Extreme test for the Luxe Hex Peak 2014

Robert Bolton

Extreme test for the new Luxe Hex Peak

Extreme test for this little bomber shelter

This is my first experience in using this hexagon shaped shelter therefore I have nothing to compare it against, my usual accommodation is the Hillberg Atko which I have had for the past three or four years. My initial reason for purchasing the Hex was for the extra room that it provided.

On removing the Hex from its packaging  it was apparent straight away that this shelter could be packed down to a small compact unit inside your sack.

Weight 1.25 kg Si nylon inner nest 8 pegs 2 webbing straps. seam sealer 4 extra mid height guy points all reflective.

My first pitch was in the back garden the instructions state to peg out the four corners first, which are better identified by the location of the tension straps it had taken me around fifteen to twenty minutes to get the shape taught but this is due to my inexperience as stated with this type of shelter. The inner nest erects separately and has an adjustable height slider which hooks onto the peak at the top of your walking pole the other five corners of the tub are staked out and tensioned.

I had decided to camp at Lag Uaine below the summit of Ben Vane, the forecast for the first day was clear and sunny with a slight breeze followed late in the evening with strengthening winds and snow.  My second attempt at pitching was far quicker I used my MSR snow pegs just in case, I did notice after tensioning all pegging points that at the rear tensioning strap there was a bit of a fold running up that panel after a few attempts at trying to readjust the fold was still there, it was probably my efforts at pitching  however after releasing this strap problem solved.

Now to the inner nest,  firstly the five corner points of the tub are staked out which go outside the base of the shelter which I  found out to be a bit of a faff especially wearing gloves, these are then tensioned and the top is hooked up to your preferred height. The inner hangs free from the outer fly which I found a problem the nest at the rear had a superfluous amount of material hanging in on top of me . The sides were the same with the walls lying inward at an angle.

This is probably and I must emphasise due to my inexperience of this shelter and would gratefully acknowledge where I am going wrong in this set up. 

I thought that the inner could have done with a full length zip running along the bottom, but evidently this all adds to cost. The J zip door gives you the option of more ventilation and a window to the outside. However on rolling back the door the small bungee stays are a faff with gloves on a small Velcro strip would resolve this . The vent above the door is held open with a velcro rod and has a mesh panel at the rear which I don’t think is needed. Setting out my neo air and sleeping bag there didn’t appear to be the room that I had envisaged, but this is likely to be because of my technique as explained above. Bob from backpacking light will be able to sort me out in that respect. The main porch or vestibule area you just cannot fault there is ample room to store all your gear and cook, I could sit in the nest with my legs fully stretched all five nine of me cooking and watching the world go by protected by the elements.

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Double poling in harsh conditions advisable

At ten forty-five that evening its test had really began the wind had picked up and must have been gusting around fifty mph so much so that some of the smaller pegs had become loose. After double pegging these points it was much more secure bearing in mind that the wind was so strong it was taking me off my feet at times. The wind had brought in persistent snow and was hitting the shelter side on it was a case of nylon on head at times. But this little guy was holding its own, as the night wore on the wind became stronger still he stood up my only worry was the bend in my walking pole which is now permanent, although only slight. The snow wasn’t a problem either it shed that with ease.

Extreme test for the new Luxe Hex Peak

this little shelter will give you great piece of mind

The following morning the winds were still as strong but I did notice that there was a bit if condensation on the fly , which with the wind had subsequently wet my gear in the porch and sleeping bag however these were extreme conditions so transference could be expected.

In addition I did not seal the seams before departure but there was no evidence of water penetration at these points.

To conclude in my humble opinion the

Cons are : staking out nest tub longer bottom zip on inner Velcro instead of small bungee door stays. mesh on inside of vent

Pros: great stability in strong winds Watch your pole! Snow shedding with ease. waterproof taking into account I did not seal the seams. Porch excellent for storage and cooking weight and packing size.

Question is this a good shelter? Please keep in mind my inadequacies in pitching inner I shall get this right with practise. Taking into account the price from Bob and his team at Backpacking light UK of £159.00 this is a lot of shelter for little money, a strong robust shelter that has won me over Would I recommend it? without a doubt.

 
 

Under the summit of Ben Vane

 
 
 
 
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early morning and its still standing and no damage

 

 
 

10 thoughts on “Extreme test for the Luxe Hex Peak 2014

  1. A very informative report, in my view for mountain conditions I would carry stronger pegs. However, there is no doubt this design will withstand some harsh weather. Mine will be out this week, though the conditions will most likely be less challenging.

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  2. Hi Rob, I have the same tent and haven't yet tried it overnight but did pitch it in 40+mph wind WITHOUT the extra storm guys (which was a mistake) also some of my line locs were threaded incorrectly and didn't hold, which I have now rectified. It would be nice to have a clear material free top vent, but I bet when you are at lower altitudes in midge season you'd love it! How about a compromise at velcro fastend. That wouldn't add much to cost or weight.

    Did you peg the inner over the fly pegs. I initially didn't think of this but Bob at BPL put me right. This should then have stretched out the inner for you.

    I don't think this is an extreme wind shelter but it's nice to know it does cope. BTW, being an experienced Mid user I use a 130cm pole with a home made heath robinson pole extender- a 7″ piece of dry pine which weighs 60g. This means that the pole is not extended at it's maximum and much less likely to be damaged.

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  3. Thanks for this review.
    It seems like Bob & Rose are on to a little cracker with the SilHexpeak.
    I agree with the first two comments – in tough weather double-poling is sensible and big pegs mandatory!
    And – all that space and strength for an amazingly good price.

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  4. I also am thinking Alan looking at the photos if the top attached guy line added top down pressure under load to the pole along with side distortion from snow build up on one side ? Your engineering thoughts on this ?

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  5. I don't think the top guy will make a huge difference, Martin. The main vertical load on the pole will be coming from the wind load, so Widu Thirteen's comment is appropriate. The load capacity of the pole is a function of the square of the length, and a 135cm pole is going to be considerably more flexible/less able to support a heavy vertical load, than say the same pole set at 100cm in a Trailstar.

    As well as the length being a factor, Widu is correct in that the overall capacity for the pole to resist bending is increased when shorter, as the pole sectional bending strength (on average) is increased significantly by the pole tubes doubling up a fair bit more than when fully extended.

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  6. Interesting Alan and thanks. TS was bomber at 95cm and this could be lowered a bit in a storm. But well pitched, double pole and Clamcleat Tornadoes to peg it down and this is going to be so solid in a storm.

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  7. It does look like an impressive little shelter for the price. I like the combination of TrailStar-type height and wall angles with fully-enclosed walls. They're on to a winner I reckon. What's the space inside like for tall people?

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  8. Late comment.
    I did read this earlier on before I tried mine, but didn't want to comment until I had used it, which I now have.

    I concur with everything.
    Especially the inner.
    I think the outer is top dollar.
    The inner has imo design flaws as per my blog.
    Needs elastic shock cord 2mm not static line.
    Tub not well designed for tension. Needs extra support adjusted with 1mm shock cord half way up that attach to outer like on Oookstar and also Laser Comp inner.

    I am going to try a higher pitch though.

    Then see if longer poles or even an extra dedicated tent pole from Bob so I can pitch at 138 minimum sort it out.

    As I said, I so want to like this shelter, and if I get inner to work it will be a stormer.

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  9. I’ve found the best way of reducing the amount of slack material on the inner is to fasten the two front corners to the two front corners of the main fly’s staking points. Luxe have a video showing this and recommending it. This improves the tautness of the inner overall, reduces billowing and ensures good separation of inner and outer along the back wall (ie where the weather is usually going to be hitting it). Adding some shock cord to the tieouts of the inner is a good idea too – especially the front two given that they’re now stretching further forward. I love the Hex, and with these small tweaks haven’t had any issues with the inner.

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