Dan Durston/Massdrop X-Mid

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by theoctagon, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    Cheers Dan, excited to get out and use it
  2. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Section Hiker

    I could see two options for colors being popular but I agree with your wife on the mustard color. I still don't get why it's popular in fashion right now because I think it's hideous. An electric blue would be nice...bright, but not insanely in contrast with the landscape. I had one in electric blue and silver and loved the color combo.
    Charles42 and dandurston like this.
  3. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member


    Nice :)

    Replaced the corner tie outs with MLD cord and some shock cord on the mid panel stake points.

    Great design and superb quality. I’ll do a longer post and put some more pictures on my blog soon.
    tom, Shewie, rikdon and 12 others like this.
  4. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Overall pretty happy with mine:
    Tent stuff sack 12.6g
    Inner 288g
    Fly with stock guys 564g
    So a bit over spec.

    Construction is mostly superb, a couple of loose threads where the bobbin has obviously run empty and some slight uneven seam folds... that's being picky, miles better than what I've had from "cottage" companies.

    Design is superb. Very pleased with that. Great Job @dandurston!

    Pitches very simply and easily.

    There are a few niggles I have that I will mod fairly easily myself, I may add a door tie back just next to the bottom of the vent (replacing the current one which is mid seam), it'll create more space getting in and out and simplify rolling the door tidily. The short inner cords are doubled, I'll trim them and tie different knots. May add some adjustment for higher pitches. The large door panel will have a much longer tie out added so I can put it in "porch" mode. Probably a few other bits that will make it better for me.

    My real issue and it may be some mistake I'm making but the short side seams are doing some wierd twisting and inverting thing and are the same skewed way relaxed?

    20190417_170746.jpg 20190417_170756.jpg 20190417_171049.jpg
    Dave V, theoctagon, Arne L. and 3 others like this.
  5. Robert P

    Robert P Trail Blazer

    Mine arrived today - looks really good and I plan to get it out in the mountains over the weekend. I like the way it will pitch close to the ground for UK windy mountain conditions, and the attention to detail (+ Dan's outstanding input on this forum).

    From the photos it looks like the apex tie outs are quite short. On other tents I've used very thin / light dyneema cord and mini line locs but made the cord quite long so there is less of a steep angle to pull out the apex. Just wondered what others felt about the apex cords based on actually having pitched the tent!

    Looking forward to getting this out on the hill.
    dandurston and Mole like this.
  6. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    @Robert P I thought a little short. Just ok at full length, but no room for manoeuvre. But not as short as those supplied by Tarptent with my Stratospire 2.

    @craige I've had that effect a little on parts of some seams in other cottage shelters. But not so pronounced . I'm guessing because the fabric is stiffer than the average silnylon? Don't think it matters much in use?
    Robert P likes this.
  7. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    @Mole, yeah my solomid xl has a bit of squiffyness like that in a couple of spots but nowhere near as bad and it definitely doesn't invert like that when under tension. Strange that it's the same two seams as well.

    The apex tie outs aren't too bad. Not a lot of extra but I gave the tent a good wiggle and it's pretty solid without the guys. I reckon I'll remove them and the LL3s and just carry a small hank of 1.5mm dyneema cord for the windward side if it's very blowy.
    Robert P likes this.
  8. dandurston

    dandurston Trail Blazer

    "it may be some mistake I'm making but the short side seams are doing some wierd twisting and inverting thing and are the same skewed way relaxed?"
    The inversion (and related wrinkling) is an effect that arises from unequal stretch in the material. It's complicated to explain but I've looked at a lot and I don't think it's avoidable, or at least not without causing another downside.

    Basically polyester has very little stretch in the fibers but there is still mechanical stretch in the weave of the fabric. This mechanical stretch is much more substantial on the diagonal ("bias"), rather than parallel to the threads, so stretch isn't equal in all directions. This is more the case with polyester than nylon, because nylon has more stretch is all directions so it's less unequal.

    So this arises when the fabric is stretched and the "bias" stretch is greater than the stretch in other directions. It's hard to explain but Henry Shires from TarpTent actually provided some nice visualizations in the comments of this BPL thread, which show how materials with unequal stretch can result in extra material along the side of a seam if the seam is under a lot of tension/stretch.

    Thus, it's something that arises from the use of polyester. Of course polyester also means the tent doesn't sag in the rain and degrade nearly as fast under UV exposure. I could reduce this at these particular seams by changing the orientation of the fabric but I didn't want to do that because (1) Arguably stretch on this seam is helpful for spreading forces, (2) something similar would likely arise elsewhere and (3) it would require adding seams to the tent if the orientation was different because of the roll width of fabric. Other than the aesthetics, I don't think there's functional downside to this, whereas other solutions (e.g. extra seams) do have a functional downside. If you want to optimize aesthetics, you should be able to tension it with less force on the seams and more on the guylines, so this seam stretches less and thus avoids loose material beside it.

    I reckon I'll remove them and the LL3s and just carry a small hank of 1.5mm dyneema cord for the windward side if it's very blowy.
    If you're looking to save weight, the LL3 at the doorways could be snipped too. Even more extreme measures include snipping the grommets out of the peaks and pitching handles up, using lighter cord to affix the inner, and replacing the buckles inside the peaks.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    AlexG, Toby, jack4allfriends and 6 others like this.
  9. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Fast clear response Dan!

    I'd have thought the apex guys are for keeping tension across the ridge. Surely just one is not that useful? In buffeting winds the ridge would still move with the gusts as it's not secured and would bounce back if not secured at the other end?

    To me cutting off linelocs is stupid light - you can still use lighter line and knots with linelocs, but without them make life harder and also add a extra wear on the webbing.
  10. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    Managed another quick pitch today...

    Memento Mori, qy_, Arne L. and 7 others like this.
  11. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Nice. It's interesting to see the pitch with pole handles up. I'm really looking forward to details on the 2 person DCF version.

    Watching the video reminded me of a question I've been pondering and wanted to put to the collective wisdom here: I once read that it's best for the longevity of zips to pack with zips closed. This was general advice, not specifically about outdoor gear. I've recently come across contradictory information. Does anybody have any more definitive information?
    Mole likes this.
  12. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    I think I’ll be using it handles up, I’ve only tried it with the BD poles so far but the tip does put some pressure on the inside of the peaks.


    I’d like to think it’ll be fine but for peace of mind and no real difference as far as I can tell I’ll probably just go handle up.

    Re the zips, no idea about longevity but for sanity mine will be packed away zipped - just so I don’t have to wrestle with it in a high wind to find and close the zips before pitching :)
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    Mole likes this.
  13. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member


    This is mine with a Black Diamond pole tip up. The tip doesn’t protrude much. The material on the underside seems quite robust, so I don’t think it’s a problem. I also pitched it with a rubber cap on the pole tip which worked well (picture below). If you’re concerned and want to pitch tip up, it’s a good solution.

  14. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    All handles up! :thumbsup:This was the clincher for me all that time ago.
  15. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    I’m going to try it handles up with my Leki poles which have a rounded handle which should fit better into the peak than the Black Diamonds which are flat. The other advantage with handles up will be a more secure interface with the ground as the spike won’t slip. Worth experimenting.
  16. Padowan

    Padowan Trail Blazer

    I'm waiting for some rubber grommets to be delivered that should fit inside the brass eyelet and prevent the pole tip touching the inner. I'll get an apex pic once fitted.
  17. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Can you give a link to the grommet?
  18. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Ok. Here’s a possible solution to pole tip anxiety. I had some beefy webbing lying around. I’ve sewn some behind the grommet so it cushions the pole tip. As it doesn’t take any strain I decided to tack it at two points diagonally so it has a bit of play. I’ll do another pitch this afternoon but a simple test suggests that stops the pole tip protruding. Very simple to do.

    AlexG, cathyjc, edh and 5 others like this.
  19. Padowan

    Padowan Trail Blazer

  20. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

  21. Padowan

    Padowan Trail Blazer

    OK, Grommets just arrived and I've fitted them into the eyelets. Perfect fit, and prevent the pole tip protruding at all. Will post a pitch pic shortly.
    Dave V, FOX160, dandurston and 4 others like this.
  22. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

  23. Padowan

    Padowan Trail Blazer

    And a pitch pic, tips up, showing zero indentation of the tip into the fabric now.
    edh, dandurston, Robin and 2 others like this.
  24. dandurston

    dandurston Trail Blazer

    That is a sweet grommet. This looks like an elegant precautionary approach for anyone with pole tips long enough to be worrisome. As I said previously, I've been unable observe any damage because the 210D nylon inside the peak is tough and the pressure on the top is less than it can look (from outside it intuitively looks like a pole tip straight on the tent with no grommet at all) but certainly this is safer and pole tips may exist that are longer than the ones I've tested it with, so it seems like a nice cautious approach. Thanks for the link to these.
    Steve Cockburn likes this.
  25. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    This is the X-Mid apex with the webbing insert. No discernible impression from the pole tip.


    I’ve also replaced the short cord on the corners of the inner with a full length of shock cord. I think the inner pitches better with it. Easy to do.

Share This Page