Three Points of the Compass used a Zpacks Duplex tent as his shelter during his recent hike across the United Kingdom. It was a truly excellent shelter and took a right hammering in some awful conditions. Good that it was, it is now simply worn out. There was absolutely no need to change to some other shelter so, despite the eye-watering cost of a premium product, made from damned expensive fabric, from a (now quite large) American cottage company, another was purchased.
My nephew kindly bought it over to the UK for me a month ago and I have finally found time today to set it up in the narrow confines of my limited garden space.
As before, I purchased the ‘camo’ version which I feel lends itself more to wild camping. Yes, I know this can look a little ‘weekend warrior’ but this choice also offers considerably more discreetness over the other fabric options which are more opaque. Again, as before, I am using my Pacer Poles as supports. I carry poles on trail anyway and this saves greatly on the weight of any other uprights.
The 2019 shelter does not appear to have undergone much in the way of unnecessary evolution since my 2017 incarnation. The two little mesh storage pockets previously attached to the ends (head and feet) are now centrally positioned below the side rainbow mesh doors. Not a useful change I feel.
I had mostly experienced wear around the tie out points on the vestibule doors, these now appear a little beefed up on the newer version.
The Duplex comes with wall guys that can be utilised to provide a little more internal space, though they are not necessary for set-up. Again, my 2017 version had problems with both of these, one end tearing off entirely in strong buffeting winds. I had learnt then to incorporate a length of bungee cord between tie out and peg/stake. So right from the outset I have added in a 300mm length between guy and peg. That should reduce any large shock or strain to the shelter sides.
My peg selection (it is not supplied with any) is now happily nailed down to what will handle most of the varied UK ground types. I also carry one extra mini-groundhog in case of loss. With my old battered 5g Tread Lite peg bag, these total 174g. This may seem a lot but it is a good selection that enables me to bash down into the occasional rocky ground, as well as pull into use one or both of my wide V profile ti pegs in softer ground or on the windward side if expecting high winds. I can also now double-peg in soft ground if required.
As to weight of the shelter itself, in an old 9g cuben stuff sack, it comes in on my scales at 579g. Not bad for an easy to set up, two-person shelter with four doors and two vestibules. In just a few days Three Points of the Compass is off on another hike, albeit only 170 mile or so, it will be good to be re-acquainted with an old friend, if a little shiny and new at present and requiring a few trail miles.