Originally Posted by Itsamescott
I've also heard reports that it lasts for several seasons of hiking. Even being left out in the elements for durability testing for months on end in the winter. It seems the biggest failure point is the tape and connection points. There is a pretty extensive discussion and testing over at BackpackingLight.com
That being said, when I do get around to making mine, I do not plan on using it in bad weather and never more than a one or two night hike in planned mild weather. I mostly do car camping with my young boys so when the weather does turn worse we head for the car.
I think this would be a good place to start experimenting on what type of tarp shape suits me best (asym, hex, etc) before I go for a full on sylnylon tarp.
Personally, I'd trust Tyvek first, or a cheap poly tarp. You can cut/sew/tape poly tarps into any shape you want, without concerns of them shredding... once the polycro starts to tear, it's pretty much over . . .