Dan Durston X-Mid mods

No tent survives long in my collection without a few tweaks. The X-Mid is a great design but I’ve made some minor changes, which I think improves it.

Apex eyelet

Although I don’t think there’s an issue with the tip of a trekking pole rubbing against the apex, it pays to be careful so I’ve added a piece of webbing above the brass eyelet. It’s really easy to do. I only used two stitching point so it has a bit of flexibility.

The picture below shows that the pole tip is now cushioned from the apex material.

Subsequent to doing this there was a post on the Trek-Lite forum about using a rubber grommet http://www.trek-lite.com/index.php?threads/dan-durston-massdrop-x-mid.4960/page-21 so naturally I tried it.  I had to cut the surplus rubber tube off the grommet before using it. It was a bit of a faff to insert and I cut a bit of the collar off on the top side to help. After a bit of gentle persuasion with the end of a pen, I got it to sit correctly.

In the end it fitted perfectly and is a more elegant solution than the webbing, although I left the webbing in place as I couldn’t see the point in removing it. The grommet fits perfectly over the end of both my Leki and Black Diamond poles. It’s an excellent solution and removes any chance of damage from a trekking pole. If you want more discussion or to find out where to get the grommets from, visit Trek-Lite.

Corner shock cord

The corners of the inner tent have non-adjustable cords with a small loop of shock cord attached to the groundsheet. This is absolutely fine but does stretch quite tight and might be an issue on uneven ground.

To make the pitch of the inner tent more forgiving, I replaced the short tie out with a full loop of shock cord. This worked really well and makes the pitch of the inner more flexible and less likely to suffer damage if there is any strain on the groundsheet. One of the corners popped on my Scarp through excessive strain.

3mm corner tie outs

I used some old MLD cord for beefier corner tie outs. MLD cord is more secure than thinner gauge cord and definitely won’t slip in the line lok, unlike some 2mm cord. I’m not saying the cord supplied will slip, but better safe than sorry!

Intermediate pegging points

The X-Mid has intermediate pegging points at either end and the door panel, which are useful for windy weather. However, they are just small webbing loops. I’ve added a loop of shock cord to them and on the end ones, I’ve also added a loop of thin cord to give the option of a firm pegging point.

Additional apex guy line

Using the two external apex guys gives a pretty secure pitch. However, the X-Mid comes with two extra lengths of cord, so I decided to see whether an extra guy on each apex would add to the stability. Dan suggested taking the guys from the pole tips out through the vent opening.

This worked reasonably well, but I also tried using it just inside the door running to nearly the corner of the tent (it’s not long enough to go to the corner peg).

I thought this worked rather well. It adds quite a bit of stability to the trekking pole. It also provides the door panel with a bit of bracing against the wind deflecting if inwards (depending on where you put the peg). Lastly, it gives you an internal washing line.

Temporary door panel guy

Another potential way of cutting down door panel excursion in windy conditions is to use the door tie back loop as an attachment point for a guy. The loop seems pretty solid and it’s easy to attach a temporary guy. Obviously you need to be careful not to over-tighten the guy and distort the tent, otherwise it could cause damage. It’s only intended to stop the fabric from flapping too much. I might add a short shock cord loop as MLD do to the guys on the Duomid to avoid stressing the tent fabric. Most of the time the guy won’t be necessary, but it could be useful in very windy conditions.

I’m looking forward to using the X-Mid in the wild soon, possibly in Scotland in May.

13 thoughts on “Dan Durston X-Mid mods”

  1. Just completed similar ‘mods’ on mine; had the supplied cord slip in the LL3’s in a 20-25mph gusty wind today & the cords are way to short to accommodate a bumpy pitch. I too didn’t like the distinctly visible carbide tip from the BD poles poking into the fabric but choose the pitch handles up, it works fine.
    The next job is to sew a couple of mitten hooks on the inner ‘ridge’ to hang a light from. Was toying with the idea of adding 10/ 12mm sidelock buckles across the bottom of the fly zips (same as the Duomid) to guard against zipper failure; would also help when just ‘nipping out’ on a dreich night.
    Apart from these minor niggles a great little tent & not too sloppy on weight; well done Dan Durston!

    1. I’ve got some buckles for the zip as well. I’m reserving judgement but the zip seems quite robust and has no inclination to part under pressure. A buckle would also give another venting option. The grommet is well worth it and
      I found the pitch more secure tips up. Good point about the mitten hooks on the ridge. Might do the same or at least some loops. I agree, it’s an excellent tent. Really well designed.

  2. Hi Robin I came across your site a few years ago and have enjoyed your adventures and posts, I am to old in the tooth for camping (74) but do enjoy walking every week mainly in the East Midlands. My pal and I do a long distance walk every September albeit staying in B&Bs and having our luggage transported, I admire your unsupported ranging across the Scottish Highlands. This year we tackled the West Highland Way. I have written a Blog of the walk and have attached a copy, i hope you have time to read it and please share it as you see fit.

    All the Best Graeme Fisher

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    1. Thanks Graeme. Glad you enjoy my blog. There doesn’t seem to be a link to your blog. Perhaps you’d like to include it in a new comment. ATB Robin

    1. The out of the bag weight was 824g for the tent alone (fly plus inner). It’s now 851g.

  3. > MLD cord is more secure than thinner gauge cord and
    > definitely won’t slip in the line lok

    Not true at all. LineLoc’s depend on a knife-edge piece of plastic to prevent the line from slipping through them. No matter what diameter of line you use, they can and do fail under load. During the initial line slippage, the plastic abrades, and their holding power is significantly reduced after that.

    1. A number of Scarp users have remarked that 2mm can slip when wet (including me). I upgraded to 3mm on my Scarp on the corners, same on the corners of the X-Mid to be sure. Never had a problem with 3mm. You’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s my experience.

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