As of Jan 1 2008 we are using the LineLoc 3 Tensioners on all our non-poncho tarps and all shelters. (It would be a hassle going from poncho to tarp mode and back)
ITW Nexus came out with them about three years ago and we got a few samples then but until now did not use them for various reasons.
We have not updated all the weight specs on the site so the listed tarp/shelter weights are if you cut off the tensioners. It's easy to snip them off with wire cutters (leaving the standard 3/4 web loop intact) but I'm betting most folks will leave them on...You could snip off some and leave others too.
They weigh about .04 oz ea, so a tarp with 12 on it is almost .5oz more. The larger line needed weighs a bit more than smaller 1.8mm too, so figure maybe a total of 1 oz more for a tarp using the line and tensioners but the convienience is awesome and the tarp goes up a wee bit faster too.
They do require a bit larger line than we used to ship with the tarps. We've tested and had made special various lines to work with them. Some of the possible lines are still being protoyped but we do have a generic pedigreed, but quite nice, low stretch line in 2.8mm we are including that holds really well even when wet. With the right line (our 2.8mm does it) they will hold over 150lbs and not slip. Some slightly smaller lines may work but it really depends and the line size, core type, sheather type, and weave style.
We are including the 2.8 and our regular 1.8 SUL line with each tarp/shelter for the user to pick and choose from.
For you DYI'ers, the tensioners are not avialable in small qty's anywhere I know--you have to get a min of 1,000 and the suppliers only sell to companies anyway...
Sorry, we can't sell the Linelocs for dyi'ers.
If you have an older MLD tarp and would like the new ones to put on yourself, send a 6X9 manila SASE envelope with $1.50 postage on it and we will send you 30' of line and tensioners free. If you would like us to upgrade your older MLD tarp, send us your tarp and $25 and we will upgrade your tarp and pay the postage to return it in the US.