Zpacks Duplex Tent Review

9.1
Expert Rating

An ultralight backpacking tent that also packs in an attached bathtub floor as well as double doors all while being extremely weather resistant, the Zpacks Duplex Tent is one of the best tents you can get out there. Although it is on the slightly expensive side of tents, it is well worth its price as a two person tent that even manages to provide more than enough space for the two of you to sit up and move around. And finally, the Zpacks Duplex although having a slightly tricky set up process, with the Freestanding Flex Kit upgrade it becomes all the more easier whilst also making the build of the tent more sturdy and strong against high winds. If you’d like a tent that doubles as a jacket, you’ll definitely be interested in our JakPak tent jacket review.

Why We Like It – Zpacks Duplex

Making it as one of the best duplex tents out there, the Zpacks Duplex comes with a number of features ranging from double doors, a durable tent body and having an ultralight weight to go with it. If you’re worrried about how you’ll cook dinner, you might find your solution in our QUQUQ cooks up campingbox car camper conversion kit (video). You even get a bathtub floor which makes sleeping through those rainy nights all the more easier preventing the mud or water from ever reaching you.

Pros
  • Extremely durable over multiple weather conditions
  • Ultralight
  • Great ventilation
Cons
  • Set up process is difficult without the Flex upgrade

Performance

Having 28 square feet of floor space, the bathtub floor of the Duplex provided a lot of space for two people to sleep and sit in. It can hold two cold sleeping bags side by side while also keeping some extra space to spare. And for sitting upright during the day or whenever you want to, the peak height of the tent is at a gracious 48 Inches making the Zpacks Duplex roomier than most two person tents. If you need more space and are planning to take more people with you, the Zpacks Triplex or even the larger Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 are great options worth considering.

Speaking of the triplex, while you only get the trekking pole supported version for it, with the Zpacks Duplex’s Freestanding Flex Kit upgrade you can add 4 carbon ion tent poles which will make the set up process much easier while also adding to the durability of the tent. Without the upgrade to the kit, you would have to use the two trekking poles provided to form an A-frame which is considerably harder to set up. As for the Free standing kit set up, you first start off by installing all the poles and adjusting them into a proper symmetrical state and then move on to stake down the tent with the 8 stakes and the guy lines provided. You can use the carbon ion poles and the trekking poles to adjust the height of each door as you wish for the best fit for you, but you can still go upto the optimal 48ft. The setup process of both the Duplex flex and the usual Duplex are quite similar but even without the kit, once you get used to the process it becomes much easier as there is no additional footprint or rainfly to take care of.

Moving onto the rest of the structure of the tent, while it isn’t very terrain friendly as other tents ,due to the fact that it doesn’t have a freestanding design, the tarp tent style of the Zpacks Duplex comes with its own share of benefits. Firstly, with a highly durable and waterproof bathtub floor made of Dyneema Composite Fabric, or Cuben fiber as known previously, the floor doesn’t need any form of coating that wears off and is rather naturally water and weatherproof making it much durable than most other ultralight tents out there. Thus with the eight Inch height above ground of the floor paired with the fact that the edge of the tent reaches 6 Inches beyond the end of the floor makes sure that you and your backpacking gear are protected even during heavy rain and storms. Adding to that, the Zpacks Duplex uses vestibules which are overlapping flaps of DCF rather than being a zipper, which makes for a unique closing method using a hook system whilst also losing the extra weight of zippers. This makes for a good closing method during the rain while the cat cut of the tarp allows the tips of the poles to be higher at the end of the eaves, making it easier to taut the body to prevent the body from flapping in the wind. Thus, with all that and secure stakeout points, the Zpacks Duplex is supposably the best weather resistant ultralight two-person tent. But do keep in mind that being an ultralight tent as it is, it is surely not meant for the harshest of wind conditions.

You even get a horizontal bug net sown in which along with the massive use of mesh across the body as well as the double doors which makes for some excellent ventilation. You can even stretch the tarp away from the doors during hot days to make for greater airflow and thus a much better protection from both the sun’s rays and the heat. As for the two doors, they make for much more convenience as you can get out from the door on your side without having to bother the other person in the tent. Finally for the storage of your gear, reviews from Zpacks Duplex shows that the stuff sack being made from the same Dyneema Composite Fabric as the tents body, can protect your gear even while placed outside during light rain. The doors also help with better storage as you can store your own gear in the vestibule beside you for greater ease.
Having 28 square feet of floor space, the bathtub floor of the Duplex provided a lot of space for two people to sleep and sit in. It can hold two cold sleeping bags side by side while also keeping some extra space to spare. And for sitting upright during the day or whenever you want to, the peak height of the tent is at a gracious 48 Inches making the Zpacks Duplex roomier than most two person tents. If you need more space and are planning to take more people with you, the Zpacks Triplex or even the larger Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 are great options worth considering.

Speaking of the triplex, while you only get the trekking pole supported version for it, with the Zpacks Duplex’s Freestanding Flex Kit upgrade you can add 4 carbon ion tent poles which will make the set up process much easier while also adding to the durability of the tent. Without the upgrade to the kit, you would have to use the two trekking poles provided to form an A-frame which is considerably harder to set up. As for the Free standing kit set up, you first start off by installing all the poles and adjusting them into a proper symmetrical state and then move on to stake down the tent with the 8 stakes and the guy lines provided. You can use the carbon ion poles and the trekking poles to adjust the height of each door as you wish for the best fit for you, but you can still go upto the optimal 48ft. The setup process of both the Duplex flex and the usual Duplex are quite similar but even without the kit, once you get used to the process it becomes much easier as there is no additional footprint or rainfly to take care of.

Moving onto the rest of the structure of the tent, while it isn’t very terrain friendly as other tents ,due to the fact that it doesn’t have a freestanding design, the tarp tent style of the Zpacks Duplex comes with its own share of benefits. Firstly, with a highly durable and waterproof bathtub floor made of Dyneema Composite Fabric, or Cuben fiber as known previously, the floor doesn’t need any form of coating that wears off and is rather naturally water and weatherproof making it much durable than most other ultralight tents out there. Thus with the eight Inch height above ground of the floor paired with the fact that the edge of the tent reaches 6 Inches beyond the end of the floor makes sure that you and your backpacking gear are protected even during heavy rain and storms. Adding to that, the Zpacks Duplex uses vestibules which are overlapping flaps of DCF rather than being a zipper, which makes for a unique closing method using a hook system whilst also losing the extra weight of zippers. This makes for a good closing method during the rain while the cat cut of the tarp allows the tips of the poles to be higher at the end of the eaves, making it easier to taut the body to prevent the body from flapping in the wind. Thus, with all that and secure stakeout points, the Zpacks Duplex is supposably the best weather resistant ultralight two-person tent. But do keep in mind that being an ultralight tent as it is, it is surely not meant for the harshest of wind conditions.

You even get a horizontal bug net sown in which along with the massive use of mesh across the body as well as the double doors which makes for some excellent ventilation. You can even stretch the tarp away from the doors during hot days to make for greater airflow and thus a much better protection from both the sun’s rays and the heat. As for the two doors, they make for much more convenience as you can get out from the door on your side without having to bother the other person in the tent. Finally for the storage of your gear, reviews from Zpacks Duplex shows that the stuff sack being made from the same Dyneema Composite Fabric as the tents body, can protect your gear even while placed outside during light rain. The doors also help with better storage as you can store your own gear in the vestibule beside you for greater ease.

Design

Having a packaged size of 12 x 7 Inches and weighing upto 1 pound and 14.6 ounces with the Free Standing Flex Kit the Zpacks Duplex is much lighter than the Kelty TN2 and the Nemo Equipment Losi Tents. It is probably one of the lightest tents available as per the review Zpacks Duplex has received from numerous people and is a serious advantage for those who want to go backpacking without a worry about how much more weight they can carry.

And while the entire body of the tent is as durable as a lightweight tent can be, you even get a few features within the tent itself. Mainly speaking of the vestibules and pockets which make for easier and better storage. While the two vestibules each measure to be 20.75 Inches in depth to store most of your gear, the two mesh pockets each 8 x 8 Inches in size, allow you to store smaller personal objects like a journal, maps, cell phones or even GPS devices.

Value

Priced at $599 for the standard price, the Zpacks Duplex is pretty expensive for a two person tent, but considering the amount of durability and weather resistance it offers as well as the added benefit of being ultralight and super convenient in terms of storage, the Zpacks Duplex is probably worth the price for many of you out there. If you can’t afford this tent, take a look at our Kelty tn2 tent for a slightly cheaper tent. And so if you can afford it, the Zpacks Duplex is an amazing ultralight tent well worth its price, even more so with the Free Standing Kit if you prefer a more easy set up process.

Zpacks Duplex Wrap Up

While it isn’t the largest of tents out there, nor the most affordable option, it does justice to its price by bringing you the ultimate lightweight trekking experience packed into a tent that offers both a great amount of storage as well as quite a bit of resistance against harsh weathers ranging from downpours of rain to high winds. But considering the fact that not being freestanding, the Zpacks Duplex isn’t very terrain friendly, it probably isn’t for everyone. Not being available in amazon com, you can simply contact the email address of the Zpacks website for information regarding the delivery of the tent if you order it.

Performance9.1
Design9.2
Value8.9
Reader Rating0 Votes0
9.1
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

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Golam Rahman

Bio-loving tech writer that enjoys the pursuit of learning. Golam is currently learning Japanese and when he's not doing that, he's playing online games.

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