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  1. #1
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    Minifly protection

    I'd decided on buying a Minifly as a first tarp (to use with a Hennessy hammock, then possibly with a Warbonnet Eldorado if I buy a second hammock).

    However, when I spoke with the dealer (and my mind is now hazy about what he actually said) he said that it wasn't a good choice for a beginner as it's a minimalist tarp and needs experience to make it work. I think he also said it didn't provide much coverage in bad weather.

    I watched Shugs' video and didn't think it looked too bad, but I'm new to all this.

    I can see that a large tarp is going to be more comfortable, but I'll be using the hammock when cycle touring, and pack space is limited, plus I'd prefer to keep weight to a minimum.

    However, if the Minifly is likely to cause me grief, what tarp would you recommend?

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    In your situation, if you want to stick with WarBonnet (Good Choice), I’d go with a ThunderFly. First, there is nothing wrong with the MiniFly and it will keep YOU dry, but maybe not your bike. That’s the point. With the larger ThunderFly, you have more dry area outside your hammock. I’m guessing you plan to have your bike under cover too.

    It’s all a matter of degrees/choices. With a minifly you could lay your bike down under your hammock - being sure not to step on it when you get up. In a more aggressive rain you can rig the Minifly closer to the hammock and guy the sides down close. All “doable” but maybe not desirable. With the real estate of the ThunderFly (or larger), you can stand your bike up, put your gear on a ground sheet under your hammock, and have some space to move around outside your hammock. Given that the gear will be on your bike and not on your back, I doubt the weight/bulk difference between the Mini and the Thunder would make much difference.

    If I’m going out for a day hike i’d take the MiniFly - as a sun shield. If I’m going out for an overnight and I know there’s little chance of rain, I’d probably take the miniFly. Even if I knew there would be rain drops and I wanted to play minimalist, I’d take the MiniFly. BUT, if I wanted comfort, if I wanted to not be so confined to the hammock itself, if I wanted to sit in a folding chair outside the hammock and watch the world (putting tarp in porch mode), I’d use the ThunderFly or larger.

    Given that you’re “touring” - out for several days at a time - I think you’d be more relaxed with a tarp larger than the miniFly.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3
    FLTurtle's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    I use a Thunderfly...it's a bit larger than the Minifly, but not by much (it's a foot wider overall, so 6" per side). If it's gonna storm, I hang the tarp as close to the hammock ridgeline as possible.
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  4. #4
    sideshowraheem's Avatar
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    I've never had coverage issues with the MiniFly. The wind and rain would need to be blowing sideways for it to get under the tarp. I personally dont think the MiniFly is any harder or easier than other tarps they sell either.

    If you're trying to cover something else though then definitely size up. Not a lot of extra room with the MiniFly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dublinlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deejayen View Post
    I'd decided on buying a Minifly as a first tarp (to use with a Hennessy hammock, then possibly with a Warbonnet Eldorado if I buy a second hammock).

    However, when I spoke with the dealer (and my mind is now hazy about what he actually said) he said that it wasn't a good choice for a beginner as it's a minimalist tarp and needs experience to make it work. I think he also said it didn't provide much coverage in bad weather.

    I watched Shugs' video and didn't think it looked too bad, but I'm new to all this.

    I can see that a large tarp is going to be more comfortable, but I'll be using the hammock when cycle touring, and pack space is limited, plus I'd prefer to keep weight to a minimum.

    However, if the Minifly is likely to cause me grief, what tarp would you recommend?
    I respectfully disagree with the dealer. One of the first tarps I ever had was a Warbonnet Edge, which is even more minimalist than the MiniFly (the MiniFly is essentially the Edge with the addition of little door flaps). I used my Edge tarp through many rainy nights and stayed totally dry through them all.

    These days my MiniFly and ThunderFly are my most used tarps. For cold weather camping I favor the ThunderFly for its additional wind protection, but in the summer I like my MiniFly best.

  6. #6
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    I consider the Minifly to be a summer or fair weather tarp. It will keep the hammock dry if hung properly, but not much more. I had the Edge (the Minifly without the beaks) with me on a 5 day hike, and it rained on 3 of those days. It was not super comfortable because the only dry place was the hammock itself. For cooking and eating I had to wear my rain gear.

    I also used the Edge on a car-camping trip with the Tensa4 on public campsites and got my underquilt and hammock slightly wet and dirty because the rain kept splashing up from the ground.

    If you have your choice of hanging locations and can pick protected sites in bad weather, the Minifly will work alright. But if you have to make do with what you find and still want to be comfortable, pick a larger tarp. Although the Thunderfly is only about 30 cm wider, the added protection is noticeable. However, nothing beats the protection of the Superfly. On a cycle tours in Scotland I would probably go with the Superfly. It's mostly more weight and not a whole lot more packing volume, but the added weather protection would probably be worth it for me in this situation.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Thanks, everyone. There's a lot to consider! The Minifly is expensive, but there's only around 6 difference between each model as you progress from Minifly - Thunderfly - Mountainfly - Superfly, and not a huge weight premium. Perhaps the Thunderfly is a good compromise, but if I got into hammocking then I could see having something at each end of the range (eg Minifly and Superfly), so perhaps the massive coverage of the Superfly is worth having. There's certainly horizontal rain at times in Scotland!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    No real need to have the bike under the tarp!

    I also go bikepacking so recognise the requirement for low bulk.

    As others have noted what you gain with larger/wider tarps isn't necessarily extra protection but more usable space under the tarp and more leeway in setting it up and still getting protection. Each side of the MiniFly is 1.15m wide so in porch mode you've a reasonable amount of space. That of course assumes you've a reasonably sheltered pitch in which to set things up like that.

    I've a homemade asymmetric tarp (wrote about it in this thread - https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...3912-Asym-tarp) roughly 3m x 1.5m in size and it's fine for summer but I'd not really want to use it in a Scottish hoolie It comfortably fits in a stuff sack about the size of a 500ml water bottle but can compress down to just over half that size. I'm going to make myself one of these https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ith-Half-Doors which will come in at about 400g and maybe 1.5 times the volume of the asym. That tarp is sort of a Frankenstein mix of the MountainFly width and MiniFly doors.

    Your initial choice seems to be between a summer oriented tarp that is light and compact but might be a bit limiting if the weather turns or a bigger, bulkier tarp like the SuperFly where you basically don't have to worry about anything. Something like the ThunderFly is probably a very good compromise: better coverage than the MiniFly but without the weight/bulk of the SuperFly. Porch mode or doors back when it's fine, everything fully deployed when it's time to batten down the hatches.
    Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry - Viking proverb

  9. #9
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    The minifly is fine, you don't need doors. I've been in plenty of storms with tarps without doors and stayed totally dry. If a storm is rolling in hang low and make sure you are centered. It's not really difficult. The minifly would do even better than non door tarps because the mini doors will block any sideways rain.

    I do also have a massive dutchware wide rectangle tarp I use and I love the massive space it has, but I realize you don't need that.

    If you want to scale up because the jump in price/weight isn't much, but you don't need a winter tarp with doors year round

  10. #10
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Tarping is kind of it's own art form. If you are inexperienced with tarps then I would consider getting something a bit wider than the Minifly.
    The Mountainfly or the Mambajamba may serve you well. The beaks on Mountainfly are pretty easy but not having doors does simplify setting a tarp.
    Embrace the tarp life. It ain't like tenting!
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