X Mid - Dan Durston

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X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:09 pm

A very interesting looking shelter due for release tomorrow night and priced well at just under $300 AUD.

I thought this might be worthwhile for anyone looking to get into trekking pole supported tents. Not bad at 800 grams either.

SilPoly as well so no sag, which is something I hate about sil nylon.

I might pick one up for a bit of a test and play.

https://backpackinglight.com/forums/top ... 29-oz-199/

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x ... tent#specs
Last edited by Zapruda on Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Neo » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:20 pm

Nice $peck(g)s.
Seem to be a few Stratospire/Notch iterations about lately.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:26 pm

I think it is a little different to the Stratospire. Being a rectangle should make it easier to pitch

Here is a comparison between the X-Mid and the Stratospire.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Franco » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:39 pm

You can pitch the SS1 as a rectangle (first) and that is in fact how I do it.
You stake down the rectangular floor area , then pull out the vestibules.
(you don't need to guess where, just pull them out till both panels look taut)
like this :


BTW, I noticed that Dan has made a big thing about how complex the SS is to set up.
Is it ????
Last edited by Franco on Wed 11 Jul, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Neo » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:47 pm

I was generalising... Two-stick silver/grey tents of a similar design.

Must be a good design if more of the style are being created. I wouldn't call them mids though, a pyramid has a single apex.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby simonm » Mon 09 Jul, 2018 6:27 am

Just be aware that Silpoly with PU on one side has a relatively low tear strength compared to Silpoly with silicone both sides and obviously much less than a good quality silnyon, as Franco mentioned in a previous thread. Whether this is an issue is hard to say but it's good to be aware of it.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Lamont » Tue 10 Jul, 2018 1:58 pm

..............Ten..................months....................... wait.................
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Tue 10 Jul, 2018 2:10 pm

Lamont wrote:..............Ten..................months....................... wait.................


Fark...

That's ridiculous. This seems like it was an exercise in testing whether it would be worth going into production or not. pretty disappointing.

I take it you ordered Lamont?
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Rosscodj » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 9:02 am

Looks very similar to the Sierra Designs High Route FL, as well.

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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Franco » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 9:52 am

If I understand correctly, a bit like KickStarter, this project needs to have enough orders to get going.
The factory involved, like other major tent manufacturing plants, needs a long lead time, often up to a year, from when you place an order to the day of production.
Once they start they can make up to 300 tents in a day and often that is the minimum quantity required.
My guess is that there will be other designs available by then .
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 11:44 am

Zapruda wrote:
Lamont wrote:..............Ten..................months....................... wait.................


Fark...

That's ridiculous. This seems like it was an exercise in testing whether it would be worth going into production or not. pretty disappointing.

I take it you ordered Lamont?

Massdrop are always upfront with their delivery timeframes, the lead time is on the drop page so you don't need to place an order to know how long. Yes they need a minimum order quantity for a 'drop' to take effect, that's the whole point, but there are no hidden details.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 3:39 pm

Dan here....a couple quick comments:

Wait Time
Yeah 8 months is a bummer. The factory needs 6 months and then there's a bit of time for shipping, quality inspection etc. The factory needs 6 months because they have a bit of a wait, and then they get their machines dialed in (to cut fabric panels), then they send a few early production tents to us to ensure quality and then when they have the green light they make the bulk of the batch. Not much that can be done. I'd console you and say they'll be ready for hiking season in 2019, but I know the seasons are opposite from North America in Australia.

Sil/PU Poly
Folks have been using various lightweight polyesters for several years now and we are seeing more and more companies switching to poly (e.g. SMD, Yama, UGQ). Certainly the tear strength isn't as high, but I think the field evidence shows that it's high enough. I'm not aware of a single 20D poly shelter that has failed. I'm sure one will eventually somewhere, but folks are generally quite pleased. Note that companies are using 20D, 15D and 10D polyesters and folks are widely pleased with the 20D and 15D fabrics. I do agree that 10D polyesters are pushing it a bit much. Those seem to fail occasionally.

It's also worth nothing that while the tear strength of poly is lower, the abrasion resistance tends to be the same or higher (see link below). And adding PU improves the abrasion resistance further. So for applications like a floor, a sil/PU polyester may outlast silnylon. With that said, I think the durability of both of quite sufficient so this is largely an academic point rather than a practical one.
https://ripstopbytheroll.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/article_attachments/218817688/Lightweight_coated_non-breathable_fabric_quick_compre_chart_1024x1024.png

The nice practical advantages of sil/PU poly are that you get a non slippery floor, no sag in the rain and you can seam tape it so no user seam taping is required. I can understand sticking with silnylon for mountaineering shelters out of caution, but I think the practical benefits of poly outweight the academic loss in tear strength for lightweight bushwalking.

A final point here: the UV resistance of poly is far higher than nylon. So it is quite possible that poly ends up with a higher tear strength after a couple years. If you're interested in more reading on this, check out:
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/top ... urability/

StratoSpire Complexity
I'll stay out of this topic, other than to say that it's not just me that thinks the StratoSpire is tricky to pitch. Okay a few more words....I think Franco got incredibly lucky in that video to guess all those angles and distances correctly on the first go. You can certainly stake out a rectangle to start as Franco did, but because the fly is a hexagon it doesn't have fabric panels dictating all of these stake points. Many of them must be estimated. Don't get me wrong I like the StratoSpire a lot - just not pitching it.

X-Mid vs Other Tents
I'll comment explaining why the X-Mid is much different than the StratoSpire and Sierra Designs High Route 1, but first, here is that diagram again for reference:
oKr0xk0xT9WYo0RAd06g_ScreenShot2018-07-07at9.42.10AM.png.jpeg

The X-Mid doesn't simply delete the vestibules off the SS1 to achieve a rectangle shape (as SD High Route 1 does) because that would be fraught with the same downsides that led TarpTent to go beyond the rectangle in the first place (e.g. vertical walls, mandatory guylines, no vestibules). Instead, the X-Mid implements several new ideas so that for the first time, a twin pole rectangle can offer all the advantages of a twin pole hexagon (e.g. vestibules, no guylines) without the downsides of a hexagon (e.g. more stakes, more seams, heavier, pitching complexity). The key innovation here is the combination of the wider rectangle + rotated diagonal inner + peaks moved inwards to create a stable shape. Compared to the HR1 (or a StratoSpire with the vestibules chopped off), the X-Mid uses a wider rectangle which allows the inner to be rotated onto a diagonal relative to the fly. When the inner is rotated like this, it creates vestibules and allows the poles/peaks to be moved inwards from the edges to achieve that ultra simple 4 stake pitch without guylines. Thus it becomes the first rectangular tent to avoid all the common pitfalls of rectangular tents (e.g. lack of headroom, poles in the way, mandatory guylines, vertical side walls, lack of vestibules). Note that this rotated inner is unlike the rotated inner in the Stratospire: The inner of the StratoSpire is on a diagonal relative to the ridgeline but still square to the sides of the fly, whereas the X-Mid inner is diagonal to both the ridgeline and all sides of the fly. In that sense it is "double diagonal". So while both the X-Mid and Stratospire have some diagonals going on, they are very different designs.

I think the rectangular base + "double diagonal" inner concept results in a large improvement in design. Compared to the SS1, the X-Mid is much lighter (28oz seam taped vs ~34oz un-seam sealed), much simpler to pitch, packs smaller (stores horizontally in a pack), better snow shedding, far fewer seams and yet has similarly generous living space. It has almost as much inner floor area, slightly more vestibule area and notably more headroom than the SS1 because the ridgeline is about the same height but over a longer span of the inner. So basically simpler, lighter, more functional, more spacious and far more affordable. And since the X-Mid is poly there's no fabric sag in wet conditions, no seam sealing required (it's seam taped) and no slippery floor. Compared to the HR1, the X-Mid is again far lighter (28oz vs 37oz) and offers similarly generous headroom while solving all of the HR1s downsides (no vestibules, requires guylines, vertical side walls, struggles in high winds).

If you look at tent designs, you can find any individual feature in some older, pre-existing tent. What makes a tent unique is the combination of elements that it provides. Here, the X-Mid is the only tent in history (to my knowledge) to use a diagonal inner inside a rectangular fly. In an era with so many extremely similar tents, I think it is striking that the basic layout of the X-Mid is unprecedented.
Last edited by dandurston on Thu 12 Jul, 2018 8:40 am, edited 21 times in total.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Neo » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 10:48 pm

Nice one Dan, thumbs up.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 8:10 am

Thanks for chiming in, Dan. Your confidence in the design makes me want one even more now. This shelter definitely ticks a lot of the right boxes for me.

I really like the Sil/PU on my OP Goondie. I don't miss the days of sagging tents up on the Main Range from all the dew. DCF and poly are the clear winners in that regard.

Dan, will there be a video available showing of the X-Mid at all?

Cheers
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 8:45 am

Hi Zapruda,

Obviously you gotta take my comments with the caveat that I'm the designer so of course I think it's awesome - but it is awesome. I have no interest in running a gear business to make money (already have a dream job as a fish biologist). I just love awesome gear and I'm so excited about this tent that I wanted people to have it. Everything about the layout is just so nice to use. I pitched it in 20 seconds yesterday, the vents and door zippers are so easy to open and close from inside and outside, sheds wind well, minimal seams, light, spacious, sheds snow well etc. Just a dream to use. I think it's the greatest shape/layout for a solo tent.

I'd love to show off the X-Mid in a video but I'm off on a 10 day hike with it this Friday and I'm too busy to film and edit one between now and then. So I will make a video when I'm back but I'm not sure if I can get it done before the drop closes at the end of the month. I'll try.

Any other questions just ask.

Cheers,
Dan
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 9:35 am

Thanks Dan, I just joined the drop :)

Enjoy your hike!
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Franco » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 9:59 am

"I think Franco got incredibly lucky in that video to guess all those angles and distances correctly on the first go. You can certainly stake out a rectangle to start as Franco did, but because the fly is a hexagon it doesn't have fabric panels dictating all of these stake points ".
I think the above at least partly explain the problem some may have with setting up the SS shelters.
It has absoluteley nothing to do with luck, it has to do with the fact that if you set the rectangular floor first, the "hexagonal " part (the vestibules) can only be pulled out into the correct position to get both panels taut.
I just wish I could demonstrate live that to those that don't get it but it is that simple.
TT-SS2-top-view_zpse3ecbb00.jpg
TT-SS2-top-view_zpse3ecbb00.jpg (67.34 KiB) Viewed 317 times

No it isn't a perfect rectangle but if you don't get it right the first time a quick pull at one of the corner tie outs will give you a taut set up.

Anyway, I think that the X Mid focuses the attention onto these types of shelters (A frame with offset poles) so that is a good thing as far as I am concerned...
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Rosscodj » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:35 am

The more I look at this, the more I like it. It appears to solve the very few things I don't like about my TT Moment DW (tall pack size, not a huge amount of headroom when you're lying down due to the triangular head/foot end, it's only 95cm tall at the peak, and if the pole breaks on trail I'm screwed-ish)

I've got a couple of questions, apologies if they've been answered elsewhere, I started going down the Massdrop discussion rabbit-hole and then remembered i'm at work:

I'm assuming you could pitch it higher off the ground to allow for more ventilation around the base of the fly by lengthening the poles a bit, and adding guy line to the tie-out points? would this affect the stability at all?

Are the vestibules doors held closed by the zippers alone, or are there clips at the base of the zipper to take the strain of the vestibule doors?

Thanks!
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:54 am

Glad you like it Ross

"I'm assuming you could pitch it higher off the ground to allow for more ventilation around the base of the fly by lengthening the poles a bit, and adding guy line to the tie-out points? would this affect the stability at all?"
Yes you can do this. Stability won't be affected.

The stock guylines at the corners are about 5" long, which is long enough to let you lift it up a couple inches if you have them fully extended. It think that's sufficient most of the time, but if you want to pitch it even higher you could extend these, or just replace them with longer cord. As with any tent, your poles would need to be a bit longer but you don't have to worry about the specifics of that because you would still just insert your poles and extend them until taut. One small issue is that if you lift the fly up a very large amount that'll lift the inner up too. The X-Mid inner is adjustable where it connects to the peaks (grosgrain + buckles) so you could loosen simply it down a few inches, but there's only so much loosening you can do so. If you raised the fly 6" or more then the inner would start to lift up.

Also consider that the X-Mid is large and highly functional vents (which can velcro shut if desired) and that in nicer weather you could leave one or both sides open because the inner stays well protected from falling rain even with the doors rolled up. If I'm camped in a forest I'll often leave the main door rolled up.

"Are the vestibules doors held closed by the zippers alone, or are there clips at the base of the zipper to take the strain of the vestibule doors?"
No clips but the fly zippers are #5 zippers so they're pretty tough. I've used tents with just #3 fly zippers and no clips in harsh weather (e.g. Locus Gear Khufu) and had no issues, so I think the #5 zips will be fine. When I had an MLD DuoMid with these clips I just found it to be a hassle so I never used it. I think they're overkill for lightweight backpacking.

If you were expecting some really severe weather, you could use the guyouts at the base of the zippers to reduce the strain. There is a guyout on each side of the zipper at the bottom, so you could stake these two out in a direction that counters the strain. Or just tie them together to hold the bottom of the zipper closed.

I'd like to do an "alpine" version of the X-Mid someday that is intended more for mountaineering and that would use tougher fabrics, extra guylines and have clips at the zippers (or something similar, since clips are a pain to use in the winter). But any 4-season version is a long ways off.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby jdeks » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 1:18 pm

Dan,

Tent looks real nifty, and although not the type that I'm in the market for (maybe....), I will say this:

Major props for taking the time to engage in such depth at multiple levels within your target market. Something very rarely seen, even by some of the more beloved cottage-industry operations, speaks volumes about the nature of the product and whole operation. If this was something I'd have a use for, the 8 month lead time wouldn't be even remotely bothering me, considering the information coming out.

Actually yknow maybe I do need something to replace the Cricket.....
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Rosscodj » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 2:24 pm

Thanks, appreciate the detailed reply.
I think I might mull it over for a few days, but I just might be converted.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Ms_Mudd » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 3:30 pm

Looks like an interesting design. The apparent simplicity of pitch is a huge bonus in a trekking pole supported tent.
I am not 'pitching gifted' and indeed crack the poos at the end of a long day if I need to fiddle too much to get my shelter just so...lucky I am mostly on my own so no-one has to see my tired-tantie. To this end I have learned to stick with simple, more or less freestanding shelters at the expense of lugging a bit of extra weight. I don't need another solo tent, but damn, I *want* an X-Mid now that I have seen this and think even tired me could pitch it well :)
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 12 Jul, 2018 3:51 pm

I suppose this thread needs a few pictures....

uBOVlRLMQ3CICGCYwbw4_X-Mid - 30 copy.jpg


YV4FJXM9QzGbfHJkNoLQ_X-Mid - 8 copy.jpg


yMkJdYipQW66XUW0r1No_X-Mid - 10_copy.jpg


J4ptt6T7ahYI1rXw6zDg_infographic-01.png.jpeg


r2AKGfxMQqONxhyrGhgC_X-Mid - 6 copy.jpg


guOm1CwrQyqvpNNLLa51_ScreenShot2018-07-09at5.52.56PM.png.jpeg
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