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.
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.
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.
I m not backpacker - I actually live in this tent in asia - and I go to work daily to return to the tent every night - so I dont know how long it will last - I bought it for the strong material (not for the lightness of it) - and for the waterproofness of the material - cos I ll probably live in it daily for many years to come and I dont have to worry about the monsoon rains etc So I would think all that will be long lasting and good over time . packing - I was amazed by such a tiny size - much smaller than the ones we see in review videos, it s so tiny - and the poles also are so thin = that s amazing I like the space inside .. very spacy from head to toes not just a peak but whole length and width I love how both sides have mesh , thus giving such a feeling of sleeping outdoor in summer, like cowboy style .. totally in connection with nature when both sides are opened - awesome.. The drawback is how the door opens... I d rather prefer it opened like other tents... with the flap hanging from top or side rather than being attached to the bottom Cos when I go in and out, all the mosquitoes can come in (but in other tents - it hangs so there is that flap that is in contact with ur back at all time when u enter or exit the tent.. and ur legs dont need to also be crossing over the door Maybe would be nice to add a tiny elastic light mesh big wide pocket at one end of the tent for storage tks for great work!
I love this tent
Honestly, Zpacks tents are the best for backpacking. This is my second tent made by them (Altaplex). Easy to set up, no worries on whether or not the rain will get in. I'm not sure what all the fuss about condensation is. If it's properly pitched, the tent is in a good location, and you use the doors correctly you will experience minimal if any condensation. Zpacks hit a home run with this one.
2nd time's the charm....
I already tried posting directly on the website but Zpacks didn't publish that review - this time, they sent me a link for posting so here goes: I've now been able to use my tent a few times and in different weather conditions, and the tent has met my expectations easily.......when it was windy, the tent didn't flap around and make noise - this tent pitches very taut so it never sags nor do the few guy-lines become slack......in the rain, I stayed perfectly dry (with some minor wind) but this is also where to discuss condensation - there was some to be sure but it was minimal and I used a small pack towel to quickly wipe the top & sides free of moisture without issue --> let me be clear here, the moisture was NOT dripping nor was it close to doing so, it was very light in nature......as for putting up the tent and taking it down - I can put up this tent in about 5-7 minutes, including staking the corners of the tent itself (an old habit from using other tents), and when taking it down in the rain, I was able to pack all of my gear (minus food bag and the tent itself) inside the tent before I got out, and packing the tent itself was very little issue --> the tent was not "soggy" like other tents because dyneema does not wet-out like other materials do.......things I liked: this tent is roomy inside, it has a lot of head-&-shoulder room so you can move around easily / the doors open easily because the zippers have smooth action and the twin vestibules make life easy for storing gear - I use this as a single-person tent only.......things I didn't like so well: the length could be a tad longer for us tall folks (I'm 6'1", 185 lbs.), the interior height could be a tad higher for the same reason but then you're adding weight to a good tent that can **** the entire purpose for creating this tent so, otherwise, no real complaints......I've already gotten rid of this tent's predecessor - BA FC HV UL2 - and had no qualms about doing so --> this tent is exactly what I expected after I researched it.
ZPacks Free Duo
Excellent tent. I have used ZPacks tents for a number of years, starting with the Hexamid, then the Hexamid twin, now the Free Duo. The Free Duo is heavier, due to its poles, but the trade off is well worth it, in terms of comfort and ease of set up. I was pretty fast at setting up the Hexamid twin, but trying to do it on granite and using rocks for stakes was a pain. The Free Duo sets up anywhere, as it is free standing. It was great in the high winds we had for two days of our trip, and only needed front, back, and side staking. I added two stakes at two front corners for aesthetic reasons, but didn’t need to. The large screen doors keep condensation away. I was camped next to a lake and had none, while the Tegratex tent we had got wet inside. When the breeze became wind, closing the door was easy, and the flapping was minimal. The head room is phenomenal—much more than the Hexamid twin. This is a tent, not a tarp, but it is the lightest weight and most functional tent I’ve ever used. Given my experience with ZPacks, if I take care of the zippers, this will last me many miles. A GREAT product!
pros and cons
I know this tent is designed to be light weight and so sometimes there are compromises. I knew that going in. I do feel like the items in my cons list could be fixed though withought adding too much weight. I will still use this tent as a single person summer only tent. I just feel like you should probably know what you are getting in to before you purchase because it is a LOT of money. The pros: 1. light weight 2. Waterproof 3. Very little condensation and constructed so that any condensation running down the sides will go into the ventilation trap and not on you. 4. One of maybe 2 free standing Dyneema tents on the market that are made in North America. 5. Perfect for 1 person. 6. Has enough length and headroom to feel comfortable and to sit up in it. The cons: 1. I am in Canada and 3 season here means something different than 3 season down south. I used this tent in May and we had a good breeze coming off the half frozen lake. The Vestibule flap does not come down lower than the bathtub floor so a lot of wind got in and I was super cold. Maybe this is something to fix in the design. Either make the bathub floor taller or make the fabric on the vestibule longer. In canada this is deffinately a 2 season tent. 2. The tent is not truly free standing. The sides must be steaked down or your sleeping bag will touch the sides because they lean in because the poles push the sides in without a stake down. Also the doors will not zip up if the sides are not staked. 3. Very small vestibule 4. No zipper on the vestibule so not water tight, and because it is also quite high above the ground your gear that deffinately will not fit in the tent with 2 people in it, will probably get wet in a rain storm. 5. Very very small in width. The width is supposed to be 42 inches but I had to buy 2 mummy 20 inch wide sleeping mats and put them oposite to each other to fit enough to not be leaning up the bathtub floor so you can get the doors zipped shut. Ok for 1 adult and 1 child. Adding just 4-6 more inches to the width would be lovely. 6. The doors zip down so that you are stepping on them or they fall onto the dirty ground when open. Having them open the way most tents do would be optimal.