Free Duo Tent
Last night was a big test for this tent. Storms were coming and winds were going to be in the 20 mph range. Not only did it handle the high winds for over 30 minutes, not one drop of rain came in. Love this tent!
A perfect choice for those packed down campsites in the Sierra or camping along the beach, the Free Duo is a 1 or 2 person ultralight freestanding tent designed with versatility in mind.
Featuring a unique H-Pole frame design, the lightweight Free Duo excels in high wind situations.
This freestanding tent is ideal for hikers who regularly pitch on a variety of tough surfaces like bedrock, compacted dirt, sand, snow, or other places where using stakes may be difficult.
The Free Duo provides the versatility of a freestanding tent with all the benefits of an ultralight shelter made from Dyneema® Composite Fabric. It is truly a go-to tent for just about any backpacking trip.
An optional flat groundsheet is available for added protection here.
Check out The Trek's review of the Free Duo review here.
The Free Duo is a dedicated freestanding tent which pitches with two included ‘H’ shaped tent poles. It can be pitched on difficult surfaces like bedrock, compacted dirt, sand, snow or other places that staking is inconvenient. This tent CAN NOT be set up with trekking poles.
The included ‘H’ shaped Easton Carbon 6.3 tent poles are made with proven technology and are the cutting edge of strength and weight. These poles are thicker and stronger than the Easton Carbon 3.9 poles used on our Duplex Flex shelter.
The Free Duo is our best tent in demanding, high wind situations. The Easton Carbon poles can handle a gale with minimal deflection. The tent body comes down nearly to the ground at the ends to help block cold wind. It pitches with a lower profile and a smaller footprint compared to our non-freestanding tents.
The tent can be picked up and moved around after inserting the poles to find the perfect root-free spot.
The tent can be pitched with zero stakes in calm, dry weather, however 2 stakes are required if you wish to deploy the storm doors. Up to 8 stakes should be used in windy weather. Stakes are not included but we have a variety of Ultralight Stakes to choose from.
Any of the four storm doors can be opened or closed independently. Leave all four open on nice weather nights for a breeze and great views. Close the upwind doors to block cold wind, or close all four for 360° rain protection. The overlapping doors are closed with custom made metal hooks, with a toggle at the center to keep them pinned.
The tarp overhangs the bathtub floor by 4-5 inches (12 cm). In calm rain or under wet trees one or two doors can be left open for air flow without water dripping on the floor space. In almost all conditions at least one downwind door can be left open for air.
Rainbow zippers on both sides of the tent allow easy entry regardless of which doors are closed, and they give you access to every vestibule area.
This tent has a solid, sewn in 6 inch (15 cm) tall bathtub floor. The bathtub floor is a rectangle 42 inches wide by 7.5 feet long (107 cm x 2.29 m). The floor width will fit two adults side by side on standard width sleeping pads, or the tent is excellent for one hiker to spread out with gear. The freestanding poles lift up the head and foot ends of the tent for excellent space so that you don’t contact the walls.
Mesh pockets are conveniently located near each screen door so that they can be accessed from inside or outside the tent. They are a good place to store your cell phone, glasses, headlamp, the tent stuff sack, and spare seam tape (included). The pockets are about 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm).
A separate groundsheet is NOT required for this shelter. The floor material is reasonably durable, and all Dyneema® Composite Fabric gear can be easily patched in the field with repair tape. If you do prefer to use a groundsheet as a precaution, Flat Groundsheets are available.
There is screen between the bathtub floor and the walls at the ends of the tarp. The edges of the floor are elevated ensuring the screen slopes downwards away from the bathtub. Any condensation, which single wall shelters may experience, will run down the walls and out through the downward sloping screen, rather than onto the floor. Click here for tips to avoid condensation.
The tent packs down small, around 6” x 12” (15 cm x 30 cm). It ships in a loose 7” x 13” (18 cm x 33 cm) stuff sack. The tent poles fold to 20” (51 cm) long and have their own stuff sack. They pack well standing vertically in your backpack’s side pocket, or inside your pack.
- Dyneema Composite Fabric is naturally waterproof and is not treated with any potentially harmful chemicals such as flame retardants or water repellents.
All Zpacks gear has a two year limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. Please see our return / warranty policy.
Made in the USA.
The total weight displayed near the 'add to cart' button includes tent, tent poles, guy lines, sewn in linelocs, taped seams, and stuff sacks. A piece of repair tape is included with the tent. Your choice of canopy material will change the total weight.
Tent: 16.7 oz (473 g) or 18.7 oz (531 g)
Medium-Plus Stuff Sack: 0.28 oz (8 g)
Tent Poles: 12.9 oz (365 g)
Tent Pole Sack: .21 oz (6 g)
Up to 8 stakes are required and are not included. We have a variety of Ultralight Stakes to choose from.
Peak height: 42" (107 cm)
Ridgeline width: 45" (114 cm)
Width including vestibules: 75" (190 cm)
Vestibule space: 15" (38 cm) depth on each side
Length: 92" (234 cm)
Peak height: 42" (107 cm)
Floor width: 42" (107 cm)
Floor length: 7.5 feet (2.29 meters)
Zipper entry height: 36" (91 cm)
Tent body: 7" diameter by 13" tall (18 cm x 33 cm) / 520 cubic inches (8.5L)
Poles: 2.5" x 20" (6 cm x 51 cm)
- Our tents are made from Dyneema® Composite Fabric. Dyneema® Composite Fabric has several advantages over other materials:
High strength to weight ratio – the material can handle high wind force and does not tear easily.
Chemical free, PFC free
Waterproof – there is no DWR or coating to worry about wearing out. The material will not absorb significant water that will add water weight to your pack
Stretch-free – the tent will stay taut all night. Nylon material by comparison can stretch and sag, especially if it gets wet.
Taped seams – our seams are sewn for strength then taped water tight. The tie outs have bonded reinforcements for high strength. No seam sealing will be necessary!
Easily repairable – Any damage can easily be fixed in the field with our Dyneema® Composite Fabric Repair Tape.
- This tent is semi-transparent. In bright sunlight, a fuzzy silhouette of a person sitting inside the tent would be visible, but you cannot see any details. It has a suitable amount of privacy for changing clothes.
In lower light (such as in the evening or at night), you cannot see through at all. We also have thicker, darker material available as an upgrade that you can choose. Another nice thing about this material is that you can see the outlines of trees and your surroundings for a more immersed outdoor experience.
- This tent has fully enclosed .66 oz/sqyd (22.7 g/m²) insect screen. The holes in this screen are super tiny, so even the smallest insects cannot get through. Our tent screen is about 30% lighter than comparable Noseeum screen with no noticeable decrease in durability.
- The bathtub floor is made from 1.0 oz/sqyd Dyneema® Composite Fabric. This material weight is more than twice as thick as the canopy material and is more resistant to abrasion and punctures. It is also easy to patch with tape.
- Lineloc V adjusters are sewn to all tie outs. Bright yellow Dyneema® Z-Line cord is cut and attached for you. The yellow lines are very easy to see night or day, and Dyneema® has very low stretch.
- The expected life span of this shelter is at least one full 2500+ mile thru hike, or many years of casual use with some care.
Made with Bio-Based Dyneema® Fiber
Reduce your carbon footprint with DSM’s bio-based Dyneema® fiber technology. Sourced from renewable, bio-based feedstock, it is the first ever bio-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (HMPE) fiber. Commit to sustainability and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuel resources and rely on the trusted performance of the world’s strongest fiber™. Click here to learn more about our sustainability initiatives.
Made in the USA.
Free Duo Instructions
Click here for a printable version.
Guylines are pre-cut and attached for you. Linelocs are sewn in place for adjusting the lines. If you choose to switch out your lines for a different cord, there are six pieces of cord, each cut at 54 inches (137 cm). The front center stake loop is tied at 20" (51 cm) from the end of the cord.
In windy conditions orient the end of your tent with the overlapping storm doors upwind. The Zpacks labels at the corners indicate the upwind end of the tent
Splash-up can occur when camped on hard packed surfaces during heavy rain. Our tall bathtub floor and overhanging canopy helps to keep mud and water from splashing up into your tent, but for best results please choose camp spots on leaves or pine needles when possible. Remove any pointy twigs and sharp objects to protect your tent floor but leave as much rain-dampening cushioning as possible to minimize the potential of splash-up.
Insert the the tips of the "H" shaped tent poles into the rings at the corners and peaks of the tent. The center part of the "H" should be horizontal. Make sure that the tips at the peaks of the tent are criss-crossed. Crossing the tips at the peak helps keep the tent splayed open.
Clip the wall clips to the horizontal part of the "H" poles. They may be tight, especially on the first few pitches.
- If conditions warrant it, stake out the storm doors, the side walls, and the corners. In strong wind use all eight stakes for the best stability.
Any of the four doors can be clipped down, or rolled up independently. The storm doors can be clipped down to the front center guylines, or rolled up depending on the weather. Leave at least one down-wind door open for air flow unless the weather is very bad.
All Zpacks shelters have taped seams and bonded tie outs! No seam sealing necessary.
Click here for full instructions on how to wash our Dyneema® Composite Fabric tents and tarps.
CDT thru-hike, and beyond
Went for the triple crown on the CDT with this palace. I'd say I fit into the category of comfortable Ultra-Lighter; i.e. I take weight and tech into high consideration, but still don't sacrifice comfort. For me, one of those things is having a full free standing tent. Along 3,000 miles, there are times and places where you can't stake out the tent, and having something that supports itself allows for that consistent comfortable living experience. Some may be cautious of DCF in terms of durability, as one should be. However, with care -- but not babying -- I was able to come back from the CDT with a tent that showed little to no signs of wear. I did wash the tent once mid trail in a tub (motels love thru-hikers...) to keep it fresh when in high use, and made sure not to fold it too consistently to prevent heavy creasing in common fold areas. I had maybe two slight pinprick holes in the bathtub floor which were easily patched and was due to not paying attention to what I was setting up on, so mostly my fault. The DCF material does not serve well with abrasion, so as long as it's kept away from things rubbing on it frequently, its a solid and bombproof tent. Sometimes a little too tough as rainstorms sound like you're inside a speaker case. Imagine sitting right under a tin roof. Along the trail there were some who experienced trouble with zippers as they are super light weight and sometimes can cause issue. However, I found so long as you tighten the tent properly, there are no instances where zippers should become and issue, and mine remained sturdy the entire trail. Easy tactic is to make sure the mesh doors are zipped closed during construction to make sure you don't over tighten when setting up, and then cause tension on the zipper seams as you zip the door. Finally, the construction of the poles allow for super easy setup and breakdown, allowing you to quickly and easy jump inside during the rain, but also keeping the inside dry when breaking down. The points where the two sides meet at the top are a double edged sword. On one hand, it allows for easy moving of the tent once it is setup. Sometimes you'll need to readjust where the tent is when setup, and you can kind of 'taco' the tent in half moving around with ease. The downfall to this is that there isn't much tension pushing either end of the tent apart. In a properly setup spot that won't be an issue where you can stake down well. However, if you're using it as a fully freestanding tent in an area you can't use stakes, the tent will fold in a few inches causing the floor space to decrease a bit, and the tent to feel a bit unstable lengthwise (however, it still remains fully stable width wise and efficient in high wind scenarios). All in all, there are not many tents that can compete with this behemoth. Folks would sometimes scoff at the extra 12 ounces in weight, but everyone was hanging in my palace in the morning and evening. So hike your own hike, and make your tent your home.
I'm A Paddler
I purchased the Free Duo Tent mostly for paddling trips in the Northeast. I own hiking poles but a total waste bringing them along on a canoe trip. So I've been searching for a free standing shelter and found this one. I often go solo and like reducing potential gotchas like setting up my tent on an unforeseen rock or uneven ground. I do wish the included tent poles were a bit shorter to pack but I knew that from other reviews.
Not great for such an expensive product
I wasn’t very satisfied with the tent. Although the extreme light weight is really awesome for carrying around, and the tent setup and folding is quite fast, the sleeping comfort is really below standards… the outer fabric is really transparent so a lot of light comes in, the sides flap in the wind so it is quite noisy, there is a lot of condensation in the morning, and there isn’t a real feeling or being inside a closed structure. It’s probably ok for high mountain tops, deep forests and very quite and secluded areas, but not really for anything else… Also the tent pegs aren’t included, which is a bit ridiculous for such a high price.
I bought this tent for hiking the Oregon Coast Trail and it is awesome. It never leaked, it was easy to put up, and as one person sleeping it, I found it plenty roomy for my mattress and pack. The tent is very stable. The one con, I wish the side flaps were longer and covered the bathtub when staked. You feel kind of exposed when you are lying down and can see out.
Thanks for this super ⛺
It was very ici tu set up