This is a gear review of the Zpacks Triplex Tent in 2023.
I’ve spent thousands of nights sleeping in a tent over the years and have used and reviewed many tents. When testing and reviewing the Zpacks Triplex I was able to understand what works and what doesn’t with the tent, and this review will answer those questions.
If you are thinking about an ultralight 3-person tent or a 2-person tent with plenty of room then the Zpacks Triplex could be the tent for you. Keep reading to find out more.
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In-Depth Review: Zpacks Triplex Tent 2023
Weight: 21.6 oz / 612 grams
> Waterproof and seam sealed
> Good in bad weather
> Small pack size
> A bit tight for 3 people, but perfect for 2 people
> Not cheap
Zpacks is possibly the most thought of name in ultralight tents and ultralight backpacking gear in general. And for anyone looking for an ultralight 3-person tent or a 2-person tent with a generous amount of room then this could be for you. The tent is made with Dyneema to be as light and strong as possible.
If you are looking for a self standing backpacking tent then this is not for you. This is a trekking pole tent, you will need a set of trekking poles or use the Zpacks Tent Poles. You will also need to add your own tent stakes to set up this tent as they do not come with the tent as standard. The Zpacks Triplex is the best ultralight 3-person tent and is one of the current editor’s choice tents for 2023. With these, you will be all set to get on the trail. Let’s take a look at the details of this tent.
The Zpacks Triplex is made with Dyneema, formally known as Cuban Fiber. It also uses a lightweight bug mesh and quality zippers. And when not in use it fits into a Dyneema Stuff Sack. Everything about this tent is about being as lightweight as possible.
The main material is .55 oz / square yard Dyneema. The fabric is very thin and almost see-through. It is completely waterproof with a hydrostatic head rated at 15000 mm. That means that no matter how heavy the rain, you will stay dry.
The floor material is a heavier weight 1 oz / square yard Dyneema. The heavier-weight material is a little thicker and well-suited to the floor. Rated at 20000 mm hydrostatic head it is so waterproof that the weight of you and your gear in the tent will not allow any water to penetrate through the material.
Most ultralight tents made with sil nylon or some other similar material cannot make this claim. Generally, any material above 10000 mm hydrostatic head will not allow water to penetrate through the material even when your whole weight is on it. In other words, this tent floor will keep you dry, even if you are camped in a puddle of water (please try this but good to know!).
Zpacks claim you do not need a footprint with this tent, While that is true, many will want an extra layer of protection. In my opinion, don’t bother.
The Zpacks Triplex does not come with a footprint and in most cases, it will not be needed. The floor of the tent is made with durable, waterproof, and seam-sealed Dyneema. When using an ultralight tent like this most people will be better served by using some form of footprint to protect the floor of the tent.
Most hikers and backpackers use the building material Tyvek. It is one of the better options and is well-known and well-used within the backpacking community. Unless using this tent in areas with a good ground surface then better to use a footprint such as this. As mentioned above, in my opinion, don’t bother with a footprint.
The Zpacks Triplex is the lightest 3-person tent on the market and for anyone looking to go ultralight, there is no denying the 21.6 oz / 612 grams is impressive. There is no other 3-person tent on the market that can match this.
But you will need to add a minimum of 8 tent pegs to set up this tent. This will add between 1.5 oz / 43 grams and 2.8 oz / 80 grams depending on which ultralight tent stakes you choose. If you hike with trekking poles then you can use two trekking poles to set up the tent which will not really be extra weight as you are already using them.
Overall, the weight of the Zpacks Triplex setup, even with extra tent stakes and trekking poles gives this tent a huge advantage over the competition. That fact alone is enough to consider purchasing this tent.
The Zpacks Triplex packs down to an impressive size of 7.6L. It fits nicely into a Dyneema stuff sack. What I really like about the stuff sack is the size, it is generous enough that you don’t feel you need several attempts to roll the tent or fold it into some perfect shape to make it fit.
It will fit into the stuff sack easily no matter how you stuff it in. Having a stuff sack like that it allows the tent to be squashed into any shape needed when it is on your backpack. Good work Zpacks on making the very simple task of putting a tent into a stuff sack, well, simple again.
For a 3-person tent, the Zpacks Triplex is not the most generous size for 3 people. In fact, most people wanting to buy this tent will be couples who want a bit more room than the average 2-person tent. And for that, this tent is the perfect ultralight 2-person tent for those that want a bit of internal room. I’ve met many couples over the years using 3-person tents for just this reason. It would also be great for those who go backpacking and hiking with the family dog or a young child.
There is a decent amount of height to the tent and the length is big enough for most tall hikers.
The Zpacks Triplex is primarily designed to be used by ultralight backpackers wanting to shave as much weight as possible without sacrificing safety. And for that, this tent excels.
The nature of the tent allows it to be used for around 200-500 nights before it will usually be worn out. For most tents, ultralight or not, I tend to get around 500-1000 night use before they have too many holes or broken zips and otherwise see their best days.
Zpacks state that the tent is designed to be used for one thru-hike or around 2500 miles, but I know many who have used the same Zpacks tent for three thru-hikes or around 7500 miles. So the question is, how hard are you on your gear?
The Dyneema fabric of the Zpacks Triplex is waterproof and windproof. Thanks to the seam sealing the material will not leak and are very waterproof. Another advantage of Dyneema is the fact that it will not sag when wet. This is a common feature of most tents but not this one. Once you set it up, it stays set up.
As there is a large amount of ventilation there can sometimes be an issue that water can splash into the tent from the mesh near the edges of the tent. This occurs with many tents and will usually only happen in very heavy rain when puddles occur. To prevent this, try to camp on grass or soil that will not turn into puddles and cause water to splash.
Ventilation – interior condensation
As it is a single-layer construction the issue of condensation can become an issue. To combat that, there is a lot of ventilation in this tent. When it is cold and windy, the ventilation will ensure an unpleasant amount of cold wind will enter the tent. In warmer weather, this ventilation is much appreciated.
In most situations, condensation will not be an issue unless you rub up against the wall of the tent. Anyone who is considering this tent should be aware if you only spend time in cold damp places a dual wall tent may be better for you. But for most of us, the occasional condensation is not so much of an issue.
There are two vestibules on this tent. Both are not oversized but big enough to leave your backpack and footwear outside the tent at night. Most tents have a full-length zip to close the vestibule. The triplex tent does not have this, opting instead for hooks and flaps to keep it closed.
When it is windy and rainy there is a chance that the rain can come in through the gaps in the vestibule. In all other situations, the closure system will allow a good amount of ventilation, even when closed.
Setup and Ease of Use
For anyone that has set up a trekking pole tent, it is a simple process that is very quick. For those that are setting up a trekking pole tent for the first time, it is better to do this at home the first time. While simple, it is better under a controlled environment than on the side of a mountain, in strong wind and heavy rain. I hope I don’t need to explain this to you but I know not everyone will listen, so consider yourself told.
Peg out the four corners of the tent, then add the trekking poles (adjusted to a height of 120cm) to either side of the tent at their designated area. Lift the poles and the tent is set. Set the side anchors for added protection in the wind and adjust the side flaps to suit. Easy peasy.
The Zpacks Triplex does not come standard with tent pegs. You must use your own or order them separately. Zpacks stocks some of the best ultralight tent pegs on the market. You will need at least 8 tent stakes but 12 stakes will be a better option in some situations, especially when it is windy. I only ever use 8 tent stakes when using this tent, but often carry an extra one or two in case I lose or break them. Zpacks Tent Stakes are available and there are several choices that are all lightweight and high quality.
As this is a trekking pole tent you will need 2 trekking poles to set up this tent. The ideal height for the trekking poles should be around 48 inches / 122 cm. So ensure that you have poles that can be set to that height.
Some fixed-length ultralight poles such as those used by ultra trail runners may not work but almost all adjustable backpacking trekking poles will work perfectly with this tent. The ultralight Zpacks Trekking Poles will work well with this tent. Or you can use the Zpacks Tent poles if you don’t like to use trekking poles.
Value and Price
Let me make a couple of things clear when it comes to the price of this tent. It is not cheap. But in recent years it appears that the price of all high-quality tents has increased significantly. While the price will be out of a lot of people’s budget, for anyone wanting the lightest 3-person tent in the world then this is still the best option out there. So much so, that this is the current tent I use on my trips at the moment and it is the current Editors Choice as the best ultralight 3-person tent.
Zpacks Triplex vs The Rest
While the Zpacks Triplex is the best in class at the moment for ultralight backpacking tents for 3 people. There is little out there to compete when it comes to size and weight. For those wanting a lightweight 2-person tent with a bit of extra room so you don’t feel you are claustrophobic inside then there are a couple of other options. Check out the link below to look at all the best tents on the market in 2023.
The Zpacks Triplex is without a rival in the 3-person ultralight tent market. But it is best suited as an ultralight 2-person tent with a bit of extra room for those who don’t want to feel cramped inside the tent. Are you a couple looking for a thru-hiking tent? If the answer is yes then you may find the Zpacks triplex to be your best option.
Overall, this is the best ultralight 3-person tent in 2023.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Zpacks Triplex is one of the best 3-person backpacking tents on the market. It is the best ultralight 3-person tent. Not only is it lightweight but packs to a small size and is waterproof and good in windy and rainy weather.
The Zacks Triplex is a better ultralight tent for most thru hikers and backpackers. It has more room than the Duplex and only weighs a couple of ounces more. So for most people, the Triplex will be a better option
BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process
The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.