Earlier today ZPacks updated their website with a new product, called the "ZPacks Hexamid Pocket Tarp" -- an 88 gram (3.1 ounce) hexamid tarp made from 0.34 cuben fiber!
As one of a very small handful of people in the world that have any serious mileage using a 0.34 cuben fiber tarp, I have to say I am amazed that ZPacks has pushed out this product - but I am super excited that they have!
The worry, of course, will be that inexperienced hikers will see the weight of this and buy it - without any real clue as to just how delicate 0.34 cf is.
ZPacks is describing this tarp in this manner: "It is meant to be used as an emergency shelter carried in your day pack."
I think that is a great way to approach this, but still going to be super concerned that hikers will buy this and try to use it out on the trail for full time use.
It is totally possible to use a 0.34 cf shelter as your full time shelter (I have two entire summer seasons using one - probably close to 200 nights) and I have only one very minor tear in my rectangle 0.34 CF shelter, which was caused by somebody over tightening it when I was letting them set it up. But it just goes to show that even being hyper aggressive with this material can potentially cause damage to it.
So, all the worries and concerns aside... will I be buying one?? Oh man, tough call... but yeah, I think I will be putting an order in for one. After ~200 nights with my rectangle 0.34 CF tarp, it might be time to put it into a box and send it around to all the different cottage companies that make CF shelters and let them see what 0.34 CF can handle.
ZPacks is indicating a total weight for a Hexamid Pocket tarp at 113 grams (4.0 ounces) with cordage and stuff sack. That is crazy impressive!
Whadda all think??