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  1. #1
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    too many tarp options - can't decide

    i'm finding it very tough making decisions without being able to see things for myself first hand.

    what makes one tarp better than the next? obviously, a larger tarp provides more coverage, but will weigh more. a couple extra ounces is not a concern for me. what about the cut of the tarp? what roll does that play? i'm not on a budget, but i do prefer to spend less as i'm sure we all do.

    i searched around and found most of the popular tarp choices and the specs of each, but i'm still not sure what specs i should be looking for. i definitely don't want to go too small. i might do one winter trip per year at most. i'm leaning towards the speer winter tarp right now mostly because of it's size, the ability to close the ends and the fact that it's on sale, but there could quite possibly be a better choice out there for me that i haven't looked at yet. is there any reason why using the SWT during the summer months would be a bad choice?

    help...

  2. #2
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    I own a Speer Winter Tarp and a Macat Deluxe SpinnUL. After seeing 2Questions "door mod" and Grizz's removable beak for the Macat I'm inclined to think that may be all I really need, especially since I live in the southeast and the cold doesn't linger long.

  3. #3
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan1 View Post
    i'm finding it very tough making decisions without being able to see things for myself first hand.

    what makes one tarp better than the next? obviously, a larger tarp provides more coverage, but will weigh more. a couple extra ounces is not a concern for me. what about the cut of the tarp? what roll does that play? i'm not on a budget, but i do prefer to spend less as i'm sure we all do.

    i searched around and found most of the popular tarp choices and the specs of each, but i'm still not sure what specs i should be looking for. i definitely don't want to go too small. i might do one winter trip per year at most. i'm leaning towards the speer winter tarp right now mostly because of it's size, the ability to close the ends and the fact that it's on sale, but there could quite possibly be a better choice out there for me that i haven't looked at yet. is there any reason why using the SWT during the summer months would be a bad choice?

    help...
    nothing wrong with using one in the summer (other than the weight penalty)
    makes for a larger dry area during summer storms
    The Speer Winter tarp is a fine choice for all around use
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  4. #4
    beep's Avatar
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    One of the "gold standard" tarps for hammocking is the OES MacCat Deluxe. It is available from Brian at OES in both silnylon and SpinUL (same design but lighter). You can check out the MacCat Deluxe HERE as a starting point. There are many other good tarps, but one of the choices is the shape of the tarp...rectangular/straight sides or hexagonal/usually with catenary cut sides, though rectangular can be catenary cut and hex can be straight-edge.

    I spent the spring and summer using my OES MacCat Deluxe and like it a lot. I have just purchased (shipping today, matter of fact) a Winter Dreams tarp from Scott Littlefield (sclittlefield on HF) HERE with some side panel pullouts for winter use. I'm looking for the ability to close up the ends of the tarp to cut down on the draft.

    Tarps are a relatively straightforward DIY project if you are so inclined. The plans for the Black Cat DIY tarp (a nice design, but note the similar shape and specs to the MacCat Deluxe!) are HERE.
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beep View Post
    One of the "gold standard" tarps for hammocking is the OES MacCat Deluxe. It is available from Brian at OES in both silnylon and SpinUL (same design but lighter). You can check out the MacCat Deluxe HERE as a starting point. There are many other good tarps, but one of the choices is the shape of the tarp...rectangular/straight sides or hexagonal/usually with catenary cut sides, though rectangular can be catenary cut and hex can be straight-edge.

    I spent the spring and summer using my OES MacCat Deluxe and like it a lot. I have just purchased (shipping today, matter of fact) a Winter Dreams tarp from Scott Littlefield (sclittlefield on HF) HERE with some side panel pullouts for winter use. I'm looking for the ability to close up the ends of the tarp to cut down on the draft.

    Tarps are a relatively straightforward DIY project if you are so inclined. The plans for the Black Cat DIY tarp (a nice design, but note the similar shape and specs to the MacCat Deluxe!) are HERE.
    that winter dreams tarp looks interesting. the maccat deluxe doesn't have the end pullouts, correct? as for the DIY route, i'm even more clueless and would more than likely botch the job and be back at square one.

    EDIT: actually, comparing the winter dreams to the SWT, the WD is bigger, cheaper and includes the stuff sack so unless someone has something else to add, the WD seems to be the obvious choice between the two.
    Last edited by Brendan1; 11-02-2009 at 12:54.

  6. #6
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    A catenary (curved) cut tarp is easier to pitch tight than a square cut one.

    A simple tarp, like the standard Hennessy diamond shape provides little cover but also only needs two tie out points. Great if you're a minimalist, but not much room to do other things like cook under.

    Hex tarps provide some additional coverage and increase the tie outs from 2 to 4.

    Larger tarps provide even more coverage but may need as many as 8 tie outs.

    Size and material selection will affect weight and cost.

    So, everything is a trade off. You've gotta decide what's important.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    You will end up with several Tarp sizes... sooner or later... its going to happen...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    Larger tarps provide even more coverage but may need as many as 8 tie outs.
    any other disadvantages other than more time to setup and a bit more gear to carry?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeHouse View Post
    You will end up with several Tarp sizes... sooner or later... its going to happen...
    exactly what i'm hoping to avoid. i haven't even spent one second in a hammock yet, so i'm counting on all the hype that i'm going to enjoy it as much as you all do.

  9. #9
    beep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan1 View Post
    that winter dreams tarp looks interesting. the maccat deluxe doesn't have the end pullouts, correct?
    Correct! "Wings" or end pullouts are useful for wind/cold, but are usually overkill in 3 season usage. FWIW, Brandon at Warbonnet makes his Supertarp with removable wings that can left at home or carried as circumstances warrant. More choices, eh?
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beep View Post
    Correct! "Wings" or end pullouts are useful for wind/cold, but are usually overkill in 3 season usage. FWIW, Brandon at Warbonnet makes his Supertarp with removable wings that can left at home or carried as circumstances warrant. More choices, eh?
    the option of having them if needed is nice. the superfly looks great, but at more than twice the price, i'll pass.

    thanks, and keep the comments coming!

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