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View Full Version : Lightest, durable, large tarp?



Summit
05-30-2009, 08:36
I'm looking for a very light, durable, cheap tarp to rig partially over my backpacking tent as a porch for rainy weather so that I don't have to be cooped up in a zipped down tent when it rains. Any suggestions and sources?

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 08:43
This one worked great for me last weekend in the rain. Its the 10' x 11' tarp from Jack R Better. It was a whole better than cooking in a tent.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/9/3/7/7/long_branch1.jpg

Sidewinder
05-30-2009, 08:59
lots of tarps here

http://www.backcountrygear.com/tent/tarps_wings.cfm

Jayboflavin04
05-30-2009, 09:40
Summit....If you or your wifey can sew maybe she can custom fit-ya with a tarp...not to big or small....just right! Or what about a poncho with guyouts that might suit your needs.

bullseye
05-30-2009, 09:49
If you're looking for cheap, or to just try out the idea go to the home improvement store and get a piece of plastic drop cloth to rig up. It comes in different thicknesses and can be cut to size. Then if you still like the setup you can purchase (or make) a tarp in a similar size.

bullseye
05-30-2009, 09:51
This one worked great for me last weekend in the rain. Its the 10' x 11' tarp from Jack R Better. It was a whole better than cooking in a tent.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/9/3/7/7/long_branch1.jpg

Very nice! Was that just your dining area or did you use the tarp for shelter also?

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 10:16
Very nice! Was that just your dining area or did you use the tarp for shelter also?

Since they only weigh 19oz each, I had two of them with me. The one shown above and a second one in a different configuration for my hammock setup that was not quite so open and helped in keeping the rain out.

When you pack them up in their stuff sack they are about the size of a 12oz soda can, maybe a bit larger. I was hiking with a friend of mine and we put our packs under this tarp while we were packing up in the rain.

All in all we felt that having this extra tarp with us was a real plus. But if youíre into ultra-light gear I can see how having that extra 19oz can be a real negative. So for some it works and for others it doesnít.

Reid
05-30-2009, 10:19
I use to have the kelty noah tarp 9x9 for that purpose. Seemed to me to be the best way of doing it. Of course the noah tarp wasn't much useful for anything thing else though except hammocking.

FamilyGuy
05-30-2009, 10:40
I like Integral Designs line of SilTarps and have used them successfully as both a cooking shelter or vestibule. Lots of tie-outs and durable. Not cheap, however.

stranger
05-30-2009, 10:44
Mountain Laurel Designs makes a number of nice tarps. Keep in mind that words like "ultralight" and "durable" don't often go together. Take spinnaker tarps, very light, great material but not exactly durable, and they are super expensive.

I often think general silnylon is underrated in terms of durability, and you can get silnylon tarps for well under $100 these days.

For your use, you might want to check out the mini-tarp from MLD, it's only about $40 and weighs about 5oz I think, it's only 5ft by 5ft but if only using for an awning that's all you need.

Feral Bill
05-30-2009, 11:40
Maybe this (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20068) ?

Wags
05-30-2009, 12:07
not exactly cheap, but excellent tarps:

http://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 12:11
not exactly cheap, but excellent tarps:

http://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/



I ordered one last April, still haven't received it.:(

FamilyGuy
05-30-2009, 12:27
I ordered one last April, still haven't received it.:(

Hopefully you haven't paid for it yet!

Summit
05-30-2009, 13:01
Good suggestions . . . keep 'em coming. So far the Campmor Kelty Noah 9x9 at about 1 lb and $59 is looking like where I want to go. I don't want a $100+ solution.

BOWSINGER
05-30-2009, 13:15
“I use to have the Kelty Noah tarp 9x9 for that purpose. Seemed to me to be the best way of doing it. Of course the Noah tarp wasn't much useful for anything thing else though except hammocking.”

I have been using a 12x12 and a 9x9 Noah tarp for years and I would hate to give up either one of them. I bought the 12x12 first for base camping and then the 9x9 for backpacking and canoe trips.

Then in 2000, “Doc” on www.backpacking.net (http://www.backpacking.net/) ran a series in Shelter Reviews on how to set up and accessorize the 9x9 Noah and do it right. Everything works out of the diamond fly pitch. This is the easiest and fastest pitch and gives you a great deal of headroom and visibility and about 35/40 sq. ft of sleeping/living space and about 20 more for gear storage.

Following Doc’s advice, I like to rig the high end downwind and about 5 to 6 feet high using my hiking staff or a tree. I use a stick about 2 feet long to prop up the low end of the tarp off my feet.

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 14:13
Hopefully you haven't paid for it yet!

Sadly, he cashed my check on the 24th of April.

Reid
05-30-2009, 14:55
Sadly, he cashed my check on the 24th of April.

That's bad business. Have you had any explanation for them?

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 16:13
That's bad business. Have you had any explanation for them?

The last email I got from him was on May 9th saying I would get the tarp on the 12th. It never came and I've sent him three emails asking for an update and I have not even gotten a reply. And I've been real polite in my emails so I have no idea why this has gone on this way.

peanuts
05-30-2009, 16:18
The last email I got from him was on May 9th saying I would get the tarp on the 12th. It never came and I've sent him three emails asking for an update and I have not even gotten a reply. And I've been real polite in my emails so I have no idea why this has gone on this way.

mintakacat, have you checked out hammock forums. sometimes brandon post there and you can pm him there.

shelterbuilder
05-30-2009, 16:44
This one worked great for me last weekend in the rain. Its the 10' x 11' tarp from Jack R Better. It was a whole better than cooking in a tent.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/9/3/7/7/long_branch1.jpg

Oh, I LOVE this pic!!!:banana The set-up is very similar to the old Whelen lean-to rigs from decades ago. Simple, functional, near-genius in it's concept.

My own tarp is an odd-sized monster (7'x13') and can be pitched in so many different ways that I rarely take a tent anymore.

I like the idea of using a plastic sheet to get the size that you want and then sewing/having one sewn. When you make it yourself, you can customize it any way you want to.

hikingtime
05-30-2009, 17:14
The best thing I have found for this is a Golite Poncho tarp. It is 8 ft 8 inches by 4 ft 10 inches and weighs 10 oz. The price is only about $35.

Wise Old Owl
05-30-2009, 17:58
Good suggestions . . . keep 'em coming. So far the Campmor Kelty Noah 9x9 at about 1 lb and $59 is looking like where I want to go. I don't want a $100+ solution.

PM General with exact dimensions and pictures and he will make you something extraordinary!

See my Gallery for better explaination.


Summit, After trying it several times I resold the Kelty because I did not like the "Catinary CUT" Campmor does have UL rectangles available and I find them far more useable.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20068
http://www.rei.com/product/773577
http://www.rei.com/product/655940
http://www.rei.com/product/695338

General's Tarp

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=27253&catid=577

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 20:45
mintakacat, have you checked out hammock forums. sometimes brandon post there and you can pm him there.

Thanks, I tried that but Brian left a message that he was going on vacation the day I was going to send him a PM.

LOL, getting that MacCat tarp has just been a huge task, more work than it should have been, and I still don't have it.

But hey, I did go hiking last weekend so life is not too bad.:D

winger
05-30-2009, 20:51
The OES tent is worth the money and the waiting.
Be patient that is....

winger
05-30-2009, 20:52
Correction: the OES tarp....

MintakaCat
05-30-2009, 21:12
The OES tent is worth the money and the waiting.
Be patient that is....

I'm curious, how long did you have to wait?

winger
05-31-2009, 13:43
The wait was about 3 weeks best I remember. But keep in mind Brian is in college and works as he is able to find the time.

MintakaCat
05-31-2009, 14:51
The wait was about 3 weeks best I remember. But keep in mind Brian is in college and works as he is able to find the time.

Well, Iíve waited 6 weeks, witch in its self is no big deal. But On April 19 I was told I would receive the tarp in a few days since I was ordering the one that readily available. On April 26 he emailed me that the check had arrived and I would receive the tarp sometime that week.

On May 9th he emailed me apologizing for the delay and promised that I would receive the tarp on May 12th.

This morning I received a PM from him on this web site promising to work something out.

Look, Iím sure heís a great guy. I would imagine that you know him personally which is a little different when it comes to waiting 3 weeks for something from someone you know.

Iím not out to attack the guy, Iím just trying to first get a refund and second put a little pressure on him to address his customer service skills. All criticism is not the same. Iím giving him constructive criticism in order for him to be more successful at what he does.

My advice to him is to not make promises that he canít keep. Second, be up front from the very beginning as to the realistic delivery of his product. If you tell customers it make take 8 weeks and the product arrives in 5 weeks, then his customers will consider him a hero.

le loupe
05-31-2009, 14:56
Good suggestions . . . keep 'em coming. So far the Campmor Kelty Noah 9x9 at about 1 lb and $59 is looking like where I want to go. I don't want a $100+ solution.

This is what I was about to suggest-

I have one and think its a great compromise.

You can find it for under $50 ($45-48) if you look around, even Ebay...

Summit
05-31-2009, 16:22
This is what I was about to suggest-

I have one and think its a great compromise.

You can find it for under $50 ($45-48) if you look around, even Ebay...Thanks! Yes, just found a link (not eBay) for $49!

Also have PM'd General to see what he offers.

Downhill Trucker
06-01-2009, 15:21
not exactly cheap, but excellent tarps:

http://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/



The SpinnUl tarps are worth way more than what he is charging for them. They are the best tarp I have ever used.

Wags
06-01-2009, 15:25
yeah zdank. that's what i have. spinnUL deluxe maccat. only my pack cost more than that out of all my gear

BOWSINGER
06-02-2009, 15:04
The 9x9 Noah Tarp is listed in Campmor at 10”3”x10’3” and 22 ounces and costs 60 bucks. I have found that the catenary cut edges and ridgeline makes for a very taut setup.

Back in 2000 when “Doc” on www.backpacking.net (http://www.backpacking.net/) ran his a series in Shelter Reviews on how to set up and accessorize the 9x9 Noah he compared his setup to the GoLite Cave tarp. The Cave is about 6-8 ounces lighter, but the Noah is a lot cheaper and a whole bunch easier and faster to set up. He suggests that you try a paper model. Cut a 9-inch square and fold diagonally for your diamond fly tarp. Cut and fold a 5 by 8-inch piece the long way for your poncho. Open and fold two corners like the nose on a paper airplane. Tape these folded edges to make a four-sided pyramid. This is the top of your storm door poncho that fits over the tarp peak.
Have fun.