I received an email from ZPacks yesterday with some answers to some questions I asked about a potential shelter I am thinking about buying from them, and in answering the questions they also let me know that they have updated their Hexamid Shelters.
All the seams are triple stitched and taped, and the tie outs are bonded. No seam sealing necessary!
This is some pretty sweet news!
As somebody who has bought a Hexamid Solo and as somebody who has talked at over a dozen hikers into buying a Hexamid (that I know of) this is something that is going to be welcomed news to a lot of hikers!
The most important aspect of this is not the issue that people will no longer have to get their fingers all sticky from applying SilNet, but rather the fact that by tape bonding the seams it drastically increases the durability of the shelter. It does this by making the threads much less likely to pull out. Regardless of whether it adds weight above and beyond the use of SilNet, and regardless of the slight increase in price, from a durability perspective this is the one thing that the ZPacks Hexamid shelters were in need of to really push them into the next level of a long-term durable shelter.
Weight & Cost Differences:
Thanks to my “SUL/XUL Enclosed Shelter Comparison” chart I had the numbers already saved and compiled for the previous versions of the Solo and the Solo-Plus. I never recorded the weight and price for the Hexamid Twin so I cannot share any differences in weight with that shelter. It also seem I did not record the weight of the Solo-Plus without the beak, bummer.
Let me just quickly remind everybody that adding SilNet (or whatever sealer you prefer) typically adds between 0.5 ounces and 2 ounces depending on how good you are at applying the sealer.
But here is what I can share after looking at my chart with the new information from their website.
ZPacks Heximid Solo Tent, with screen, without beak
(Previous) 249 grams / 8.78 ounces / 0.548 pounds / $285
(Bonded) 263 grams / 9.277 ounces / 0.579 pounds / $295
Difference: 14 grams / 0.493 ounces / 0.030 pounds / $10
ZPacks Heximid Solo Tent, with screen, with beak
(Previous) 275 grams / 9.7 ounces / 0.606 pounds / $345
(Bonded) 303 grams / 10.68 ounces / 0.668 pounds / $360
Difference: 28 grams / 0.987 ounces / 0.061 pounds / $15
ZPacks Heximid Solo-Plus Tent, with screen, with beak
(Previous) 306 grams / 10.79 ounces / 0.674 pounds / $380
(Bonded) 348 grams / 12.27 ounces / 0.676 pounds / $395
Difference: 42 grams / 1.48 ounces / 0.092 pounds / $15
I hope I got all of those numbers correct. Personally I highly welcome this change in the default options for the Hexamid shelters for them to be bonded. I am sure if you do not want them to be bonded you can contact ZPacks before you place your order and they will make one for you without the bonding tape.
I suppose if you plan to never use the shelter in the rain or snow you could order it without the bonding in order to save a few grams.
For the sake of long term durability I would still spend the extra money and accept the extra weight knowing that the chances of the stitching suffering problems becomes greatly reduced.
The other three major cottage companies that make cuben fiber shelters bond their shelters, so this is a smart move for ZPacks to make, major thumbs-up to them for making this default change for their Hexamid shelters to be bonded!