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  1. #1
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    Sil Tarp absorbed 16 ounces of water weight!

    Hello, I have been using DIY sil (1.1 from RSBTR) tarps for a while now. I always noticed the extra weight when packing it up after a good long overnight rain. on my last trip I weighed it when i got home while it was still wet. It weight 31.2 ounces. I set it up and dried it out and weighed it again. 15.2 ounces! Thats 16 ounces of water weight absorbed into the tarp fabric. i always shake the tarp out before i tear down to get out as much water as i can but this seems excessive! other than cuben fiber, is there any other fabric that does not absorb so much moisture? i see a lot of new fabrics coming out these days but am curious about how those fabrics hold up in this situation. Thanks!

  2. #2
    WaffleBox's Avatar
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    By sil I assume you mean Silnylon. Silpoly doesn't absorb nearly as much water. It's available from Ripstop by the Roll.

  3. #3
    Member nugget's Avatar
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    Just a guess here but.. How long have you had your tarp? It may need a sil coat refresher. At least I've heard of people doing this before. What kind of 1.1 did you buy? Curious.
    ~Cnugget

  4. #4
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    It is the 1.1 Silnylon from RSBTR. It has been used for about 1 year now. it appears to all be in good shape with no visible damage at all. Maybe the silpoly will be the way to go. i am getting gear ready for an AT thru hike next year and am looking at all ways to cut weight. it is not in my budget to buy or make one out of cuben unfortunately.

  5. #5
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    I wonder if wiping the tarp down a little better (thinking small piece of sham-wow) would be worth trying before ditching this tarp?
    It would be an easy backyard test with a garden hose.
    O&B
    There are three kinds of people in this world...those who can count and those who can't.

  6. #6

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    It does absorb water but also dries quickly in the sun. Sometimes on my lunch break after a rain I string my tarp and let it blow in the wind. About 25 minutes and its pretty dry.

  7. #7
    Funny Money's Avatar
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    I've brought this up to some smart folks who told me I was wrong - Sil doesn't absorb water!!!

    I too, shake and even wipe w/a camp towel a bit but it's still a good bit heavier than dry weight.

    NOTE: this even occured with a tarp on its maiden voyage - with no wear at all. Wafflebox is one of the early adopters of the silpoly so I'd trust his advice.
    -- Funny Money
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    Love 'em while you got 'em

  8. #8
    markr6's Avatar
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    Ahh I never heard of recoating/treating. Bummer, I hope it doesn't come to that for me...one more thing to mess with.

    I never do this in the field, but after one car camp trip I was killing some time and tried this. I don't know if it's good for the tarp. I'm not worried about tearing it, but maybe it's too aggressive for the material if there is a coating?

    It will take a while! I'm sure the shamwow is the way to go





    If you look closely you can see the "stains" from the removed droplets. I wonder if that is water absorbed into the tarp which just needs time to dry?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    Is it really adsorbing the water or just stuck to the surface? Whether it's nylon or poly both are coated with sil. water should not be getting to the base fibers, should they?
    If silpoly has less surface area (tighter/small weave) I could see less water sticking to the surface.
    O&B
    There are three kinds of people in this world...those who can count and those who can't.

  10. #10
    Member nugget's Avatar
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    I've had some wetting issues with my silponcho and read this: http://dzjow.com/2012/06/18/how-to-re-coat-a-shelter/
    I figure a re-coat would help make it repel but haven't tried it yet. To me it seems like dirt and use could impair the silicone impregnation especially in the lighter fabrics... after all silnylon isn't 100% waterproof to begin with. I'd be curious to know what it's hyrdo-static head rating was compared to the 4000 that's out now.
    ~Cnugget

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