders touch the netting when I’m sitting up. To be fair though, I knew this going in from the countless detailed pics and measures provided by Dan, also my last tents inner was the same. The difference is that you can unhook and roll up the Xmid’s inner. When I was forced to retreat from the weather early in the day I figured out that I could just disconnect the corners of the inner, tighten the buckles at the top of the inner, and with the addition of two twist ties roll the inner up to hang above while still connected to the fly. This “conversion” method transformed the tent into the perfect bad weather/diarrhea/hangover tarp-like hangout! I just throw down my foam pad and I can move around freely to cook, read and watch the rain while still be protected from the storm. All of this combined with no sagging in the fabric made for a very pleasant retreat. When I was ready for bed I’d just unroll the inner and reconnect the corners and climb in. I realize some will argue this doesn’t constitute “ versatility” but for me it’s huge and a step up from my old tent. I honestly love everything about Dan Durston x Massdrop X-mid 1. It’s an advanced backpacking tent at an entry level price. It’s color is stealthy and calming, the design is elegant and pleasing to the eye. It’s simple and intuitive to set up. Its stable in winds that I consider dangerous and wouldn’t purposely expose myself to. It’s versatility provides long term comfort in the event where I’d be forced to zero inside of it. And though I’ll admit I had to adjust my site selection from a diamond shaped footprint to a rectangular one, the adjustment wasn’t an inconvenience in anyway. Dans a smart designer and I urge you to read all of the info he provides in the comment section. Though I’ve slept, partied, cried, dried, dreamed, worried, laid, prayed and snuggled in the tent that came before, I’m happy to retire it for the X-mid.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Sep 21, 2019
Chastro
39
Jun 3, 2019
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The x-mid arrived just in time for my 14-days on the Larapinta trail in Central Australia. We camped on red dirt, sandy dry riverbeds, rocky ridges. We had wind, rain, and temperatures ranging from 1C to 29C. What a great way to get to know a new tent!
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Thoughts and tips:
  1. It really is an incredible tent for the price, or for any price!
  2. The materials and workmanship are top quality.
  3. After a tiny bit of experience your pitches will be lightening-quick, taught, and sturdy.
  4. The polyester feels much stronger than the sil-nylon used on my Big Agnes UL1 or my mate's MSR Hubba.
  5. The zips are fantastic - also much stronger than I am used to. After a little use they became smooth and easy to operate with one hand.
  6. As others have noted the weight is a bit higher than spec. My measurements were inner=549g, fly=289g, guylines=19g, for a total trail weight of 857g excluding stakes.
  7. The x-mid comes with nice titanium shepherd-hook stakes. I took 2 of those on my trip, as well as 4 MSR mini-groundhogs. I like mixing types. I think 6 stakes was about right. If there's no wind you only really need 4, but the other 2 are nice for the corners of the doors. In windy conditions you may want to use them in the optional anchor points and/or deploy peak guylines.
  8. If you put a peg in the optional anchor points along the long sides of the tent, you wont be able to roll the fly doors up enough to fasten them. I used some spare cord to lengthen the door-fasteners.
  9. My trekking poles (Massdrop x Fizan Compact poles) fit the peak gommets perfectly. Others have aired concerns about the carbide spikes pushing into the fly material, but I didn't notice anything like that.
  10. I discovered it is really easy to control the pitch height. This is done through the length of the guy-outs from the 4 corners of the fly. If you make these short before you start, the whole tent will sit lower to the ground, and reduce drafts entering under the fly.
  11. While the x-mid is strong enough to use without a footprint under normal circumstances, I used a polycryo sheet (27g) because of the amount of abrasive material (rock and sand) we'd be seeing on the Larapinta.
  12. For a taught pitch, make your poles a little longer and set them on slight outward angles (so the handles are closer to each other than the tips). This helps to tension the ridge line. Also if you deploy the peak guylines, they should be drawn out parallel to the ridge line. This too helps to tension the ridge line.
  13. When pitching in the wind, you want to have the wind parallel to the ridge line. This is pretty important.
  14. It is easier to set up and pull down if you leave the inner attached to the fly (it has clips). But when it's raining, I love that I can unclip it and pack it away dry, before pulling down the fly.
  15. No water got inside the tent on the rainy days, and when there was condensation on the fly (1 day out of 14) it didn't bother me inside the mesh.
  16. Overall the footprint (including the vestibule area) is quite big. When space is really tight, freestanding tents like the Big Agnes UL1 and MSR Hubba 1p have an advantage.
  17. The living area is small (normal for a 1p tent). The head room is very good.
  18. The 2 vestibules are huge. I usually kept a couple of handy things in the front vestibule (stove, water, shoes) and then stowed my pack in the back vestibule.
The tent was epic. I don't see myself reaching for another anytime soon. Congratulations again, Dan, on a fantastic design. If you need someone to test a DCF version in the outback, let me know ;)
(Edited)
Jun 3, 2019
dandurston
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Dan Durston
Jun 5, 2019
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Thanks! Do you have an Instagram account or something I can give the photo credit too? Looks like a sweet trip. Really cool geology with those cliffs and rocks. Great job on all the pictures. I'll have to make to Australia one of these years.
Jun 5, 2019
Chastro
39
Jun 5, 2019
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@chasegan Cheers, I appreciate that. The geology is pretty special - great big folds of sedimentary rock laced with mica and quarts. Now all very geologically stable. The Finke River that cuts across the trail is one of the oldest in the world.
(Edited)
Jun 5, 2019
kbhew
12
Apr 30, 2019
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Dan's participation in the discussion threads, as well as his video, had my expectations fairly high but let's face it: $200 for a high quality ultralight tent with features only available on tents much more expensive? My cynical mind assumed something would be off. Nope. Completely as advertised. Set it up in the yard shortly after receipt - maybe 5 minutes? Short trip last weekend and took a little longer for setup only because I spent extra time to clear the area - being extra careful for rocks, etc. with no footprint. Also struggled to get good 90 degree angles as I fought shrubs and other obstructions in my campsite (not the tent's fault of course). The thing that really jumped out at me: the zippers. Especially on the inner. Zippers on lightweight material like the mesh can often be a pain but these are fantastic. It's that kind of attention to detail that I really appreciate and, frankly, don't understand how it can be done so inexpensively. Well done, and thanks.
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Apr 30, 2019
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