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Cuben Tarps
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David Cohen
(TheNewGuy) - F
Cuben Tarps on 05/21/2011 11:11:55 MDT Print View


I'm thinking of making a cuben tarp, and not sure what weight to get. It comes in 0.33 ozs/square yard, 0.48 ozs/square yard, and 0.75 ozs/square yard?

Does anybody have any experience with this? Which one is the best for tarps, or most commonly used for tarps?


ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
use on 05/21/2011 20:13:24 MDT Print View

the .75, cheers

ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
or on 05/21/2011 20:17:12 MDT Print View

actually, i made my tent fly w/ .48, no problems except for a few goofs i made in construction , but you are not likely to make the same ones with a tarp.

John Julyan-Gudgeon
(Cyanide) - F

Locale: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Maybe 51 maybe 74 maybe 51 w reinforcements on 05/22/2011 09:50:16 MDT Print View

Hey David;

I have been asking myself the exact same question. My research has been showing a trend towards the 0.74 over the 0.51. Mountain Laurel and Hyperlight Mountain use the 0.74, but zpacks uses 0.51. 51 seems to be potentially strength equivalent to 1.1 silnylon. 74 is about 50% heavier than 51. My test measurements found my 2 person tarp to come in at 100+g if 51 an. 150g if 74. I am thinking of hybriding it though: 51 for most of the canopy with 74 strips to reinforce strain points. Then again, doubling up the 51 with half inch strips of 51 to said areas, glued in place will probably plenty strong as it is.

Just some thoughts.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Maybe 51 maybe 74 maybe 51 w reinforcements on 05/22/2011 14:23:38 MDT Print View

.74 is the most robust and will offer the most bang for the buck. It will last longer and is preferred at this point for a general tarp. If you're looking for the most bleeding edge floating material out there, use the lighter cubens, just don't expect to get much life out of them. They'll probably last a year or two with babying. If you're working with limited funds I would just stick with the .74

John, if you're reinforcing with extra strips, just use the .51 unless you already have the .74 on hand. Even then it will be incredibly strong and the .51 is probably all you need and shaves a few grams.

John Julyan-Gudgeon
(Cyanide) - F

Locale: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
51 vs 74 on 05/22/2011 16:17:52 MDT Print View

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?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: 51 vs 74 on 05/22/2011 16:29:03 MDT Print View

I've acquired the material to make two cuben shelters.

I'm using the .74 for the two person tarp-tent, and .51 for the solo tarp.

My thinking is that the bigger panels on the tent will put more strain on the material near the tie-outs under a wind load.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
David, on 05/22/2011 19:16:57 MDT Print View

Have you looked at the long thread recently posted on this forum by Richard Nisley about his water resistance tests of cuben and other materials?

The best conclusion I could reach after studying this thread is that the cuben with an .18 suffix will be much more water resistant. The suffix refers to the weight and thickness of the mylar that binds the dynema threads in place. Zpacks sells a black shaded .18 suffix cuben weighing 1.26 oz/sq/yd, and I intend to use it for a couple floors. But from posts on Richard's thread, it appears that CT makes the .18 in a lighter .76 oz weight that is not listed on their regular pricelist. Personally, I would not buy anymore cuben without the stronger and thicker mylar. It will resist both moisture and punctures far better.