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Hi Dan, I love the look and specs of your tent. I wasn't sure about how much use I'd get from a 1P tent as I've always hiked with others and shared a (heavier) 2P tent to save weight. So I thought I'd test out a friend's DuoMid (hers is DCF) over the weekend before committing to buying it. I realised I enjoyed the extra space and privacy and decided to bite the bullet, only to find out that the drop had closed just before I got back from my hiking trip when I thought I had an extra day!!! 😭 I blame the US/Australia time difference LOL
I appreciated reading your comparisons with the DuoMid, as it gave me a good idea of what I could expect, and why there would be more headroom. I'd struggle with using DuoMid as a 2P as it would feel cramped. But from your discussions below, I think the XMid could do it, if we were willing to let in the creepy crawlies and mozzies!
I remember seeing somewhere a post about being able to pitch the inner mesh without the outer wall. Are you able to post the link of that for ease of reference? Also, would pitching this way only be ideal in very warm and dry nights? How could we factor in the humidity?
Massdrop, please please please open the drop one more time before delivery in March 2019!!!
Thanks for the kind words.
The inner only pitch does work well and is easy to do. You can read more about it and see photos here:
The inner only setup would work well if you're not expecting precipitation, and the humidity isn't extreme. The air inside the tent stays warmer than outside because of your body heat and because the mesh actually stops a surprising amount of airflow. So if the conditions are moderately dewy outside (e.g. a couple degrees below the dew point) the it would be fine to use an inner only pitch and you shouldn't get dew inside. But if there is a very large temperature drop to well below the dew point, then you could get dew accumulating inside, so in that situation it would be better to be using the fly.
I'm not sure of Massdrop's plans, but I suspect they will open the drop one more time in another month or so. If you hit the "request" button then you'll get a notifcation when it happens. We are producing 1000 of these and 670 are sold already (in two drops) so it will likely sell out in one more drop and then no more tents for a while.
Thanks for info about the dew point and pitching inner only. And great to hear about a potential last drop. I'll keep an eye out on it!
Hi Dan, so excited that the 3rd drop is finally open. I wanted to ask, I've seen tent floors that have a higher HH rating (eg. 5000-10000mm, though at heavier weights) as opposed to XMid at 2000mm. Is the higher rating necessary? Should we be using a groundsheet for the inner of the XMid?
Hi Miss Messa,
Good questions. A groundsheet isn't necessary for normal use. Polyester is quite abrasion resistant and 20D polyester isn't a crazy choice for a floor - there are other tents using much weaker materials like 10D nylon and DCF. So the X-Mid floor holds up fine without a groundsheet for normal use. I don't like groundsheets in general because they are more hassle and weight (its lighter and simpler to have a stronger floor rather than a weaker floor that needs a groundsheet). When I say "normal use" I mean you would want to use reasonable care. Inspect any camp spot for sharp rocks/sticks or pine cones and avoid camping on really abrasive surfaces (e.g. bare granite). I would recommend a groundsheet if you are camping on gravel or bare rock regularly, but other than that I wouldn't.
For the HH rating, this is a murky subject. It's not really the HH that matter so much as how well it lasts. You only need about 600mm to actually keep the rain out, so 1000mm is a safe number. Historically most tents have used water based PU coatings that degrade relatively quickly (since they are water based, they actually absorb water and then get soft or crack or peel). So you might need a 5000mm rating just to be confident that it'll be waterproof in a couple years.
The X-Mid floor material is actually coated with my silicone (on the outside) and polyether based PU (way better than water based) on the inside. The silicone strengths the fabric whereas PU does not, but the PU isn't crazy slippery like sil and it can be seam taped. We are claiming 2000mm for this floor but it is actually well above 3500mm when it is new (3500mm was the max of the testing equipment). You can see the independent results and high resolution fabric photos at the end of this page:
We actually wear tested the material using an ASTM test that simulates usage and abrasion. This test actually simulates the tent being exposed to high winds and heavy rains for 1.5 months straight, and the fabric was still solidly waterproof at the end of that. So that is better than most of the ultralight materials being used these days and will be reliably waterproof for many years.
So I don't think there is a better fabric out there. We could apply an even heavier coat of PU to raise the rating further but the tent is already solidly waterproof and adding more PU would raise the weight and also weaken the fabric because PU actually lowers the tear strength so you don't want to add more than you need.
Thanks for the quick reply Dan. I understand that there compromises to be made when going ultralight/lightweight... and I'm usually happy to make them. Glad to hear from your info that floor waterproofness and relative durability aren't the compromises with the X-mid.
@dandurston , thanks so much again for your thorough, knowledgeable, interesting and thoughtful replies. I've really enjoyed reading through a fair bit of the discussions here.
I happened to come across another page (http://www.trek-lite.com/index.php?threads/dan-durston-massdrop-x-mid.4960/page-11) that answered all my questions about how the inner tent kept its shape and how you take it down while inside the fly. In my friend's DuoMid, you had to stake two of the corners of the inner tent (more weight), and had to practically crawl to unclip it from the back corners because of the really sloped walls.
Anyway, just joined the drop a few days ago and can't wait to have it in my hands next year. I get a little too excited about great hiking gear for my wallet's liking!
All the best with the 2P prototype. Looking forward to seeing more products from you!
Yeah single pole mids have a lot less headroom (I've owned 3 DuoMids, plus one Locus Gear Khufu) so the roof does slope down really low near the edges. You'll find this is much different.
Yes the inner is easy to unclip. As I think that page mentioned, you can remove it from inside or outside of the tent. It works fine from inside, but from outside is super easy because you can get out of the tent in the morning and then when you want to pack it up you unclip it at the 4 corners and then reach in the vents to unbuckle it at the two peaks. Then you can open the door to grab it. With many other tents this is harder to do because there is peak vent(s) or they are small, plus there is a clip at the peak so you end up reaching one hand into a tiny vent trying to undo a clip. The large vents + buckles at the peaks make this much easier on the X-Mid.
The inner has nice to use buckles at the two peaks and then mitten clips at the four corners. There are a few options for how you clip the inner at the four corners. There are D rings provided inside each corner and they provide a solid connection but it is a bit hard to unclip (two hand job). This is good if you normally don't remove the inner. If you want to do the same thing but you want to save a few grams, then snip the D rings off and run the clip behind the grosgrain at the corner and clip it to its own cord. This is just as solid and lighter, but I provided the D rings because I knew folks won't figure this out and they would just clip straight to the grosgrain. Clipping straight to the grosgrain is the last option and it isn't as solid because the thin grosgrain can slide out of the clip when it's not under tension. So it's fine when the tent is pitched but it can come unclipped when you're packing it up. This is actually great if you want to remove the inner normally anyways, but annoying if you don't. So basically I do recommend removing the D rings and either clipping to the grosgrain (easily removable) or looping it through the grosgrain and clipping onto it's own cord (solid connection).