Monday, March 27, 2023

Durston Gear X-Mid Pro 1 Ultra Light Hiking/Trekking Tent Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

Durston Gear X-Mid Pro 1 Tent ($599.00)


Durston Gear is a relatively new player on the UL market. Dan the founder started in 2018 with the X-Mid 1 in collaboration with Already in the beginning the tent was a huge success and high demand made it very hard to get. Since then, Dan launched his own website,, and sells tents and also backpacks on the site directly. High demand did not subside since 2018 and the new Pro version of the successful X-Mid 1 sold out very fast, when it launched end of January. A new batch will be available around April, if you are looking for one. So, let’s see what all the hype is about, shall we.


  • very light

  • best in class head and foot room

  • packs down small

  • easy setup

  • great in inclement weather

  • poles do not block the doors


  • expensive

  • a bit bigger footprint (however, most other trekking pole tents need additional space for peak guylines)

  • not much floor space to store gear inside

Tent Overview

First, let's get the specs out of the way. 


  • 0.55 oz Dyneema® Composite Fabric (CT1E.08) in Spruce Green

  • 15D Sil/PEU nylon (gray floor)

  • YKK #3 AquaGuard water-resistant zippers (fly)

  • YKK #3 zippers (inner tent)


  • Official: 16.7 oz / 475 g with stuff sack

  • Sample: 16.9 oz / 479 g with stuff sack


  • Fly: 63 x 98 in / 160 x 250 cm

  • Fly area: 43 sq ft / 4.0 sq m

  • Peak height: 45 in / 114 cm

  • Floor width: 32 in / 81 cm

  • Floor length: 90 in / 230 cm

  • Floor area: 20 sq ft / 1.9 sq m

  • Vestibule area: 22 sq ft (10.8 sq ft x 2) / 2 sq m (1 sq m x 2)

  • Packed size: 12 x 4 in / 30 x 10 cm

Color: Spruce Green


  • $599.00 without stakes

  • $609.00 with stakes

The X-Mid Pro 1 is the pro version of Durston Gear’s first X-Mid 1 tent. The pro version uses Dyneema® Composite Fabric (DCF) instead of the SilPoly fabric of  the regular version. DCF is incredibly light for its strength and more commonly used for top of the line UL shelters. The floor still uses SilNylon. This is a smart choice, which was also used by GossamerGear with their now discontinued “DCF The One”. While incredibly light, DCF can get quite bulky and therefore increase the packed size. With the combination of DCF for the main fabric and SilNylon for the floor, Durston Gear achieves the best of both worlds and keeps pack size and also the weight down. The tent uses a single wall construction and needs two trekking poles for the setup. 

A big reason for its success is the unique geometry. From the top view, it is rectangular, and the poles build the ridgeline diagonally across the long side of the rectangle. This leads to multiple advantages. The head and foot room is best in class. Furthermore, the poles do not block the doors, which is quite common for single pole pyramid style tents. And last, the vestibules on both sides go down all the way to the ground, which eliminates draft or rain splatter. Usually and especially 1-person trekking pole shelters using a vestibule, which ends higher and does not go all the way down.

Setup and Take Down

The tent setup is very easy and one of its biggest advantages in my opinion. As a minimum setup, it only requires four stakes. For the setup, you simply lay out the rectangular shape and stake out the corners. You should make sure to achieve a right angle on each of the corners. 

Then insert the trekking poles tip down into the peaks and extend till taught. On each side of the floor there is a small loop to enter the trekking pole tip. This locks down the floor to the ground. Each corner covers a line lock to tighten the pitch and make small adjustments. Durston Gear has a good YouTube video with pitching instructions here.

I would recommend to stake out the additional guy out point where the zipper connects. While not needed, otherwise the short side of the door just flaps around if you open the door. 

When staked out, it is a perfect spot to store some gear and your shoes. This way the gear is protected from some light rain even with the door opened. 

For the door attachment, Durston Gear uses magnets as a toggle to hold the door up. I don’t get why so few manufacturers use magnets. This is the perfect solution and so easy to use. There is nothing worse than fiddling around with string toggles with cold fingers, or when you wake up in the middle of the night to some unexpected rain.

The Noseeum Mesh doors are held up with two pieces of shock cord. I was skeptical at first about this solution, but during use it was easy to hold up with a simple single knot. Such a simple but effective solution, I haven’t seen till now. 

Weather Resistance

The DCF fabric itself is fully waterproof. It is only at the seams where the panels connect, water can get in. The tent comes fully seam taped/sealed directly from Durston Gear unlike the recently reviewed Liteway Illusion, which costs more than $200 less though. Already at first glance the seams look flawless. My usual multi day rain test in my yard only confirmed my first impressions. I couldn’t find any leaks whatsoever. So no surprises as to the water resistance. 

What impressed me the most, though, is how sturdy the tent is with only 5 stakes. I haven’t yet encountered a situation which required me to add additional guy out points at each of the peaks, which are foreseen for the “Storm Pitch” as Dan calls it in the pitching instructions. This is unlike other trekking pole shelters where 6 stakes are requited at a minimum and when wind picks up additional guy lines at the head- and foot-end are needed. My Zpacks Plex Solo needs 6 stakes as a minimum and 10 when all guy out points are staked out. 

I already mentioned the vestibule doors, which go all the way down to the floor. This is especially useful in windy conditions. In those conditions, you want to pitch the tent down as close to the ground as possible. So in this case, you just need to lower the trekking poles a bit and tighten the corners down to the floor.

Comfort and Space

Due to the geometry, the X-Mid Pro 1 is a head- and foot-room king. The available space is outstanding for a one-person tent.

With a 3-inch  thick pad and I am 6 feet / 1.83 meters tall, my quilt is not even close to touching the foot end of the tent.

Same story at the head end of the tent. This is the most headroom I had in any of my tents so far. Laying down or sitting up has more than enough room for my size. You can easily change inside the tent without rubbing against the walls. Durston Gear recommends the tent for people up to 6’8″/ 2.02 meters, which makes it a great choice for taller people as well.

On each side of the tent, near the poles, there is a mesh pocket to store some gear away from the floor. And this is well needed. With my regular-wide mummy style sleeping pad, there is not much room left on the floor. I usually like to store most of my gear inside my tent. It is doable to store it all inside, but it is getting pretty cramped. My Plex Solo for example has way more floor space, but then pales in comparison to the head and foot room.

Ventilation and Condensation

Condensation can’t be avoided to 100% with single wall shelters. With good ventilation, it can be reduced. h. I personally don’t have a problem with a little bit of condensation, which I can wipe off with a microfiber cloth. Where it gets messy is when the condensation is so bad it drips off the walls and feels like it is raining inside your tent. The X-Mid Pro 1 does a good job with ventilation and therefore mitigates really bad condensation. Besides the tent, ambient variables like humidity, precipitation and temperature differences contribute to less or more condensation.

The X-Mid Pro 1 has two vents on each side, which can be opened up with a little Velcro strap. This combined with a higher pitch did a good job in minimizing condensation. I never had it to the point where little water droplets formed. Instead, I had some slightly damp sidewalls. Besides the vents also a higher pitch improves ventilation and helps to exchange moist air. 

At the head and foot end there are also mesh drain systems for good measure. When condensation builds up and runs down the sidewalls, the water drops get caught in the mesh and drained outside. This keeps the water away from the tent floor. 

Value and Price

Yes, the X-Mid Pro 1 is very expensive for a one-person shelter. Compared to other ultralight DCF shelters, though, it is a pretty standard price. I especially liked all the little details. Dan’s experience really shows here and you notice that the concept is thought through from the beginning to the end. When considering the high manufacturing quality on top of the well thought out details and performance , the X-Mid Pro 1 is reasonably priced. 


After using the tent for a while now, I can say, “The hype is real”. Due to my experience with other DCF fabric shelters, I knew what to expect weight wise. However, the easy setup and interior space exceeded my expectations. If you are looking for an extremely lightweight shelter for fast and light adventures and you have the money to spend, I would definitely give it a closer look. There is not much to complain about, which makes it to one of my favorite shelters yet. 

Available early April at Durston here: Durston Gear X-Mid Pro 1 Tent 

The products that are the basis of this test were provided to us free of charge by Durston Gear. The opinions presented are our own.

Tester Profile

Markus Zinkl: I’m 33 years old and live in a small village in Bavaria, Germany. I started hiking and backpacking 5-6 years ago. Coming from trail running and with light and fast in mind, I started with ultralight gear. Over the years I tried and tested a lot of gear, always in search of weight savings. Although still trying to stay out of the ultralight rabbit hole. I spend most of my days off from work on the trail, with at least one 2-3 week thru-hike. Among the more well known trails I have hiked over the last two years are the GR221, WHR (Walker’s Haute Route), TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) and TC (Tour du Cervin-Matterhorn). As you probably notice by now, I’m at home in the mountains. So if I’m not running or thru-hiking a bigger trail, I’m probably somewhere in the Alps checking out some shorter trails.


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