As everyone knows 2QZQ (Tim and Donna) make extremely high quality gear, and that they have entered into the cuben market with their famed Grizz Beak now being made in the new age fabric "Cuben", yep thats right 2QZQ is now making their famed and renowned Grizz Beak in Cuben.
At first they had made only one size which is an exact copy of the Sil version. I had mentioned to them that people choose Cuben to cut weight, why else would one pay that much for it when Sil works very well for it's intended purpose. Well they humored me and said "what do you have in mind", my reply was why not make it custom sized for the tarp so one doesn't need to carry extra stakes (increased weight), also changing the size would end up making it lighter (less fabric means less weight). I mentioned that the two biggest hammock tarp makers one being our very own HammockGear and the other Z-Packs, that they both made hex tarps at the same width (while other dimensional specs may be slightly different) the width aspect is paramount to a proper fit of the re-sized beak.
They seemed to be very interested in my suggestion, and agreed that the market showed a sign that others would find this item of interest, especially since the UltraLight craze has hit the hammocking world at great lengths as of late. So we went back and fourth about size, use, and set-up. A prototype was made and shipped off to me, also want to make note at this time that "I have paid for this product out of my own money, and have not received anything for free"!!!! This review and statements are of my own.
I received the first edition and took it for a test, ended up sending it back for some modifications, and adjustments till we reached the final version which is pictured below. One previous version was sized exactly to the Hex tarp, yet with cuben if you are not 10000000000000000% accurate it will not fit correctly, having cuben attached to cuben with no manner or allowance for give is extremely difficult. Due to this I had one final cut made to the beak, this was making it slightly smaller than the tarp and using the manner of attachment as the means for give. My method of attachment went through several different trials, at first I tried to use loops with Dutch Ti Hooks attached at the ends so that set up and attachment to the tarp at the tie outs could be as fast, easy, and light. I later found out that for some reason the hooks were causing the cuben to lay funny and did not provide an acceptable pitch. So I then tried loops of shockcord with the use of the Ti Hooks, which proved to be fast and easy, yet for some reason still wanted to turn and caused a funny pitch. The final trial (which worked beautifully) was to just use the shockcord by itself and feed the tarps tie out through the loop of shockcord, and that my friends was all she wrote, as you can see in the pictures below the pitch was very good, I think with more time setting it up it will become exceptional, you know the more you mess with your gear and set it up the better you get!?!?!?
The manner for attachment at the ridgeline is rather simple, all I used was a loop of 1.25 z-line with a Dutch Ti Hook and hooked it too my tarps ridgeline, easy peasy! On the tie outs of the beak I used some 1.2 tech line from DIYGearSupply for the prussics and 1.25 z-line for the tie out lines, on the end of each line I tied a loop which would connect to the shockcord loop via a Dutch Ti Hook. What I did was feed the shockcord through the tarps D ring and then hook the hook to the 1.25 line, by doing this it allowed the stretch needed to get the beak taut, and not pull the tarp at a funny angle, so each piece remained as taut as intended. This manner of attachment was only used for when I wanted to close the end up completely. When I wanted to have the vestibule space I took the tarps tie out and fed it through the loop of shockcord which then anchored the beak to teh tarp, then all that was left was to stake out the beak.
The beak can be set-up with no additional stakes needed (as long as you are comfortable with having the end fully closed), but if you should want you can set it up with a vestibule and use only one stake, which provides a very nice amount of useable space for gear.
The weight for my beak is 1.4oz, this includes three Dutch Ti Hooks, two loops of 1/16" shock cord, two 3ft tie out lines made from 1.25 z-line (with the 1.2 tech line prussics) and a mini cuben stuff sack.
I think that this beak will be a wonderful addition, and allow me to have a tarp that I can either take by itself, take with one beak, or soon will be able to close off both ends (once I receive my second beak, that I just paid for). This will make for a very versatile weather system, and still have the ability to go as light as I choose, but add that bit of modularity that one cannot get with attached doors (no beak, one beak or two).
In closing I want to thank Tim and Donna for their outstanding work, patience (must have a lot to work with me), and their understanding. It has been a pleasure to work with you both, and I hope that others can enjoy your productions as much as I have, and will continue to have.
If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask but I will defer and refer any question(s) regarding price, manufacturing process and materials used too 2QZQ. Which I am sure they will respond as promptly and thoroughly as they can. If I have anything else to add (think of anything else) or someone sparks something of interest I will post below (will not just add to this post).