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Oware Flat Tarps (6x8, 8x10, 10x10)


by the Product Review Staff | 2003-09-29 03:00:00-06

See how this shelter rates with others in our Comparison Review of Tarps and Other Floorless Shelters

Photo: An Oware 10x10 ft tarp setup for an incoming mountain thunderstorm: Pitch is low to shed wind and increase stability. Windward edge (left side in photo) is staked to the ground at 5 points and an additional 2 mid-side tieouts are used. Leeward edge (right side in photo) is slightly raised to improve ventilation and increase interior room.

Oware produces some of the best-designed and fully featured flat tarps on the market. Oware tarps also have the highest quality construction of the tarps we reviewed. They use 1.4 oz/sq yd (47.5 g/ sq m) silnylon ripstop fabric. Edge seams are rolled and sewn. Center seams are rolled and sewn with a double top stitch (similar to a flat felled seam). All tieouts are 1 inch (2.5 cm) grosgrain webbing loops and the tieout attachment points are reinforced with patches of 200 denier nylon fabric. This allows you to crank down on the tieouts with little fear of ripping the tarp.

Another feature that sets Oware tarps apart from many other flat tarps is the number of tieout loops. Oware tarps have a lot. Their 8x10 tarp has 16 tieouts, and their 10x10 has a whopping 20 tieouts. Multiple tieouts boost tarp stability, and increase interior room. In the hands of a skilled tarper, multiple tieouts allow for a myriad of pitches from a hunkered down, almost tent-like, storm pitch to a wide-open gazebo-like pitch for fairer weather.

We've used Oware tarps in all manner of weather-from gusty summer thunderstorms in the Sierras, to mild (but dewy) evenings in the Northeast, to brutal snow camping in the Rockies. In the hands of a skilled tarper, these light and simple shelters can do it all. Their excellent design and quality construction make for stable pitches that distribute stresses evenly across the tarp.

Photo: Pitch possibilities with multiple tieouts: The Oware 10x10 tarp in a low and flat storm pitch. The center-tarp tieouts are used to increase room on the foot of the tarp. The foot end of the tarp faces into the wind.

The only improvement we could recommend for Oware tarps is to add a catenary-cut ridgeline. Oware has already started to do this and offers catenary cuts on a few of their tarp sizes, one of which is reviewed in this roundup. Please see Catenary Curvature as an Element of Ultralight Tarp Design.


"Oware Flat Tarps (6x8, 8x10, 10x10)," by the Product Review Staff. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2003-09-29 03:00:00-06.