In the event you’ve been within the ultralight scene for greater than a minute, chances are high you’ve heard concerning the Durston X-Mid Professional 2. This distinctive tent will get lots of hype in UL circles, however does it stay as much as the reward? Learn on to see our sincere ideas and evaluation from field-testing the X-Mid Professional.
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 scale back the worth of the X-Mid Professional 2, they usually’re releasing a bigger model with extra space for 2 hikers. We’ll replace our overview with adjustments when the brand new X-Mid hits the market.
LISTED WEIGHT: 19.6 oz.*
MEASURED WEIGHT: 20.7 oz.*
DIMENSIONS (LxWxH): 90 x 48 x 48 in.
*Listed weight doesn’t embrace the stuff sack, our measured weight does. Poles & stakes aren’t included for both measurement.
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. Regardless of which quantity you go together with, the Xmid Professional 2 is lighter than all however two of the 2-person shelters on our record of the Greatest Ultralight Tents – the Zpacks Duplex and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2.
We’ve discovered that retaining our pack weight down helps us get pleasure from backpacking adventures extra. And one of many objects that makes a huge impact 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 features.
Wonderful air flow – One of many greatest issues we expect the X-Mid Professional 2 will get proper over different single-wall shelters is the air flow. All too usually 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 expect 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 glorious 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 an honest 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 & packs smaller than different Dyneema tents – 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 primary materials of the X-Mid Professional is Dyneema, however the flooring is made from silnylon. This tremendously 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.
Wonderful safety in moist climate – The form of the X-Mid Professional doesn’t go away any horizontal areas the place rain/snow might pile up. Tents that shed moisture readily are much less more likely to have unhealthy 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 it’s a must to take a 2 a.m. lavatory break within the rain. We’ll speak a bit extra concerning the climate advantages of the vestibules later on this overview.
One other very helpful design function (that almost all different UL shelters are respectable 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 flooring 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 dwelling area within the X-Mid Professional 2.
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 are able to say that we’ve used different tents constructed from .55 oz. Dyneema – just like the Zpacks Duplex – for years with out problem.
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 fully waterproof, and it reinforces the seams to regain a lot of the unique power of the material. You may see an instance of this sort of seam on the Zpacks Duplex.
When two Dyneema panels are bonded, it’s often achieved with a particular bonding tape that may create a seamless transition by sturdy adhesive and strain. Then the bond is strengthened with Dyneema tape. Such a bonding can develop into weak in excessive sizzling or chilly temperatures. But it surely’s unlikely that the common backpacker will run into such situations. You may see examples of this sort of seam on many flat tarps, just like the HMG Flat Tarp.
Sizzling-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 common person? Most likely not. Is it extra sturdy? Sure.
Wonderful vestibule design – Many ultralight Dyneema shelters pitch with the vestibules raised pretty excessive off the bottom. This will go away the tent occupant weak to splashback from rain and chilly gusts. Whereas we’ve not often discovered ourselves in situations that make the raised vestibules on different ultralight tents a giant problem, we all know many hikers aren’t keen on this design.
The X-Mid Professional vestibules, in distinction, might 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 larger to extend air flow.
The vestibules are additionally extremely spacious. The squared off nook gives rather more usable area than the everyday 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 need to go in or out.
Spacious inside – We discovered the inside flooring area of the X-Mid Professional 2 to be greater than enough for 2 hikers and exceptionally spacious for one individual. The twin pyramid peaks additionally present an excellent 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 troublesome to sleep.
This professional comes with a little bit of an asterisk – we’ll speak a bit extra concerning the points we’ve got with the distribution of inside quantity a bit later on this overview.
Comes totally waterproof – It’s not unusual for ultralight tent makers to cost extra for in-house seam-sealing or to require the person to do it themselves. We’ve by no means actually been a fan of this since we really feel a tent ought to arrive totally waterproof and able to hit the path.
The X-Mid Professional 2 seams are bonded and totally waterproof from the manufacturing unit. There’s no want for extra seam-sealing.
Excessive pockets create much less sag – Many tents are constructed with pockets that sit low on the inside wall to allow them to be simply reached whilst 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 often 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.
Inside form makes usable area much less handy – In the event you’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 contented solo hiker dwelling their finest life within the X-Mid, and we agree that it’s an distinctive tent for one.
However for individuals who will likely be sharing this tent with one other hiker – that is our greatest gripe with the X-Mid and the primary purpose why it received’t be amongst our prime suggestions for backcountry shelters.
The distinctive form of the X-Mid does undeniably present lots 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. It will work effectively 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 desire to share a tent, and it’s not how Durston intends the X-Mid for use.
Sleeping side-by-side, as most hikers do, leads to one individual having loads of room to take a seat 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 obtained the brief finish of the stick on headroom additionally sacrifices some comfort in the case of storage. Their inside pocket is located on the reverse finish of the tent close to the opposite peak.
Form makes it powerful to get an ideal 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 troublesome.
To begin, you lay the tent out flat and stake the corners out in a rectangle. The difficulty begins in case you 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. Certain you may transfer the stakes round and enhance the pitch, however we discover that is usually simpler mentioned than achieved. Backcountry campsites are often hiding rocks that impede tent stakes just below the grime’s floor, and much more usually the bottom isn’t going to be degree.
In our expertise, A-frame formed tents are extra forgiving in the case of unideal pitching situations. Particularly due to their extra compact footprint, which leads us to our subsequent level.
Giant footprint & non-freestanding design could make campsite choice troublesome – Non-freestanding tents can pose a little bit of a problem in the case of campsite choice since you want to have the ability to get stakes within the floor to present the tent construction. This can be a potential problem 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 general dimensions, you’ll see that the X-Mid Professional 2 is an 8.3 x 6.7 ft. rectangle. Which means it’s a must to discover a campsite massive sufficient to accommodate over 55 sq. ft. For comparability, the realm occupied by the footprint of the Zpacks Duplex is about 49 sq. ft. That’s about 13.6% smaller, and but the inside flooring 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 if you consider our earlier level about the necessity to pitch the X-Mid with its corners as near 90° as attainable, campsite choice can develop into a bit difficult.
Throughout testing, we generally 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 usually with the X-Mid.
Costly – Dyneema shelters all the time 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 had been shocked that their costs had been so shut as a result of the X-Mid makes use of a less expensive flooring materials (silnylon); we had been hoping to see some value 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 in all probability received’t make a lot of a distinction to the common person, so we’d relatively have the financial financial savings from the cheaper materials.
You could possibly all the time 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 record although, so it might be effectively well worth the financial financial savings in case you’re keen to hold some further weight.
90-degree zippers aren’t everybody’s favourite – This can be a very small gripe, however one factor some customers don’t like about zippers that meet at a nook is the lack to decide on the place they sit. On a spherical door, the zippers transfer collectively and you’ll place the exit level wherever you need. Typically hikers need each zippers to be up prime to allow them to shut the roof vent if rain or wind is de facto whipping up, generally they need the zippers on the backside to allow them to simply attain out and seize a water bottle in the course of the evening.
The opposite facet of this argument is that with the X-Mid’s zipper design you’ll by no means must fumble round at the hours of darkness to seek out the place the pulls are. They’ll all the time be in the identical place on the backside nook, which makes them constant and straightforward to seek out. Some members of the CH workforce desire tent zippers like those on the X-Mid and others don’t. Ultimately, this one will get chalked as much as private desire.
The Durston X-Mid Professional 2 is a well-liked tent in ultralight circles, and we are able to see why. It’s light-weight, spacious, gives glorious climate safety, and has nice air flow. However for us the X-Mid missed the mark in a number of key areas. We nonetheless suppose it’s an ideal 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 flooring form and the offset poles make the inside a bit awkward to occupy with a associate, as one individual will get the brief finish of the stick in the case of headroom.
The opposite key problem we discovered with this tent is that getting a pleasant, taut pitch with no sag was more durable than we needed. The massive footprint and rectangular form may 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 most of the particulars that make for a really nice tent expertise, like well-designed vestibules, sensible pockets, and excellent air flow. However for our two-person adventures, we discovered that the X-Mid fell a bit wanting our excessive expectations.
We hope this overview helps you establish if the Durston X-Mid Professional 2 is best for you. As all the time, please go away a remark beneath if in case you have any suggestions, questions, or options. And are available verify us out on Fb and Instagram to hitch the group dialog. In the event you discovered this overview useful, please share on social media and click on the little coronary heart button beneath to present us a digital excessive 5!
In the event you favored this record, you’ll love the CleverHiker Gear Information the place we take a look at and advocate tons of outside journey gear from quite a lot of classes. listed here are some hyperlinks to standard articles:
Among the hyperlinks on this web page are affiliate hyperlinks, which suggests we could obtain a modest fee if purchases are made by these hyperlinks. This provides no value to our readers and helps us maintain our web site up and working. Our status is our most essential asset, which is why we solely present fully sincere and unbiased suggestions.