ZPacks Duplex Tent Review
The price tag on the ZPacks Duplex Tent may shock you at first, but if you’re an avid backpacker, its worth every penny and then some! This tent may be spendy, but it's also an incredible investment if you love to backpack. Here’s why I highly recommend it:
First of all, the Duplex has an ideal design for two people. Its simple and smart. It has two doors, two vestibules, and a high middle ceiling. The high ceiling will allow both you and your hiking partner to sit up comfortably at the same time and the two-door design will keep you from crawling over each other to get in and out of the tent.
Also, and this should not be overlooked, the Duplex is crazy freaking light! Remember that the next time you’re hauling a 50-pound pack over a 1,000-foot ridge. Pack weight has a huge impact on enjoyment, and your tent will usually be your heaviest item. The Duplex tent only weights 19.3 ounces. Yup, just over a pound for a fully-enclosed, waterproof, comfortable two person tent. That’s just ridiculous.
The secret to this tent is in the material. Cuben Fiber is waterproof, tough, and incredibly light. The downside is that it’s expensive. Performance wise, it’s far superior to Silnylon, which is a common tent fabric. Unlike Silnylon, this material won’t sag when it’s cold (every time it rains) and it isn’t nearly as susceptible to condensation. So, when you really need your tent to perform, the Duplex will.
Its high-wall bathtub floor is completely waterproof and excellently positioned to maximize ventilation. You won’t need any ground sheet with this tent. It’ll keep you bone dry in the most intense conditions. During a recent downpour in the Jefferson Wilderness, rivers of rainwater were cascading under our tent, but not one drop of water made its way inside the tent.
Condensation is also a non-factor with the Duplex. I’ve taken this tent out in some of the dampest conditions the Pacific Northwest has to offer, and never once has condensation been an issue. It's remarkable to me how much better this tent performs than any of my Silnylon shelters.
- Price Rank: Expensive, but well worth it for a thru-hiker. Please check the ZPacks website for specific pricing.
- Weight: 19.3 oz - (20.9 oz with stakes, sacks, guy lines, and seam sealing)
- Setup: 6-8 stakes and 2 trekking poles (tent poles optional for additional cost)
- Size: Comfort for two, palace for one
- Peak Height: 48 in
- Interior Width: 45 in
- Interior Length: 7.5 ft
- Material: Cuben Fiber
Design - Simple & Smart
Weight - Crazy Light
Space - Comfort for two, palace for one
Water Protection - Foolproof
Condensation - What condensation?
Cost - Well worth it if you backpack a lot.
Setup Practice - It’ll take practice to master setting up the Duplex, like most single wall shelters. With a little time, you’ll get it down and setup will take 5 minutes max. This tent will never be as simple to setup as a freestanding tent though.
If you’re an avid backpacker looking for lightweight, waterproof performance out of your shelter, I highly recommend the ZPacks Duplex Tent. Honestly, this tent is probably the best shelter I've ever used. True, it's not a small investment, but it's well worth the cost once you get it on the trail.
If you found this post useful, click the little heart below to give me a digital high five! If you want more lightweight backpacking tips and gear recommendations, check out my HD Videos, Gear Guide, and sign up for my Newsletter!
Disclosure: ZPacks provided a sample tent for this review, but I am under no obligation to say any positive comments about their products. This tent just rocks.