View Full Version : lightest small tarp?

01-17-2010, 11:07
What is the lightest small (5x8 or thereabouts) tarp without considering cost?

01-17-2010, 11:56

lightest i know of. no personal experience though

01-17-2010, 12:13
Oware has some new superlight cuben tarps now

New products
Shelter small enough to carry in your pocket or first aid kit.

Flat Tarp 1.0

Breen (brownish green) #2 Cuben Fiber
52 X 96"
8 tieouts with cuben fiber reinforcements.
3.5 ounces including cuben fiber stuffsack.

White #1 Cuben Fiber
45 X 96"
8 tieouts with cuben fiber reinforcements.
2.8 ounces including cuben fiber stuffsack.

White silicone coated nylon spinnaker
52 X 96"
8 tieouts with cuben fiber reinforcements.
4.2 ounces including cuben fiber stuffsack.

Call to order 888-292-4534
Free shipping on all.

01-17-2010, 12:40
Personally, I think rectangular 5x8 is too small. My experience is that in any real storm it's next to impossible to stay really dry when the wind is blowing. I would want something a bit bigger. The lightest tarp that I know of that is currently being sold is the shaped hexamid from zpacks which weights 3.3oz, or 8.4oz with full bug protection. Of more traditional design is the 3.9oz mountain laurel designs speed tarp which is 8.75 long and tapers down to 5' at the foot, though if I wanted a traditional tarp I would go with the 6x9 MLD grace tarp thats made from a much more durable weight of cuben and weighs 5.5oz.


Wise Old Owl
01-17-2010, 13:45
it can be too small, one should have a bivy bag.. but read on this thread


01-17-2010, 16:01
The lightest wt WP tarp for comparable size is a cuben fiber tarp. Realize, just as there are different wts of tarps made from Silny it is also true with Spinnaker and Cuben fiber. You can get Cuben so thin it really starts becoming impractical in terms of strength, durability, construction, and overall usage for hiking w/ a tarp. And, that's coming from an SUL perspective by folks who know the limitations of SUL gear and understand how it needs to be cared for.

Basically, of all the tarps and manufacturers mentioned the lightest you get is around 4 oz. I ask, does it REALLY REALLY REALLY matter, in terms of wt., if you have a 5.5 or 4.5 oz tarp verses a 3.3 oz tarp??? I'm an ULer! Where does it end? When our gear weighs nothing or disintegrates after one hike? To put it into perspective, the diffrence between 5.5 oz and 3.3 ozs, in terms of wt, is ONE candy/nutritional bar! Does every ULer finish every hike w/ absolutely no leftover food? Well, one negates the wt savings of 2 oz by doing that. And, I could go on w/ stoves, carrying just a wee but too much fuel, too heavy socks, trailrunners, clothing, clothing accessories(socks, hats,), water filters, tents, sleeping bags, packs, etc.

I typically tarp under a 7.2 oz 1.1 wt. spinnaker custom tarp from MLD that is 9 ft long and tapers from 6'6"ft at the head to 5' 6' at the tail. Even though I have a 7 oz WR bivy that I could take along this size tarp(and wiser campsite and tarp set-up selection) has allowed me to keep my down sleeping bags, all my other gear, and myself ALWAYS dry underneath it. I'm very happy w/ it. It has some features I like and it is WELL made. I could probably get that down to a little over 5 oz if I went to Cuben and did a little size trimming of the tarp AND spent more money!

I have not seen Oware's latest Cuben tarps or ZPacks tarps, but the price of those Oware Cuben tarps seem VERY reasonable. I also now know that Zpacks, is producing some Cuben backpacks at a cost substantially less than I first mistakenly assumed. Perhaps, Joe's Cuben tarps are also competively priced and constructed!

01-18-2010, 07:54
thanks for all the good tips. I was thinking of something light just to use for breaks during rainy days and perhaps supplement my gatewood cape/shangrila-1 for cooking/packing up. while cost isn't too big a factor, that oware spinnaker tarp looks like a good cost effective option. or maybe the 2.8 oz cuben.....

thanks again!


papa john
01-18-2010, 09:47
Buy some polymax 42 from kitebuilder.com and make you own for just a few dollars. I think it is on sale for $4 a yard. Very similar to Spinntex.

01-19-2010, 12:20
Buy some polymax 42 from kitebuilder.com and make you own for just a few dollars. I think it is on sale for $4 a yard. Very similar to Spinntex.

dang, they're out of it:(

01-19-2010, 14:15
The smallest size recommended for experienced tarpers with a dwr bivy is usually 5x8. For average folks any extra length would be worth it for the crawl in (back in, usually) method of entry. For especially rainy hiking, a 6x10 would be the minimum I'd have used (I hammock mostly now). My poncho is 9.5x5.5 and that's as small as I'm willing to go just in case of an unexpected rain on a weekend trip. I would never go that small for longer trips.

papa john
01-19-2010, 14:17
dang, they're out of it:(

Did you find it on their website? I don't see where it is marked out of stock.

BTW, when you order it ask them to fold it otherwise it comes in this huge box....


01-19-2010, 14:45
Made an awesome one yesterday, about 6' x 4' I think (not at home, so I can't measure it) out of a plastic drop sheet (that painters would use). Put duct tape on the corners, then cut diamond holes in the duct tape. Very light, and works fine. But I’m not planning to use it to sleep under- just for a kitchen tarp/ rain tarp to eat lunch under in bad weather/ to store gear under when I’m sleeping. About 5 oz.

And the great thing is, if I decide that it is totally superflous, I can just throw it out when I get to a town/ trash can, because it cost be about 25 cents to make.

01-19-2010, 17:39
i'm pretty sure any of the tarp makers are more than happy to custom make something in whatever size you want with whatever material you want. whether or not you are willing to pay the premium fro some of teh finer gear out there is entirely up to you. i'd say if tarps are your things and you want to do it then there's no reason not to.

scott? at backwoods day dreamer tarps or brian at outdoor equipment suppliers.com are the first two that come to mind. i've seen both of their tarps and i like both of their work. nothing but the best out of those two guys.

papa john
01-19-2010, 17:58
Originally Posted by juma http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/wb_style/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=954441#post954441)
dang, they're out of it:(

I have 5 yards in white that I have decided not to use. Yours for $25 shipped.

Red Hat
01-19-2010, 19:27
MacCat standard in SpinnUL.. perfect!