Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#197907 - 03/10/17 10:34 AM Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian
JohnnyB Offline

Registered: 03/10/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario
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

#197908 - 03/10/17 11:24 AM Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian [Re: JohnnyB]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
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.

Edited by OregonMouse (03/10/17 11:25 AM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#197910 - 03/10/17 08:20 PM Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian [Re: OregonMouse]
JohnnyB Offline

Registered: 03/10/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario
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

#197912 - 03/10/17 09:19 PM Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian [Re: JohnnyB]
toddfw2003 Offline

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 358
Loc: Texas
check out the Six Moon Design Deshute plus. Only weighs a pound.

#198008 - 03/22/17 01:55 PM Re: Zpacks Solplex worth the exhange rate for Canadian [Re: toddfw2003]
hikerduane Offline

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
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.

Edited by hikerduane (03/22/17 01:56 PM)


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket
by 4evrplan
09/13/18 05:12 PM
Multitool or knife scissors or dedicated scissors.
by SJS
08/29/18 09:32 AM
Sawyer and Platypus Threads Not the Same
by Bill Kennedy
04/11/18 09:19 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Donnell Fire in the Sierra
by balzaccom
09/10/18 08:51 PM
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
What's your water crossing technique/method?
by willie1280
06/08/18 08:09 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 46 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Korak, brucegrimes, Simon Eklöv, MrShelley, Bahy
12640 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum