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ZeroGram PCT UL 2 MF Tent

ZeroGram PCT UL 2 MF Tent

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Product Description
Named for the Pacific Crest Trail, the Zerogram PCT UL 2 MF is designed for long-distance hikers seeking a two-person tent that sets up quickly. Made of  20d nylon Monofilament, the double-wall freestanding shelter measures just over 50 inches at its widest point, with side vents that help control condensation Read More

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OneLove
2949
Feb 18, 2018
Is it zombie proof?
doug100
53
Feb 18, 2018
I think the four season claim should be removed. This is not a mountaineering tent.
gnarledcoulee
534
Apr 5, 2019
48 ounces is 3lbs, bud. Not 3.6lbs. Point taken, though. For a 2 person double wall, that is damn light, but not “ultra”.
MrJenssen
42
Apr 5, 2019
5 minutes is not short time? What is short then? You fall flat on your face with your pack on your back with the tent inside the pack, and when you get back up a moment later, the tent has set itself up?
JWCook
54
Aug 13, 2017
Just received my order over a week early, so I'm pretty happy about that-- est. ship date 8/17, shipped 8/8, arrived 8/12. Since I just received it, I haven't yet taken it out camping (only slept in it at home), but will try to remember to update when I do. Since this is my largest Massdrop purchase to date, and since Zerogram is a relatively new kid on the block and doesn't have a lot of public feedback yet, I thought it would be worthwhile to write up my thoughts on the PCT UL 2 so far.
General Thoughts
I'm very satisfied with the tent based on my first impressions, and this seems like a great value in terms of cost, weight, durability, and comfort. It might not suit everyone's needs, especially for those aiming for a more austere and minimal sleeping setup, for whom a name like "PCT UL" might invite some unfair comparisons and raise some hackles at the 3 and a half pound total weight. For me, though, I think this happened to be just what I was looking for.
The included setup instructions are only in Korean, but the visual part of the instructions were informative enough. The single-pole design is very easy to assemble, and I like that the crossbar is attached so it's not easy to lose.
I do have concerns about the plastic hub that connects the crossbar to the main pole and the plastic clips that fasten the crossbar to the canopy, but time will tell if they are durable enough. Also, I am slightly skeptical of its claim to be a 4-season tent, but I don't plan on doing winter camping anyway, and all the other tents I was considering were 3-season, so this isn't an issue for me. Also, it does seem to boast fairly impressive wind resistance.
While Zerogram doesn't offer a footprint specifically for this tent, a simple Tyvek or polycro groundcover should work just fine if one is needed. I picked up a 5x7ft (152x213cm) Tyvek sheet with included tabs & grommets I found on Amazon, which, with some alterations, is just about the right size for this tent.
Bikepacking
My main intent for this is to take it bikepacking, which this seems like a good fit for. The 43x15cm packed size would fit in most seat packs, handlebar rolls, or even in the triangle of the bike (using a boss-mounted cargo cage like the Salsa Anything Cage).
It's just about the right size to fit snugly between my drop bars. Note that drop bar widths can range from 38-44cm, so for narrower ones, the tent poles would need to be taken out so the pack could be compressed a bit more lengthwise. I will probably end up packing the tent in a handlebar harness, and the poles in a frame bag (Revelate Sweetroll and Tangle, respectively).
Of course, for a heavier touring setup, it would also easily fit stuffed inside a pannier, strapped to a top rack, proudly displayed atop your Flextrek Whipsnake, or just about anywhere else.
Room for Two?
I was originally planning to use this as a single-person tent, but after trying it out, I'm strongly considering trying it as a 2-person tent. There is adequate clearance to sit up, and enough room to sleep side by side, as long as it's with someone you're comfortable getting a little cozy with. My spouse and I are 183cm and 180cm tall and a combined 147kg, and we felt like it was snug, but just enough room for the two of us.
Sleeping Pads The floor dimensions are just about the perfect size for two sleeping pads to fit side by side. In my case, it's two of the Klymit Static Vs (183x59cm).
For other Kylmit pads, pretty much anything except two of the Luxe pads (193x76.2cm) would fit. One of the doubles (188x119) would be just about perfect. For Therm-A-Rest pads, most of their lightweight, regular-sized pads should also work. For example, the NeoAir XLite and XTherm (183x51cm) would fit, but the large size of either (196x63cm) would be a bit too wide.
Obviously none of this is an issue when using this as a single-person tent.
Other Camp Shelter Options
I spent quite a bit of time researching possible sleeping setups, ranging from more minimal (tarp, bivy, hammock, rock pillow + forest duff blanket, etc.) to more luxurious (freestanding options, larger cuben fiber shelters, bouncy castle, etc.). I finally decided that for my purposes, a lightweight(-ish) freestanding tent would be a decent compromise between comfort, weight, and cost. Maybe in the future, as a more experienced bikepacker and/or backpacker, I might experiment with a more minimal option, but I'm pretty settled on this category for now.
Comparable Tents: Stats
That being said, it probably makes sense to compare this tent only with other similar freestanding, double-wall nylon tents. Here is a rundown of the basic stats of this tent vs a few popular ones in the same category:
Zerogram PCT UL 2: * MSRP: $390 (w/o the significant discount on this drop) * packed weight: 1630g * floor dimensions: 212x130-118cm * peak height: 100cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 30D/15D/15D
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P: * MSRP: $400 * packed weight: 1720g (+90g) * floor dimensions: 213x127cm * peak height 100cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 30D/20D/20D
Marmot Force 2P: * MSRP: $400 * packed weight: 1585g (-35g) * floor dimensions: 104x218-132cm * peak height: 96.52cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 30D/20D/15D
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2: * MSRP: $450 * packed weight: 1400g (-230g) * floor dimensions: 224x132-107cm * peak height: 102cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 20D/20D/15D**
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2: * MSRP: $390 * packed weight: 1005g (-625g) * floor dimensions: 218x132-107cm * peak height: 102cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 15D/15D/15D**
Nemo Hornet 2P: * MSRP: $370 * packed weight: 1000g (-630g) * floor dimensions: 216x128-108cm * peak height: 101.5cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 15D/15D/10D
Naturehike Cloud UP 2 (the previously mentioned tent from Aliexpress) * $120 * packed weight: 1240-1500g (-390-130g); depends on version, and doesn't include pegs/ropes/footprint * floor dimensions: 210x125cm * peak height: 100cm * floor/fly/canopy weight: 20D/20D/20D
Please let me know if any of these numbers are incorrect.
** BA claims to have proprietary ripstop nylon that makes it up to 20% more tear-resistant compared to other equivalent-weight nylon fabrics, so take that for what you will.
Comparable Tents: Thoughts
A few thoughts on the PCT UL vs other tents:
* In terms of weight vs cost (especially with the discount from this drop), this tent seems like a great value. There are, however, lighter options.
* A lot of the discussion about tent weight seems to be focused on shaving off a couple hundred or even tens of grams, with little talk of durability. On the lightest end of nylon tents, getting into the 10-15D range seems like making a pretty big sacrifice in durability (especially for the floor). Personally, I'm happy with getting more durable fabrics at the cost of a couple hundred grams.
* The Naturehike tent appears to be a Chinese knockoff of the Fly Creek, which brings with it the same concerns as the other knockoff products on sites like Aliexpress. If you're on a tight budget it might be worth a try, but if you care about quality manufacturing and supporting worthwhile companies, I'd look elsewhere.
* Aside from the Marmot Force, these tents don't seem to have more than 2cm of variation in peak height. At least on paper, it seems that all of these tents would be equally easy to sit up in, although differences in geometry and total volume might disprove that assumption.
* If sleeping two people, the slightly narrower footwidth of the Copper Spur, Fly Creek, and Hornet might further limit the selection of sleeping pads (either 2 singles or 1 double) that would fit. Most of the regular-sized Therm-A-Rest pads (51cm) whould be fine, though.
* It might also be worth noting that the Hubba Hubba, Force, Copper Spur, and Hornet feature side entry, while the PCT UL and the rest have front entry. The narrower front entry might make it a bit less convenient for getting in and out when sleeping two people.
* The wind resistance of the PCT UL tent is noteworthy, sustaining up to 33m/s in the wind tunnel test. I don't think any of these other tents have comparable wind resistance, or at least haven't yet proven it. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, a standardized test for tent wind resistance would be a really useful metric, if it caught on with other manufacturers.
bob.adams
14
Nov 20, 2017
Great post.
abela
523
Feb 18, 2018
If you are going to list the lighter weight tents from BA, you should also probably list the lighter (not heaviest) tent from MSR, the Carbon Reflex 2. There is a 737 grams / 26 oz / 1.6 pound difference between the Hubba Hubba NX 2 and the Carbon Reflex 2 tents. Just seems fair if you are going to list the Fly Creek HV UL2 you keep things comparable/fair on the MSR side of things.
mahp
175
Jul 25, 2017
too heavy for me
Jwalche
16
Jul 24, 2017
How about $100 1.2kg freestanding double walled 2 person tent from Naturehike at AliExpress? Can't imagine ppl on "PCT" with this thing. This isn't even a "regular light" backpacking tent these days. Not to mention this isn't even a 3 seasons tent, which should have about half of inner tent solid.
Massdrop, keep putting these shits and you will loose UL shopper's faith real fast.
How about start putting more real UL stuffs from Gossamer or Zpacks?
Motorrad
2972
Jul 26, 2017
You really need to get over yourself. Your comments are entirely self-congratulatory...unfortunately, that's the norm with most weight-weenies. This tent is exactly what it is and not trying to be nor is it being touted as anything that it is not. (ok, maybe 4-season is pushing it, but it's clear what you're getting here.)
Stepbystep
549
Feb 18, 2018
I guess I don't understand how you'd feel this isn't worthy of "light" or "ultralight". Sure, there are lighter options but 3.5 pounds or even 4 pounds, used for two people, is 2lbs or less per person. Totally doable for a UL kit. For a solo person, notsomuch.
EZ_living
211
Jul 24, 2017
why do so many tents have a single front-opening door? Is there an advantage to it (other than weight savings for a smaller door)? It seems much less comfortable to me for multiple people than a double-or-single side door.
EZ_living
211
Jul 25, 2017
yeah, that makes sense
baycop21
1
Apr 5, 2019
REI Co-op Quarter Dome SL 2 Tent has 2 side doors, but I guess that doesn't qualify as a mountaineering tent.
AdiDrop
3
Jul 24, 2017
4 seasons ... hum ... MSR Hubba Hubba, very similar, is 3 seasons, this tent seems too much ventiled to be 4 seasons. Besides, Hubba Hubba, has a better design, with two doors and absides, but slightly heavier. As there is not a significant difference in the price, I prefer my Hubba Hubba.
DannyMilks
4554
Jul 24, 2017
I've used the Zerogram And MSR tents before. The Zerogram tent is far more stable in high winds. The Hubba Hubba focuses on features and comfort over function - protection from the elements. Both are very nice tents, no doubt, but they are not aiming for the same user.
As for being too ventilated, it's true that the Zerogram has mesh interior, which is why some might take issue with it being called a 4-season tent and that's a valid question. However, in terms of wind, the top vent can be opened or closed, and the side vents can be guyed to reduce airflow to the interior.
I'm not trying to convince you one tent or the other is better, but rather highlight a few of the subtle differences.
AdiDrop
3
Jul 25, 2017
OK, thanks for your answer :)
wahur
3
Apr 5, 2017
I really do hope that all those religious ultralighters who have done their best to sink this drop can suggest me some alternative for my trips in Main Caucasus Range this summer, ie 2 places, weighing around 1,5 kilo, freestanding doublewall, good wind-resistance, price up to 300 USD. Thanks guys, but please understand there are other people who go outside your tarp-country...
SawatchFactory
293
Jul 24, 2017
You may have already taken of on your trip. If so, hope it is going/was awesome.
If not, take a look at Brooks Range tents. The Tension 40 is a great deal and offers a lot of space, great weather resistance, and is bombproof when staked and guyed out. 3 lbs for 40 sq ft is pretty good, especially at Steep & Cheap's sale price - https://goo.gl/35RTYM
For comparison, BA's Copper Spur UL 2 weighs 4 oz less (trail weight), but only has 29 sq ft of floor space.
djpr
304
Jul 24, 2017
I have a big sky (I ended up with the Seoul as I rarely/never camp in snow) I've been really happy with it and with careful use stands up to harsh Aus conditions, even in Tasmania which is renown for being hard on gear. I can't think of the name but they have a 3/4 season, which is apparently very good, when I was talking to another hiker who had one. It was a bit overkill for me as I don't often share a tent.
bin31z
101
Apr 3, 2017
Heavy and expensive. I don't give get it.
DannyMilks
4554
Apr 3, 2017
Very well made, high quality components, lots of livable space, and extremely wind resistant (in terms of ability to withstand high winds that would cause most other lightweight tents to collapse).
treal512
429
Apr 3, 2017
Sorry, for that price / wt ratio I'd rather go with a lighter tent for the same price. It looks nifty though.
wahur
3
Apr 5, 2017
Can you suggest any, in case this drop fails?
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