Ultralight solo tent - Durston X-Mid new drop on Massdrop

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
2,384
They are essentially built to order. It’s the only way a very custom, niche product like this gets made. No way one of the big mfgs would take the risk, and if one of the “boutique” tent makers made it, it would cost 2-3x.

Massdrop’s (Now “Drop”) business model is taken from the idea of a forum “group buy”. For those familiar or experienced with “group buys” you know they normally take a lot of logistical planning, someone to collect all the payments and then work with the Mfg or supplier on fulfillment. Usually there are long lead times due to a separate manufacturing “run”. This is similar.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I didn’t mean it as a complaint, if I didn’t own a SS2 I’d probably order one. Just saying that I think they would sell a bunch more if they were more readily available. I prefer the Xmid design to the new 2 pole options from seek outside (which are sweet in their own right) and they have some benefits over existing designs like the stratospire and sierra designs high route, not to mention the many pyramids in use. I’m not sure they are such a niche item.

Speaking of the SS2, it uses “better” or at least more expensive materials and is quite a bit less than 2x the price.
 
OP
S

sbsyncro

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Didn’t mean to sound defensive; hope it didn’t come across that way. Problem with forums is that while being emphatic about something it’s easy to come across like a d*ck. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dandurston

Newbie
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Canada
Speaking of the SS2, it uses “better” or at least more expensive materials and is quite a bit less than 2x the price.
The X-Mid actually uses materials and hardware that are quite a bit more expensive than the SS2. For example, the X-Mid uses water resistant ("Uretek") zippers from YKK, whereas the SS2 uses basic (non-waterproof) zippers. Only the much more expensive SS Li ($689) gets Uretek zippers like the X-Mid.

The image below is a screenshot from RipstopByTheRoll.com and shows Uretek zippers are much more expensive than basic zippers (5x the price). Obviously that's not wholesale pricing, but this difference alone adds perhaps $5 - $10 to the raw materials cost of the X-Mid:
112913

The X-Mid (and other high end tents) use Uretek zippers because they a lot more water resistant than using a basic zipper with a flap over it (which blows open in the wind), and they don't have annoying habit of snagging the flap in the zipper when you go pee in the night.

The use of higher end hardware and materials extends throughout the X-Mid. It uses genuine ITW buckles, the Sil/PU coating costs more than just sil coatings, 20D poly costs more than 30D nylon etc. We also seam tape the X-Mid which costs a lot but avoids user seam taping. I don't actually know what the materials cost of the X-Mid is because I just spec the best stuff I can find and let Drop worry about making it happen. But the materials and hardware are easily more expensive than the SS2. The quality of construction is also quite a bit higher IMO. You won't find things like raw fabric edges, and faster to sew but weaker 4-5 mm stitching in the X-Mid.

The price is lower ($250 vs $360) mostly because we use more automation in the production and have a way smaller markup on these. If we had more of a markup on them ourselves, plus a typical retail markup, the X-Mid 2P would end up being around $450.

Other advantages versus the SS2 are much simpler pitch, no sag poly fabric, non-water absorbing fabric, larger/adjustable vents, smaller/shorter packed size and 4-6oz lighter. For more on this I've got an infographic here.

Obviously I'm hardly a neutral party but I think the X-Mid presents a compelling case (at least that is the idea). Even if someone already owns an SS2, they could sell that and buy an X-Mid 2P with money left over. They'd have the above advantages, plus a new tent, plus extra cash.
 
Last edited:
OP
S

sbsyncro

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
The drop is open. Here's a link to the 2p X-mid shelter:


(its an affiliate link - you get $10 off, I get $10 credit)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

dandurston

Newbie
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Canada
The Drop is still on. It's a pre-sale for tents arriving in the spring with a lower introductory price of $250 (vs $280 regular price). The pre-sale ends on August 22.
drop.com/buy/drop-x-mid-2-person-tent-designed-by-dan-durston?mode=guest_open

If folks miss that, Drop is likely to order extra which they'll sell closer to when the tents arrive (presumably) but the price is a bit higher as an incentive to pre-order, and there may be limited stock. With the 1P version, the extra tents sold out in 11 hours back in May, so the tents have been sold out all summer and thus selling on eBay for up to 60% over the price.
 

clbrown23

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
83
i have read a lot about these tents but want some honest feedback from people on here. How taught of a pitch can you get from the xmid ul 1p? And how easy is that to achieve?
Has anyone had it in high winds yet? Curious how much deflection the walls get in wind?
Seems as if mids like Duomid, solomid, khufu, Hapi have a reputation of being Rock solid in wind, does anyone has firsthand experience between the xmid and any of these?

Thanks
 
OP
S

sbsyncro

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
i have read a lot about these tents but want some honest feedback from people on here. How taught of a pitch can you get from the xmid ul 1p? And how easy is that to achieve?
Has anyone had it in high winds yet? Curious how much deflection the walls get in wind?
Seems as if mids like Duomid, solomid, khufu, Hapi have a reputation of being Rock solid in wind, does anyone has firsthand experience between the xmid and any of these?

Thanks
The highest wind I've had my 1p in is maybe 15 gusting to 20 (which feels a lot higher than it sounds) and it felt very solid. The pitch takes a bit of practice to get just right, but its like learning to whistle - once it hits you then its really easy. Getting the trekking pole height adjusted depends on each pitch in my experience which is why I would not go with non-adjustable poles. I've had several times where I had to set the poles at slightly different heights because of uneven terrain, but I'm a bit OCD and want the pitch to be perfect. In an ordinary tent, you don't have that kind of adjustability.

So to answer your question, getting a good pitch is not that hard, but it might take a few trial runs to figure out how to do it perfectly every time.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
2,384
The X-Mid actually uses materials and hardware that are quite a bit more expensive than the SS2. For example, the X-Mid uses water resistant ("Uretek") zippers from YKK, whereas the SS2 uses basic (non-waterproof) zippers. Only the much more expensive SS Li ($689) gets Uretek zippers like the X-Mid.

The image below is a screenshot from RipstopByTheRoll.com and shows Uretek zippers are much more expensive than basic zippers (5x the price). Obviously that's not wholesale pricing, but this difference alone adds perhaps $5 - $10 to the raw materials cost of the X-Mid:
View attachment 112913

The X-Mid (and other high end tents) use Uretek zippers because they a lot more water resistant than using a basic zipper with a flap over it (which blows open in the wind), and they don't have annoying habit of snagging the flap in the zipper when you go pee in the night.

The use of higher end hardware and materials extends throughout the X-Mid. It uses genuine ITW buckles, the Sil/PU coating costs more than just sil coatings, 20D poly costs more than 30D nylon etc. We also seam tape the X-Mid which costs a lot but avoids user seam taping. I don't actually know what the materials cost of the X-Mid is because I just spec the best stuff I can find and let Drop worry about making it happen. But the materials and hardware are easily more expensive than the SS2. The quality of construction is also quite a bit higher IMO. You won't find things like raw fabric edges, and faster to sew but weaker 4-5 mm stitching in the X-Mid.

The price is lower ($250 vs $360) mostly because we use more automation in the production and have a way smaller markup on these. If we had more of a markup on them ourselves, plus a typical retail markup, the X-Mid 2P would end up being around $450.

Other advantages versus the SS2 are much simpler pitch, no sag poly fabric, non-water absorbing fabric, larger/adjustable vents, smaller/shorter packed size and 4-6oz lighter. For more on this I've got an infographic here.

Obviously I'm hardly a neutral party but I think the X-Mid presents a compelling case (at least that is the idea). Even if someone already owns an SS2, they could sell that and buy an X-Mid 2P with money left over. They'd have the above advantages, plus a new tent, plus extra cash.
Thanks for straightening me out Dan, good info. I assumed incorrectly that the 3k HH silynylon was more expensive than the fabric in the xmid. After reading more, it seems there are a lot of variables at play there as you pointed out.
 

SCOGS

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
180
I see a lesser version of the Henry Shires Stratospire tarptent.
I think the only design element these two tents share are the offset poles and they even do that in a different fashion. The X-mid is a rectangle with the inner running at a diagonal, while the stratospire is a hexagon that uses struts on two points.

Stratospire has a bigger footprint, is significantly heavier, is built of 30d silnylon, and is more complex to set up, but has a bigger inner and bigger vestibules and the option for a solid inner.

X-mid is smaller, lighter, easier to set up and made of 20d silpoly. Its got rather large vestibules and a pretty small interior. Its basically a two pole pyramid and not really anything like a stratospire.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but they are definately different.
 
Top