Going as lightweight as possible doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort. The spacious Zpacks Plex Solo weighs in at a ridiculously light 14.2 oz., and is one of the most livable one-person tents we’ve ever backpacked with. This pyramid-shaped shelter provides an incredible amount of headroom and excellent weather protection, which makes the relatively steep price tag completely worth it in our opinion.
Zpacks Plex Solo
One of the most livable one-person tents we’ve ever backpacked with
Measured Weight: 14.2 oz
Dimensions (LxWxH): 90 x 28/38 (wider in center) x 52 in.
- Small Packed Size
- Easy to Set Up
- Sheds Rain Well
- Good Ventilation
- Large Door
- Trekking poles may be too short to achieve max height
- Single walled tents have condensation issues
At less than a pound, the Plex Solo is one of the lightest single-person shelters on the market. Unless you go with a tarp setup, you likely won’t find anything as lightweight and roomy.
The Plex Solo has plenty of space for a hiker, their gear, and an adventure dog. So many solo tents only really have room to sit up in the center. But the guyouts on every wall give the Plex more interior volume, and the peak height is so tall that hikers six feet and under could sit up comfortably in a large portion of the tent.
SMALL PACKED SIZE
The Plex Solo is barely larger than a one liter water bottle when packed. Which means more room in your backpack for the things that really matter – snacks!
EASY TO SET UP
Because the body stakes of the Plex Solo are fixed in a rectangle, it’s a bit easier to set up than many other pyramid-shaped tents. Others – like the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo – don’t have parallel stakes, which means you’ll likely have to spend more time restaking the tent to get the perfect pitch. With the Plex Solo, as long as the four main stakes are squared off, everything else pretty much falls into place.
SHEDS RAIN WELL
Pyramid-shaped tents shed rain and snow far better than traditional tents. Because all of the sides meet up at a central point, there are no flat areas for precipitation to pool up on. This also helps to cut down on interior condensation.
The ventilation on the Plex Solo is pretty unique and well-engineered. There is mesh around the perimeter of the bathtub floor that sits parallel to the ground when the tent is staked out properly. This design not only allows for some air to flow through, but it also means that condensation that forms on the walls will run down and exit the tent through these vents rather than dripping on you and your gear. Both rain flaps can also be tied back to allow for a ton of ventilation through the massive front door.
One-person tents tend to have somewhat inconvenient doors. Either the doors are very small or they’re the dreaded front-entry style, which requires you to dive head first into your shelter. The Plex Solo has a giant rainbow-shaped door that allows you to enter comfortably from either side of your structural pole.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” is certainly applicable here. You may be paying a considerable amount of money for the Plex Solo, but what you get is one of the lightest, most spacious, and most weather-worthy one-person shelters available.
TREKKING POLES MAY BE TOO SHORT TO ACHIEVE MAX PEAK HEIGHT
The peak height of the Plex Solo is super tall (52 in.), and proper setup requires a trekking pole that can extend to 132 cm. We typically backpack with our Gossamer Gear LT5s and they’re close (130 cm.), but not quite that tall. We didn’t find this slightly shorter peak to be a big deal. But if your trekking pole is significantly shorter than 132 cm. or you don’t hike with trekking poles, pick up a dedicated tent pole to achieve the maximum peak height.
If you’ve never used a non-freestanding tent before, the Plex Solo can take some getting used to. Your first time setting it up may be a bit more time consuming, and it might take some trial and error to get the hang of staking everything out properly. That said, we’re confident you’ll be a pro after just a few pitches, and eventually setup will take no time at all.
SINGLE WALL TENTS CAN HAVE CONDENSATION ISSUES
We’ve gotten absolutely soaked with condensation in some single-wall tents during humid or damp evenings. It’s kind of the nature of the beast. But the Plex Solo has quite a few design features that will significantly reduce the chances that you end up getting rained on by interior condensation. The large mesh front provides ample ventilation, and the slanted walls and perimeter vents will help to drain any condensation to the exterior.
Need More Space?
If you’re looking for a tent that can accommodate two, the ZPacks Duplex and Triplex are among our all-time favorite ultralight tents for thru-hiking and fast and light adventures. These tents provide an excellent amount of interior space and weather protection at a ridiculously low weight. We’re partial to the Duplex for solo hikers who like extra space or couples who don’t mind tight quarters and the Triplex for those who need more interior space when hiking with a partner. Check out our full reviews of the Duplex here and the Triplex here.
The Zpacks Plex Solo is one of the lightest and most spacious shelter options on the market for solo hikers. The shape provides solid protection in inclement weather, and the ventilation system significantly reduces interior condensation. While the Plex Solo is on the pricey side, we say it’s very much worth the cost if you want an ultralight shelter that doesn’t sacrifice livability.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Zpacks Plex Solo is right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!