Dan Durston X-Mid first look

My X-Mid arrived on Tuesday, just over a week from being dispatched from the US. I was able to track its progress and pay the customs duty quickly. Total cost including customs was £216.34 which is pretty good value.

Weights: inner tent 281g, flysheet 543g, total 824g. Stuff sack 14g, pegs (8) 68g, 2 extra guy lines 17g.

The quality of the workmanship is first class, possibly the best of any tent I’ve owned. A few people have pointed out some minor flaws on theirs, but as far as I can see mine is perfect.

The next day I pitched it in the garden. It was very easy to pitch, making sure that the fly formed a perfect rectangle as per the instructions on the original video. Inserting the trekking poles was simple. Pulling out the apex guy lines made a virtually perfect pitch first time.

Clipping the inner inside the flysheet was straightforward and that was that! I used the supplied titanium pins as the ground is very dry at the moment but I’d use beefier pegs in the wild like the Easton Golds as the corners need to be pinned down well. Grabbing the top of the trekking poles (I used my Black Diamond ones), the apexes were reasonably solid and overall I think it should be decently stormworthy, although it might flap a bit if the wind hits the door panel square on.

Inside, it’s surprisingly roomy and certainly long enough for me to lie out with no chance of either my head or my feet touching the mesh. The mesh wall at either end is quite steep which is a nice contrast to most mid type shelters. Because it uses two poles and has two apexes, the head room is much better than conventional mids. I love the storage pocket along the ridge line.

In the past I’ve been quite critical of J zip doors, but the J zips on the X-Mid are just right. There’s an opposing door on either side, which means there will always be a sheltered entrance no matter which direction the wind comes from.

I love having two easily accessible porches and they are a good size for storing gear or cooking in. The trapezoidal shape of the inner gives some good storage space at the ends which compensates for the slightly narrow width of the inner (c.70cm). I’m not a huge fan of mesh inners because they are draughty, but one advantage is that it makes the tent feel huge. I still think a solid inner will be better for Northern European backpacking and hopefully one will be available next year.

Above the doors are large vents with struts which can be closed if desired with Velcro. I imagine that condensation will be kept to a minimum under most circumstances. The flysheet material is polyester which has less stretch when wet than silnylon. It feels quite robust. All the seems are tape sealed.

One comment on backpacking forums is that some people were worried about abrasion from pole tips. While the poles tips do protrude a bit, they aren’t under much pressure so should be OK. I tried using rubber tips on the poles, which got rid of the issue. However, there are a couple of other solutions, which I’ll share in another post. Indeed, there are some easy little tweaks which I will pass on. The photos here don’t accurately reproduce the colour which is a light sage colour. Matt Holland has done a couple of good videos on the X-Mid which are worth checking out: https://www.youtube.com/user/OutdoorsMH

Overall, I’m really impressed with the design and quality of the X-Mid. It’s a bit of a shame that it’s only available in batches from Massdrop and that it will be some time before more are available. However, it’s well worth the wait.

Link to Durston Wilderness Equipment: http://durstongear.com/

Link to Massdrop: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-dan-durston-x-mid-1p-tent



8 thoughts on “Dan Durston X-Mid first look”

    1. I might take it to Scotland in May. My only concern is that it will be a bit draughty. Next year there should be one with a solid inner hopefully. That would be ideal and virtually no difference in weight.

  1. Hi Robin, I’ve quietly enjoyed your blog for some time now. I really fancy an X mid but am concerned that photos often make it look very pale. PLease could you say how it’s stealthyness compares with Tarptents silnylon.
    Thanks very much. John

    1. It is quite pale. I’d say it’s not as stealthy as dark green or brown, probably similar to the light grey of the old Tarptents. Maybe not quite as subtle as the newer Tarptent grey which has a greenish tinge. It’s certainly better than red or orange.

      1. Thanks Robin. I’m crocked at the moment so doing a lot of planning but no walking. Still think the tent has a lot going for it, especially when it gets a solid inner. Seems a colour change is unlikely, they sell so well as it is.
        All the best.

      2. Dan has said there is a possibility of a solid inner next year. No promises, but he is pushing Drop to do one. He says he’s made some other improvements too.

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