The shelter is quick and easy to erect. I bought carbon poles from zPacks rather than use my trekking poles, this was partly due to knowing that I had no time to test and practice getting the heights correct. It took some of the guesswork out.
The tent gets its strength from 4 key anchor points and these do need to be pretty strong. On my first night using the tent I struggled at first because the ground wouldn’t hold the pegs. It was very dry and the soil just crumbled, more than once a peg pinged out of the ground when the tension was applied. A few well-placed rocks solved that issue!
The peg ‘pinging’ issue happened a few times, even using Clam-Cleat Tornados. Choose your pegs wisely. I’d take 4 strong/reliable stakes, with 4 lightweight ones (I used MSR Carbon pegs for the other tie outs).
Most nights were dry (and fairly cold) but I did have rain twice. Once was a few showers and the other was heavy rain and hail. The shelter did as it was supposed to and kept me dry. During the heavy rain a good sized puddle formed around the tent but the deep bath tub did its job and I stayed dry. The high sides (for ventilation) do mean that during heavy rain you can get a little splash back against the mesh inner. Heavy rain with hard bare dirt leads to a decent sized splash, on home (grassy) soil I don’t think this will be as great an issue.
Apart from the 2 nights of rain I slept with the door open and had no condensation issues. The only times I got condensation was during the rain, when the door was fully shut.
It’s not the biggest of shelters, so while there is enough room for a full sized Exped Synmat, don’t expect acres of space. I did wonder how I’d cope with more rain (packing bag, changing clothes, cooking, etc, inside the tent) and I think I would have struggled. I’m not the most flexible of campers!
Overall, I like the Solplex. Lightweight, waterproof, midgeproof and pretty idiot proof. I’ll use it in the UK during Spring/Summer with no qualms. If the weather looks wet, I might take the MLD Duomid for the extra space (especially to cook in).
(I had an issue with one corner of the shelter, I couldn’t get it tight. It didn’t affect the performance, just gave a little less room and didn’t look right. A quick email after my trip to Joe at zPacks resulted in Joe suggesting it might have been sewn wrong. Joe sent out a replacement straight away. Excellent customer service. However, this is why you should ALWAYS test/check gear before using it!)
Note – I paid for this item with my own cash.