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Best UL groundsheet
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Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
UL Groundsheet on 01/06/2012 12:21:25 MST Print View

I've been using the PF sheet from Suluk 46, in the 1/8" thickness. It provides a bit of insulation along with some puncture resistance. Weight varies depending on what size you cut out. About 2.5-3.5 ounces.

This isn't quite UL unless you are comparing the weight to traditional ground sheet materials. But it is about the same as my old Tyvek ground sheet.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Painter drop cloths on 01/06/2012 12:32:14 MST Print View

I agree with Eugene, a painter drop cloth is much easier to use than polycro and MUCH tougher. The 1 mil thickness drop cloth is light enough and folds small enough.

I just put narrow duct tape corner tie-out lops on it for my TT Moment and it stays in place with the corner elastics holding it. STAYING IN PLACE in high winds is critical and polycro is just too easy to blow away - or shred - when you're not in your tent.

Tried polycro (heat shrink-wrap from LOEW'S) and got only one use from it before it self-destructed. Too easy to tear, too difficult to unfold and put in place.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/06/2012 12:44:33 MST.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
The lighest optio is nothing at all on 01/06/2012 12:34:37 MST Print View

It's definitely possible to go without a groundcloth. If you are a bivy camper, you can use the waterproof bottom of your bivy sack as a groundcloth. What I usually do is sleep with my foam sleeping pad on the ground and my bivy sack on top of that. This works for me in every type of condition--wet, dry, etc.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: 1 mil on 01/06/2012 12:44:38 MST Print View

"Does anyone here have any feedback on those expensive Zpacks ground sheets? Spefically puncture resistance."


I have a .7 oz zPacks cuben poncho/ground sheet. I have probably used it 20 nights so far, all in desert hiking. The key is site selection. I also use a 1/8" foam pad on top if it as part of my pad system, I think this will help to minimize potential holes since I almost always have small pebbles or worse in the places I frequent. So far it has been fantastic as a ground sheet and a poncho. Clipped to my Hexamid, it becomes a bathtub floor, which makes it easier to keep life organized. Highly recommend the entire set-up.




White Rock Canyon Camp

zPacks Poncho

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
1 mil on 01/06/2012 12:55:58 MST Print View

1 mil for me too.

1 $2 package will yield at least 4 solo sized sheets. I seem to be able to manage at least a week's worth of nights per sheet. I've used polycro also. I don't think the slightly better longevity of it really outweighs the cost and availability of 1 mil painter's plastic.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: 1 mil on 01/06/2012 13:05:57 MST Print View

One other thing... I have a nylon ground sheet that I used for maybe twenty years. It is still in good shape. Heavy, but it lasts... does not end up in a landfill.

I have used Tyvek, I like it but it is a little heavy.

I bought several polycro groundsheets from Gossamer Gear because I was concerned about who well they would last. Well, the first one is still in excellent shape with a couple years of frequent use.

What I like about the zPacks poncho/ground sheet is that in weighs less than 4 oz and is multiple use. Rain gear and groundsheet. Hard to beat it.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Best UL groundsheet? - Info needed on 01/06/2012 13:28:45 MST Print View

I've never had a problem with polycro. I only replaced my polycro because I couldn't find was tiny enough to lose. I love that about it.

Since I have a Hexamid, I think a cuben fiber poncho would be even better since it's a dual purpose item.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Best UL groundsheet? - Info needed on 01/06/2012 21:28:22 MST Print View

I've never had a problem with polycryo being to fragile,I know people to thru hike using the same piece and continue to use it after.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Polycryo vs Zpacks Cuben Groundsheet on 02/04/2013 17:07:59 MST Print View

I currently have polycryo and it mostly works fine. As for wind performance I think a few well placed rocks along the edges generally hold in place. I do admit to being intrigued by the multipurpose usefulness of the Groundsheet Poncho.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Polycryo vs Zpacks Cuben Groundsheet on 02/04/2013 21:34:08 MST Print View

There is one important caveat with polycryo or any heat-shrink window covering: don't let the sun beat down on it as it will (as designed) shrink on you. See the Gossamer Gear website for their test results.

That said, slightly over-size your polycryo sheet from the get-go. Then, if (when) it does shrink, you're still protected.

When considering cuben groundsheets, remember that you can buy many,many polycryo, painters cloth, or even Tyvek sheets for what you'll pay for a single Cuben sheet.

It's your money. Spend it when you want to.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
What I've usually used for the past few years... on 02/05/2013 00:20:32 MST Print View

...Is my MYOG double ground cover. On the bottom is a garbage bag, on the top is space blanket, and held in place by duct tape.

Here is it in action:

Some may say it is "heavy" at 86g/3oz (includes weight of an elastic strap to hold it when it is rolled up). I defended the extra weight recently on my blog:

"It is perhaps a "heavy" ground cover from the perspective of SUL, but I feel it serves several important uses to make up for the small weight burden. For one the space blanket reflects back heat, giving a minor boost in warmth/insulation, but it is somewhat fragile--hence the garbage bag under it, which on the other hand is quite tough.

As I mentioned earlier, at times I use natural material to make a nest to sleep on, and this (especially pine boughs) can cause minor wear and tear on a ground cover and/or bivy. A double layer ground cover fixes this, and I also use this ground cover with my inflatable sleeping mat (Neoair Xlite) in the spring/fall to give added protection from the ground. I never use natural materials combined with my inflatable mats, as it is just not needed--my Xlite for example has an R value of 3.2, which is plenty of insulation and warmth for 3 season use.

The ground cover also is quite large, giving me a nice sized boarder around my sleeping space to put gear I might need (e.g. headlamp, cell phone, clothing, etc.) to keep it clean/dry. And finally, the ground cover also gives my bivy less wear and tear, so that I can continue to use it for awhile with less wear and tear. Bivies in general are not that cheap (nor are inflatable sleeping mats), so I feel it is best to take especially good care of certain pieces of gear."

For my tents I use just a garbage bag as a ground cover, and the weight varies from brand to brand of garbage bags. The one I use is only 42g/1.5oz and pretty tough, though not as tough as other thicker bags I used to use several years ago that are about 80g each.

I am surprised people don't use garbage bags more as ground covers.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
waste on 02/05/2013 09:10:23 MST Print View

i suggest you go for tyvek or the zpacks. i care about the planet and would rather not see you throwing away a huge piece of plastic every time you go out...

Kent Christopher
(kentchristopher) - F

Locale: Madison, WI / Berlin, Germany
Re: waste on 10/23/2013 06:27:23 MDT Print View

I just came across this option at Home Depot for us eco-consicous and frugal types:

Trimaco 9 ft. x 12 ft. 2 Mil Eco Plastic Drop Cloth Price: $4 ($1 more than the regular stuff)

I thought it was worth creating a new thread if you want to discuss this stuff specifically.

Kent Christopher
(kentchristopher) - F

Locale: Madison, WI / Berlin, Germany
Re: waste on 10/23/2013 06:28:03 MDT Print View

(deleted - duplicate post)

Edited by kentchristopher on 10/23/2013 06:29:02 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Zpacks Cuben Groundsheet on 10/23/2013 08:47:40 MDT Print View

Nice looking set up, Nick. I really like how it clips into the shelter. My pet peeve with sleeping on a simple, flat ground cloth is how dirt and stuff easily gets on to the ground cloth and then onto my sleeping bag. Having a bit of a curl around the edge would be great for rain of course but would also keep stray bits of stuff and dirt off my gear.

And it's oh so stylish. lol.

Adventures In Stoving

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Which is it? on 10/23/2013 09:00:29 MDT Print View

OK, is it:




Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Polycryo on 10/23/2013 09:34:01 MDT Print View

It is polycryo, "cryo" as in cold, as in winter storm windows, which is a made-up trade name anyway. When you by the window kits, the ones spec'd for outside use may be better. I never compared them, but have noted the difference in labeling; it could be just the taped included. I got some 3M stuff that is really tough.

The stuff lasts, so it's not a one-shot product at all.

I like it big to keep ground moisture at bay. I move around a lot and would get my sleeping bag muddy with one that is just pad-sized.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Bivy Sack on 10/23/2013 09:43:12 MDT Print View

The best groundsheet is probably... a decent bivy sack. It also increases the temperature range of your sleeping bag slightly, and keeps bugs off.

David Halterman
(poedog) - F
ty on 10/23/2013 13:24:55 MDT Print View

Another vote for Tyvek.