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UL Hammock Tarps w/ Adequate Coverage
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Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
UL Hammock Tarps w/ Adequate Coverage on 08/19/2010 18:52:04 MDT Print View

So I've fallen in love with sleeping in a hammock and the tarp I'm using (a sil WB Big Mamajamba) is great, but it's much bigger than what I need for most trips. All tricked out with stakes, lines, and tensioners it's 19.9 oz--a veritable pig of a tarp by UL standards. The weight doesn't bother me as much as the size though. I like to pitch it pretty flat and that means I need a football field of open space to pitch this thing. And the simplicity of 2 tieouts sounds nice.

So I'm looking at more minimalist tarps now. I'd like to hear some suggestions for what is "adequate" coverage in a moderate rain. I'll be using a WB Traveler most of the time, but occasionally a Blackbird (footbox sticking out). I'm just looking for sufficient rain coverage. If things are cold and windy, I'll pack the big tarp. Custom size/shape suggestions or off the shelf products--I'm open to all ideas.

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
UL Hammock Tarps with Adequate Coverage on 08/19/2010 20:10:08 MDT Print View

One suggestion is an OES MacCat Standard in SpinnUL fabric. It's 8.2 oz before adding your tieouts. The feedback I've heard is that it's "big enough" with little excess for any of the Warbonnet hammocks.

Brian MacMillin at OES does first-rate work.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: UL Hammock Tarps with Adequate Coverage on 08/19/2010 20:22:11 MDT Print View

MacCat Standard does indeed look nice, but I'm leaning towards a square or diamond just for the ease of 2 tieouts. I wonder if any of these hex tarps could be rigged with only 2 tieouts/stakes? The angle of tension would probably be wrong?

Wondering if a spinn or cuben version of the JRB 8x8 would be ideal (7'2" finished size)? Or something similarly sized but more of a diamond shape to cover the left shoulder/right foot?

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Hammock tarps on 08/19/2010 20:24:15 MDT Print View

I would second Beep in that you can't go wrong with a tarp from OES. Either the Standard or the Deluxe. In addition to sil and spinn there are rumors that Brian is going to start selling his tarps in cuben this fall.

Some other options:
MLD UL hammock tarp (spinn)
MLD hex hammock tarp (spinn or cuben)
Mountainfitter Paklight 9x9 cuben tarp (hung on diagonal)

I'm sure ther are others that folks will chime in on, but these are what come to mind at the moment. You could also MYOG with cuben, spinn, or sil and make the minimalist tarp you envision.

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
Square Tarps on 08/19/2010 20:28:50 MDT Print View

OES also makes rectangular and square tarps. Email Brian with your wants. He'll take care of you!

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Hammock tarps on 08/19/2010 20:30:03 MDT Print View

I almost pulled the trigger on that MLD UL hammock tarp, but I'm afraid it would not keep me dry. If it's the same size as the Hennessey tarps, lots of folks have done thru hikes with those...but still, it looks maybe a little bit beyond minimalist to me. The packed size and weight can't be beat, though. Esp for the price. Anyone have any comments on that one? With a traveler? With a blackbird?

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
More on 08/19/2010 20:31:36 MDT Print View

If you are looking for a square tarp instead, you might consider the OES straight cut 10x10 in spinn or cat cut 9x9 spinn. I had inquired about square tarps to Ron Bell of MLD. You can have them made custom. 9x9 is about the biggest. Because cuben comes in widths of ~54", to make a 10x10 tarp gets expensive due to the extra panel needed.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: More on 08/19/2010 20:36:22 MDT Print View

Makes sense with what you say about the widths. I'm sure a 9x9 in cuben would be very nice.

However, if the MLD UL is sufficient, it's at least 1/3 the price of any 9x9 cuben creation out there. And lighter.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: hammock tarp coverage on 08/19/2010 20:45:27 MDT Print View

I'm trying out my Hennessy Ultralite Backpacker A-SYM soon. I plan to use the tarp that came with it, at least the first time.

If it looks like there will be much rain, then I will substitute a 8x10 Equinox tarp that I've had for a few years and never used. I've only carried it from shelter to shelter on the AT. That tarp is probably really depressed.

I also have both a GoLite and a MLD poncho tarps that seem like they'd work on a future trip.

I'd love try a clear night with no tarp. That seems like it'd be an ultimate swinging dream.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Hammock tarp on 08/19/2010 20:46:45 MDT Print View

That weight (and price) on the MLD UL hammock tarp is pretty attractive. I think you'd be alright provided you don't have a strong wind in combination with rain. It is a little less than I'd feel comfortable under, but I don't have a big tolerance for sleeping wet.

I'm curious, though not so much to do the math, how much that tarp would weigh if made of cuben.... :)

Edited by BER on 08/19/2010 20:48:09 MDT.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: Re: hammock tarp coverage on 08/19/2010 20:56:36 MDT Print View

George--I hope you enjoy the new hammock. Let me know how that works out.

I'm really tempted to try that little MLD tarp out. On weekend trips when weather can be predicted pretty well, it would indeed be nice to go tarpless and just have that little thing in your pack just in case. But if it's almost a guarantee that I'd get soaked anyway using it, I'd rather not try to push the UL envelope so much. Wish someone who's used one of these with a larger, gathered end hammock would chime in. Maybe I need to phone a hammock tarp pro--Ron, Brian, etc.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Hammock tarps on 08/19/2010 20:56:56 MDT Print View

Are you definitely set on a square/diamond shape? You'd definitely have more coverage with a hex.

Did a quick search over on hammock forums. Only one thread much along the line of this one, but nobody had used one.

Edited by BER on 08/19/2010 20:58:37 MDT.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Hammock tarp on 08/19/2010 21:00:21 MDT Print View

"I'm curious, though not so much to do the math, how much that tarp would weigh if made of cuben.... :)"

Probably not enough to justify the pricetag. It might not weight much more than the stakes and lines though! ;)

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Hammock tarps on 08/19/2010 21:06:17 MDT Print View

Brian--HF is great, but I was hoping to find a more UL perspective over here. I'm kind of surprised that there's not more info on this MLD UL tarp online either there or here. Summertime and all...

I really am leaning more towards the square/diamond thing. Looking for minimalist comfort if that makes sense. Trying to find out where folks think that line is drawn. Maybe I'm thinking more minimalist that most folks do, which kind of surprises me.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Hammock tarps on 08/19/2010 22:00:24 MDT Print View

I like the ease of setup with the asym. diamond. I've stayed dry as well. Only need two stakes. I'm going to make a 8x8 asym. for myself here real soon.

Edited by kthompson on 08/19/2010 22:23:17 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Hammock tarps on 08/20/2010 06:30:15 MDT Print View

Lawson Kline makes some cuben tarps, including square tarps you could use for such a purpose over at Mountainfitter.com. He'll do custom work as well. Made me a hammock tarp that I love, but it's much bigger than you're looking for.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Hammock tarps on 08/20/2010 06:32:28 MDT Print View

"I'm kind of surprised that there's not more info on this MLD UL tarp online either there or here."

It's a very new product, just came out this year. In fact, I think it just came out within the last three months or so. At least that's when I noticed it. Could be wrong.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
UL Hammock Tarps on 08/20/2010 06:45:31 MDT Print View

I'm working with Lawson at Mountainfitter.com right now on a Hex Hammock Tarp that he might then add to his line. It's going to be smaller than Doug's Taj Mahal...Mine is going to have a 11' ridgeline, be 9' wide, and have two tieouts (with grommets) on each side that are 6' apart.

If you're not in a real hurry it might be worth waiting. This should weigh somewhere less than 8 ounces...

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Hammock tarps on 08/20/2010 06:55:40 MDT Print View

Brian--
I think the only way to know for sure is to try the MLD UL out. I doubt MLD would sell a tarp as a "hammock tarp" if it weren't up for the task. Email Ron. He was very responsive when I had questions regarding a custom tarp and when I bought the hex hammock tarp.

Doug--
I like that tarp you have, btw. I tried to get Lawson to make me a custom tarp similar to yours, but despite several email over 2-3 months, he eventually declined as he was too busy with other projects. Disappointing.

Edited by BER on 08/20/2010 07:10:58 MDT.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: Re: Hammock tarps on 08/20/2010 17:32:46 MDT Print View

Doug--I was thinking it had been out a while, but you are correct that it hasn't.

Kevin--that tarp Mountainfitter is making sounds fantastic. Please post pics and your thoughts when you get it and have a chance to test it out. That sounds about ideal depending on $.

Brian R--yeah, you are right--I would just need to try it. I didn't mean to imply that Ron would sell something that doesn't work, just that it might be too minimal for anything other than a very small hammock in ideal conditions. Wish there were some folks who had used it with different hammocks in different conditions. Guess I gotta try it. Or one like Kevin is getting. Decisions decisions...

Thanks for the advice everyone.