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  1. #1
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    OES MacCat - Cuben



    This review has been a long time coming!

    Earlier this year; myself, headchange4u, and ncpatrick were discussing a small personal group buy of cuben material to use for tarp making. After quite a bit of back and forth chat about sources, material, and techniques...and after picking the brains of a few folks with cuben working experience, we contacted Brian from OES to get his thoughts. In the conversation that followed, Brian agreed to make some prototypes! While that process took a while (ordering and receiving the material, material and method testing and sample mailing, fitting the build into Brian's schedule, etc) we finally got the tarps in early May. And, for the last 3 months or so have been using and testing them in our spare time. Specs and thoughts are as follows -

    Cuben Fabric - Cubic Tech 1K.08 Olive Drab
    Dimensions - 130"104" (MacCat Deluxe)
    Methods - Taped ridgeline, fully sewn perimeter, taped and sewn corner reinforcements.
    Weight - 4.7oz!!

    Corner Sample Brian mailed to each of us -


    And some pics of the finished product -


    Note the variant shading of the olive color in the different photos. While olive cuben does have a distinctive shade, it very much picks up the hue of the surrounding light. This translucent property is simply the nature of cuben fabric in this thickness. The visibility isn't without merit, though, since it is interesting to be able to see the night sky through the tarp on a clear night, although it might make sleeping difficult under a full moon.

    The tarp itself is made in the usual bomber-tough fashion that we've all come to expect from OES. The stitching is all extremely tight, evenly spaced, and impeccably straight. Brian's choice to sew the tie-outs and perimeter as opposed to taping it is indeed a departure from the normal cuben construction methods, but his detailed tailoring skills allows this method to work nicely. After placing a lot of intentional stress on both the corner panels and along the edging, I find no weakness or apparent stress points. The ridgeline is fully taped, however, so that no seam-holes exist above the area that would cover a hammock.

    I personally have had the above pictured tarp in a thunderstorm with excessively high winds, such that force of wind on the tarp pulled my stakes from the ground on one side, and the tarp flapped wildly. But after securing the stakes again, I could find no damage to any part of the tarp.

    As opposed to other OES tarps, it is recommended that a full-length ridgeline cord be used with the cuben version. That helps protect the taped seam from undue tensioning stress, as well as allowing even-tension to be placed on the panels of this no-stretch material.

    We're glad to have gotten the chance to use these prototypes! This was my first experience with a cuben tarp, and I have come away impressed that it is more durable in-use that I expected it to be. The folks that attended the last Red River Gorge hang got to see two of these in person, so they also can comment on the construction details.

    At the end of his part of the project, Brian sent us the following comments that sum up these tarps nicely -

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
    I would like to thank all three of you for your patience in this endeavor, but I would like to say this - these are three of the highest quality tarps I have ever made. Not a single loose stitch (nothing over 1/8" while I was working), and I was very, very careful to ensure the bobbin didn't run out as I was working a long stitch. I'm proud to say that this is some of my highest quality stitching I've done in a while, and I think the material demands it. I do hope the tarps find you safely in the next couple of days, and I welcome any feedback you have, along with any action shots/stories you aquire in the coming weeks.
    For those of you that are interested, Brian is still tweaking his prototype details but hopes to make them available on a limited custom order basis by fall. Keep an eye on his site for info.

    It's an exciting time for new lightweight tarp materials! I'm pleased to have gotten a chance to see the development first hand.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    sick..... grrr my girlfriend is going to kill me with another order. I better propose soon or she's gonna leave me HA!
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

    The end of the world is not coming in December, it is happening now in my living room. - TFC Rick

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  3. #3
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Wow! 4.7oz!! Color me CUBEN ! Color me broke, but I still want one ! !
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  4. #4

    ἑταῖροι
    Hetairoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    Wow! 4.7oz!! Color me CUBEN ! Color me broke, but I still want one ! !
    it really is disturbingly light .... you hold it and think 'that can't be right'. much tougher than it appears to be though.
    Live by the sword, die by the arrow

  5. #5
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Here are some tarp pics from a trip to Red River Gorge in May. (My house in the left picture, AngrySparrow's right).

    My tarp weighed in at 5.1oz with Dynaglide tie-outs and ridgeline.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  6. #6
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I am sick with envy...sick I tell you. I'll trade you 1 set of Dutch Biner and 2 sets fo Dutch Clips for your tarp. Wait I just remembered the blackmail pictures I have of NCP.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Where do you live? Where in your house do you store this fine tarp? Does your house have an alarm? When will you be away from the house or at work? You've probably heard of cat burglars, and now I think we have a MacCat burglar...

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    That's right I have AS's address.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


    http://dutchwaregear.com

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    4.7 & 5.1oz.... assuming the 4.7oz is with guylines and ridgeline... how much does the tarp weigh on it's own with stuff sack?
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

    The end of the world is not coming in December, it is happening now in my living room. - TFC Rick

    http://watermonkey.net/

    Youtube Channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RaulPerez1?feature=mhee

  10. #10
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raul Perez View Post
    4.7 & 5.1oz.... assuming the 4.7oz is with guylines and ridgeline... how much does the tarp weigh on it's own with stuff sack?
    No, 4.7oz is just the tarp alone.

    Brian shipped these with his normal silnylon sack (he only had double-sided cuben tape on hand) which adds .3oz.

    I would surmise the non-prototype ones would come with a cuben sack instead.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

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