Not to steal this thread (sorry if I am), but...
Dustin: what limits the life of a 51 tarp? Is it the strain on the material from being pitched tight? Or is it more from general wear and tear (from brushing against ground on set up, scrunched into a ball in the pack, sunlight exposure, weather exposure)? Maybe something else? I am assuming that:
1) if it were stain on the material from tight pitches, then re-inforcement strips on a 51 tarp might keep the tarp "lighter" while allowing the tarp to "live" longer.
2) if it were more wear and tear, then I would consider the 74 tarp to be easily superior to the reinforced 51.
What are your quick thoughts on this?