X-Mid 2 Solid

X-Mid 1 Tent

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Description

The initial sale of the X-Mid 2 Solid is now sold out but we will have additional supply in early 2023. We also will have ample supply of the regular X-Mid arriving this fall so we expect to be able to keep them available then. Please sign up below to be notified of these releases. 

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The X-MidTM 2 Solid is a version of the award winning X-Mid 2 that is tilted towards use in the shoulder season and challenging conditions, while still being an excellent all around backpacking tent. For adventures who get out in any conditions, this is your tent.

The solid version is based on the same core design as the second generation X-Mid 2, which is developed from the first principles of geometry to be the most weight efficient design for a trekking pole tent and which has been received the highest awards from BackpackingLight and Section Hiker. As such, the solid version shares the same key advantages as the regular X-Mid 2 of being highly spacious, simple to pitch, and with a robust set of weather protections including a fly first pitch, full doublewall design, non-sag poly fabric, large adjustable vents, factory seam taped, a low cut fly (blocks rain splatter and drafts), and protected entryways (rain won’t fall inside).

Where the X-Mid 2 Solid differs is that it uses 15D woven (“solid”) fabric instead of mesh for most of the inner. This fabric provides even more protection against tough weather including blocking drafts, snow, sand and heavy rain splatter. Mesh panels are retained on the upper half of the doors for airflow and outward visibility. As such, it is a highly versatile tent that remains well suited for use in summer conditions while also providing excellent protection in rough weather.

To further optimize the X-Mid 2 Solid for challenging conditions, we added buckles to the base of the fly zippers to relieve strain during high winds, added reinforcements to the stake points around the hem of the tent, and switched the peak guylines to stronger and low stretch cord which helps the tent stand more resolute during high winds. All of this results in only a slight 1 oz (30 g) weight increase (now 36.5 oz / 1035 g). Also new is the color, which is a darker green called Alpine Sage.

What hasn’t changed is the obsessive attention to detail, build quality, and simple pitch. There are still only 4 required stakes, no mandatory guylines, no long struts to pack, and no measuring pole heights. The X-Mid Solid continues to be assembled at arguably the best tent factory in the world using premium components, laser cut fabric panels, full double stitching, double folded edges, and generous bartacking. While this premium quality gives the X-Mid 2 Solid a higher cost of production than comparable tents, it is priced lower simply because we sell it to you direct with only a modest markup.

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The initial sale of the X-Mid 2 Solid is now sold out but we will have additional supply in early 2023. We also will have ample supply of the regular X-Mid arriving this fall so we expect to be able to keep them available then. Please sign up below to be notified of these releases. 

Specs

Features

  • Ultra-simple pitch with just four stakes
  • Solid inner fabric to block snow, sand, and winds
  • Fly zippers are reinforced with buckles at the base
  • Tent pitches fly first, so the inner tent stays dry during setup in the rain.
  • The twin pole structure provides generous headroom and living space.
  • Double-wall design protects from condensation.
  • Dual doors and dual vestibules provide easy access and ample gear space.
  • Protected doorways can be left open in light rain.
  • Doorways are large and not blocked by trekking poles like many designs.
  • Polyester fabric does not sag in the rain.
  • Polyester fabric does not absorb water, so it dries fast and stays light.
  • 4 interior pockets provide handy storage.
  • Large vents provide excellent ventilation and close easily during harsh conditions.
  • Excellent snow shedding via steep roof panels
  • Full coverage fly extends to the ground to block drafts yet can be raised for more ventilation.
  • Packs short enough to store horizontally in a pack
  • Fly and inner can pitch independently
  • Magnetic door toggles for quick operation
  • Fully seam taped
  • Fully double-stitched construction
  • Non-slippery floor
  • Premium materials and hardware (e.g., YKK AquaGuard Zippers)
  • Optional stake points include 2 peak guylines, 2 side panel guylines, and an extra 8 stake points around the base.

Weight

  • Fly: 21.0 oz / 595 g
  • Inner: 15.5 oz / 440 g
  • Stuff sack: 0.5 oz / 15 g
  • Stake sack: 0.2 oz / 4 g
  • Stakes: 4 Ti hooks @ 8g, 4 Ti V stakes @ 12g
  • Tent (fly + inner): 36.5 oz / 1035 g
  • Complete package: 39.9 oz / 1135 g (tent, stuff sacks, 8 stakes)

Materials

  • 20 denier polyester in Alpine Sage (fly) or anthracite (floor)
  • 15 denier nylon in white (inner solid fabric)
  • 2500mm sil/PEU coating
  • Peak reinforced with 210d black nylon
  • YKK #5 AquaGuard (water-resistant) zippers (fly)
  • YKK #3 zippers (inner tent)
  • 4 titanium shepherd’s hook stakes
  • 4 titanium V stakes

Dimensions

  • Fly: 83 x 100 in / 210 x 254 cm
  • Fly area: 57.6 sq ft / 5.35 sq m
  • Fly peak height: 48 in / 122 cm
  • Inner peak height: 45 in / 114 cm
  • Floor width: 52 in / 132 cm
  • Floor length: 92 in / 234 cm
  • Floor area: 33.2 sq ft / 3.1 sq m
  • Vestibule area: 23 sq ft (11.5 sq ft x 2) / 2.1 sq m (1.05 sq m x 2)
  • Packed size: 12 x 6.5 in / 30 x 17 cm

Concept

The goal with the X-Mid was to start with a clean sheet of paper and reason from there to create the optimal trekking pole supported shelter – one that offers maximal functionality, space, storm resistance, and simplicity at the lowest weight.

The most fundamental – and thus first – design question was: What shape should form the tent’s base? Most trekking pole supported tents are based around hexagons or even more complicated shapes, but as the number of sides increases, so does pitching complexity, number of seams, stakes, and weight. Typically pitching these complex tents require estimates of stake locations, angles, distances between stakes, measuring pole lengths, and estimating pole positions. Setting that up can be fun in the backyard but not fun in a rainstorm. The X-Mid eliminates most of this guesswork by opting for a rectangle base – by far the easiest shape to stake out.

The challenge with the rectangle – and reason why it hasn’t been used more historically – is that it’s hard to implement a good trekking pole structure. Most prior rectangle-based tents have been single-pole pyramids, which are lauded for their simplicity but lack headroom, and the single pole near the center typically interferes in the living space and/or doorways. Other rectangle based designs have used two poles along the perimeter, such as the classic pup tent design. This appreciably increases living space but having the poles along the perimeter creates vertical side walls, which catch wind and complicated the pitch as they require guylines and stakes. It’s also a more boxy and inefficient shape, and the poles still typically interfere in the doorways.

Reasoning from first principles, it was obvious that the ideal tent should use two poles to bolster living space since hikers commonly have two poles on hand anyways. It would be a shame not to utilize them, but how to achieve this while avoiding all the common pit-falls was a design challenge that resonated in my head throughout my 2014 PCT thru-hike. It resonated again during my 2017 Great Divide Trail thru-hike until I realized a solution to all of these long-standing issues with the patented X-Mid layout:

The X-Mid layout starts with the unique idea of placing the sleeping area on a diagonal inside of a rectangular fly. This creates vestibules on either side and importantly allows for two trekking poles to be positioned in from the perimeter so the shelter can pitch robustly without guylines (optional ones strengthen it further in storms). Positioned like this, the poles provide abundant living space while being out of the way of the doors and living space, and not complicating the pitch. It’s a spacious shelter that pitches easily with only 4 stakes.

The X-Mid geometry is also lightweight because it is the most volumetrically efficient shape for a trekking pole shelter. If you do the math, you’ll find any other comparably sized trekking pole shelter uses more fabric, stakes, or both, resulting in a heavier geometry. Any competing double-wall tent as light as the X-Mid is either much smaller, using more delicate fabrics, or quite a bit less featured.

The X-Mid also provides outstanding performance in stormy conditions. When it’s rainy, the X-Mid is as good as it gets due to the fly first pitch, generous living space, large vestibules with space for cooking and wet gear, no-sag fabric (polyester), fully taped seams, a double-wall design that protects from contact with condensation, protected entryways that can be left open in light rain, and large vents that open and close easily to reduce condensation. No other tent can claim that entire list (If you know otherwise, contact us and we’ll change this).

The X-Mid is also stable in the wind and snow due to the weather-resistant shape, durable materials, and additional guyout options. Unlike most tents, the X-Mid geometry results in wall slopes that are both consistent and moderate. Most tents have quite variable wall slopes (e.g., low angle roof panels but steep sides) so there are often low angled roof panels that accumulate snow yet overly steep sides that catch the wind. The X-Mid is rare in having consistent panels, and importantly, they are all at a moderate slope, which balances performance in the wind and snow.

In addition to this high-performance shape, the tent also buttons down solidly in harsh weather with numerous optional stake out points around the base, vents that quickly shut to block wind and snow, and peak guylines that can be deployed to strengthen the shelter further.

The materials are also up to the task with tough #5 water-resistant zippers on the fly (many competing tents use weaker #3 zippers and cheaper non-waterproof zippers with flaps that don’t work as well and love to snag in the zipper). The X-Mid fabric is a durable 2500mm sil/PEU coated ripstop polyester (20 denier) that has been independently tested to verify that it is still highly waterproof after extensive wear. This polyester weight is the ideal material for a well-rounded lightweight tent because it is light, durable, and unlike nylon, it doesn’t sag, weaken in wet conditions, or degrade with UV exposure.

Overall the X-Mid layout is the optimal design for a trekking pole shelter because it is maximally simple, spacious, and lightweight while providing robust weather protection.

FAQ

Q) Is the X-Mid Solid a 4 season tent?
The X-Mid Solid does well in all four seasons, but is not a “4 season tent” in the sense that 4 season tents are generally expected to be capable of being exposed to severe winter storms which are beyond what the X-Mid is designed for. We are using lighter fabrics that do very well for how light this tent is, but are not as strong as the heavier fabrics you find in 4-season rated tents. We recommend the X-Mid Solid for high but not severe winds, and for substantial snowfalls (e.g. up to 6″) but not the worst winter storms.

Q) Do two people have to sleep opposite ways?
No. The sleeping area is asymmetric so it is a bit different on each side, but the tent is spacious enough so that two people can comfortably sleep the same way.

In more detail, the tent does have two corners where the roof is lower (the corners further from the poles). When sleeping the same way, one person will have a low corner at their head and the other person at their feet. However, the floor length is very generous (92″) so these lower corners are not something you occupy but rather are extra space for gear storage. The person with the low corner at their head should slide down, while the other person slides up, so both people are positioned side by side and with ample space. It really is very comfortable for two people sleeping the same way, and certainly more comfortable than most 2P tents on the market since the X-Mid 2P is quite spacious.

Q) I heard the X-Mid has a large footprint. Is this true and does that make site selection hard?
The X-Mid 2 has a very typical footprint for a reasonably spacious trekking pole tent. The footprint is smaller compared to pyramid tents and is only sometimes considered large when it is compared to relatively small freestanding tents.

Trekking pole tents do have a bit larger footprint than freestanding tents because freestanding tents can steepen the lower walls to trim the edges, but the main difference is that many mainstream ultralight tents are quite tiny, so certainly there are tents with smaller footprints but X-Mid 2 is very similar to any other reasonably spacious 2P tent. We think providing a comfortable amount of space is the right approach because it benefits you every night, whereas only on rare occasions is the bit larger footprint a small inconvenience. The X-Mid is one of the most popular tents on the Appalachian Trail where smaller campsites are common, and we trimmed about 10% off the footprint for the second generation version, so it is even less of a worry.

The diagram below shows that the footprint of the X-Mid 2 compared to other popular and reasonably sized 2P tents, to show the footprint takes less area than many others.

Q) Should I get the solid or regular version?
Both tents are very capable and versatile. The regular version has the advantages of being 1 oz lighter, a bit less expensive, and the mesh inner enables stargazing at night. The solid inner version has the advantages of greater protection against rough weather and it is slightly warmer. Most people will be well suited with either style, but we recommend the mesh for people who like stargazing or camping in very hot areas (who might be too warm in the solid version) while the solid inner version is recommended for people who plan for regular use in poor weather, shoulder season and winter conditions.

Q) The X-Mid doesn’t seem lighter than mainstream UL tents using tent poles.
A) There are tents with traditional poles that are as light as the X-Mid. Since pole sets are heavy (often about 8oz) to get a freestanding tents this light something else has to give. Commonly that’s space, performance, and durability. A freestanding tent as light as the X-Mid is almost certainly far smaller and using more delicate fabrics and much thinner waterproof coatings. You’ll also find they cut features (e.g., lacking vents). That can be a good approach if you only need a small tent for mild conditions, but the X-Mid offers a lot more space and capability for the weight.

Q) Should I use a groundsheet?
A) Our 20D floor is more durable than most ultralight tents (which are 10-15D) and will last a long life without a groundsheet if it’s used with care. However, it is still a light fabric so recommend a groundsheet if you may be pitching on harsher surfaces like gravel or bedrock, or if you like to keep the floor cleaner. We sell X-Mid groundsheets here.

Q) Can I pitch just the fly or inner?
A) Yes. The inner easily disconnects via buckles at the peaks and clips at the four corners to leave just the fly. If you want to pitch just the inner, you can remove the fly peaks’ guylines and tie them to the inner peaks while adding knots for the pole tips, but our Stargazer kit makes inner-only pitching much easier as it has separate guylines that clip right on plus grommets for your pole tips and tensioners for quick adjustment.

Q) I don’t use trekking poles. What can I do?
A) If you don’t use trekking poles, you can use folding poles instead. The ideal folding pole is carbon, 5 piece (packs short), stiff, and adjustable. The X-Mid 2 pitches with the poles in the range of 47 – 49″, so if you buy a fixed-length pole, you should opt for 49″ and use that slightly angled as needed. Even better is an adjustable height folding pole. Right now the best option is TarpTent’s PolyPole or a custom pole from Ruta Locura. However, we are working on a really nice option that will be out in October 2022.

Q) Why polyester over nylon?
A) The main reason is that nylon absorbs water in wet conditions. That results in 3 big problems: First, it expands (or “sags”) about 4% which makes for a saggy tent in wet conditions. This is a common problem in nearly all lightweight tents, but low weight polyester fabrics are finally available which solve this. Second, nylon’s water absorption makes the tent slow to dry and heavy with up to a pound of water in the fabric, and third, nylon weakens by about 10% when wet. Polyester doesn’t absorb water, so it doesn’t have any of these issues plus it’s far more UV resistant so it lasts longer. Check out our materials page for more detail on this.

Q) How can I repair my X-Mid?
A) Check out our repair guide.

Q) How should I pitch it in stormy weather?
A) For the most weather resistant pitch, you should pitch it low to the ground (shorten the cord at the corners as much as possible), use the optional stake out points around the base to spread the load, and deploy the side panel and peak guylines. 

Pitching

Download Setup Instructions

Awards

The X-Mid 2 has been widely praised by real users and gear review outlets alike. That includes awards for best ultralight tents from BackpackingLightSection Hiker and Adventure Alan:

Backpacking Light: “Exceptionally high quality. Field performance was outstanding…an excellent size-to-weight ratio for a dual-pole, double-wall, two-person tent….Overall, it has simply been a joy to use.”

 

Adventure Alan: “A winning combination of low cost, low weight, a ton of livable area and great condensation control.”

 

Section Hiker: Awarded 10 Best 2P Backpacking Tents for 2020, 2021, and 2022