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.
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.
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.