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Approaching 4lb barrier....need feedback on modded MLD Poncho Tarp Specifically
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john chong
(johnch) - F
re: try this combo on 08/12/2011 20:21:11 MDT Print View

John, does the hexamid solo offer great rain protection?

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: re: try this combo on 08/12/2011 22:45:15 MDT Print View

I originally considered the Hexamid and did not feel it offered enough rain protection alone (based of INET research, can't say for sure) and price, such that I could leave the bivy at home. For me personally...I was right. I bought the bigger (slightly heavier) Cub Den 1.5 and had great coverage from the shelter such that I did not need the bivy. The next iteration will be separate shelter (tarp) that is big enough to not need a bivy, and bug shelter (most likely bug shelter) so that I can take just what I need depending on conditions.

Brian Hall
poncho/tarp on 08/25/2011 12:54:00 MDT Print View

I used the MLD pro poncho and a superlight bivy for a while. I even purchased a alpinlite bug shelter to use with the tarp, but after thinking about it, I was at 17oz or 18oz with those setups. I could have gone with the silnylon duomid with alot more room and full rain coverage for slightly less weight. The only difference being bug protection(most of my backpacking is fall and winter so none is really needed), and having to carry separate rain gear(mine weighs 14oz for jacket and pants). I ended up selling my poncho/tarp setup and ordering a duomid. When it is supposed to rain, I will just suck it up and carry the extra weight. My base weight runs right around 5lbs, so that little bit of extra weight is hardly noticeable.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Baskin Robbins on 08/26/2011 16:53:14 MDT Print View

Woopsies. Wrong tab.

Edited by deGuerre on 08/26/2011 16:53:55 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Some other ideas... on 08/27/2011 10:01:27 MDT Print View

Hi Bryce

sounds like you have a plethora of options, just thought I'd chuck more into the mix.

MLD Cuben poncho-there was a thread on BPL a while ago on it, where Ron said he'd adjust dimensions for people as a custom option. Ask him-he'll probably do it...adding width would be easy, a beak would be harder.

On the Silnylon Pro Poncho page, he now has a line stating that he'll do a custom full cuben version of that for $300 if you call first. I'd hazard a guess that such a poncho might start giving you enough coverage. 5.75oz is pretty impressive for such a well-featured poncho tarp with such good coverage. Mmmm thats got me drooling.

Third idea is one I'm toying with (when I'm no longer a poor student); get a cuben shelled quilt, like an Enlightened Equipment Epiphany. Spray won't be an issue at all with that, you could just use the standard MLD cuben poncho then.

Sorry I'm not really thinking much about the bugs in this, thats extra. But you could get a piece of say momentum 50 or cuben sewn into that quilt (add about 1.5oz) to give it a floor, and then use a head net. Do you hike with long sleeves or pants anyway?

Good luck, post photos of the results however you go :-)


Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Spray on the bag on 08/27/2011 10:35:21 MDT Print View

The dwr on my bag seems to handle spray just fine. Seems like a cuben quilt would have serious condensation issues.
With a good dwr, I am not sure why so many feel the need for a ivy also. Isn't that just a dwr shell over a dwr shell?

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Quilt spray on 08/28/2011 04:20:48 MDT Print View

I guess by using a DWR bivy you eliminate the seams, so water will bead all the way off (not all of it, it will eventually wet through) much more easily. But yeah, I've never been totally sold myself on DWR bivies, thats why I don't own one. I've never had any trouble with wind; I position gear eg pack etc on the wind side or pitch tarp edge close to the ground.

Yep, Cuben will have condensation issues on the inside. I think I'm willing to give it a shot in a couple of years though; it will be humid but warm. Its also light! One thing I'm not sure about (need to search the forums...) is whether a down jacket underneath a VBL quilt is a good idea or not...I imagine the down will start to wet out. If thats the case, a Synthetic jacket is a better idea, which of course weighs more, but then it starts getting complicated as to whether or not the cuben shelled quilt is a good idea anymore or it better then to have a DWR quilt that breathes, and invest another ounce or so somewhere on better shelter coverage?...which is getting into the realm of the tough question posted by the OP.

I guess the only real way to know these things is to bite the bullet and shell out some clams for all the gear and get some experience using it, then decide! So many $$$ though, ouch!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bivy on 08/28/2011 10:51:22 MDT Print View

I am not a huge fan of a bivy either. Seems to me you can spend an extra ounce or 2 to get enough coverage to avoid a bivy and all it's down sides: he weight, condensation concerns, and comfort. The only time I rethink my decision re a larger tarp is when the only good sleeping spot I cam find is a small one.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Beak on 10/25/2011 15:04:26 MDT Print View

I hate that I'm late to this thread but I haven't had much time lately. It's awesome to see a dedicated SUL forum!

Anyway, earlier this year I started a thread dealing with a similar concept but using a pack liner that could double as the beak when pitched as a "mini-tarp" in addition to the poncho tarp in half pyramid mode. Unfortunately I had to abandon the idea for the time being but if you run with it the general consensus seemed to be the best approach would be a hobo bag design of sorts. Basically it'd be a square of the appropriate size with a drawcord around the edges to pull it into a bag, then wrap, and tie the top up and fold it down to create the liner. The final product would of course be Cuben Fiber.

I never got out of the prototyping stage but the basic idea seemed to work as a pack liner anyway.

The big question is how big would the sqaure need to be to over lap the tarp and provide a big enough beak? And would this be to much weight vs. having it permanently attached to the tarp? Remember that you can cut the pack liner from the list if you use one so that's about 1.5 extra ounces to work with.

Edited by veriest1 on 10/25/2011 15:05:15 MDT.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Approaching 4lb barrier....need feedback on modded MLD Poncho Tarp Specifically on 10/30/2011 23:25:08 MDT Print View

Hey Bryce,

Coming into this thread really late, so you can just take my few thoughts as what they are.

The more I hike the more I realize is sucks sitting under a tarp or inside of a tent that just does not provide good protection from the weather.

So, the longer I hike the more I realize that counting grams for the winter season is just not worth it. Yeah, I have a XUL summer setup, yeah I have SUL shoulder season setup, but when it is winter time, my setup gear goes up nearly two pounds in weight. It sucks getting wet, it sucks being cold at night, and it sucks not having the right gear to make your trip enjoyable.

Just some thoughts to think about Bryce.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Approaching 4lb barrier....need feedback on modded MLD Poncho Tarp Specifically on 10/30/2011 23:49:46 MDT Print View

Here is what I have moved to...

Hexamid with stakes/guy lines and carbon pole = 6.3 oz. I have decided to get rid of my trekking poles.

ZPacks Poncho/ground cloth = 4 oz with clips (becomes a bath tub).

Ephinay Cuben Quilt = 10.9 oz (2" loft).

I don't get the NE kind of rain, but Joe used this shelter on his CDT thru hike and sometimes his wife slept in it too. A head net is fine for me for bugs, but we don't get NE type of flying insects.

In the past I have used tarps, poncho/tarps, and a Wild Oasis. I think I am really going to like the Hexamid, but have yet had any rain to test it.

For snow I am going to stick with my Scarp 1 and I am not going to be even close to SUL, I need to be very warm and dry.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Approaching 4lb barrier....need feedback on modded MLD Poncho Tarp Specifically on 10/31/2011 00:00:46 MDT Print View

I don't get the NE kind of rain... think I am really going to like the Hexamid, but have yet had any rain to test it.

Last winter I did a test of one dozen different tents and tarps in my backyard. I had them all setup for 35 days 24/7 and it rained for 33 straight days.

(gotta love the redwood forest for rain testing gear!)

The ZPacks Hexamid Solo Tarp came in almost at the top of the 12 tarps/tents I had. Once you get that bad boy seam sealed it provides amazing protection from the rain.

One issue with the Hexamid is whether it provides enough protection for those who are 6'+ in height. The (what I call) "usable space" underneath was limited in regards to length when you really had to bring it down to the ground in heavy rain/hail situations. I have asked ZPacks about a future update to the Hexamid to add additional length, but as we can all understand that would require all new templates to be made - and that takes a lot of time, effort, and money.

Personally only one time have I had an issue when I was under my Hexamid and had rain issues. It was length issues, but as so many have said, that is what DWR on your bag is for, eh!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Coming in super late to this thread. on 12/11/2011 20:39:18 MST Print View

Just ran across this thread. Have been pondering similarly. For a winter MYOG project, I'm going to convert my Hexamid solo tarp into a SMD Wild Oasis like shelter complete with netting around the perimeter and waterproof zipper. Plenty of bug protection for my needs and enough rain protection that I won't need a bivy. I'll use a cuben poncho for my groundcloth....a MYOG poncho if I can't find a good deal on used.

Modified Hexamid = ~7oz
Cuben poncho = ~4oz

11oz total....likely slightly lighter with a MYOG poncho/croundcloth.