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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Why should I buy the expensive tarp?

    Hi everyone,

    So I'm thinking about getting a Hanger 11 tarp from UGQ (Silnylon, 130$, would need to buy ridgeline and stakes) for my first set. Today I was at the outdoor store and there I can get a slightly larger (but not too big) polyester tarp for 75$, all lines and stakes included. Obviously UGQ is still in business, so there has to be some good reason why people buy this kind of expensive tarp. Is it only the weight (1.5kg all incl. vs 0.37kg + stakes and ridgeline), or are there other reasons as well?
    Do you have any other recommendations for a first timer on a budget?

    Thanks for the advice,
    bw, Tobias

  2. #2
    Senior Member K0m4's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Tbilisi, Georgia
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    For a first-timer, especially on a budget, there's little reason to go for the expensive option IMHO, especially if you're only feeling your way into this world. Wer billig kauft, zahlt zweimal, but still it has its merit to feel your way without shelling out half a salary at once. You are more than likely to find out that it's the way to go, and wind up buying the more expensive one later, because that weight difference makes a big difference once you add up the stuff in your pack.. I've gone that route on both hammocks, tarps, quilts, and backpacks, but I see it as having bomb-proof spares that I can bring if need be, or lend to someone who also wants to try.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    There's no real need to go with the higher priced tarp. A good quality, cheaper tarp will work just fine. But, just for reference, my 6 stakes, Zing-it ridge line and tie outs weigh .17kg. That makes the higher priced setup weigh almost a full kilogram less. If you are doing any backpacking that is a big difference.
    "...With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, let's go to the land of beyond."

  4. #4
    canoebie's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Edwardsburg, MI
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    "Need" is a very relative perspective. I think a good rainfly is an important part of your kit. No matter how good your insulation, hammock, etc. if they are wet because of a leaky or torn tarp, you will not have fun. I think effective is the key term. If you can find a less costly one that is truly effective and reliable, it might make sense. Part of effectiveness for me is bulk and weight. I think the value of the UGQ tarps for example compared to costs, makes them worth having as well as a lot of the other vendors here. I sleep well knowing weather will not rip my tarp to shreds or make it a shower over top of me. That is worth every penny.
    “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  5. #5
    Senior Member gnarus8429's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Northern Kentucky
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    For the money that you are spending you should be able to get a nice tarp. For just a few more bucks you could get someone here to make you one. Squidbilly has done some nice work for me in the past and it was a custom job for about what you are spending give or take a couple of bucks. There are plenty of other folks that will do that kind of work for a fair price here. The tadpole by wilderness logics is $15 dollars more here :http://www.wildernesslogics.com/TAD-POLE-Tad-Pole.htm. I don't have one but, everyone raves about it. KOm4 is right sooner or later you may want to go with a nicer one so why not just kick in the $15 bucks to save yourself $90 later. I wasted tons of money trying find cheaper solutions to all kinds of equipment. I usually end up buying something nicer eventually. If this logic makes sense to perhaps you could help me convince my wife that a $300 UQ is simply a wise investment.
    I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

    -Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Boothill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoebie View Post
    think the value of the UGQ tarps for example compared to costs, makes them worth having as well as a lot of the other vendors here.
    like most things you get what you pay for......also remember anything you buy from the cottage makers on here you can re-sell for very little loss of $ as long as it is in the same shape when you purchased it, can't say that for most other stuff

    boot
    The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. ~Bill Watterson

  7. #7
    Senior Member FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Lower Weight, Higher Packability, and Higher Quality: that's what you get when you buy from one of our cottage venders.

    If you are just getting into the fun of hammock hanging, you can certainly use a cheaper tarp. There is nothing wrong with that at all (unless the tarp is very low quality and does not protect you from the elements). There are also several guides on HammockForums for how to make your own tarp.
    -Jeremy "Brother Bones"
    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    ...he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.

  8. #8
    Banned
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    Dec 2011
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    Rosenberg, TX
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    Experience has shown me that the reason why this hobby gets so expensive is that we tend to opt for an inexpensive item of essential gear only to find it wanting in several respects and we end up buying the more expensive item anyway. Everyone of us has a closet full of crap that didn't work.

    One good alternative in your budget of +/- $75 is a Hennessey Hex tarp. Another is the Tadpole mentioned above, as is the Toxaway from AHE: http://www.arrowhead-equipment.com/s...away_Tarp.html

  9. #9
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    As with most technical gear, you can compare side by side and say that one is not appreciably better than the other save for 1 or 2 aspects that you may or may not care about. But, with technical gear, it becomes mostly about what your set of equipment allows you to do, or what benefit your set of equipment gives you.

    You're straining American brain cells with the Kg's, but if the sil tarp is more that half the weight of the polyester tarp, that's definitely significant if carrying on your back. For taking it out of your car to string up in the campground, no. Keep in mind that weight and bulk typically go hand in hand. Reducing weight very often means you gain space in your pack, which can also be very significant. Reduce weight over several of your main items, and you gain the ability to carry a smaller, lighter pack.

    I would also add that packing up a light tarp is relatively easy, whereas a heavier more bulky tarp tends to be much more of a chore. Again, its what it adds to your experience that really counts, not just the spec. In this regard, spending $45 (plus another $25 I guess in line and stakes) is not all that much more. Sil tarps of similar size are available for less than $130, too, if you look around.

    p.s. Sargevining is absolutely correct about the closet of crap, and his suggestions for tarps to look at are on the mark, too. For what its worth, my Toxaway runs $40 cheaper than the 12' equivalent tarp, $20 less than the 11' one you are considering, and weighs less than that one, too.
    Last edited by dakotaross; 06-19-2014 at 07:54.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  10. #10
    MAD777's Avatar
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    There are 4 differences between the two tarps.
    Price.
    Weight.
    Volume: the poly tarp will occupy 3 times the volume of the silnylon.
    Longevity: the poly tarp will delaminate after a few years, not the silnylon.

    If you don't backpack, only the price and longevity are factors. Even then, it will be cheaper in the longrun to buy the silnylon.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

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