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Custom Zpacks 1oz Cuben Poncho-Tarp
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just Justin Whitson
Custom Zpacks 1oz Cuben Poncho-Tarp on 04/24/2013 17:41:17 MDT Print View

This will be my first major Cuben purchase. I did earlier get the Zpacks multi pack, which so far i quite like.

Really looking forward to this piece of gear, though i'm not a huge fan of non breathable fabric rain gear--even "flappable" ponchos, but i can deal.

I'm getting a Sea to Summit NANO mosquito net to use with it during the buggy seasons. Thinking about sewing some 1 oz cuben to part of the bottom of it, but might just keep it separated for flexibility. Either way, i got 3 yards of the 1 oz Cuben besides the poncho-tarp.

Anyways, the poncho-tarp will be flat, rectangular, and the dimensions will be 8' 8" x 6' 6". If anyone is interested, when i get it later, i can put pics of it up.

Just one question though, do you think the 1oz cuben will be robust enough for poncho use in general since it doesn't have the "slickness" advantage that silnylon has?

Kenneth Houseal
Durability on 04/24/2013 21:42:30 MDT Print View

I believe that .74 cuben is by far robust enough, 1.0 is fine.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Durability on 04/24/2013 21:57:44 MDT Print View

Hi Kenneth,

Thank you for reply. Are you referring to it in tarp mode or poncho mode (?), because i see them as rather different and i think in some ways a poncho needs to be tougher--at least as far as abrasion goes--somewhat more akin to a pack in that sense since it will be rubbing up against brush, possibly thorns, etc. I agree that 1 oz Cuben would be fine for tarp mode but i have some misgivings about it for poncho mode.

But at the same time, i really don't know much about cuben from an experiential base and ultimately that's the kind of feedback i'm looking for. I'm not sure that too many people here even have 1 oz cuben ponchos though? If you're out there, please reply.

Dunno, i may just put some Tyvek tape on some of the outside where it's likely to come into contact with abrasive elements.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Custom Zpacks 1oz Cuben Poncho-Tarp on 04/25/2013 08:14:03 MDT Print View

Hey Justin...I would love to see pics.

I have been considering getting the groundsheet/poncho but might consider the tarp/poncho instead.

Do you know the weight? Is it the same black material as the groundsheet?

Was this a custom piece? ...could you share the pricing?

-Mark in St. Louis

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Custom Zpacks 1oz Cuben Poncho-Tarp on 04/25/2013 16:31:11 MDT Print View

Hi Marks, thanks, when i get it i will put some pics up. I don't know the weight off hand. Since it's using the same black, 1 oz/yd2 cuben as the poncho-groundsheet but the dimensions will be larger, i expect it to weigh in-between 5.75 to 7 oz. The regular poncho-groundsheet weighs, i believe, 5 oz.

Yes, this is a custom piece. Joe told me it would cost 225 based on the dimensions i requested. It's considerably wider, and a bit longer than the regular poncho-groundsheet. I wanted to have a more "practical" poncho-tarp that gave me a little more margin of error so to speak with set up--especially in rain.

I may still need a bivy for severe conditions, but it should be fine for everything else. I would still be carrying my emergency frogg toggs poncho, which could serve double duty for protection during set up/take down, and as a bivy top over my quilt or bag for sleeping when very rainy and windy instead of bringing a full bivy.

Kenneth Houseal
Durability on 04/25/2013 20:42:57 MDT Print View

1.0z is definitely heavy enough for poncho use. I used .74 as a groundsheet. I've owned and used .74 groundsheets and groundsheet poncho's. At this point,having owned easily over 5k in cuben fiber I feel that .74 and up is pretty stout. 2.92 and up hybrid stuff is just ridiculous, you can literally make bulletproof vests out of 34 layers of it! I'm also fairly comfortable with the stuff around .4-.5, but I'm pretty careful with my cf.

Edited by Homewardbound on 04/25/2013 20:45:14 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Durability on 04/25/2013 20:51:40 MDT Print View

Ah, well thank you for the much more detailed and specific post Kenneth! Yeah, i have the Zpacks multipack which uses the 2.92 cuben and it does seem/feel pretty bombproof--been thinking about getting the Zpacks Arc Blast backpack for my wife--i want her to have something light, but which will last a very long time without much repairs.

Kenneth Houseal
CF on 04/25/2013 20:57:32 MDT Print View

The hybrid packs are extremely durable! The construction fails before the fabric, most of the time. I have an HMG pack that has been put through the ringer, I haven't been gentle at all with it. I'm frankly amazed that it has gone through so much.

I'll be out for a 200 mile trip and people ask me if I'm a day hiker "with that tiny pack", I smile and carry on. I'm sure, she too, would enjoy the light load!

just Justin Whitson
Re: CF on 04/25/2013 21:04:41 MDT Print View

Haha, i know the feeling. I went out for an overnighter last weekend with my Sea to Summit Ultra Sil 20L pack, and ended up meeting some thru hikers at a shelter. Even though i wasn't thru hiking, they were all amazed at how small the pack was. I did go a bit stupid light, i knew it would get down to about 35 and i didn't bring any quilt or bag, just my tyvek/net bivy and down clothes. Since it was rather windy, and i wasn't in the shelter, wasn't so comfortable, so hiked all night back to the car and got home in the early morning. THAT won't be happening again, i just got my EE RX 40 degree, slim and 5'6" quilt in the mail today! Can stuff that little puppy even in the Sea to Summit pack.

Thanks for the encouragement on behalf of my wife ;) I'm sure she would enjoy a light pack also.

Kenneth Houseal
Re: Re: CF on 04/25/2013 21:20:48 MDT Print View

I don't mess around with the cold! Haha, I nearly died of hypothermia a time or two. Sometimes my base weight will be 50% down; pants, booties, jacket, oeverstuffed 20* ee revx.

BTW Tim Marshall is the man when it comes to quilts and customer service. I certainly hope you're happy with your EE. I'm nearing 300 nights under mine, but I've slept under it quite a few nights indoors..mainly while traveling.

Ya'll must live in or near Virginia or PA?

A light pack and easy hiking = a happy wife, a happy wife = a happy you...with or without a ul pack.

Enjoy and Happy Trails!

Edited by Homewardbound on 04/25/2013 21:21:42 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: CF on 04/26/2013 16:52:00 MDT Print View

Hi Kenneth, yeah, it's not a good thing to mess around with (over coldness). You definitely go out armed to the teeth against the cold so to speak ;)

Yeah, so far i really like the EE quilt. I probably should have gotten it in regular size though. Yep, we live in VA currently, originally from MA though.

A very nice and well thought equation indeed! Btw, it sounds like you are well traveled--i saw that you've traveled through Romania--that's pretty cool. We try to get out when we can afford to since my wife, whom is a teacher, is what i call a "travel whore". Our last major trip was to Greece and Turkey which was interesting and fun. Romania sounds pretty interesting and enjoyable too (minus the cranky ruff ruffs).

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
poncho on 07/29/2013 20:13:19 MDT Print View


(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Poncho update on 08/01/2013 20:20:51 MDT Print View

Also interested in an update on this poncho.

Also does anyone have any experience with the 0.74 weight Bear Paw product which appears to be very similar but 15$ cheaper?


Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
BPWD .74 Cuben on 08/01/2013 20:30:42 MDT Print View

I have a Bear Den 1 shelter in .74oz cuben. material is very nice.
I have also purchased bulk .74oz (3 yrd) from John and it is just fine.
I dont own any Zpacks .74oz but I do own the 1.0 oz from Zpacks

Both "brands" are the same quality as far as I can tell.