Durston X-Mid Professional 2 Tent Evaluation

Durston X-Mid Professional 2 Tent Evaluation

Durston X-Mid Professional 2 Tent Evaluation
PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Replace:

Durston Gear contacted us to tell us that there are some adjustments coming to the X-Mid line of tents in October 2023. They’re planning to cut back the worth of the X-Mid Professional 2, and so they’re releasing a bigger model with extra space for 2 hikers. We’ll replace our evaluate with adjustments when the brand new X-Mid hits the market.

Fast Specs

Durston X-Mid Professional 2


Value:

$679


Listed Weight:

19.6 oz.


Measured Weight:

20.7 oz.


Dimensions (LxWxH):

90 x 48 x 48 in.

Execs

  • Ultralight
  • Glorious air flow
  • Straightforward to pack
  • Packs smaller than different Dyneema tents
  • Glorious Safety in moist climate
  • Sturdy materials
  • Glorious vestibule design
  • Spacious inside
  • Comes absolutely waterproof
  • Excessive pockets creat much less sag

Cons

  • Inside form makes usable area much less handy
  • Form makes it robust to get an ideal pitch
  • Giant footprint & non-freestanding design could make campsite choice tough
  • Costly
  • 90-degree zippers aren’t everybody’s favourite

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Execs

Ultralight

Durston Gear lists the load of the X-Mid Professional 2 at 19.6 oz. with out the stuff sack, and we clocked it at 20.7 with the stuff sack. Irrespective of which quantity you go along with, the Xmid Professional 2 is lighter than all however two of the 2-person shelters on our listing of the Greatest Ultralight Tents – the Zpacks Duplex and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2.

We’ve discovered that maintaining our pack weight down helps us take pleasure in backpacking adventures extra. And one of many objects that makes a big effect in your pack weight is your shelter. Utilizing an ultralight tent just like the X-Mid Professional 2 will make an enormous distinction in your consolation when masking lengthy distances or tackling massive elevation positive factors.

Glorious air flow

One of many greatest issues we predict the X-Mid Professional 2 will get proper over different single-wall shelters is the air flow. All too typically tent makers look to shave ounces by excluding a correct solution to maintain peak vents open or dropping peak vents altogether. The X-Mid has a peak vent on each vestibules and contains small struts to carry them open. Having these open vents up excessive will give heat air (like out of your breath) a solution to escape, finally lessening the quantity of condensation you expertise on the within.

The X-Mid additionally makes use of the tried-and-true mesh perimeter design seen on tents just like the Zpacks Duplex and Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo. We predict the X-Mid does it barely higher than the Duplex however not fairly in addition to the Lunar Duo. The Lunar Duo has a big vertical space of mesh on the head and foot that gives wonderful air flow, whereas the Duplex perimeter mesh runs extra horizontally to the bottom. The mesh perimeter on the X-Mid blends the 2 types properly by having a good quantity of mesh on the head and foot that’s steady with the mesh sidewalls (learn as: no breaks within the mesh to disrupt airflow), and it sits horizontally to let any condensation drip out.

Straightforward to pack

Silnylon and silpoly tents pack down a lot smaller than Dyneema tents since they are often stuffed down tight right into a stuff sack or the underside of your pack. The principle materials of the X-Mid Professional is Dyneema, however the ground is manufactured from silnylon. This enormously reduces the majority of the tent when it’s packed away in comparison with different Dyneema shelters.

Whilst you nonetheless shouldn’t use the stuff technique of packing with this tent due to the Dyneema cover, we’re impressed with how small it packs down – particularly for a tent of this dimension.

Glorious Moist Climate safety

The form of the X-Mid Professional doesn’t depart any horizontal areas the place rain/snow might pile up. Tents that shed moisture readily are much less more likely to have dangerous condensation points inside when moist climate hits. The form and vestibule design additionally maintain the doorways protected against drips – even when the vestibules are open – which is especially good when you must take a 2 a.m. toilet break within the rain. We’ll speak a bit extra concerning the climate advantages of the vestibules later on this evaluate.

One other very useful design characteristic (that the majority different UL shelters are first rate at, however not fairly on the degree of the X-Mid Professional) is the truth that you may pitch this tent within the rain with out getting the inside mesh partitions and ground moist. Since you lay the tent out flat in a sq. with the vestibules zipped up, stake from there, then place the poles by the height vents, rain by no means has an opportunity to enter your residing area within the X-Mid Professional 2.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)
PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Sturdy materials

The cover of the X-Mid Professional 2 is made with .55 oz. Dyneema which is extraordinarily sturdy for its weight. Whereas the X-Mid Professional hasn’t been available on the market lengthy sufficient for us to talk to its longevity, we will say that we’ve used different tents constructed from .55 oz. Dyneema – just like the Zpacks Duplex – for years with out subject.

One factor that units the development of the X-Mid Professional 2 other than many different DCF shelters is that the seams are hot-bonded. The panels of most different shelters are sewn or bonded collectively after which taped. If a seam is sewn, every needle gap is – in principle – creating little weak spots. Seam tape is then used to cowl the needle holes so the panels are utterly waterproof, and it reinforces the seams to regain a lot of the authentic energy of the material. You’ll be able to see an instance of this sort of seam on the Zpacks Duplex.

When two Dyneema panels are bonded, it’s normally accomplished with a particular bonding tape that may create a seamless transition by sturdy adhesive and strain. Then the bond is bolstered with Dyneema tape. This sort of bonding can turn into weak in excessive scorching or chilly temperatures. Nevertheless it’s unlikely that the typical backpacker will run into such situations. You’ll be able to see examples of this sort of seam on many flat tarps, just like the HMG Flat Tarp.

Scorching-bonding – what’s used on the X-Mid Professional 2 – is a course of that creates stronger bonds that received’t lose their integrity in harsh situations. Is that this more likely to make a distinction to the typical consumer? Most likely not. Is it extra sturdy? Sure.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Glorious vestibule design

Many ultralight Dyneema shelters pitch with the vestibules raised pretty excessive off the bottom. This will depart the tent occupant weak to splashback from rain and chilly gusts. Whereas we’ve hardly ever discovered ourselves in situations that make the raised vestibules on different ultralight tents an enormous subject, we all know many hikers aren’t keen on this design.

The X-Mid Professional vestibules, in distinction, may be pitched all the best way to the bottom and provide full safety from the weather when wanted. Or you may stake them a bit increased to extend air flow.

The vestibules are additionally extremely spacious. The squared off nook supplies way more usable area than the standard triangle vestibule. There’s loads of room to retailer all your gear out of the best way of the door, so that you’re not having to shuffle issues round each time you wish to go in or out.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Spacious inside

We discovered the inside ground area of the X-Mid Professional 2 to be greater than ample for 2 hikers and exceptionally spacious for one individual. The twin pyramid peaks additionally present a very good quantity of headroom at both finish and alongside the diagonal ridgeline within the middle. So if hikers sit at reverse ends of the tent going through one another – say, to attend out a storm – each folks have a ton of headroom. That mentioned, we don’t usually advocate sleeping on reverse ends as that’s more likely to end in one individual’s head on a downhill. This will trigger blood to hurry to the pinnacle and make it tough to sleep.

This professional comes with a little bit of an asterisk – we’ll speak a bit extra concerning the points we now have with the distribution of inside quantity a bit later on this evaluate.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

absolutely waterproof

It’s not unusual for ultralight tent makers to cost extra for in-house seam-sealing or to require the consumer to do it themselves. We’ve by no means actually been a fan of this since we really feel a tent ought to arrive absolutely waterproof and able to hit the path.

The X-Mid Professional 2 seams are bonded and absolutely waterproof from the manufacturing unit. There’s no want for added seam-sealing.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Excessive pockets = much less sag

Many tents are constructed with pockets that sit low on the inside wall to allow them to be simply reached when you’re laying down. Whereas we just like the comfort of getting small objects shut at hand, it tends to trigger the mesh wall on non-freestanding tents to sag inward. This normally isn’t a large enough gripe to be a dealbreaker, however we undoubtedly admire that the upper pockets on the X-Mid Professional 2 don’t encroach on our sleeping space.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Cons

Inside area much less handy

For those who’re wanting on the X-Mid Professional 2 as a single-person shelter, this level received’t apply to you. We’ve seen many a cheerful solo hiker residing their greatest life within the X-Mid, and we agree that it’s an distinctive tent for one.

However for many who shall be sharing this tent with one other hiker – that is our greatest gripe with the X-Mid and the principle motive why it received’t be amongst our prime suggestions for backcountry shelters.

The distinctive form of the X-Mid does undeniably present quite a lot of headroom, however not the place we actually need it. The inside of this tent is a parallelogram and the poles are offset from each other to create two opposing peaks at both finish. This can work properly if you wish to sleep head-to-foot so that every hiker will get their very own finish with ample headspace. However that’s not how most individuals want to share a tent, and it’s not how Durston intends the X-Mid for use.

Sleeping side-by-side, as most hikers do, ends in one individual having loads of room to sit down up whereas the opposite will get a face filled with tent wall within the morning. On prime of that, the X-Mid is designed in order that the one that bought the quick finish of the stick on headroom additionally sacrifices some comfort in relation to storage. Their inside pocket is located on the reverse finish of the tent close to the opposite peak.

robust to get good pitch

The X-Mid is usually praised for its quite simple pitch. Whereas the fundamentals of pitching the X-Mid are fairly straightforward – we discovered getting a taut pitch with no sag or surfaces for water to pool as much as be a bit tough.

To start out, you lay the tent out flat and stake the corners out in a rectangle. The difficulty begins if you happen to don’t stake the corners at nearly exactly 90 levels. You’ll get the trekking poles set solely to appreciate the ground isn’t sitting fairly proper or the ridgeline is bowed or a wall is billowing within the wind. Positive you may transfer the stakes round and enhance the pitch, however we discover that is typically simpler mentioned than accomplished. Backcountry campsites are normally hiding rocks that impede tent stakes just below the filth’s floor, and much more typically the bottom isn’t going to be degree.

In our expertise, A-frame formed tents are extra forgiving in relation to unideal pitching situations. Particularly because of their extra compact footprint, which leads us to our subsequent level.

footprint & design makes campsite choice tough

Non-freestanding tents can pose a little bit of a problem in relation to campsite choice since you want to have the ability to get stakes within the floor to provide the tent construction. It is a potential subject with all non-freestanding tents, not simply the X-Mid. However the place the X-Mid provides an additional layer of problem is in its massive rectangular footprint.

When taking a look at its total dimensions, you’ll see that the X-Mid Professional 2 is an 8.3 x 6.7 ft. rectangle. Meaning you must discover a campsite massive sufficient to accommodate over 55 sq. ft. For comparability, the world occupied by the footprint of the Zpacks Duplex is about 49 sq. ft. That’s about 13.6% smaller, and but the inside ground area of the X-Mid is lower than 2 sq. ft. bigger than that of the Duplex.

We have now additionally discovered that tents with a hexagonal footprint, just like the Duplex, are simpler to pitch in imperfectly formed areas than the oblong footprint of the X-Mid. And while you consider our earlier level about the necessity to pitch the X-Mid with its corners as near 90° as attainable, campsite choice can turn into a bit difficult.

Throughout testing, we typically needed to cross up epic campsites as a result of the tent wouldn’t match. We’re not saying that is the one tent that we’ve skilled that with, however we did discover it occurred extra typically with the X-Mid.

Costly

Dyneema shelters at all times include a hefty price ticket as a result of DCF is an costly cloth. The X-Mid Professional 2 prices a bit lower than the Tarptent Stratospire Li and a bit greater than the Zpacks Duplex, however they’re all inside a $40 vary of one another. We have been stunned that their costs have been so shut as a result of the X-Mid makes use of a less expensive ground materials (silnylon); we have been hoping to see some price financial savings there. The Duplex and Stratospire are each made with Dyneema canopies and flooring.

So why does the X-Mid have an analogous worth level to tents which might be made with extra Dyneema? As a result of the hot-bonding course of used on the seams is extra pricey and time consuming. As we talked about beforehand, this course of most likely received’t make a lot of a distinction to the typical consumer, so we’d quite have the financial financial savings from the cheaper materials.

You could possibly at all times get the usual sil-nylon X-Mid 2 for fairly a bit much less cash, however it does weigh nearly a pound extra (35.4 oz.). That’s nonetheless lighter than half of the tents on our Greatest Ultralight Tents listing although, so it could possibly be properly well worth the financial financial savings if you happen to’re keen to hold some further weight.

Backside line

The Durston X-Mid Pro 2 is a well-liked tent in ultralight circles, and we will see why. It’s light-weight, spacious, supplies wonderful climate safety, and has nice air flow. However for us the X-Mid missed the mark in just a few key areas. We nonetheless assume it’s an amazing shelter for solo hikers who desire a luxurious quantity of area with out a lot weight achieve over an ultralight single-person tent, however we’re not fairly as eager on this shelter when shared with a associate.

The place we appear to vary in opinion probably the most from different accounts we’ve learn is on the matter of spaciousness. For us, the parallelogram ground form and the offset poles make the inside a bit awkward to occupy with a associate, as one individual will get the quick finish of the stick in relation to headroom.

The opposite key subject we discovered with this tent is that getting a pleasant, taut pitch with no sag was tougher than we wished. The massive footprint and rectangular form may also make campsite choice a bit extra tedious than with different tents, and we’re not fond of getting to wrestle with an ideal pitch after a tough day on the path.

Durston nails lots of the particulars that make for a really nice tent expertise, like well-designed vestibules, good pockets, and excellent air flow. However for our two-person adventures, we discovered that the X-Mid fell a bit wanting our excessive expectations.

PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY HANDLEY (CLEVERHIKER.COM)