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AHH! I can't choose! BA SL1 vs WB Tarp
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Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
AHH! I can't choose! BA SL1 vs WB Tarp on 08/06/2013 12:46:07 MDT Print View

I am going crazy trying to make this decision. I want to jump on the "tarp bandwagon" but I am too nervous to leave the 360 degree protection and ease of setup of a tent. So honestly, just tell me which one of these two options you would buy and why. Thanks so much!

Bear Paw minimalist 1 netting with the Warbonet Edge tarp. 26oz. $200.


Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1. 33oz. $213

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: AHH! I can't choose! BA SL1 vs WB Tarp on 08/06/2013 14:17:35 MDT Print View

$200 is a lot to spend if you aren't sure tarps are for you.

For me the tarp without a nest would be best.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Tarps and Tents - Very Different Experiences! on 08/06/2013 14:42:37 MDT Print View

Get an el cheapo blue tarp and try it out a few nights -- including windy/rainy nights. Tons of people prefer tarps in all but the coldest weather -- and tons of people swear them off after their first try!

Alternatiive: Either buy a new one at a steep discount or a used one at a good price -- so if it doesn't work out, you can sell it here or on EBay and get your money back.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
AHH! I can't choose! BA SL1 vs WB Tarp on 08/06/2013 15:02:48 MDT Print View

I agree with above, no need to spend a ton of $ to try it out.
Just find yourself a used or new silnylon 8x10 or 10x12 tarp and make a 1.25oz tyvek bivy with some mesh and a make a bathtub floor ground cloth.

I bought an 8x10 tarp here for $40. YOu will want to add some mid panel tie outs depending on your setup.
You can glue tyvek. Hysol Urethane or mcnett aquaseal is the best or sew it.
Tyvek bivy about $20-30.

Good things for a tarp, Zpacks line, adjusters if you dont want to use prussics or tautline knots.

Best thing I bought was 2 titanium biner clips from Dutchware for the main tarp ridge line if you use that sort of setup.

Tarp setups. There are a million different ways to set up a tarp.
This is a good one but you will have to add some tie out points.....
You would also want to add some velcro and pull teh end flaps in and up to make a bathtub floor, but the one in this video is just a cheap poly tarp.

this is my favorite tarp video - Canvas though, hatchet for pounding stakes heavy etc.

Edited by tammons on 08/06/2013 15:10:26 MDT.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Confused on 08/06/2013 15:49:35 MDT Print View

Sorry if I'm missing something, but the BA SL1 isn't a tarp - it's a freestanding tent. So that definitely doesn't qualify as jumping into the tarp world. Don't get me wrong, I have an SL3 that I use with friends that's a great tent, but I'm not sure what you're asking here exactly.

I never really understood the point of buying a seperate tarp and then adding back in a groupsheet and netting. You'd be spending a solid amount of money in buying the Warbonnet setup without shedding much weight; I also think it's more hassle and less comfort than a tent without much benefit. If you're going to do a tarp, just try a cheap one first before spending that much.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Not confusing on 08/06/2013 15:59:47 MDT Print View

I think the OP is asking whether he should stick with what he is comfortable - the Big Agnes solo tent - or try something new that may nor may not be to his liking. Why not try a hybrid tent. The SMD Skyscape Trekker is an excellent solo tarp-tent, as is the tarp tent strato spire 1, the SMD lunar solo, the TT contrail, etc. For a few more dollars, the Hexamid tent with beak and screen would be another option.

I think you might find you like tarps with 360 protection, like a MLD DuoMid or Golite SL3. You'll get 360 walls with the option of views, and you can add a net and ground sheet as you see fit. For reference my SkyScape Trekker was 23.5 ounces, a duomid weighs about 18 plus 8 more for a net inner, but it's WAY roomy for one.

I'd try to break free of the double-walled modern tent design criteria (inner, fly, footprint) and start using a single wall tent and a groundsheet as your floor. This doesn't feel much different than a regular tent when you're inside, and you can move to a less-protective flat tarp as weather and your comfort level allows.

Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
Re on 08/06/2013 16:30:09 MDT Print View

You guys are genius. I will poke some holes in an old blue tarp and see how much I love/hate the openess. Why didn't I think of that?

I need a netting because I live in MN with the lovely mosquitoes. I backpacked in moab one summer and never used a net or tarp the whole time. Coming back to mosquito land sucked!

Thanks for your help guys. It is appreciated!

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: AHH! I can't choose! BA SL1 vs WB Tarp on 08/08/2013 12:40:59 MDT Print View

Just a thought. If the expectation is that you'll always use the tarp and nest together, you might consider something like a Tarptent or Lightheart. They're a good compromise between the two, easy setup like a tent but with the weight savings of using trekking poles. The Tarptent Notch will even get you a double-wall tent.

FWIW, I live in Michigan and while I love my tarps and use them whenever bugs aren't an issue, I find myself taking the Contrail (with dog) or Lightheart Solo (wo dog) here in Michigan most of the time. They're both in the same weight range as the Warbonet Edge + Bear Paw nest setup you're considering.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Tarp in the bugs on 08/08/2013 13:01:41 MDT Print View

I really like using a tarp for a lot of reasons. I usually take no inner, bivy, or netting other than a head net here in southern Appalachia. And I rarely use the head net.
As much as I like tarping, I think I would take something with built in net if I always needed it for bugs.
The Zpacks hexamid tent may be a good option. It has some of the openness of a tarp but has full netting. A lot of people seem to like them. And I think you can sell it here if you don't like it.