Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian

Posted by: JohnnyB

Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian - 03/10/17 10:34 AM

Hello! I need help from the ultralight experts. I have recently decided to go ultralight and I need a new tent. The problem is I live in Canada and our dollar is weak right now. So I'm wondering if the zpacks Solplex is great enough for me to shell out $850ish cad to have it?? I'm going to have to buy an American product either way but the zpacks is the most dramatic increase in money. I'm also looking at tarptent Protrail which will cost me about $370 cad. Not too bad. My only concern is the controversy surrounding cuben fiber. It seems many people say it's wears more quickly than silnylon and punctures easily. If I spend $850 I'd like to get many many years of service including a thru-hike. Any zpacks owners? Protrail owners? I get this is a silly question because either way I'm going to have to deal with the exchange rate..I'm just looking for reassurance lol thanks. First forum post ever so sorry if I'm lacking detail. Cheers
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian - 03/10/17 11:24 AM

Simple analysis:

ZPacks Solplex $c 850 Weight 439 g plus 8 stakes 67 g = 506 g
Tarptent Protrail $c 370 Weight including stakes 740 g

Difference $c 480 234 g

Cost difference per gram = $480 / 234 = $2.05 per gram
This does not include possible customs duty, which I know nothing about.

Only you can decide if the weight difference is worth it.

Yes, cuben is more prone to punctures and, I suspect, even with gentle treatment may not last quite as long. It has a history of doing well in hailstorms, but doesn't like sharp pointed branches. On the other hand, it doesn't stretch when wet like silnylon. (The latter never bothered me, but YMMV). Cuben is more translucent so provides less privacy, should that be important to you. I try to camp well off-trail, but if I know I'm going to be in a site with others I'll use my Tarptent.

I have an older ZPacks tent and two older Tarptents. I have used the ZPacks tent only a couple of times, so can't give you an estimate on wear. The older Tarptents have held up well under a lot of use. Newer Tarptents use a slightly heavier silnylon than what's in my 2005 and 2007 models, so should be more durable. Grandkids and dog have run at full speed through my Tarptent guylines several times without any damage! (Haven't tried the ZPacks with dog, who has since passed away, and use it only for solo trips, no grandkids.) Other than those incidents, I have treated my Tarptents very carefully, no different than the ZPacks.

Otherwise, my experience is that the first thing that goes out in any tent is the screen door zipper! I don't think there's any difference between the two tents there. Of course, the zipper is fairly easily replaced.

Posted by: JohnnyB

Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian - 03/10/17 08:20 PM

Wow thanks so much for your reply. That was exactly what I was looking for! The break down of the weight/money was fantastic haha I'm thinking I'll be going for the Protrail for now and perhaps pick up a zpacks when the cad is stronger. Cheers mate
Posted by: toddfw2003

Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian - 03/10/17 09:19 PM

check out the Six Moon Design Deshute plus. Only weighs a pound.
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian - 03/22/17 01:55 PM

I've had a Solplex a couple years now. Total weight with poles, stakes is 19.5 oz. Sorry, you'll have to convert to grams. Holding up well. Like other ul gear, not gonna cut it to pass on to grandkids. No punctures yet. Much less condensation than silnylon. Not much space inside it, can lay some gear alongside you or just leave the pack in the small vestibule. I do quite a few solo trips.
I special ordered a heavier floor.