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Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp
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Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 21:21:59 MST Print View

Ok so I can't help myself, the allure of a bigger tarp for less weight for my new MYOG Hammock is just too much to ignore. But I still can't get rid of those nagging doubts so I turn to you, my fellow BPL'ers, for help deciding!! I'm looking at a Winter Cuben Tarp with doors and side pullouts for my hammock from either Zpacks or Hammock Gear.

My Main Pros:
1. Light weight
2. The Partially See-Through nature
3. Full 180 Protection at no weight penalty

My Main Cons:
1. Price!!
2. Durability
3. Noise level (I'm not a light sleeper but once I'm up there's go getting back to sleep)

Matthew Black
Re: Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 21:31:32 MST Print View

There were some recent posts that touched on durability and cuben was able to take hard use and serve well for many hundreds of miles. Some really impressive descriptions of how well it held up including photos. I was really skeptical of the price and durability until I saw those posts. I would be disinclined to buy a tarp or tent without very carefully looking at cuben now.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 21:40:58 MST Print View

Funny how some cons are others pros. I dislike the see through nature of cuben. Poor shade. That said I did buy one for my hammock. Hey we are hanging in the shade anyway. Weight savings were just too alluring. Bought one used and the price was right.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
others on 11/29/2011 22:15:19 MST Print View

other 'pros'

-ability to field repair with duct tape
-enjoyable 'goldilocks' sound with rain. not super loud like spinn, not really quiet.
-pack size (comparable to sil, smaller than spinn)
-integrated doors for 6.5 oz
-no stretch when wet
-no 'wetting through' causing misting or an inside rain shower when bumped
-cool looking 'stripes'
-a true 4 season tarp (good all year round, winter-summer). tons of space when using side panel pulls.
-2 really cool and innovative gear makers to support (HG and zpacks)

if money is really the only issue holding you back, then i'd suggest you start saving. it's really a great piece of gear...

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Talk me into or out of a cuben fiber tarp on 11/29/2011 22:24:19 MST Print View

I just purchased a cuben fiber tarp from Bear Paw Wilderness Designs with beaks at both ends. The Canopy 2. This is one tough tarp! I will post some pictures when I get some time. Not noisy at all other then taking it in and out of the stuff sack. The cuben seems very strong but only time will tell. I used Olive color cuben fiber and it is see--through but I really don't mind that aspect of cuben fiber...Weather permitting I will bring it to Henry Coe in February.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 22:26:52 MST Print View

I just purchased one from HG last week. I remember watching a video Shug on HF did regarding the noise difference between spinn and cuben tarps, and I don't think the noise of a cuben tarp will bug you. I say go for it. I waffled and held back for a while, but I'm happy with my decision. From talking with others, it sounds like if you're reasonably careful with it, the tarp will last you a long time.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 22:39:25 MST Print View

CF is one of the best investments I've made in my kit.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Talk Me Into or Out of a Cuben Fiber Tarp on 11/29/2011 22:45:15 MST Print View

Durability has been proven in the field when purchased from a company that knows how to work with the material. Abrasion is another issue, which should not happen to a shelter.

It stays taunt when used as a shelter.

I haven't noticed any noise. I have two cuben shelters.

Price... well as was posted in another thread, look at value not price.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 11/29/2011 23:06:45 MST Print View

Noise? Wear ear plugs. Cheap and very light.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
value vs. price on 11/30/2011 01:35:12 MST Print View

"Price... well as was posted in another thread, look at value not price."

I agree with this. The missing ingredient for me is how many nights you anticipate using this piece of gear, and then put that into the context of price per oz saved. All of the other benefits of cuben are true, but I think that none of us would get all that excited about them if not for the primary value: the weight savings. Okay, and maybe some sort of "cool gear" factor, but for myself anyway I really try to keep that out of my gear buying decisions (!).

Plan to spend "enough" nights outdoor over the next few years and it's worth it. Not sure, or definitely not spending all that many nights out then ... spend your money elsewhere. Or be really un-American and save it! :-)
(apparently Patagonia has a nice jacket that they don't want you to buy ...)

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
My vote - Cuben on 11/30/2011 03:42:53 MST Print View

As a fellow hammocker I'll throw my vote in for a cuben 4 season tarp with doors.

I had a OES MacCat Standard in SpinnUL. (recently sold as I just kept favouring the cuben tarp)

Now I have a OES cuben 4 season.... Just sold the SpinnUL MacCat.

Cuben I actually find a lot quieter compared to spinn.
Spinn can be darn noisy in the rain !!

Bit of an investement but as others said you need to think about "value" also....

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
OES Cuben fibre tarp on 11/30/2011 04:13:45 MST Print View

N Stuart,

I don't see anything on the OES site about cuben tarps. Is this a custom build?

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE: Cuben Tarp on 11/30/2011 06:20:41 MST Print View

Another hammocker here. I just received my winter tarp with doors from Joe. It's one sweet tarp. I have used a regular rectangular cuben tarp from Zpacks now for over a year and love it. Just came into some extra money and couldn't resist the winter tarp.

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: OES Cuben fibre tarp on 11/30/2011 08:53:18 MST Print View


Brian makes them but doesn't list them on his website. You can email him for a quote. I think he uses a heavier version of cuben compared to zpacks and hammock gear.

Edited by Catalyst on 11/30/2011 08:54:13 MST.

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
See... on 11/30/2011 09:21:19 MST Print View

I knew I could count on you guys! I think you're right about the value and that's one thing I kept thinking. It's double the price of the Sil version I was looking at but it's also 11oz lighter. I don't know about everyone else but I've spent that much to save less ounces than that before. I do plan on this being my one and only tarp for many years including winter backpacking so I think I'm gonna go for it!

@Ken - It's so true! For me, I LOVE sunlight. I suppose it's from growing up in AZ but when it's sunny out I am drawn to it so having that ability to lay in my hammock and not be cut off from sunlight is great for me.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Noise? on 11/30/2011 23:02:39 MST Print View

I've never noticed cuben to be noisy. It's virtually silent....way quieter than fabrics like Spinnaker for sure. Even if there is a wee bit of noise when it's new, that'll quickly fade as it's stuffed a few times and it's softens up.