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Advice on MLD Grace Solo Tieouts
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James Keener
(jjhiker) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Advice on MLD Grace Solo Tieouts on 03/29/2008 17:19:28 MDT Print View

I got a Solo a few days ago, and it weighed 6 oz, rather than the 4.7 oz. I expected. The reason was that there are 12 tieouts, rather than the 8 shown in the photo, or described on the site.

What is your experience? Are the extra tieouts (total of 5 per side) necessary/worth it?

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Advice on MLD Grace Solo Tieouts on 03/29/2008 19:29:35 MDT Print View

Sounds like you own MLD's Grace Solo in Spectralite .60 weight: 5.9oz

In order to bring the weight down you'd have to order a CUSTOM (non returnable) version.

To go from the stock 5.9 oz to 4.9oz and still have a fairly large Solo tarp.

• If you would like to shave another .5 oz while retaining all the extra strength of the bonding features, note in the order comment field you would like it built as a 6' X 4.5' X 8' ! NOTE: This would be a custom order and non returnable.

• We also standardly include grommets on the ridge line tieout's webbing. You may request these be deleted to save an additional .15oz.

• Linelocs are included as standard and weight about .65oz total. You can easily cut them off with wire snips leaving the standard webbing loops.

• Fewer side perimeter tieouts. 5 per side is standard. You can custom order three per side to save .2oz

Spec's copied from MLD's Updated Website


Edited by FastWalker on 03/30/2008 09:37:54 MDT.

James Keener
(jjhiker) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Magic on 03/29/2008 19:59:29 MDT Print View

This is a screenshot of your product specifications page which I took today, before I began this thread. I ordered a 4.4oz tarp, with an added 9" length and a .3oz weight for a total of 4.7oz, as stated in the original message in this thread.

Specifications on 3/29/08 after conversation with Ron Bell, before posting this thread.

Why did someone change the specifications before replying?

But that is not the issue I raised. I got a tarp with 12 (not the specified 8) tieouts. Are more tieouts preferable to fewer? If so, are they worth the weight? That's all.

If you like, I can upload the screenshot showing a total of 8 tieouts specified.

Edited by jjhiker on 03/29/2008 20:07:25 MDT.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Advice on MLD Grace Solo Tieouts on 03/29/2008 21:23:37 MDT Print View

James is correct with his information from the time he ordered his tarp.

We updated the info on that tarp today.

We thanks James for contacting us about the difference and now the website info on that product is updated too. Timely customer feedback (good or bad) keeps us moving forward and improving our gear and website. I believe the questions with James' order has now been completely fixed to his satisfaction.


When we started offering the LineLocs recently with some of the tarps, we offered to retrofit or include them (for free) on any pending order. Almost everyone asked they be include so we started including them on all orders and sending out two full lengths of line in two sizes, one for the LineLocks and the smaller standard line for the customer to choose from. (Free Double Line!)

On the SpectraLite Solo tarps almost all customers were also asking for 5 perimeter side ties outs per side instead of the listed three. So we started including the extra tieouts free too. We also were able to make the rear of that tarp a few inches wider. There was some lag in getting the specs all updated on the site.

Basically, we drifted to making the stock item the way 95% of customers were asking.


James was one of a few customers that got a tarp with all the free upgrades they were not expecting and before the site was updated. The down side was that those couple of tarps did weigh more than the specs listed when ordered. The majority of that extra weight can be eliminated with a wire snip in about one minute by cutting off the LineLocs to leave a full strength standard and unmarred webbing loop as expected.

And of course, we would be more than happy to exchange ( or refund) those few tarps for the exact specs from when it was ordered.


Because we build every item in house ourselves, we can adopt new materials quickly but occasionally there is a lag in updating the site depending on the degree of the change. The big upside is customers always get the very best product improvement we can offer as soon as we can offer it.

James Keener
(jjhiker) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Classy Response on 03/29/2008 21:40:01 MDT Print View

Thanks, Ron.

My original question, and please forgive my inexperience:

Is it preferable to have 12 tieouts with the attendant weight, or eight? I suppose I should expand my question. I plan to carry the tarp from the Mexican border to at least Crater Lake on the PCT. I do not expect blowing rainstorms, though I could always be surprised.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Classy Response on 03/29/2008 21:47:32 MDT Print View

I think only you can answer that question at the end of the day.
More tie outs mean more pitching options. If you find a certain pitch that you stick to most of the time you will know how many tie outs you need. More tie outs also means more wind stability because you can stick more stakes in the ground. Its really just a mixture of personal choice and how you intend to pitch/use it.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Classy Response on 03/29/2008 21:56:50 MDT Print View

I am sure Ron will get back to you, but until he does, one could infer that since 95% of customers are asking for the 5 tieouts per side (12 total), that they find them preferable and worth the weight penalty. I suspect it has to do with getting a taught wind-shedding pitch without overstressing the material. I would leave them on there for a week or two, and simply not tie them down. If after that you don't see the need, then cut them off with the tiny little scissors that you broke out of your swiss army knife!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Classy Response on 03/29/2008 22:07:47 MDT Print View

In the unlikely event that you missed this article, it is worth the time to read.

Advanced Tarp Camping Techniques, BPL


Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Classy Response on 03/29/2008 22:17:05 MDT Print View


Originial Question: 3 tie outs per side Vs 5 per side.

Many folks like having the option to use additional (5) side perimeter tie outs in case of very high wind or sometimes for pitching the tarp "interestingly".

In general, I think that the corners and ridgeline will, and should for shape and tension dynamics , always take more force than the center perimeter or intermediate perimeter side tie outs.

If you follow that logic, AND you are going to carry more than 8 stakes for a Solo tarp then it may be more helpful to double stakes at a corner or ridge line before adding a fourth or fifth stake to a side.

I would add a center side perimeter stake, the third on a side, any time above about 10mph wind.

More commonly in high wind, the issue is a stake pull out but very rarely (I've only heard of one case) of a whole tie outs ripping off in a high wind. One reason to only use one stake/line to one tie outs. If one stake (or tieouts) fails it does not effect others as much.

Of course, for absolute strength in really high wind, more is better and that may mean carrying more stakes and doubling them in spots or carrying bigger stakes for corners and ridge lines or the use of heavy found objects for some stake points.

The extra tie outs can sometimes help reduce flap or hum in high wind. This may be the biggest plus of using all five....

What do I do? I usually carry only 6 or 8 stakes for a Solo tarp and find stake out objects or a more protected site if I expect high wind.


On a Duo size tarp, the five per side is more helpful since the tarp is much larger and the wind force on the side starts going up fast as the tarp size increases.


Side Panel Tieouts:
On lightweight tarps or shelters with side panel tieouts (in the middle area of a panel or side) I advocate using a short bungee loops tied to the guy line to help limit the force on that spot.
I also suggest not over tightening that point when staking; rather stake it out until it gives an initial gentle pull on the spot vs. pulling the tarp/shelter side out very far.
If the the side is pulled out very far to make lots of nice and pretty extra interior room, then that point will get a LOT more force on it compared to a side or even a corner perimeter stake point. (Well reinforced and heavier Silnylon side panel tieouts can be pulled more than a lighter Spinnaker/Cuben )

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 03/29/2008 22:19:37 MDT.

James Keener
(jjhiker) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Question Answered on 03/29/2008 22:34:42 MDT Print View

These are very useful responses. I had not read the article, but have now. Being new to BPL, I am not yet familiar with all the assets. Quite a site. Thanks, all.

A lot to learn!

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
new linelocs on 03/30/2008 06:24:33 MDT Print View

I really like the new linelocs... much easier than fighting with knots or moving stakes in the dark if you're just looking to cinch up for small adjustments in the middle of the night. A quick tug on the line can be done without even leaving the comfort of your sleeping bag/quilt.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
linelocks on 03/30/2008 13:29:47 MDT Print View

Does anyone know if you can purchase linelocks and easily add them to a tarp?

James Keener
(jjhiker) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Line Tensioners on 03/30/2008 13:41:21 MDT Print View

Dynacord and Tentioners

You can buy these here at BPL.

Edited by jjhiker on 03/30/2008 13:41:59 MDT.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
Linelocks on 03/30/2008 14:30:07 MDT Print View

I've seen those, but they're not quite the same as the linelocks being used on the new tarps. Anyone know if the linelocks that are used on the MLD and other tarps can be purchased and retrofitted?

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Linelocks on 03/30/2008 15:26:25 MDT Print View

They are available at Quest Fabrics