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Thread: Tarp Selection

  1. #1

    Tarp Selection

    I'm well on my way to getting started with hammock camping and I thank everyone for the help. I picked up a BIAS WWM with suspension and can't wait for it to warm up out this way so I can give it a try. I had originally planned on going with the warbonnet edge tarp but i'm now leaning toward an asym tarp and could use some help. I'm looking to buy an ultralight tarp, but I cant afford cuben right now. I've looked at the MLD UL Hammock Tarp but i'm a little worried about coverage. I've also thought about the Hennessy Hyperlite Rainfly but still, i'm worried about coverage... should I be concerned? Right now my best bet looks like the Simply Light Asym hammock tarp. Anyone have any experience with this tarp? It's quite a bit bigger than the other options i'm looking at and even cheaper (not sure if that's a good thing). Are there any other asym tarps I should be looking at? I'd like to spend under $100 and be as light as possible.

    What about DIY asym tarps? I'd love to give some DIY gear a try and I think a tarp would be a good place for me to start. I'm open to any and all suggestions you DIY masters have for me.

    How many of you have experience with spinnaker fabric? From what i've researched its waterproofing isn't necessarily reliable??? Is that the consensus? Is the next lightest fabric silnylon?

    Im all ears! Thanks again for all the help guys

  2. #2
    Is there anyone that will make a custom spinn tarp to my requested dimensions?

  3. #3
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, as far as I know, there were several quality-control issues with Spinnaker batches a year or two back. I don't know of anywhere that sells it anymore, nor anyone who makes tarps out of it off of the top of my head.

    If you're wanting to make an asymmetric tarp to save weight, I recommend DIY Gear Supply's 30d sil 2nds (found in the "Coated Fabrics" category) as a material. I used their tarp plans for the asym tarp, along with their 30d sil 1sts (I wanted a particular color), and I couldn't be happier with it.

    However, that tarp is small. You'll probably want an undercover to help protect you from sideways rain. If you use a poncho as your rain gear, you can dual-use that as an undercover, again saving weight. I show off how I do that in this thread, at about 8:15 in the video embedded in post #3. Note that you can use loops sewn to the four corners of the poncho, along with some shock cord, to achieve the same thing as my modular hammock attachment point.

    Hope it helps!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  4. #4
    It sounds like spinnaker wasn't is out of the question. Not sure I wan't to risk a wet night though so maybe its for the best. The weight savings sure did have me intrigued though. If only cuben didn't cost an arm and a leg!

    I hadn't thought about the poncho idea. That's good to keep in mind. Thanks for the reply FLRider!

  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARCHER11 View Post
    It sounds like spinnaker wasn't is out of the question. Not sure I wan't to risk a wet night though so maybe its for the best. The weight savings sure did have me intrigued though. If only cuben didn't cost an arm and a leg!

    I hadn't thought about the poncho idea. That's good to keep in mind. Thanks for the reply FLRider!
    Not a problem. Feel free to PM me if you've got any questions about the tarp or how I go about using an undercover!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  6. #6
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Like Lewis & Clark: Wintrin' o/t Columbia again: PDX
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    The canoe ends of your long, long hammock are effective water gatherers. It takes less fabric and less weight to cover them directly than it does to hang a longer tarp,

    Otherwise: Less tarp, including asym and deep hexagonal designs, is all about paying attention to set-up with respect to wind, the direction of rainfall, and the way you use your hammock.

    Why does the tarp have to be concentric to the hammock below it? Well, it doesn't have to be, especially with trees that are larger.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 02-01-2013 at 00:23.

  7. #7
    demostix, what do you use to cover the ends of the hammock? Sounds like something I need to consider...

  8. #8
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARCHER11 View Post
    demostix, what do you use to cover the ends of the hammock? Sounds like something I need to consider...
    I am not aware that anyone does it in a serious way except Clark, which includes it on all their hammocks. Clark, uses an un-tapered layer of breathable nylon fabric, likely 1.1oz. (I think that sil-nylon at the foot or both ends would be even better.) Clark's cover is sewn at the end channel and and to the two sides. (It also carries the zipper-base tape across the hammock.)

    Someone else correct me: Methinks the hoods are about 16" long at the head end and 20" at the foot end. Randy includes a small cover at the end or ends of his Dream Hammock, I think, to cover a stuff sack for the netting and weather shield.

    My advocacy of these hoods is appropriate here, because questions were raised about the required coverage of a tarp. As I've posted elsewhere on other occasions, I get by very well with a so-short-it-is-no-longer-made 98" long Clark tarp over their 9 ft hammock. No problem because the tarp drops low at the foot end AND because the hoods on the Clark keep wind and end-spray out. With my Clarks, I see sky and trees directly above my eyes when I hang without a tarp; and my feet don't have an obstructed view because I've got no eyes down there. But, the hood hides some gear I stash in the canoe end. A foot-longer hammock otherwise calls for a foot-longer tarp.

    Go to junglehammock.com to see what Clark hoods look like. You could try out your own in your back yard attaching the hoods to the seams with quality diaper / safety pins, before committing to sewing them on. They do not seem to be part of any patent.

    *I say "untapered" calling attention to the fact that even if your legs extend one or the other side of a gathered end hammock, and your head does the other, at the channeled gathered end, there is extra fabric bunched up a weight weenie could discard.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 02-05-2013 at 13:46.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Honestly, you're only saving about two ounces with the Hennessy over the edge and for about the same price. The edge is a great tarp with enough coverage to keep you dry without too much weight. One thing you could do, pick up the edge tarp, and take it on trips where you think rain is a strong possibility. On trips when you're expecting no rain, you could carry a poncho like golite's poncho tarp and use it as an asym tarp in the event of rain. Just my $.02.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rabid Deer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrprince View Post
    Honestly, you're only saving about two ounces with the Hennessy over the edge and for about the same price. The edge is a great tarp with enough coverage to keep you dry without too much weight. One thing you could do, pick up the edge tarp, and take it on trips where you think rain is a strong possibility. On trips when you're expecting no rain, you could carry a poncho like golite's poncho tarp and use it as an asym tarp in the event of rain. Just my $.02.
    I have been in the same boat as the OP. I'm leaning toward the Edge as well. I love my Superfly, but the Edge is about half the weight.

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