Durston X-Mid 1P Review
Cons: Heavy for ultralight, guy lines can be difficult to tighten
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Durston X-Mid 1P
|Price||$220 List||$202.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$220.00 at Amazon
$179.95 at REI
|Pros||Affordable, durable materials, removable inner, double doors||Plenty of room for two people plus gear, adaptable for four season use, very affordable||Affordable, very spacious for two, double doors||Affordable, easy to set-up, simple, packable, comes with stakes||Inexpensive, protective for a tarp, extremely lightweight, bike and pole compatible set-up|
|Cons||Heavy for ultralight, guy lines can be difficult to tighten||No floor or bug protection, potential condensation problems, needs to be seam sealed||Not adaptable, SilNylon not as weather proof as DCF, needs to be set-up specific to weather||Not encompassing protection all around||Material stretches with water exposure, lacks full enclosure, steep learning curve for set-up|
|Bottom Line||An ultralight, durable, highly adaptable, and fully featured shelter that won't weigh on your wallet||A single wall, floorless, all around awesome pyramid tent with a great value attached||A single wall tent with a lot of interior space at competitive price||This is a high value tarp that acts as a great shelter||A specific and functional tarp perfect for bike packing or other bipedal sports|
|Rating Categories||Durston X-Mid 1P||Black Diamond Beta...||Six Moon Designs Ha...||Kammok Kuhli UL||Ultimate Direction...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Set-Up (10%)|
|Specs||Durston X-Mid 1P||Black Diamond Beta...||Six Moon Designs Ha...||Kammok Kuhli UL||Ultimate Direction...|
|Type||Twin pole structure w/ removable bug netting||Floorless pyramid||Shaped tarp||Flat tarp||Structured tarp|
|Weight With All Components||1.90 lbs||1.35 lbs||1.15 lbs||0.84 lbs||0.80 lbs|
|Measured Weight of All Included Shelter Parts||Total: 1 lb, 14.5 oz, fly: 18 oz, inner: 9.5 oz, stakes: 2.5 oz, stuff sack: 0.5 oz, stake sack: 0.2 oz||Total: 1 lb, 5.6 oz, tent: 1 lb 1.3 oz, stakes: 3.8 oz, stuff sack: 0.5 oz, (bug netting and floor 1 lb, 13 oz - sold separately)||Tent: 1 lb, 3.4 oz (extra: Net Tent: 15.0 oz w/ guy lines)||Total: 13.45 oz, tarp: 11.65 oz, stakes: 1.40 oz, sack: 0.4 oz||Total: 12.75 oz, tarp: 12.5 oz, sack: 0.25 oz. No stakes included, needs 8|
|Poles Needed for Set-up?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes or Tree||Yes|
|Capacity||1 person||2 person||2 person||2 person||2 person|
|Max Floor Dimensions||87" x 28 in||98" x 80 in||88" x 44 in||132" x 88 in||110" x 86 in|
|Peak Height||46 in||49 in||45 in||Depends on configuration||58.2 in|
|Fabric||20 denier 420 thread-count 100-percent polyester||30D SilNylon||30D SilNylon||Patagium 15D diamond ripstop||20D Nylon micro-ripstop|
|Packed Size||12" x 5 in||4" x 6 in||12" x 4.5 in||3.7" x 7 in||7" x 8 in|
|Floor Area||17 sq ft||34.7 sq ft||53 sq ft||80.7 sq ft||Not specified|
|Number of Poles||2||2||2||0||2|
|One person version?||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Durston Gear has manufactured a tent that prioritizes premium quality and durability over featherweight bragging rights. Even a small detail like the zippers are notable, which don't feel like they will break if you pull too hard. This distinction stood out for our testers, since the buying decisions on an ultralight shelter are not as simple as choosing the lightest option available. Its design is also impressive, as it pitches fly-first, and the inner and the fly can be set up separately. A total of eight titanium stakes are included with purchase-- four "V" stakes and four shepherd's hooks — though only four are required. The seams come fully sealed upon delivery and are double stitched for extra security.
The X-Mid 1P is a bipolar mid with offset pole positions, giving you a long 87 inch inner cocoon that places you diagonally across the rectangular footprint of the shelter.
While the sleeping area of the inner is not very wide at 28 inches, it is quite high, and the extra space of the dual vestibule layout makes the bug netting feel simultaneously cozy and spacious, with enough room for your gear and your kitchen on either side. There are two vents at the peaks of each pole for ventilation that can close easily if necessary.
Depending on the season, the mosquitos, and how you'd like to use this shelter, the total packed weight can be as low as 21 ounces (including stakes) or as high as 31.4 ounces with the entire kit. A compelling case can be made for using the X-Mid with the fly only, essentially making it a more weatherproof, easier-to-use floorless tarp. This would be a great way to transition into something like a flat tarp down the road if you're eyeing those tantalizing low base weights but don't quite feel ready to employ the extra skills needed to properly protect yourself in bad weather.
Two poles are required for set-up, but since there are no collapsable tent poles to stow away, the full packed size of the X-Mid is small enough to store vertically in your pack. The extra room and the no-fuss packing process scored highly with our testers.
Since the walls of the tent extend fully to the ground on all sides, the X-Mid scored highly in protecting from wind and rain splatter during harsh conditions. There are also two additional peak guy lines for added security if the weather turns especially bad. Thankfully, the polyester fabric does not sag during heavy rainfall or require to be re-pitched or tightened from water absorption. When using the removable inner, the waterproof bathtub floor kept our testers and their sleeping system dry throughout the night.
Our favorite design perk from this shelter, in terms of weather resistance, was that the inner keeps your sleeping bag from brushing up against cold and potentially wet tent walls in the middle of the night. Packing away your goose down sleeping bag with a wet foot box is fine for one day, but if you're experiencing wet weather for days on end, keeping your goose down dry is of the utmost importance.
Although the X-Mid can technically only be pitched in one way, our testers scored this shelter highly in adaptability because of the design of the removable inner and the way the poles can be inserted during set-up and take-down. It is adaptable in your user experience. As such, the inner can be removed and packed away while you are still inside the tent. If you wake up to rain, all of your gear can be safely put away as you unclip the inner, keeping your sleeping area dry for the rest of the day as you store it separately from the wet fly. Being able to be fully packed and dry is a huge advantage when setting out for a long, wet day of hiking.
The X-Mid is also adaptable in this sense because if you are planning a long thru-hike, for example, you can decide to carry the fly on its own until the season becomes necessary for bug netting, essentially giving you two shelters in one. You can have your minimalist, floorless tarp set-up and your bug netting insert for when you decide you need it. Also, much like the Blue Diamond Beta Light, this shelter can be used in the snow as a sort of sunken basecamp, with the floor being dug out for extra headroom. That being said, the X-Mid would probably be best-suited as a three-season shelter.
Ease of Set-Up
Pitching the X-Mid is made easy because of the rectangular footprint, leaving the guesswork out of perfecting a tight pitch. Our testers had no problem staking out a rectangle and simply inserting the pole into the vents beneath the tent's peaks before adjusting each pole to the correct height. And aside from a guy line tensioner design that can sometimes feel stuck, our team appreciated the simplicity of the set-up and the ability to easily increase the tightness of the pitch via the trekking pole itself.
Clipping the removable bug netting in and out is intuitive as well, with corresponding release buckles on top and four hook-like attachments at the corners. The design is also symmetrical, so the set-up is correct regardless of the orientation. Of course, the inner can be left in place and packed as a one piece tent for convenience.
In terms of value, the X-Mid could not possibly score higher. Many times, when buying an ultralight shelter you have to justify a very steep investment because it is a high-quality product that your aging back will thank you for later. At this price point, though, the X-Mid would be worth it even if it wasn't one of our favorite shelters that we tested. Considering the quality of the materials, the craftsmanship, the clever design functions, and the price, our team can't think of a good reason not to recommend this shelter unless you're gearing up for a Fastest Known Time or simply shedding ounces to get under a seven pound base weight.
The Durston X-Mid 1P received high scores for its comparatively affordable price and its long list of desirable features. Whether you are an experienced backpacker who is looking for good value, an intermediate who wants to test the waters on a floorless tarp, or a beginner who is ready to take the plunge into the world of ultralight shelters, this is the tent for you. With its durability and user-friendly design, the X-Mid is an excellent option for overnighters, week-long trips in the backcountry, and thru-hikes of any length.
— Chris Greer
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