The Zpacks Duplex is an ultralight Dyneema Cuben Fiber (DCF) tent that has lengthy been the darling of the thru-hiking world due to its waterproofness, minimal weight penalty, and gigantic inside dimensions. However the authentic Duplex notably lacked zippers on the storm doorways, as a substitute favoring an overlapping design to seal out unhealthy climate.

The zippers had been, presumably, a sacrifice within the identify of weight financial savings. And since legions of thru-hikers proceed to swear by the Duplex even after 1000’s of miles, I assume the zipperless design should work.

However I like my tent doorways to have zippers, dad burn it! Fortunately for me, the brand new Zpacks Duplex Zip simply got here out, and it’s precisely what it feels like. The Duplex Zip is mainly the identical Duplex you recognize and love however with waterproof zippers, magnetized door toggles, and peak vents on each storm doorways. It weighs two ounces greater than the unique and prices a further $30. Is it value the additional weight and cash?

Zpacks Duplex Zip At a Look

zpacks duplex zip

Comfortable as a bug within the Zpacks Duplex Zip.

MSRP: $699
Weight: 20.4 oz
Ground Space: 28.1 sq ft

Circumstances of Evaluation

I acquired the tent in mid-April and have taken it on a number of backpacking journeys on the New Jersey part of the Appalachian Path and in Virginia’s Shenandoah Nationwide Park. Throughout this time, it was made to face up to rain, wind, stifling humidity, and a shocking variety of caterpillars. I used eight to 9 stakes to arrange the tent and guarded the underside with a sheet of Tyvek.

There be caterpillars in them woods

Meant Use

Ultralight and ultra-spacious, the standard Duplex has lengthy been one of the standard tents amongst US thru-hikers. And it’s not just for hardcore ultralight hikers: this tent is a superb alternative for anybody who aspires to maintain their pack weight down with out sacrificing consolation. No matter your pack weight ambitions (or lack thereof), it’s a high quality tent.

The Duplex Zip can be comparatively beginner-friendly: sure, it takes time to actually grasp the pitch, however even backpacking newbs will be capable of get this shelter right into a satisfactory tent-like form with minimal follow.

Authentic Duplex vs. Duplex Zip

The built-in magnetic door toggles are a small however pleasant enchancment over the unique Duplex.

The Duplex Zip actually simply got here out this spring. Right here’s all the things that’s new with the Zip in comparison with the unique Duplex:

  • Zippable Storm Doorways:In contrast to the unique Duplex, the Duplex Zip now options waterproof zippers for the storm doorways on either side of the tent.
  • Peak Vents: Equally, the Zip has peak vents on either side, enhancing air flow in comparison with the unique.
  • Magnetic Door Toggles: Magnetized straps can be utilized to roll again all 4 storm doorways.

These upgrades do come at a worth. The brand new Duplex Zip prices $700 and weighs 20.4 ounces, whereas the unique prices $670 and weighs 18.5 oz.

Zpacks Duplex Zip Options

Peak Vents

The place the unique Duplex had two easy, unbroken peaks, the Duplex Zip introduces small, hooded vents at each peaks to advertise air circulation. Sizzling air rises, so air flow close to the highest of the tent (reasonably than all concentrated across the backside) is essential to attenuate condensation and stuffy air inside your shelter.

The vents encompass mesh cutouts with a formed DCF hood to maintain the rain out. Tensioning the guyline that helps the trekking poles and each storm doorways mechanically provides construction to the height vents, so that you don’t have to do something particular to set them up. You do have to be cautious to have your storm doorways and nook stakes tensioned accurately, or the vent can collapse on itself a bit.

Absolutely Taped Seams

The Duplex Zip comes with absolutely taped (not sealed) seams and bonded tie-outs. Meaning your tent is field-ready out of the field. Many manufacturers both cost further to waterproof the seams for you or simply don’t supply seam sealing in any respect, so it is a good perk from Zpacks.

DCF Development

DCF: it’s tremendous robust, ultralight, and inherently waterproof. And (a minimum of when new) it received’t stretch out and sag in a single day the way in which silnylon tents are inclined to. The tent cover will be made with 0.55 or 0.75 ozsqyd DCF (0.75 is stronger and is accessible within the blue and orange colours). In the meantime, the ground is made with even thicker 1 ozsqyd DCF, making it extra abrasion and puncture resistant.

Waterproof Zippers

zpacks duplex zip

Tying each guyouts on the tent’s rectangular panel to a tree or trekking pole (as pictured on proper) actually boosts the purposeful quantity contained in the tent.

Every storm door seals with a water-resistant zipper. The zippers don’t require storm flaps to guard them from rain since they’re waterproof (or a minimum of extremely water resistant), which cuts weight and minimizes the snagging points which are so distinguished on different tents.

They’re one-way zippers, so that you don’t have the power to create further air flow close to the highest of the storm doorways. Waterproof zippers could be a bit stiffer and tougher to work than common zips as nicely. The distinction is considerably noticable however hasn’t been sufficient of an issue to trigger any concern for me.

8-Inch Bathtub Ground

The tent contains a tall bathtub, and the cover overhangs it by a number of inches to maintain rain from seeping in from above or splashing in from beneath. The 2 parts are related by a hoop of high-quality mesh.

When you have the tent arrange nicely, the mesh helps promote airflow even when the storm doorways are sealed shut. You do need to watch out that your ft don’t push the bath out from underneath the overlapping cover, exposing the inside to unhealthy climate.

Zpacks Duplex Zip Execs

So Mild!

Coming from a two-person Massive Agnes Tiger Wall (38 ounces with stakes and floor cowl), the Duplex Zip at 20.4 ounces is a godsend for my companion and me. It’s so gentle that even a solo hiker may justify the load penalty to have a very luxurious shelter.

I take advantage of a DIY groundsheet with mine as a result of it’s a $700 tent and I’d like to ensure it lasts some time, regardless of the additional few ounces. That mentioned, the bath ground could be very sturdy and Zpacks and plenty of loyal customers insist that you should use it with out one. This makes it even lighter than many standard tents that do want a groundsheet. Should you’re like me and wish some added safety, Zpacks additionally sells a UL footprint that weighs solely three ounces.

It needs to be famous that the reported weight of the tent doesn’t embrace stakes, and also you want a whopping eight of them to set the tent up correctly. Even with an additional 2.8 ounces of MSR Mini Floor Hogs (not even the lightest choice accessible), the tent continues to be remarkably gentle.

Air flow That Really Works

I slept on this tent on some unbelievably humid, wet nights and had no condensation points. I sealed the tent up tight on a number of events to push the envelope with the condensation, to no avail.

The partitions had been bone-dry each morning after I wakened, and the worst I skilled was some droplets that amassed on the mesh door on one facet. Based mostly on my earlier expertise with single-wall tents, I absolutely anticipated to have woken up with a moist footbox or a full-on mini rainstorm inside my tent from condensation a minimum of just a few occasions by now.

I can hardly credit score exterior circumstances or my very own tenting prowess with this. I didn’t work notably exhausting to decide on anti-condensation campsites, and circumstances (once more, U N B E L I E V A B L Y humid, wet, and stagnant) had been usually not conducive to evaporation. So I’m left to imagine that the tent’s massive quantity, ample mesh lining the bath ground, and the brand new peak vents are accountable.

I’m not gullible sufficient to consider condensation received’t ever be a problem on this tent simply because it has two little peak vents now, however I’m nonetheless impressed by the bar the Duplex Zip has set up to now.


A lot area! I shared this tent with my companion, and we each had loads of room to take a seat up, stretch, and set up our gear. Many hikers use the Duplex as a solo shelter, which might be so luxurious it form of blows my thoughts somewhat bit.

I usually discover trekking pole tents a bit cramped. Despite the fact that they’ve plenty of ground area, the roof slopes so steeply which you could actually solely sit up in case your head is completely aligned with the height/ridgeline. That’s not true with the Duplex. It’s so dang lengthy (7.5 ft) that the usable sitting-up area within the center is greater than satisfactory for most individuals. For particularly tall hikers, the DupleXL may be a more sensible choice.


Straightforward To Set Up

zpacks duplex zip

First try at pitching the Zpacks Duplex Zip in Shenandoah NP.

The Duplex Zip is surprisingly simple to pitch for a nonfreestanding tent. Don’t get me improper—setting it up completely is hard. Hanging that good stability between all of the stakes in order that nothing is simply too tight or bunched up in some bizarre and mysterious method is one thing I’m nonetheless attempting to get the hold of myself.

However I used to be in a position to set it up—albeit imperfectly—on my first attempt, and I felt ok about how the tent regarded to snap just a few footage for this evaluate. My pitch has gotten higher each time since.

Setup requires a minimal of eight stakes. Nevertheless, you would in all probability use as much as 10 if you happen to wished to get fancy with the guyouts.

Transulcent Materials

trees and sky visible through canopy of zpacks duplex zip

Many individuals dislike the translucent nature of the ultralight DCF material this tent is made with. Sure, folks can type of see contained in the tent, so that you do lose some privateness.

It’s very blurry, although, and also you’d need to be fairly near the tent and in good gentle to get even a fuzzy view of the within. Take a look at the featured picture of this publish to get a way of what the view is like from the skin. Are you able to even inform there’s a human being in there?

Alternatively, I fairly like having the ability to lay again contained in the tent and lookup on the bushes or the clouds or no matter from the consolation of my quilt. You don’t get that lots with single-wall tents. I feel the see-through nature of the tent is form of cool.

Zpacks Duplex Zip Cons

The “Rainbow” Doorways

The inside mesh door design on the Duplex Zip, a carryover from the unique Duplex, might be the tent’s least standard function. The door is basically a semicircle form that hinges on the backside in order that the mesh lays on the bottom when the door is open.

The mesh is sure to get broken when it’s laying on the bottom like that. I all the time discover myself inadvertently stepping on it when crawling out and in. I suppose studying to keep away from trodding on the door is all a part of my journey to Duplex mastery, however nonetheless. There must be a greater method.

And the mesh itself appears fairly delicate. Zpacks makes use of an ultralight no-see-um mesh that weighs roughly a 3rd lower than customary insect netting. It does an excellent job retaining bugs of all sizes out, however I’ve already seen a number of small snags and pulls in it. It tends to catch on seemingly innocuous issues, like a brief thread finish protruding of a minor seam elsewhere on the tent.

Regardless of these minor accidents, the mesh continues to be absolutely purposeful. However provided that I haven’t had the tent for that lengthy and have been attempting to child it, I hate to see it already getting beat up.

And my last door-related beef: the tent pole within the center means you may solely functionally use half of the door’s space to get out and in at any given time. The intention is that both finish of the tent will be the pinnacle, but it surely simply doesn’t work for me.

The Pockets

I like a tent with some good pockets, however I want Zpacks had offset them to 1 facet as a substitute of putting them lifeless in the midst of the door. The place they’re positioned, any weight contained in the pockets pulls the door down and places stress on the highest of the zipper, making it tough to open and shut the doorways. This can’t be good for the long-term well being of the zipper seams both.

The Vestibules  (They’re Deceptively Small)

They give the impression of being so massive, however functionally, they solely present simply sufficient area to your carefully-placed pack and a pair of sneakers on both facet. Granted, that’s about all most of us want the vestibule to suit anyway. Simply know that the palatial inner dimensions of the Duplex don’t translate to numerous area in your vestibules.

The Worth

In equity, this tent is completely gigantic and made virtually fully of DCF, a really costly materials. But it surely’s nonetheless a $700 tent. You get lots to your cash, however that price ticket will undoubtedly be prohibitive for a lot of hikers.

General Worth

I want the doorways had been completely different, however I’m in any other case in love with this tent. It’s light-weight, luxuriously roomy, and surprisingly simple to arrange. It withstood rain and wind admirably throughout my testing. And even on the humid Appalachian Path, it did an incredible job managing condensation.

The Duplex Zip will certainly be accompanying me on all my backcountry adventures this yr and for the foreseeable future. At $700, changing it could admittedly be painful, so I’ll do all I can to deal with the tent and squeeze as many miles out of it as humanly potential.

Store the Zpacks Duplex Zip

Comparable Tents

Durston X-Mid Professional 2

  • MSRP: $679
  • Weight: 19.6oz
  • Cloth: DCF

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P 

  • MSRP: $699
  • Weight: 24oz
  • Cloth: DCF

Tarptent Dipole 2

  • MSRP: $799
  • Weight: 28.7oz
  • Cloth: DCF

The Zpacks Duplex Zip was donated for function of evaluate.



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