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Virgaoutdoors Wraith (.51 Cuben Fiber 9x7 Tarp) first pitch and impressions....
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Virgaoutdoors Wraith (.51 Cuben Fiber 9x7 Tarp) first pitch and impressions.... on 10/16/2011 20:40:28 MDT Print View

Worked with Josh to modify his 9 x 7 CF Wraith design based off this thread:

- I'm not a fan of bivies and wanted a tarp big enough to give me confidence in a downpour w/out a bivy.
- I thought a bigger tarp was less weight than a smaller tarp and bivy, plus more comfortable.
- I also wanted a bonded tarp for longevity, not sewn.
- I wanted the versatility of using a single person MLD Bug bivy/tent when it's buggy out and then drop that weight when in colder weather. (I currently have a BearPaw Cub Den 1.5 in .51 CF with bug netting sewn into the perimeter, can't drop bug netting).
- I wanted a flat tarp so that no rain could get in by the cat cut sides (remember, no bivy) when I pitched it straight to the ground and I also counted on the non-stretchiness of CF on keeping the pitch taut without a cat cut (more $).
- In working w/ Josh we settled on a 9x7 design. If I were in A-frame pitch 24/7 I would of tapered the foot end, but this tarp gives me versatility to pitch in other configs and when I go into storm more and pitch all three sides/foot end to the ground, I need the extra width to give my feet some height.

Some custom options to lighten the load...

- 8 tight outs as opposed to 10, we'll see if that was smart over time. :p
- No line locks
- Bonded seam runs perpendicular to the ridgeline
- No internal tieouts (will add if need be, going to try and hang bug bivy on tent poles w/ drip sticks for rain.

- The weight estimate from Josh was right on $ and he spent a good amount of time with me on the phone. The Tarp (w/out guy lines) weighs 138 grams = 4.86780675 ounces. His workmanship is incredibly precise on all seams, tie outs and bonding areas.

-For scale I've placed a large, bulky, rectangle, car-camping sleeping bag under the tarp.

- Left to do: Glue/Place a circular tieout on the ridgeline about a foot from the foot end rideline tieout to add lift for my feet when pitch in storm mode (3 sides pitched to the ground).

- In storm mode I may sleep diagonal as my footbox would be much more narrow as compared the rectangle sleeping bag in the pics, it would also give some more protection for my head as I can scooch down inside more.


Edited by bster13 on 10/16/2011 20:48:21 MDT.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nice looking on 10/16/2011 20:52:16 MDT Print View

Tarp. I saw some of his postings and liked the gear he is making.

Your shelter/tarp is so light now that you can take that boss-looking car-camping sleeping bag along with you! -It sure does give a bit of perspective on how roomy it is though. You and your gear will fit nicely in there. You may need to sleep with a rain jacket over/around your head to take care of rain splash though. Enjoy.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Nice looking on 10/16/2011 20:58:35 MDT Print View

The "boss-looking" bag wouldn't keep more warm to 35 degrees, haha.

Yeah, either my Dri-ducks around my head if it gets bad while sleeping diagonal, or if I can get enough lift from placing the circular tieout Josh game me near the foot end about a foot in from the end of the foot end ridgeline, I might be able to stick my head down at the foot end and then use my Nylofune bag liner as a foot bivy like I current do when it gets nasty out. Of course I could lift the foot end just an inch or two off the ground and then stick my head down there.

We'll see. Can't wait to try it out!

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ya on 10/16/2011 21:29:28 MDT Print View

Can't wait for you to try it out and give a report. Have fun!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Looks Perfect on 10/16/2011 21:43:15 MDT Print View

Good coverage and ultralight.

There are other pitches that I can imagine working well with that size tarp.

More room than a poncho tarp and less weight than most.

You could also get by without a bug bivy in that modified A-frame using a triangular chunk of no-see-um tied between the peak and the bottom front stakes. The no-see-um would also reduce any wind blown rain significantly, but the three close sides would have to be tight to the ground, not something you'd want to do on a warm weather night.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 10/16/2011 21:46:10 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Looks Perfect on 10/16/2011 21:56:20 MDT Print View

"There are other pitches that I can imagine working well with that size tarp."

Do Tell, I'm listening!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Pitch Options on 10/17/2011 06:58:39 MDT Print View

Hey Bryce,

Of course you've seen Billygoat's examples.

I don't know if your's has any center panel tie-outs, they can add to your pitch options, but also increases weight.

Mixed weather?
Variations of the flying diamond and half pyramid come to mind.
I had a pitch where I started as a low half pyramid, but raised one corner with a trekking pole at the head so it was a more roomy flying diamond.
If conditions require more coverage during the night, I can drop the corner back down to a low half pyramid without leaving the shelter.

A lean-to can become a low A-frame quite easily, especially if you plan for it when you do the initial pitch. Having stakes in place when you go to bed means you can stay under the tarp when you make the change.

And we've seen a few examples where people only used an A-frame pitch, blocking one or both ends with gear and/or found objects.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Pitch Options on 10/17/2011 07:07:02 MDT Print View

Flying diamond seems interesting as that's what I'd do in effect when scooching my feet to one side in storm mode and my head to the opposite side to lie diagonal.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Flying Diamond Pics on 10/17/2011 21:08:59 MDT Print View

I did three different flying diamond pitches...

#1 with the lower end pitched straight to the ground.
Very easy entry, but I feel a bit exposed at my feet.

#2 with the lower end propped up by a stick.
Better coverage for my feet , but my head felt a little bit exposed now.

#3 with the lower end propped up a bit less.
Very nice coverage for my feet (supplemented by Nylofune bag over my foot end if need be for blowing rain. And little more head room, but good rain coverage for my head.

(This is why I didn't go for Cat cut, so I could do different pitches!)

The big rectangle bag really doesn't do the pitch justice anymore because I won't have corners exposed.


Edited by bster13 on 10/17/2011 21:20:38 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Flying Diamond Pics on 10/17/2011 21:26:17 MDT Print View

I thought for a second why I didn't do a 6 x 10 tarp to have better foot end and head end coverage when in A frame pitch and here is the reason why:

Plug in 36in (that would be a 6ft wide tarp) sides and see how peaky (unstable to side wind) the pitch gets to get decent height for your tarp to crawl inside. I didn't want to have to be a contortionist just to get in/under the tarp. :o

(And of course in storm mode I can prop up the side of the tarp too much to get extra height because I don't want to carry a bivy)

Why not 7 x 10? Too much weight. hehe. :p

Edited by bster13 on 10/17/2011 21:27:02 MDT.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
flying diamond with a beak on 10/18/2011 05:44:19 MDT Print View

I know you are counting ounces, but why not go with an old style 10 x 10 Flat tarp with mid-panel tie-outs. your pitching options are limitless, and you can pitch the sides of the diamond to the ground and have a beak in the front. It will be large enough for you, your gear and you can sit up and cook out of the elements. With the mid-panel tie-outs it can handle wind and snow loads.


P.S. I guess in my old age I am starting to prefer function and comfort over weight.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: flying diamond with a beak on 10/18/2011 06:00:14 MDT Print View

Hey Dave...I guess it's always the function vs. comfort thing. For me it's bringing a Neo Air Short vs. a GG Nightlight Sleeping Pad (Torso length). I'm a side sleeper and it doesn't do squat for me. Always fiddling though. :p

We'll see if I've gone too far at this weekend's NE BPL Meetup in Mass!

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
From the NE BPL Meetup on 10/27/2011 17:54:03 MDT Print View

From the NE BPL Meetup:

3 sides to the ground:

3 sides to the ground:

Flying Diamond:

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
re: 9x7 cuben flat tarp on 02/27/2012 15:39:50 MST Print View

Hey Bryce-

I'm considering building a very similar tarp to this for myself and I'm wondering how it's working out after having it a little while.

I'm looking at getting some .75 oz cuben from Lawson and given the dimensions (36"x54") the most economic size and shape would be a 9'x6' flat tarp. You've suggested that you think 6' is too narrow; I'm a pretty small guy and I'm hoping I could get by with a 6' width.

I'm also having a hard time deciding on the flat vs. cat debate. I know there is a ton of talk about this on the forums, but having never camped with a tarp I just don't know. I love the look of a really tight cat-cut pitch, I hate the look (and associated functionality) or the wrinkles. I do like the idea of versatility, but mostly the flat tarp would be cheapest.

Anybody else have suggestions about shapes given the dimensions of the yardage?

Edited by ctwnwood on 02/27/2012 15:40:52 MST.

Phillip Colelli

Locale: AT, follow@
Re: re: 9x7 cuben flat tarp on 02/27/2012 16:35:17 MST Print View

I wonder how it would do in half pyramid pitch. with the 9' side as the back and doorway and the 7' as the sides.

Edited by pdcolelli42 on 02/27/2012 16:36:11 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
9x7 Half Pyramid on 02/27/2012 16:41:22 MST Print View

I have done the half pyramid with a 9x5. It was tight, but worked well.
A 9x7 would definitely offer more room and/or coverage depending on the how high you pitched it.

Phillip Colelli

Locale: AT, follow@
Re: 9x7 Half Pyramid on 02/27/2012 16:45:09 MST Print View

I think it could be pitched to the ground and you'd fit but with less usable space and more rain protection. Depending on how tall you are of course.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
a bit off thread...but flying diamond on 02/27/2012 16:59:56 MST Print View

flying diamond always sags when used with normal rect tarp..and thats too bad cause its pretty storm worthy if pitched low.

i would consider adding top guyout point above your head

also take a look at


i realize this isnt directly applicable - but maybe with slight changes and adding a couple of extra guypoints you could be able to pitch much more taut in that mode


Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
pitch on 02/27/2012 17:55:23 MST Print View

I use a half-pyramid pitch with my 5x8 siltarp, and I pitch it about six inches to eight inches off the ground.
Mine has a guyout loop in the center. It gives more headroom.
I find the half-mid pitch very satisfactory for a rectangular tarp. I agree that your 7x9 will give better spray protection, and I'd recommend trying a half-mid pitch. It only requires one pole, and works nicely. The half-mid is really the basic pitch that these popular shaped tarps today are based upon, but they embellish it with beaks and stuff.

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
Post photos of your pitched flat tarp on 02/29/2012 11:21:42 MST Print View

Thanks everyone for the info here so far. Anybody else have photos of their small, flat tarps pitched?

Would love to see how taut a flat cuben tarp can be in various pitches. Let's see some in-the-field examples!

Edited by ctwnwood on 02/29/2012 11:22:59 MST.