I just took delivery of the up and coming ZPacks single person/single pole tent. I believe Joe is going to make this available within a matter of weeks so I've started this post, which I will update regularly, for those in the market. This is tent #2, so there may be changes on the retail version. Tent #1 came in at 14.5 ozs/411 grams. This weight includes the tent, lines and stuff sack, but stakes and pole are not included. Although I don't own a gram scale, Joe says mine should be in the same ballpark. Since there is no official name yet, I'm going to call it the ZPlex.
I own one of the original Duplexs also, and was in the market for a single person tent and have been researching options for about 6 months. I couldn't quite bring myself to buy the SolPlex as I wasn't crazy about the shorter pole in the rear. When I heard this "ZPlex" was in the works, I contacted Joe about getting a prototype. I paid $449 for this tent, which I believe will be a $100 discount for the upcoming retail version, as $559 seems in line with ZPacks' other offerings. This price, however, is only a guess....it may well be cheaper.
Initial impressions are good. This tent is light to the point of me considering ditching my usual tarp and bivy combo, which, depending on the selection, weighs about the same or more than the ZPlex. Sit up room seems on par with the Duplex. At 6' I don't come close to touching the sides of the tent. The advantage over a tarp/bivy combo at the same weight: a fully enclosed tent with a roomy vestibule, bathtub floor and full netting door. My initial pitch (no instructions of course) used a pole from my Duplex at 48 inches; at first I thought perhaps the pole height should be higher because the rear bathtub floor was rather flat and I had the rear of the tent pitched close to the ground, but Joe says 48 inches is what it is designed for and I should tilt the front of the tent to raise the rear end, creating more space between the tent and ground. I will dial in the setup before taking it out on an overnight.
To create more room, the ZPlex uses a sturdy rectangular patch reinforced with Delrin rods, creating about a 12 inch spreader at the peak. The pole goes in the center, allowing the tent to overhang the netting door, probably allowing the tent to be fully open in non wind driven rain with no incursion. I like this design element, creating just enough head space where I can sit up without encroaching on the roof before it slopes down in the rear. It looks like one should position oneself close to the door, using the adjacent space towards the rear as storage for other items. The overlapping vestibule doors will keep wind driven rain at bay so one doesn't have to scooch towards the rear of the tent. Of course, I am basing this off design elements, not actual usage in poor weather.
Me being 6 feet tall, I find the tent provides good head and foot room, plus it's wide enough to put clothing and other items inside the tent. The vestibule looks to be the size of a Duplex, so plenty of room for shoes and pack. My only con so far is the number of stakes it requires....6 for the corners and front/back, plus 4 more tie outs on the sides and ends. Unlike my Duplex, though, the ZPlex comes with line locks on every line with plenty of play to position stakes with some leeway, plus the line is reflective. Years ago I called the Duplex "the best 2 person tent for backpacking." This ZPlex looks like a solo contender for many of the same reasons. Clearly the crew at ZPacks has taken the best design elements of the Duplex and Hexamid to create this single pole solo tent; the materials, the vestibule closures, the bathtub floor and netting door....with years of experience manufacturing with Dyneema Composite Fabrics of various weights, ZPacks has built on its expertise to create this natural evolution in its solo tent design. I look forward to using it in my various outings this season and beyond.