Luxe hexPeak V4 Review

LUXE hexPeak V4 Review (Sep 2015)

1st Pitch in Garden

More realistic ones later pitched in proper wild camps.
Note.. The nasty splodge on the side is where I spilt the bloody seam seal mix :-((

I updated my hexPeak to the V4 earlier this year, selling off my old one.

Why update?
Basically, I am just a bit of a Gear Tart & this one was slightly bigger.

I got the tent from Bob & Rose at Backpacking Light

Slightly bigger with a slight weight increase.

Taken a while to do this, because I wanted to take it out enough, in enough conditions to be able to write an honest (but subjective since it is my tent) account.

Was originally going to carry it on the TGOC 2015, but ended up taking the MLD SolomidXL instead.

WHY?

Purely a weight consideration.
For a 2 week trip, the Solomid came in at approx 1 kg using a mesh inner (which I have now changed to solid sides and back, but that is for later)

The hex with pegs (and I take a couple extra for security), and a silnylon GS for the porch, and the inner came in at 1.9 kg 

After 3 knee operations for cartilage tears.
2 x Left knee and 1 x right knee, plus some vascular damage to circulation in left leg caused by an accident and infection years back, I need to keep the weight to a minimum.
Saving 2lb + all the way across seemed like a good idea.

I will admit though, on one night at Challybeate, I was thinking I should have brought the hex.
I have always found it to be rock solid.

Current Spec (my weighing include the stuff sacks).
Note: I carry the inner in it’s own stuff sack separate to the outer.

Dimensions from Luxe Site

Personally, I pitch mine at 140cm. That is Pole height Ground to Apex of outer.

Weights & material specification from Backpacking Light Site
Total weight exc carry bag 1344g

When looking at my weights, also look at the changes I made.
You don’t have to make these changes, but I think that they are worth the effort.
However, that is JUST my opinion………………..
After all, I am carrying it!   🙂

My weights

Outer  inc Bag                       830g           Note this inc extra guys and extra seam seal
Inner  in seperate bag            680g
My Pegs    in their bag          260g

Total exc extra GS               1770g      

External Guys
I changed all the external guy lines from the 2mm to 3mm guys.
It makes tensioning the outer down much better and more stable in my opinion.
I also on mine used different colours, so I could easily work out what was what when trying to pitch in a strong wind.
So I coloured the back one.
Then the next 2 the same
The front 2 on the rectangle the same
And the final front one by the door differently.
I also added a small 3mm guy to the centre point ties of each panel.
You really don’t have to do this, but you may as well, for the day it blows and blows and you need more anchor points.

See examples below

Front door

Side at back left
This shows inner attached as well.
This was before the inner was complete and adjusted.
It does not stick out like this under the outer once tensioned all round

Side at back right

In the above you can also see shock cord attached to inner

Inner guys.
I left these exactly as they were, BUT added a bit of 2mm shock cord on a running knot to each of them.
I can get the same tension doing this, but it puts less stress on the inner stitching, because there is flex in the cord.

Seam Sealing.
I went overboard on this.
You can I am sure just stick to the recommendations from Luxe

I did this with the tent up and using a craft paintbrush with a bristle point.
I mixed the seam seal 3:1 with white spirit.
I used the cheap smelly stuff.
The smell goes after a couple of trips.
You can spend more on odourless white spirit from an art shop.
I did the seams both inside and out but that was my choice.
I also seam sealed a lot of the zip and around the bottom.

On the Apex (inside and out on all stitching) I used a 2:1 mix.
I also did the whole of the reinforcement panel on the inside with the 2:1 mix.
I find it helps to stop any pole slip when the tent is up

I used some silNet seam seal not the stuff that came with the tent.
No reason for this other than the fact that my tube was already open.

PEGS
I don’t use the ones that came with it.
I put those with the old one when I sold it.
I am sure they would work ok, but so you know why my weights come in heavier

I use 6 x Easton Gold 9″ stakes for the main points.
And 2 x Clamcleat V stakes for the 2 centre points I use
I also carry as spares an MSR blizzard stake, 2 x Clamcleat V stakes, 2 x Clamcleat Ti stakes (8″) and a couple of small crook ti stakes.
Probably over the top that, but it allows for loss.
It also allows for different ground such as boggy or hard or stony.
With this combination I have been able to adapt to all conditions so far.
I also change the configuration of pegs depending upon where I am going.
But the above is my standard setup.
I may experiment in the future using separate thin ti pegs for the inner.

PITCHING & SETUP

Have a look at Bobs Site for other instructions on this.
Below is how I pitch it.

  1. I loosely stake out the 4 corners that make up the rectangle
  2. I then put in the rear stake. Again loose
  3. Put in the centre pole set to 140cm
    I do this through the door, opening it from the top, because I find keeping the
    tension on the bottom helps.
  4. With that in place, I then do the zip up again and put in the front final stake
  5. I now go round and set the tension of the 6 outer points.
  6. This is optional, but I now add my second pole.
    I always double pole it. It puts far less load on your poles and increases stability.
    Your choice.
  7. Since I use a small GS for the porch I put this inside next to save wet knees.
  8. Now with door open I put the inner in.
    Attaching the 5 anchor points and then the top.
    I finish by adjusting the tension of these to make sure the inner sides pull away.
    Initially this can be a bit of a faff until you get the hang of it.
    In the OLD hex, I used to use the centre panel points for the front 2 inner ties.
    But with the V4 I think the choices are either
    Use separate pegs
    OR
    Use the 5 main pegging points of the outer (except the door one)
    I can get away with this because I use the extra shock cord.
    Next trip I am going to experiment with separate pegs on the normal inner guys.
    I have a feeling that might work even better.
    Watch this space.

And that is it.. Tent is up.
Chuck your stuff in and get a brew on.

Then, after about 30 min (especially if a bit damp)
I go round outside and re-tension the 6 outer points.
Pretty essential with any silNylon tent.

Pitched in Lakes

Pitched in Peaks

Pitched in Cairngorms

SIZE & THE INNER

The V4 is bigger and feels bigger than the original.
The floor of the inner feels stronger.
It also feels bigger.
I have heaps of room in it.

The inner is 2/3 mesh and bottom 1/3 solid.
I have had no problem with this and it works ok.
The mesh is very fine (unlike the Solomid) and nothing nasty can get through.
OK….
It may have been nice to have a solid back, but this would add to the weight.
Once you are lying down, it hardly notices.
I will try it in winter next year again, and see.

In the last picture above you can see it with a single pole although I normally use 2.
There is a lot of room in the porch area (I have an extra GS down)
I can lie in the porch and cook.
In very bad conditions, I have cooked in the porch with the door shut.
Using both a Jetboil

And also with a Flatcat Gear meths stove.

OK, You do need to be bloody careful cooking inside with meths, but I did it ok.

I am 5′ 10″
I can lie flat in the inner and have room at either end and not kick the inner against the outer.
When pitched and tensioned correctly, you can get good separation between inner and outer.

Below are some more pictures of the inside and also showing the Apex

CONDENSATION

There is a pretty good vent at the top.
Also, when pitching on shorter grass, you can get some good ventilation underneath.
TBA, play around with pitch height and how far you hanker it down to the ground.

If cold outside I have found there is definitely condensation on the inside of the outer.
Never had any problems with the inner, and unlike the old one that I think had slightly lower denier floor, nothing come up through the floor, even on damp ground.

I have never found a tent other than a Tarp, and even then, that does not get condensation with a temperature differential, and a human breathing out hot humid air inside.

CONCLUSION
Yes, there are better tents on the Market.
Yes there are lighter tents on the Market
Yes there are stronger tents on the Market

BUT…………………………………

I think it is very unlikely that there are any that are this good a value for what you get.
Bangs for bucks this shelter delivers.
I have a Golite SL3.
I am selling that (OK, I am keeping the Solomid for longer trips until someone gives me a Cuben Shelter)

I rather like this tent.
I rather liked the original and I like this one even more.
It is at the moment my GO TO tent.
Yes I would love a lightweight Cuben tent with the same room at half the weight.
But I cannot afford it since it would likely be 4 x the price, and this one does the job.

I will admit, I could get persnickety about the odd bit of stitching, but for Christ’s Sake it costs £159.

You can pay £550 for a custom Tramplite. A brillant shelter mind you.
You can pay £550 to lie in an ultralight coffin size tent that is the Enan.
You can use a much lighter Laser Competition and listen to the noise deafen you as it flaps about in high wind.
You can get a Cuben Duomid, or a 2 person Stratospire, or a Scarp (bomber)
Shop around, you can get a Trailstar [pretty bomb proof] (bit harder if you want an inner now)

There are daily innovations.
You can even use a Tarp (God knows why in this country)

Don’t use Poles?
Just get the Pole from Bob

BUT again...
For the price (and price is important here), you get a very stable shelter here.
With a door
And an inner
That will take a battering (as long as you’ve pitched it correctly)

You could do a LOT LOT worse.
And if you are on a tight budget, I am not sure you couldn’t do much better than a hexPeak.
Certainly NOT buying New,

There, that is my opinion.

So you fancy one.
Rattle over to Bob & Rose at Backpacking Light and Bob’s your Uncle (sorry about that last pun)

Disclaimer
I paid for this tent with my own money.
All opinions are my own.
At the end of the day it will be your decision…..

5 thoughts on “Luxe hexPeak V4 Review

  1. I forgot the v4 version is a little bigger. Just pitched my original HP next to a borrowed Duomid and apart from the extra bit of height in the Duomid I think the HP has more usable space. I don't use the inner and the extra triangle the hexagonal shape gives you at the rear and front compared to the rectangular Dumid makes the HP feel more spacious. A cuben version would be the dogs but in the meantime I may opt for the new version, unless it's being tweaked again for 2016.

  2. Excellent review thanks for going into so much detail. Have you had a chance to try this tent in colder conditions yet? I'm looking to get either this tent or the Vango zenith 2. I much prefer the size of this tent but wanted to see how it held up in colder conditions with all that mesh.

  3. I have NOT used it in SNOW, but it was used extensively in Lake district, Scotland and Peak district and Dales, in conditions where you had to chip the ice off the outside of the tent, and it was also windy.In wind I always double poled it, and had no problems.The inner mesh is the top 2/3 and there is ample IMHO silnylon barrier on the inner to prevent getting cold.At least, I was never cold in it.The fact that you can seal it right down to the ground on wind prevailing side, means that you can stop most drafts getting anywhere near the inner.I was using a -5C bag and an exped downmat, or Neoair x-lite.I used to have a laser comp many years ago, and I was a darned site colder in that. But it is all down to the individual. I can't speak for the Vango Zenith 2.

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